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leroyme 07-26-2008 10:19 AM

How should I put up this ceiling?
I have a full finished basement, but it has a HUGE utility room. It is wasted space, just used for storage now. I want to create a "media room" out of this unused space. It would be a fairly quick and easy job, but my ceiling is going to be the hard part. All of the HVAC duct work is going through that room! It is all hung from (or in between) the floor joists, and hang down fairly low. There are two major areas that I don't think I could avoid. They hang down to about 6.5-7'. I think I have two option: install a drop ceiling (with the panels OR creating a dropped frame and hang drywall... I'm thinking drywall if I go this route.) or box in the ductwork... This looks like it would be quite a bit of work, but I haven't done this before. I've hung drywall, and even installed ceiling drywall, but never had to box stuff in before. Here are a few pics for reference:

What would be the best way to do this? Do you all have any other suggestions?

leroyme 07-26-2008 10:20 AM

By the way, I'd frame off and drywall a new separating wall about 2 ft from that HVAC and water heater.

glennjanie 07-26-2008 01:58 PM

Hello Leroyme:
I have seen this idea in several restaurants and think it looks good while preserving headroom. Spray paint the joists and mechanicals with flat black paint, then hang a suspended ceiling in the clear area. Lay in tiles require a 3" space above them to get them in the grid. I think lowering the ceiling all the way below the mechanicals would make you feel closed in.

leroyme 07-29-2008 11:35 PM

Wow! Good idea, but I'm pretty sure the 3' requirement for the drop ceiling would not be doable. the mechanical components are only 1.5-2', and they are cutting it close! I know what you mean about painting them black, though. Like Chipotle's Mexican restaurant. Looks good, but I don't know how it would look in a house. What do you think about just boxing the mechanicals and installing the regular drywall ceiling for the raised portions?

glennjanie 07-30-2008 06:46 PM

Hello LeroyMe:
The boxing and full ceiling sounds good to me; it just takes a lot more time, money and trouble.
I was not talking about going below the duct work, just paint it and use a floating ceiling near the joists. But then, you may not be as old or as lazy as I am and that's OK too.

hondadrv24 07-31-2008 06:34 PM

I'm a fan of boxing the mechanical and sheetrocking the ceiling, I would try to move that one pipe that is out toward the middle of the room if i could though, so you don't have to box it out so much. (I can't really tell from the pictures what it does, maybe its not movable)
I think the rock finished ceiling looks the best but others will tell you to go with the hanging tiles so that if you need access to the mechanical or plumbing it is easy to do

leroyme 07-31-2008 09:27 PM

The smaller, round tube is just the dryer vent. I can move that. The large, rectangular duct is the outlet from the HVAC system. I can't (within reason) move that. It would require much more work than I want to put into the job, and I don't want to hire an HVAC technician to do the work for me. I will be building a wall about 2' or so on this side of the HVAC system in picture #1-3. To put that into perspective, it's just on the far side of that vent hole cut in the wall on pics #2 and 3. The boxed in portion would be approximately 4-5' from that wall (with the vent cut in it), and would more than likely travel the length of the room. I could install can lights between the two ducts on my (tentatively built) risers in between those two large ducts. I would mirror those can lights on the opposite side of the room. I would have a projector at the end of the room (built into the room, near the ceiling) in picture #4. It will project the screen onto the wall near the HVAC/water heater. I would then have the can lights travel on the left and right sides of the room, on a dimmer. Unfortunately, I will have to install the door near the end of the right wall in pic #4, which will lead from the downstairs bedroom. I have thought about turning this around, and installing the door from around where that hole is cut in the wall, but I do not have the clearance on the other side of the wall. The door and framework for the bedroom would be too close. The only other option would be to go through the utility room, and I'm definitely not a fan of that! Through the bedroom it is! lol In pic number 4, you can see that copper pipe on the left, I will have to box that in, but I think I'll do a nice wooden box, sort of like a circuit breaker box, as that's my main water disconnect. Did you follow all of that?

inspectorD 08-01-2008 06:53 AM

Just one more suggestion from the peanut gallery,:D
When you close in the utility room, it should not connect to a bedroom, and it needs to have an air makeup vent installed to the room. This can be a louvered door or a vent.
The gas water heater you have will give you issues if the furnace kicks on. The furnace may need more air than what is available to the room and draw air through the exhaust of the water heater, it's called back drafting.
If you install a carbon monoxide and smoke detector combo down in the new finished rooms, you will sleep better at night.
Not trying to be a gloom and doomer, it's just too many folks die of carbon monoxide poisoning and do not wake up.
Just playin it safe.

hondadrv24 08-01-2008 03:52 PM

sounds like a good plan to me!!!

leroyme 08-02-2008 10:51 AM

Those holes in the wall on the left are the vent holes. On the other side of the wall, there are vents covering the holes. I will keep the proper air circulation in the utility room. Now, why do you say that the utility room can't be next to a bedroom? The utility room is directly next to a bedroom as it is. Granted, it's a HUGE utility room now, but on the other side of that really long wall (just on this side of those holes cut in the drywall) is the downstairs bedroom. I've never heard of this. Are you saying that those vents can't lead to a bedroom? I understand that, but a bedroom and utility room CAN share a wall, right?

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