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Ceilings and walls; a welcome change

Hallway, Major Projects

With our upstairs electrical finished and a full weekend ahead of us, we decided to get crazy and start putting up walls in our stairwel/hallway. Not that I don’t love the open, airy feel of the exposed plaster and framing… it’s the dirt and debris that shakes out of it with every footstep I’m getting tired of.

Because the lathe in the hallway ceiling was holding up a good amount of salvageable attic insulation, we decided to leave it where it was. But attaching drywall directly to it was not going to be pretty; there were too many little ridges and bumps to worry about. Instead, we decided to frame up a new ceiling directly below it using 2×4’s. The only minus is that we lost about 5″ of ceiling height, but this portion of the hallway went all the way up (10′) so those few inches aren’t noticeable.

Framing the old ceiling took a while; without a single right angle to work with, it meant lots of trips up and down the stairs to cut down pieces “just a smidge” so they’d all fit together snugly. It was hard to get perfect measurements, and each piece had to be custom measured and cut. Teague stayed on the ladder measuring and I acted as the runner/cutter. The team approach worked out well – I can’t imagine how long it would have taken one person!

Once the ceiling was framed up, we started cutting and installing the drywall, boring (but easy) process. We bought 16 8′ sheets (10′ would have been impossible to maneuver up the steps!) and had 10 of them installed by the end of the weekend. That covered the entire first half of the hallway plus a good chunk of the stairwell ceiling. Not bad, considering we were both tired and cranky and not particularly excited about having another work weekend.
We should have the rest of the walls up within a few days. After that, we plan to put a new ceiling up in one of the bedrooms that has crumbling plaster from an old (long ignored) roof leak.

My personal goal is to leave the spackling/sanding until we’re ready in ALL upstairs rooms that need it, so we can clean up one giant drywall mess instead of 25. I’ve gotten really lax about the cleanup lately. We used to spend hours cleaning after every day of work. Now I’m all about leaving it be and tiptoeing around it until the project is at a good stopping point. This practice, while somewhat disgusting, saves LOTS of time!
I had to have Teague check me before leaving this morning – I had plaster dust on my work clothes in 3 different places ;)

Photos of our progress will be up soon, I swear. I was feeling too lazy to download them….

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Patricia W. had this to say on 09.12.06:

I had to chuckle about he cleanup. I used to do the same thing and wore myself out with the duster, broom and mop. I was cleaning like a crazed woman two hours every single day. Now, I don’t do it and man does it save time. It’s also a good motivator to keep you going to get it done. I can’t wait to see the finished walls!

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