A Hole in My Ceiling

About not quite putting my best foot forward ~

I wish I could wake up from the nightmare that was the hole in the ceiling of the master bedroom of our new home, but it was unfortunately not just a dream. What was I thinking? There are things to write at the top of one's home improvement to-do list because they concern the safety of a family, and may prevent damage to the home itself. Having the floor of one's attic secured with floor boards before someone steps through the drywall below would be at the top of my list. I wish it was at the top of my husband's list.

Acrobatics are not meant for Attics!

One evening, when I was putting some items in the attic, I noticed that my husband had perused some of the boxes of books that did not make the cut when we stocked our bookshelves in our living room. I was hoping that they would be left alone while we did the work we needed to do to settle in. This was not the case. I could tell that my packing had been tampered with because the boxes were not re-closed, were out of place, and the books were not put back in the way they were originally arranged. In addition to this, two sets of lectures-on-tape fell to the back side of the pile and were not retrieved. I tried to grab them by balancing on the remaining floorboard space beside the area that was exposed. Why I did not try to attack this problem from the "inside" of the pile, into which there was some room to squeeze, I do not know. Such a strategy would have been far safer for both me and my bedroom ceiling. It was late at night and I was so tired that the logical side of my brain was beginning to fade from consciousness. I was definitely not thinking as analytically as I should have been, and I somehow did not believe that our bedroom ceiling, which was exposed by the lack of floorboards, was so paper thin. I found out the hard way! I lost my balance and my weight shifted to my foot, which met with the exposed plaster, thus creating a hole in the ceiling of our bedroom. Thankfully, it was not my whole body that fell through the plaster, though. When we surveyed the damage, I could have used a tall glass of sangria!

Ceiling Repair Photos ~

Our bedroom ceiling after Rich put it back together. The  hole is for our sprinkler valve.
Our bedroom ceiling after Rich put it back together. The hole is for our sprinkler valve. | Source
The floorboards in our attic, carefully placed down by our friend and handyman, Rich Kramer
The floorboards in our attic, carefully placed down by our friend and handyman, Rich Kramer | Source

Supplies for fixing a hole in a ceiling

1. PLASTERING
2. WOOD WORKING
3. UNIQUE DECOR
Industrial Stapler
Durable wood
Cupola
Nylon netting
Saw for fitting
Painted mural using acrylic pigments
Joint compoun plaster
Hammer and Nails for securing into place to hide vulnerable plasterboard
Glow-in-the-Dark decals for a night sky
Table outlining the list of supplies for various steps in repairing damage to your home

Moving into a new home is a Juggling act

I love my husband and share his love for reading, but I have a more pragmatic side, too. Instead of unpacking boxes of stored books, it would have been more useful for him to have been measuring our floor and sawing wood to nail or screw into the cross-beams of our attic - ASAP! We live in a co-housing complex, which we love, but the agreement between the trustees and the general contractor included the stipulation that the contractor did not need to finish the attic floors in any of the units. My husband had this on his list of future projects, and I did not realize how fragile the plaster between the attic floor and our bedroom ceiling was until my foot pushed through it. We were warned that this was unsafe by veteran homeowners, but did not anticipate anything drastic happening while we went about the business of unpacking and settling in. We soon learned what that delay would cost us, especially in peace of mind.

Putting our Ceiling back together ~

A woodworker friend and neighbor came through for us ~

Luckily, a friend of ours who also lives in our co-housing community is a carpenter. He kindly helped us repair our ceiling with screws, mesh tape and drywall joint compound. We then paid him to shape and install the needed floorboards in our attic. What a relief that was! As soon as our ceiling was "whole" again, my morale was boosted. My hair stopped turning silver.

We now have a few bumps in our bedroom ceiling that cannot be sanded down, but it is no longer a hole, and no longer in danger of further damage. Good thing we plan to stay here for the next thirty years and pass our home on to our daughter. Maybe we can eventually gain a permit to create a cupola where the hole was and paint a mural in it. Or maybe we'll just paint a mural over what is there now. In the meantime that part of our bedroom ceiling will be a reminder for us to keep up with our domestic "to do" list. This new home will make good homeowners out of us if we take good care of it.

Our Attic: The other side of the project

While the plaster that mended our bedroom ceiling dried, Rich carefully cut, positioned, and nailed into place wooden floorboards that hid the fragile plaster ceiling below them and made the attic safer to walk across. We were relieved that we did not have to tiptoe gingerly around the space any more. It also gave my mother the opportunity to have a cloth window blind installed over our skylight as a house-warming gift.

In honor of the grief his work saved us, this hub includes a link to "Wood is Good," Rich Kramer's business. He deserves an abundance of recommendations for future clients.

Guide to other important home repair projects ~

Ultimate Guide Home Repair & Improvement (Home Improvement)
Ultimate Guide Home Repair & Improvement (Home Improvement)

A variety of home repair projects are included in this descriptive guide to home space repair.

 

© 2009 Karen Szklany Gault

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Comments 2 comments

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

I enjoyed reading your story. It is well written and interesting.


Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama 6 years ago from New England Author

Thank you for your kind feedback, James.

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