We Have A Ceiling!

24 Jul

It’s been a few weeks since my last post and I thought I’d pop in for a little update. We have finally, yes finally got a ceiling in the living room! I never knew drywall could make me so happy. There was a lot of confusion and aggravation along the way but we did finally get the ceiling joists leveled out which made putting up the drywall panels a cinch.

So want to know how we finally got the joists level? Basically after trying to salvage the 57 year old furring strips it was decided they had to go. I should make note that none of this would have been possible without Brian’s buddy Matt, also an Electrical Engineer, who loves construction so much he flips houses in his spare time. He is a student of contracting and he knows way more about this stuff than Brian or myself. Matt arrived and I found other projects to take on that would keep me out of their way but kept me close enough I could help if needed. After about 20 minutes of discussion Brian and Matt decided the furring strips would come down and they would install 2 x 4’s along the joists level with the lowest joist in the entire room. This would create a level surface to attache the drywall to. They used a nifty laser level system Matt had brought to make marks on the wall so that they could easily move the level system around the room as needed and keep the exact same height to level the 2 x 4’s. One by one the furring strips came down and one by one the 2 x 4’s went up. It was a lot of work but in the end we have a completely level ceiling. Well okay it’s not perfect but it’s within 1/4 of an inch of being level and that’s over 530 square feet (room is 23 x 23). They did have to create a few “joists between joists” in front of the fire place and in front of the kitchen opening so that the last piece of drywall would have something to screw into. That was pretty easy to do as well. Below I’ve got a few diagrams of how the leveling looks as well as a diagram of the “joist between joist” I mentioned above.

All in all we are thrilled to have drywall and I am so thankful for Matt  helping Brian with something that just wasn’t my cup of tea!

Here’s the to do list for the living room:

  • level the ceiling
  • install can lights
  • install drywall
  • frame out skylights (one complete just need to finish the other one)
  • mud, tape, and sand ceiling
  • remove and replace baseboards (only half of the room has them and it’s not base molding, it’s window molding so that has to be redone)
  • add crown molding
  • finish stucco on fireplace
  • install lights above mantle
  • build and install mantle
  • install tile hearth
  • paint (although I love the MS Heavy Goose in the kitchen area, it’s too washed out for the living room, I think we’ll go darker)
  • install board & batton on back of fireplace wall & behind front door (we bought a ton of 1 x 4’s trying to level out the ceiling and since we had to take them down we’ve got enough to make these two boring walls pop)
  • clean & move the furniture back in

I guess it’s also important to note that we’re still working on electrical as well. One by one, room by room we’ve been removing the old 24 volt relay system that runs off relay boxes in the attic. Brian was working to separate them so that the “Ballroom” office part of the house stay on the 24 volt and the part we are living in goes to standard grounded electrical a few weeks ago. Somewhere he missed something because we’ve been living with no lights on the “Ballroom” office part of the house. Bummer. So, we’ll be working on getting that straight this weekend so that I can see in the “Ballroom” at night. You know, just in case I need a tool.

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