Drywall is done!!!
I can't tell you what a good feeling it is to have the drywall done. It feels like a major weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. In fact, I feel like I've been so focused on prepping and planning everything for drywall that I haven't even had time to think about what comes after it (i.e. riser, stage, can light install, all the other fun stuff). Now that it's done I feel like I can finally focus on the other stuff and start seriously picking paint and decoration themes, which has given me an odd kind of exuberance and second wind.
Drywall is really the first thing that was subbed out so far, and boy am I happy that I did it, but things did get off to a rough start with the missed delivery date. The second day was not much better unfortunately. The delivery did come on time and the supply place guys hand carried the 58 4x10 5/8" sheets down the stairs. I got the impression they don't have to deal with stairs all that often around here, but I didn't hear many complaints. I did feel bad for them though so gave them a decent tip. The rep from the company then showed up and we walked the job. The windows were a particular concern for me because of this weird lip on the shell holding the window. The company estimator originally told me they'd just fur it up and then sheetrock to the window, which would give me a finished look similar to what was upstairs. The rep tried telling me that wasn't in the estimate and we bantered back and forth a bit and i ultimately caved to have them shim it up and use 5/8 osb to support that final layer of drywall. This worked for me because my priorities were a) both sides of the basement finished the same way, b) 2 layers of material so I could use some green glue and c) as much of an airtight tunnel to the window as possible.
The company rep got a call while we were talking from his crew chief saying he'd be an hour late, but the hangers should be there shortly. The crew chief finally shows up, walks the job, then leaves and no one hears from him. The company apparently couldn't get a hold of him either (not sure if they were just lying to me). One hanger showed up at 11 and started working on the small closet areas. I got the impression that the crew chief wasn't coming back, so the one hanger called in a 'friend', which was basically just another body to hold the other side of the sheet. That guy finally arrived around 3pm and all three of us started working on the theater ceiling. Wife was leaving at 5pm so I had to watch the kids and I didn't want them working in the theater without my oversight, so we only finished maybe 80% of the theater ceiling. I felt pretty stressed and rushed because I had this prebuilt soffit sitting on the floor waiting for install once the back ceiling/wall was finished. I had already taken 2 days off work and hadn't even had time to install the soffit yet. The silver lining of not getting started until later is that it gave me a chance to really caulk the windows in the theater area. After they were shimmed up, there was a significant 1/2" or so gap all the way around the window.
The next day, I had to go back to work, but luckily I can work from home, so the hangers came back at 6am and we worked on the theater from 6am to 10am to finish it up. At this point I'm digging in the bottom of the green glue bucket and everything is sticky and gross. I'm ready for a nap, but had to go to work. At least I had the confidence that the walls and ceiling had great coverage. Later that night I had some help over to put the soffit up. I had my FIL help me prebuild the soffit from his last visit, so we ended up building it slightly different then what is recommended. Because the soffitt was kind of a last minute decision, I didn't read the soffit construction manual until the first layer of OSB was installed. Once I read it, I saw the part where it says that an extra channel and additional clips are needed to support the weight of the soffit. My joists were already 24" on center so this concerned me greatly. So we ended up building it as more of a header where a good portion of the weight is on the side walls. Using OSB for the first layer has already paid off in more ways then one.
Luckily the next few days went smoother. The next morning I installed insulation and some wiring in the soffit so they could close it up. I still need to figure out how I'm going to use it for lighting, if at all. More on that in future posts. At that point I was happy to get the heck out of the basement and let them finish the rest of the job. Tape, mud, texture, sanding. Everything looks pretty good now.
On the bad side, given the open stair case design, quite a bit of dust made its way upstairs, despite a plastic barrier. I went a splurged on some filtrete filters, which do seem to help. Also made a purchase of a Hepa filter and drywall pickup bags for the shop vac. Additionally, sound carries incredibly well now between the upstairs and downstairs. Certainly the theater and office will improve with fixtures and carpet, but it's making me a little weary of putting tile down there in the center area which is open to the stairs.
Here are some pics:
Looking into the theater
Towards back, note the soffit for duct work
Up close soffit