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Solfe
2013-Apr-21, 06:36 PM
I have a basement remodeling question. want to repurpose part of my basement for more everyday use. There is no room for a drop ceiling and I don't like the look of title ceilings anyway. I would rather see the rafters, but I want to neaten them up.

Right now, the ceiling is bare and I can see these X shape pieces of wood between the rafters.

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Some of them are split and cracked, while others are crooked. None of them line up. I actually like the look of these pieces, But I don't know what their purpose is.

Can I replace them with new ones? I actually want to place more of them than I have now, to make a pattern. Do these provide support to the rafters or was this something in place to keep the rafters in place during construction?

neilzero
2013-Apr-21, 07:06 PM
Likely most of them are doing nothing useful, but why take a chance? You can likely instal some new ones before you remove the old ones that don't appear to be under stress, so the new ones are providing strength, as you remove old ones. Neil

PetersCreek
2013-Apr-21, 07:06 PM
What you're looking at is joist (not rafter) bridging. They help distribute floor loading to other joists and control twisting and warping of long joists. I think replacing them for aesthetic reasons will be a pain in the neck. Since they're installed before the subfloor, the upper ends of the bracing are nailed from the top.

I dislike most drop ceilings too but an embossed tin ceiling might be nice if it suits your style. If it were me, though, I would apply tongue & groove planking directly to the bottom of the joists. It goes up quicker than a drop ceiling and can be finished in a variety of ways, from light to dark and rustic to refined.

Solfe
2013-Apr-21, 07:47 PM
Hum... if they are providing support perhaps adding some where they are cracked is a good idea. It does sound like a pain, but just adding a few shouldn't kill me. I don't think I will touch the ones that are in place even if they are in poor shape. That is begging for trouble. Glad I asked.

Then I can look to the tin or planking. I really like this idea.

PetersCreek
2013-Apr-21, 09:09 PM
An idea just occurred to me. Does the floor above your basement have any squeaks? If so, now would be the time to locate and shim those spots, before you close off access to the subfloor.

Taeolas
2013-Apr-22, 12:39 PM
Also as you work on the ceiling, remember that all junction boxes need to be exposed/accessable. So look at what you might be covering up, and if there are any junction boxes, make sure you can access them somehow (either with a removable tile or some other method.

Solfe
2013-Apr-22, 02:05 PM
I love that show. I would totally hire that guy to fix my house if I could afford it. I have a lot of goofy stuff, like a square shaped hallway off the kitchen. One corner gives access to the kitchen while the four walls give access to 6 doors for the bedrooms, two closets and a bathroom. Try to picture 4 walls with 6 doors. It is ugly.

I am going to have to work on the electrical before covering anything in the basement. My house is a mess. I have three circuits in the kitchen... each one is also connected to living room and dining room. That is totally not code, in fact, I imagine it wasn't code when the house was built. At least isn't isn't as bad as the house with low voltage switches (just the switches, not the lights or plugs) and control boxes. That was a real mess.

Since I have a central steel beam running the length of the house, it will need to be covered. I was thinking of making a "faux beam box" around it so that all of the electrical could be covered by something easily removed. I would do the same "faux beam" around the perimeter so everything matched. Lighting down there is going to be strange. I haven't figured out what to do should I use tin or planking. That was way I was thinking of just leaving the ceiling bare. But I really like the look of the planking and the tin.

Since we are taking basements, the posts that support the steel beam are all over the place. I can see that they were spaced with a particular style in mind, but without walls, they look all crazy and random. I have their measurements in a cad program so should I add walls, I will just make sure the design matches their placement. It isn't what I would like, but no way am I touching them.

Jim
2013-Apr-22, 02:19 PM
What's a "basement?"

Trebuchet
2013-Apr-22, 02:43 PM
I'm a pretty big fan of Mike Holmes as well, although I cringe every time I watch one of his shows, knowing I could easily have some of those defects in my own house am unaware of it. What I'm NOT a fan of is that the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries is running PSA's with him warning people about bad contractors. That's fine, except that it seems like they should have hired someone from the state. He's not even from the same country. Oh well.

Solfe
2013-Apr-22, 05:14 PM
What's a "basement?"

It's the place where we consume beer and play games while it snows. It is somewhat like a storm cellar, but without the protective qualities. It can double as a laundromat or exercise equipment removal staging area.

I like to play D&D in mine.

Nicolas
2013-Apr-22, 05:24 PM
Mine is only 1m high (for ventilation and piping only). I removed 3x1m of its ceiling in the garage. Great for working on cars. :)

Solfe
2013-Apr-22, 05:31 PM
Mine is only 1m high (for ventilation and piping only). I removed 3x1m of its ceiling in the garage. Great for working on cars. :)

Like a pit? That would be great for working on cars.

PetersCreek
2013-Apr-22, 05:33 PM
It's the place where we consume beer and play games while it snows. [...] I like to play D&D in mine.

That, my friend, is not a basement. The official, technical term is "man cave"...and I'm envious.

Taeolas
2013-Apr-22, 05:39 PM
I'm a pretty big fan of Mike Holmes as well, although I cringe every time I watch one of his shows, knowing I could easily have some of those defects in my own house am unaware of it. What I'm NOT a fan of is that the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries is running PSA's with him warning people about bad contractors. That's fine, except that it seems like they should have hired someone from the state. He's not even from the same country. Oh well.


I believe his current series airing in the States is Holmes Inspection, where he covers the risks and results of bad inspections, so that might be part of the reason they're airing PSA's. Considering he's a well known personality in the Home Improvement biz, and the advice he gives is usually location independent, the PSA's probably aren't a bad idea. Granted some of his advice may be location specific (especially when it comes to insulation standards and such), but he usually is careful to point out to check local regulations, and most is no brainer stuff. (Try to be present at the inspection, point out anything that seems fishy, about the inspector or the house, make sure they're as thorough as they can, within reason; they can't punch holes or tear up flooring, etc...)

Back to the OP, one of the big things about a basement reno I've been seeing lately is something another Canuck Home guy's been touting alot about (Bryan Baulmer), the underflooring tiles that you can use on the concrete of a basement and hten put a finished floor on top of it. They allow drainage, keep the break between wood and concrete and seem to be very easy to install. Wish we'd had that available back when we did my parent's basement a few decades ago now.

Trebuchet
2013-Apr-22, 07:21 PM
Mine is only 1m high (for ventilation and piping only). I removed 3x1m of its ceiling in the garage. Great for working on cars. :)

Over here that's referred to as a "crawl space". Home to multitudinous spiders and things. Having the lube pit in the garage does sound very handy, I'm rather surprised the crawl space extends under the garage however.

Solfe
2013-Apr-22, 07:29 PM
My garage is heated, but is too small for any of my cars to fit in. My Saturn was too wide, the van too tall and the Mercury too long. I call it a junk collection point now. It also has no basement.

NEOWatcher
2013-Apr-22, 07:41 PM
My Saturn was too wide...
Did you try it without its rings, or even remove the rings altogether?

Nicolas
2013-Apr-23, 07:07 AM
It's an in-house garage, and the entire house has a crawl space. The idea of having the 3x1m hole in the floor is a lube pit indeed. Well, wrench pit, as lubing isn't allowed at home. :) The only disadvantage compared to real workshops: if your pit is shorter than your car, it does take some planning to have access into/out of the pit and the car above the pit when required. Still, anything beats jack stands. This makes the car hobby so much nicer.

SeanF
2013-Apr-23, 01:45 PM
Over here that's referred to as a "crawl space". Home to multitudinous spiders and things. Having the lube pit in the garage does sound very handy, I'm rather surprised the crawl space extends under the garage however.
We actually have a full basement that extends under the garage. The realtor called it a "core floor," but I've never heard that term before. The walls and ceiling are all reinforced concrete, of course. It's not really livable space (it is wired for electricity, but there are no ventilation ducts, so no heating or cooling, and no windows), but it's great for storage.

Trebuchet
2013-Apr-23, 02:58 PM
It's an in-house garage, and the entire house has a crawl space. The idea of having the 3x1m hole in the floor is a lube pit indeed. Well, wrench pit, as lubing isn't allowed at home. :) The only disadvantage compared to real workshops: if your pit is shorter than your car, it does take some planning to have access into/out of the pit and the car above the pit when required. Still, anything beats jack stands. This makes the car hobby so much nicer.

I'd be inclined to put a floor and walls in that pit, just to keep the creepie-crawlies from coming in. But perhaps you don't have an issue with that anyway. I assume you keep a piece of plywood or something over the pit when you're not using it.

tashirosgt
2013-Apr-25, 03:45 AM
Solfe,

There are metal braces that are designed to function as the bridging between floor joists. You might like the look of the metal better than the look of the wood bridging and the metal bridging is easier to install. The purpose of the braces is to keep the floor joists from twisting. To the extent that it ties the joists together, it somewhat keeps one from sagging below the others, but I don't think it does very much in that regard.

The problem with putting a ceiling in your basement is that future repair work would mean you have to open up parts of the ceiling. This is why tile ceilings are popular. People just push out the tiles. When a tile ceiling is damaged by a plumbing leak, people just replace the tiles instead of the whole ceiling.

From your photo, you have a nice looking subfloor compared the usual situation where the pointed ends of nails are sticking through it.