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Nick's Homebrew Bar and Entertainment Area - Page 16

post #451 of 1235
Thread Starter 
I had promised myself I would post some pictures this week, but I was feeling lazy and didn't take any .

I put more insulation in the ceiling. I also sealed more seams on the ducts. I don't know that this will make a big difference, but I have always read that you lose a lot of air inside the walls and ceilings, so I figured it wouldn't hurt. When I connected the cold air return from the theater to the main trunk, I hadn't sealed it yet. I finally went back and sealed it up. I'm still a little nervous about the air flow in the theater. I think it is mostly due to the fact that when I put my hand under the inlets I don't feel a strong rush of air coming out (there is definitely air flowing though). I guess that is the whole point - not to have a strong flow that makes noise. I am sure it will be fine. I don't have the thermostat installed yet, so I still have this zone running all the time, so it is hard to tell what it will be like.

I also did some bar area planning. I spoke with a company about keg fridges and got information on circuits, drains and overall size. I'm tempted to bite the bullet and order a new one and get exactly what I want. I'm not quite to that point yet, so I have time to make that decision.

I also started looking at pumps to put under the bar sink to eject the water into the drain pipe which is actually above the sink (laundry lift pump). From what I have read, the cheap plastic pumps they sell at Home Depot only last a few years with regular use. There is a local pump company that sells them for the same price, but they are made from brass and cast iron. I am going to look into one of these.

My friend who has been helping me with a lot of the framing, etc. wants to come by for a few hours on Friday to get some final things done before drywall. We are going to hang furring strips on the main ceiling to provide clearance for some pipes. We are also going to box in the last HVAC trunk. He also suggested bringing in some of the drywall. After the near fiasco with the delivery of the drywall for the theater (them not wanting to bring it into the basement), he suggested getting one of kids that works for him to come by and help bring some sheets down. Something tells me he is pushing me to keep moving. I guess there is nothing wrong with that.
post #452 of 1235
Thread Starter 
I had a few minutes, so I thought I would post a brief update. I am actually out of town right now, but I did get a few things done last week. I had hoped to post some updated pictures, but my camera decided to stop working. I will have to borrow my wife's camera and take some current photos.

In addition to cleaning up the basement and buttoning up the insulation that is installed, I did get the furring strips installed on the ceiling. This will provide clearance for some water pipes that are running across the bottom of the joists. In the main room, my ceiling height should be just over 8' (I wish I had that much room in the theater).

I still need to run an electrical circuit to the bathroom and run some plumbing. I hope that I have time to knock that out next weekend. Once I wrap up these items, I have my quote for the remaining drywall and am ready to pull the trigger ASAP. the sooner I prime and paint the main room, the sooner I get back into the theater.
post #453 of 1235
Thread Starter 
I had some time to work in the basement today. I didn't get as far as I would have liked, but I still got a fair amount done. A friend stopped by this morning, so we spent some time going over my plumbing plans to make sure I was doing everything properly. Then I turned off the water and drained the pipes so I could tap into them to run lines to the bathroom and the bar. I knew that it wasn't likely that I would get it all done in one day, so I decided to install some shutoff valves in the storage room. This would allow me to turn off the water to the basement if I ever need to work on anything in the future.

The pipes will run between the furring strips across the main room. I ran them into the room for now and stopped, but I also soldered two of the pipes that will run the length of the room and laid out the rest of my pipes. With the water shut off at the valves, I can continue working without shutting the water off to the entire house.

Here is an updated picture of the game area.

This picture is a little dark because I haven't installed any lights yet, but this will be the bar area.

My house is on a well and septic system, so I don't have a regular sewer line. To eject the waste from the basement, there is a pit for an ejection pump in the corner of the bathroom. This will take the waste and pump it into the main waste line so it can drain into the septic tank. Because the bar is on the opposite side of the basement, I didn't want to tear up the concrete to run a waste line to the pit. The main waste line actually exits the house in the same corner as the bar, so I decide to use an under sink ejection pump to push the waste water from the bar sink up into the line. I have seen several models, but many of them received poor reviews due to quality issues. Many of them failed after only a couple of years. The better ones seem really nice, but they require that they be vented through the roof. That isn't really an option for me.

A friend told me about a local pump manufacturer that he got a solid brass sump pump from and it has lasted years with no problems. I called them and it ends up that they make a laundry lift pump that is designed to go directly under a laundry tub that will do the trick. It is very compact and doesn't require a vent. It is designed to hang right under the sink without a trap. Once the pipe on top fills, it automatically pumps out the waste water. It also comes prewired with a switch to manually activate the pump just in case.

I plan to mount this under my bar sink and also have my drip trays drain into the pipe under the sink so I can rinse them out as well. Because the keg fridge only puts out water, I will just drain it into my sump pump which is in the closet in the same corner.
post #454 of 1235
Thread Starter 
Last night a friend stopped by to help me with some of the plumbing. It is much easier to lift and solder the long sections with a second set of hands. We finished running the plumbing across the game room to the bathroom wall.

I ended just outside the bathroom wall, but need to run it into the bathroom and cap it off. I will run it into the wall for the sink, but cap it after the "T" that runs to the shower and toilet. I also ran the pipes over to the bar area. I still have some work to do to run the pipes through a soffit and over to the wall where the bar sink will be. I ran out of fittings, so I need to pick up more before I can finish. I thought I had enough, but we were doing lots of engineering as we went, so I used more elbows than I expected to. Oh well, I would rather have a clean install than to take short cuts.

Tonight I cut a few more pieces of pipe so that I can continue with the soldering this weekend. I'm getting close, but probably have a few more hours of work to finish up the plumbing.

I also finalized the spacing on the 3" lights I plan to put in one of the soffits. Now I can run the wires to where these lights will be installed. I added a couple of items to my pre-drywall punch list, but fortunately the list is shrinking faster than it is growing.
post #455 of 1235
Thread Starter 
Lots of progress this weekend. I finally am starting to feel like Drywall is very close. Depending on how much I can get done during the evening this week, I will probably need one more full day next weekend to wrap up. With that said, I think I am close enough to have my friend order the drywall.

Here is a list of what I accomplished this weekend:

  • Ran the wiring for the soffit lights.
  • Ran a 20amp circuit to the bathroom.
  • Ran a 15 amp circuit to the bathroom to power the sewage ejection pump.
  • Put the last couple of pieces of insulation on the outside of the theater wall.
  • Raised a 1" copper pipe that runs the length of the game room so that it was up against the joists. It was installed using some wire pipe hangers, but it was hanging too low and would have interfered with the drywall on the ceiling.
  • Ran the thermostat wire for the main part of the basement.
  • Extended the wiring for an outdoor temperature sensor across the basement to my data closet.
  • Installed a bunch more metal protector plates on the studs where wiring passes through.
  • Ran the circuit for the back bar and side wall in the bar area (see picture below).

The two lower boxes will be inside a cabinet. I am thinking the left one will be used for audio/video equipment such as a satellite tuner. The right one may be used for something like a microwave that will be installed on a shelf below the counter. Then I installed two boxes for outlets above the counter. Lastly, the two wires in the center of the wall that don't connect will be for a recessed box that has a recessed outlet and a hole for cables. I will then mount a tv in front of this box.

On the side wall I installed a couple of outlets down low as well as two outlets higher up on the wall for neon signs.

I am very close now. I still need to insulate the bar wall behind the back bar, run a circuit for the bar itself and the keg cooler, finish up the plumbing, install the drain pipes for the bar sink, tape the seams on a few more ducts and wrap up some small miscellaneous items. If I can put in some time after work this week, I should be able to wrap everything up and clean the basement by next weekend.
post #456 of 1235
Thread Starter 
I guess I underestimated how much work I have left on the plumbing. I spent 3 hours last night and another hour tonight, and I am still not quite done. I have the plumbing run into the bathroom. I dropped the pipes down into the wall where the sink will be and ran the pipes that will eventually feed the shower and toilet into the ceiling. I still need to solder on a couple of elbows in the wall and put a wooden plate in to support the pipes where they will go through the wall under the vanity. Then I need to cap it all off.

In the bar area I soldered up the last of the pipe in the ceiling, ran the pipes across the room inside the soffit and soldered on the elbows to drop the pipes down into the wall. I still need to cut a couple more pieces for the bar sink and cap them off and I will be done with the water supply lines.

I am not finishing the bathroom quite yet, so I won't be messing with the drain pipe for now. In the bar area, I need to cut some PVC pipe to connect the ejection pump to the drain pipe which is 5 feet up the wall. I want to get the pump tested before drywalling to ensure that it works properly.

I am getting closer each day. To motivate myself, I called my friend who is doing the drywalling for me and told him I will be ready after this weekend. Now I have to get it finished before he shows up with the crew. He hasn't told me an exact day yet, but hopefully he will be out sometime next week.

If I can knock everything out by Saturday, I may take my kids to see the Avengers so that I will be motivated to get the theater done.
post #457 of 1235
Let me tell you this. I busted my butt finishing 1600 sqft in my basement for almost a year (most of it was just me, and there were existing structural things to work through, like moving an entire beam, breaking up, by hand, over 1 ton of concrete and then pouring the replacement concrete when I relocated the bathroom stub, etc)... It seemed like every waking hour was spent working in the thing, and now that I am past the final inspection, I still have a long list of things that need to be done to really make it "finished"... So again, my advice to you is to enjoy some breaks, like seeing The Avengers. I got to a point that I was so burnt out feeling, but hitting these crazy deadlines that I was getting no more than 4.5 hours of sleep each and every day for over 6 weeks. Then I started getting all sorts of muscle pain issues, headaches, and so forth that just started going away this week. The doctor I went to said that it was from overworking my body and not giving it time to rest and recuperate before putting it to work again.

I'm not saying to slough off and not make progress, but just be careful about deadlines. They are great motivators, and great sources of stress...
post #458 of 1235
Yep - I agree. I get in big bursts while i can before family activities crowd out the time, but it's easy to get a little burnt out.

I say to myself "what will I do with all the spare time when I am done ?" ... but then I know: even when it is done, it is never done.
post #459 of 1235
Relax. Don't worry. Have a Homebrew.

Sorry . . . wrong forum. Though still good advice
post #460 of 1235
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the advice (especially the suggestion to have a beer ). I agree that it is very easy to burn out. That is why I am trying to complete this in phases so that at least I can feel like I have acomplished something along the way - even if I take a break.

The drywall is a big step. Finishing that, hanging the doors and painting the walls will make it a great space. I will put the pinball machines out and let everyone enjoy it for a while. While I will keep moving on the theater, it will be at a much slower pace for a while so that I can enjoy some other things such as my kids' baseball games and a trip or two.
post #461 of 1235
You are making great progess Nick. I cannot imagine having to solder all that water pipe! These theaters have a way of consuming all our time. You're very right to take time out for family. Glad to hear you're having a crew do the drywall. I saved a few bucks doing mine but, it took months to complete. I'm looking forward to seeing your game room and pinball machines in action.

post #462 of 1235
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dale. The soldering has been the easy part. It is all of the planning, measuring and cutting that is time consuming. Part of my problem is that I am so anal about this stuff. Lining up all of the pipes, properly mounting them and all of the overkill with pipe sizing, type of pipe, etc. It all adds extra time, but is worth it in the end. the good news is that the cost of the plumbing is minimal ($$ only - not including my personal time). I will only have about $300 in all of the plumbing for the basement. I can't imagine what a professional would have charged.

As far as the drywall, that is one item that I just want done (and done well). I paid a bit more than I would have liked to drywall the theater, but I am really happy with the price for the rest of the basement. All of the materials, labor, etc. is only costing me $1380, so I couldn't pass it up. that even includes cutting and finishing all of the soffits. It will all be done in a day and I can move on.

Even though I am not doing flooring right away, the pinball machines will be back out very soon. That is something I have missed greatly. I have kept a few out while working on the basement, but my sons and I miss being able to walk up to any game and turn it on for a quick game.
post #463 of 1235
Thread Starter 
First things first - my sons and I went and saw the Avengers this weekend and we loved it. Well woth it. I'm really glad I took the break and spent some time with the boys.

The basement prep work is nearly complete. I have a few minor things to wrap up tonight and then I will be ready for drywall. I finished soldering all of the plumbing, pressure tested it with some air just to be sure there were no leaks and then turned on the water. I am very happy that there are no leaks. Everything turned out great. I do want to go back and secure the pipes in a couple more places just to be sure, but everything else with the water lines is complete.

I also dry fit the plumbing for my ejection pump and tested it out. There are a couple of tweaks that I may make, but it seems to be working fine. The good news is that this plumbing is completely in a closet, so I can still adjust it after the drywall is up.

I have a couple more pieces of insulation to staple in place in the bar area once I finish anchoring the pipes, but that won't take long. I also finished up the last couple of electrical items on my list. All of the circuits are run and ready to go. The only other things on my list are to double check that all of my can lights are aligned correctly, tuck all of the wiring into the electric boxes so the drywall can go up and then finally - clean up the room so the drywall can be installed.

Hopefully I will have time to get these things wrapped up tonight so that I can think about something other than the basement for at least a few days. I haven't confirmed what day they are installing the drywall, but having some time to focus on other things will be a nice break.
post #464 of 1235
Keep your eye on the prize, Nick. It's been a long time coming, but once that drywall goes up you really start to see what the finished project will look like.

I think we probably started about the same time. I have about half a dozen more sheets of 1/2" GWB to put up. and it's amazing how the room gets quiet. I can almost notice a difference after each sheet.

We'll get there!

post #465 of 1235
Thread Starter 
Thanks Tim. I think having interim milestones (like drywall) helps us feel like we are accomplishing something. It will be nice to have a "useable" room even if the bar and flooring aren't done yet.

The other thing that gives me a boost is when people see the work that is already done and are amazed that I did most of it on my own. I keep trying to explain that this is just the shell and there is more to come.
post #466 of 1235
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Mr.Tim View Post

Keep your eye on the prize, Nick. It's been a long time coming, but once that drywall goes up you really start to see what the finished project will look like.

I think we probably started about the same time. I have about half a dozen more sheets of 1/2" GWB to put up. and it's amazing how the room gets quiet. I can almost notice a difference after each sheet.

We'll get there!


Tim, I meant to ask, do you have a build thread?
post #467 of 1235
Thread Starter 
Everything is all complete and ready for drywall. That's a good thing since they are going to be installing it tomorrow. I took a few final shots of the room pre-drywall.

Main game room:

Bar area:

post #468 of 1235
Looking good, Nick.

Hope you're not like me-- I started drywalling the ceiling and thought, "you know, I should really run some more cat5 and some alarm wires and some thermostat wire to the back closet.. just in case" and proceed to spend hours snaking wires that would have taken about 10 minutes before drywall

Heck, I woke up at 4am this morning (I mean wth, am I dreaming about home theaters? Certainly there are.. er.. more beautiful things.. to dream about) and realized I forgot to pull the control cable for the Grafik Eye into the gem box (the wire is there.. I just forgot to pull it into the box).

Ah, yes.. drywall.. such a wonderful stage in the project

I had a build thread like 2 years ago. One of these days I will start another thread with all the photos I've taken along the way.
post #469 of 1235
Thread Starter 
Part of the reason this project has taken me so long is because I spend hours trying to figure out what I forgot or what am doing wrong. With that said, I think I pretty much have the wiring covered.

I somewhat am cheating though. The ceiling above the bar area will be a 2x2 drop ceiling with stamped copper tiles. I thought it would fit in really well with the bar theme, plus it allows me to access the joists going into the wiring closet. I will have access to the ceiling above the bar area, pinball workshop and storage room. Those rooms cover a good portion of the footprint of the house, so hopefully I won't need to cut any holes in the drywall in the near future.

You should revive your build thread. If nothing else, it is a great place to record what you have done so you can reference it later.
post #470 of 1235
Thread Starter 
Drywall day one is complete. All of the drywall was hung with the exception of the theater wall. the plan is to hang the DD on the outside of the theater first thing tomorrow morning before the mudding is done. The mudding should be complete tomorrow.

Bar area:

Game area:

post #471 of 1235
It really starts to take shape when the drywall goes up, doesn't it. I was at that point back in January... Keep it up.
post #472 of 1235
[quote=NGiovas;22005094]Everything is all complete and ready for drywall. That's a good thing since they are going to be installing it tomorrow. I took a few final shots of the room pre-drywall.

Main game room:

Nice, organized homebrew equipment you got there.
post #473 of 1235
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by red86yota View Post

Nice, organized homebrew equipment you got there.

Thanks. That narrow space in the storage room is perfect for those racks. I also have a chest freezer on the opposite wall. My well tank and water softener sit at the end of that room. I'm really happy with the overall layout of the basement. I am really glad I posted my plans on AVS before starting . It helped me optimize the space much better. I am really excited about the basement starting to look like a living space.
post #474 of 1235
Looks great Nick! Wow I wish I had hired out all of that drywall haha...good move!
post #475 of 1235
+1 on the drywall... I got my drywall at wholesale cost from a drywall supplier in town and just for the drywall it was $1400. Add a few hundred more for the various mud (dry boxes and mixed buckets), cornerbead, and tape. I hung everything myself and then paid someone to mud, tape, and texture. That was another $1800 for the best price for what I got. All said and done, it was still $3500 cheaper than paying the cheapest guys to come and do it A-to-Z... I've done the kidding, taping, and texturing before and it always turned out great (better than some of the professional jobs I've seen) but the price of that is I am horribly slow at it because I want it perfect. I still have stuff that I need the murders to fix, but honestly, I can fix it better and with less hassle. Just make sure that the seams and corners are spot on before they texture. It is a lot easier to fix a smooth surface than a textured one.
post #476 of 1235
Thread Starter 
The drywalling is just about complete. On Friday morning he hung double 5/8" drywall with GG between the two layers. I debated on only doing one layer of 5/8", but I had a few sheets left from the theater and he had several sheets of 5/8" that had been sitting in his barn for a while, so he said he would do it for the same price as he originally quoted. It might be overkill, but why not. All that remains is for the person who did the mudding (same guy who did my theater) to come back for a couple of hours tomorrow to do the finish sanding and do any touch-ups that are necessary.

Here is a shot of the gameroom and the theater wall. I hung plastic over all of the doorways to keep the dust down in the other rooms while he is sanding. Also, it was very humid this weekend, so I ran a dehumidifier and a couple of fans all weekend to make sure the mud dried.

Here is the bar area:

I also installed 5 3" can lights in one of the soffits. I figured if I screwed up, he could fix it while he was here. Fortunately, everything went as planned . I am going to wire them to a dimmer and position them over my games so that I can light them when people aren't playing, but then dim them or turn them off when people are playing.

Once he sands tomorrow, I can begin the cleanup effort (my wife can't wait since there is drywall dust all over the floor at the top of the basement stairs). I also picked up some primer and some white ceiling paint.

I am also going to go ahead and hang the doors so that is out of the way. I would like to be able to close off the other areas so that I don't have to worry about anything while people are down in the basement playing pinball.
post #477 of 1235
Good progress, now are you ready for the big 3 day memorial weekend tasks?
post #478 of 1235
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mike. Hopefully I will have primer and paint on the walls before the long weekend. If so, I may work on doors and trim. From there it is back to the theater.
post #479 of 1235
Thread Starter 
Quick update - I finally finished the room cleanup. I can truly state that I hate cleaning up drywall dust. It took me 3 nights to get the walls and ceiling cleaned up and clean up the floor to the point where I wasn't tracking dust everywhere.

I also finished putting on the new drywall primer/sealer. That took a lot longer than I thought it would. The space doesn't look that big, but by the time you add all of the soffits and corners, it was a big job. I had hoped to move on to paint right away, but I am still undecided on the color scheme. I am fairly certain about what I want to do with the bar area, but I can't decide if I should keep the same color scheme in the game area or do something different.

I know that there will be wood in the bar area on the floor, and carpet in the game area. Originally I was thinking of using brighter colors with a glow in the dark carpet for the game area, but now I'm not so sure. If the room was totally enclosed, it would be easier, but since it is open into the bar area, I may just match the two rooms.

Hopefully I can make some decisions soon so I can move on with the painting, but don't want to rush the decision.
post #480 of 1235
Thread Starter 
I really want to wrap up this part of the basement, and I was having a hard time deciding on whether I should split the paint scheme between the two rooms or match them. I finally decided I would match them for now and I can always repaint the game room if I change my mind. I'm not buying flooring quite yet anyway.

With that said, I got the ceiling in the game area painted tonight. I painted it white. I am very close to selecting the wall color. I have some samples and plan to make a decision in the next day or two.

Also, to keep things moving along, I am going to pay a friend to hang the doors and trim for me. He is also going to hang the grid for the drop ceiling in the bar area. I am planning to use a stamped tin ceiling that drops into a standard 2x2 drop ceiling grid. The company I am looking at has around 40 colors and many stamped patterns. I ordered some color samples today and will order some pattern samples once I pick the color. Here is a photo from their site showing a drop ceiling similar to what I plan to use.

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