I have a basement shop that had an unfinished ceiling, where the exposed wires and plumbing were always collecting dust.

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ThriftyTechniqueForCeilings

I have a basement shop that had an unfinished ceiling, where the exposed wires and plumbing were always collecting dust. I wanted to put in a ceiling, but I had three problems-low ceiling height, the need to maintain access to plumbing and electrical, and not a lot of extra money. I began by ripping 1"-wide nailing cleats from scrap lumber and attaching them inside and flush with the bottom edges of the ceiling joists. Then I cut drywall to lie in the space between the joists and dropped the pieces in place on top of the cleats. To minimize cost, you can often find free drywall scraps at construction sites or low-cost damaged pieces at the lumberyard. At the same lumberyard, look for some mismixed high-quality paint that can be had for a song.
—Robert King, Washington, Kan.