And now for the walls:
Now that the old ceiling has been totally removed and the old oak joists exposed, it was time to remove the old plaster & lath walls. In 2 previous rooms I had done, I left all 4 plastered walls intact and faced them with 1/4″ drywall. In this room I decided to remove the plaster and lath on the 2 exterior walls so I could remove the old blown-in insulation (to be replaced with R11 fiberglass insulation). With the 2 interior walls I left the old plaster in place and faced them with the 1/4″ drywall. This is a fairly simple way to obtain a new smooth surface. To make certain the 1/4″ drywall stayed in place I used heavy duty Liquid Nails adhesive and drywall screws.
I also removed the window and door casings and the baseboards. Next, on the exterior walls I adjusted the electrical outlets, and since I had those walls open, I decided to add another 2 outlets. Per NEC you are supposed to have an outlet within 6 feet (Thus, you could have them 12′ apart and be in the middle and therefore within 6 feet of an outlet). Being an old house, it is “grandfathered in”. But, given the opportunity to easily add an additional couple outlets, I did.
Since the old floor was still in place, we were able to sweep up and dispose of the plaster just as we had for the ceiling. We also used the same fan set-up to exhaust the dust.
Old Construction Issues:
Now that I had the ceiling and 2 walls exposed down to the joists and studs, it was time to prepare to install the drywall. However, there was a problem that needed to be addressed first.
1. As I previously mentioned, the ceiling sagged (saucer like) to about a 4″ dip in the center of the room. A previous post explains why. In order to rectify this, I purchased 2x8x16′ boards to sister on to the old oak joists. The actual span was a little under 16′. Once I cut them to the proper length and mitered the top edges to follow the rafter line, I had my son lift them up to me through the 2nd floor bedroom window. We installed them one at a time lifting into place. We applied heavy duty Liquid Nails adhesive to the old oak joist, then manuevered the new joist onto the 2 end plates. Once in place, I used 3″ deck screws to sister the new joist onto the old.
2. Once we had all the new boards “sistered” to the old joists it was time to trim off the sagged part of the old oak joists that sagged below the new ones. The easiest way to do this was to just carefully run my circular saw along the bottom sagged edge of the old oak joist to make it level (even) with the new joists. Where I couldn’t quite get to the edges (by the wall) with the circular saw, I trimmed off the remaining 2-3″ with my reciprocating saw. By doing this, I now basically had double joisted the span. This had accomplished 2 things. First, I greatly strengthened/reinforced the span. Second, I now not only had a level ceiling, I had a level base for laying down subfloor T&G plywood in the attic above for storage space.
3. The walls presented another problem. The old oak studs were not on center and they were not plumb. They varied in thickness from 2″-2-1/4″. The main problem was that not only were they not plumb, but they varied in width from about 3-3/4″ to 4-1/4″. AND, there was sometimes that variation in the same stud from top to bottom.. How I handled that was to sister new studs onto the old ones plus add a few new ones. This still resulted in some of the old studs being wider than the new ones. What I did was use my DeWalt portable planer to plane/shave the old oak studs down to the same width as the new ones. Since I was going to install my drywall horizontally, it wasn’t as critical to have the studs perfectly plumb.
4. Now that the demolition and prep work was done, my next step was to install the ceiling drywall. I will discuss this in my next post.