Ran across a good buy on a 'shell' home with acreage. No
insulation in walls, many interior room walls framed only.
bare studs and rafters thruout. Looking for El cheapo substitue
for sheetrock/floating/texturing. will add needed insulation, of
course, but any suggestions for *low cost* surfaces for the
ceilings and walls? Preferably nothing flammable, please.
rustic or even 'warehouse' look OK, I'm just an OF with
limited funds. Even an 'artist loft' look would be OK. Need
help in thinking outside the box for wall and ceiling surfaces.
It's interior is framed for four bedrooms, two baths, etc.
Inspirations are solicited and will be welcome.
Just use sheetrock..It is about 8-10 bucks a sheet and you can put it up
yourself . When the time or money permits hire a taper to mud it "on the
side"(moonlighting) even if it is one room at a time. A friend of mine did
that and I taped it one room at a time on weekends over several
years..Speaking of which he still owes me a couple of favors...LOL...Trading
work for work(bartering) is how to get it done cheap....Good luck....
If I were single in your position I might fancy stucco to look like rock.
An uneven texture over old wood lath and broken pallet pieces with hidey
holes, small shelves here and there. Indirect lighting. That's my bedroom.
In my bathroom, broken tile set in the stucco with pieces of broken glass
and mirror parts, even bottles embeded in the wall. No sharp angles or
corners exposed. Stained semi-smooth concrete finish on the floors of
both rooms. Different colors dripped on while smoothing the concrete
floors for a swirled pattern. Just enough texture to keep my butt from
brusing the floor after a shower.
Something that can be cleaned with a WET mop and shop vac to suck up
the fresh soup.
But, I'm not single and I like being married. It's not happening at our
yep, single and old nuff to not giveashite bout what folks think.
The place is priced damn near land value, so the shell house
is a plus. Can fug it up and not decrease prop value. but
I figgure a solid house with roof, well, and septic might
be worth playing with. My scheme would to make the
master br/bath livable (and confine heating/ac to that)
and gradually work on the rest of the place.
stucco sounds cool. also seeking cheap wall surfaces
for closets and small rooms. Gotta be somethin lower
cost, in terms of material and labor, than sheetrock,
To determine what's cheapest in your particular situation you need to
put a price on your labor
Your scheme to make a living space "livable" and then finish the rest
makes good sense in your situation depending on how you value your
time & how you would normally spend your "free" time.
If there was something cheaper that made sense it would be in
I would suggest you run the numbers on a sq ft basis...drywall is
really cheap stuff.
Got any construction / remodeling going on nearby?
Maybe you can get drywall "leftovers" cheap (free?) or offer to buy
damaged sheets from the local lumber yard or BORG? But
again .....good sheets are ~$8, that's only 25c per sq ft
Drywall is so cheap that at the end of a job I'm always giving it away
or throwing it away.....misc pieces aren't worth messing with. But if
you have a place to store it, dry & neat, you can stock pile it until
you have enough to work with.
Drywall (even the "good stuff", yeah, right, whatever that means) is
only about 30c per sq ft max.
A typical room 12 x 15 would need about $150 worth of drywall.
Putting it together out of "rems" would mean more taping, mudding &
sanding...again what's your time worth plus the extra mud & screens?
Stucco (imo) is not going to be cheaper even if your labor is
free......you'll need a "surface" to stucco against, at a
minimum....line wire & paper plus WWF plus the cost of the "stucco"
mix materials.... SWAG about in the 30c or more per sq ft again.
IMO your cheapest solution is going to be "free" drywall...if you make
a connection with someone (drywall contractor) who needs to get rid of
the stuff on a regular basis you "might" be able to stockpile enough
decent sized sheets that it would be worthwhile. But gas & miles on
your vehicle aren't free. Even a crappy install / mud & tape job
can be rescued by a heavy spray texture. Of course it will look like
a low end condo or apt but whatever.
Missed this the first go-round, thanks for quoting BobK!
True and i can think of what I did, ages ago as a poor college student
living in a semi-refurbished attic. The owners bought insulation but no
more. Alone, I couldnt put up drywall on the ceiling. I'd have had to pay
Instead, I got a big bolt of flame retardant dark blue solid cloth and used
a staple gun to put it between the rafters covering the insulation I'd
tacked up there. I left the beams showing as I liked the looks.
Fancy? No, but doable alone with no help and i must say, it actually looked
alot nicer than it sounds.
I put 3 nails in a 'u' shape about where the rafters hit only a 3.5 foot
'ceiling' then used scrap wood of about .5x1 size set in the nail frames to
hold it up, and used the nail gun to make 'curtin walls' with more fabric
(this time a small flower pattern of blue flowers with green leaves on a
dark cream colored background).
Local newspaper usually sells the old plates from the rotary presses at
scrap metal prices. Thin enough to apply to the studs with a heavy-duty
staple gun. I've seen chicken coops and garages lined with those.
Actually looked pretty cool. Unless they have a backlog, may take
several weeks of return visits to get enough sheets, though. Each one is
only the size of a newspaper page. Best not to tell them it is for human
"Yep, ceiling is more of a problem- how to support insulation?"
You can support ceiling insulation with "lightning rods," lengths of
stiff wire about 16.5" long that you push up between the joists. Or
put nails in the joists and run twine across to support the
Dunno! But you can get sailcloth types that are. They wont be as cheap as
drywall or just regular 'flame retardant material' but they should last
I take it you actually not only want reasonably cheap priced, but
specifically a different look from drywall. It's why I offered up my poor
old college days solution to a somewhat similar problem.
Well, once you nail gun it (staple gun if that suits better) to the rafters,
it will sag in the middle unless you support it. Normally this is done with
drywall but I, like you, was dealing with a raw ceiling with just insulation
there (paper toward the inside of the house if you were not sure).
I used unbent metal clotheshangers from folks who did lots of drycleaning.
It's normally real easy to get a grunch of them. Local freecycle for your
area can probably yield 300 or so free ones easy with just one 'want' post.
I used those every 3 feet between the beams before i put the cloth colver
up. Made for what i thought was a kinda unique billowing effect of the
cloth but also took the stress off the staples where the insulation was
drifting down in the center and would have ripped the cloth out.
A nicer look, would have been thin wood (something like molding) applied
*over* the cloth and between the beams and stained same color as the beams.
Yes, I didnt mention it but I got a cheap cherry wood stain and put it on
the beams with a sponge mop. Didnt varnish it or anything, just stained
them all. I had the stain free from Mom leftover from last time she'd had
us refinishing a house and gotten a huge lot for all the deck work etc. (No
worries if that sounds odd, as some here may recall, my Mom and us 3 kids
used to do what is called 'house flipping' now, to make money to live on).
The easiest way to mount that 'molding' is also more expensive. You'd get
enough of it to run all along both sides of the beams in the ceiling, then
come time to put the cross pieces up, just lay them above that (cut so they
just barely fit between beams and lay on the long pieces along the beams).
You can then hold them nicely in place with a nail on each side that sticks
out a bit. These cross pieces now hold the cloth up. How far between is up
to you and your sense of style but you can always add more or move them
around (just lift up and shift).
If you have a grunch of old tounge-n-groove wall stuff in there to remove,
those pieces can make this.
I thought of this pattern then, but a rental I was only going to be in for
at most 2 semesters, wasnt worth that much of my time and the owners were
not about to pay for the wood.
Oh if you ant to just have the crossbars of wood, you can just put 2 nails
(sticking a bit out) at the bottom of where you want the wood, then 2 a bit
higher (1/2 the depth of the wood) to either side and drop it in the pocket
you made. If you mess up and one isnt even, they just lift out and you can
use the claw on the hammer to shift the nails out and re-reat so it's even.
So now you have cheap (material and wire coat hangers inside) or fancy (wood
molding to create a square pattern in each rafter set).
Anything useable for you? You did say 'artist loft look' suits and this is
pretty much close to that but allows insulation yet covers it.
I'll make one pitch though. Please go best 'flame retardant' you can find.
I gather you do not have any electrical lines in the ceiling so it's
slightly less an issue, but the walls can be. In my case, the electrics
were all 3 ft from the devised walls of the attic (used the extra space
behind them for storage). Other than a floor, it truely was an unfinished
attic when I got there with deep eves and only 1 outlet added at the far
end. But hey, it was 25$ a month in 1979 ;-)
Thanks for your reply, Bob. I've done the drywall bit many
times thru the years. Hell, I can probably still blow white
boogers from my 'sanding apprenticeship' as a kid helping
my dad. Again I'm looking for something different. There's
gotta be novel ways to skin this cat.
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