Will cutting a loft hatch bring down the lath ceiling?


Postby chris 23 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:17 pm

This isn't actually a DIY question, as I'm not planning to do the work myself. Hope that's OK!

I want a loft hatch with a pull-down ladder. Two tradespeople I've asked for quotes have said that because the house is a Victorian/Edwardian terrace with lath and plaster ceilings, when the hole is cut in the landing ceiling, the whole landing ceiling is likely to come down, and then the house would be filled with very fine filthy dust. (Good job I [i]didn't [/i]try to do it myself!)

Is there any way to prevent this? I'm wondering if the lath structure could somehow be secured around the hatch area bedore the hatch is cut out. And could the cut be made by drilling holes first, making a dotted line, rather than jigsawing straight into the fragile laths?
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Postby Fowjoe » Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:14 pm

You can't avoid the dust, but if you tape up all the doors off the area and place wet/damp cloths along the bottom of each door, the dust travel will be contained.
One way of minimising the dust would be to resurface the ceiling with plasterboard securing it by screwing through the lath & plaster. Then cut out and fit the hatch & ladder. Hope this helps.
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Postby Deadwinston » Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:41 am

I did mine a few years ago and after trimming out the joists just cut through, first with 4 drilled 10mm holes in the corners, then with an upcut blade in the jig saw from inside the loft. This meant that the the blade wasn't pushing any of the plaster off but pulling it upwards towards the joists and timber laths. Any cuts that couldn't be reached with the jig saw, just an ordinary panel saw worked fine.
It was very dusty and dirty but the plaster didn't come off a great deal at all, nothing the architrave didn't cover any way. Effective and carefull use of sheeting to cover carpet would help to minimise the dust but if you're paying someone to do it, that along with the clean up should be they're responsibility.
I hope that helps.
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Postby rosebery » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:08 pm

The tradesmen you asked are covering their backsides just in case it does come down LOL.

A Fein Multimaster or the new Bosch version of same will do the job much more neatly than a jigsaw.
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