I'm finishing a small basement office and I'm almost ready to put up drywall. I've been dragging my feet on fixing one issue. There are pipes running along the floor joists to the kitchen sink. The pipe branches off and under the joist and then feeds an outside spigot. Is my best bet to frame something to drop the ceiling down a bit and then put in an access panel? I don't want to lose too much space there because that's where the window is. Or should I move the split back out of the office so that it doesn't dip under the joist in the office space?

Are there any other solutions that would be easy? Any drawbacks of moving that split further back so it's out of the office space?

Picture of the issue


2 Answers 2


I can't think of a reason to install an access panel.

And while the drywall probably be pretty straightforward (can't see the greater context to be sure), moving the tee back (I'm assuming that's "toward the light" in your pic) or spinning the tee 180 and then going through a hole in the middle of the joist would be vastly preferable in my opinion. (Capsule summary of "hole through joist" rules: no holes in the 2" strip top and bottom; the hole cannot be larger than one-third the depth of the joist. Use the smallest hole necessary. Confirm with your local authorities if needed.)

I'm sure you know this already, but I'll mention it for other readers: don't put a notch in the bottom of the joist.

Side note, you'll need to shim the horizontal 2x4 where the stud meets when you drywall. (Bottom middle of the pic.) You'll be able to find handy cardboard drywall shims at the big box. (Though unfortunately, they're usually sold in massive quantities.)

  • Thanks a lot for your help. I haven't moved it yet, but I'm going to drill a hole in the joist and run it through there. It will drive me nuts if frame around it.
    – nickfinity
    Feb 24, 2015 at 15:57

If you're not afraid of plumbing, move it. If you're not confident in your plumbing abilities, frame around it.

  • Excellent advice. I haven't done much plumbing, but I'm willing to try anything at least once.
    – nickfinity
    Feb 24, 2015 at 15:59

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