How to fix a paneled ceiling
May 15, 2007 8:50 AM   Subscribe

How to fix acoustic ceiling panels and their light fixtures. Our low basement ceiling (maybe 6' high) is a frequent casualty of college parties and the drunken men that attend them. Panels are knocked out and two fixtures have fallen. What to do?

As said, we have a very low ceiling in our basement. Lighting is provided by flourescent lights installed in large boxes the same size as the ceiling panels. Over the course of our residence in our rowhouse two of these fixtures have fallen (and possibly broken), the struts between the panels have become bent, and some of the ceiling panels themselves are destroyed. We'd like to fix this before moving out but aren't sure how. Has anyone had any experience? Is this a job for a professional repair man or electrician?
posted by schroedinger to Home & Garden (2 answers total)
Can you just get rid of the drop ceiling? That's what I would do. I don't find them at all appealing.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:04 AM on May 15, 2007

If you want to keep the drop ceiling you should call an electrician to check out the fixtures and make sure they are safe and working properly. Either that or just replace them, which may be a DIY job depending how comfortable you are with that sort of thing. You don't want to have a fire hazard.

Assuming the struts are not too tweaked and you can bend them back relatively straight with some pliers, you should be able to buy new panels at Home Depot and finish the repairs yourself.

Pulling the thing down isn't very hard-- a drop ceiling is basically a grid of struts suspended from the actual ceiling by wires, so its just a matter of cutting those wires. Shut off all power to the room at the breaker box, disconnect the lights from the power source, and start snipping. You'll have to put up new lights and figure out how to deal with newly exposed ducts & pipes (paint them or leave as is), but it could really open up the room.
posted by InfidelZombie at 2:21 PM on May 15, 2007

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