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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have never done drwall, so this will be an interesting challange. As I understand, you should start by installing the drywall on the ceiling first. I want to do my ceiling last in my basement HT for the following reasons.


1. The top plate of my 2x4 walls is attached to the joists above. However, I do have some pipes running perpendicular (i.e. under) to the joists, and I will have to use 2x2 funning strips to lower the ceiling around these pipes. So, once I do this and install the drywall, I will no longer have access to the top plate on the walls in which to secure drywall. So, walls first, RIGHT?


2. Once I finish the basement, I will need to rewire the family room above. No ceiling will help.


3. I have not picked out my front projector yet. So, I don't know the throw distances yet and therefore where to place electrical and mounts and other stuff.


So, when these reasons, I assume it would make more sense to leave the ceiling drywall for last.


Does this make sense? Why do you normally want to do the drywall first?


Thanks,

- Hal
 

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You can do it, it will just be a little more of a pain. I strongly recomend that you rent a drywall jack as it makes things a lot easier.


Pat
 

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I agree with Pat, while you can do it you won't be getting the extra support the sheets on the wall will give to the ceiling and while it doesn't seem like much it can stop the ceiling for sagging. But you could also put more fasteners in the drywall, adding a bit more work to your taping and mudding. So it's sort of a trade off.


And definitely rent the drywall jack. You can do the whole job by yourself with ease.


Just my 2 cents. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. I am definitely planning on using one of those drywall lifters. I used one when building a ceiling with 3/4" OSB around my ductwork. It would have been impossible without a drywall jack.


From my point of view, the major advantage of putting the ceiling in first, is that you don't have to worry about bumping the wall with the drywall jack. Is there another reason?


Regards,

Hal
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oops. Crossed posts. OK, that makes sense. The drywall on the wall gives added support. I will use adhesive and screws when putting up the drywall, so I hope to not have sagging problems.


Thanks again.

- Hal
 

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It's an absolute bear to get the wall/ceiling line right if you do the ceiling last. With all your issues I'd think about a suspended ceiling or crown molding only if the height for a suspended ceiling isn't there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, the only Bears I like play in Soldier Field. (I'm an ex-Chicagoan and just watched a thrilling 2-1 Cub loss).


I originally was going to do a suspended ceiling with ceiling tiles, but after spending time on the forum and considering that my ceiling to joist height is only 7'4" in the basement, I decided to switch to a drywall ceiling. I definitely would like to contain the sound in the basement as much as possible.


How does one get around the issue of the top plate being too high to support the drywall for the walls? I guess I screwed up by framing the walls first. I should have first lowered the ceiling and framed to top plates to the lowered ceiling. Oh well.....


Regards,

Hal
 

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Hi, Hal.


I'm not sure that you *need* to screw into the header rail. I know my drywall isn't screwed to the header rail. You should have more than enough support by just screwing to the wall studs.


If you're doing 2 layers, then you really want to stagger the layers too - ie: 1 ceiling layer, then 1 wall layer, then ceiling layer 2, then the last wall layer. As you do this, it becomes harder and harder to screw into the studs at the drywall edges anyway. I wouldn't even worry about screwing in to the header stud unless you have easy access to that.


Maybe I'm not envisioning your situation right, though...


Also, solve all your wiring and plumbing routing problems before you start drywalling anything. Before you put up your first sheet of drywall, you should understand how things are going to go together with the drywall - and you should have framed / dropped everything already.


- Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Pete for the reply. I guess I am worrying to much about screwing into the header plate.


One reason why this situtation is so goofy, (besides the header plate worries) is that I am moving the HT stuff from the family room above the basement, down to the new finished basement. I am still going to have a smaller HT setup in the family room, but the room will be oriented completely different than it is now. I can't really wire that room until I get everything out because of massive furniture items that are in the way. So, I want to do this as quick as possible. But as time factors go, getting the drywall up on the wall first does not really save much time, especially since I am planning on double drywall and should stagger them as you mentioned.


I guess I am letting the tail wag the dog on this one.


Regards,

- Hal


P.S. I am doing crown molding, but not all the way up the wall to cover the corner seams. It will be a tray to hold rope light.
 

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A book I have "Drywall - Pro Tips for hanging and finishing" describes one Pro tip for avoiding cracks where the ceiling meets the walls. Don't fasten either within 8 inches of corner. Let the edge of the ceiling "float" for that last 8 inches and let the walls support the floating ceiling. Similarly don't fasten (nail or screw) the walls within 8 inches of the top of the ceiling. Finish the corner normally. They say that normal house settlement will not stress these corner joints as much, therefore less cracks.


So the top plate really does not come in to play with this method.
 

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Hal,


I've been in your shoes! I also had to put up furring strips because of a few water pipes running perpendicular to the joists. On the bright side, you can use the opportunity to level the ceiling with shims between the furring strips and joists. I had to shim the area with the pipes so got away with using 1x3. Could have used 1x2 but wanted more area/leeway for the drywall joints so hence the 1x3, it's less prone to split also. By attaching your drywall to the furring strips, instead of directly to the joists, you are significantly reducing the area of physical contact between the drywall ceiling and the floor above (assuming you run the furring strips perpendicular to the joists), and as a result sound transmission is reduced. You should also have lots of room to fill the area between the joists with insulation, just keep about 8" around all light fixtures clear to prevent them from overheating.


I was also worried about no header rail to screw in the drywall, but as others have mentioned, you don't need it. Anyway, you want to do the ceiling last. I did most of my ceiling first with screws only, but part of it I did last with screws and glue. Compared to the walls, I spaced the screws closer together on the entire ceiling. It's been finished for 3 years now and it all looks great. I believe Pat is right when he says it's a bear to get the ceiling/wall line right if you do the ceiling last, but IMO plastering and sanding drwall is ALL a bear from start to finish anyway. So I say do the ceiling last if that's what you want to do.


IMO
 

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Another thought....Looks like either way you will be using furring strips. You may already know this, but just in case... use some glue and angle the nails in - "criss cross" them in pairs in opposite directions. Don't want the drywall to come down with the furring strips!
 

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I used drywall clips where the ceiling meets the wall. They work great to anchor the drywall so you don't get cracks at the wall-ceiling joint.
 
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