Frame lower ceiling

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Old 03-16-14, 08:00 PM
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Frame lower ceiling

I am remodeling my basement and have 9' walls down there (of course the rest of the house is 8'...lol).

Given some mechanicals and other considerations, I'd like to drop part of the room it to 8' -- one side of the center support beam.

Any thoughts on the best way to do this? The area is 12.5' x 18'. One way would be to make a ledger with joist hangers, but that would require running 18' since the center beam is at the smaller dimension (nothing to hang a joist hanger there). I think that is too far.

I have also seen the metal systems that you can attach drywall to. But I was hoping to make another soffit around the lower ceiling. And I have no experience with any of them (or any idea where to even get one).
 
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Old 03-16-14, 09:52 PM
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Most people use a hung ceiling with the 4x2 panels. Why do you want to install a permanent ceiling, considering that you may need access, to pipes & other things?
 
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Old 03-17-14, 05:10 AM
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Yes, we have considered a drop ceiling, but we are definitely going the finished ceiling route. Creating access panels will be easy. All shut offs are located in areas that will be unfinished.

Another way I thought of last night would be to make mini "walls": 2x4 top and bottom plates with 9" "studs". Attach these parallel to the existing joists. Could that work? Would I need "lookouts" like I do on a soffit?
 
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Old 03-17-14, 06:08 AM
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Just for info...why not keep the 9' ceilings? You can box around the beam, making it a non- focal point. No additional framing. That is unless you have pipes, etc hanging down below joists.
 
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Old 03-17-14, 08:38 AM
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Chandler -- We could just box and make a soffit. However, we got a designer to lay out the basement, and we really like the look he created.

The soffit would have taken up about almost half of one "room" of the basement (one side of the beam). It has to be about 11" to cover the main drain, a large forced air duct, and the beam itself.

So it would have given us an odd look. Instead, he lowered the whole ceiling to that level. He then also created a soffit around the perimeter of that (kind of like a tray ceiling).
 
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Old 03-17-14, 03:50 PM
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Chris, I personally prefer the Drop Ceiling for a basement and have made my two basement finishes look much better than any drywalled ceiling by using 2x2 tiles, high end finished tiles & crown moulding along the walls instead of the plain metal edging. Again, you can make it look really good and still have access and more head room. I also beleive taking out 11 - 12" of head room for the entire finished section of the basement would be a mistake. That extra foot really opens up a room.

But if you are dead set on doing the lowered ceiling & using drywall. Go cross-ways (across the 12.5' section). Hopefully the drywall is not installed on the walls, then you can just tie into each wall stud on either end of the room. You can get 14" lumber, but probably be straighter to use metal studs at 16" intervals. Then come down from the floor joists with a support piece (sort of like a cripple) at every 4' mark (that would mean 3 across that span), being sure to use a level the entire time, both long ways & side-to-side. I would use metal studs for their strightness & they will not warp, but use 2x4 scraps as the mid-room cripples. Use screws not nails & use screws when attaching to the metal studs. You may need extra support around light fixtures, but overall once all is tied in together with drywall it will be sturdy enough.

Good luck. Maybe suggest to your designer to change it to allow for the higher head room with a soffit around the lower obsticles & see what they come up with. Mike
 
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Old 03-17-14, 05:48 PM
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I appreciate the feedback. I attached a few pictures to show the current state of the basement and the CAD design. They are all taken facing the same way to show the issue.

Mike -- That is similar to what I was thinking. You are thinking of using 2x4 scabs to attach metal ceiling to the joists, right? Running perpendicular to the joists would be the 18' dimension, but that is doable. And I would have a wall on each side (parallel to the joists I only have a beam).

I think style is "to each his own"...definitely seen a lot of great looking places with nice tiles, but this is what we liked...
 
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Old 03-17-14, 06:42 PM
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After seeing the pics, I agree with Chandler.
 
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Old 03-17-14, 08:19 PM
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Pulpo -- I think I might be starting to agree with Chandler too. Especially since no one seems to have any experience with it -- makes me think it's not a good idea. I'll move one or two pipes that are outside of the pics. Probably easier than making a whole other intricate thing just to drop the ceiling.

But if anyone has any ideas, I'd definitely still be curious.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 03:41 PM
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Chris, the designer drawings do look good & would make a nice living area down there. You can go the soffit route like Chandler indicated & still keep most of the design features such as the arches & crown mouldings. It requires more detail work, but detail work is what makes what would otherwise be a drab basement into a nice enjoyable area. Good luck with it, let us know how it comes out. Mike
 
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Old 03-20-14, 05:07 AM
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Drywall suspended ceiling system would be good for this application. Maybe check with a drywall supply yard for a few smaller firms that frame with steel studs and they would understand exactly what to do. The materials are not expensive nor are they difficult to work with. For a novice though I can understand that it might be a little intimidating. I use them frequently to straighten ceilings in some of the old structures we work in.
 
 

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