Celing material for garage? (Drop ceiling or soffit)


I am needing advice and you guys are some of the smartest on the web. As you know I have a 30x30 building with 10 foot ceilings. The trusses are 4 feet apart so I am not sure I can put a drywall ceiling. I plan on drywalling the walls.
My thoughts are this, either a suspended ceiling with the 2x4 tile or I thought of using the soffit material like that is used on the roof of my porch. (The kind without vent holes). When I figured up the cost for both they were very similar. (Not cheap).
We have suspended ceilings at work and when new they look good but whenever there is a roof leak or something they get ugly looking stains on the tiles and the tiles are not cheap. Also, I am a little worried about the humidity messing with those tiles over time. Also, when I read the literature, it said to plan on 20 hours of labor to do a suspended ceiling for a 9x14 room! Since I have to work myself, I cant image how long it would take to do a 30x30.
So, I have gone back and forth on the issue. Do you guys see any problem with soffit material? My thought is to use 1x4’s nailed on the bottom of the trusses about every 2-4 feet to help minimize sagging. Will the soffit still sag? Will it be possible to keep the rows of soffit straight and how do I go about doing that. (With a chalk line?)
Above whatever type ceiling I use will be clear plastic vapor barrier with unfaced r-30 fiberglass insulation.
One caveat is I can see sometime in the future needing to get in the ceiling to run wire or whatever. Hopefully someday to run a central heat/air unit but that may be a long time from now.
Also, on another note, we have had torrential rains last night. I had drops of water on the center of the floor. I crawled in the ceiling and the best I can tell is it is blowing in from the top “ridge cap” that is on the center of the roof. I assume this is used for ventilalation?
Anyhow I really appreciate your help!
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I put up interior "liner" metal pole barn siding. They make something they call "liner" which is a little cheaper because it doesn't have 3 coats of paint. Only 2. They will cut it to whatever length you want to the inch. No tapeing, no painting. Easily installed and looks great for a garage. No need for furring strips either. 2 man job at best. Just put it up. Can be hosed off if needed. I also put it on the sides, which needed a few furring strips because I hung it vertically. If you need to get into the attic part, just unscrew one section.
The ridge vent is to allow any moisture from building up. Occasionally when the winds are blowing the rain, you may get a few drops. Only you can determine what is excessive.
Hank
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In the beginning I priced the metal for the walls and ceilign and it was expensive. I never just priced the ceiling but I have 10 outlets in my ceiling that control my 10 plug in shop lights. Not sure how I would get around that with metal.
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It's a shop/garage, right? Go look at your local auto repair shop and you will metal panels, and CONDUIT! Trying to wire a shop like a house is simply futile. Your insulation will lay on the metal panels perfectly, and the conduit will sit snug to the ceiling. Plan it right and you could add compressed air lines or other utilities along the same routes and have a nice inspector pleasing industrial look. Your trusses are likely more than adequate for metal panels.
Joe
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My garage is already wired with romex.
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Don't use that as an excuse to not do it right. Replacing the romex with conduit will save you a bunch of labor and meet code now and in the future. Have a chat witha pro electrician or code inspector to get some insights into the advantages. Conduit is far easier to install and modify for a shop, and safer by far. Too many people look at conduit and panic, but even in rehab work my subs will mix conduit and romex in places where each has a unique advantage. For example, instead of nailing boards between 4' OC trusses for romex they will put up a couple of boxes and run conduit, no support needed. Looks neat, too.
Joe
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To cut the outlets, you drill a hole in each corner, score with a utility knife and bend back and forth a couple times, quick and easy to do.
The metal weighs less than drywall and won't sag over a 4' span.
Just think, no tapeing, no painting, no tape coming loose later. One day completion.
What's your next excuse? :-)
Hank
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Also am a little worried about weight as my 2x4 trusses are 4 feet aopart and I dont think designed for the wieght of a full ceiling.
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I put up a 40' x 24' garage this summer, and insulated/drywalled the back 16' for a workshop (so, 24' x 16'). It was a pole-barn style building, with 4' trusses, but I was still able to drywall the ceiling. We (my BIL, who is a general contractor, helped) ran 2x4s flat every 16" crosswise to the trusses, and hung the drywall parallel with the trusses. This seems to have worked pretty well so far, as there's no cracking in the ceiling.
We also had 10' walls but my BIL ordered nothing but 8' sheets, and we did all the sheets long ways along the walls. In retrospect, the cutting involved with 10' sheets would have been better (after dropping the inch and a half for the 2x4s, plus 5/8" for the ceiling drywall, we were less than 10' to the floor). I did three layers of mud, although I used the paper tape and the first two layers were more "filler", with only the last one for smoothing. I was aiming for "nice" but not "professional" - you can see problems up close, but after painting, it looks ok from the center of the room.
Henry
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stryped wrote:

Find out the weight/sq. foot of the ceiling you want to use, then contact the truss supplier or manufacture and ask.
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I cant find the maker of the trusses. I have tried. Builder wont answer phone.
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One more thing. I believe you said it was built using the "pole barn" method. If so, and you used solid 4x4 or 6x6, they will warp causing cracks in the drywall. Metal will not show any signs of the poles warping.
Hank <~~~~not the smartest
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This is studd walls on top of a concrete slab. @ feet on center. 2x4 trusses 4 feet apart. The truss manufacture says no drywall or osb ceiling due to the weight. Apparently they were designed for a "pole barn" style. (No interrior ceiling). The lightest thing I could think of was soffit or suspended.
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Could you add your own ceiling joists "between" the trusses to support a drywall ceiling? Assuming you won't be storing anything in the attic, all you need is enough strength to support the drywall.
2x10's at 16" OC should work for a 30' span, though you might have a hard time finding 30' lumber (a lumber yard might be able to special order and deliver). Wood I-joists might be easier to find in those lengths, and you might be able to use a smaller size (check with the I-joist manufacturer).
Of course, the extra framing might add another $500-800 to the project, so you would have to decide how important a ceiling is. :)
Just a thought...
Anthony
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I asked the truss manufacturere about that. He said that putting wood joists between the current trusses would not change the amount of weight the trusses were designed to support.
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Of course they would say that. Ok, to overcome that: cut 1/2" plywood into 3-1/2" wide strips 8' long. Glue and screw them on the sides of the trusses. Then run a 2x4 from the center of the truss to the top. That will increase their load capacity by about 10 times.
I know you won't do this, but it is one way to do it.
Hank <~~~~thinks there is a solution to every problem
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Correct, your new joists would be supporting the weight of the drywall ceiling, not the roof trusses. In fact, if you added a joist next to the truss, you wouldn't even have to attach the drywall to the trusses. The trusses wouldn't play any part in the ceiling structure, and consequently wouldn't affect the load ratings of the truss.
Adding ceiling joists would also give you something to attach insulation to, which you would really appreciate if you have to work out there in the winter.
In any case, adding ceiling joists would be more of a cost issue than a structural issue.
Anthony
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Hustlin' Hank wrote:

I never had that problem with my pole barn/garage up in PA. Then again all the drywall was glued then screwed.... no, actually it was nailed.
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