Major ceiling crack

Hi
My new home has a gigantic crack across the bedroom ceiling running diagonally from corner to corner. The ceiling sags in the middle too and it disintegrates if I try gently pushing it up with my fingers. Above the ceiling is the loft - I've gone up and looked at it from the other side and beneath the insulation are the wooden beams running the length of the house and beneath that is the plasterboard that forms the ceiling.
The plasterboard obviously needs replacing, but it's such an embedded part of the building that I don't know how to go about this. Can it be done without removing the beams that support the roof? This is a major job and I would appreciate any advice before I try calling in the 'professionals'...
Cheers, Ben
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If you are a diy'er, start the crumbly and dusty process of pulling the sheetrock off the beams with a crowbar, dustmask, and claw hammer -- then see about the sagging beams when you get that far. This is a painful project.

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<< This is a major job and I would appreciate any advice >>
You need a hands-on kind of structural engineer person to see this disaster. Ask to have recxommendations as to what part of the work you can do yourself and what should be jobbed out because of special tools or equipment. Good advice will always save you a bundle and is worth the price. HTH
Joe
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Are the beams sagging, or just the drywall?
If it is just the drywall, then it is not such a big deal. Did your roof leak at some time, and the ceiling got water damaged?
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The fact that this crack runs diagonally across several sheets of drywall indicates a serious stuctural issue such as foundation settling, termite damage, water damage, among other things. The underlying problem(s) need to be addressed before attempting any repair.
Get an independent assessment from a house inspector or engineer (someone not connected with anyone doing repairs). Do not take advantage of offers for "free" inspections from people in the business of doing repairs.
Regards,
John
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