hole in ceiling


Old 10-15-00, 09:46 PM
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HELP! My husband just fell thru the attic/ceiling in our house we haven't closed on yet! There's a 3foot hole next to an entry light fixture. We're broke and can't hire anyone! How should we fix it?
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Old 10-22-00, 10:05 PM
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I'm presuming it's a drywall ceiling. there is a kind of plaster called "gyproc lath" that would probably break if you stood on it, but it's still much stronger than drywall.

Cut the hole flush to the nearest ceiling joists with a drywall saw. Try to cut it so the corners are square to make a rectangular hole. This makes patching much easier.

Attach spruce 2X2's to the ceiling joists on either side of the hole with 3 inch drywall screws. Predrill the hole with a 7/64" X-tra long drill bit. Any place that sharpens tools or sells nuts and bolts will tell you where you can buy one of these. Countersink the holes so you don't split the 2X2 driving the screw in. Maybe use a drill with a driver bit to drive them in.

Cut a piece of drywall to fit over the hole and tape the seams with fiberglass seaming tape. It's self adhesive, so it's easy to work with. Real experienced people don't like me recommending fiberglass mesh because they consider it "cheating" because it makes it too easy to do a good job taping.

Phone around to the drywall wholesalers and ask to buy a "curved trowel". A curved trowel looks just like an ordinary plastering trowel until you set it flat on a table and notice that it arches up about 1/8 inch in the middle. This arch allows you to spread a nice smooth mound of plaster over the seam to hide it well. Because neither side of the seam will have a contoured drywall edge, you're better off to use a curved trowel to spread plaster over the seam then to try to do it by hand. You still have to do the corners as best you can by hand, and that only comes with experience.

Now prime and paint. You'll probably have to repaint the whole ceiling because latex paint darkens and alkyd paint yellows as it ages, so the new paint will stand out against the old.

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