Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Complex Closet - Done. Dropped Framed Ceiling-- Done.

Well, it's been a week since we finished up the master bathroom/laundry room closet. We wanted to start there because we felt it would be easier to drop the whole ceiling with the center of the room hinged firmly to the ceiling joists. I think we were right. I just can't imagine trying to lift all of those wood sections without something to hold them in place.... ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself: the closet.

First of all, which wall to square it off of? Well, Hubs made the decision to parallel the South of the closet wall off of the South bathroom wall. So far so good, but then we kinda ran with it and squared all of the other closet sections off of that. Probably not the best of ideas.

As I've said many times, "Closets are the perfect place to hide all of your f**kups." So when squaring off the North side of the closet, next time I'd recommend paralleling that side of the closet wall to the North room wall instead of the South. It's off a fraction, and most likely never noticed, but I'LL know.

Anyway, getting all of the sections to be square, plumb, level, and parallel was an absolute feat.
None of them are any of the above, of course, but the compromises made in the teeniest of degrees and millimeters will no doubt be lost in drywall. It looks just fine.

It took two days. The first day was building all of the sections and dry fitting them, the second day was installation day. The first was physically grueling, the second one made my brain collapse. Luckily, the hubby survived.

An interesting note: We've gotten to the point that we can measure and cut sections of lumber to within 1/32" of any needed fit. This means that we rarely need any shims, but frequently find a sledgehammer of use. After the closet was built, we started int he dropped ceiling framing, and lifting these sections into place and not having to hold them up while they are leveled and nail gunned into place was a life saver.

Here's what we ended up with:
Doesn't look too impressive, does it? I know. Weird how much planning and work goes into something I'm just going to hide the cat letter box in, anyway.

I wish there was a way I could take a picture and show the whole framing, but when the ceilings are 10' high, I'd have to back up too far, and all you'd see is the Sea of Lumber. So here's the bottom sections.

First is from the bathroom side of the closet (Facing North) the second is facing South, from inside the closet/laundry area.

What you can't see in the second picture is the doorway and wall section connecting the closet to the bathroom wall to the East wall of the bathroom, and the doorway into the hallway.
There's a lot of interconnections going on here.

The third picture is the top of the closet with the drop-cut out to fit around the HVAC ductwork on both the north and south sections of the closet, and as you can see, we've already installed the dropped/framed ceiling in the laundry room, which was pretty easy, actually.

Now the dropped/framed ceiling in the laundry room:

Find the lowest level of the duct work. Frankly, I just climbed the ladder and looked around. I took the 4' level with me to make sure it was indeed the lowest section in the area and market that level on the wall.


The all caps yelling is because I know some... ahem, who have thought, "Okay, we'll put it (whatever thing you're trying to build) up *there* (raising your eyes to some area unreachable ether above your head) but I'll take the measurements on the *FLOOR* where I can get straight lines and more accurate measurements."

So, no. Don't do that.

Walls slope. No 10' long 2x4 is going to be perfectly plumb, and certainly not a whole wall of them. It'll be close, but when you're cutting within 1/32", you need to measure exactly where you'll be setting your whatnot lumber extravaganza (or in this case, 'a ceiling"). Get up on the ladder and do it right the first time.

We built the laundry room ceiling in two sections, east and west, then raised them up, squeezed them into place delicately with a sledgehammer, leveled then nailed it in place, using the closet just built as an additional nailing surface.

Welcome to the Sea of Lumber.

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