Planning on renovating or lifting a Queenslander and want to build in the underneath?
A raise and build under sounds simple initially, but they often require entire layout changes, demolition and a renovation on the existing upstairs level
Most of our renovation clients decide to keep the new built-in level look and feel consistent with the existing home and this gives the impression that it was always a two-story home
First of all you will have to see if what you want to do is allowed by the local council
After the 2011 floods, there are some restrictions with low set builds.
I will add a link a little further down where you can see the regulations.
We are looking at the ceiling options for the lower level or built in area.
When creating an under the house area you already have a ceiling of sorts with the flooring above acting as a ceiling – BUT do you want to be looking up into the pipes, wiring and ugly boards?
You may even want to look at an ornamental style ceiling if you have enough height in the downstairs areas. There is a maximum height restriction of 9.5m in the Brisbane local council, so don’t go getting too carried away with planning high ceilings.
When you have worked out what living area you will create you can work out what ceiling options you will need.
If you are going to build a recreation, music or workshop area – You will need a different ceiling option then if you were going to create bedrooms or an office space
Lets look at the ceiling options and styles
One of the biggest problems with a lower space is the fact that it can be very noisy.
The lower area is one of the areas of your home where you can hear people walking around upstairs, which can be very noisy. This will not work well if you want to use your newly renovated basement as a regular lounge or guest room.
However, you can solve this problem by installing a drop or acoustic basement ceiling.
These ceilings are sound-absorbing, so you can filter out sounds coming from the floor above. You also don’t have to worry about sound transmission from downstairs to upstairs. This is a popular option for musicians or workshops.
Many people choose to turn their downstairs level into a music room because they can practice and play music there without disturbing the house’s other occupants.
Beadboard or VJ Panels
This type of wood paneling is popular in Queenslander style homes but can be used in virtually any architectural style. You can install the panels vertically on the walls or horizontally on the ceiling. They are often used as porch ceilings, and the tongue-and-groove boards have individual planks that slot together.
Some people prefer to mix tongue-and-groove panels with 3-inch or 1.5-inch boards in between or switch sizes.
The finished surface can be painted or varnished, making it suitable for various tastes, from classic to elegant.
The box ceiling
If the joists in your basement are correctly aligned, you can create a traditional box ceiling. This type of ceiling is very attractive and can hide that your beams serve structural purposes.
This is a great option if you want your ceiling to stand out and look beautiful while hiding some unwanted elements.
This gives the whole room an interesting aesthetic that catches people’s attention when they enter the room. If you want to achieve an elegant but simple look, a neutral tone such as white is suitable.
We all know Colorbond and it is becoming used in many design ways including creating ceiling and wall features.
If you are open to new ideas and want a unique but durable look. .
Corrugated metal is ideal, but only works well if wooden beams are present You can place the metal sheets between the beams to create an exciting ceiling option.
Although you may not think of a metal roof when building a basement ceiling, it is a very durable and practical solution. It is rust and corrosion resistant, so it can better withstand a damp Queensland weather
The metal will contrast nicely with the wooden beams when you attach it, and it’s not that difficult to do yourself to save on labour costs.
Metal is also rust and corrosion-resistant, making it a more durable option if you want something most people don’t have. It also stands up well to humidity without being damaged.
One of the most popular ways to add a roof to an old house is a false ceiling. This is an inexpensive but attractive solution if you can cope with the loss of height. Many people use suspended ceilings to make older homes feel cosier, and they are a good option for a this style ceiling as there may be pipes or wiring hanging out over the rafters.
There are also long-term savings to be made with this type of ceiling. For example, if you accidentally damage a tile, you can lift it out of the frame and put in a new tile instead of trying to repair the entire ceiling. It’s also easy to get light fixtures that fit in the frame to provide the room with enough light without protruding into the basement.
In addition, suspended ceilings offer excellent soundproofing properties, and modern frames are very versatile.
One of the most common and popular options for basement ceilings is plasterboard or drywall. With drywall, you can create an attractive and sleek living space. All you need to do is apply a primer and paint it with your favourite colour to finish it off. You can combine it well with recessed lights to give your basement a very futuristic and modern look. It is also easy to cut and fit for normal repairs.
However, plasterboard also has some disadvantages if you choose the wrong boards. Let the team at Queensland Interior Linings Guide you in what type of plasterboard will be best suited. There are many options including acoustic boards, damp proof boards and fire resistant boards. You should consider these factors when choosing the type of ceiling for your basement.
Industrial with painted beams or pipes
Working in an area that has exposed beams or pipes can be a challenge. The goal is to have a beautiful ceiling that fits well in the room, but the beams and pipes limit your options. This in turn, can make you think differently. To achieve a good end result, you need to include any existing beams or pipes in your overall design.
One of the most straightforward solutions is to paint the beams or pipes. You will be surprised how much a fresh coat of paint can transform an area.
Painting the old pipes a bright, bold white will make them look more inviting and clean.
It is highly recommended to use brighter colours to liven up the space. If you plan to use the room regularly, you should design it in a way that you like. You may need to scrape and clean the beams or pipes before applying a new coat of paint. If you have pipes, you may need to fix rust problems first. This should not be a significant problem and should not delay your project too much.
Painted exposed beams
In some areas, there will be beams or rafters that are visible. If they are in good shape and you love the idea of leaving them exposed you can do this!
Painting your rafters is a great way to spruce them up a bit, and it should be a relatively easy project. You should take the time to look at the different colours and choose them carefully. Think about what you want to use your new living space will be used for and what kind of decor you will be buying.
This will give you an idea of what colours will work well. Many people opt for lighter colours to brighten up the room. However, you can also opt for something more muted, such as a soft grey. If you want to keep your wooden beams natural, you can simply clean them before applying a stain. This can help enhance the wood’s natural look and give it a rustic character.
Painted wooden beam ceiling
As we’ve already mentioned, wooden floorboards are also beautiful in their own right. However, you may find that this simple look isn’t all you want. If your wooden floorboards don’t look as good as they could and you can’t fix them, you might not want to leave them as they are. This is where a fresh coat of paint comes in.
If you want to use reclaimed wood planks and don’t like the rustic look, paint is the best option. You can paint them before or after installation. Most people choose to paint after because they don’t want to damage or scratch the paint during installation. This is entirely up to you, and you will find that one method works better than the other.
Many people choose to paint their wood plank ceiling the same colour as their walls. If you select a natural shade of white, this can help to create a very classic style.
Depending on how you want to design your new rooms you may want to get a little more creative with your ceiling design.
Many older style homes have pressed tin ceilings. You can get these feature pieces tiles and it will give a great aesthetic look and keep those period features if you are wanting to keep this flowing through both levels of your home. This ceiling could even have a Victorian feel to it, as it has a very decorative element. If you want to add a more striking touch to the room, you could consider a range of lighting options that reflect off the ceiling.
The look of your ceiling is similar to that of an excellent wooden floor or beadboard panels. You get an instant classic look and feel without worrying about putting the boards together. It comes in a variety of finishes and designs, and you can choose between flexible and rigid options. Flexible wood panels are great for cladding curved surfaces such as arches.
A significant advantage of using this material for your ceiling is that you can attach the panels directly to the basement’s support beams without needing a great deal of height. The wide range of design options also makes it very easy to add your own touch to any theme.
The last idea for the ceiling is another option. If you already have support beams in the basement, it is straightforward to add wooden boards. All you have to do is buy the boards, cut them to the right size and attach them to the ceiling next to the beams.
If you do this, you will create a very dense and visually appealing ceiling. If you like the natural look of wood with a rustic touch, this is a good choice for you.
Queensland Interior Linings are qualified builders and plasterers.
We are able to help you plan for a renovation of your home.
Links for the Brisbane City Council Regulations here
Check QBCC requirements and renovation planning guides
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