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post #181 of 1994 Old 01-05-2012, 05:01 AM
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It is true that spray foam is much better for the company's bottom line than actual sound isolation. Ted White has posted here many, many times saying the fluffy stuff is best...R30 for the ceilings and either R13 or R19 for the walls, depending on your stud bay depth.

Realistically the absolute best for soundproofing is blown-in cellulose which exactly what they use in IMAX and other high-end theaters (better fire resistance as well). For residential applications they will staple a product called "Insulweb" to the underside of the joist and then insert the pipe through small slits to fill the joist cavity. The walls go in with a mist of water called a "wet pack", which holds the cellulose in position. The moisture takes about 1-2 days to dry before sheetrock could go up. Count on a 20 to 35% price premium for the blown-in cellulose vs. batt insulation, fyi.


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post #182 of 1994 Old 01-05-2012, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's the latest progress!

They should have most of the decking on my the end of the day, and possibly the felt on as well.

Here's the front, we had to make a bit of change to the gable on the right. The plans didn't quite agree with regard to how the roof line passed through that room. So we had to make a decision about the shape of the gable. We opted to go with a "triangle" as opposed to having the short vertical part to the wall that you see in the picture.



And the back,


My contractor mentioned today that we are getting close to the HVAC install, and he wanted me to be there when we decided where we want to run the ductwork. Good man! I'm looking forward to seeing just how they manage to get the ductwork from the attic to the basement.

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!


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post #183 of 1994 Old 01-05-2012, 11:03 AM
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Looking great JPA! Nice touch on that roof line.


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post #184 of 1994 Old 01-05-2012, 11:22 AM
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Yes, good choice going with the "triangle". Is that a curved roof line on the side room? Nice touch.

The "Twinseltown" Theater

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post #185 of 1994 Old 01-05-2012, 11:31 AM
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Make sure those valleys are well flashed, otherwise I see a leaky roof in your future.


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post #186 of 1994 Old 01-05-2012, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! Yesterday was the first time I got that funny feeling where I wondered if anyone else would think my house looks nice or if it would cause a WTF reaction Of course, I guess we're going to be living in it, so it shouldn't matter, right?

Tony, yep that's a curved roofline on the right. I wondered how they would do that. The answer, cut it out of a long 2x16..... I guess I should have seen that one coming.

BIG, this guy does really good work, and one of the things I noticed on some of his other houses is the way they flashed around windows and such. Along with flashing the valleys, they're also going to add a ice/water membrane (can't remember what it's called) to the area where the two roofs nearly meet between the porch roof and the gable end to prevent water that gets under the the shingles there from causing a leak. I sure hope they're on their game the day they do this roof, though. I sure don't intend to be up there fixing it if something leaks! Maybe 10 years ago. Now I think I'd be afraid to get off the ladder

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post #187 of 1994 Old 01-05-2012, 06:14 PM
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WTF is all of that roof line shenanigans going on, man do you even have a plan for the roof line? Looks like it was just all thrown together!

Well actually it looks really nice. Well done on the "triangle" I think you made the right choice.

Sounds as though your contractor is on top of things if he wants you to be there for consult with the HVAC sub. Kudos to him for that anyway.

Now all you have to do is hold on to your checkbook!

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post #188 of 1994 Old 01-05-2012, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, RT! Knew I could count on you

And I don't think holding on to my checkbook is what my contractor has in mind. Probably just the opposite

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post #189 of 1994 Old 01-05-2012, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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So here's the end of day update. Here's another shot of the front with most of the decking on. They've already completed the tails on that gable. As a side note, I'm pretty sure the guy that put the decking on the front of the porch gable used several of his 9 lives putting up one of those sheets of OSB. It was sort of like watching a three stooges episode, but with a man and a partial sheet of OSB. It would have been comical if the guy hadn't been 25' in the air. I finally had to quit watching because I knew I was about to see a man die



And a shot of the back. You can see they've just started putting down the felt. They tell me it will take them another couple days of work inside the house to finish up the framing. So we're pretty close to beginning the HVAC and plumbing.



I'm really amazed at just how much different the house looks once it's constructed compared to the drawings.

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!


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post #190 of 1994 Old 01-05-2012, 07:06 PM
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I can't believe how much they got done today!!! Those guys move so fast.

I see in your earlier post that they were going to do a Water & Ice Shield adhesive membrane on the lowest perimeter of the roof and in the valleys, but I see they are attaching felt paper in the bottom picture. Is that correct? I know the Water & Ice Shield needs to adhere directly to the OSB roof decking.

Good luck with your plumbing and HVAC discussions!


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post #191 of 1994 Old 01-05-2012, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure if they intended to use the Water & Ice Shield in all of the valleys. They just decided to use it where the roof from the gable on the front meets the roof from the front porch. The concern was that during heavy rains, we could possibly get some water back under the shingles and flashing there. When I stopped by today, they only had three or four rolls of the stuff, so I can't imagine that they plan to put it everywhere.

BTW, I've clicked on "The StoneWater Cinema" in your sig several times, only to be disappointed because it's not actually a link. It's blue, but no link! Of course, then I read the coming soon part. The best way to fix that is by adding a build thread, you know! You can PM me if you need some help starting a new thread. Hint Hint! You've offered a lot of great advice here in my thread, so I'm anxious to see what you've got up your sleeve for your theater!

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!


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post #192 of 1994 Old 01-05-2012, 08:18 PM
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Nice house you are going to have. I just wish that I could build a house with my own design input. So what kind of architecture style it is?


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post #193 of 1994 Old 01-05-2012, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure what type of style our designer would call it, but we're planning to go with a red brick, cedar shake, and white trim to try for the more traditional southern home look (hence the gable ends). We've seen some homes in the area with similar design cues that look really nice. We're hoping for a house that won't look dated in 10 years. At the moment it's a little tough for me to get a feel for how it's going to look because the roof is the same color as the walls. I'm hoping once we get the shingles on it things will be a little clearer for me.

I've also seen some houses with similar design cues that use dark brick or a dark mortar wash with dark brown trim that have a European look. The houses look really nice, but I'm afraid I might not like it after a few years.

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post #194 of 1994 Old 01-06-2012, 02:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

I'm not sure if they intended to use the Water & Ice Shield in all of the valleys. They just decided to use it where the roof from the gable on the front meets the roof from the front porch. The concern was that during heavy rains, we could possibly get some water back under the shingles and flashing there. When I stopped by today, they only had three or four rolls of the stuff, so I can't imagine that they plan to put it everywhere.

BTW, I've clicked on "The StoneWater Cinema" in your sig several times, only to be disappointed because it's not actually a link. It's blue, but no link! Of course, then I read the coming soon part. The best way to fix that is by adding a build thread, you know! You can PM me if you need some help starting a new thread. Hint Hint! You've offered a lot of great advice here in my thread, so I'm anxious to see what you've got up your sleeve for your theater!

FWIW, the W&I Shield is typically used in all of the weakest spots of the roof, where water is most likely to enter....which means the first 4 feet (width of the roll) of any roof line / edge plus any valley / inside corner where aluminum flashing would normally go. Looking at the slopes on your roof, just imagine the rushing water of a heavy 'bama rain running down and that water momentum carrying up the other side of another room slope - even if it is just 6 to 12 inches of momentum. And putting it around the edge of the roof is just good practice as this is the most vulnerable to driving wind, rain and gutter back ups.

My father just replaced his roof last summer and this is what they did for his home for these reasons. They didn't use it everywhere, just the susceptible spots of any roof edge and any valley /inside corner under the flashing.

And you are not the first to hound me for my fake link. I just haven't had the time to set up the thread yet. I have been fastidiously working on my plan before setting up the thread and really putting hammer to nail. I would definitely appreciate feedback on my plan, but I have to finish making the initial plan first before I can put it out there for debate. Stay tuned - it is coming very soon and I will update my e-mail signature with "available now" instead of "coming soon"!!! I have actually been on this forum since 1999, but had a several year hiatus while working overseas in Europe, hence the "new" join date of March 2010 as my old username was toast. I wish I could direct you to my old build thread, but it probably has long been archived and never to be seen again.


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post #195 of 1994 Old 01-08-2012, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, it's time for the usual update. They've got the felt on the roof, and they've started finishing up the odds and ends inside the house. I tried to get a picture from a little further back to put things into a little better perspective. Sadly, they put the Port-O-Can in an unfortunate spot.



Now that they are working inside it's going to be harder to come up with interesting pictures, but I'll do what I can. Here's a shot from the living room looking out over the back porch. The window on the right is in the dining room. You can probably guess by now that we wanted lots of windows!



And here's one of the stairs in the foyer. the opening on the left is the front door. The landing going up to the second floor has a window on it. The opening on the right goes down to the basement.



Hopefully we'll get to meet with the HVAC guys this week and get moving on HVAC and plumbing.

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!


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post #196 of 1994 Old 01-08-2012, 07:41 PM
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Looking good my friend, looking good. That is going to be one beautiful home when it is all said and done. Now that most of the "rough stuff" is done it will appear that things slow to a crawl. The next big change will be when they start drywalling. That is another huge milestone for sure. Looking forward to hearing about your meeting with the HVAC guys.

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #197 of 1994 Old 01-09-2012, 05:23 AM
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Lookin' great JPA. Kudos to your construction crew - it looks like they are doing a ver nice and clean job.

Thanks for the update!


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post #198 of 1994 Old 01-09-2012, 04:32 PM
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Your home looks amazing already. The "curb appeal" is quite striking; what catches my eye immediately is all the different roof peaks and levels. Great job on the design aspect. Along for the ride on this one............keep it up!!
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post #199 of 1994 Old 01-09-2012, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, guys! I appreciate the comments! We like it more everyday, but that may just be because we're getting closer to having our own house again

We had a few things that popped up today with regard to the window heights. We thought we were going to have to move all the windows up throughout the house to meet code. Our builder decided to bring the grade up on the front to minimize the number of steps to front porch. This will let us keep the window height on the front. We'll have to move them up on the back, but it actually works out well to give us more space for a window bench in the dining room.

They've got the arch over the porch finished and several of the arched interior doorways framed. They tell us they'll be putting in windows tomorrow! I'll try to get some pictures up if it's not raining.

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!


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post #200 of 1994 Old 01-09-2012, 06:51 PM
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Getting the roof on is such a big hurdle...congrats. Are you doing brick/stucco/siding?


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post #201 of 1994 Old 01-09-2012, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Brick with cedar shake (or maybe fake cedar shake ).

I'm all about low maintenance! I've been playing Bob Villa for far too long! I'm ready to spend my weekends watching movies instead of fixing....... stuff

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post #202 of 1994 Old 01-09-2012, 08:25 PM
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I think real cedar shake take some maintenance. I looked into Hardie (fake) shake. It doesn't look bad in pictures, or even from the road, but up close it looks fake.

 

 

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post #203 of 1994 Old 01-10-2012, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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We really like the look of real cedar shake, but I think we'll go with a vinyl product. From the street it looks like aged cedar. But you're right about being up close. Once you're close enough to see the seams in the vinyl near the corners, it's pretty obvious it's not real. However, our house is so far off the road, that I don't think it will be an issue, and it'll keep me from having to climb up on the roof to seal it every couple of years....... Have you seen our roof? A man could kill himself climbing around up there

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post #204 of 1994 Old 01-12-2012, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Met with our HVAC contractor today for about 2-1/2 hours. Good and bad news I suppose. The good news is, I'm still very impressed with him. He seems very knowledgable, even after meeting in person. And he brought up some very good points.

The big thing, is he's really pushing a two speed compressor to go with the variable speed air handling unit. The reasoning is the spray foam insulation works too well in some cases. For example, when it's 85 degrees outside, the AC can't run long enough to dehumidify the air because the compressor is making 5 tons of cold air all the time. The air handler can only run at a reduced speed for so long before it has to do something with the extra capacity. Obviously the problem is the $3,000 - $5,000 price tag depending on the unit.

We also worked out what looks like the only place to get a line to the basement. The plan is one 10" supply, and NO RETURN. Our stairway is open down to the basement (you can see from the foyer into the basement), and he felt like that would be sufficient. This is also partly motivated by the lack of areas to get a line to the basement. We used just about the only place for the one, and it comes with some compromises as it is.

And finally, because we only have one line going to the basement, we're not going to be able to zone the theater separately. We discussed options, and we can either use a remotely operated thermostat or possibly a thermostat with two temp sending units. The problem is that the air will be on in the entire basement regardless of which room needs the air.

Any thoughts on any of this? I'm having a hard time digesting everything we talked about at the moment.

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post #205 of 1994 Old 01-12-2012, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

Met with our HVAC contractor today for about 2-1/2 hours. Good and bad news I suppose. The good news is, I'm still very impressed with him. He seems very knowledgable, even after meeting in person. And he brought up some very good points.

The big thing, is he's really pushing a two speed compressor to go with the variable speed air handling unit. The reasoning is the spray foam insulation works too well in some cases. For example, when it's 85 degrees outside, the AC can't run long enough to dehumidify the air because the compressor is making 5 tons of cold air all the time. The air handler can only run at a reduced speed for so long before it has to do something with the extra capacity. Obviously the problem is the $3,000 - $5,000 price tag depending on the unit.

We also worked out what looks like the only place to get a line to the basement. The plan is one 10" supply, and NO RETURN. Our stairway is open down to the basement (you can see from the foyer into the basement), and he felt like that would be sufficient. This is also partly motivated by the lack of areas to get a line to the basement. We used just about the only place for the one, and it comes with some compromises as it is.

And finally, because we only have one line going to the basement, we're not going to be able to zone the theater separately. We discussed options, and we can either use a remotely operated thermostat or possibly a thermostat with two temp sending units. The problem is that the air will be on in the entire basement regardless of which room needs the air.

Any thoughts on any of this? I'm having a hard time digesting everything we talked about at the moment.

Wow - major bummer. Here are my initial impressions based on this feedback:
First, he is absolutely correct with the two-stage unit with the variable speed on the air handler. Any HVAC system must have sufficient run-time to dehumidify the air, not just reach a certain temperature. The only alternative to this scenario is to downsize the tonnage of the unit to a more appropriately sized unit (because of the more efficient insulation) so you are essentially left with a smaller unit running longer because it needs to run to reach the temperature desired. The dual stage and variable air handling allow the system "intelligence" to maximize comfort IF they run the outdoor and indoor temperature and humidity sensors to maximize comfort and efficiency.

Regarding only supplying your basement....just to clarify - can he zone the whole basement separate from the first floor? It sounds like he can from your description. And what is your basement square footage? A single 10" line looks really insufficient for the square footage. By way of comparison, my basement is approx. 1605 square feet and requires a 14" round RIGID to handle the supply lead-off which is stepped down to 12" and then 10" to maintain pressure over the supply length of 30 feet. If you are starting with 10", I can't imagine how choked off the supply would be. Second, an HVAC unit can only supply as much air as it can return. So if the basement is zoned separately and is being supplied, is ALL of the make-up air coming from the first floor returns? And if the first floor and the basement are running at the same time, it appears there are no additional returns to supply the required make-up air.

There will be some interplay of air "environments" of the basement and first floor, but creating air movement through a balance of supply and return is really the hallmark of a good system. I don't think the air will really seek out the stairs as much as he supposes. I would have a lot of concern regarding the basement comfort levels. Despite having a relatively open-concept design, there are still walls which impede a good mixing of air which will give you hot and cold spots throughout the space.

And I am sorry to say this, but you will not be able to overcome the laws of physics for your home theater, especially if you are provided only supply. Your theater room, if built properly, is going to be sealed up as tight as a drum - essentially a dry aquarium. As you pump AC into the room, there will be a slight raise in pressure (called positive pressure), but there will be an easily-reached limit (under a minute) before the pressure in the room raises to the point that supply in your theater room becomes severely diminished. You will still be able to feel air coming through your supply, but the CFM will be greatly diminished. One resolution is to keep the theater door open to allow for maximum air movement, but I can imagine this is not what you had in mind for the theater and keeping the sound in the theater. And don't even get me started on the accumulation of heat because of the extreme insulation....

If I were you I would find a way to get an appropriately-sized two-stage system for your main living area and just bite the bullet for a new separate and dedicated two-zone basement system with appropriate supply and return for each zone. One zone for the main basement area and one for the theater.

IMHO I don't think it is wise to rig the one system into trying to do what it really isn't designed to do.


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post #206 of 1994 Old 01-12-2012, 01:19 PM
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Well, life is full of compromises now isn't it? I can't remember if this has been talked about or not but if you can't do different zones with regards to the basement then what about a mini-split just for the theater and then a separate temp sensor for the remainder of the basement? If you do just a temp sensor for one or the other then either the rest of the basement will be freezing cold for the comfort of those in the theater, or the ones in the theater will be uncomfortably warm for the benefit of those in the rest of the basement. Make sense? If I had too use only one temperature sensor I would then use it for the space where you figure you will be spending the most time.

So I guess that with what you have posted that there will not be any air movement into or out of the theater? That concerns me more than anything.

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Well my post pales in comparison to TMcG, but my .02 for what it is worth.


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post #207 of 1994 Old 01-12-2012, 02:29 PM
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J_P_A,

Please realize that I am just throwing this out...

Could you just go with two HVAC systems? One for the basement only and the other one for the rest of the house?

Jzc
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post #208 of 1994 Old 01-12-2012, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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My basement will be about 1700 s.f. of heated and cooled space. It has only one daylight wall that is shaded most of the day.

On one hand, he seems to have thought the system through thoroughly, but on the other there are things that just don't feel right. For example, I asked him specifically about capacity in the theater, and the fact that I wanted it quiet. I told him I expected 15 people at most at one time. He said he actually sized the system for a 20 person capacity in that room, and he felt that the duel speed compressor and ensuring we had laminar flow was the best bet for getting things quiet. However, with no return in the basement I will need to install dead vents to allow for air turnover in that room

He also specifically asked about the media closet, and how I planned to cool it. His suggestion was to add a vent fan that dumped into an adjacent closet that was temperature controlled, A+ answer there.

Now here's the big kicker. I told him I was a little unsure about not having a dedicated zone for the theater, and I asked how long they would warranty the install. He said that part was a lifetime warranty! To paraphrase, he said as long as I don't try to put a pizza bistro down there, they would come out and fix it if it was not a comfortable space. He even gave a couple of examples of how they've gone back to fix things several years later in other houses.

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post #209 of 1994 Old 01-12-2012, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jzc View Post

J_P_A,

Please realize that I am just throwing this out...

Could you just go with two HVAC systems? One for the basement only and the other one for the rest of the house?

Jzc

Keep it coming! I like all the feedback I can get!

I've actually put in a call to our HVAC contractor to see what the cost would be for a separate unit, but I'm afraid it's going to be way out of budget. We'll see, though.

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post #210 of 1994 Old 01-13-2012, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

My basement will be about 1700 s.f. of heated and cooled space. It has only one daylight wall that is shaded most of the day.

I have the same layout with almost three sides completely buried and a single wall with northern exposure, fyi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

He said he actually sized the system for a 20 person capacity in that room, and he felt that the duel speed compressor and ensuring we had laminar flow was the best bet for getting things quiet. However, with no return in the basement I will need to install dead vents to allow for air turnover in that room.

I talked to my friend who is a sales engineer for Trane for the last 24 years and gave him your theater room dimensions and talked about the configuration your HVAC guy has quoted for this room. 20 Humans at 400 BTU each is quite a load to cool for a highly insulated room with an undersized shared supply and pressure activated dead vents. Without going into lengthy specifics, but the room needs more supply and needs its own return connected to the system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

He also specifically asked about the media closet, and how I planned to cool it. His suggestion was to add a vent fan that dumped into an adjacent closet that was temperature controlled, A+ answer there.

Agreed. The closet should never receive a supply line and should only be ventilated - drawing from conditioned space and exhausting into an adjacent conditioned space. Would recommend 50 or 70 CFM Panasonic quiet ventilation fan with 4" duct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

Now here's the big kicker. I told him I was a little unsure about not having a dedicated zone for the theater, and I asked how long they would warranty the install. He said that part was a lifetime warranty! To paraphrase, he said as long as I don't try to put a pizza bistro down there, they would come out and fix it if it was not a comfortable space. He even gave a couple of examples of how they've gone back to fix things several years later in other houses.

What exactly does "fix it" mean? Simply tinkering with the dampers? I can't imagine the warranty covering new equipment and the like. If it was well-designed from new there would be nothing to fix. All I have to say to that one is to make sure he gives you a copy of this warranty ahead of time (i.e. right now) and the remedies provided are clearly defined. Call me a doubting Thomas, but when it comes to contractors and their warranty claims - I get a bit pessimistic.

Not to beat a dead horse, but:
  • An HVAC system can only supply what it is returning
  • 10" rigid supply is insufficient CFM for 1700 square feet, even with spray foam. I have 1600 square feet with spray foam on all walls and a single exposed size and my system starts at 14" for the supply take off and steps down to 12" and 10".
  • To properly condition a space you must have air movement - not just supply and not just return

I hope this information helps! I had to call my friend from Trane anyhow, so I thought I would share your project with him for a little feedback. He was the #1 sales engineer for all of Trane for 8 of his 24 years there and always in the top 10 - so he really knows what he is doing.


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