A Huge Mess & Major Frustration

Well, I’ve made a huge mess.  I decided that before I spend hours of my time finishing up the walls in the music room and hammering in another 2000 nailheads, I needed to remove the polystyrene ceiling tiles and see what needed to be done to the ceiling.  After all, if the ceiling needs to be redrywalled, I’m taking a huge chance on my walls getting messed up during the demolition of the ceiling.

So I started removing the polystyrene tiles.  The drywall was actually looking like it was in pretty decent shape under that layer of styrofoam and the 20+ 1 x 4’s that were nailed into the ceiling joists through the drywall.

music room ceiling 1

I actually started getting hopeful that if I could carefully remove the 1×4’s, I could perhaps salvage this drywall and save myself a huge headache.

music room ceiling 2

And then I hit the mess.  First I uncovered a pretty large crack in the drywall.  I was still hopeful that it could be repaired with some drywall tape and mud, or perhaps with even cutting out just that one section and replacing it with new drywall.

music room ceiling 3

And then I uncovered a major problem.  Right before we bought the house, I went over on a rainy day and discovered that there was a pretty serious leak in the roof, and water was pouring through the ceiling around this vent.  Thank goodness I went over on a rainy day, or we never would have known about it until the next storm came through!  Because of that leak, we were able to negotiate a new roof as part of the purchase before we moved in.  But that leak left the drywall in a moldy, crumbly mess in that area.  Those 1 x 4’s nailed into the joists are literally holding up the crumbling drywall.

music room ceiling 4

This is really so frustrating to me.  I mean, I pretty much knew I should expect some drywall damage from the leak, so that’s not a real shock.  What’s so immensely frustrating to me is that the ceilings were covered up with styrofoam in the first place, hiding any past and new issues that may crop up.

music room ceiling 5

I have to admit, of all of the stuff done to this house before I got my hands on it, these ceiling tiles (and the 1 x 4’s that they’re stapled to, and that are nailed into the ceiling joists) upset me the most.

music room ceiling 6

Every time I even think about them, I just want to scream,


Ugh…Seriously, I’m getting upset right now even just writing about it.  *Sigh*  I mean honestly, why would someone do this to the ceilings in an entire house?  What purpose do these tiles even serve?  I can’t even imagine that they were installed for the purpose of insulation, because it would have been SO.MUCH.EASIER (as in, literally WAY less labor intensive) to just put new insulation it the attic.

Which makes me think that their sole purpose was to cover up issues with the drywall on the ceiling.  In which case, again, I have to ask,


With the cost of all of the lumber that was used to do this (1×4’s nailed into the ceiling joists every 12 inches all the way across every room), there’s just no way that this was less labor intensive or less expensive than actually repairing or even replacing the drywall.  And it was done in every single room of the original part of the house with the exception of Matt’s game room, which has paneling on the ceiling.  It was in the kitchen and the hallway, both of which have now been redrywalled.  And it’s still in the music room, entryway, living room, hallway bathroom, my office, and our bedroom.

It just makes no sense.  None at all.  And it makes me prickly to think about it and to have to deal with it.  And unfortunately, any drywall that I uncover that’s actually still in good shape gets completely ruined by removing the 1 x 4’s, which are nailed to the joists with 3-inch construction nails.

It’s such a mess.  Such a big, huge mess, and a major pain in my butt.

On top of that, I can’t seem to find any drywall people who will not only give me a decent price (because I’m NOT paying $2000 per room!), but who also have time in their schedule to get stuff done in the next month.  I had an appointment with one company that was supposed to come and give me an estimate for the breakfast room over three weeks ago.  They stood me up.  So when I uncovered this mess, I frantically called the other drywall guy (the one I met in the Home Depot parking lot, and who told me that from the dimensions I gave him, the breakfast room would cost about $500).  He came over right away and gave me some estimates, but his new estimates were WAY higher than he originally told me.  Just for the breakfast room ceiling, he wants to charge me $650.  Just for the ceiling!  And for the music room ceiling…$450.  And for the living room and entryway ceiling…$600.  Again, just for the ceilings!!!  But even if I were okay with the prices, he still wouldn’t be able to do it until next month because he’s so busy.

EDIT:  I should mention that those prices he quoted me were just for labor.  I’d have to purchase the supplies on top of that.  In addition, his prices don’t include bagging up and hauling away the old drywall and debris.  I’d have to do that myself.  🙁

I’m just so irritated right now.  It looks like I’ll probably be doing drywall myself.  My brother said he’ll come help me with the music room ceiling, but that still doesn’t make me excited about doing it.  I really hate doing drywall.

Anyway, happy Kristi should be back tomorrow.  She’s just taking the day off today.  🙂



Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. I think you’re doing the right thing in dealing with it now … at least you won’t screw up your beautiful walls.

  2. Have you considered hiring workers instead of a company? Perhaps you could put an ad on Craigslist for experienced drywallers and you could supervise. Or, if you think you’re capable, you could hire students that want to learn. Teaching them would get the job done, albeit, the job would take longer, but those kids would then have experience that could help them secure employment. I know that you want it done now, and done well, but it looks like that’s not an option, plus you don’t know that anyone you hire will do the job as well as you’d like. I hate the ceilings in my home… the home built for us. The seams are horrid. I’ve also seen blogs reporting horrid professional jobs. If you’re the supervisor, you may just get what you want.

      1. I really admire you! I have been following you for awhile now and you are amazing you tackle things I wouldn’t even think of doing myself. Wonderful job!

        P.S. Your kitchen is GORGEOUS

      1. Thanks! I’m sure you’ll let us know how that goes. I’d love to know. I think it takes a bit of a brave heart, and I know you’ve got one.

  3. Kristi,
    I think these tiles were a “style statement” back in the ’70s. My first house had them in all of the main rooms. Also, the entire house was paneled. Well, except for the bedrooms,( thank goodness). Even the powder room was paneled. I think people just thought these tiles were neat and stylish, like, you know, green and white paneling. I view them with trepidation whenever I see them, knowing full well a huge project is staring at me. Also, when did contracting for drywall become so ridiculously expensive? My husband has always done it because A: he can, and B: we’re cheap. However, I had suggested that we hire it out from now on because it is just too time consuming. At the prices you’re being quoted, though, I would hesitate. Time is money, for sure. But that’s a LOT of money just for ceilings. I’m anxious to learn what you decide to do. Good luck. I feel your frustration.

    1. You know, it honestly never dawned on me that someone might have actually put these up as a “style statement.” I think they’re so ugly and institutional-looking that I just can’t imagine anyone ever thinking they looked pretty. But you could very well be right. People did strange things in the 60’s and 70’s. 😀 And of course, 50 years from now (if not sooner) people will be saying the same thing about our decorating choices today! 😀

      1. Robin is right. I live in the house I grew up in. It was built in the 40s through the 80s (depending on which room you’re standing in at the time, lol) and I well remember my parents lovingly picking out their ceiling tiles. My dad hated doing drywall too, and the ceiling tiles were so popular at the time. They were updating! I still have ceiling tiles in three rooms and hubby and I have gotten too old to change them. And believe it or not, those tiles are making a comeback, albeit in different styles, to cover up popcorn ceilings. The cycle never ends.

    2. I had this same thought and then wondered about 20 or 30 years down the line if Kristi sells this house… someone is going to be pulling nail heads off all the walls, one by one, going WHHHHYYYYYYYYYYY?????!!!!!

      1. LOL! You’re probably right, that just hits me as so funny! (though I support Kristi completely in doing it.) 😉

  4. You have all my sympathies. I am redoing my old kitchen too. Sometimes i could just cry in a corner with the stuff I find.
    But….YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS. You will come up with a good idea for an outstanding solution! I agree, maybe craigslist is your answer to find cheaper labor.
    Hugs to you, it will get better soon. 🙂

      1. Our local community here in NC in the town of Wake Forest where I live has a huge Facebook presence and all kinds of services and products are promoted on it. Check and see whats on FB in your area, I feel your pain, I too took on a drywall project once and said NEVER again. Im confident with some networking you can find someone. Good luck.

  5. It costs a lot of money to have things done. I feel for the small business man — he is gouged by state and Feds. Doesn’t mean I want to pay those prices. At least you have options Kristi. Not everyone does.

    1. I’m just afraid that anything like that would make my rooms look so busy, especially since I only have 8-foot ceilings. If I had really tall ceilings, I might consider something like that, though.

      1. As bad none of us want to hear this, the only way to do it right is to take down all the ceilings (along with your contaminated insulation) and replace them. What a chore! I really wish you had done this at the very beginning before moving in, and before refinishing those beautiful floors. But hindsight is 20/20. Just be wary of contractors on Craigslist. But this is the big ticket item that maybe you should hire done. You’ll definitely be happier than doing it yourself. But will they do it as good as you will? That’s the question.

  6. I’d be interested in learning how to repair drywall as I have a similar situation in my kitchen. I hope you’ll post a tutorial on drywall repair.

      1. You may stink at drywall but we all know you are a perfectionist, so it will turn out in the end. It may take you longer than you want to spend but it will be done the right way. Just a thought! I hear ya though. We have some funky flower design made out of mud on our ceilings. It is akin to a popcorn ceiling only you can actually see a design. Why would someone do that? Especially with our ceilings being only seven feet tall. (The house was built in 1979 when people were trying to lower heating and cooling costs by bringing their ceilings down). Now, I am starting a few projects and will be scraping the ceilings one at a time. Not looking forward to that! Just hope the drywall is in good shape underneath.

  7. Oh Kristi, I feel your pain. The first house I bought was in Boston an old mansard roof 3 story home with 9′ high ceilings, except, they had installed dropped ceilings to every room! They even dropped them to different heights in each room. And what a mess they made punching holes through the plaster ceilings to the joists to put the support wires. Can your brother help you for a weekend? or like someone else said, some students or other hired labor? I’ve rented the drywall lifts for $20 a day which makes a world of difference. Best of luck to you.

    1. Oh, I can’t believe people put in those drop ceilings! What a headache for you to have to deal with all of that removal and repair!!

      My brother is definitely wiling to help me, but I’m not quite ready to give up on the idea of hiring it out just yet. I checked Craigslist this morning, and there are a few handymen in the area who I plan to call. I did actually purchase a drywall lift for $120 on Amazon, but it’s still sitting in the box on my front porch. I’m just so overwhelmed with this whole drywall thing that I haven’t even brought the thing in or gotten it out of the box. It may come to that, though.

  8. Kristi this is such a disappointment and source of frustration for you I know and I am sorry you have to face this. Having to do this on your own ( well with brothers help) is hard and time consuming but look online and find a drywall jack/lifter my son in law bought one for less than 200 and said it was the best investment he ever made, not sure how it works but do know it lifts the drywall to the ceiling and holds it I think while you nail etc. Seeing the mess under those tiles makes me think it might be wise to check ceiling in every room before doing anything pretty in any room.
    I like you, would be angry at the cover up and I would be in the corner curled into a fetal position crying my eyes out after a severe temper tantrum. I am so sorry, does the local high school or community college have a building trades class that might help out in some way? Or a Day labor agency that mighthave drywallers?

    1. I actually did buy a drywall lift about two months ago. It’s still sitting on my front porch in the box. For some reason, I’m just so overwhelmed with this drywall situation.

      I plan to call other people to get quotes. I looked on Craigslist in my area, and there are a few handymen who could probably get the job done.

  9. Hey there – have you ever thought about leaving the wood up and installing something like this by Armstrong? We used them in our home in NJ, and got compliment after compliment – they looked like Tin Ceilings and you can leave them white or they can be painted! My husband installed them by himself, and it just took a good staple gun! They have three styles that really can and do make a home look lovely without that industrial look!

    1. I’m not a big fan of any kind of tiled ceiling. I like them in some situations, but I think my ceilings are just too low, and I have way too much going on in other areas (wall treatments, fabrics I plan to use, etc.) to add any kind of repetitive detail to the ceiling.

      Now if I had 10-foot ceilings, that would be another story. 🙂 But 8-foot ceilings are tricky.

  10. If I was you, I would go ahead and take down all those tiles and boards so you don’t have to look at them any more!! Ugliness can ruin your creative juices !!

    1. I’m so tempted to do that, but I’m also afraid that the drywall might start cracking and crumbling and come right down. That would be even worse. I might still do it and just hope for the best, and deal with the worst if that happens.

  11. I was getting so excited for the first few pictures. Than I got to the crack and damage and just kept saying ” Oh No!” I would be super frustrated.

  12. While I completely feel for you and LOVE your new walls, this did make me giggle. Hopefully, you can envision someone 30 years from now staring at your nail head trim, holding a tool to pry them out one at time, thinking, ‘why would they do this, it serves no purpose?’

    I hope you find the easiest, cheapest solution possible.

  13. Alrighty, here are my 2 cents. If the drywall estimates include the product, are those prices really so out of line for something you hate? I know you like to stick to a budget but your time and sanity are worth more than you think. Most new dyrwall application take professionals 3 to 4 days. That would include all 3 spaces and they would be done forever. And you wouldn’t have to think of them again, ever. Sometimes, hiring out is the lesser of two evils. (and drywall is evil, I know from experience that hiring the last room in our old house was the best money we ever spent.)

    1. I guess I forgot to mention that those prices were labor only. I would have to purchase the drywall and supplies on top of that. AND I would have to bag and haul away the old drywall and debris myself. If those prices included everything, including the new supplies and hauling away the old debris, to where I wouldn’t have to lift a finger over this drywall, I would think they’re reasonable.

      But even at that, I was ready to hire him on the spot to at least do the music room ceiling, but he couldn’t give me a date when he would be available, and said it would be at least a month. 🙁

      1. Would you pay someone $100 to come and hang drywall you had purchased? A one day job. Would you pay that person/crew to come back and mud? Then come another day to sand and mud again? It’s perspective. How much would you charge someone to design a room? To me, design fees seem outrageous but the end product sure is better than what I could come up with. And even if they can’t fit you in to the schedule for another month, how long would it take you to do that job yourself? You can work on other projects while the work gets done. I’m not trying to argue but want you to think it all through.

  14. Why not sell or rent out your condo and then maybe finances would allow you to just get the whole thing professionally done at once and then that would be the end of it-sort of like leveling the house.

      1. Makes sense. How about selling your cerused top dining table on Craigslist. Maybe you could get the $450.00 you need to do the ceiling in the music room and while you’re waiting for the guy to do it you can finish the condo. You can always find another table-you’ve got a knack for that!

  15. Ceilings are ALWAYS going to cost about twice what the same footage in wall would cost…..because of the equipment needed to do the job. It’s not for the faint of heart DIY (definitely not YOU, but just saying). Good luck, it’s a messy and difficult job, but better to do it now.

  16. Please be careful. If in fact you have uncovered black mold your provlems are much more serious than replacing drywall. I would suggest getting a mold remediation company out to test it and be sure It has not spread.

  17. I feel your pain. When I bought my house the main rooms on the ground floor had those appalling acoustic tiles on the ceiling. In fact there was also an added row along the top edge of the walls because the people who built the house put up eight foot high wall panelling and the walls are over nine feet.

    I think people do that crap because they are deathly afraid of drywall. They are terrified of the taping and smoothing process so they go to great lengths and unnecessary expense to avoid it. And those if us who follow inherit those furring strips and the job of pulling thousands of staples out of ceilings while standing on a ladder.

    Might I be permitted to add that people who put up stuff like that to hide ceiling problems or things they don’t want to deal with should be drawn and quartered? It seems a fitting punishment to me.

    The quotes you got on the individual rooms seem very reasonable to me. I don’t know what that kind of stuff generally costs in your neck of the woods – but I would jump at the chance to have someone do those rooms at those prices even if I had to wait a bit. Dry walling ceilings – actually doing anything like that over my head – is a job I’d gladly pass off to a professional and save my energy for more enjoyable projects. You need to weigh the issue of cost with your sanity and the fact that a professional will get them done quickly.

    The fact is that the wall finishes you are doing look very high end and having a quality ceiling is important. If you skimp on that it will only diminish the rest of your hard work. My advice would be to bite the bullet – get the ceilings done and don’t look back.

  18. I can only send you a hug……we have those tiles too, with no hope of ever having anything else…..
    While you are on the “Why in the world” question…….some dingbat put regular sheet rock on the ceiling of our OUTDOOR, EXPOSED TO THE NORTH, porch!!! You can well imagine what THAT looks like………..

  19. I loathe ceiling tiles! I can’t wait for you to rip them all off! There is no way I would have been able to tolerate those for so long! Kudos to you for being patient up until this point. I hate all manner of ceiling tile and nothing turns me off from a prospective new home more than discovering someone used ceiling tiles, which normally turn up in basements. Yuck! Your home will look so much more fresh and beautiful with drywall ceilings! Can’t wait!

  20. I am in Houston and those prices you have been quoted are a lot higher than what we paid to have some dry wall work done previously. This is really frustrating!

  21. This may be completely unworkable in your neck of the woods, but where I live (Phoenix), you can sometimes hire people from new home construction sites. For example, we needed painting, landscaping, and tile work, and my husband hired people for all of those things, by driving to an area where new homes were being built, stalking (haha!) the workers on their breaks, and asking if any of them would like to make a few bucks doing a project on the side. Now, there are some obvious risks here, but it worked out great for us. They did an excellent job, and we saved a lot of money. We wouldn’t do that for things that we knew nothing about, but for work that we were knowledgeable about, but didn’t have time for, this was a great solution for us.

  22. I have never seen those tiles in a home before. They remind me of a school or hospital. I cannot imagine someone thinking that was trendy- even in the 70’s. Am I alone in having reservations about hiring people from Craigslist? How do you know they are legal, safe, insured, etc.? Waiting seems worth it to me if you get a reasonable price and qualified person. Labor is expensive but the older I get, the more it’s worth it!

  23. It’s a lot of money and frustrating to have to wait that long, but drywalling is the WORST as you know and working over your head completely stinks. I would definitely pay someone to do this tedious job. I did one wall in my son’s bedroom and I was ready to scream. And then having to mud and tape three times? No, thank you!
    We are unfortunate enough to have those hideous tiles in our dining room. Since it’s under the upstairs bathroom my feeling is that they are hiding stains or damage from a plumbing leak. I don’t even want to know!
    Maybe you could finish up in the condo while you’re waiting for the drywallers to come.

  24. WOW! Subs in your area are quite proud of their dry wall skills, eh? We had to have our ceilings done too (house shifts, major crack-a-roo’s) and since neither of us have patience we hired at $200 x 3 rooms including paint! Found our little dude on Craigslist. We never left house while he was there and made sure he only had access to rooms being re-done (gotta be safe). Had one of our contractor friends check out his work and it was excellent 🙂

    Good luck!

  25. FYI – If you do the drywall yourself, look for the fast set mud product at Home Depot. Our repair guy uses it with a really wide trowel that helps smooth the entire seam. When he repaired our bathroom ceiling, it took about 4 hours mainly because he waited ½ an hour between coats. No sanding! The room was ready to paint right away. (Not that we’ve done it)

  26. How I feel for you! Old houses are a gamble. My hubs and I have been working this house constantly for the past 11 years. The downstairs where I built a laundry room is not finished. You need to really check the mold issue. I had that in a tiny bathroom downstairs from a previous bathroom leak. Now I am afraid to do the bathroom floor because I don’t know what I am going to find. The worst project was when I removed what I thought were vinyl tiles. By nightfall I was vomiting my brains out. A neighbor told me they were asbestos and you are not supposed to touch them without professional help!

    I think the suggestion to hire workers form a construction site is good. They are highly skilled. I did that once with no problems. They are usually not directly employed by the company but are subcontracted by project.

    Wishing better times ahead.

  27. If that were my house, I would remove the bad drywall area around the leak and replace just it, put the 1×4’s back….and then put up some sort of tongue n groove wood ceiling since it already has the 1×4 furring strips to nail gun them up to (running the opposite direction of the 1×4’s). I HATE doing drywall! Even just repairing it sucks! We hired contractors for some and already have a crack!!! After removing popcorn from just two rooms, we quit and are putting furring strips up right on top of the remaining popcorn and nailing wood tongue n groove over some of the house and coffered ceilings in the rest 🙂 between the box beams squares we slapped up cheap wood of some sort…looks great with flat paint and gloss on the trimmed up beams. Why redo when we can just cover it!….only after a new roof of course so we have no hidden leaks 🙂

  28. I agree with a post by Jenn. Before doing anything else, I’d check to be sure I didn’t have any toxic mold! I once met a gentleman who suffered brain damage due to mold in his home; it was tragic! So that would be number one on my list of priorities.

    As far as the prices, $400-$600 for a skilled job doesn’t seem unreasonable considering it can cost $500 to paint a fairly small room, at least where I live.

    If you get someone from Craig’s List, watch their work carefully. While you can find skilled people there, you can also end up with their polar opposite. I know a foolhardy person (not the way I’d describe you!) who once paid in advance (!) for shoddy work that was never finished.

  29. Have you Eve considered hiring construction workers? Is there any new construction in your area? Go stalk those houses looking for workers. Or go to the areas were the workers wait to be picked up. We have workers waiting on corners.

    Another idea. Call the big sheet rock companies (companies that supply sheet rock to job sites. and ask them who their customers are. You can find workers like this. You don’t need a contractor. You need workers.

  30. Have you considered a wood plank ceiling? I should think that would eliminate the need for drywall entirely. And it would look nice.

  31. Hi kiddo, big problem. Can you call your homeowners ins company and find out if this might be cover in some way because of the mold. These people knew about the leak and probably knew that there was a potential for mold so they cheated you. There should be some kind of law for that. No matter what you have to cut out the part with the mold. That is something that can make you very sick. I would get those hideous tiles down, cut out the mold and do the ceiling in the old tin type tiles or squares. I think that is very conducive to a music room. When you think about all the old music halls they all had tin ceilings in them, and they really are attractive. I think you could nail them to the wood and it would not be that hard, especially if your brother helped youl. Good luck, blessings.

  32. I had a similar issue in my kitchen caused by a slow leak in the bathroom plumbing. One night a wooden beam which had been supporting 3 light fixtures, just crashed to the floor. What a mess, but fortunately, no one was hurt. I had someone replace the ceiling, and install more appropriate lighting. Yes, it was pricey, but I get a little lift every time I go in that room. I’m saving to have the dining room and living room done next. I wish I had your talent and energy! I want to cry every time you show your kitchen, it’s so beautiful! Like priceless art! Next to the fact that your cabinets are green, I love the tile wall with your mom’s artwork. It’s perfection. Keep the pictures coming, even the in-progress ones! I’ve learned so much from them!

  33. See if he will just put the dry wall up after you do the demo then you do the taping and mudding. That way he can do the heavy work.

  34. Kristi – try checking with your local sherwin williams about after hour guys for this type of work. I had problems with some drywall on the ceilings in a property I recently renovated. SW recommended an individual who did this type of work as a side job for extra income. His prices were fair and it was such a relief to have the help. Maybe this could be a solution for you too? You are such an inspiration to me and I absolutely love the green kitchen!

  35. Be carful with hiring from Craigslist. My husband & I are remodeling our house. We checked around with the handyman agencies & other places to install 15 new interior doors & 1 exterior door, crown molding in 3 rooms & a hallway but their prices were outrageous. I finally checked Craiglist & found 2 guys who said they could do all this for a decent price & get it done in a week. They mangled some of the doors & some of the crown moulding is a little crooked. All this was done in a week and half. I checked on them regularly throughout the day & found that they had substituted one of the new doors in the bath for a filthy dirty door with 4 tiny holes (where a mirror had been mounted.) I confronted them & demanded a new door be installed which they did. I learned, from them, that they had ruined 3 doors & replaced them with their own money. Later I found a space beneath the small bathroom door where they had cut off two much of the door. I don’t know how many others are like that because I would have to take them off the hinges. What I’m saying is be careful hiring from Craiglist. We even had references checked in which the people raved about them. They were nice guys but did a crummy job. Fortunately my husband & I were able to fix some of the flaws & make them look good.

  36. oh man! That is major suckage right there. So sorry you found that mess! And we all know they did it to cover it up and not let the next homeowner know there was a problem. Any drop-ceilings or ceilings like you are dealing with, I always think are covering up something…my favorite is the drop ceilings that are covering up huge holes in the ceiling that resulted from a bathroom leak of some sort on the second floor. Not only is it covering a hole but it’s also covering up the fact that they pulled pipes down and out of the ceiling and rerouted them instead of fixing the real problem…

    Hey, at least you had someone show up…I can’t even get anyone to show up unless I go through Lowes or Home Depot!

    Tried to get my son to go into the trades…to no avail darn it!

    Hang in there!

  37. Kristi, do you read manhattan-nest.com? You need an Edwin of your own. Don’t stop looking till you find someone like that to work with you.

  38. Hi – I really feel your pain. Have you checked with your realtor to see if you have some legal recourse against the sellers of the home? Another thought – would a contractor give you a better price if you bit the bullet and dealt with all the ceilings at one time?

  39. What if you did the measuring, cutting & attaching of the drywall (especially since you already have the lift), and then hired someone to do the mudding, taping and sanding?

  40. Not gonna give you any advice on what to do, because I wouldn’t know what to do except to cry! What a terrible buzz kill. One day you’re moving along, making beautiful walls, the next day..bam! You’ve got a huge mess to deal with. I feel for ya, and am looking forward to seeing what solution you choose.

  41. Ugh! What a mess to have to correct! Boooooo previous house owners, BOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Hiss! Here’s hoping it goes miraculously fast and easy for you.

  42. See…it happened like this…. Damage happened, the guy said it would be $$$$ to fix, OR you could pick these ugly tiles and it would only be $$. Everyone hates dry walling ESPECIALLY ceilings (your back will love you if you hire someone, and your back will hold it against you if you do it yourself). The previous owners just wanted it to look decent and not cost a lot, they weren’t intending to dupe you. But your house is SO LUCKY to have you as her new owner, it will work out. Short cuts never really work (i.e. ugly ceiling tile). I hope you find an honest dry waller soon. or try wainscoating on the ceiling 🙂
    PS your wall treatment looks amazing. hang in there friend.

  43. We just drywalled a huge room in our house. It’s not difficult, just very time consuming. For a ceiling building simple stilts to hold the drywall out of 2x4s make is way easier and sanding with a sanding sponge (the wet kind) is slower, but no dust. Have you also considered putting up the drywall and just hiring someone to tape? It may save a bit and hanging is pretty easy.

  44. Well Kristi…

    I understand your pain. I too own a home that had been similarly mistreated. Completely covered in mismatched paneling and ugly ceiling tiles which covered a host of handyman fixes, hidden electrical boxes, gaping holes, rotten boards and moldy bits. While my husband is a carpenter by trade (he is no longer in the field) we had a drywall contractor come in and do our living room/dining room…it was a big project and a crew was able to come in and get it done in 1 week. It was well worth the $4500 to have them tear out/remove the paneling/ceiling and install/tape/sand/spray the new drywall.

    If you’re not wanting to bite the bullet and spend on having your drywall installed professionally, consider perhaps tongue and groove paneling which could be either stained or painted. I had done that in our hallway that houses my washer and dryer and it looks quite lovely…although it can read a little more cottage style. It could be a less expensive option and you can remove or use the boards that are already there to install on and then just finish off with your nice crown molding or the corner round already there. I love the metal ceiling panels, but agree you need the height or it feels like the sky is falling 🙂

    By the way your nail heads are lovely, but I agree with one of the comments…you better really love it, because who wants to remove all those nails 🙂

  45. Kristie, hope your search for a handyman is coming along. Just some advice I have learned myself. The less of their time you pay for the better. Demo as much as possible yourself & haul it away yourself. Get your own supplies because if they get them they will charge for their time and gas. If they need something while doing the job go get it. You said he was asking $600. How many hours and is he using a helper. You may realize that it’s not that bad per hour & if that estimate included tearing it down than you do it & reduce your cost. Plus you have a lift so that he won’t need. Let him know there will be more jobs coming if you are happy with the 1st one. Handyman may be less per hour also. Good luck in your search.

  46. We bought a little lake cabin that unfortunately has these same styrofoam ceiling tiles..I took them down myself in the bathroom..they were attached to plain old plywood..I covered the plywood with wood planks..tongue and groove..looks so much better…I agree..those tiles are just terrible..I have the rest of the cabin to do and am thinking about Beadboard..haven’t gotten the courage up to tackle it yet! Kudos to you for your “can do” attitude!