To finish or not to finish the drywall


We finished routing the wires for the outlets and lighting in the basement and now am stuck wondering if we should put the drywall up or not.
This is for a basement re-wire job that I recently completed.
I mentioned to my buddy that I intended on putting the ceiling drywall on first, as is recommended, then finishing with the walls. That said, he mentioned that it might be a better idea to leave the ceiling unfinished so as to make other rewiring jobs easier. The thought is that by leaving the ceiling open you could push wires down from the box, through the floorplate and into the basement. From the basement you could then route the wires over to where you need to go. I'm on the fence as I think that routing the wires from the attic would be much easier and would allow me to finally close up the basement into a nice cozy room.
So a couple of questions. Is it vital to put the ceiling on first when drywalling a room? Second, does his argument make sense given that the wires are run from the attic currently?
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I don't think the order (ceiling first or not) is the deciding factor. It depends on a couple things, and I write this as someone who has had to rip ceilings out of the basements in two old houses:
a. do you anticipate needing access to your mechanicals ?
b. is there any dampness ?
Personally I would not drywall a basement ceiling but lots of people do it. If you get all your pipes and ducts and wires how you want them and the basement is dry, sure. It makes that space more valuable on resale if it is viewed as liveable.
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Hmm, I've not seen any evidence of dampness, the actual basement is structured like a room, so having drywall on the ceiling would be a plus.
I don't believe that I'll need access to any mechanicals, there aren't any pipes in that area at all.
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Compromise with a drop ceiling. Best of both worlds.
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Others can address this question, but no matter how or when you cover it, I'd photograph pipes and other breakables in enormous detail before covering them up. Then, print the pictures and stick them in a loose leaf binder with notes, and a drawn map of where the pictures were taken. And, I'm not talking about out of focus, washed out too-much-flash pictures from a cheap ass point & shoot camera. Even if you have to borrow or buy something that actually works, make sure the pictures are good ones.
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Not vital, but it's usually preferable. Tends to reduce cracking at the ceiling/wall join.

It depends. Do you expect to have to change/add anything?
I was all fired up to start putting the ceiling up on our basement, until we started going around the idea of putting in ducting. So, it's being left uncovered.
Secondly, in some areas you'll find that until the ceiling is installed, it's considered "unfinished space". Which may have property tax implications ;-)
--
Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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Ah, so that's why it's done. I couldn't find anything that explained WHY it's done that way.

Not in the forseeable future......:)

I hadn't thought of that, but given the alternatives I'd rather finish it and deal with the tax man. Hell they list my house as 1.5 bath even though there is only a single toilet, sink, and tub and only a single kitchen sink. So I think my house is due for an update anyway.

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Wanna bet?
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Not really, I'm sure I'll lose. But I can't live my life in fear of the consequences either.

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Eigenvector wrote:

I vote for closing in the ceiling. It makes a huge difference in the looks down there. I my case I figured that I would need access to wiring/plumbing, etc. at times but I wanted to close it in. Low ceiling (7 ft) so I couldn't use a drop ceiling. Solution was to use chipboard and pressed board (depended on price when I got to each area). Installed with screws, painted and doesn't look bad at all. Yes, I have had to go back in several times and currently need to go back and reinstall a batch of panels I pulled to trace a circuit.
Harry K
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passion verging on pathos, but with drywall you can't remove it once it's in there. However with plywood or chipboard you can lickety split.
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