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Old 01-07-2012, 02:00 PM   #1
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Basement Finishing, Where to start? Ceiling?


Hi,
New to the forum here. Everyone here seems to have great advice from what I have been searching on the forums. Anyway, its my turn to ask for help.

I have a 1918 vintage house that I am currently beginning to finish the basement in. We live in Eastern Iowa. We bought it three years ago from a construction company that renovated it then flipped it.

In the basement, we just had a trench drain installed, using the Basement Systems trench drain. Now I am to the framing stage and I don't know where to begin. I plan on drywalling the ceiling and walls. I have 24" on center floor joists, and they are incredibly uneven. Some of them are notched, I guess from 94 years of abuse. So I read a few threads about "strapping" or "furring strips", something else used to level the ceiling. I currently have 96" of space from concrete floor to bottom of floor joists. I would like to keep as much headroom as possible.
Questions:

1. can I use 1"x material or does it have to be 2x4? The smaller the better since my windows are really high (window frame butted to foundation sill).
2. Perpendicular or parallel to existing floor joists?
3. What spacing for the strips if I go perpendicular?
4. What thickness of drywall should I use?
5. Where the floor joists run parallel to the foundation, I have these spacer joists(pic1). What are they for? Can I use something similar to attach the wall header and ceiling drywall to? As you can see in the second pic someone already took a giant chunk out of one of them.
Pics of basement:






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Old 01-07-2012, 03:26 PM   #2
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Basement Finishing, Where to start? Ceiling?


Looks like the short 2x4's are supporting a pipe. If you stick to sheet rock, I think 5/8" is recommended for that span. Leveling the ceiling is going to be a job and a half. Have you considered installing a suspended ceiling? That would be far easier, and it lets you have access to anything when stink happens.

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Old 01-07-2012, 04:03 PM   #3
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Basement Finishing, Where to start? Ceiling?


hi S Warren, first off you'll want to run furring strips perpendicular to floor joists 1x3 lathing strips can be found at Lowe's or home depot. I've seen them in bundles of ten.

you can run them on 16" centers, but I prefer 12" centers on 2' center joists. that's a lot of nailing above with 2 1/2" nails, personally, I'd rather screw them up. joists spreading 2' can make 1x3 pretty springy in the middle when nailing drywall, I'd suggest screwing drywall also.

drywall on ceiling should be 5/8 to be in code for fire. you may get by with 1/2" on walls? but I'd still go with fire board glued and screwed ever 8-12"

if you want your ceiling to be as level as possible? you must find the lowest point first and work from that point, which may or may not be 96 inches off concrete? the best way to do that is with a laser. my local hardware store rents out a decent self leveling laser for $35.00 a day with $500.00 deposit. I rent mine for $25 a day with $700 deposit as $500 wont replace mine! $700 wont either, but a couple days rental plus deposit will come close.

that one joist with a notch cut out isn't a problem, unless it falls on a joint of drywall? remember to measure and cut drywall! you can offset one furring strip if notch falls on edge? I'd move that electrical conduit to side of joist and turn the box down, leave it below furring strips 1/2" for nice fit with drywall.

when you're ready to start laying out for your walls, search my posts! I posted precise directions on how to layout and get walls square, can't remember what thread name was/is? also when ready to drywall I posted pretty good directions to both hang and finish drywall to thread "suggest good book" now on page two maybe 3 by now?

when you buy furring strips, get a bunch of wedge shims also to shim furring strips to level.

If I can help with anything at all? just give a holler. start new thread for me if needed? I might miss it here!
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:34 PM   #4
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Basement Finishing, Where to start? Ceiling?


Remember you can not drywall over any electricaljunction boxes or water shut off valves.
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:10 PM   #5
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Basement Finishing, Where to start? Ceiling?


I'm just going to guess? this is a no permit no inspection job?

should keep good records of where what is? access panels will work but are a big pain
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:19 PM   #6
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Basement Finishing, Where to start? Ceiling?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jklingel View Post
Looks like the short 2x4's are supporting a pipe. If you stick to sheet rock, I think 5/8" is recommended for that span. Leveling the ceiling is going to be a job and a half. Have you considered installing a suspended ceiling? That would be far easier, and it lets you have access to anything when stink happens.
I am really against a suspended ceiling for my main area. I think it looks cheap and I am fine with cutting the ceiling for any problems I will encounter. At one time I looked into a custom wood lath type suspended ceiling. Then I realized the cost it would take to do something like that. Thanks for the suggestion though.
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:51 PM   #7
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Basement Finishing, Where to start? Ceiling?


Quote:
Originally Posted by coupe View Post
hi S Warren, first off you'll want to run furring strips perpendicular to floor joists 1x3 lathing strips can be found at Lowe's or home depot. I've seen them in bundles of ten.

you can run them on 16" centers, but I prefer 12" centers on 2' center joists. that's a lot of nailing above with 2 1/2" nails, personally, I'd rather screw them up. joists spreading 2' can make 1x3 pretty springy in the middle when nailing drywall, I'd suggest screwing drywall also.
I plan on screwing drywall and furring strips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coupe View Post
drywall on ceiling should be 5/8 to be in code for fire. you may get by with 1/2" on walls? but I'd still go with fire board glued and screwed ever 8-12"
Can you explain this further?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coupe View Post
that one joist with a notch cut out isn't a problem, unless it falls on a joint of drywall? remember to measure and cut drywall! you can offset one furring strip if notch falls on edge? I'd move that electrical conduit to side of joist and turn the box down, leave it below furring strips 1/2" for nice fit with drywall.
I should have explained that the electrical outlets are temporarily attached to the ceiling so I can build walls, they will not be up there when I put a ceiling in.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:22 PM   #8
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Basement Finishing, Where to start? Ceiling?


Posted by coupe
drywall on ceiling should be 5/8 to be in code for fire. you may get by with 1/2" on walls? but I'd still go with fire board glued and screwed ever 8-12"
Can you explain this further

swarren, most local codes will call for 5/8" drywall on basement ceiling. they may allow 1/2" on basement walls? though I personally would opt. for 1/2" fire retardant drwall on basement walls, 1/2" fire retardant drwall is desigated as typeX the paper covering is soaked in fire retardant chemicals, giving it a longer fire resistant time

http://www.onlinetips.org/fire-resistant-drywall
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:27 PM   #9
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Basement Finishing, Where to start? Ceiling?


you'll want to start with the layout.

figure out what you want down there regarding rooms, bathrooms, etc. You may want to update those windows. You may want to put in some egress windows or an egress door. Utility room? I like to have an exterior access to a basement. If possible, lay out the bsmt so you can support your floor joists above as much as possible. Lay out closets so they run perp to the floor joists. Think about an apartment down there and lay it out so there can be a laundry and kitchenette if possible. With an exterior access, this works really well.

When you get your plumbing in the floor done, then you can think about how to heat the area and get those heat runs in place in the ceiling.

I suppose before you start the walls, you'll need to consider how you'll insulate them. I think 2" of extruded polystyrene on the exterior works well. Then you can insulate your studded walls as well.

After you get that all figured out, you can frame your walls. Put a drywall nailer on top of the walls that run parallel to the ceiling joists. This can be a 1x if you are screwing. Nobody nails anymore.

When you have your walls framed, you'll want to finish up the plumbing and electrical. You'll probably spend some time framing in the rect duct work for the furnace.

If you can get some 5' tall windows in down there, this is nice. Build any window wells right into the foundation with footings and concrete walls. This isn't easy after the fact, but it is surely the way to go.

Good luck.

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