Need help trimming out opening to hide crack in ceiling - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-18-2012, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Need help trimming out opening to hide crack in ceiling

I have a crack in the ceiling that I have been told from others on the forum is common because the way the drywall was installed by the builder. It appears that others have tried to repair it over the years and failed each time. One suggestion was to cover it up by trimming it out. See the pics included. Notice the pic of the two spindles and the wonderful job the guy installing them did when he cut them to fit, the square bases are all different heights.
The cedar boards on top and below the spindles are 7 inches wide and 1 1/2 inches thick. The opposing wall is 5 inches wide.
All the examples I have seen, there is a wall the same width on both sides.
I am looking for ideas on how to do this. Any help is appreciated.
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post #2 of 17 Old 12-19-2012, 01:45 AM
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install a "fake" beam

I'd lower the balasters about 3" and install a faux/fake box beam made of 4 pieces of barnwood, Cedar or what ever wood suits the decor. Inlet it into the wall on the left side and the spindles can support on the right. You could run a trim board down the wall width on the left also.
You can remove the spindles and correct the base differences in the process.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 12-19-2012 at 01:50 AM.
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-19-2012, 06:34 AM
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+1 on the fake beam.
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-19-2012, 06:51 AM
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I would just remove the top piece and replace it with one of the same thickness and width, to go all the way across. That might look less cumbersome. Painting it all white (both top and bottom plates and spindles) might be another consideration.





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post #5 of 17 Old 12-19-2012, 06:53 AM
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Absolutely do the fake beam.

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post #6 of 17 Old 12-19-2012, 07:41 AM
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beam is good idea to hide it. but. i would check to see whats happening - looks a little more than poor drywall installation in my opinion. whats above? second floor? attic/storage? what kind of weight. that appears to be a long clearspan. i would run a string or long straight board to check the amount of sag, because a faux beam may even have problems keeping up with sag.
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post #7 of 17 Old 12-19-2012, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimPa View Post
beam is good idea to hide it. but. i would check to see whats happening - looks a little more than poor drywall installation in my opinion. whats above? second floor? attic/storage? what kind of weight. that appears to be a long clearspan. i would run a string or long straight board to check the amount of sag, because a faux beam may even have problems keeping up with sag.
+1 on what TimPa said. Personally I would fix the problem instead of attempting to cover it up. As stated it may not work or it may get worse.
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post #8 of 17 Old 12-19-2012, 11:57 AM
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I would also advocate (1) seeing if you can determine the cause and (2) consider adding a fake beam if you determine that the cause is of little to no concern.

Funny, I've got a similar crack in the ceiling of my rambler. It opens up a bit in winter, then closes back up in summer. There is no difference in height, just movement in the "joint". I've never tried to determine what the cause is as it has done this since we've had the house and never seems to get any worse over time (built in 1985, owned since 2007).

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post #9 of 17 Old 12-19-2012, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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The crack hasn't changed in the 10 years I have been in the house. Love the idea of the beam - will post pics when done.

Thanks again guys and Merry Christmas!!!!
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-29-2012, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quick Question on building Faux Beam

When building the beam does the bottom board attach to the bottom of the side boards or does it go between them? Also if it goes between them would it be OK to recess the bottom board a little bit or would this look bad?
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post #11 of 17 Old 12-29-2012, 12:50 PM
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Either way would work. Just personal preference really.

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post #12 of 17 Old 12-29-2012, 02:17 PM
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good question

If you can screw into the floor joists, hopefully running at 90 degrees to the beam, but doubtful, that is best. I think the crack has developed because the drywall was butt joined poorly or without a backer piece, or in between joists. There's no way to attach a beam really well in a the cavity between joists. You can use expansion anchors but the best way is to insert wood cross pieces every so often, 2 - 3 ft. Is there access from above?

If there is no way to attach the beam securely, a better approach may be to redo the poor drywall construction and forget the beam. Too many unknowns at this point....

If you can secure a 2 x 6 along the crack first, you can then attach side pieces which can extend down a 1/4" or so if you like that look. Flush is fine also. You will have to drill exploratory holes or use a stud finder or tap with a small hammer to find a solid cross member(s).

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #13 of 17 Old 03-06-2013, 08:32 PM
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Run a nice bead of duct tape across it. prOblem solved
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post #14 of 17 Old 03-08-2013, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Update with a couple pics

First I do want to say that I do like the duct tape idea above but feared others may not approve, so I moved forward with plan "B".

After a little research in the attic, I think I found the issue. This is a load bearing wall, not holding a major amount of weight, but when someone walks on the rafter it flexes a tiny bit. The two pieces of drywall butt together right at this spot and there you have it, instant crack. The crack stopped at the area where the old spindles started on the half wall. The first column and faux beam (see pic) are done and there is going to be a matching full column coming out of the opposing wall.
The full column on the half wall side, will have a 4 x 4 hidden inside of it that will rest on top of the half wall and tie into the board (just like the old spindle did) that is attached to the ceiling which the sides of the faux beam attach to.

Initial argument - A miniature version of the full columns must be built about 3/4 of the way out on top of the half wall to replicate the support the spindles gave. There will be a 4x4 hidden inside it which would rest on top the half wall and connect the same way the other 4x4 is.

Opposing argument is - its a little deflection in the joist. No big deal if the crack grows, that area is hidden by the faux beam anyway. Hell its probably already cracked and you don't know it. Just another reason to stay out of the attic.

Really like the openess that not having the miniature column there creates. But also really don't need any structure issues either.
Would an alternative be to go up in the attic and run a couple support boards from the rafter up to the roof so that it gives the rafter a little more strength? Keeps it from deflecting?

I appreciate all the input and ideas. It has gotten me to the point I am at now. Let me know what you guys think.
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-10-2013, 10:21 AM
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Now I think that it came out very nice.

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If you cannot find time to do it right the first time, how will you find the time to do it over?
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post #16 of 17 Old 03-11-2013, 01:19 AM
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Glad it worked out. I would have continued the column to the ceiling, built out one more layer on the capitol, then crowned. But that's me
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post #17 of 17 Old 03-22-2013, 08:52 AM
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Nice improvement!
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