I bought a house, its a fixer upper. it has knob and tube wiring and no air conditioning, nor the duct work to go with it. The house is all plaster, which is in good shape except for the ceilings.
I have essentially two options (that I can come up with)
(1) Gut the ceilings, update electric and HVAC and drywall over it
(2) frame the ceilings, leaving enough room to run wires and ducts
removing the plaster/lathe from ceiling will be messy and disposing will be expensive, but then I have a clean slate. since it would be drywalled, am I going to have to do additional work to be able to get the ceiling to work, or is it pretty simple to level out over the joists?
Would I be setting myself up for disaster with option 2? I have 9.5 foot ceilings, so I am not worried about the 6 to 8 inches I would lose. Is an inspector going to laugh at me when I try to run ducts though?
Is this a one story or two story house? Is there a basement or crawlspace below the first floor and an attic above the second (or first if one story)? If so an air handler can be placed in the attic and one in the basement to handle the two floors eliminating the need to tear down your ceiling. Also, a mini-split ductless system is a good option for retro-fitting or a miniduct system. Wires can be fished with minimal disruption.
Mini Duct - http://www.unicosystem.com/
Mini Split Ductless http://www.mitsubishicomfort.c...ons/product-showcase
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Unless you are in love with those 9-1/2' ceilings, the easy way would be to frame in a new ceiling level, using the dead space for your ductwork and electric. Spec out the duct work first, then frame to fit that size.
Losing say a foot or so will help with heating and cooling issues as well. Not to mention labor and material in drywall instillation, muding, priming and painting. And running ductwork in such a manor is a common practice in these parts as you can access two floors in the process. You just have box in a chase that will be able to make the supply system work.
I did the opposite,in two rooms as in gaining about a foot. Removing an ugly dated suspended ceiling and installing drywall. I figured heating and cooling costs to be a wash, as the walls were also stripped of plaster and lathe as well. And in doing so the outside walls went from a R-0 to a R-15 with fiberglass insulation. I can't run the HVAC specs to be sure, but last January"s bills did speak volumes.
Oh, yea forget about if an inspector will get a chuckle from your work or not. While 99% are knowledgeable good all around sports, that remaining 1% holds down his job because his brother-in-law is the mayor...This message has been edited. Last edited by: CommonwealthSparky,
Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
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