LESLIE: Dennis in Virginia needs some help refinishing a basement. What can we do for you today?
DENNIS: I am getting ready to – well, I’ve already built a bedroom and I’ve built a bathroom and I want to finish the rest of the basement. I want to put in more square footage. Would it be best to put in a sheetrock or a drop ceiling?
TOM: Hmm. Well, for square footage, it’s clearly better to do a drywall ceiling. The disadvantage is, of course, you can’t get up there for access to any of the plumbing or electrical work but you’re definitely going to save yourself at least four to six inches, even in the tightest possible scenario, of headroom because the sheetrock can go right up.
Now, you’ve got to take a look, though, at the framing and the piping and the plumbing work because sometimes in basements they let too much of it hang down below the edge of the floor joist and you need to do a little bit of carpentry to cover that up. But definitely, drywalling that
ceiling will give you more headroom.
DENNIS: OK, on the drywalling, how much clearance should there be between the drywall and, say, a water line?
TOM: None. Doesn’t matter. Can go right up against it.
DENNIS: OK, great. Well, that was the main question I needed and that will help me out a lot. And a lot of tips I get off your show have really been helping me a lot.
TOM: OK, Dennis. Well, we’re glad to help out. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Please call back again.