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Framing a ceiling opening

 

There are several common reasons for cutting a hole in a ceiling. One is to change the location of an attic access hole to a more convenient spot. Another is to install a folding attic stairway. And still another is to install a whole fan. Although this job can seem intimidating, it usually boils down to just cut ting out a section of drywall and part of one joist. Headers are installed at both ends of the cut joist to support the weight. And the opening is framed in to fit the size required by whatís being installed.

 

 

 

 

Step 1. Establish the best place for the ceiling opening; then draw its outline on the surface of the drywall. Make sure the lines are parallel and square. Then cut through the drywall using a drywall saw or a key hole saw.

 

Step 2. Once the hole is cut in the drywall, mark cut lines on any joists that fall inside the opening. Then cut the joist using a handsaw or a reciprocating saw. You can make the cut from below, but itís easier to work from above. Just be sure to stand on a couple of scrap boards to distribute your weight over a wider area.

Step 3. Install a header on both ends of the cut joist using the same size lumber. Nail the header into the end of the joist and the side of the adjacent joists. Screw the edges of the drywall to these headers from below; then install the stairway, fan, or other equipment in the opening.

 

 

 

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