I want to close in the open shed ceiling in my living room/dining room.

The beams are 4x8 on 32" centers. Can I run 1x3 strapping across the beams parallel every 24" or 16"? Would this be enough to support drywall? I may end up having the ceiling plastered (undecided) since the walls are all plaster and the hallway ceiling is plaster. I'm not sure if this adds a weight concern.

The reason is I had some leaks and the soft material under the roof ply is bad, instead of trying to pull off the rubber roof & ply around the chimney and match the materiaL from the 50'S. I'm just going to close it off which also lets me solve the poor lighting situation in that room by installing recessed lighting at the same time. enter image description here enter image description here

  • pictures would help understand your situation. Are you sure the beams are structural?
    – RMDman
    Mar 9, 2023 at 12:24
  • Thanks, I added pictures.
    – Kenny Sale
    Mar 9, 2023 at 15:23
  • @RMDman as for structural, I don't know. They support the roof.
    – Kenny Sale
    Mar 9, 2023 at 16:08
  • Have the leaks been repaired?
    – Huesmann
    Mar 9, 2023 at 19:59
  • @ Huesmann, I'm in the process of having that done.
    – Kenny Sale
    Mar 9, 2023 at 20:03

1 Answer 1


You can certainly support a ceiling that way, but I doubt 1x3 spanning 32" is going to be enough - you'll probably need 2x3, (or a metal support rated for the span) at minimum.

I'd suggest adding more insulation at the same time.

  • 2
    And in case folks don't know, it is definitely worth renting a wallboard jack when doing ceilings. Yes, you can get by with more assistants and T braces, and I've done it that way, but having the jack lift and brace while you just drive screws is a LOT less work.
    – keshlam
    Mar 9, 2023 at 15:29
  • I can use 2x3 or even 2x4. I added some photos above. @Keshlam I will definitely rent or buy a drywall lift.
    – Kenny Sale
    Mar 9, 2023 at 15:33
  • Yeah, a panel lift really makes it "Do it Yourself" rather than "Do it when you can rope in enough helpers, but before they get too inebriated" (because you really need a bribe to get helpers...)
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 9, 2023 at 18:30
  • Quite true, @Ecnerwal, however, the bribe can be handed out in very small quantities before the work starts and liberally once the work has been completed. ;)
    – FreeMan
    Mar 9, 2023 at 19:18
  • 1
    Yes, your verbal description was clear to me, 2x3 or 2x4 should work fine for that span/center distance.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 9, 2023 at 19:32

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