Dropped ceiling was demo'd now what to fix walls etc?

renovatingwomanJune 21, 2010

I bought an old 1905 house that I'm fixing up. We had plumbing issues that are fixed but while cutting a hole in the livingroom ceiling I found that the ceiling had been dropped about 12 inches in the 70s (70s newspapers were in ceiling). Anyways since other drywall work was being done throughout the house I decided to demo the ceiling.

We tore out the drywall and now we are taking out the framing that held the dropped ceiling. Only about 1/2 of the plaster lathe is still in the ceiling so I told the guy helping me to demo that as well up to the studs or whatever you call the boards so that new drywall can be installed for the ceiling.

I'm happy with my idea still despite the mess and extra time. But what are we going to do with the 12" or so from the drywall over plaster on the walls to the new drywall that will be installed on the ceiling? Obviously there's going to be a difference in size in drywall fo the 12" from the drywall over plaster on the walls. We of course didn't open up walls to demo the ceiling.

Also my friend said to try to blow in insulation into the walls from the top holes once we demo the plaster/lathe more on the ceiling and the upper part of the walls. Would that make sense?

I had the idea of adding a few beams to make the livingroom more dramatic and I'm looking at books with ideas for trim and such. Is there such a thing as over 12" trim or layered trim for the walls to ceiling to cover the 12" gap? Or how about the idea of boards of some sort or beams and boards?

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

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Just asking a question here, don't have any knowledge to impart.

It seems to me, if those ceilings were high enough that they could be dropped a whole foot, they could also benefit from the installation at that height, going around the room, with a nice picture rail. If you do re-drywall that space all the way around the room, the picture rail/molding would be in keeping with the period of the house.

Would that sound logical to you?
Do not know about the beams. I'm sure they had coffered ceilings in those days, and beams might even have been the starting point for that kind of ceiling. There are all sorts of things that one CAN do to a house, but you just have to decide when enough is enough. Just because you CAN do it, is not always a sign that you should or must.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 2:24AM
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Multiple layers of drywall and then possibly a skim coat to match the thickness of the plaster.

If done carefully the patch will not show under a coat of paint.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 8:44AM
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Assuming your total ceiling height is now going to be circa 10 feet, the norm would have been a picture rail placed a foot below the ceiling. But even with that, you would match the thickness of the wall, probably with a double layer of drywall.

You can do beams, though they're not common with a picture rail - I started a thread on this some time back to help with a room I have with a picture rail.

You can also just patch it up and make it smooth wall and finish it continuous with the rest of the wall. Also common was a wallpaper border at that height, with a different paper or paint on the ceiling.

Blown-in insulation is used when you can't get into a wall cavity any other way. If you have the wall open, I'd use fiberglass batts or whatever sheet goods you prefer. If the wall is empty down below where you have it open, you can use blow-in to fill it up.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 12:10PM
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Depending on the thickness you are talking about, you can either fir out the studs or use multiple layers of drywall. eg if the finished thickness needs to be 1 inch, you can use 1 layer of 3/8 and 1 layer of 5/8 and you get an inch. If it is much thicker than that, you would probably want to fir out with wood and then use 1 layer of drywall. You can cut wood to any width you want, so the options are endless. Either way, you will probably need to skim coat over the top to make it 100% smooth. Any hand made wall isn't going to be the exact same thickness at each point, but a decent drywall/plaster guy will be able to blend them to make them so that nobody will know the difference.

Re Insulation -

You may or may not be able to blow in insulation from the top. Before the invention of plywood sheathing, it was common to have diagonal bracing within the walls. To fill the wall cavity, you would likely have to drill additional holes to insulate below the cross bracing.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 1:56PM
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