So all in all the penthouse stuff is going well. Lots to do and not really enough time to do it but also fun and interesting.

Then the ceilings nearly made me cry.

Let me back up a bit for context. The electricians (who are great and I highly recommend) had got started that morning and I was excited about stuff starting to happen in the flat.

Once we’d gone over where the sockets were going and I’d made somewhat spontaneous decisions about light switches I headed off to work.

About an hour later I got a voicemail from the electricians saying “um, we think you need to come and look at this” along with talk of suspended ceilings and RSJs and other things I didn’t really understand.

I got briefly optimistic when I thought that maybe I actually had gloriously high ceilings that had been hidden with a suspended ceiling.

This was not the case.

It turns out the penthouse has no joists and that all of the ceilings in the flat are hung from the rafters. A metal frame holds lightweight wood/cork panels up which have then had polystyrene tiles (different in every room!) added over the top. If you poked a long stick through the ceilings you’d keep going and going until you hit the inside of the pitched roof.

To rewire the flat as planned and needed, the electricians would need to make holes in the ceilings as they wouldn’t be able to run cables through the loft space and over the joists as you would in a normal top floor flat.

The electricians were so lovely about it all. I think the panicked look on my face may have helped! They headed off early to give me time to work out what to do. I went back to work where I tried to come up with a plan whilst googling suspended ceilings and trying not to cry at my desk!

I had a builder round that evening to give me a quote (£5k ouch) and let me know what they recommended (though we had to do this via torchlight as my lights had been disconnected!) but so far I’ve decided to not rush into replacing the ceilings. We’ll live with them as they are until we’ve moved in, I’ve had a chance to save up a bit and the freeholder has given permission for the work.

The current frame and hangy things (they do have a more technical name) are probably not worth trying to repair. The ceilings are sagging in most areas and it looks like someone has tried to compensate for this in the past by using up to three layers of ceiling tile to try and create level ceilings!

This has created more hassle for the electricians who would’ve been able to do lots of the work from the loft space if I had joists. Instead they’ve made holes in the ceiling to run the wires. It’s not beautiful but it is a lot cheaper and less stressful than trying to rip down and replace the ceiling before we move in!

Sorry for the somewhat rambling post but a) ceilings are just such a thrilling topic for a blog post dontcha think, and b) I’ve been working hard at work and at the penthouse so be nice to me



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