I needed to move my office into our home, but didn't have any existing rooms that I could use. So I decided to create a basement office. 

Our basement was raw concrete walls and floor, but we had painted the floor previously with a concrete paint. The kids primarily used the space as a playroom. It was a lot messier than this before I took the picture.

First, I built a wall to separate the two areas of the basement. One was for my office, the other would remain a play area. I bought a French door at Home Depot on clearance for $150. We put in a few outlets and added some track lights. (My youngest son was my biggest helper.)

We hung the drywall, patched the screw holes, then sealed the basement walls with waterproofing paint.

After painting all the walls, we painted the basement floor again. We installed the French doors and added casing trim. 

At this point we were finished enough for me to move in.  We hadn't done anything with the ceiling and kept it open to the rafters. We left the electrical box and cable box exposed. My wife added the plants, the mirror below the window and the curtains to make it feel like I was not in a dungeon. Up to this point we spent around $2,000 on supplies. This included: paint, drywall, screws, lighting (which you will see below) area rug, etc. We had all the furniture from our prior office. (I couldn't possibly build an office and then have strength to assemble Ikea furniture!)

After working in the space for a while, I noticed a problem with noise when the kids were home because the kitchen is right above the office. When I was trying to be professional on conference calls, it was simply too loud. That means I had to tackle... sound proofing the ceiling. 

We looked at a drywall ceiling, but I didn't feel like I was handy enough to make a smooth ceiling. And if I ever wanted to run more electrical wire, it wouldn't be easy. We then looked at a drop ceiling. We saw some nice panels, but boy they are expensive, and it just didn't seem right. 

After looking for ideas on home improvement sites and Pinterest we started to see walls made from pallets. Then we investigated pallet ceilings. Thus our new creation was formed.

Here is the before photo (top left). Then we added insulation for more soundproofing. I'm not really sure if the insulation helped a whole lot. If I had to do it over I'd probably leave it out.
The beginningadded insulation

In order to get the pallets, I simply asked the managers at local stores and businesses if I could have their extra pallets. Everyone said yes! I just had to haul them away. (FYI, 6 pallets fit in a minivan.) Once we had the pallets, I cut the tops off with a Sawzall (around $20 at Harbor Freight). I used several tools to see what would be easier to dismantle the pallets and the Sawzall, for me, was the best. The Sawzall blades were the biggest expense after the insulation. I think I used 30 or so blades. Most of that was my fault as I bought the variety pack of blades and thought the blades for wood would cut through metal nails - who knew they couldn't. I went through about 40 pallets but only used about 32 pallets of wood. Some boards either didn't fit, were broken, or looked like they had bugs.  

The pallets (We used about 32 total)Took apart each pallet

Once the boards were cut apart, we sprayed them with bug killer then cleaned and scrubbed them and topped it off with more bug killer. At this point I read several places that some people sanded the boards. I didn't see a point in that for me since it was on a ceiling and didn't need to be super smooth. The picture below was only about 20% of the total boards we used. We did this in stages getting six or so pallets at a time. Take apart, clean, hang - take apart, clean, hang - take apart...you get the idea.

More scrubbingThe partial inventory (about 20%)

I received several sheets of sound deadening material that was scrap from a local business. They were cut wrong for their use, but fine for mine. In any case, they were another freebie! If the insulation didn't help with the sound proofing, this surely did. My wife and I conducted a scientific experiment with the level of noises. We sent our kids up to the kitchen to yell, stomp and scream as loud as they could before anything was in the ceiling, then with the insulation, then with the black sound deadening material. In all instances they were really loud but it definitely went down a few decibels with the black material installed.

On to..... hanging of the boards. Each pallet was a little different, so once I had the pieces leaning on the wall I would sort according to width. I would hold several up and try to mix and match the boards according to length and color. I nailed the boards up with a nail gun ($20 at Harbor Freight) and small compressor ($40 Harbor Freight).

Used soundproofing (black material)

I butted the boards up to the water and gas pipes, then slid the boards under the duct work. All the extra boards I didn't use I took to the local mulching yard. The cost for the ceiling project, including the nail gun, compressor, nails, blades and insulation was $260.


The total basement office space redo cost us $2,260. This included paint for all the basement walls and floor – not just in the office area.

email me if you have specific questions or ideas to finish the electrical and cable boxes : nivlagcode at gmail dot com.