Hanging drywall ceiling from plaster walls

My house has plaster walls throughout and 10 foot ceilings. I recently had central air installed and we ran some of the duct work along the top of the ceiling in my upstairs hallway. The plan was to then drop the ceiling there to 8 feet by putting up a 2x4 frame and drywall.
Now I'm thinking that the walls may be at risk of cracking when the 2x4s are nailed into them and I'm also wondering if they will be able to handle the weight of the drywall ceiling once it is all up.
I haven't hired a contractor to do this job yet, but I'm looking to see if you all would have any advice on this job or specific questions I should ask the contractor if we go with the drywall option (possibly using liquid nails for the frame, nails vs screws for the frame, tying the 2x4s to the 10 foot ceiling with wire for additional support, etc).
Another option I'm now considering is to put a dropped ceiling (not drywall) which I'm assuming would weigh a lot less than the drywall.
Any advice or suggestions are welcome.
Thank you
--
Ray

Remove NO and SPAM to reply
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If the area you're talking about is just the width of a hallway, then I wouldn't be concerned, as the span is very short, any any additional weight is minimal across that span. Instead of nails, you can use screws for areas that contact the sidewalls to avoid cracking.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

had
the
there
are
ask
nails
foot
drywall)
false ceilings because of the problems getting to a fire, there, should one occur. I would think a suspended ceiling, perhaps with one of the tile patterns that would fit with the age of a house having 10 ft. ceilings, would be safer. A fire hose would probably knock them out of the way. Tom.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.