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post #1 of 70 Old 03-20-2013, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello everybody,

I'm been lurking here for a while and just starting development on my basement. I figured I should come on here and get some feedback from the experts.
My goal of the basement is to have a home theatre with a projector screen also have a games area with a wet bar, foosball table and a pub table. For the projector
I have pretty much already decided on the BenQ W1070 as it seems to be a great projector within my budget.

Decisions
========
1. One of the big things I've been going back and forth on is the AV rack location. I though of possibly putting it under the stairs up as there is enough room to cut out for a rack which would give me access to it later. But I've kinda decided not to go this route as my sofa will most likely go up against this wall.

Decision: OK, I've decided to go with putting the built-in under the stairs. I have my electrician coming back after again to clean this area up and put a outlet in the back of the built in for me. I think this is what my gut was telling me all along and I will be happiest with this.


Current Status (See latest post for updates)
===============
Framing is complete
Electrical is completed
Plumbing is completed
Home Theater wiring - Completed
Insulation - Completed
Drywall - Completed
Painting - Completed
Subfloor - Complete
Wet Bar - Backsplash is the only thing left
AV Built In - Not Started
Washroom Finish (Vanity, Shower, Tile, Toilet) - Complete
Doors - Complete
Trim - Complete
DIY Projector Screen - Complete


This is the basement development plans. The top right is wall that sticks out is the projector screen wall and the wall backing onto the stairs is where the seating area will be.



Here is a picture showing the painters tape up on the wall. I'm thinking a 110" screen. Based off the BenQ manual I believe I need to be 10.5 feet back from the wall. Excuse the mess smile.gif I have some more updated photos that I'll add later today. Those will show the electrical and pot lights already in.



I've actually already ordered everything I think I need for wires from monoprice: 30 ft HDMI redmere cable, 250 ft of 15 gauge speaker wire, several wall plates, rear surrounds (2 sets of the 4104), 1 center channel speaker, several cat 6 cables. One 50 ft one to go from utility room where the main house router exists to go to av rack.
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post #2 of 70 Old 03-20-2013, 07:19 PM
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Nothing constructive to add. Looks like a great layout (typical Alberta 2 storey?) for an HT. Great username BTW. Sure enjoying the season this year.smile.gif

I've always had my equipment out of sight, either in a storage room or furnace room.

Keep us updated, everyone likes to snoop, but no one likes to comment. Lots of pics.

A little off topic but why the long hallway to the furnace room? ie why isn't the door adjacent to the bedroom door.
Cheers
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post #3 of 70 Old 03-21-2013, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for replying. Yes its a typical 2 storey in AB. We have a second child on the way so I need to get this built ASAP otherwise there will be no place to escape and no spare bedroom for visitors. As for habs yes, having a great year so far. Fingers crossed.

Anways...Yeah I've thought about putting it in the furnace room as well. Not sure how well that would go. I guess I'd need to look into an RF/IR repeater if I go that route. Another option I was thinking it put the rack beside the wet bar. Not sure if thats a good option or not. I'd like to keep that wall with the projector screen clean.

As for the long hallway, I had to go so far down cause the furnace room door requirements in AB said it had to be 32 inches wide and open without obstruction. If I keep it adjacent to the bedroom one, it actually opens into the humidifier that is attached to the furnace which would not pass code. Kinda silly but makes things a little funny looking.

I want to run the wires this week but until I decide where to put things I cant. I'm also going to make a drywall order this weekend most likely and hang it myself. As for mudding and taping, I'm still looking for someone to do it for me. Called a couple contractors but no call back yet.
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post #4 of 70 Old 03-21-2013, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehabs24 View Post

Thanks for replying. Yes its a typical 2 storey in AB. We have a second child on the way so I need to get this built ASAP otherwise there will be no place to escape and no spare bedroom for visitors. As for habs yes, having a great year so far. Fingers crossed.

Anways...Yeah I've thought about putting it in the furnace room as well. Not sure how well that would go. I guess I'd need to look into an RF/IR repeater if I go that route. Another option I was thinking it put the rack beside the wet bar. Not sure if thats a good option or not. I'd like to keep that wall with the projector screen clean.

As for the long hallway, I had to go so far down cause the furnace room door requirements in AB said it had to be 32 inches wide and open without obstruction. If I keep it adjacent to the bedroom one, it actually opens into the humidifier that is attached to the furnace which would not pass code. Kinda silly but makes things a little funny looking.

I want to run the wires this week but until I decide where to put things I cant. I'm also going to make a drywall order this weekend most likely and hang it myself. As for mudding and taping, I'm still looking for someone to do it for me. Called a couple contractors but no call back yet.

I don't know what its like down there but it's so hard to find good trades here in Edmonton. The good ones are so busy they can't be bothered to call back, and half of the other guys I wouldn't let in my house. We have a bungalow so the basement finishing is very important so I ended up going with the most expensive quote because he's the only one that I got the feeling that he'd do a quality job. What are you doing for ceiling?

One drywaller was supposed to come do a quote ~11 am on a Saturday, I texted him around 10 to confirm a time and this was his exact reply: "Can it be later in the day, I've been drinking and I don't want to drink and drive!" eek.gif at 10 am on a Saturday morning. In short make sure you screen your contractors really well.

IR repeaters are cheap, I've had success with refurb Harmony 890's off ebay, I think they go from $100-$150 shipped with repeater, great remote to boot.
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post #5 of 70 Old 03-21-2013, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Yikes, drinking saturday at 10am? Haha. What kind of quotes were you getting? I heard that I should expect 6000+ for a good job. Definitely out of my budget so I'm still waiting to get some numbers.

For the ceiling I'm planning on throwing in some Roxul S&S for insulation and putting some drywall. For the finish on the ceiling I'll probably do some sort of textured finish. I'll probably worry about that one when I get closer.
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post #6 of 70 Old 03-21-2013, 11:10 AM
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6k seems really high if you are hanging yourself.

I was saying in my thread, quotes for material, hanging, finishing and texture were anywhere between $6.50 per square foot up to $9 per foot. I'm paying $9.

I figure material is $2 per foot (on the high side), hanging another $2 so that leaves $4-$5 per foot to finish. I don't think you have 1500 feet down there, probably more like 800-900 of developed space? I put roxul in my furnace room and bedroom walls, I don't think that stuff does anything lol. Drywall>insulation, but might as well do it for the minimal cost.
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post #7 of 70 Old 03-21-2013, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I definitely don't want to pay that much. I just talked to one guy who says they can hang, mud, tape, 3 coats, texture ceilings all for ~$5600. Seems decent I guess considering I'm probably looking at $800 in materials to hang myself. I was hoping to pay a lot less. I'm going to see if I can get a few more quotes. I think his estimate was based off $8/sq ft.

Would you recommend just regular insulation then over roxul s&s?
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post #8 of 70 Old 03-21-2013, 11:43 AM
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I don't think insulation does much tbh. S&S is fireproof and designed specifically for sound insulation so I don't think regular pink is gonna be better. Hey I put it in both my basement projects, I just don't know how much it helps.
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post #9 of 70 Old 03-21-2013, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for input. I'll have to mull on it for a bit. I have probably a week to decide at most before I get going on drywall. Anyways, I was talking to a buddy earlier today and he gave me another option for my AV rack. If I dont want to put it right under the stairs, I can build it up to the bulk head that runs along that wall. Here is a photo attached...thoughts?



or I just build it into that wall. I called the city to see if it would violate any code and they said it'd be ok as long as I had its own power outlet on the back. But no extension cords.
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post #10 of 70 Old 03-21-2013, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, I've decided to go with putting the built-in under the stairs. I have my electrician coming back after again to clean this area up and put a outlet in the back of the built in for me. I think this is what my gut was telling me all along and I will be happiest with this. The sofa will probably be a foot away from the wall but I think I have the room. This will give me a viewing distance of approximately 13-14 feet from the screen wall if I'm going with 110".

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post #11 of 70 Old 03-22-2013, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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So I pulled out the electrical to that was going through the studs against the stair wall and framed in a window to put the built-in av rack. Here is a picture below. My electrician is going to come back and put an outlet for me somehwere for that av rack. Should I put an outlet somewhere under the stairs or have it directly in the av rack cabinet? I'll have to build that right away.




Also, I had another drywall quote last night. $4600. A lot cheaper than the last and the guy seemed really good too. I'll probably go with this one. Might just get one more quote to be sure.
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post #12 of 70 Old 03-22-2013, 09:58 AM
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I'm not familiar with AV racks, if it were me I'd have an outlet outside of the rack area and then you could run a power bar or similar. It's very easy to run another outlet off the one he puts in if you don't like where he put it.
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post #13 of 70 Old 03-22-2013, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Thats a good plan. I'll definitely need to run a power bar somewhere in there. I could also mount the power bar in the back of the built-in and plug that into an outlet that faces into that stairwell room. I'll try to get the cabinet built this weekend.

Lots of views so far and thanks for feedback. Anybody have thoughts on my 7.1 setup? I'm debating between putting all four surrounds on the ceiling or having 2 of the surrounds on that rear wall. The ones I have are from monoprice and should be able to fit into that wall snugly.
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post #14 of 70 Old 03-22-2013, 02:43 PM
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Greetings and welcome.

Pulling your sofa off the rear wall is a good thing, as it will help the acoustics and allow you to do a built in AV rack. As for on the wall or inwall, here is my suggestion. I typically say go with on wall speakers vs. inwall as inwall speakers make some compromises to be "in the wall". However your situation is a little different as it is not a dedicated space and is really quite open to the other areas of the basement. I would say that you could do in walls/in ceiling for the side surrounds and inwalls/in ceiling or on walls for the rear surrounds. With your open design in ceilings would actually be the best option for the side surround. Here is a CLICKIE on recommended placement on speakers for Dolby.

I would have your electrician wire a couple of outlets. One at the back of rack so you could plug a powerstrip into it and plug your equipment into that, and the one on the front or close by to the sides, for plugging in temp equipment you might want to connect to your system, like a gaming system, movie camera, or other accessory.

Looking forward to seeing this come together.

Regards,

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post #15 of 70 Old 03-22-2013, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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That's a great link. I'l definetely reconsider the in wall then. Probably go in-ceiling based off of what Dolby recommends. Might be even able to put the rear ones in the bottom of the rear soffit.

Btw, for my electrical, there is still an outlet, the one that was previously there about 20 inches to the right of the frame out for the built-in. My picture is bad and probably hard to see that. I'll have more pictures tonight as I run all my wires. I'm going to try to get my conduit run, speaker wires, projector backer, projector cables (HDMI and CAT6) all run. Lots of work but I'm hoping to get that done tonight or by tomorrow. Also start the cabinet this weekend too.

You guys have been helpful. Keep the comments coming, even if its making fun of my messy basement. I promise to get it cleaner.
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post #16 of 70 Old 03-25-2013, 06:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Progress updated over the weekend, had to clean up a bunch of little things for the basement development. I'm getting my washroom shower pan and shower divertor installed today and plan on having insulation done by friday. The drywallers plan on starting saturday. So this will be a busy week to clean up all the last minute items.
  • Ran conduit from projector to utility room which has access to room under stairs (couldn't find anyway to run directly to in-wall av rack) it is currently empty for future use
  • Ran HDMI and Cat 6 from projector to in-wall av rack
  • Ran 7 speaker wires for 7.1 system to in-wall av rack
  • Added a projector mounting board for easy mount of projector at 10.5 feet from wall (I hope this is the correct distance for 110" screen. according to benq it is)
  • Began putting insulation. I have 3 bags of roxul s&s. I assumed the ceiling joists were 16" OC but it looks to be bigger but not 24".
  • AV Rack Cabinet - Will start design and build tonight

Questions
  1. Insulation - Do I need to use 24" on the ceiling or do I just have to cut to size for each piece?
  2. Speaker wire - I forgot to wire for my sub. I'll probably have to express order from monoprice which is still cheaper than bestbuy, etc. Any other places I can look for this?
  3. Projector mount location - Should I add mounting board at any other location?
  4. Do I need any other wire runs besides what I already run?

Pictures
========

Insulation started (back of media room and wet bar wall started)


Projector mounting spot at 10.5 feet back from screen wall. Along with conduit run, power and HMDI and Cat 6


All the speaker, HDMI, cat 6 for system ready to go into media closet


Projector screen wall with power, and all front speaker runs setup. Forgot to do sub (will add this week)
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post #17 of 70 Old 03-25-2013, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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One more picture showing the surround in-celing speaker locations. Let me know if these look weird.
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post #18 of 70 Old 03-25-2013, 07:52 AM
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Subwoofer cable - just run some RG6 and you can add RCA end later. Just need a $40 tool. Maybe express ordering is cheaper? Actually on second thought buy the compression tool, you'll need it for various RG6 jobs in your life. Order some RCA ends from ebay, get some RG6 ends as well.

You have enough room for that ceiling surround with the ducting there? Maybe I'm not seeing something correctly?

For the insulation, I had 16" roxul, for wider joists I had to run it horizontal. Not very efficient but it was not a common thing. I'd get 24" and cut to size. Are your pot lights rated for insulation? If not they need some clearance. Cant remember off the top of my head how far.
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post #19 of 70 Old 03-25-2013, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IHaveAMullet View Post

Subwoofer cable - just run some RG6 and you can add RCA end later. Just need a $40 tool. Maybe express ordering is cheaper? Actually on second thought buy the compression tool, you'll need it for various RG6 jobs in your life. Order some RCA ends from ebay, get some RG6 ends as well.

You have enough room for that ceiling surround with the ducting there? Maybe I'm not seeing something correctly?

For the insulation, I had 16" roxul, for wider joists I had to run it horizontal. Not very efficient but it was not a common thing. I'd get 24" and cut to size. Are your pot lights rated for insulation? If not they need some clearance. Cant remember off the top of my head how far.

If I order the cable now it will cost about $40 with express from monoprice. I need 35 feet. I have one right now thats 20 feet. just too short.

Yeah at first I didnt' have space for it but I was able to shimmy up those duct runs. The speaker might be right up against the duct but there is just enough room. It doesn't allow me to build enclosures for the speaker but I dont imagine it rattling too much. I hope. smile.gif

Pot lights should be ok for insulation. I'll double check with electrician now. Thanks.

Great comments and feedback. I'm now in a rush to get things done before drywall starts thursday.
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post #20 of 70 Old 03-25-2013, 10:10 AM
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Looks great ! My HT is going to be similar to your after much debate we decided to go with a projector and LED TV as well.

A noob question: Why are you running the CAT5 to the projector?

Thx..
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post #21 of 70 Old 03-25-2013, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Looks great ! My HT is going to be similar to your after much debate we decided to go with a projector and LED TV as well.

A noob question: Why are you running the CAT5 to the projector?

Thx..

Its actually CAT6, not sure if there is a huge difference, but I've read in a few places that others are doing it. I probably wont need it right away I imagine. It might be good to for network connectivity I guess. I think CAT 6 you can also send video across as well.
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post #22 of 70 Old 03-25-2013, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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New update:

My plumber just came in and installed the shower divertor and shower pan for the washroom. Ready now for drywall. Drywall guy just called and drywall is getting delivered on wednesday. Install to start on thursday.

Subwoofer cable, I called around the city all over and couldn't find anybody with some decent RG6 cable. So I paid for express shipping of one from monoprice which is way better than anything that bestbuy or future shop carry. DHL delivery says 1-2 days. I'm cutting it close but fingers crossed it gets in by wednesday.

Here are a couple pics of the plumbing in case anybody cares. Also some of the holes put into the a/v rack wall so I can wire up for electrical and finish off the insulation tonight.

Built-in wall holes for electrical that will route from inside cabinet around and to current outlet to ouside right of a/v rack


Shower divertor installed and ready for drywall


Shower pan installed to concrete and ready for drywall to go up
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post #23 of 70 Old 03-25-2013, 02:40 PM
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I learned the hard way, protect the ends of the cable while you pull it through to it's resting place. It seems simple enough to do and a no brainer, but you know some have to find out for themselves that cable ends are not indestructible. biggrin.gif

Regards,

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post #24 of 70 Old 03-25-2013, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I learned the hard way, protect the ends of the cable while you pull it through to it's resting place. It seems simple enough to do and a no brainer, but you know some have to find out for themselves that cable ends are not indestructible. biggrin.gif

Regards,

RTROSE

I should double check mine smile.gif The only ones with protection on them was the HDMI one. probably the most important one. Thanks for the tip.
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post #25 of 70 Old 03-27-2013, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Update
=======

Insulation is completed. Stayed up late last night doing the final touches so drywalling can start tomorrow. Some pictures below. I also got my subwoofer RG6 cable from monoprice. DHL delivered in 1 day. That was fast. Definitely will use them over UPS any day of the week. I hate UPS. I also fixed up the external wall vapor barriers where they were pulled off and re-stapled them back to the studs. As for my rear surrounds, I took off the cardboard backings they were sitting in and used a piece of vapor barrier to hold them in the spot I want the drywall guys to cut around.

Let me know if you guys notice anything funny or any recommendations. Btw, I put tape on the end of my subwoofer cable when pulling it through, great tip as I wouldn't want to have to express order another one even though it was fast and cheap to get.





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post #26 of 70 Old 03-27-2013, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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My drywall guy wont be starting until saturday now which is ok since it gives me a day or two to ensure nothing missed. Also, I found an issue with my central vac. I added a new outlet in the basement and when I originally tested it, there were no issues. I went to test last night again and the suction was really weak. I'm not sure if I ruined something but I'm going to have to troubleshoot tonight.
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post #27 of 70 Old 03-27-2013, 07:02 PM
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Sorry to hear about the delay on the drywall, but sometimes delays can be a good thing. In this case it will give you a few extra days to go over things and make sure that all is good to go before you get it all buttoned up with drywall. Did you test the sub cable to make sure it works? That might be something to check as well.

Regards,

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post #28 of 70 Old 03-28-2013, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Drywall was delivered last night. It's nice that I'll have a bit of a break to spend with the family and start looking at finishing like paint colors. Any recommendations? I'm thinking of painting the screen wall black or a dark color with the screen as a DIY paint. The rest I'm not too sure yet.

I'll also post pictures of my wet bar as that might influence some color choices as well. I decided to get cabinets from ikea and I'm getting the counter from a local supplier (acrylic top in pebble white). The cabinets are black-brown color and my electrician will come back to my place once installed to put in-cabinet and under-cabinet lighting. The two wall cabinets will have glass fronts.

As for connections I will be testing them tonight. Thanks for the tip RTROSE. Better to do it now instead of wait until its too late.
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post #29 of 70 Old 03-31-2013, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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New update. My drywall guy started today. Half of it is up. Pretty much all but two walls done in the theatre/games room. Here are a few pictures below.

Btw, if you eve have a central vac line installed, always check to make sure whoever installed it put cement on all the joins for the pvc pipe. I was lucky enough to find a cap that was not installed properly. The only reason I found it was because I installed an extra line and checked it a couple nights prior to drywall going up. This saved me from having to go back later on and cutting drywall to find this hole that had nothing to do with what I added. It was really frustrating but at least I know its installed properly now.



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post #30 of 70 Old 03-31-2013, 09:11 PM
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Looking good. Nice find on the joint. If it were me I would have not discovered the issue until I would have to performed surgery on the new drywall. That is my type of luck.

Looking forward to seeing more progress pics. Amazing how drywall changes the look of the room isn't it.

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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