A little framing and drywall in a basement…and homemade board lifter

I recently did some work in a basement room for Gene and Susanne. They had a mostly unfinished basement storage room that they wanted to convert into an office. The first step was to frame some bulkheads in to cover up the plumbing etc. They also wanted a closet framed in one corner, which will get barn doors eventually. It was only a 200 sf room, but with 8.5′ ceilings and lots of corners and angles. Here are some pictures of the closet/bulkhead area:

They painted it and I am waiting to see what they want for flooring before I come back and install baseboards and casings.

Also while boarding the ceiling, I tried a homemade lifter to hold the boards up. I had recently boarded a garage and struggled to hold the boards in place and screw them in — they are “lightweight” but that is still 40-50 lbs. So I screwed together a couple of stands:

Next I slid the board up on top. It was harder than I anticipated due to the tight fit of the room.

Now I just had to lift it 6″, and if I got tired, I could let it fall. (After I did a couple of these I added some blocks to squeeze the sheet in place to make it even easier.). When I was done I took apart the lifters and used the wood for other projects.

Built in Electric Fireplace Surround

Adam asked me to help him build a fireplace surround for his electric fireplace. Basically he just needed the wall extended so he could hide the fireplace in there, and also have it ready to hold a mantle and a TV mount. He was very organized and even had found a blog with instructions.

First I cut out the baseboard and the floor (floating laminate floor–not good to put a heavy wall on a floating floor as then it can’t move and could split or bulge)

Next I framed in the wall, keeping in mind the fireplace dimensions, mantle height, and TV mount/access. I also put a little shelf inside for some of the TV accessories.

Lastly I boarded, taped, and mudded the new wall. I also installed new baseboard. Adam agreed to do the final sanding/painting. When it’s done I hope he will send a picture, and I will post it here!

Edit: Adam sanded the drywall, had it painted, installed the mantle, TV, and fireplace…and sent me this picture!