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what to do with uneven ceiling rafters?

wendelltate's Avatar
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11-07-04, 10:30 AM   #1  
what to do with uneven ceiling rafters?

I am converting my garage into a bedroom. The problem is that the existing rafters are uneven varying by as much as a half inch. How do I even these out?

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azatty's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2004
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11-08-04, 12:35 PM   #2  
Do you know if the variation is caused by the walls, like one wall is higher than the other? If your ceiling has a "uniform variation," e.g. it's consistently half an inch higher/lower at one end of the room, then you could rip some furring strips from 2x4s and attach them under the existing ceiling joists to smooth out the variation. You'd probably need to use liquid nails since the wood will be pretty thin in some points, and make sure you use drywall screws that are long enough to penetrate the drywall, the furring strip, and deep enough into the joist to provide support for the drywall.

If the walls are uniform, but the ceiling joists vary all over the place, then I'd suggest tying some nailers along the joists and into the walls at a uniform height above the floor.

A third alternative is to replace all of the ceiling joists, but that's a pretty major project.

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11-25-04, 06:13 PM   #3  
If I understand you correctly, your rafters are uneven relative to each other, right? If so, this is not all that unusual.

What I would do is string a line (with a line level) from one side of the garage to the other. The line should just touch the lowest joist and should (of course) run perpendicular to the joists. You probably will need multiple lines.

Once you've determined the lowest joist, you begin running 1x3 strapping across the ceiling 16" oc. Now you will NEED to install shims on the higher joists. That is you should put shims in the spaces between your strapping and your joists. The plan is to get your strapping level across the entire garage. This is not as difficult as it might sound.

After you have your strapping level and secured to the joists, you can start hanging your drywall. Now, of course, you will have a flat surface to hang your drywall and in turn, a flat and level ceiling.


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02-08-05, 06:36 PM   #4  
working with an uneven ceiling too.

I am having the same problem with finishing the ceiling in a basement. The floor joists are uneven across. We want to put up ceiling tiles but we are having trouble getting it to be level. We get it level in one direction and then it gets out of level the other direction. Is there an easier way to level the ceiling? How important is it to have the ceiling level both ways. Right now we have it level the length of the room, but the width of the room is about 1/8" off across (higher in the middle). It is driving us crazy. We have been using furring strips and shims. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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02-08-05, 07:17 PM   #5  
Unless you've got an extrodinary eyesight, I don't think you're going to see a 1/8" variance in the level of your ceiling. Easiest solution, hang your board and put a knockdown finish on it, that 1/8" will disappear to the naked eye.

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02-09-05, 07:39 PM   #6  
You can Always run to the hardware store and Grab yourself a metal Stud and a Magnetic Level and rest it across the areas that you having trouble with or tack it across the span of the ceiling "Make sure you have it level.

Then you'll know exactly what size shims you may need!!!!! and the shim don't have to be wood 1/8" you could cut strips of Cardboard and Staple them onto the areas.

a metal stud Is usually very True unless it was stepped on or etc...

Oh and when using that metal stud don't use it on the broad side keep it on it's edge.

It may just be 1 or 2 floor joist that are low and then you can mark those joists and plane them down accordingly

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