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For reasons I don't remember, my brother lowered the ceiling in my bedroom by approx 20cm (I think, it might be more), all my walls and new lower ceiling was plastered over. This has been fine for several years.

But I am now working from home, and would like to utilise the loft space for an office to get a bit of work/life balance and not sit at the same desk for both work and personal stuff. I have superfast broadband, so would prefer a wired connection to the router from the loft into the bedroom below.

I'm wanting to make a hole in the new lowered ceiling in my bedroom, and also the original ceiling from when the house was built so I can get a cable into the loft space, whilst I am able to see where I am drilling in the lowered ceiling, the original ceiling above I will be drilling blind into that from below. I could potential drill into the lowered ceiling from below, and the original ceiling from inside the loft, that would be easy if only I knew where each of the holes were so I could line them up to make threading a cable through each of the holes easier.

Once the cable has been successfully threaded through the holes and into the loft I am then wanting to get someone to come and do a loft conversion for me, the loft space is currently not boarded out and only contains insulation.

Would anyone have any advice on what I could do to make a small hole in the lowered ceiling, and then make a second hole in the actual original ceiling from when the house was built without causing too much damage or several holes in my lowered ceiling trying to find somewhere to put the hole that isn't blocked off for whatever reason on the other side of the real original ceiling prior to it being lowered.

I'm hoping this makes some sense and you can get a picture of what my ceiling is currently like and what it is I am wanting to do.

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    Some pictures would help a lot. Also please go back and edit this sentence so the description of what you are dealing with is clearer. "The loft space is currently not boarded out and is just full of insulation at the moment, so hard to see what I am standing on, to avoid going through the ceiling! so I haven't tried."
    – HoneyDo
    Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 20:26
  • So you want to run the cable down through a hole in the ceiling? Normally you would run it down the inside of a wall. Is that not possible?
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 21:14
  • @JPhi1618 The wall is solid brick, as it's the chimney breast, also I didn't want to run it through the wall in case I needed to replace the cable at a later date.
    – AeroMaxx
    Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 21:37
  • @HoneyDo What should I take a picture of? I can take a picture of the loft space where I think the cable will come out at? and Maybe a picture of the lowered ceiling in the bedroom where the cable will go through, but I can't get a picture of the original ceiling above it.
    – AeroMaxx
    Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 21:40
  • @HoneyDo I have made some edits to try make what it is I am wanting to achieve a little clearer, hope this helps!
    – AeroMaxx
    Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 21:48

2 Answers 2

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Buy a "cable installer" drill bit. Here in the US they're offered in a variety of diameters and lengths of 30 cm to 2 m. Drill through both layers of ceiling in a single go, tape the cable or a string to the drill, and pull it back through the holes. Chances of drilling through without hitting anything important are reasonably good. You can carefully drill through the lower layer of ceiling, stopping the drill as soon as it has penetrated. Gently insert the drill bit through the void between ceiling layers, feeling for any wires or other forgotten things that might lurk there. Continue in that way until the drill has crossed all the layers and emerges in the loft.

You could just as well begin in the loft and drill downward. It really just comes down to this: you get to choose precisely where the starting hole will be; you get to accept the exit hole wherever it appears.

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Two (and perhaps a third) options I'd consider (I run cables professionally, and I hate poking those installer bits into places I can't see and praying they don't find something they should not hit...)

  1. Measure carefully from the walls and line your holes up that way. Above, move the insulation, do the work, replace the insulation and get the floor installed. Below, use a very strong magnet to look for lines of nails or screws which indicate where the joists are in the false ceiling, and miss them when drilling up. The holes only need to be close enough that you can "fish" between them (look up "how to use fish tapes" and stick with the "electrical related" results, not "measuring your aquatic specimen,") they don't need to be perfectly aligned.
  2. Buy an access panel. Install it in your lowered ceiling. Now you have a hole and can see what you are doing.
  3. An inexpensive "borescope" camera - you can get ones that use your phone or computer as a screen, quite inexpensively. Drill just through one layer, and look with the camera to inform your next action and verify that you won't be damaging anything when you continue drilling.

2.5? Cut an access hole from above, since you can repair it any old way and then it will be covered by insulation and new flooring.

Whatever you do, I'd suggest you consider running conduit, not bare cable, since it's networking and that has a history of changing somewhat rapidly, so ease of replacement is a Good Thing® - but that leans towards the "access hole" options. But you could perhaps "fish in" flexible conduit.

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