I finished the framing for the bulkhead and cut the largest sheet the other day. I installed about half of the sheets of plywood for the bulkhead so now you can start to see what the ceiling height will be like in that area. I have to cut all the sheets outside as there is not enough room in the basement to lay down a full sized sheet of ply.

Plywood on bulkhead. Yes, it will be primed and painted the same as the rest of the ceiling.

Besides, it really creates a dust storm and I want to keep the amount of dust to a minimum in the house. Except when I tape and sand the drywall, it will be very dusty anyway. I will likely tape off the basement and shut off the furnace.
I got this new sanding head which fits on the end of your shopvac so that, in theory, the dust gets contained there. We’ll see how well it works.
So I have to finish cutting the plywood for the rest of the duct bulkhead and also build the cabinet to enclose the electrical panel which will be challenging since there are several water supply pipes, the gas line and a tie-in to the vent stack (from the basement bathroom) to contend with. It also has to be a maximum of 35″ wide to fit the module of the built-ins which are being made and will be assembled after the carpet is installed.