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Family Time Home Theater and Game Room build - Page 2

post #31 of 149
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by beach31684 View Post

you'll have to excuse me, as i am still a noob, what about building a wall that is right in front of the blocks, and attaching the new wall to the wall studs above the bricks. You would lose a few inches on space, but it sounds like the least expensive way to achieve your goal.

their is probably a really good reason why that wont work, I just dont know it.

great job on your build so far by the way!


Beach. Yes, that would work. However, we actually like the "cove" area and made the windows match. We'll see more of that when I get to uploading those photos. I had planned on having the TV up inside the cove as shown in the section view. But after educating myself further through this website and then actually sitting on the furniture, I believe that to be far too high to be comfortable for extended viewing. Sure, they sit that high in a bar, but how long do you sit there and watch?

I suppose in hindsight I could have elevated that "shelf" area leaving me with a place for mounting. This would be equivalent to what you suggested but with the benefit of the cove.

Thanks for the input and thanks for viewing!! If you got anything else let me hear it!!
post #32 of 149
Thread Starter 
Ok, time to start preparing for the sheetrock! One of my biggest concerns was that I really didn't have a 100% gameplan on the A/V system. I didn't want the planning of it to hold up the drywall so I referred to this website and I found some of the best advice I've utilized so far ... Smurf Tube!!!

I got some at my local big box store and began feeding it through with a lot of help from my brother. One package wasn't enough so I returned to purchase another 3/4" tube. When I got home I realized I ran ALL 1/2"! OUCH! I stayed with it and ran more 1/2" and was surprised how quickly this stuff goes!

For the two points in the room that might potentially have the screen or tv I actually used that black hose that you normally see on a pool pump. It's either 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" (can't remember) but should have plenty of room to run all the connections I need through that.

We also framed in all the soffits around the ductwork, ran a large power cable out to the garage (for future upgrade out there), and installed all the 6" can lights. We have 3" lights as well, but the 'rock must be installed first.

Running some Smurf Tube. You can see the can lights already installed.

The cabinet on the lower right will house our refrigerator. The tall one near the center will have storage in the bottom, a "very" small counter and a microwave at the top. Both cabinets are made to be removed by removing just a couple of screws.

You can see the smurf tube behind the plastic. Notice that the ceiling drywall is still in place and you can see one of the pre-existing 6" eyeball can lights. Ultimately I chose to rip all that out too and re-sheeted that! Between the can lights you can also see the yellow power leads in place in preparation for the 3" lights.

In these two photos you can see all the soffit framework, the smurf tube and the can lights. There will be an A/V cabinet installed where you see all the tubing in the wall.

Approaching 2,000 views. Hope everyone is enjoying!!
post #33 of 149
Originally Posted by Family Time View Post

Approaching 2,000 views. Hope everyone is enjoying!!

Enjoying everything but the Wings jersey!
post #34 of 149
Thread Starter 
Here are a few more pics prior to drywall. At this point we have all the electrical run, all the smurf tube run and all the walls altered as far as any stud work goes. There was a long shelf along the wall with the two windows that we decided to break up. That is the same area where the TV will be mounted.

So we simply put up a few 2x's in order to created a "recessed" area for each window as well as the large area in between. In this photo the shelf extends from the outside of one window to the outside of the other (a before photo).

This view is the wall opposite the wall with the two windows. They had put 2x4's in place from floor to ceiling to remove the "recessed" area on this wall (Beach suggested doing this for the wall with the TV to make it easier to mount). However, we wanted to have this wall with a recess as well to match the opposing wall.

The recesses not only breaks up the wall, they give a nice area to have an accent color. We don't yet know what colors we will use but we do plan on using at least two - maybe three.

This view shows the stairs coming down and the hallway. The stairs used to be "open" with a handrail and ballusters. We thought long and hard about this one but chose to put the wall back up (it was obvious the original studs had been cut) and you can see the new wall studs have been installed. The plastic is to help keep the dust downstairs.

This shows where all the smurf tube is running to. Below it is the "box" where the refrigerator will go. I need to build an A/V cabinet to go here. I need to figure out a way to attach all the smurf tubes to the cabinet. I have been struggling on how to make the back of the cabinet accessible.

I saw a post on here of someone who made a pull-out cabinet that can rotate. I have exactly the same thing in mind and since we use those same carousels at work, I had even planned on using one of those. I am leaning that way, but not sure the smurf tubes lend themselves to the cabinet swiveling. Not sure they are long enough to begin with and they are very stiff.

I have considered making a plate behind the cabinet that would be stationary and terminating the smurf tubes there. This would allow the wires to then be able to be flexible if I made the cabinet twist.

As for what cables/wires I will run in these tubes? I suppose 14 ga. speaker wire for the speakers. I see guys running TONS of Catergory 5 or 6 cables. Sometimes they run BOTH - which I really don't understand that one. The construction portion I was knowledgeable enough to handle. The components themselves weren't too hard to figure out with some research. The wiring however....that's a different story!!

I need to start searching on here and educating myself on WHY guys run so many cables. I know the different kinds are to upgrade but I had planned on running a SINGLE HDMI cable from the A/V receiver to the TV....

Looks like drywall will be next!! Sidenotes: the room looks MUCH smaller with the studs and insulation showing. Wish I'd read a little more about how guys put up the styro insulation against the brick.
post #35 of 149
Thread Starter 
Guess I should post some further progress before this thread falls into oblivion. We finally started getting some sheetrock up.

This first photo shows the 2x4'x we added on the insides of the windows. Originally a shelf ran the entire length of that wall at about 4' from the floor. We wanted to break it up so I added the 2x4's. I had considered making the space between the 2x4's large enough for in-wall speakers - I still don't know why I didn't do that!!

This shows the mechanical room now drywalled. This drywall wont be finished inside this area.

Here you can see the smurf tubes running through the soffit area.

A shot of the hallway showing the regular switches which indicates we are not doing any kind of remote lighting system. Maybe next time.

This is the north wall where we added the shelf to match the south wall.

post #36 of 149
Excellent progress. Nothing like drywall to make it start feeling like a real "room".


post #37 of 149
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

Excellent progress. Nothing like drywall to make it start feeling like a real "room".



Haha, that is no joke! I had to look HARD to find those pics - they were under the wrong folder. I thought I didn't take ANY of just the drywall. I do remember standing down there just gawking at the walls thinking "Now we're getting somewhere!!"
post #38 of 149
Ohhhhh, I just noticed (took a closer look at) the DeWalt saw and noticed it was a SLIDING compound miter saw. Tool envy. I have the non-sliding brother and it has been with me for just about every home improvement project. Love mine, but I would have gotten the slider if I had only known how much I was actually going to use it.

I too have thought I had taken pictures of various stages only to realize I had told myself that I needed to do it, and then never did, only to realize I was too late. The mind is a terrible thing to lose.


post #39 of 149
Looks good. I too have some of the questions regarding your media connections and Wii sensory bar locations. This looks like it will be a fun space. Please keep up with the pics as you progress.
post #40 of 149
Thread Starter 
Uh-oh - first hiccup. I received my monoprice.com cables yesterday and decided to try them out today to see how everything works. I ordered several 3-foot length Certified HDMI cables (24 AWG I think, with the net jacket), several 25-foot lengths of Cat6a STP (shielded) cables and the monoprice HDMI-over-cat5/6 kit.

So, before putting all of this into the walls I decided I should try it all out first! Before I began I tested each HDMI cable by connecting the DVR directly to the TV and all worked great.

Components are:
Source: DTV HD DVR
AVR: Onkyo 607
TV: Samsung 52B750 LCD.

DVR-to-TV: HDMI over Cat6a - Success!!!!
Using HDMI over cat6a - FAIL!
Using ONLY HDMI (no Cat6 cables): Success (no audio!)

With the DVR, AVR and TV all connected with the HDMI-over-Cat set-up, the red LED lights up solid on the Input end but has a quick "blink" on the Output side. It will be bright for about a second or two and then go off for just a few nanoseconds and just repeat.

With the DVR, AVR and TV connected WITHOUT the Cat set-up, the red LED is solid and the picture looks great!!!

I did notice that in some variations the picture which is set-up to be 16:9 and usually fills the screen reverted to 4:3. I tried different HDMI inputs on the back of the AVR - it could be related to this but I did NOT look into that yet - first things first.

Here is breakdown of the connections:

Go: DVR - 3' HDMI cable -AVR - 3' HDMI cable - TV (no sound)
Go: DVR - 3' HDMI cable - Cat6 - 3' HDMI cable - TV
No-Go: DVR - 3' HDMI cable - AVR - 3' HDMI cable - 25' Dual Cat6 - 3' HDMI - TV

The only cable I could really make shorter would be from the DVR to the AVR. (would need to purchase). The other option is to buy a 35' HDMI cable and run it straight through but I was told by monoprice the HDMI-over-cat6 was better and at 30-35' lengths the debate goes either way on AVS.

If anyone has any ideas let me know. I also need to figure out of the 607 passes sound through the HDMI. I tried connecting various other ways but still a no-go so guess it's time to research that some more.

Anyone have any input???
post #41 of 149
Family Time .. great thread, great progress.. reminds me of my first build. Those were the days...
post #42 of 149
On my Onkyo 507 there is a setting you have to set for the receiver to pass along audio to the display. If I connect the HDMI cable directly to my plasma from the DVR I get sound. Connecting the DVR to the Onkyo and the Onkyo to the plasma no sound. The only sound comes from the Onkyo. I think this is the issue you are experiencing.

For the 507 it is explained as AudioTVOut - Directly from the manual

This preference determines whether audio received at
the HDMI IN is output by the HDMI OUT. You may
want to turn this preference on if your TV is connected
to the HDMI OUT and you want to listen to the audio
from a component that's connected to an HDMI IN,
through your TV's speakers. Normally, this should be set
to Off.
If On is selected and the signal can be output by the
TV, the AV receiver will output no sound through its
If On is selected, TV Sp On appears on the Display
by pressing the [DISPLAY] button.
When TV Ctrl is set to On, this setting is set to
With some TVs and input signals, no sound may be
output even when this setting is set to On.
When the AudioTVOut setting is set to On, or
TV Ctrl is set to On and you're listening through
your TV's speakers (see page 25), if you turn up the
AV receiver's volume control, the sound will be output
by the AV receiver's front left and right speakers. To
stop the AV receiver's speakers producing sound,
change the settings, change your TV's settings, or turn
down the AV receiver's volume.

You could look for something similar in your manual. Hope this helps.


post #43 of 149
Thread Starter 
I do not seem to have any pics of the drywall post tape and mud. I hung the drywall but paid someone to tape and mud. That work sucks and I've tried mudding and didn't want the walls to look I did them so I called a relative and he busted it out pretty quick!!

I also don't have pics of the paint chips we had laid out all over the floor and taped to the walls while we tried to pick colors. Ultimately we decided on this burgundy color and a cream with a third accent color (which sometimes looks grey, sometimes blue and sometimes even green).

The wife wanted the burgundy to be the main and the cream to be the accent but ultimately we switched because we felt too much burgundy would make the room look smaller.

So here are several pics with the burgundy up first...

post #44 of 149
Thread Starter 
Ok, now with the light tan/cream color on the walls.

After seeing the back wall in red (previous post) we decided it was WAY to much so we overcoated that with the cream color

It amazes me how much CRAP accumulates as you work. Looks like it's time for another clean up!!

I think you can see what I mean with the accent color on the face of the soffits - sometimes it looks green, sometimes grey, etc....

We went back and forth about using stained wood for the trim or primed/painted trim. I am AMAZED how cheap the pre-primed stuff can be picked up at auction. I will pick some up next week for my daughters bedroom, but we chose to go with stained wood down here.

If you notice where the new header is (divides the two halves) we did NOT drywall the faces of the studs. This was because we chose to wrap this in casings and trim - all stained. Had we chosen to paint the trim, I am sure we would have wrapped all of that in drywall...

So far the colors loosely follow the Buckeyes (red/grey) and the Cavaliers. This was not intentional and didn't even notice the Cavs colors. Next game we watched (home game) I noticed the colors on the floor almost match our walls exactly!! An unconscious decision but we like the results!!
post #45 of 149
Like your colors and good choice on the switch. Sometimes a bright color can be overwhelming. I think you made the right decision. BTW did my suggestion with the Onkyo bear any fruit or was my info worthless? Just curios. Excellent progress, keep it up.


post #46 of 149
Thread Starter 

It did help. If the 607 has the same setup I may have an issue to deal with: how to get sound direct to the TV when kids are just watching TV and don't want the surround sound. Will need to break out my own manual and read what it has to say.

post #47 of 149
Thread Starter 
Wouldn't you know it...I post pics of the paint and THEN I find the pics of the taped and mudded drywall!!!

So, here are a couple of pics - just pretend you're watching Lost and imagine that "flashback" noise and then look at the pics...

This is probably the best shot so far of the fireplace. I sold that Cedar beam as I have plans for a completely new mantel/shelf system around that area...

Now maybe I should take some time and actually ORGANIZE my photos so I know what I have!!! Geez!!

Ok, back to current time!!
post #48 of 149
Thread Starter 

Was just looking through my pics and realized I have bar clamps on the "box" that will eventually house the refrigerator. You can also see a glue line on the inside, just left of center.

The construction of that box used biscuits, glue and screws so it was NOT coming back apart. When I tried to install the box for a test fit it was a NO GO!!!!! It would NOT fit between the studs!!!! Ouch!!!

Solution: Rip it into two pieces with the circular saw and glue it back together!! The width of the sawblade was enough to get it to go!! Since I'm painting it black and the fridge fills most of the space no one will ever notice. Shhhhhh........
post #49 of 149
Well I won't tell if you don't. It will be our little secret!

I have had several things that are just a smidge too big and just that little blade width is enough to get it to go.


post #50 of 149
Thread Starter 

And the fix for that blade width is not usually that easy!! Thanks for continuing to post - it's nice to know someone is following this thread.

When a lot of time goes by w/o a comment, I kinda get bummed out. I forget, sometimes, that many of the threads I reference that have lots of comments have been on here for years!!!

So, just for fun, I assembled the pool table to see how it was all gonna look...

post #51 of 149
No, sweat. Happy to follow along (someone has to be a voice of reason right ) and know all too well about thinking you are the only one who has an interest in what your doing.

The pool table looks great. I wish I had the layout or the space to put in a pool table/pub area but it is just not in the cards.

Keep up the progress and it is all looking great.


post #52 of 149
I'll have you know, I am on here everyday hoping to see some progress from this thread and a few others. I just feel like, if the only thing i have to say is "looks great" maybe I dont need to waste the space on the thread. Ya know what I mean.

with that said, You are doing a great job with the build. I am always looking for new ideas, however, I do not have room for a dedicated theater, just a dedicated bar. (got to keep my priorities in order right!)

Hope to start my own thread soon.
post #53 of 149
Thread Starter 

Thanks for commenting (and viewing)!! With nearly 5k views, someone is looking. I may be responsible for about 90% of them, though! haha!!


Look closer at the pool table. You'll see I didn't really set it up - I just found a photo on the 'net and photoshopped it in!!! I would REALLY have to be anxious to set that thing up and then tear it back down to install the flooring!! Sorry...

We'll have more soon. In the meantime, enjoy!!
post #54 of 149
Originally Posted by Family Time View Post

Thanks for continuing to post - it's nice to know someone is following this thread.

When a lot of time goes by w/o a comment, I kinda get bummed out. I forget, sometimes, that many of the threads I reference that have lots of comments have been on here for years!!!

... and some of us have been hitting our heads against the wall for years and years!

Or so I hear.

Like RT, for example.
post #55 of 149
Family Time,

Hey I'm watching this thread >> keep those progress photos coming.
And if "RT" is subscribed you are in good hands, especially if you need help picking carpet

post #56 of 149
I just noticed the pool table is levitating >> NOW THAT'S UNIQUE and WAY COOL!
post #57 of 149
HA! ok be honest, who noticed the table was fake before he said it was. show of hands? mines up

what a noob!
post #58 of 149
I did not - I fell for it
post #59 of 149
DOH!!!! I did not catch it either. I was just so happy to see progress I fell for it. Well done. If that is the table you are getting it will be very nice.

or if I was feeling angry about being duped I could just wish for the fleas of a 1000 camels to infest your armpits, but that would not be very nice now would it.


post #60 of 149
Thread Starter 
Well, I'll just quit my self-indulgent whining now since I see the likes of RT, Hanesian and Cuz'n Eddy have been regularly checking in on this thread!! Now I feel blessed...no...now I feel under pressure to show pics of something much cooler than my 'shopped in pool table.

We've had the table nearly two years now. However, it's not like that one, it's stained black and had PURPLE felt on it... P - U - R - P - L - E !!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, we'll be changing that right quick when the table goes up (for real)!!!

Don't sweat it if you didn't realize it was fake. My wife showed her coworkers who said "Why in the heck would you put up the pool table when the flooring is not even done!!??"

So, at this point I am beginning to think through the design of the cabinet/shelving unit that will hold the A/V equipment. In one area of the photos you can see where we put up graffiti on the wall (initials, handprints, etc.) We didn't paint here because I plan on putting up a shelving unit.

The problem is that the area at the bottom of the stairs is pretty tight. That wall previously had an opening there with balusters that could be removed. You can see here (there is drywall sitting behind the opening in this photo).

It dawned on me that they did that in order to fit the furniture down there (ding!)...
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