It shouldn't be this tough. I mean, it's a closet. But it's a freestanding closet that needs to be built before we can drop the rest of the ceiling, and it needs to coincide with the new HVAC ductwork running above the bathroom/laundry. (laundry north, bath to the south)
The duct work comes down about 10" from the joists on the East side of the room and covers the entire span from the North side all the way to the South side of the room, so we have to build the closet frames with 'cutout' areas.
We also have to build all three sides separately. The long wall (the North side- pink, green and blue panels in the plan below) will likely need to be built in three sections, because the extension of the closet to the West is the framing for the doorway into this laundry area.
The other two sections, the east (yellow) and the south wall (bottom blue), shouldn't be too much trouble as they'll both be one piece wall units... but sheesh, the North wall's gonna be a b*tch, particularly because of where the adjoining pieces connect. The first is in the middle of the closet door, so that needs reinforced.
I'm thinking we build the door frame area first, then the wanky ductwork wall, then fill the spaces in between with what we've been calling "ladders". This way we can put the easiest piece in last and make sure it fits on both sides.
Oh, yeah, the floor's not level either. It slopes to the east, so we're making sure the closet door opening will have to be measured particularly well, and capped on the underside of the top opening with an additional 2x4 so we can shim it to ensure it's level. This entails making the closet door opening an additional 1.5" tall to start with, but I think the additional bracing will be helpful in joining our various walls together as well.
If this sounds confusing, imagine what it feels like in my head. Then we get to figure out how to frame in & drop the ceiling to match the ductwork height.
This last picture is looking through the South framing wall of the bathroom toward the North.
Day-After Notes from Mark: H is really like this. She draws out everything given a chance. It actually really helps keep us on the same page. We discovered one wrinkle, however. That drawing is about 3.5" off on the hallway to the west of the closet. Basically, we're not going to be able to run that North wall as one continuous span from east to west. We're going to have to build out the door jam 3.5" north. A clumsy miscalculation while framing weeks back now requires and elegant bit of problem solving.
A few walls are built and leaning up out of the way. We ought to be able to finish this one today or tomorrow. We'll get pics up of the "elegant solution" when it's up.