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-   -   Leveling a ceiling in an unfinished basement - I'm TOTALLY lost and confused... (http://www.diychatroom.com/f14/leveling-ceiling-unfinished-basement-im-totally-lost-confused-98338/)

mensrea 03-14-2011 11:08 AM

Leveling a ceiling in an unfinished basement - I'm TOTALLY lost and confused...
 
Hi Everyone! I'm new to the forum, and only stumbled upon the site while googling for a solution to the many problems I have come across while finishing my basement.

To be completely forthright, I am neither a carpenter nor plumber nor electrician... However, I am eager to learn and hope I can get a push in the right direction.

Here is my situation. I own a 2-family home - and am in the process of finishing the basement. I gutted and plumbed out my side of the 2-family, and that wasn't too to bad, but, the basement is proving a lot more challenging. I currently have the ceiling torn out walls exposed down to the studs. Now that the ceiling is down, I'm realizing that the joists are uneven and are going to require a lot of work to level.

Since the ceiling is down, I want to re-route the plumbing (hot & cold 1/2" pex) through the joists. A contractor I talked to suggested that I get a 2x6x8, and sister the joists (he made reference to 4 feet here). My take away from that meeting was that it would be OK for me to drill 2 3/4" holes through the joists and attach a 4 foot section of the 2x6x8 centered around the holes I drilled through. Am I over thinking this - or do I really just need to do the above and attach the joist such that the bottom of it is leveled to the lowest point the joists hang in that room?

Many thanks!

Jackofall1 03-14-2011 11:13 AM

Not sure why you would want a 2-3/4" hole but here is a good guide as to what size holes you can do.

Edit - Sorry file size exceeded allowable 100KB

But heres the site - http://arch.umd.edu/Tech/Structural_..._Guide_A11.pdf

Mark

mensrea 03-14-2011 11:56 AM

Thanks Mark!

Sorry my original post wasn't clear. What I meant was, since I'm taking a 1/2" copper pipe (cold) and 1/2" copper pipe (hot) and want to run them through the joists, everthing I have read says to make the holes 1/4" larger than the required pipe/pex.

Any idea if I need to use bolts to secure the 4 foot section of sistered joist?

Jackofall1 03-14-2011 11:59 AM

Now the question is, why are you sistering joists? because of the holes you are putting in for piping? If so this is not necessary.

As for leveling, run strapping perpendicular to the joists, shimming where required, of course you will have to find your lowest point and work from that point.

Mark

handy andy 03-14-2011 03:52 PM

Need clarification!
 
There are several points that I don't understand.

1. When you say the joists are uneven, do you mean that some sag lower than others? If this is the case, is your floor above uneven? Correcting this is far different than getting a level level ceiling. You would generally sister the joists to increase the stiffness of the floor above or compensate for wealness in the joists. For example, I have seen 2" by 8" joists with a span over 8 feet. This will probably hold up the floor, but put a large loaded refrigerator over the middle of the span and it will sag over time.

2. You refer to both copper and pex piping. Which do you plan to use? In any case, the easiest way to reroute the water piping will be to run it below the joists, then strap them for the ceiling. Of course, with this method, you have to be careful to not screw your ceiling into a water pipe. That is a no no!

pyper 03-15-2011 11:46 AM

If the only problem you are trying to correct is uneven joists (i.e., because they are rough cut and randomly sized like in my house), then the easiest solution will be to run 1x3 furring strips across the joists.

Find the low point and shim everything down to match. If you use screws, you can easily adjust the height of the strips individually as necessary.

If the joists are out by more than an inch, then you can use 1x3 strips in the lowest spots, and 2x2 (or even 2x4) in the higher.

kcremodeling 03-15-2011 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mensrea (Post 609045)
Hi Everyone! I'm new to the forum, and only stumbled upon the site while googling for a solution to the many problems I have come across while finishing my basement.

To be completely forthright, I am neither a carpenter nor plumber nor electrician... However, I am eager to learn and hope I can get a push in the right direction.

Here is my situation. I own a 2-family home - and am in the process of finishing the basement. I gutted and plumbed out my side of the 2-family, and that wasn't too to bad, but, the basement is proving a lot more challenging. I currently have the ceiling torn out walls exposed down to the studs. Now that the ceiling is down, I'm realizing that the joists are uneven and are going to require a lot of work to level.

Since the ceiling is down, I want to re-route the plumbing (hot & cold 1/2" pex) through the joists. A contractor I talked to suggested that I get a 2x6x8, and sister the joists (he made reference to 4 feet here). My take away from that meeting was that it would be OK for me to drill 2 3/4" holes through the joists and attach a 4 foot section of the 2x6x8 centered around the holes I drilled through. Am I over thinking this - or do I really just need to do the above and attach the joist such that the bottom of it is leveled to the lowest point the joists hang in that room?

Many thanks!


So you had a contractor to come out to give you a free estimate, only to pick his brain and execute his ideas yourself?

rubberhead 03-15-2011 11:07 PM

buy or rent a good quality laser level that throws 360 degrees. Using 2x3 or 2x4 you can sister to the existing joists and use the laser as a reference to the lowest spot of the joists. Drop all the new sisters to the same height (according to the laser level).

JordanPHI 03-21-2011 11:05 PM

Level the ceiling with metal studs and cut holes or notch them with tin snips I just did this in my century home. It was extremely easy and quick.
http://www.finehomebuilding.com/PDF/Free/021158084.pdf

Keith Mathewson 03-21-2011 11:17 PM

I get the same reading on this as kcremodeling.

williamwiens 03-22-2011 06:14 AM

rc channel...(resilient channel) is what you need.

sistering the joist just to drop the ceiling a bit is too much work and money. Plus, how would you ensure that the sistered wood would end up level?

drill your hole for the pex high enough in the joists so yhat your screws don't hit it. There is a min, look it up...


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