A guide to having your ceiling repaired or replaced, including the costs and what the job entails.
Many people may refuse to buy an old property if it contains old ceilings. While they can be a costly job to replace or repair, the neglect of ageing ceilings may lead to even further complications and higher costs later on down the line. The need to replace a ceiling may be a result of leaks, sagging or large holes, but in cases of minor damage, a small repair may be needed. This article offers a rough guide on when you should be repairing or replacing your ceiling, the costs involved and some useful FAQs that may help conclude on the route you need to take.
The cost of a ceiling replacement will firstly depend on the dimensions, so builders will come and measure up before they give you a final price on how much the project is likely to cost. Prices can reach up to £500 for a complete replacement, while a simple patch repair may cost no more than £50. The added cost of asbestos removal, plastering and decorating will also be added onto the total, so do bear this in mind.
The condition of your ceiling will determine whether a full replacement will be needed or if it’s just in need of some minor repairs. Professional tradesmen have been trained to carry out such an extensive project in terms of a full ceiling repair. Therefore, it wouldn’t be a job that you should take on yourself if you aren’t well-resourced with the theoretical knowledge or equipment to carry out the job.
Before the ceiling can be replaced, all of the loft insulation will need to be removed first and foremost. If the loft is full of loose-fill, the tradesmen will most likely just allow it all to fall onto the floor during the process of demolishment. Batts, on the other hand, are very easy to be taken away. The professional will then detach ceiling fixtures and cut the edges of the ceiling with a knife to separate from the walls and prevent walls accidentally being knocked through. Once the fastenings have been taken away, the new ceiling can be lifted and attached to the ceiling joints with durable screws. As soon as the boards are in place, the builder will then cover them over with perforated plasterboard tape to complete the job.
Once the new ceiling has been replaced, it will need to be plastered ready for painting.
This job can be done on a DIY basis. However, if you haven’t plastered before, it would be recommended to hire a professional plasterer so that mistakes are unlikely to be made and health and safety precautions such as exposed wiring and working from height are managed with professionalism. A simple repair job is far easier to achieve on a DIY basis. A few cracks or a hole, for example, can be patched over with sealant as a temporary option until the full replacement is needed. Painting the ceiling is an easy task as a DIY job with the use of a mini texture gun. This device coats the ceiling with a textured paint finish achieving the desired look.
Here is a list of commonly asked questions regarding repairing and replacing your ceiling.
Unfortunately, the replacement of a ceiling will make some mess within the interior of your home. The existing ceiling will be knocked through, meaning debris and dust will fall straight onto the floor. Rest assured, the builders will lay down protective sheeting on flooring and furniture, however, do try and remove as many personal belongings, particularly of value out of the property to avoid any accidental damages.
It can be hard to determine whether your ceiling is in need of further repairs or a complete replacement. If you’re unsure, stand on a ladder in the corner of the ceiling and place your head directly underneath. Scan around and check for any unevenness; such as sagging, lumps, bumps or cracks. In sagging areas, press firmly but gently upwards with your hand. If you feel the plaster moving, this means it has detached itself from the lath and needs to be replaced.
If more than one-third of the ceiling is looking worse for wear, it will be far cheaper to replace the entire ceiling, rather than paying a tradesman to carry out individual repair jobs. If you have repaired the ceiling on multiple occasions, tally up how much you have spent against how much a new ceiling would cost. Also, consider how many repair jobs may be needed in future as the ceiling continues to age.
A ceiling repair job such as a single area sagging, a crack or hole will take no more than a few hours to patch over. However, a full replacement could take up to a few days to complete, dependant on the scale of the project.
It will entirely depend on your insurance policy and the language used. Most insurance policies will only cover accidental damages that have been responded to quickly, such as leaks or fires. Ageing or wear and tear are often not covered but do be sure to check your policy.
All reliable tradesman will clear up debris from the protective sheeting once they have finished work for the day. Still, your personal items contained within the affected rooms are your own responsibility, so be sure you protect them as best you can before tradesman arrive. All precautions should also be evaluated by tradesman before leaving for the day, to ensure there are no health and safety risks evident.