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A Home Improvement Project - Your Basement Ceilings

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

If you are a home owner lucky enough to have a nice dry stand up sized basement under your house, you will no doubt get around to thinking about finishing all or part of it off. Floors, walls and ceilings all need for decisions to be made before rushing out to buy materials.

Floor improvement starts with what you have to start with. Walls are pretty much a standard of framing out the room or rooms and then drywall (gypsum board) and all that that entails. The ceilings are where you have some range in choices as far as difficulty and cost are concerned. It is an easy decision to let the drywall contractor just do the ceiling along with the walls.

If you are doing it yourself remember that sheet rocking a wall is a whole different animal than doing a ceiling. It is more labor intensive to start with and should be screwed in rather than nailed. The real decision maker here is what is going to be above the ceiling and under your main house floor. If you are dealing with a basic modern contractor-built stick house, the basement ceiling is probably a patch work of wiring, water and sewer pipes, heat and air condition ducts. That means that anytime you have to deal with broken pipes under the house, you will probably be ripping out and then replacing the sheet rock/drywall ceiling. Not going to happen to you, OK lucky place your bets now. Maybe the kids are in need of their own TV or satellite cable wire or new telephone line. You could drill a hole in the side of the house but chances are it will be neater to bring the wiring into an existing portal and then up through the floor to their room. Oops, there is that messy drywall to contend with. How about the new 220 volt dryer you want to install to replace the old gas dryer. You could run the wire on the outside of the wall or ceiling but that will look ugly and probably will not pass code.

It is starting to sound like a suspended or dropped ceiling is your new best friend. They might cost a bit more for the initial installation but the freedom of access to that great causeway of pipes and wires will be well worth it. If you are a do-it-yourself kind of guy than the cost factor equals out. And if a pipe should break or leak or something new needs to be installed from the garage cable entrance way to the far bedroom it will be a simple matter of replacing a few wet tiles after the leak is fixed or just lifting a few tiles up and out of the way while you run that new telephone wire to your daughter's bedroom.

The other plus factor is the decorative aspect of a dropped or suspended ceiling. The frame work that holds up ceiling tiles as well as the tiles themselves come in various colors and textures. Even light fixtures for dropped ceilings can be bought in complete ready to drop in versions. The only requirement is a tall basement ceiling and the need for a cleaner comfortable living space.

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