Thursday, 30 January 2014

The mystery of the moving ceiling...

Quite a dull post about ceilings... unless you're fascinated by building. Particularly bad building.

All stripped. Isn't that lovely?

I think I have solved the case of the moving ceiling. Looking at the ceiling there are lines of nails right the way across it. These are 16'' apart. This means that the ceiling joists are also 16'' apart.

Now on one side of the room, the row of nails is close to the wall. That's great. The ceiling is secured well here and could be plastered over.

Good construction.

The other wall? Not so good. The row of nails is 16'' from the wall. Meaning the joist is directly over the wall. Meaning the house was built by muppets and the last 16'' of the ceiling, right the way across the 19 1/2 feet, is attached to nothing! It's suspended in thin air and this is why it moves when you touch it.

Bad construction.
Slight crack

Pushing with one finger creates a bigger crack = loose ceiling. Pushing with more than one finger lifts the ceiling right up. No point plastering over this, it'll just crack.

We could just get a builder in to fix it. But really. Why would we want to do that? All we have to do is move the loft crap, lift the boards and add little blocks or cross braces sticking out from the ceiling joist and then secure the plasterboard into that from below. That sounds like quite a fun day.

While the ceiling is exposed from above we can get the light rewired and create extra lighting for the walk in wardrobe area.

Then all we have to do is have it re plastered! Easy and cheap!Well, cheaper than getting a builder in to fix the problem first.

We're fortunate that this ceiling wasn't ever plastered over and I can see the rows of nails or I'd be none the wiser. Hooray for polystyrene tiles! And I NEVER thought I'd say that!

One major hindrance at the moment is that it's a little chilly to be working in an uninsulated loft so I need a milder day before I can get stuck in. And someone told me snow is on the way. I rarely watch telly so I rely on playground chatter for weather reports. And I'm very well informed on a Friday as I hear the manager in the charity shop have the same weather conversation with every old dear that comes in. Bless her, she never lets on she's heard it all seventeen times in one morning.

Meh, perhaps I should just stick a coat on and stop being a wuss.

I've also removed the secondary glazing in this room and bleached out all the mould. I'm saving the windows to use perhaps as a lid  for the raised beds I'm going to build one day, making a cold frame.

In other news I'm very excited to have ordered some Minwax stain in Weathered Oak which I think should be perfect to age the new tongue and groove boards I need to put on the back of the 'new' dresser I accidentally bought the other week. We can't get Minwax here so I ordered it from the States on Amazon. We don't have any stain this colour in the UK and I've seen this one used a few times on American blogs to great effect. Can't wait to try it!

 I'm hoping this is the right colour. Classic Grey was also tempting.

I haven't bought the boards yet. I'm going to be that embarrassing person in the car park of Wickes, measuring and sawing my many boards so I can fit them into my little car. Should probably take a dustpan and brush while I'm at it...  I don't think they offer wood cutting at our store and I refuse to pay £1 a cut for 15 boards. The dresser has cost enough already. But don't tell my husband okay?


  1. Oh you're such a perfectionist EK, there are cracks all over my house where the plaster is fag paper thin! I just pretend I can't see them and put up another picture. Good luck with the dresser.

    1. I don't know if it's perfectionism but I just can't plaster over something moving! I might be a slight perfectionist though...

  2. I had cracked ceilings artexed, I might as well have not bothered as the artex is cracked now plus it looks dated and the spiders use it to spin webs everywhere. I've been polyfilling cracks in my office wall this week. One was a shallow hole where I had a lump of fossil leaning on the wall secured by blutak, when I moved it after a few years two layers of plaster came of too. The other crack was here when we moved in, every 5 years I redo it as it either opens or the polyfiller shrinks. I dream about winning a total replaster of my entire house as a competition prize. We have blocked up windows/doors the dining room used to be a kitchen and the new extension is cracked to buggery. Sigh. Went in the loft a couple of days ago to chase out the mice, and yes it was bloody freezing. I have had fantasies about having a cathedral ceiling by losing the plaster boards altogether and plastering the roof joists, but decided it would be too expensive to heat. Good luck with your DIY - your energy is impressive. B&Q cut wood free for me - I got a giant bit of mdf and they cut it up into 12 shelves. No idea if their t & g is any good though. I read somewhere the cheap stuff is a bitch to join up. ♥

    1. Haha! What a fun prize! Forget the cruise or the night in a top hotel!
      The other thing about losing your loft is that you lose your storage too!
      I'm too far from B&Q sadly. xx

  3. Hi Loving your newly discovered blog. I too am working my way through a 10 year plan on our home. I'm into year 11! are you near a B AND Q? I know they do a free woodcutting service.

    1. Thanks Sarah and welcome! Your 10 year plan sounds like mine! B& Q is too far for me to drive sadly...

  4. Blimey, it sounds very grown up and technical. Our ceilings aren't moving (fortunately) but the cracks are hideous, still it's been standing for 250 so it should be okay.. we hope!
    Can't wait to see you work your magic on the dresser! x

    1. They probably built them a lot better in those days! xx


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