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Old 01-27-2013, 12:20 PM   #1
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The Home Improvement Thread

Could have sworn we had this a while ago, but I couldn't find the thread to save my life, so here goes:

My wife and I finally decided to move into town to be closer to work. Bought a really nice spec home with a large unfinished basement. I want to make it the ultimate man-cave and split off a side room to be a workout room. My dad (who works at the local home improvement place that's basically a high-end Lowe's) can get contractor prices on all materials and can do most of the work to finish off the basement.

He's insisting we go with a drop-ceiling because if we had plumbing problems later in life, we'd have to tear out a piece of the ceiling. I REALLY don't like the look of a drop ceiling and can see ourselves spending a lot of time in our basement when it's finished and don't want to feel like I'm staying in an office building.

Does anyone have any advice about cost or pros/cons of both a drop ceiling and a Sheetrock ceiling? The only variables are that my dad and I will do the floors and walls.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:10 AM   #2
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Re: The Home Improvement Thread

They do make a lot of nice drop tiles that don't look like an office building. He has a good point about accessibility to the plumbing.

My finished basement has drywall on the ceiling and it does look better. It's a choice of how much risk you want to take. How old is your plumbing and what kind? Have you ever had an issue with it?

If I HAD to do a suspended ceiling, I'd go with something like this:
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:23 AM   #3
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Re: The Home Improvement Thread

I mean does your house have drop ceilings anywhere else? You're just as likely to have plumbing problems elsewhere. Not sure I get the point unless there is some reason that the basement would be more likely to have a plumbing issue. Sheet rock it like everyone and everywhere else.

How high is the ceiling? What height would it be after dropping it?
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:55 AM   #4
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Re: The Home Improvement Thread

That is another consideration because the ceiling will be a foot to a foot-and-a-half lower with the drop ceiling.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:55 AM   #5
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Re: The Home Improvement Thread

An alternative is to run the plumbing below the sheet rock. Run it tight to the ceiling and paint it. Yes, it breaks up the aesthetic, but not as much as you would think. Hell, it's a basement, even if finished.

I am with you, however, I hate drop ceilings. I have refinished two basements myself and put up sheetrock each time. Not the same situtation entirely b/c, in one, I had enough room to leave a crawl space for access and still have 9' ceilings. In the other, I had no choice but to run the sheetrock right on top of the rafters and leave the plumbing exposed. Like I said, I just painted it and now I don't really even notice it. CRed's seen it (hell, he helped me put it up).

The difference with the basement as opposed to other plumbing in the house is that basements tend to be where the majority of the plumbing is and where it runs horizontally through the house. It then just shoots a vertical to the kitchen or bathrooms (which are usually stacked on the main waste pipe). If the pipes are in good shape (should be since it's a new home), you're probably fine.

One issue I have had is that the pipes occasionally sweat in humid weather. Since they are exposed, I simply dry them off when they do so. If they were covered, it would be an issue.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:04 AM   #6
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Re: The Home Improvement Thread

Drop cieling is probably more expensive then dry wall. Its really not that big of a deal to cut a section out of the drywall to repair a pipe then repair the drywall. I'd give the pluming a good inspection prior to doing the drywall you may want to use those steal plates where plumbing and wiring is run.

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Old 01-28-2013, 11:47 AM   #7
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Re: The Home Improvement Thread

Drop ceiling is always the cheapest way to go unless you bought some really high end tiles.

With that drop ceiling suck. They look ok for the first few years then they just start looking like poop.

Picking dry wall over a drop ceiling is always the way to go if your budget allows it.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:55 AM   #8
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Re: The Home Improvement Thread

I would definitely prefer the drywall over a dropped ceiling.


Here are a few places you might visit.

https://www.google.com/search?q=shee...8&pf=p&pdl=300
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:01 PM   #9
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Re: The Home Improvement Thread

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Originally Posted by NC_Skins View Post
I would definitely prefer the drywall over a dropped ceiling.


Here are a few places you might visit.

https://www.google.com/search?q=shee...8&pf=p&pdl=300

Wow lots of folks on those boards say sheet rock is cheaper. Never know. Unless they are saying it as a DIY. I think materials are cheaper sheetrock wise but you get burned on the labor.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:06 PM   #10
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Re: The Home Improvement Thread

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Wow lots of folks on those boards say sheet rock is cheaper. Never know. Unless they are saying it as a DIY. I think materials are cheaper sheetrock wise but you get burned on the labor.
DIY: Drywall will be cheaper than the dropped ceiling.


Paid services: Possibly the drywall will cost more, by not even sure about that to be honest.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:48 PM   #11
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Re: The Home Improvement Thread

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Wow lots of folks on those boards say sheet rock is cheaper. Never know. Unless they are saying it as a DIY. I think materials are cheaper sheetrock wise but you get burned on the labor.
No way. The labor involved in putting up a proper drop ceiling is definitely more than sheet rock.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:51 PM   #12
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Re: The Home Improvement Thread

Maintenace is also more on a drop, When the tiles get dirty you replace them at $4 a pop. Sheet rock you paint with a $25 gallon of paint.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:54 PM   #13
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Re: The Home Improvement Thread

The only place I'd ever use a drop is in a place where is provided some actual functional value. Offices, rooms with constructed ceilings heights that are not conducive to the primary function, etc...
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:54 PM   #14
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Re: The Home Improvement Thread

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No way. The labor involved in putting up a proper drop ceiling is definitely more than sheet rock.
I think you may be wrong. Drywall is pretty time consuming.

The Advantage of a Suspended Ceiling vs. Drywall
Of all the DIY projects you complete for your home, remodeling a room is the most rewarding. All the while you’re working on it, you imagine the beautiful room that is evolving under your creative direction and energies. If your project list includes a ceiling treatment, you may be wondering whether to install a suspended ceiling or a drywall ceiling. There are a number of good reasons DIYers choose suspended ceilings. Let’s look at a few.
With a suspended, or “drop,” ceiling, a grid of metal hangs by wires from the ceiling support beams. With the suspension system in place, you simply drop lightweight tiles or panels into each cell of the grid. Suspended ceilings come in a kit, pre-finished, and ready to install with common household tools. The critical part of the installation is leveling your suspended ceiling. A laser level takes only a few minutes to set up and will easily determine precise height measurements.
From start to finish, more physical work goes into a drywall ceiling vs. a suspended ceiling. Drywall sheets average about 60 lbs. and hoisting them up to the ceiling requires two sets of sturdy arms or a drywall lift. After the drywall is attached to the ceiling beams, there is still a lot of finishing work to do, including covering screw heads, sanding and painting.
You can complete a suspended ceiling installation in a weekend. Drywall will take longer due to extended drying and sanding times. As any enthusiastic DIYer knows, time is always of the essence in a remodeling project!
The biggest advantage suspended ceilings have over drywall is that you have easy access to plumbing, cable and electrical wiring and duct work – all of which can be smartly tucked above the grid. Also, if any maintenance issues arise, you simply remove a ceiling tile. If a tile gets damaged, it’s easy to replace it. Any damage done to drywall means tearing down the affected sheet and replacing it with a new one . . . and more prep, sanding and painting.
When it comes to inspiring design, drywall will leave you high and dry, while suspended ceiling options offer unique sizes and styles, like beautiful coffered panels and classic tin looks that can add flair, dimension and warmth to your space. Suspended ceiling tiles also come in paintable white so you can color coordinate the tiles with your walls and floors.
When investing your time and effort in a ceiling remodeling project, you’ll get a better return and beautiful looks by choosing a suspended ceiling.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:06 PM   #15
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Re: The Home Improvement Thread

I agree hanging dry wall as a DIY project is not easy and a drop ceiling would be alot easier but more expensive. I have done my share of dry wall and found that the ceiling is much harder then the walls.
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