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Question:

Plasterboard or new ceiling?

The top room in my house has got a ceiling in pretty bad shape. The house roof is ok, but over time the pressure has created a myriad of small cracks. Filling them up one by one is a huge job, so I have two choices: 1) apply a new plasterboard to the ceiling. 2) re-do the ceiling, take off the old one and put a new one.1) sounds an easier solution, but the builder wants to do 2) to avoid cracks reappearing. What would you recommend?

Answer:

You should first investigate when and why these cracks appeared. If it's recent, you could end up with cracks in the new wallboard. If they've been there for years and have not gotten worse recently, you'll be o.k. to proceed--and I agree that new wallboard over the old (plaster? or wallboard?) could be the best solution. use drywall screws, not nails, in order to avoid nail pops. Remember to add an extension ring or reposition any ceiling light fixtures to meet the new surface depth. One reason to take it all out and start over is that you could then easily insulate the ceiling-- and ceiling insulation is one of the best returns on your investment for reducing heating & cooling costs.
May 11, 2017
If your house is old, like mine, then the roof beams may not be substantial and are more prone to bending under weight. That will just contribute to the plaster cracking so option 2 would be better. The upside is if you put in big enough beams you would be able to floor the attic for storage. If the existing beams are man enough then screw new plasterboard onto beams without removing existing plaster.
May 11, 2017

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