Once we settled on our ideal basement layout and finalized the bedroom and bathroom configuration, the framing plans were pretty straight-forward. One area we paid special attention too was the soffits. Basements routinely end up with lots of soffits and awkward angles on the ceiling to accommodate duct work. As we worked through the details with our contractor, we tried to push for limiting or simplifying soffit work as much as possible. I’ll walk you through the framing and show you what I mean.
Before the concrete work was even complete, the contractor started framing the interior walls. The family room is one expansive space with little framing, except on the far foundation wall. The window wall was already framed and insulated.
This room called for some relatively large soffits to accommodate duct work. The soffit makes a large L-shape wrapping the outside of the room. To accommodate all the duct work and make the soffit aesthetically pleasing, the soffit is 4 feet wide all the way around. It may be hard to tell in the pictures, but we are extremely fortunate with the height in our basement. The area under the soffit is still 8 feet tall from floor to soffit. The areas without the soffit are 9 feet tall. With the height and all the windows it hardly feels like a basement.
As you look down the line of the soffit from the family room and mudroom into the bedroom beyond, you’ll notice the soffit narrows in the bedroom. The duct work is narrower in the bedroom, so we asked the contractor to minimize the width of the soffit. To keep everything simple the soffit run outside the bedroom continues at 4 feet wide up to the bedroom wall, even though the duct work ends before that. Then in the bedroom the narrower soffit starts. This was super important. If the soffit was not reduced in the bedroom, the overhead light in that room would not be centered.
The bedroom closet was also framed out. One of the reconfigured pipes will be concealed within the back wall of the closet. There will be an access panel in the back of the closet to get to the pipe.
To the left of the closet near the ceiling there was some additional plumbing, which required a very narrow soffit. I must say this one was not on the basement plans and it caught me by surprise when I was taking pictures of the process. Thankfully it is as unobtrusive as possible. I have been considering floor to ceiling bookshelves in this area. I guess now they will go floor to soffit. Maybe I can add molding to dress the soffit up like giant crown molding on top of the bookshelves.
There was just a little framing required around the future doorway to the utility room. In the playroom next door there are a bunch of ceiling obstructions. We asked the contractor to frame a drop ceiling at 8 feet high in that room instead of having multiple soffits in such a small space. The exercise room in the back has full 9 feet ceilings.
The last area I gave special attention to in the planning phase, was the nook area. There is a larger header that runs across the front of the nook. The soffit from the family room runs right in front of the header. The contractor originally planned to just continue the soffit into the nook. I asked them to retain the ceiling height at 9 feet within the nook.
I thought having the ceiling pop back up would give an almost turret feel to the space. Since this space will house the game table, I asked them to install a fixture on the nook ceiling to allow me to mount a pendant light over the table. I plan to do something fun with this little triangle of ceiling.
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