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  1. #1
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    Any of you DIY'ers ever have to level a ceiling???

    Finally back at the last section where I'm taking down ceilings to insulate and block--but this section has a big sag.

    Long story short, a bearing wall section sagged on a ceiling that already had optimistically long ceiling joists.

    I see two methods described--both involve a level line to find the low point.
    • One method suggests 1x3 strapping running at right angles to existing joists. Shimmed to level as you go on each strap. Downside seems to be how do I then fit standard pot lights?
    • The other involves using light (1x4) steel stud screwed up to the inside edge of the existing joists--dropped down to the level line on each joist. Lights can be fitted by cutting the U of the steel stud (I think).


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    Both seem like a PITA--but I can't really correct the framing problem, since once the settling happened, the roof failed and was left, water leaked in etc, so there is what I suspect to be permanent curves to the joists.

    Thoughts?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by paredown View Post
    Finally back at the last section where I'm taking down ceilings to insulate and block--but this section has a big sag.

    Long story short, a bearing wall section sagged on a ceiling that already had optimistically long ceiling joists.

    I see two methods described--both involve a level line to find the low point.
    • One method suggests 1x3 strapping running at right angles to existing joists. Shimmed to level as you go on each strap. Downside seems to be how do I then fit standard pot lights?
    • The other involves using light (1x4) steel stud screwed up to the inside edge of the existing joists--dropped down to the level line on each joist. Lights can be fitted by cutting the U of the steel stud (I think).


    Second like this:
    Name:  ceiling.gif
Views: 207
Size:  11.7 KB

    Both seem like a PITA--but I can't really correct the framing problem, since once the settling happened, the roof failed and was left, water leaked in etc, so there is what I suspect to be permanent curves to the joists.

    Thoughts?
    I had a ceiling that I had to level out, and I used 2x4s, sistered to the existing joists (much like your method #2, though I used wood. I also had to insert cross-bracing, because these joists had twisted under load (and likely would've continued to do so).

    It was kind of a pain...but it sure made it easier to hang the ceiling and finish it out.

    I've not installed pot lights, but they're available with adjusting braces that one fits to the cavity size (they're called "remodel," vs. "new construction" lights, e.g., https://www.lumens.com/remodel-reces...ting-housings/)
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  3. #3
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    Uhhh.. tear it all out, jack everything up and level, put in new engineered load bearing joists...

  4. #4
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    Dumb questions:

    How bad was the leak, and are the members sound?

    Why are recessed lights important? Are you married to a certain diameter?

    There are old work recessed lights with lesser reliance on 14 1/2Ē bays. Their guts fit through the rough in hole, too.

    Iíve done the strapping and Iíve done the sisters.

    Sister if would be of value if you thought there was some water damage.

    Yup, itís not going to be any fun.

    I see your sketch has a laser.

    Once your reference lines are in place, use strings, it will keep you from having to constantly check and recheck. The strings will always be ready.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10ae1203 View Post
    Dumb questions:

    How bad was the leak, and are the members sound?

    Why are recessed lights important? Are you married to a certain diameter?

    There are old work recessed lights with lesser reliance on 14 1/2Ē bays. Their guts fit through the rough in hole, too.

    Iíve done the strapping and Iíve done the sisters.

    Sister if would be of value if you thought there was some water damage.

    Yup, itís not going to be any fun.

    I see your sketch has a laser.

    Once your reference lines are in place, use strings, it will keep you from having to constantly check and recheck. The strings will always be ready.
    Not dumb questions at all...

    This is kind of a continuation of the same area where the master bath also had water damage in addition to a roof leak, so I have already had the bearing wall cavity apart from the bathroom side, jacked it up and replaced sections of the plates on the outside wall and the bearing wall between the two rooms. Replaced a couple of 2xs that were dicey and I believe I replaced a the bathroom door header (same bearing wall) & jacks.

    Trouble was--floor/floor joists were bad too, so it was hard to figure out what I was working with. Got the bathroom floor level (more or less) after sistering the floor joists, replacing subfloor and the ceiling in the master bath is OK. (This is a very unusual house--and the wall that has moved was not built correctly to begin with--but it would also be very hard to redo from the ground up).

    So what's there is sound and nailed up, joists are sound, and by the look of it, the roof deck was partially replaced when the flat roof was redone after the leaks.

    The problem with doing it piecemeal is that I couldn't see how bad the sag was in the bedroom, since the bathroom has a lowered ceiling. Once the plasterboard was stripped in the bedroom you could see the sag on the bearing wall But I don't want to try to take out the sag now, since I've got finished walls etc on the bathroom side...

    I'm leaning towards the sketch using the steel stud, and I have a laser to set the level line. I'm picking away at some other prep while I think about it...
    Last edited by paredown; 08-02-2018 at 12:42 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljvb View Post
    Uhhh.. tear it all out, jack everything up and level, put in new engineered load bearing joists...
    If it were conventional stick build, and not a flat roof, maybe. But I won't be tearing off the flat roof that I can barely find anyone to work on, and no one who can work on it for a reasonable price.

    It's also a bearing wall that is built on top of a steel beam across a crawl space at a junction between two wings of the house--if you started taking it apart to rebuild it properly you would be working on it forever....
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  7. #7
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    Thanks all. I'll probably get the debris cleaned out tomorrow, set up the laser and see how far the whole thing is out
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  8. #8
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    replace with gabled, hip or shed roof, ideally

    but your scabbed strapping idea looks easy enough to level just the ceiling
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    ahhh, wait a second....
    Does the water stand in the valley, that is not going to work!
    If the whole thing is at an angle where it drains then your patch job should work either way.

    If it don't drain now, tear it all out and fix it.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    ahhh, wait a second....
    Does the water stand in the valley, that is not going to work!
    If the whole thing is at an angle where it drains then your patch job should work either way.

    If it don't drain now, tear it all out and fix it.
    There is some ponding, but the roofer also added a scupper through the parapet at the low point to drain onto the next roof section--part of the reason I don't want to go crazy jacking anything up.

    The roofer that has estimated (and that I trust) will go over the roof with tapered roof board and split the height front to back (so high point will be middle running long ways). There is a second area of ponding as well.

    Just came back after another look--the culprit on the front side is the same as what I found in the middle of the house--the headers above the windows were undersized, and the low point is right in the middle of the window header. On the opposite side, low point is over the master bathroom door header, but it looks as if the whole top plate has a nice bow in it.

    Actual out of plane is less than an inch on a random check.

    I'll take a look down in the crawl space--but last time I was checking I didn't see obvious signs that the deflection goes all the way down. It may just be that I didn't jack the wall up enough when I was refitting my replacement studs--it was tricky though since the subfloor was also rotted underneath where I was working.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    replace with gabled, hip or shed roof, ideally

    but your scabbed strapping idea looks easy enough to level just the ceiling
    Yes--tempting to go with a new roof--but the undersized window header problem I uncovered on the last section of repair makes me think you would need to split the windows in two, and add a post (done already for one of the three huge double window sections).

    I hate not redoing everything at once, but this is a budget job. I trust the roofer to fix the drainage issues when it comes to redoing the roof, which will be soon, I hope.
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  12. #12
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    They do it on this old house all the time
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

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  13. #13
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    I like the metal stud idea. If you go to a real studs and drywall place you can get different gauge and lengths.

    Widths, too, if it is way out of whack.

  14. #14
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    In progress--bit the steel studs in place, but need to go back and re-check my heights. Used screws and washers through the stud knock outs so I could adjust up and down--then I will screw the crap out of them.
    Attachment 323746
    Any of you DIY'ers ever have to level a ceiling???-mbr_ceiling.jpg
    "A man is judged by the company he keeps, and a company is judged by the men it keeps, and the people of Democratic nations are judged by the type and caliber of officers they elect."
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