Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>Should we give up on our coved ceilings?
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akimbo
Should we give up on our coved ceilings?
akimbo

Have a 1947 house where we're going to extend an exterior wall by 3', reno the kitchen, and add a bathroom which will involve encroaching 20" into a bedroom. All of these projects will involve damage to the coved ceilings. When we first bought the house 8 years ago, I didn't really care about the coves. I prefer a modern look, but I've grown to like them. The coves add an elegance to the house and the way that light reflects on them adds interest. Trouble is, I have yet to meet a carpenter, drywaller, or contractor who wants to save, build them, or make cove repairs. There are a number of cracks in both the textured ceiling and the coves which I had repaired 8 years ago, but which have re-opened. Between vibrations from small earthquakes, some heavy street traffic and perhaps some house settling, it's a challenge. Also the walls are textured throughout the house, which I could live without. Any thoughts? Your experience? The house was lifted and put on a new basement in 1968 so it looks more 60's from the outside. Is it time to modernize? There is no turning back.
Sorry, system wouldn't allow me to attach any of my recent jpgs.

A. Spruce
Re: Should we give up on our coved ceilings?
A. Spruce

I will assume you have plaster walls/ceilings. Plaster is, unfortunately, a dying art, not many know how to do it, even fewer are willing to learn or take on a project that has anything to do with it. That being said, there are still plaster special-ists around that would have no problem dealing with what you have and can tell you or your contractor what they need to do to replicate the structure behind the plaster to maintain the integrity of the coved ceilings.

If you are doing the work yourselves, then it will take time and effort on the phone to locate someone who can do the job you need. If you are hiring a contractor to do the project for you, then HE or SHE would be responsible for finding a tradesman to handle this part of the project, if they are unable to do this, then they are not the people for your project. Keep looking for a general contractor or tradesman who isn't afraid of your project.

dj1
Re: Should we give up on our coved ceilings?
dj1

Your photo is just fine.

25 years ago I built a custom home with three domes. One in the breakfast area, one in the formal dinning room and one in the master suite. That was what the architect wanted, that was what I put in. Even back then it was a challenge for me to find a Plaster of Paris craftsman to do these domes for me. I must admit, he did a beautiful job.

Point is: it will be hard to find someone to do it. That will leave you in charge, and if you are not willing to do it, make a transition to a traditional ceiling.

akimbo
Re: Should we give up on our coved ceilings?
akimbo
A. Spruce wrote:

...Keep looking for a general contractor or tradesman who isn't afraid of your project.

Thanks for your thoughts Spruce. Yes, the walls are plaster and they are textured. I could live without the wall texture. Our contractor says 'ret rid of em'. I'm not sure.

akimbo
Re: Should we give up on our coved ceilings?
akimbo
dj1 wrote:

Your photo is just fine.

25 years ago I built a custom home with three domes. ....

Your domes sound amazing. Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, could look for a craftsman to do repairs but our builder is not thrilled about having to design the new construction with coves in mind. Wish I could attach more pics but this forum keeps rejecting my jpegs.

dj1
Re: Should we give up on our coved ceilings?
dj1

You can load any number of pictures you want, by using a host like photobucket or others, then list your link here.

Cove or dome, they are not the only ideas for a beautiful ceiling. There are also square, rectangular drywall domes, "country style" wood domes, and so on. Talk to an architect(s) and get a simple framing plan for perhaps an easy to build ceiling that your contractor won't find intimidating, and go from there. Or, find another GC who can read your mind better.

A. Spruce
Re: Should we give up on our coved ceilings?
A. Spruce
akimbo wrote:

Yes, could look for a craftsman to do repairs but our builder is not thrilled about having to design the new construction with coves in mind.

It is your house and your money, it is as simple as that. Your contractor should be working to give you everything that you want, not trying to wiggle out of things he doesn't want to do. As stated earlier, it may be time to find a general contractor who is working in YOUR best interests instead of his own.

It isn't like there is any designing or guessing involved in how to duplicate the coves, in fact, when the existing wall is demo'd to be moved, the method of how the cove was done will be revealed and can easily be duplicated, if not reused. I'm willing to bet that it doesn't add more than a couple hours to the job schedule. Other than maybe finding a competent plasterer to do the finish work, I really can't see what the problem is.

akimbo
Re: Should we give up on our coved ceilings?
akimbo
dj1 wrote:

You can load any number of pictures you want, by using a host like photobucket or others, then list your link here.

Cove or dome, they are not the only ideas for a beautiful ceiling. There are also square, rectangular drywall domes, "country style" wood domes, and so on. Talk to an architect(s) and get a simple framing plan for perhaps an easy to build ceiling that your contractor won't find intimidating, and go from there. Or, find another GC who can read your mind better.

Thanks for your thoughts. For sure, contractors promote the methods they know the best.

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