Can this be fixed?

A pre-drywall inspection of my Pulte home showed that the house’s sloped ceilings have been lowered using lightweight steel framing. The builder did this because the original trusses were built improperly, causing the ceiling to be higher than on the original plan. Therefore, the builder lowered the ceiling by using lightweight steel framing. Areas of this added framing (ceiling and walls) appear to be lightweight enough to potentially cause drywall cracking issues in the future. The ceiling joists along the center wall have very little support and may have problems supporting the weight of the ceiling drywall so that cracking issues may result. (I have photos.) This potential issue would not exist if the original trusses had been built to the proper height.

Does anyone know how this can be fixed or if it can be fixed at all?

Pulte says this house is one of the first ones being built of this model, and going forward they have made permanent changes so that the other houses won’t have drop down ceilings. They offered to extend the warranty on drywall cracks from one year to two. What do you all think?

I want them to take down the lightweight steel framing and apply the drywall to the original wooden ceiling, but they won’t do that since all of the houses must look the same.

Thanks for your comments!

Connor… In my opinion, the ceilings can be “fixed”. The lightweight steel used to frame down the ceiling is commononly used and versatile, providing it is secured and braced sufficiently. check

Connor… In my opinion, the ceilings can be “fixed”. The lightweight steel used to frame down the ceiling is commononly used and versatile, providing it is secured and braced sufficiently. check that each of the trusses above the new framing


If what you are referring to is a steel 2x4 or larger, then it’s probably going to be fine. But I’d need to see those pictures to be 100%.

If it’s what I’m thinking of, these are also used in commercial applications. I agree with you, that they look very flimsy when they are bare, but once the drywall is installed, they stiffen up significantly. The drywall in combination with the steel makes a very sturdy structure.

If it were me, I’d take the extended warranty and leave it at that. All that being said, if that’s not what you preferr…

As to them telling you all their models need to look the same, I’d tell them it’s my house, and I don’t care one way or another that it looks the same as all the other models. My personal opinion is that if the builder is building your home, then he ought to build it to your wishes (assuming there is no structural reason not to.) He just doesn’t want to take them back down, and is giving you an excuse to cover his not wanting to go to the expense of removing them. Offer to pay one of his carpenters an extra $100 to pull them down after hours. He probably won’t have a problem with it then (unless he realizes that he got caught in a fib ;-)).

Connor… If this steel framing is what I think it is, it is akin to suspended ceiling framing. It is very common and versatile. All that needs to be done, providing the builder wont change it, is beef up the bracing. Heavy gauge wires screwed into the above trusses and affixed to the new framing, will give you a ceiling with a low failure rate. Since the ceiling is hanging, it is not affected as much by possible truss uplift.

Photos are attached. Thanks!

I don’t think it will be an issue either. I see a lot of commerical construction that uses less support for a sheetrock ceiling using a suspension grid.

You will find you will have fewer cracks and nail pops in the drywall because the steel will not expand and contract at the rate wood framing does during humidity changes.

The framing looks normal from the pictures.

It looks good to me.

Connor… I have framed with this material b4. The only thing that really bothers me from your picw, is the spacing of the framing. The walls should be 16" o/c, and run true all the way from floor to ceiling.
Ceilings could use more beef.

Hey Conner;

I’m off topic, but please tell me what pdf photo sharing program your using.


I’m sorry. I don’t know. I didn’t take these photos myself.

I wouldn’t worry about it much. I would make a few changes. See attachment.

You may also want the drywall guys to use a “mesh” type tape for the corners and the joints. It may help prevent some of the cracks.

Framing looks acceptable to me…I don’t see the problem.

All things being equal the wall extension construction is a bit shoddy, but seems to reflect common practice.