Saturday, December 26, 2015

A job well done.

fitting the ceiling brandering

Carrying on from my previous post I want to start with leveling the ceiling supports. This was quite a process because of the fact that the roof trusses were not level but ran at the same angle as the roof sheeting. I wanted a level ceiling, more in keeping with what the rest of the flatlet had in the other rooms.
This started with fixing 38X38 pine brandering all around the room, the new room that is, leveled and fixed to the new dry wall and the existing walls. I needed to cut one of the strips at an angle to fit under the truss in the corner above the new window. The trusses came down to just over 2.2 meters at the lowest point which would determine the ceiling height. A bit on the low side but still serviceable, it should have been 2.4 meters. Myles had offered me some brandering that he had at his factory but it was very bent and twisted so I bought new ones instead, much easier to work with. One was a bit bent but with a bit of careful bracing I was able to get it almost straight.
Brandering in place ready for ceiling boards.
Because the ceiling sheets were pine ply sheets, previously used on some film set or other, which are 1220 X 2440 in size and the room is 3 meters X 6 meter I had to add cross strips at the correct position so I could extend the sheet lengths. Easy to do by alternating the positions of the whole sheets, left, right, left, right across the room till I had the whole place level and ready for sheeting. I'm not really a nail lover, I prefer screws, in this case I used 8 X 70 millimeter chipboard screws. All the brandering was supported on droppers from the trussing and fixed at the ends on top of the wall band with another short section of off cut brandering. By the time I was done it was firm and strong but by now the day had evaporated.
6 millimeter pine ply board fitted with insulation ready to install
 Before I could install the ceiling boards I needed to skim the dry wall so that all the joints would become flat and paintable. I did this with a product call Rhinoglide. Almost like pollyfiller but harder and stronger. I used a self adhesive mesh over the joints first, which would prevent cracking, and then used a smoothing float to skim the joins. I also had to apply the ceiling insulation to the ceiling boards before installing because there would be no way to get it in there after the boards were fixed in place. Because the brandering had been spaced at 600 millimeter gaps this meant that I had to cut the insulation into strips that would fit in between the brandering. This was done using a pair of scissors, wear a dust mask when doing this or you will land up coughing like a mad thing because of the fine glass dust, it could also cause you to suffer from asbestos-is, a fatal condition where the fibres damage your lungs. Adding the insulation added quite a bit of extra weight to the boards and I needed help getting them up there so I could fix them, this was where Ross and Kerryn came in to help.
large ceiling boards fixed in place.
Before actually fitting the boards I had to run cables for the lights. As there was no switch for an internal light I ran cabtyre cable and then used a switched mulitplug with plug tops at the ends of the two cables instead of trying to do a complete electrical make over.
Once the big boards were in place I got some help from Kerryn the next day and finished off the ceiling boards. Next I fitted the lights which I had selected because of their ease of fitting and low profile, the ceiling wasn't all that high off the floor.
The window glass I had fitted a few days previously because of rain and now all I had to do was finish the step between the two floor levels. A couple of terracotta tiles and some extra strong plaster and the job was done. It was now time for Kerryn to get to it with the paint work. Job done, thank you Lord for the results, I'm very happy with how things worked out.
all moved in , an extra 18 square meters of space.
 For this job I was paid R 4000.00 which equates to about $ 266.00. Not much for two weeks work but it did allow me to buy a few Christmas presents and pay part of my rent. I really enjoyed doing this job, It sort of reminded me of times in Cape Town when I had my own company doing this for a living. It also reminded me that even though I'm now over 60 years old I'm still useful and can still do excellent work. Thank you lord for this project, I appreciate it enormously.


  1. well, you know I'm married to a handyman/carpenter/electrician, so I was following right along with you. At one point, I thought, 'no insulation?' then I saw your next photo. There are a many steps to carpentry/remodeling, as you well know.

  2. Hello Joy, nice to hear from you. Yes I did realize that you would understand exactly what I had done to accomplish this little upgrade. The insulation in the ceiling was a bit of an event but necessary because Ross and Kerryn have cats that aren't allowed outside so they never open the windows. It still gets very hot in their home despite the insulation, not my problem. I might still add some mesh to their windows so they can at least get a bit of fresh air through the cottage without fear of their cats disappearing.
    Blessings and love, Geoff.