Basment Family/HT room build thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 64 Old 11-18-2009, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I've always wanted a room that was purposed for HT, inwall wiring etc. After years of wanting and a few of planning, I have finally started my build. This has been a slow process, I actually started Sept. 08 when I bought my first ten 2 x 4's.

Certainly not on the grand scale as many builds here but, a true DIY effort. I didn't have a lump sum budget and have been spending on average about $75/month on materials and tools. The theater is 12'-3" wide by 22' long with an 8 foot tray ceiling and 7" soffits. It will initially be a 7.2 surround set up but also wired for 9.2.

The room is finally reaching a point were it is worth showing. Here are some current pictures of the stairs and back wall.







I'm working my way around the room and have been struggling on a decision about were to place the larger of two subwoofers. It measures about 26" deep by 24" tall and 24" wide. I'm hoping to install it recessed in the front wall were the fireplace jog is. Here is an image of what I'm thinking. Im open to suggestions on the best way to do this.



The plan right now is to install additional lighting, finish the A/V and network wiring, HVAC and have the sheetrock completed by January 1, 2010

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Basement HT/Family Room | Status: 11.24.2010: 95% Complete, Working on trim and details
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post #2 of 64 Old 11-18-2009, 09:29 AM
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Congrats on finally beginning to make your dream a reality! I don't have any first hand experience with in-wall subs so I'll leave comments on that to others.

Do you have a plan that you can share for what you are aiming for with this space?

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post #3 of 64 Old 11-26-2009, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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The space will be used as a family room and an HT area for movies and video games. We wanted a room that was focused for HT but, would blend with the rest of the house and be easily used for many purposes. Our current family needs made a more dedicated HT impractical.

Here is a quick, rough floor plan of what is being done with approximate speaker locations for wiring purposes.



We already have most of the furniture and all of the HT gear from a previous set up in another house. So this room has been somewhat planned around this with an eye towards being able to upgrade.

This past week I've spent a lot of hours running electric, A/V, Network and Telephone wiring, insulating and putting up sheetrock. Updated pictures to come.

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Basement HT/Family Room | Status: 11.24.2010: 95% Complete, Working on trim and details
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post #4 of 64 Old 11-26-2009, 06:29 PM
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Dude, I had to log in to say that is a crap ton of screws in that drywall. I only say that because I am in the middle of mud and tape on my basement. Luckily, it looks like they are located where tape or trim will go.
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post #5 of 64 Old 11-27-2009, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, A lot of screws. As I work my way around the room im using less and less.

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Basement HT/Family Room | Status: 11.24.2010: 95% Complete, Working on trim and details
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post #6 of 64 Old 11-29-2009, 08:42 AM
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Your forum name is very appropriate for the adventure you are undertaking. These builds are truly moneypits! Congrats on getting to the point of taking pictures, however we here love all types of construction photos. Keep up the great work and continued good luck during your build. If you have set a budget be prepared to go over! 8-)

Regards,

RTROSE

My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
Enjoying my "almost done" theater.
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post #7 of 64 Old 12-05-2009, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I've spent most of this last week investigating HVAC solutions. I thought I was talked into a minisplit solution even though I was thinking it might be too much for what I needed. After waiting five weeks for a written quote from the HVAC guy, I started looking for alternatives. I spoke to a few people, mostly friends of friends who do HVAC, and all suggested adding one or two registers from my existing supply trunk and qouted about 10% of the minisplit install verbal quote. This is very attractive as the lower cost can keep me on a shortened schedule.

A benefit is that all three suggested it could be a DIY job and one even loaned the required tools. After shopping around Im finding it difficult to source what I drew on paper and think I'll need to revise my plans.

Im told I'll need about 350 CFM for my roughly 12' x 21' x 8' basement room. Based on what's available at Homedepot locally, I plan on using (2) 6" dia. flexducts feeding two 6 x 10ceiling registers. Hopefully Im on the right track. The flexducts will be kept short, each one will be less than 3' long and will have a damper at the supply take off and the vent.

Sheetrock is hung on all the walls over R-13 insulation and vapor barrier, all the receptacles and lights are wired on dedicated circuits and are working. I hung my first piece of sheetrock on the ceiling just this afternoon.

I've also been running electric, lighting, network and phone to other locations in the basement for the planned office and playroom as I go.

Im in the process of downloading pictures and resizing them so, Hopefully they will be up soon.

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Basement HT/Family Room | Status: 11.24.2010: 95% Complete, Working on trim and details
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post #8 of 64 Old 12-05-2009, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are some pictures of the progress.

Side wall going up

Insulation



Vapor barrier



Sheetrock



The front wall going through the same process with all the necessary wiring. I reframed the wall to accept the flush subwoofer. The subwoofer is sitting on pressure treated lumber feet and 2 x 4 frame. I'm using a anti-vibration matt under it and beside it that is typically used with industrial equipment. Im hoping this will keep the wall shaking to a minimum. I'm also placing 150 lbs of pool sand on top of the subwoofer to keep it from moving. For those interested, it is an 8 cu. ft. sealed box with a Maelstrom driver from Adire and Parts Express 250 watt amp.

Front wall before subwoofer pocket



With the subwoofer pocket framed and wires run You can see the extra 2x 8's I nailed in place for a plasma mount



The opening to the right of the subwoofer will be covered with the speaker grill and used for access to the sub and in-wall/thru-wall wiring. It also keeps me to code with the subwoofer power. The speaker grill will have a piece of foam insulation sized for the door.



Insulation



and Sheetrock



Here is a picture before the soffit lighting



and with eight 4" diam recessed lights to be on a dimmer.



Thats it for now. Next step is the HVAC over the next week and then finish the ceiling before Jan 1.

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Basement HT/Family Room | Status: 11.24.2010: 95% Complete, Working on trim and details
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post #9 of 64 Old 12-05-2009, 04:55 PM
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Dude.

Congrats! That's some serious progress!

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post #10 of 64 Old 12-05-2009, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanesian View Post

Dude.

Congrats! That's some serious progress!

Yup! What he said. Great progress! You should call this the progressing at the speed of light theater build!

Regards,

RTROSE

My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
Enjoying my "almost done" theater.
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post #11 of 64 Old 12-07-2009, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I just spent Friday, Saturday, Sunday and part of today (Monday) chasing down the HVAC components. Seems like no one stocks everthing that is needed to complete an installation from Take off to Register for a given size. It took a trip to three different Home Depots and two different Lowes stores. I hope the install goes smoother and takes less time.

With the delays on the HVAC, I cleaned out the space that will become an office and getting ready to construct the last of two walls required there. I'm hoping to sheet rock and start mudding this office the same time as the HT/Family room.

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Basement HT/Family Room | Status: 11.24.2010: 95% Complete, Working on trim and details
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post #12 of 64 Old 12-07-2009, 11:48 PM
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Hello,

Good work you have done. Really awesome idea, planning for the work. And great thought of design the basement..


Regards,
Olivia
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post #13 of 64 Old 12-08-2009, 04:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the posittive comments. Its been tough getting to this point but, I can finally see the finish line.

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Basement HT/Family Room | Status: 11.24.2010: 95% Complete, Working on trim and details
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post #14 of 64 Old 12-17-2009, 10:31 AM
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Looks great. I wish I can do something like that. I live in a stupid apartment and I feel guilty when I raise the volume in fear that one of my neighbors will complain. I can't imagine how it would be to be able to raise the decibles as much as I can without a complaint or worry. Especially at the beginning of Terminator Salvation.

Rich
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post #15 of 64 Old 12-24-2009, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Some unexpected delays but, I have decide on having a professional complete the required HVAC installation and optimazation. This will be done the second week of January. Until then, things will slow down in this room a bit.

In the meantime, I am spending my time on the office area and have nearly completed the electric and network wiring.

Hopefully I'll have some great updates the middle of January.

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Basement HT/Family Room | Status: 11.24.2010: 95% Complete, Working on trim and details
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post #16 of 64 Old 01-05-2010, 08:44 PM
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very nice progress. Sign me up for updates.
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post #17 of 64 Old 01-06-2010, 07:08 AM
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i have the same jog for my fireplace, so tag
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post #18 of 64 Old 01-06-2010, 08:07 AM
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Looking good. Just remember that when you tie into the existing lines, the sound will travel into and out of the theater through them. That's one of the big benefits of the mini-split system.

Bryan

I am serious...and don't call me Shirley.
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post #19 of 64 Old 01-09-2010, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
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While I wait for the HVAC, I've pretty much finished the electrical for the office, rewired the entire basement lighting and pulled Cat5 to six locations in the office for network/phone/ir. There is another five network/phone and one IR pulled in the Family/HT room. I've decided to place a DVD changer (400 disc) and DirecTV DVR in an adjacent closet and have pulled Audio/Video/IR into there.

The basment originally was six lights controlled by two three way switches. Its now on five zones and each closet (four) has its own switched light. I still have two 4" cans to install as task lighting for the office once the soffits are framed (after HVAC is completed).

The office will be three walls and a column on the open side. Everything is framed but the column. I started insulating the walls between the office and Family/HT (F/HT?) room. The remaining basement will be unfinished for a year and I wanted to be able to control the room temp of the F/HT room better.

neverfaithful

Don't give up. Look at the date I joined this forum.


rprice54

I've been following your great build while mine has slightly stalled. Great work going on there.


flanntastic

Nice set up in your room. We considered a projector, was certain we would have one, then ultimately decided on a 65" plasma (future purchase) for ease of use and durabilty with kids. We would have done what you did and have the screen drop in front of the TV.

Framing over the fireplace jog brought a lot of suprised comments from people because of the "wasted" space. In the end I think it works out as it gave me a place for a big, ugly sub and access to the rear of the wall and all its wiring including future pulls.

Bryan

Thanks for the reminder on the sound isolation. I completely forgot about it until you brought it up. I'll see what can be done to address the sound transmission when its time.
I'm not too worried as most of the time the room is in use, it will be with the entire family, although, I imagine the kids playing HALO/2/3/ODST with surround sound and two subs could be an issue.

I have some pictures of the office progress but, they are not really that impressive to look at. Hopefully come the end of the month, things will be looking a lot better.

Once the HVAC is done, I can sheetrock the rest of the ceiling, build the soffits in the office, sheet rock that, the closets and start mudding.

In the meantime, I'll be installing insulation, terminating cables and adding little bits and pieces of framing to aid in sheetrocking the closets.

-

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post #20 of 64 Old 01-21-2010, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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HVAC is finally done in this room. It didn't work out quite as well as I hoped but its not all bad.

There are two six inch supplies coming from the supply trunk, one at each end of the room using 12 x 6 vents. I was fearful that all my heat would dump into the basement but what I've found is that with the heat in the rest of the house at 72°, the basement is 60/61° with an outside overnight temp in the high teens to high twenties with a daily high in the thirties. The main difference is now the basement is a consistent tempurature. Before, there would be significant swings with some of the basement at 53° on cold nights. I did notice that during the few hours working in the basement with all the lights on, the temp would rise 4 to 5 °.

Next step is to sheetrock the ceiling. Updated pictures to come, including the office area.

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°
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post #21 of 64 Old 03-26-2010, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Another quick update without pictures.

Like most projects, the progress hasn't continued as expected. I've had little time for any real progress. Here's whats been done since my last post:

1. Had another look at the HVAC, basement still not warming as much as I want. Found out I only had one return in the whole house and had to add another. Fan was also hard wired to run low/med speed and that was changed to run med/high speed.

2. Ceiling is up.

3. Mudding and taping was begun. I wish the budget allowed for a professional but, not right now. I'm pushing through it when I have time. As a part of this effort, I finally cleared out the entire space. Up to this point, it was a storage area that required me to constantly move things around to frame, wire and hang sheetrock. This was an entire days effort, but worth it.

4. The office is completely framed and completely wired for electrical, network and phone. In anticipation of all the added networked devices I installed a wireless access point and 16 port switch. Finishing the office electrical required another two dedicated circuit breakers. I've decided to postpone the sheetrocking in there to concentrate on the Family/HT room.

We took the opportunity to pick up a Panasonic TC-P65S1 Plasma on clearance and a new Samsung C6500 BluRay player for the room. I can't wait to get these installed.

I've selected doors to match the rest of the house and we are talking paint colors and flooring (carpet).

My schedule frees up a bit the end of May so I'm hoping to be at a point we can use the room (minus finish carpentry) July 1. I figure if I post it here, I'll force myself to meet it.

I'll post some updated pictures over the weekend.

...well, you know you've become a slacker when you are warned the post is rather old and "It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion" :-(

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post #22 of 64 Old 03-27-2010, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moneypit View Post

Another quick update without pictures.

...well, you know you've become a slacker when you are warned the post is rather old and "It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion" :-(

Power through man...
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post #23 of 64 Old 03-27-2010, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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rprice54,

Thanks for the encouragement.

seven hours of sanding today. sand/clean, sand clean, sand/clean

Before I started, I had to fill in a 3' x 4' part of the soffit and another 12' x 6" section I had left open during the HVAC work/rework. All of the walls are now sanded and I need to tape and mud the new section and second coat the rest of the ceiling. Then more sanding. What a messy job.

With so much done today, I can actually envision mud/tape being done in a couple weeks and ready for primer.

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post #24 of 64 Old 03-30-2010, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Finally, some updated pictures.

This is the view coming down the stairs entering from the back of the room. The jog in the corner is a closet that has a sump pump location, sewer clean out and outside water shut off.



Here is the left side wall. You can see the two HVAC supplies in the soffit.





Here is the front of the room that will have a wall mounted plasma, components on a low table/shelving. The closet to the left is were all the DirecTV/Comcast/Phone/network/IR runs go to. I'll also place a 400 disc DVD changer and DirecTV DVR in there. You can get a good sense of the tray ceiling in this picture.




This view is looking at the rear of the room. You can probably just make out the receptacle wired to a dimmer for future rope lighting behind a crown molding.



That's it for now. Hopefully the next update will be of primed and/or painted walls.

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°
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post #25 of 64 Old 03-30-2010, 06:03 PM
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Looking good, excellent progress. You da man for doing your own drywall. If I had done my own I would still be doing it.

Keep plugging away. Your doing great.

Regards,

RTROSE

My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
Enjoying my "almost done" theater.
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post #26 of 64 Old 04-13-2010, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Taping, mud and sanding is finally done. I learned I am not anywhere close to good when it comes to mudding but I sure can sand. Three coats of mud and a total of 17 hours of sanding. I swept up a buckets worth of dust and cleaned my shop vac filter four times. The end result looks pretty good with most of it looking excellent as close as few inches away.

We settled on a three color scheme: Medium color on the walls called twine, light on the soffit ceiling called cappacino and dark on the tray and front wall called nutmeg. I took a few cellphone pics for a quick post. The pictures don't reflect the actual colors that well but think of the medium color being Coffee (with milk)and the dark color being milk chocolate. We used an eggshell finish as a good compromise between gloss and flat to match the rest of the house.

Here is the view looking up the stairs





A view of the side wall




and one of the front wall



These pics are of first coats and before creating sharp, crisp lines at corners.

This is a big step for us. This weekend I plan on hanging the TV and buttoning up all the speaker wall plates, network, phone and electrical. I'm not sure when it will be functional, theres still so much to do to finish up A/V wiring in the closet, then doors, trim and carpet. Then, I'll put a crown molding around the tray and rope lighting.

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post #27 of 64 Old 04-18-2010, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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We finished the second coat of paint for all three colors. I think I can officially say it is now a room after 19 months of working in my spare time and on a limited budget. Here what is left to do:

1.) Finish trimming out electrical, audio and video plates. I have a bunch of keystone inserts on order.

2.) Mount TV on wall

3.) Purchase and install light trim kits

4.) Sheetrock the inside of the last closet

5.) Install speakers and electronics. Build a speaker cover for the hidden subwoofer.

6.) Purchase and Install the four doors required and then finsish the wood trim

7.) Select carpeting and have it installed.

8.) Enjoy the room!

9.) Finish the adjacent office (Sheetrock, paint)

I couldn't wait to drag in the sectional to see how it actually fits in the space. We also took the opportunity to partially unbox the TV and hookup the new blu-ray player up to make sure they both worked.



Looks like the hardest part is over.

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Basement HT/Family Room | Status: 11.24.2010: 95% Complete, Working on trim and details
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post #28 of 64 Old 04-18-2010, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WingZero94 View Post

Dude, I had to log in to say that is a crap ton of screws in that drywall. I only say that because I am in the middle of mud and tape on my basement. Luckily, it looks like they are located where tape or trim will go.

Dude, I just had to log in to tell you how freakin' hard I laughed when I read that because I thought the same thing!!!

Nice job on the room, like the ceiling (cuz it looks like mine...hehe)
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post #29 of 64 Old 04-18-2010, 07:28 PM
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Looking good. I like your color selection. So how did the TV and blu ray player work. It is almost like the cardinal sin of HT of hanging the projector before the room is done.

It is coming together for sure. Nice work.

Regards,

RTROSE

My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
Enjoying my "almost done" theater.
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post #30 of 64 Old 04-19-2010, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Family Time

I'm happy to report using all those screws really didn't hurt in the end. As they are all along the seams, they were covered with the first layer of tape and mud. My lack of mudding skills was the real issue but, I quickly found out that its easy enough to put on more than needed and sanding the excess just takes time and comes out nice and smooth.

I've been following your build and really like the layout/design of your room. I wish I had more space to do something similar.

There was a short period of time when I considered not doing the tray ceiling. I was short on time and patience. Then I considered skipping the 4" pot lights in the soffit around the tray. Now that's its done, I'm glad I followed through with both.

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°
Basement HT/Family Room | Status: 11.24.2010: 95% Complete, Working on trim and details
°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°...
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