Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation


06:22AM | 12/29/02
Member Since: 12/15/02
10 lifetime posts
i am interested in drywalling the ceiling in my basement. there is currently a drop ceiling in there. i am wondering how you can tell if the floor joists are level enough to put the dry wall up? i know you can eyeball it, but is there anything else i need to do?



08:06AM | 12/29/02
Member Since: 12/23/02
32 lifetime posts
I would recomend leaving the drop ceiling in place and forget about dry walling the ceiling...once you dry wall the ceiling in the basement you could be asking for problems..What if a water pipe begins to leak?or you want to do some electrical wiring in the future?? with a drop ceiling you can fix a pipe easily by just popping out a pannel in the ceiling..The drop ceiling leaves you with more options...hope this was some help for you..


01:06PM | 01/04/03
Member Since: 12/15/02
10 lifetime posts
thanks for the reply. but what i would like to know is what makes the ceiling different than a wall with pipes of electrical in it?


06:31PM | 01/04/03
Member Since: 12/23/02
32 lifetime posts
what makes it difficult, is that most water pipes run through the basement and up to the upstairs along the basement ceiling..all your water that goes to your kitchen , bathroom, to an outside wall faucet all more than likely run through your basement ceiling... im just saying this to save you time and money in the future..not to mention frustration as well...
Lets say you wanted to run new wiring to your living room for a new outlet, if your basement ceiling was dry walled you would have to cut holes and fish the line to where you wanted it..however with a drop ceiling, just pop out a few pannels and its that much easier to do the job...good luck whatever you decide, but im speaking from experience...


11:04AM | 01/11/03
Member Since: 11/14/02
2 lifetime posts
Has anyone considered placing decorative access panels at stategic points around a dry walled ceiling.

I am considering finishing my basement and was think that I could leave access points (covered by an easily removed panel) in spots along the boxed in I beam and some access points directly under the upstairs walls.

I'm still trying to come up with a design that looks good but access to ceiling for inspection, repair and ugrades is very important and drop ceilings look like crap.


05:16AM | 01/12/03
Member Since: 01/07/03
5 lifetime posts
If you decide to put drywall in your basement ceiling, remember that any electrical junction boxes have to remail accessible as will any water valves and gas valves!

Keith Martin

07:06AM | 01/17/03
Member Since: 01/15/03
20 lifetime posts
I assume that you are looking to gain a few inches of headspace in your basement.
Drywall is a good approach. If a pipe leaks, you cut a section of drywall,make the repair. then repair the drywall. No big deal.

As for checking for level, there are a number of methods. Level is not the real issue though, you want the joist to be in plane. The simplest way is to use string. Pull the string across the joists and check for major deviations. If there are sagging joists, you may have to furr the ceiling down in order to even it up.

You DO have to leave access to junction boxes and water valves. Trouble doors are easy to make and can be unobtrusive.

Good Luck



01:09PM | 01/20/03
Member Since: 12/23/02
32 lifetime posts
You say no big deal, just cut out the drywall and replace with a new piece if a pipe were to leak...well actually it's kind of a pain in the ass..first you have to cut out a piece of drywall,then you have to repair the hole,tape the seam you now made,put the drywall compound on, let it dry and sand it ..then finally your gonna have to prime and re paint that section...All this work could have been avoided if a drop ceiling were in place,just pop out the pannel ,fix the pipe and voila , problem fixed!!!


02:49PM | 01/20/03
Member Since: 01/04/04
84 lifetime posts
I agree that drop ceilings don't look very good. I just ripped mine down and hung drywall. I added 3 inches of headroom, but the best part is that it already looks much better. I didn't have a problem with level joists. My home was built in the 70's and all the sheets went up without a problem. Good luck!

Keith Martin

07:43AM | 01/21/03
Member Since: 01/15/03
20 lifetime posts
Mr Me,

I understand your viewpoint, I just disagree.

Try to find a match for a 10 year old ceiling tile, If you do match the pattern will the color be the same?

Agreeing to disagree,



03:30PM | 01/22/03
Member Since: 01/21/03
1 lifetime posts
Lots of good dialogue and opinions here. I've done both and I have to say the drywall option is the best looking...and it doen't feel/look so much like a basement. As far as access; I used simple metal airvents-like a cold air return for critical access points. Painted to match the ceiling they look very natural and unobtrusive. I also take photos with key dimensions written in bold marker and keep them on file in case I ever have to get into something, I'm not punching out good drywall to find the turn-off or HVAC shunt valve.


05:34PM | 01/22/03
Member Since: 01/21/03
3 lifetime posts
Yes, unfortunately, dropped ceilings don't cut it here in Atlanta. I would suggest getting a digital camera and taking a zillion pictures. Doesn't cost anything and you can burn a CD with the images. Also I ran fishing line up and down the joists in case I had to pull wires. Using heating grills for access is a great idea!


07:16AM | 02/12/03
Member Since: 01/13/03
25 lifetime posts
No sense beating the horse more but drywall is really the way to go. Pipes run in ceilings between the first and second floor all the time. You'll appreciate the value of the drywall personally and when you sell the house. I also like the idea of using vents for access.


01:39PM | 02/12/03
Member Since: 11/25/02
11 lifetime posts
Spray the whole ceiling flat black.Install can lights,and everything above your head is invisible.

Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply choose button


Post new button or Login button