Building the cellar ceiling

So, I’ve finally got all four walls in place and I’m ready to put in the ceiling.  “Wait!”, you say… “Why are you building a ceiling?! Isn’t this cellar in your basement?  Isn’t the bottom of the floor your ceiling?”  Unfortunately, for several reasons, the answer is no.

The biggest issue is that there’s just too much “stuff” running along the existing ceiling that I don’t want to deal with…. water pipes, furnace exhaust, duct work, electrical etc.

Above cellar ceiling

I certainly can’t have all that stuff running THROUGH my cellar.  Imagine the havoc that a hot water pipe would wreak on temp control.  I suppose I could try to move all of those utilities out of my way, but it would be a TON of work.  And really, I just don’t think there’s a need to move them…. I don’t need (or want) an 8 foot ceiling in my cellar, so it’s just as easy to put a new false ceiling on top of my cellar, but below all the pipes.

Above ceiling with highlight

Secondarily, this “false” ceiling approach has insulating benefits. By building this secondary ceiling, I can achieve far more separation between the cellar and the warmer air upstairs.  I’ll end up with 8 inches of insulation AND around another 20 inches of open air space above that.

So, there you have it…. I’m putting in a ceiling.

Now, how to get the damn thing up there?  At first, I planned to just build the whole ceiling as one big assembly on the floor and then lift it into place and attach it.  However, since the size of the floor is obviously the same as the size of the ceiling, the ceiling would have taken up the entire floor… literally the whole floor from wall to wall, every single inch.  Thus, I would have had no way to get to the outside of the ceiling assembly in order to nail it together.

So, I resorted to building the ceiling in modules in the garage and then mounting each module to the ceiling individually.  Here are some pics of the process.


Maybe it’s easier to see in this pic where the individual ceiling modules are highlighted in different colors.

Ceiling with all highlights

Done!  Ceiling in.  Time to insulate…

Click here to see all of the Cellar Build posts.

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