Drywalling a basement, Outlets and Bulkheads.
Hi guys, I hope this is the right place for this, I didn't see a drywall specific forum.
So I will be soon doing some drywalling in a friends basement, Theres a good chance the ceiling will need to be done with drywall due to it's low height.
I'm a competent guy, and have done a decent amount of drywalling before, but Ive never done a complete ceiling before and one of the problems I'm not sure how to solve correctly is some low hanging ductwork as you can see in the pictures.
How do I go about building a bulkhead around it, that doesn't look out of place?
Secondly, I will need to add some outlets to a couple of the rooms in the basement, the outer walls are covered with vapor barrier and I'm not really sure how to go about sealing up the barrier around the outlet box.
I'd really appreciate the input from people who do this far more often than I :)
Let's get the order right, firstly you look at the wiring for the whole basement. You can buy plastic shields to put the box in, You have to cut it to allow the wire in and you seal the hole. this shield has a flange you can tape the poly to with that red tuk tape.
For the drops around the pipe, there are a few concerns.
1 fire stopping
If there were a fire in the wall below this box we don't want it to get inside the box.
If there were a fire in this box we want to starve it from air where ever we can.
You can do this in a few ways. Solid blocking between the studs at the height or just below the box. Or dry wall the wall before you build the box. There are always pipes in the way, just do your reasonable best.
Some people build a wall on the floor with short studs and nail that up in front of the duct and nail a 2x to the wall and put blocking between the drop and the 2x on the wall.
We find it easier to level by building in place. We nail a 2x to the wall level about 2" below duct and a 2x about 2" from the duct on the sealing. If our drop is 12" we hang a 7/16" or better plywood or osb from the ceiling 2x. we cut the plywood to about 11 1/2" add a 2x2 to the bottom of that level to the 2x on the wall and then a blocks between about 24" on center.
Either way you want to run a string line on the drop so you can block it nice and straight.
Some kind of insulation tucked around pipes dosn't hurt.
The height should be as high as you can get but your min height should be 80" just like a door.
As for the look, just because the pipe stops over the window you dont stop the box there but you do want to fire stop it at the end of the run.
Some times you can make a room look better by adding more boxes ei; all the way around. this should be a aproved by the check writer before you start.
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You don't say what the ceiling height (to joists) is now. Looking at that ceiling, all the duct work, pipes strapped to joists, etc, I wonder if it wouldn't be better off with a dropped ceiling. with a dry wall ceiling if something goes wrong it's a mess to get to it. With a dropped ceiling you just pop out a tile.
Drywall basement ceiling
I cna't tell you how many times I hear that "if you drywall your basment ceiling and you have a problem, it's hard to get to it".....but look at the difference between a drywalled ceiling and a drop ceiling!
I've done three basements in my time, and the last two I've used drywall on the ceilings. I take video before I start, taking accurate measurements and talking them into the video, so if I do need to open up somewhere, I know just where to go, but that's never happened. In my opinion, there is nothing that screams "Hey you're in my basement!" louder than a drop ceiling.
Regarding the bulkheads, you are basically going to build a ladder out of 2x4 or 2x2 stock. Make it a half to an inch bigger (lower) than the duct work, level it out, and nail it up to the joists along side the duct. Using a level, mark a line parallel to the bottom of this ladder along the wall, and nail up a 2x4 or 2x2 to mirror your ladder. Then simply add 2x cross pieces to complete your boxed in bulkhead. There are plenty of videos on youtube, and most of the home repair sites as well.
Good luck, and do use drywall, you'll love the way it brings the basement living area in line with the rest of the house. It's a design thing that I really feel pulls the whole area together.
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