View Full Version : How to Make a Good Ceiling?

02-23-2010, 12:18 AM
Hello everyone, I have worked on and in a haunted house for the past 3 years but because we are only a temporary house located in a campground the whole house gets taken down at the end of the season. This has not been a major problem with us because it allows us to be extremely flexible with our layout. For example the next year it can be a completely different house with the exact same materials and panels as the year before.
HOWEVER, the one thing we have never done is build a ceiling in our haunt. this is not a major problem but in a few areas it would help with the lighting and it would defiantly help with preventing the sound from going over the walls and into other rooms like the chainsaw drowning out the rules room for example.
ALSO, I just read all the posts on the building and fire codes thread and I am not sure what the rules regs and laws are in WI but I know black plastic does not stop sound very well.

So I would really like your input on how to build a good ceiling that.
1.) Is easy to put up and take down.
2.) Will without a doubt trap and contain sound so it does not travel all over. (insulated to help with the sound?)
3. Is up to fire and building codes.

Front Yard Fright
02-23-2010, 07:03 AM
Many citys require haunts to have sprinkler systems if they are over X amount of sq feet. With that, if a fire were to accure, the sprinkler valves must be able to penetrate/get into the haunt to put out any fires. Once you put a celing over something the spray won't be able to get to the fire, and many city officals won't allow that.

However, there are different ways to get around this.

Although it may not help with the sound proofing, camo netting seems to be used a lot. It gives you a false celing, looks cool, and allows water/smoke to come through. Another thing I have seen us people using shipping pallets over head. There are slits in between the boards that again would allow for the water to get into the room/hallway if there were to be a fire.

I hope this helps!

02-23-2010, 07:48 AM
First let me say BLACK PLASTIC is not an option. In this industry it is the worst thing to use. Fire officials will not allow it and if they do they are idiots. If the sprinkler heads are above your attraction erosion cloth may be a way to go if you put fire retardant on it first. Because it will let water through but if you use wood it would be a great idea to find out what the codes state in ur area because you might have to drop the sprinkler heads down so they are beneath the ceiling. Check to see what regs you are dealing with. Because if you don't know, what you do will ultimately cause problems for all haunters.

02-23-2010, 03:45 PM
I was actually planning on having sprinklers under the ceiling in the parts of the haunt where I believe we need a solid ceiling.

damon carson
02-23-2010, 06:31 PM
Ive used and seen alot of other haunts use lattice or camo netting. Both will let water penetrate or go through.

02-23-2010, 08:51 PM
Dropping the sprinkler heads under the solid ceilings is the way to go. But beware of those who try to say there are ways to get around things. Trying to get around things and skirting the law is the quickest way to wind up in the crosshairs of the local officials. Besides if you do things the right way you don't have to worry when they show up because you are not trying to hide something. Good luck to you

Lord of Fright
02-24-2010, 02:51 AM
Depending on your walls, you want to use light material. I have used plywood, sheets, netting, and various placed boards. I would check with the officials and tell them your plan. They will tell you what not to use, then you go from there! The officials are your friends, not your road block, don't be afraid of them!!

03-17-2010, 08:13 AM
I have used spandex in the past, it comes in many colors and is light. Another thing is find a large format banner printer in your area and they have used old mesh banners that can be painted and most are fire proof. The mesh banner can be used for allot of things and you can get them for free or maybe some tickets to your huant. I have used both and the spandex is easyest but cost more. The spandex will span 14 to 20 feet without suport, but will have to be fire proofed.


03-17-2010, 09:24 PM
So I don't have a million years of expertise, but I can say that it is REALLY important to just check with your town or city hall and ask what the rules are, it doesn't hurt. I found that the one time I had to call and find out, they just say thanks for calling, and see you as responsible and that you care about safety. It may be different where your haunt is, but being kind and responsible never hurt! And I've been in lord knows how many haunts, and can definitely say that if you have the right sound system at the right level, you won't have a huge problem as far as sound going over into the other room goes, just use computer speakers and hook an iPod up to it, and point them down. Plus, lattice works wonders as a water-proof roof, and if you waterproof some jute to lay over it, it looks really spooky. Then again, that's only what I've seen and talked about, and I've never actually done it, but it's worth looking into. =)