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Hanging sheetrock over uneven garage ceiling

I just moved into my first house a few months ago and I am in the process of setting up the garage as my workshop. When I moved into the house the garage was completely unfinished and (obviously) neglected by the previous owner. I have started hanging sheetrock on the walls, but I have no idea what to do for my very uneven ceiling.

Saying the ceiling is uneven is really an understatement...the plumber and electrician that worked on this house were just plain lazy! I have two fire sprinklers in the garage and both of the lines are just nailed off to the bottom of the joists (even though there was plenty of room to run between them). There are drain lines that are done the same way (instead of running them between the joists) and most of the wiring/data/cable in the garage is just stapled off to what ever was close by.

I plan on rerouting most of the wiring/data/cable wires, but rerouting the plumbing will be more trouble than it's worth. It looks like I could clear most of the plumbing and wiring by adding furring strips to the joists and attaching the drywall to that, but I'm not sure if that is the best way. I also not sure to do about the back portion of the garage where the drain lines are...I could frame up something around the drains to hang sheetrock on, or I could put a suspended ceiling in the back 1/3 of the garage.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Re: Hanging sheetrock over uneven garage ceiling

Is the garage attached or deteached? If it is attached I'd go with sheet rock in the rear 3rd framing it out and such. I don't know of any drop ceiling panels that are firerated and the drop ceiling in general probably compromises much of any fire rating.

The furing strips are what I would do for the rest of the ceiling if you aren't going to move the plumbing, though depending it should be easy enough to move the pipes. Cut the pipes where they come down to run along the joists, add a couple of 45 or 90 degree bends as you need them to get the pipe up among the joists and then run the existing pipe on the inside instead of the outside and use something like a 2x2 block periodically to brace and strap the pipe to the joist (to make it easier to do the solder joints).

A. Spruce
Re: Hanging sheetrock over uneven garage ceiling

From your description, adding furring strips and boxing the drain line then hanging rock sounds like the route to go. I'd fur out any joist you have access to the bottom edge, and install a "sister" of 1x4 along the side of those where plumbing is in the way. When you hang the rock, use fasteners that are long enough to go through the furring and at least 3/4" into the joist.

Lastly, you should always hang the ceiling first because the wall rock help support the ceiling rock between joists.

Hank Bauer
Re: Hanging sheetrock over uneven garage ceiling

You may look at Resilient ceiling channels these will correct for small defects in uneven ceilings.
If you can't use these channels than use the USG drywall grid system and attach the runners to joist with metal strapping screwed to joist than screw runners to straps this will leave you with a level ceiling no requirement to relocate anything that is above the lowest point of existing construction.

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