Framing a Basement

sdemjsullyApril 1, 2013

I'm about to begin framing out the basement, but had a general ceiling plate question. Probably a basic question, but can't find any good references online.

Most of our 9' basement ceiling is unobstructed, however, there are several places where the gas line (or other) hangs just below the joist. We're planning to drywall the ceiling, not install a suspended ceiling.

Anyway, question is this: should I attach 2x4s to the joists and THEN attach the ceiling plate? Thinking that I can't drywall right on the joists, as I have the above-mentioned issues.




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First off, I would strongly recommend not using drywall on the ceiling of your basement, especially if it cover any mechanicals than might need service later. If a water line ever spring a leak the odds are about 100 to 1 against the water following a straight line down. You'll end up ripping up the ceiling looking for the leak. It also become a nightmare if you ever want to run new electrical, gas, water, phone, TV, ethernet, etc.

One way to deal with mechanicals is to box out around them. Depending on your situation it might be easier to move the gas or water line between the joists.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 7:03PM
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@Mike: we were thinking of doing drywall, since we really don't like the look of suspended ceilings and the rest of our house is drywall; nor have we had any of the issues you mentioned.

Plan was to build soffits around the mechanicals.

With the way the gas and AC lines are currently situated, I can't move them between the joists without going through a major, end-to-end project. Electrical lines are fed through drilled holes, but the gas lines are not...they're bracketed to the bottom of the joists every 8 feet or so.

Assuming we did go with drywall, would the best course of action for attaching the ceiling plate be to attach 2x4s to the joists before putting up ceiling plates, or is there another, more effective method?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 9:32PM
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Why put up drywall or plaster anywhere services run in a house? After all, it will be more difficult if they need to be accessed. It's because looks do count. (Unless it's a loft where utility is the look.)

You don't need two by fours, only shimming enough to allow the drywall to clear the pipes and hangers. Two by twos or one by twos. Or, as pointed out above, box around the intrusions.

One hint: use foam insulating sleeves on any water supply pipes to prevent them sweating in warm weather.

Also, take some pics before you drywall in case you need to access anything later. You might also want to include an access hatch, even if it's just to peek in case of problems down the road.

This post was edited by worthy on Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 22:48

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 9:48PM
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@worthy: thanks for the tips, especially the shims. That will save some dough.

The plans I've drawn up do contain a few access panels where we have water valves and other potentially important points of access.

I'm going to build soffits/boxes around the obstructions, but wanted a less involved solution for the entire joist area...hence the shims. Would have been so much easier had the guys that installed the gas lines when the house was built 8 yrs ago pushed them through drilled holes in the joists like the electrical lines...unless by code they can't.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:17PM
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gas lines come in up to 21 foot sections, kind of hard to line up all the holes perfectly.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 8:36AM
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Some areas, including this local area, permit the use of copper for gas lines. Nails and crews can puncture the copper.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 5:21PM
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