My nephew was certain that we could find replacement ceiling sections. The ceilings here were installed differently than the ceiling in our other house. Here the ceiling is a 4' wide panel and was put up before the walls. There are "decorative" strips where two panels meet and also every 16" to hide the staples that hold it up. Because the ceiling went up before the walls the panels on each end of the room extend into the next room. So we couldn't take down these end strips without messing up the ceiling in the closet (which wasn't too big a deal) and the bathroom (which was a big problem.)
Since I couldn't find ceiling like what we have I looked for alternatives. We could sheetrock the ceiling but they panels are awfully heavy for me to help with. The ideal solution seemed to be a dropped ceiling but the cost was high and by the time we dropped it enough to be able to slide the panels in it would have been down to just over 7' and we felt that was too low.
Finally I found lightweight 16" tiles that looked like something we could manage. I ordered them and moved on to other things. When they came in we picked them and looked them over but I didn't want to start on the ceiling before I finished the kitchen. They looked nothing like the strips of ceiling we had left and we were stuck on how to make the two types of ceiling work together.
It finally came to me that we could simply lower the entire ceiling 1/2". John and I have been married 27 years so you'd think we'd communicate well. We don't process information in the same way and I could not explain to him what I wanted to do in a way that made sense to him. After much frustration with each other we were both envisioning how we might make the tiles work. My idea to cover the old ceiling would work but John had to revise my plan for leveling out the rest of the ceiling.
John did the work. I passed him tiles and tools. We worked together to cut tiles as needed. We made a few mistakes and dinged a few tiles but in the end we got it done with a few tiles to spare.
John had spray painted the ceiling register. He put up the old fan and we agreed that it didn't look great with the new bright white ceiling.
We had just a little more work to do. We put up molding and a new fan. Add new curtains and a bed and we finally have a guest room!
It still needs decorating and new carpet but the hard work is done!
1984 Twin, Homes of Merit