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Old 01-07-2013, 09:50 AM   #1
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leveling basement ceiling driving me nuts


Well guess the first question is, what is considered good enough in leveling a basement ceiling with furring to be drywalled?...

that said...

I am TRYING to level a basement ceiling as good as possible before it is drywalled with 5/8" drywall

I furred down the ceiling with 2x material (had to go around a iron pipe that couldn't be moved into the joists)..

I have all the furring up now screwed so I can change it as needed. All 16" O.C.

I have a rotray laser level which is leveled out, then I made a pole device that I can go around and compare positions where it hits on that pole as it touches the furring on the ceiling. kinda like a survayer would do, just on the ceiling instead of the ground... well everything seems ok, but the house has a slight slope to it, probably because the steel beam going down the center of the house has a slight bow due to the weight, but we are talking 1/8" over 10 ft maybe.. the basement area being drywalled is 38 ft wide and 25 ft deep.. so that isn't a horrible slope right?...

well on one end the 2x10 material must be deeper on the ceiling joists... almost all them are like 9 and 1/2" but then you suddenly get one that is 9 11/16" which causes a warp in the furring...

best to cut a groove in the furrning strip to level this out? and not cut the joist?

any better ways to level a ceiling? am I being to critical with the leveling? This is the first time I've ever tried to do this so I'm not sure what is "ok" to ignore, I know 5/8" drywall will hide some of the differences, but like any first timer, not sure what to expect

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Old 01-07-2013, 09:57 AM   #2
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leveling basement ceiling driving me nuts


I just use a piece of brick string pulled tight instead of my lazer.
Set them all to the lowest joist. If there's only one that's low I'd use my eletric planer to trim off the joist.

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Old 01-07-2013, 09:58 AM   #3
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leveling basement ceiling driving me nuts


Identify the low point and shim the rest of the furring down to that point. Since you screwed the furring to the joist it should be easy. Loosen the screw and insert a shim between the joist and the furring, re tighten screw
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:08 AM   #4
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leveling basement ceiling driving me nuts


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I just use a piece of brick string pulled tight instead of my lazer.
Set them all to the lowest joist. If there's only one that's low I'd use my eletric planer to trim off the joist.
I think there is 3 that are the lowest in the whole thing (the ones that are slightly deeper)

leveling even with a 8 ft level and a rotary laser still drives me nuts

was using the rotary one to find the low parts, and using the 8ft level has a "flat" surface to look for waves in the strips and compare them on a diagonal for height differences
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:18 AM   #5
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leveling basement ceiling driving me nuts


Using the string can avarage out the whole ceiling not just a short section of it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:34 AM   #6
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leveling basement ceiling driving me nuts


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Using the string can avarage out the whole ceiling not just a short section of it.
yeah, I'm going to have to try the string method tonight... thankfully bought a spool of the thinner stuff when I put a drop ceiling in that I never used, rotary laser level worked too well on the drop ceiling to need it
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:44 AM   #7
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leveling basement ceiling driving me nuts


Yeah, generally you would find the lowest point, and go from there A good idea to get your furring all level is to drill through holes in the furring and use compressible foam next to the screw. Then with a ratchet and proper bit, you can really dial in exactly level, hard shim and screw for effect. When you hang your drywall ceiling, use two screws together about 3/4 inch apart to gain a great deal more holding power, as the cone of influence is about 6 times that of a single screw.

1/8 inch in 10 ft is not squat.

If you are well into this, Joe has a good idea with a power plane, as 3/16 wont make much difference in structural value. Just need to chisel the ends.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:45 AM   #8
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leveling basement ceiling driving me nuts


If you only have three lower joists then I think I would trim the furring instead of shimming all the rest. Run the furring through a table saw and make it thinner. Quicker than cutting notches at each joist. Stop half way if it extends to the section where no trimming is needed.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:46 PM   #9
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leveling basement ceiling driving me nuts


well.. finally getting this done after some delays.. Iwent back to the rotary laser method... tried a string method but with the way the framing is, didn't work so well

I got the rotary laser going and leveled out, then I took my tape measure and picked random joists around the room measured from the top of the furring down to the laser line, and used it kind of like a plumb bob, let the tape measure hang from its top end and the bottom work as a weight so it self plumbed... then read the measurement... did that randomly, figured out an average distance from the top and that the center of the room was all the same, it was just the ends that where off by +/- 1/4" one end was up, the other was down... 90% of the joists where at the same height... so just shimmed one end, checked it again with the laser and tape measure... marked that joist off as "level" with a check mark... moved on until every one was marked off... other end, had to notch the boards up to 1/4" which took more time... but still faster then taking that side and shimming out everything to match that one part

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