living ceiling gone featured

Ceiling removal in the living room

The fireplace wasn’t the only thing we wanted gone in our future living room. No, no, no. There was also the old ceiling, exactly the same as we used to have in our kitchen. And what went out there also has to go now. 

Hit it!


Besides the fact that we don’t like how the ceiling looked, I was also curious if it would be possible to get back to the original ceiling height. After all, at 2,6 meter it was pretty low compared to the rest of the house, with all of its ceiling heights hovering around 3 meter. Thus we started chucking down the wooden shelves.

There were quite a few surprises. There was dust on top of the plancher, and the closer we got to the windows (with their rolling shutters), the more dust and dirt there was. Then we found a body:

Poor little birdie. I don’t know how long it had been up there, but it probably wasn’t a nice death. Strangely enough there was no smell, no maggots, no nothing.

After dealing with the body we could take down the rest of the shelves, and end up with only the frame and shimming.

We cut the shelves up for easier transport.

With that out of the way I took down the shims. I got a little help from my friends, Mr. Hammer and Mr Crowbar. Between the three of us time flied until we were left with only the frame.

I ended up with a pile of wood…

… and a second one.

Almost there. Those beams are nailed together, in such a way that I couldn’t see an easy way of disassembling. In those cases there is really only one way to deal with the situation: to put the saw in it!

I don’t own a sawsall (yet), so I had to use the circular saw very carefully, supporting the beam with my one hand and pushing the saw up with the other, so that the beam wouldn’t block the blade. It’s a dirty trick, but it worked out okay, and the third pile of wood was born!

By the way, if you paid real good attention to that last picture you’ll have noticed that the fireplace mysterically reappeared. I took the ceiling down while figuring out what I could and could not do with it, that’s how it reappeared.

I removed all the nails from all the wood and tucked it away in my storage, for whenever I need something. You can never have too many wood around!

Then came the big surprise, or rather, expected disapointment.

There was not one beam. Not two of them. But three of them.

Three steel I-beams. Two of 23 cm high, and one a little smaller, 16 cm.

The really bad news was that one of the big ones had been put in place with still one layer of bricks on top of it to support the concrete. That one was also the reason why the previous ceiling was so “low”: the previous owners chose to have the entire ceiling be below that beam.

Looks like we won’t be able to get back to the original ceiling heights, so we’ll need to think about a new plan for our ceilings. What would you do given our situation? Go wild in the comments!