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Van Build | Ceiling Installation

Man Hours: 30

Cost: £297

Tools & Materials: x24 planed pine timber (3600mm x 9.6mm x 8mm), x3 proplex surface protection sheets, mitre saw, jig saw, pillar drill, drill, staple gun, sanding sheets, danish oil

We have been so excited to get started on the ceiling! The ceiling was our favourite feature in Yosemite so we knew we wanted to create something we loved just as much in this van. We went back and forth between what style we wanted to go for and in the end settled on this gap effect. We love the look of this style and the gaps between the timber will allow for changes and movement in the wood throughout the seasons. As with all tongue and groove, our last ceiling was quite temperamental, swelling in the winter and creating gaps in the summer.

What We Used

The Wood | We wanted to create this gap effect but didn't want to sacrifice too much weight and we also want the wood to stretch the full length of the van. After a tonne of research we managed to find our ideal pine timber from Champion Timber which was 3600mm long, 94mm wide and only 8mm thick. Not the cheapest option but wood is excellent quality. 

The Background | Because we were using such thin timber we knew we needed a black background to create a decent gap effect. Again, wanting to save on weight we opted for these black Proplex surface protection sheets. They are incredibly light, durable, waterproof and mega cheap. We used three sheets to cover the entire ceiling.

The Installation

Before we insulted, we glued wooden batons onto the roof to provide the base for the van. This way we had something to screw into when installing the wooden ceiling.

Step 1 - Staple the surface protection sheets to the wood batons. We used spray adhesive to glue up and stubborn bits. We then cute holes in the sheets to allow for the skylights and any electrics such as the lights.

Step 2 - Cut and shape the timber to size. We used a mitre saw to cut the lengths, a pillar drill for the holes of the lights and a jigsaw to cut out and shape any bits of timber which had to go around tricky areas.

Step 3 - Sand and oil. We used danish oil.

Step 4 - Screw in the timber. We used a long piece of strip wood as a spacer so we had an even gap throughout. Laurie made a great little guide to make sure the screws were evenly spaced and and aligned.

Such a simple process which naturally took so much longer than we expected, but it was so worth it. We are really happy with the end result and hope it will work really well throughout the seasons.

To see more of our ceiling installation process head to our You Tube page to watch our installation video. Don't forget to subscribe to be the first to know when our next blog and vlog is live.

Total Man Hours: 71*

Total Build Cost: £1,400*

*Hours includes labour but not the many many hours of head scratching, planning and shopping.

*Cost covers all materials used for the build. We haven't included the cost of the van, tools or shipping expenses as these things will vary for everyone.


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