Gonna pull my ceiling down. Any advice?

  • Thread starter attractivebrunette
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A

attractivebrunette

I want to install downlights in my lounge and am going to pull down my ceiling to wire them all in, before putting up new soundproof plasterboard and getting someone in to plaster it.

I've heard pulling down a ceiling can be a tricky, messy, difficult job. Do any of you bright lads have any advice for me? What do I need to avoid or be careful of?

(NB please DON'T tell me not to do it! Just give me advice on what the pitfalls are and I will make my own mind up. Thanks :)
 
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Wear a hair scarf or you'll become attractivegrey.....use a mask (please) and keep windows open as the mess and dust will be extreme.
Use lamps that have heat protection, and consider insulating the space when you are in there. (You can get low energy spotlamps now, instant start and brightness).
Mark out the lamps position very carefully, and allow the sparky to put his wires in with plenty of slack.
John :) attractivebaldy :p
 
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The extent of the mess, some of which there is bound to be, will depend upon what the existing ceiling is constructed from.
 
A

attractivebrunette

Interesting. One of the reasons I want to bring it down is to put insulation up there when I put new boards up, so that sounds good.

Why should there be plenty of slack in the wiring? (I'm going to do it myself and get it checked once I've finished) Do you mean slack for fixing the lamps after it's all done?

Re-marking out the position of the lamps...should I use a tape measure and record how far each one should be from the walls etc?

Also, how difficult is it to actually pull the thing down? I imagine the current boards are screwed and nailed into the joists...what tools are best? Crowbar?
 
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A few extra inches in the wiring is a good thing for the sparky, as he / she can connect up the light units or transformers without becoming jammed up against the ceiling. Any excess wire is simply pushed back into the lamp hole and pushed out of the way. Spare wire makes an easy renewal of the lamp unit if you want a different sort later on. Better too much than too little....!
Spend a bit of time with the measuring for the lamps - its a 2 person job really and a chalk line pulled taught between 2 points is a good thing for keeping the lamps in line. Use a 1m plastic rule rather than a tape measure if you're working on your own.
if your existing ceiling is skimmed plasterboard, use a 300mm wrecking bar for pulling the plaster down and removing the nails. If its screwed, have patience and unscrew them.
Eventually, use a proper hole cutter for cutting out the exact aperture for the lamps of your choice.
John :)
 
P

plstering

pulling larth lid is the worst job in the plasterers trade
I pull up all carppits open all windows and get a bucket of water
to damp down the dust
overalls and mask glasiss and gluves
 
A

attractivebrunette

Great advice in this forum! Plasterers are definitely friendlier people than sparkies!

Can I used a laser guide instead of a chalk line? I assume this needs to be done AFTER I've put up the new boards but before plastering? ie

1. Pull down old ceiling
2. Daisy chain the mains supply along through the joists and put spurs roughly where the lights will go


3. Put up new boards one by one (and drill the holes for the lights as I go along?)

OR

3. Put all the boards up then drill holes for the lights based on the measurements I made for where they're going to go?

What's larth lid by the way?
 
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Go for the initial 1, 2 and 3 and you'll not go far wrong......laser guide? If it will do what you need then go for it (never used one).
Original plastering used thin wooden laths where the browning (undercoat) plaster was plastered (!) onto, often containing horse hair.
Delightful when taken down.
John :)
 
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attractivebrunette

You know, a red laser pointer that puts a straight line as a guide along walls and ceilings?

This is the size of the room. Any idea roughly how long it will take to pull the ****er down?

 
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The ceiling will be down in a couple of hours, no problem.....clearing up will take a bit longer!
Existing on skid row ( only a claw hammer between me and the bailiff, bread and scrape for tea etc) means that I don't have the luxury of laser guides..... :(
I hope your project goes well!
John :D
 
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ursamajor

Before you put the boards up, use a bit of string between the joists to mark the cable runs for your lights. Then, having measured exactly where you want the lights to be, drop plumb-lines from the string down to the floor and mark it either with a pen/pencil if the carpet is up, or by a cross of masking or gaffer tape if the carpet or other floor covering is still down.

Then you will have precise positions where you know where the holes need to be cut in the newly plastered ceiling, which will also make it very easy to find the cables up there also
 
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mark the joist on the walls once the ceiling is down, it'll make screwing new boards up easier and get a couple of plasterboard props to hold the boards up too!
 

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