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Hole in ceiling - advice?

Postby fledgling » Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:50 am

I recently had the boiler in my 1900s house replaced. The previous owner had boxed the water tank in behind a wall in the back bedroom (clever, I know!) and when it was removed we realised that we'd need to replace some floorboards, skirting board, wallpaper... and part of the ceiling!

As this is my first house, I'm far from knowledgeable about such things. After some research I've found out that the method of choice for repairing such holes seems to be cutting the hole to a regular shape, fixing a piece of wood to the ceiling joists and screwing a piece of plasterboard to the wood to cover the hole.

The hole itself is irregular - about 8-10 ins long at the widest part (it's quite long and thin) - and some of the ceiling immediately surrounding it looks like it might need to come out too, as it's a bit cracked - from where the water tank was taken out I guess. It seems like the ceiling is made from plaster board (do you know how I can tell for sure?), but it is backed by strips of wood (which have been sawn off near the edges of the hole) and what looks like some kind of mesh above that. Will this cause a problem?

I'm thinking of trying to get to the hole via the loft, so I can make sure I know where the joists and any wires etc are, before I attach the wood to them, and attach the plaster board to that. Does this sound like a feasible plan?

I just want to know that this method of repairing the hole is suitable given this situation... and what materials I would need exactly:
1) what do I use to cut the hole?
2) what is the best plaster board to use?
3) what should I use to secure the wood and plaster board?
4) how do I make good the repair?

If anyone could give me advice relating to this specific job, I'd be really grateful!? I just want to make sure I'm properly prepared!

Thanks in advance!
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Postby kbrownie » Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:47 pm

HI fledgling,
It sounds like you have a plastered ceiling which is plastered on to wood lath strips. This was common many moons ago.
Your thinking on the right lines on how to solve your problem. I doubt that there will by any plasterboard on the ceiling unless at some point it was over boarded. There is a few solutions to resolving this, but if you can get above, in to the loft space and put a couple nogins running parallel across the joist above the hole and over lapping the edges of the hole so tou can screw in to the ceiling and in to new plasterboard that fill go in to hole, you may need to straighten edges of hole before hand, this will make life easier. Then cut a peice of plasterboard the correct size to go in to this area, you can buy 12.5 or 9 mm thick does'nt really matter on this occasion. Screw board up and a few screw in to ceiling around hole too. The board should now be secure and recessed in to ceiling this will allow you the plaster and skim over after taping edge joints up with scrim.
1) Tape measure, use stanley knife and plasterboard saw to cut hole and board
2) 12.5mm square edge big enough to fill hole.
3) Use plasterboard screws they are normally black can buy them at most DIY stores.
4) In your case you maybe better using the multi purpose plaster that will allow to both fill out and finish. So first job you need to tape joints up, you can buy self adhesive scrim it's like a meshed tape that will stick to ceiling board. Prime area being patched with dilute PVA don't let this dry just go tacky.Then mix plaster up to nice creamy mix adding the plaster to water.
Then fill in patch using trowel, leaving about 3mm recessed below ceiling level. Scoring it slightly afterwards for key bonding. Let that dry, then mix up again scim over to level, when this is just starting to dry polish over with water and trowel to smooth.
Hope this not to complicatated, best of luck
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Postby fledgling » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:47 am

Thank you so much for that KB - you're a super-star! I feel much more confident... now I just have to have a root around in the loft!!

I have a some days off next week to do some DIY and decorating, so hopefully I'll manage to get this job done and it'll all go smoothly...

Thanks again! :)
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