Part of my ceiling, about the size of a tea tray, collapsed exposing narrow strips of wood showing.
A builder has given me two prices, one for overboarding, the other for patching and crosslining.
What do these involve and which would be best?
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The “little strips of wood” you mention indicate that your ceiling is old style plaster and lath.
Overboarding means fixing a layer of plasterboard to the entire ceiling by screwing it through to the joists.
Crosslining involves patching the hole and then papering the entire ceiling, like wallpapering, but applying two layers of plain paper at right angles to each other as reinforcement.
Overboarding is a more permanent repair as your ceiling may be generally weak.
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