Monday, March 5, 2012

Pendant Light Installation, Part 1

You may recall from this post that J and I have had a hole in our ceiling for the better part of two months.  J wanted to get the messier part of that project out of the way prior to installing the counters and as such, we haven't done anything with it until we picked out our new pendant lights last weekend.

Given we have this weird metal brace running through the ceiling, we had to be somewhat flexible in where we placed each light since the exact measurements wouldn't work.

Taken looking up from the floor.

In order to accomplish this task, we used three things: a plumb bob, painters' tape, and a tape measure.  We have three pendant lights to install so J started by marking an X in painters tape on the counter, squared up with the faucet.  We figured having them squared up with the faucet made more sense than squaring them up with the counter dimensions, since the light would hang just to the right of the faucet and give an off balanced look.

We then measured out equal distance from the center to the right and to the left for the other two lights--keeping in mind that our counter arcs outward.  But given that we would be using circular electrical boxes that have to sit completely on the drywall and not next to a joist, we had to do some adjusting.  More on those boxes in Part 2.

So with the use of the plumb bob and the measuring tape, we were able to map out the remaining two lights:
The X in the middle of the painters tape is where the plumb bob fell.

A plumb bob is quite an ingenious little tool.  When strung up, the bob falls in a direct vertical line from the point of which it is being held.  In our case, J held the string where the electrical box would be placed so we knew that the blue x's were in the right spot.  If you'd like a little history lesson, here's the Wikipedia version.  

Once the tape was in place, J did the electrical work to make sure we had three drops for the three lights.  Have I mentioned how nice it is not to have to call an electrician for this kind of stuff?  He can do it all, folks!

Then came the hard part for me.  I have the upper body strength of an infant.  I'm not even kidding.  Any muscle I have is confined to my legs--if you corner me in a dark alley, I will most likely kick the crap out of you before I punch you in the face.  Just saying.  So imagine my excitement to find that J needed my assistance in holding the new drywall into place above my head while he screwed it into the ceiling.  Yeah, no excitement.  

Plenty of curse words, whimpering, ALMOST crying and trying to hold the drywall in place with my head so my arms wouldn't collapse (weak I tell you!) the drywall was up:
We both remark how nice it is to have a ceiling in one piece again.  Now just imagine how nice it will look with lights!

Once the drywall was up and had it's first coat of mud on it, J got the templates for the electrical boxes put up:
This required a bit more shifting of the X's once the templates were up in order to space them out as evenly as possible but we ended up with three pretty even drops.

Unfortunately any pictures I have of the templates going up include J and he is opposed to being featured on the blog.  For the time being...

Once the paper was taped up, J cut out the circle with a razor, leaving the rest of the square in place to make sure he had the exact size of the circle.  He then cut out the drywall inside  of the template.  A little maneuvering of the wires in the ceiling and we ended our day with this:
J is going to continue the sanding and the mudding on the drywall and then paint the ceiling before we finish installing the lights, so stay tuned for Part 2.

That was our weekend, how was yours?


Shannon @ Bungalow960 said...

I would LOVE to redo the lighting in our kitchen. But, that would require taking out chunks of plaster, which would be a mess and a half. Having a pendant light above my sink is a dream I will have to wait on, haha.

House Sweet It Is said...

Oh plaster is the worst! We were lucky to find pendant lights we both agreed on at Lowe's. Unfortunately not the glass ones I was hoping for, but I'm looking forward to having the missing lights back up in action! And one thing I've learned is this whole process is hurry up and wait!


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