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post #1 of 1026 Old 04-05-2010, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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****EDIT****

 

Here is the "TLDR-CLC". (To Long Didn't Read - Current Level of Completion)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alright heres the story...

My brother found this house for me in august of 2008. Id been working for a small company flipping houses and managing rentals, so I've got some experience in contracting. Its a two story brick home right on main street in a tiny little town (one stop light).

It was banked owned and they wanted almost nothing for it...problem is...haha it was a total redo. Long story short, My wife and I didn't have the cash to buy the home, so my parents purchased it and are fronting the money for the reno, but I am doing all the work on it. When I say all the work, haha i mean all. The only thing I've had hired out was the new ductwork for the existing furnace. (the old duct work was a mess but thats another story.)

Putting a dedicated theater in an old home like this is a challenge...especially when you have next to no extra money to spend. But I'm making do. The main reason for this post is to show the progression of my theater that im finally getting to start on after about 1.5 years of reno to the rest of the house. I think ill include some other pictures of the rest of the reno as well.

I'm hoping for some moral support as well! The rest of my family doesn't feel the same passion for home theater that i do.

Here is an old post that i had started a while back with some before and afters mostly of the upstairs.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1196004


I'm not going to be able to go full tilt like a lot of you other dedicated HTers out there. Sound proofing and acoustical treatments are not in the budget for this theater, however I do see a projector in my near future :-)


On to the Pics


This is what i have to work with...its not Ideal by ANY means...what-so-ever...in any universe anywhere. But its what i have to work with....

Room size is 12.5'X17' approx.




You can see here ive started putting up the bulkhead im building to go all the way around the room. The bulkhead is solving a lot of problems i was having with putting an HT in the this room. It allows for an easy place to run cables and wiring, im going to be able to add mood lighting etc, and in some of the next pictures you'll see i have a curved wall to deal with, which was going to cause a huge problem for the crown molding i wanted to install in the room.





I found this incredible 7.5" crown molding that i wanted to use to hide rope lighting behind, but the curve was going to mess with that, so building a bulkhead around the room gives me a nice square place to mount it.

this is a picture of the arch without the doors looking out from the room.




and the same arch looking in, again without the doors on.

Like i said, not ideal, lots of windows and doors getting in the way. I have blackout curtains already made for all the windows, and the doors for the arch way at least will allows us to close that room up, to separate it from the living room and kitchen areas.

My 42" panasonic will be mounted above the fire place, the center will have to sit on the mantel angeled down slightly and the L/R mains flanking each side.

The surrounds will have to be mounted near the ceiling in the back.

My gear is no where near what a lot of you have, but for the money I have in it i dare you to find something that sounds better.

I realize my 42" panny is too small for this size room, but at the time i bought it i was living in a tiny little apartment, which is why i have the panasonic pt-ae4000u on my wish list! The plan is to mount a motorized screen on the bottom of the bulkhead above the fireplace and it will come down in front of the TV for movie time.

The room dimensions are approximately 12.5X17 so i dont want to call it small...lets go with.. cozy.

Let me know what you all think, i know im crazy for putting an HT in this room, but ive already got all my equipment and im gonna use it, so i might as well make the most of it.




 



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post #2 of 1026 Old 04-05-2010, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are some before and afters of the rest of the house for anyone who is interested.

BTW, I'm 25 been married almost 2 years and have a baby on the way! yeah...my life is a little nuts right now...

Downstairs bath all tore up.



And here are the afters. Ripped out a small hallway closet and made the bathroom about 2 feet longer, we recycled the original claw foot tub and sink from the upstairs bath and used them downstairs for a more period bathroom feel. New tile, new drywall, new plumbing, electrical, everything down to the studs and rebuilt back up. Theres a pocket door for this room so we could save as much space as possible.



You cant see it in the before, but where this built in cabinet is used to be a window. Back in the 50's this bathroom used to be a porch but they had added on and turned it into a bathroom for the downstairs but neglected to ever take the window out and fill it in, which worked to my benefit, because i filled it in from the dinning room side and built in a cabinet for the bathroom.



this is the original sink modified and updated for use with modern fixtures



nothing you see here is finished finished, there are still little things to be done, like...finding the feet to my claw foot tub....i know they are around here somewhere....
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post #3 of 1026 Old 04-05-2010, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Just a couple more of the kitchen.


There was a wall separating the dining room and the kitchen when we bought the house and the kitchen was tiny with no appliances. So we removed the wall to make an open concept kitchen/dinning room. plus the kitchen had 3 doorways in it, and was only 9X14... now its got 1 door and is much bigger.

My father is custom building me cherry cabinetry for the kitchen I love my dad.


In this picture you can see the old window that leads into the bathroom i was talking about before to the left of the doorway.


yes i did the tile myself, yes im sure i took several years off the end of my life doing so. No matter how many times I measure stuff and lay it out...I still get all worked up about it being wrong.



looking into the dinning room from the kitchen. The window is all covered up from this side now, you can still see where it was if you look at it just right...I'll be the first to admit, of all the trade skills i do know...drywalling is NOT my forte.


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post #4 of 1026 Old 04-05-2010, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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This thread really is for the HT build i swear, i just cant help but show the rest of the house a little bit...ive been working really hard for a long time now, and its starting to come together.

Hopefully tonight i can get the rest of that bulkhead up in the HT and post some pics of what it looks like going around the whole room tomorrow.


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post #5 of 1026 Old 04-05-2010, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quick run down of my equipment

Video: 42" panasonic viera
Mains: JBL Studio S38IIs
Center: JBL Studio ScenterII
Surrounds LR: JBL Studio S26II's
Surrounds Back: JBL Balconies
Sub: 12" Adire Audio Rava (sadly this company no longer exists should have gone with SVS...grrr..)
Reciever: Denon AVR-1803
Blu ray: Panasonic
SACD/DVDA: Pioneer Elite DV-45a
Media/Gaming: Xbox 360 Elite W/HDDVD


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post #6 of 1026 Old 04-05-2010, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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quick pick of the outside



hopefully I'll finish up the inside in a couple months and spend the rest of the summer working on the outside.
LL


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post #7 of 1026 Old 04-05-2010, 08:34 AM
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Welcome premiertrussman,

I like your ambition and what you have done thus far. We tend to like all things construction so no worries on posting the rest of your projects. You did an excellent job with the kitchen tile. Like you I tend to do just about everything when it comes to my projects both because of cost and simply because I hate seeing someone else doing it wrong, having to pay them for it and then likely having to redo it myself or living with an inferior result.

BTW those custom cabinets are looking nice also, props to your Dad!


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post #8 of 1026 Old 04-05-2010, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the kind words, a little encouragement is always welcome. Haha, as for my ambition ive questioned my sanity several times over the last year. But all in all, its going to be well worth it when its finished...which is what keeps me going.


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post #9 of 1026 Old 04-05-2010, 11:11 AM
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What a neat old house! Great tall ceilings, great ornate woodwork, great bones! I admire your enthusiasm for such a huge project. I might have been that enthusiastic and energetic 20 years ago when I was your age. Maybe.

Looks like you're stripping the paint off of at least some of the woodwork. Are you scraping or using a chemical stripper or what?

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post #10 of 1026 Old 04-05-2010, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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wheres a good resource for figuring screen size for viewing distance and resolution?

Im looking at the 1080p panny projector and the sweet spot seating will be somewhere around 9 feet from the screen, just wondering what size screens i should be looking at, the room is wide enough for 160" screen at 16X9 but im sure thats way to big for the viewing distance i have.


Also, if im going to be watching a lot of mixed media, IE high def tv, standard def tv, various game counsels, reg dvds, blu ray, etc is a 16:9 screen ratio still the way to go? I know the 2.35:1 ratio is gaining a lot of popularity and my brother cinecurve screen is amazing, but im not sure i have the room distance to be able to use 2.35:1. any insight into this would be helpful.


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post #11 of 1026 Old 04-05-2010, 11:26 AM
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Rawr,

Thanks for sharing all of these photos >> really shows the unique character of this special house. You're doing a great job keep it up. I'm subscribed

BTW;
These photos remind me of growing up home in a very small town in the midwest > We had NO stoplights. My Dad bought back the house his grandfather had contracted in 1907. I thought that house had character << UNTIL I saw your photos above. Looking forward to more, and not just the HT room....

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post #12 of 1026 Old 04-05-2010, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightp View Post

What a neat old house! Great tall ceilings, great ornate woodwork, great bones! I admire your enthusiasm for such a huge project. I might have been that enthusiastic and energetic 20 years ago when I was your age. Maybe.

Looks like you're stripping the paint off of at least some of the woodwork. Are you scraping or using a chemical stripper or what?

That was my mothers idea, lol. The woodwork has been painted from the day it was installed way back when the house was knew. However my mother was trying to convince me to strip it all down(like 5 layers of the nastiest paint you can imagine) and go to natural. I fought it all the way, but she continued to try different things, like scraping, chemicals, and heat guns, which all of them just made a mess. I knew it was going to be way to much work to bring them all down to bare wood, not to mention, its not like its made of oak or walnut, its all a mish-mash of pine and poplar. So when we finally get back to doing the wood work its just going to get sanded out and repainted....which is what I wanted to do in the first place lol...silly moms...but what can you do?


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post #13 of 1026 Old 04-05-2010, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

Rawr,

Thanks for sharing all of these photos >> really shows the unique character of this special house. You're doing a great job keep it up. I'm subscribed

BTW;
These photos remind me of growing up home in a very small town in the midwest > We had NO stoplights. My Dad bought back the house his grandfather had contracted in 1907. I thought that house had character << UNTIL I saw your photos above. Looking forward to more, and not just the HT room....

Thats really neat about your dad. I grew up in this town ( i swore i was moving far away when i was younger, haha, but you live and learn and then buy a house when its cheap.) I actually used to live on main street on the other side of town in a very similar house. Two story and brick built near the same time. So its kind of in my blood. Im just glad the weather is getting nice again, these north central Indiana winters are killing me!

Ill be sure to keep the photos coming as we progress. Thanks again for the interest.


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post #14 of 1026 Old 04-05-2010, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by premiertrussman View Post

wheres a good resource for figuring screen size for viewing distance and resolution?

Im looking at the 1080p panny projector and the sweet spot seating will be somewhere around 9 feet from the screen, just wondering what size screens i should be looking at, the room is wide enough for 160" screen at 16X9 but im sure thats way to big for the viewing distance i have.


Also, if im going to be watching a lot of mixed media, IE high def tv, standard def tv, various game counsels, reg dvds, blu ray, etc is a 16:9 screen ratio still the way to go? I know the 2.35:1 ratio is gaining a lot of popularity and my brother cinecurve screen is amazing, but im not sure i have the room distance to be able to use 2.35:1. any insight into this would be helpful.

One basic rule (with 1080 display resolution and sources) is that the minimum viewing distance should be twice the screen height. This formula works for both 16:9 and 2.35 material.

I sit a bit further back in my setup and I can tell you that picture quality is excellent for 720P and 1080 (i and p). 720X480 (DVD's) are a bit 'soft' looking depending on the transfer. (Some look much better than others!) Not so great for SD TV sources. ( But I am not into watching old I love Lucy episodes using a projector and 7.1 sound system. )
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post #15 of 1026 Old 04-06-2010, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank1940 View Post

One basic rule (with 1080 display resolution and sources) is that the minimum viewing distance should be twice the screen height. This formula works for both 16:9 and 2.35 material.

I sit a bit further back in my setup and I can tell you that picture quality is excellent for 720P and 1080 (i and p). 720X480 (DVD's) are a bit 'soft' looking depending on the transfer. (Some look much better than others!) Not so great for SD TV sources. ( But I am not into watching old I love Lucy episodes using a projector and 7.1 sound system. )

Ahh thanks. So twice the screen hieght on 1080 stuff, and obviously the further back the better (to an extent) for everything else.


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post #16 of 1026 Old 04-06-2010, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok spent a few hours last night after work, and luckily had a few fortuitous people drop by to help me hold some things and i got the rest of my soffit up. Im pretty pleased with it, there is one section im going to have to shorten a couple of the cross braces because the wall bows out and made the inside edge of the soffit a little bowed as well. But other than that, its all up.

Hopefully tonight Ill make a run to Lowes for the supplies i need to start the electrical in that room.


If i have the space in my box im going to run a dedicated circuit for all the AV equipment, I'm not sure if my equipment is really good enough to notice the difference...but hey...maybe someday ill get to upgrade

The idea here is to put some accent lighting across the front above the fire place and the windows flanking each side and then hidden rope lighting behind the crown molding up top. I keep going back and forth on whether or not to to put more recessed lighting along the sides and back of the soffit or just keep them up front. Id like to add some wall sconces but the window and door placements are making it difficult to find a good place to put them...plus one of the walls is an outside wall, which means brick, which is a pain to run electrical through...I had to do it in the kitchen so i can do it again...but im not sure how much im wantin to start cutting through brick again.

But a home theater just doesn't seem right without sconces!







Here is a close up of the crown i am using. Picked it up for .50 a foot. Woot. Its pre-stained because i bought it from the re-store. The re-store is a place that people and contractors donate left over construction materials (like a goodwill or salvation army but for construction and renovation) and then the store sells it and the profits go to Habitat for Humanity. So this crown was probably custom made and what i bought was the extra they had after they were done, so I'll paint it to match the rest of the woodwork.



Pic of the fire place for good measure. Its made from some sort of stone and then painted to look like marble.


LL
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post #17 of 1026 Old 04-06-2010, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Ive toyed with the idea of adding some columns to this room so it makes it easier to run the electrical and add sconces...anyone have any good pictures of low profile columns in an HT?


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post #18 of 1026 Old 04-06-2010, 08:44 AM
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http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...highlight=show

The "Show me your...." thread is a sticky at the top of the forum and is a great resource for ideas for various things in our HTs.

I love old houses -- I was this close >.< to buying an 1840s house in our town...but we were expecting our 1st child..and I just couldn't put my wife through the ordeal of renovating an old house.....I still want it!

Everything looks great so far! I'm glad you aren't removing all of the old house's character...I hate seeing historic buildings lose their character!

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post #19 of 1026 Old 04-06-2010, 08:52 AM
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did you check if there was a heritage tag on the building before you go any further, also check the floor joists before you get adding excess weight to floor..

being a 100+ year old home i would gut a replace what has to be done, before you have to rip structure out when you're at 85% complete before unseen things come bite you in the bum when you least expect it too..

i would also do an electrical gut aswell, chances are you got wiring in there dating back to when the house was built..
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post #20 of 1026 Old 04-06-2010, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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i know the feeling about having one on the way...4 months ago... SURPRISE!!!! got one on the way. haha so now its a mad dash to finish!


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post #21 of 1026 Old 04-06-2010, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mystic_sniper28 View Post

did you check if there was a heritage tag on the building before you go any further, also check the floor joists before you get adding excess weight to floor..

being a 100+ year old home i would gut a replace what has to be done, before you have to rip structure out when you're at 85% complete before unseen things come bite you in the bum when you least expect it too..

i would also do an electrical gut aswell, chances are you got wiring in there dating back to when the house was built..

The building is a county historical landmark, we checked before we purchased it because even though we are keeping as much of the old character as we can, i still wanted to be free to do what i wanted to the home. Being just a county historical landmark, not national, we are not restricted to what we can do to the home...which is a bit of a double edge sword, because while im free to do what i wish, had it been a national landmark, i could have gotten grants for the restoration...

As far as the structure goes, we wouldn't have bought it if it wasn't sound. There was too much other work the house needed to have to fix structure as well. All the brick and tuck pointing are in great shape, minus about 1% of the house in one area that needs some attention. As for the floor joist I've had several areas of the upstairs floor ripped open to the joists and they are all very sturdy. There was one place downstairs in the kitchen i jacked up a little to have a more level surface to tile on to but otherwise its good. Its all true 2X10 native timber, a few pieces are a bit twisted but all structurally sound.

The way this house was built im pretty sure i could hang an elephant from the ceiling and be in pretty good shape lol.

I did do an electrical gut, as well as plumbing. There isnt a single scrap of old wiring left in the box. Even the newer stuff that had been done in the last 10 years, i ripped out because you never can tell for sure where they've spliced into old stuff, and trust me there was some scary SH*T i found when i was tearing everything out. This room is actually the last room i have to wire up, everything else is brand new from the box.


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post #22 of 1026 Old 04-06-2010, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks by the way for the columns link!!!! Ask and you shall receive, i would have never guessed we had a link specifically for that!


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post #23 of 1026 Old 04-06-2010, 01:00 PM
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What a cool old house. You just don't find quality like that these days. Looking forward to seeing the build progress.
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post #24 of 1026 Old 04-06-2010, 02:24 PM
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Ahh thanks. So twice the screen hieght on 1080 stuff, and obviously the further back the better (to an extent) for everything else.

Only comment that I will make on moving back from the screen is this: I have been following this thread and the DIY Screen threads for over six years and don't recall ever reading a post from someone complaining their screen was to big or they were too close to it.

My personal experience is that the more of your field of vision that the picture occupies the more immersed you become in the movie.
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post #25 of 1026 Old 04-06-2010, 06:17 PM
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I was commenting on the joist's for a reason while they may seem structurally sound from underneath you never know their condition from above..

any abode I find that has been left any amount of time with no people living in it, can have unseen damage numbering from wood rot to termite damage where there is alot of wood, also note the condition of the brick everywhere throughout the home..

i asked about heritage for 1 reason because because there is limited things you can do internally as well as externally to the building.. usually local regs on heritage usually comply with state and federal regs, even knowing you can't get gov grants it still has to comply with those regs...

I find safety becomes a big paramount when you go into older homes, as you never know how structurally safe it is, as most state assessors aren't worth a dime when comes to checking how structurally sound a building is.. especially when the building is over a hundred years old..

you may have been able to hang an elephant from the joist 100 years ago though today if you did that you'd like collapse the building.. lol
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post #26 of 1026 Old 04-06-2010, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Only comment that I will make on moving back from the screen is this: I have been following this thread and the DIY Screen threads for over six years and don't recall ever reading a post from someone complaining their screen was to big or they were too close to it.

My personal experience is that the more of your field of vision that the picture occupies the more immersed you become in the movie.


HMMMMM!! Ill keep that in mind! MUAHAHA WALL TO WALL SCREEN HERE I COME LOL!


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post #27 of 1026 Old 04-06-2010, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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so im looking for lighting controllers...and it looks like lutrons grafik eye is the way to go possibly?

but they all seem to be $400+ for a 4 zone controller on ebay, which is what im looking for...does anyone else make something similar to the grafik eyes but in a more budget friendly model?


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post #28 of 1026 Old 04-06-2010, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by premiertrussman View Post

so im looking for lighting controllers...and it looks like lutrons grafik eye is the way to go possibly?

but they all seem to be $400+ for a 4 zone controller on ebay, which is what im looking for...does anyone else make something similar to the grafik eyes but in a more budget friendly model?

I now use a two zone Grafik controller--- the version that can use IR for control. I previously had a couple of X10 controllers from Smarthome:

http://www.smarthome.com/_/index.aspx

They are much cheaper than the Grafik and that was the reason that I used them initially.

I ended up replacing them after one 'shorted out' when a light fixture failed. (Fixture was actually an fairly expensive one that developed a bad crimped connection that allowed arcing. Yeah, I was in the room and you could actually see it arcing!) I decided that I would prefer the IR controlled Grafix as it would allow my Harmony remote to control the lights using scenes. The X10 controllers from Smarthome will allow scenes BUT they are a b***h to program compared with the Grafik.

I have never regretted spending the extra money for the Grafik controller.
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post #29 of 1026 Old 04-07-2010, 05:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm all for getting the grafik eye....its just getting my wife on board with spending 500 bucks on a light switch....


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post #30 of 1026 Old 04-07-2010, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I picked up all the lighting i need for the room last night, including 6 sconces (not sure if i will use all six yet or not), 4 fish eye can lights, my ceiling fan, and 48' of rope lighting. Hopefully if all goes well tonight i can start pulling wires.

I just tacked these up last night to get a feel for them. They are a little smaller than i expected, but i dont think its a bad thing. Is there any sort of standard height for wall sconces or is it just a whatever looks good thing?





LL
LL


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