How Level Ceiling Joist For Drywall
#11
Question    
Remodeling my bathroom and just realized the ceiling joists are all at different heights.  How far off can they be without the sheetrock looking like crap?  Most are just 1/8" - 1/4" off.  2 are 1/2" to 3/4" higher.  I figure I can just put a strip of plywood on those to get them even.  Most of this bathroom is from the original house so it was framed back in the '30s.  All the lighting and ventilation is already up so I'd rather not level off the whole thing with furring strips and have to redo those.

Thanks,
Ken
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#12
  Re: How Level Ceiling Joist For Drywall by APZ (Remodeling my bathro...)
Are they joists or rafters/trusses?

If they're joists, fir them out. You might glue the firring strips, particularly on the thicker ones so your DW screws don't pull it off. Maybe use a longer screw too. 

Is the old drywall off? If it's trusses, sometimes trusses lift (google rafter lift) and insulation gets between the rafter and the drywall so the rafters can't go back down and a gap is left between the truss and drywall. You'll usually see a lot of nail-popping in those areas. If it's trusses, you aren't screwing in the perimeter anyway so you'll only need to fir out the area where the screws will be and not within about a foot of the edge.
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#13
  Re: How Level Ceiling Joist For Drywall by APZ (Remodeling my bathro...)
Drywall is off and they are joists.  

So you're saying to fur out the whole ceiling like this?  If so, do I then connect the ceiling HVAC registers and exhaust fan to the furring strips instead of the joists?
[Image: IMG_4608.JPG]
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#14
  Re: How Level Ceiling Joist For Drywall by APZ (Remodeling my bathro...)
1930 house you don't have trusses. Just shim it and drywall it and run screws as usual. The drywall guys use cardboard shims that are precut as spacers. 

        You can run furring strips and just level them if you want. But please for the love of electricians ans hvac guys never do an entire house with furring strips. You can do it in your bathroom but... Framers that do this are jerks and they hate the other trades. The problem is  when you need to go in later and add lights or hvac ducts you have no way to know where the ceiling joists are. You end up hacking at the ceiling and then the drywall guy has to redo the whole ceiling to get the texture to look right then it doesn't match the walls... 

           Which is the other huge no no in construction. Never ever ever ever texture walls. They are impossible to repair without skim coating the entire wall or room. Anyone can make a wall smooth but very few can match texture.
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#15
  Re: How Level Ceiling Joist For Drywall by APZ (Remodeling my bathro...)
I'm not going to do the drywall myself.  Is the shimming something a drywall contractor would normally do?  I haven't yet talked to them.
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#16
  Re: How Level Ceiling Joist For Drywall by APZ (Remodeling my bathro...)
A buddy of mine is a pretty high end general contractor and is working on a million dollar renovation near Lake Michigan in the northern suburbs of Chicago.  Part of the foundation in the duplex (yeah, two $1 million dollar units in a duplex) has sagged enough that he needed to level the floor.  His solution, which was approved by the local building inspector, was to slave 2x10's to the floor joists to level things out.

Since this is a ceiling, you won't need the strength of a 2x10, but perhaps you can use 2x's to level this ceiling.  That would be a lot easier and more solid than furring strips, IMO.

Blaine
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#17
  Re: How Level Ceiling Joist For Drywall by APZ (Remodeling my bathro...)
I was hoping I could just shim up the 2 bad ones and that the others within 1/4" or so was good enough.   Smile 

It looked flat before I took it off, but there were 2 layers of sheetrock on the ceiling.
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#18
  Re: How Level Ceiling Joist For Drywall by APZ (Remodeling my bathro...)
(03-09-2017, 08:57 AM)APZ Wrote: I'm not going to do the drywall myself.  Is the shimming something a drywall contractor would normally do?  I haven't yet talked to them.


Depends... I hired a guy to hang the drywall in the basement due to being able to sight it. We discussed it, I told him I didn't want to see any waves in the ceiling. He said "No problem"
Mark

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#19
  Re: How Level Ceiling Joist For Drywall by APZ (Remodeling my bathro...)
It is such a small area. I would sister some 2X 4's against each joist. Make sure they are straight. Make sure any lights or duct work fits. Mark these new studs so that is what you screw to. Level as level can be. If you try to shim you have to see if the entire joist is equally out and there maybe low spots. It is not structural and is just for a ceiling. This is the way I would correct it.
John T.
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#20
  Re: How Level Ceiling Joist For Drywall by APZ (Remodeling my bathro...)
(03-09-2017, 08:58 AM)Blaine Wrote: A buddy of mine is a pretty high end general contractor and is working on a million dollar renovation near Lake Michigan in the northern suburbs of Chicago.  Part of the foundation in the duplex (yeah, two $1 million dollar units in a duplex) has sagged enough that he needed to level the floor.  His solution, which was approved by the local building inspector, was to slave 2x10's to the floor joists to level things out.

Since this is a ceiling, you won't need the strength of a 2x10, but perhaps you can use 2x's to level this ceiling.  That would be a lot easier and more solid than furring strips, IMO.

Blaine

That's a typical way to fix a sagging floor. Just sister another beam along side and go on. Unfortunately many energy and material efficient houses suffer from poor framing to get the desired result. Long spans on small lumber and many running 19.2 or 24" oc floor framing. It meets code but it isn't going to stay flat. 

       The drywall guys can do it but many wont. The better the framing is before they get there the better the end result.
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