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Andy's Maple Ale Theatre - Page 4

post #91 of 173
I'm in Oakville and a guy I used to run some gas lines last summer said he can get good prices on Kingsman (I believe that was the brand) gas fireplaces. He said he does it much cheaper as well. His name is Dave the Gas Guy (Dave Weaks or Weeks). He's out of Burlington. Perhaps you'll get some sort of idea for pricing from him.
post #92 of 173
Thread Starter 
That's good to know - thanks for posting. I'll check it out as we are interested in the Kingsman line.

My wife phoned this one place in Mississauga/Oakville multiple times. After a while it was no longer to get information but as a personal challenge. She gave the guy an earful when she finally got a hold of someone, and in response he quoted her a really good price. Ironically we will probably go with them.
post #93 of 173
Thread Starter 
Drywallers are booked! Pressure is on. I am encouraged by the recent drywalling shots of Nick's Homebrew Theatre, but yikes lots of little things left to do.

Now I HAVE to do all those little annoying jobs that I have been putting off for weeks/months on end.
post #94 of 173
Thread Starter 
Structured Phone - Phase 1

I am NOT going to re-wire all the phone wire in my house, but all of the new stuff will definitely be structured. And like everything else I am doing in my basement, the plan is to move as much as I can away from the crammed corner where my electrical panel is.

I will be using BIX components, not 66 or 110 blocks, for my structured phone wiring. 66's aren't available in the area, and I don't really like 110. That, and a long time ago I used to work for Northern Telecom. :-)

For phase 1 of Structure Phone I put a small BIX panel near my electrical panel in order to:
- clean up the legacy installation
- connect the cat3 that is running over to the second BIX panel in the middle of the basement.

Wiring up all the basement jacks and the second BIX panel will have to wait until after drywall.

Anyhoo, it went fairly well. I tentatively cut the mess of quick wire connections the original installer did between the legacy house circuits, the security system, and the line out to the street. Once it was all punched in everything still worked ! yay !

What's funny is that whenever I am working on the BIX panels all I can hear in my head is "BIX! BIX! BIX!" from this old installation training video that I saw on youtube. It's done in a funny faux-sports event style, check it out if you have time.


post #95 of 173
Thread Starter 
Great weather for the rest of the day so I had to do some garden duty, including the annual sawing down of the 4m tall grasses at the side of the house. It was such a nice day I brought my tools outside and built the ceiling speaker backer boxes outside. These will be placed above the in-ceiling speakers in the south room to reduce noise transmission upstairs. I used leftover plywood from the flooring to build the boxes and plan to line them with some leftover drywall. I then plan to mount them as isolated as I can from the joists. I can't get RSIC RC04 clips readily but I think I can improvise fairly well with some rubber washers and L brackets.

post #96 of 173
Thread Starter 
Finished up the ceiling speaker boxes. Lined with leftover 5/8 drywall and mounted in the ceiling using my own creative bracket solution. I have separated the screw-head, L-bracket, and ceiling joist using rubber washers (and a steel washer to spread the screw-head pressure). Is it perfect? No - theoretically there is still probably some small connection point where the L-bracket is resting on the top edge of the screw despite my using the bar code sticker over the holes in the L-bracket to suspend the screw during installation. But overall there is a significant reduction in contact.

Add a slice of Roxul Safe'n'Sound on top and I have myself an installed speaker box x4 !

Speaking of insulation, my darling wife has been helping out by stuffing insulation in the walls and today she finished that part as well. Next part - the ceiling !
post #97 of 173
Thread Starter 

Working on lots of miscellaneous stuff in the basement this weekend. All windows were open so I had another great fresh breeze while listening to all of my Beastie Boys albums (in memory of Adam Yauch who recently passed away).
  • New circuit for fireplace wall wash light.
  • Finished re-building the framing around a large venting stack.
  • Closed off an open part near the ceiling to the utility room - gotta keep that sound out !
  • Had to lower all the ceiling fixtures (pot light boxes, junction boxes.. you name it) because I didn't install everything low enough to account for the channels between the joists and the drywall. Oops.
post #98 of 173
Thread Starter 
weekend may 12-15

The framing around 2 windows is no longer square. Arg! These are part of the original framing done back in 2010, so it has warped somewhat. Spent a good chunk of the weekend trimming, straightening, and re-building parts so it will be good for the drywall.

Other updates - roughly drywalled the corner where the fireplace will go. It is apparently much easier to do this before it goes in, so picked up some sheets and stuck them up. Real busy time as my 8 year old is just turning 9 and has a ball-hockey birthday party Saturday.

Last few upgrades to upstairs before the basement ceiling gets closed off. One cool update is for the kitchen desk. The original builders left a computer-tower sized gap between the wall and the kitchen desk, but there is no power or anything. Kind of useless. The result is a power bar, a mess of wires, and a small computer hiding behind the monitor.

So I installed a plug in the computer bay so I can move the computer off the desk.

But why stop there !

I also punched more holes and installed a keystone plate with ethernet and audio connections (to the distributed audio system). Best part is I added another plate with VGA and two USB ports that runs (via the basement) to another VGA-USB plate right behind the monitor. No wires on the desk !

When I cut the holes in the walls for all of the above, I of course found inside some debris from the original build of the house many years ago. I also found a long drill bit and this:

It's amazing what you find hidden in your walls !
post #99 of 173
Thread Starter 
may 24

Fireplace arrived this afternoon!

Since I have a space restriction on one side (due to a window) we had planned to see how the unit would fit in before finalizing my plan for framing around it. We might have wanted to have it pushed forward/backward to accomodate. At one point there was both installers, myself, and my neighbour all sketching ideas and possibilities on the floor, grabbing scrap lumber for mock ups.. it was pretty funny.

Overall the fireplace looks great. An expensive last minute addition but I am glad we did it.

post #100 of 173
Thread Starter 
(may 28)

Boy am i stiff and tired. Neck, arms, back, legs.

Drywall materials arrive tomorrow and still loads of things to do so I took the day off work to try and get it all done.
  • framed around the fireplace. Harder than it sounds because of the tight corner and little pieces.
  • worked on list of things that Joe the drywall guy said would be a good idea to do (mods to make side boxes smaller etc)
  • framed last window
  • helped my wife continue with the ceiling insulation.
  • started removing electrical devices and making temp connections so there will be power and light.
  • cleaning up the major mess and collection of tools, bits etc.
  • moved the table, fooseball table and old rear-pro tv into the storage area.

.. and a bunch of other stuff. Overall I worked 16 hours on the basement yesterday, less a 1 hour break where we took my son out to dinner for his 11th birthday.

"Son, for your birthday this year you get drywall".

post #101 of 173
I've been keeping an eye on your thread. I really like your pictures and descriptions. Looks like your keeping an eye on the prize and moving forward pretty quickly. keep up the good work!!
post #102 of 173
Thread Starter 
It's amazing how much water has passed under the bridge in the last 18 months or so. As I am doing the last touch ups and cleaning up in prep for the drywallers I have come across many sketches and notes about work I did a year ago. (and the odd "what was I thinking when I did this?") I don't know how I was able to do so much when I was so far away from the finish line!

Thanks for the comments !
post #103 of 173
Thread Starter 
Drywall materials arrived this afternoon !

Another late night finishing the ceiling insulation, marking special ceiling points on the floor (valve and light locations that I need to pop out later), and all sorts of odds'n'sods.
post #104 of 173
Thread Starter 
(may 30)

Today just the main drywall contractor was at the house doing prep and building ceiling boxes. Boy, he is much quicker than I ever would be, and much better obviously. I hung some plastic around the inside of the storage room so that the drywall dust will not cover all of our camping gear (and all of the other junk stuffed in there)

The curved bulkhead is in! The basement is starting to emerge from the designs ! eek.gif
post #105 of 173
Thread Starter 
Well it certainly has been a long time since an official update. The basement is still progressing (yes!) but with all the other stuff on the go I never had time to update AVS or I was too tired to spend more time in front of a computer.

To sum up my major distraction over the past 4 months: I was transitioning to a new job (read: doing two jobs at once) when another manager quit so I had to cover until there was a replacement (read: doing 3 jobs at once) which ended up taking 4 months to fill.

I did jot down some notes from time to time, so I will try to catch up! cool.gif
post #106 of 173
Thread Starter 
First off, I found some photos that I never posted:

Although I lost most of the pictures of my stair lighting test, I did find this ONE picture that you can see the test in the corner...

Lighting test before fireplace installation. (I used a sheet of drywall to simulate the non-existing fireplace wall so I could place the pot-light in the correct place)

and the LAST PIECE OF FRAMING ... around the new fireplace!

post #107 of 173
Thread Starter 
a few more left over images:

My main workstation during the majority of the build, here showing my different electrical plans.
It was great to see lots of items being crossed off the big TO-DO lists instead of being added.

The electrical plans were always changing and being updated as things progressed:

My pretty wiring at the subpanel !

and my pretty wife helping out by stuffing insulation in the ceiling:

post #108 of 173
Thread Starter 
(May/June 2012 update)

May was madness. For example: one weekend our drywaller was working in the basement while we also had a go-karting birthday party for my oldest, a visiting family from Ottawa stay over, and a birthday party with the entire extended family over on Sunday.

The neat thing is that the family that stayed with us is my friend Mark who really helped get this whole mess started. I used to work with Mark many years ago and we rarely get to see each other. A couple of years ago we stayed at their house for Canada Day weekend and my wife and kids were quite impressed by his finished basement with projector and as a result I got whole-hearted support to focus on finishing the basement complete with theatre. (it wasn't planned that way - honest ! :-D)

Once Mark found out that I was starting my own HT he encouraged me further (he's always trying to get me to spend money ;-) ) by mailing me a copy of the Disney WOW disk to be used on the new theatre. I have kept that WOW disk in the basement near the radio for the past 18months to remind me of the objective. So props to Mark, and it was good timing that they happened to be passing through town as the drywall is being hung!

By mid-June I had taped drywall and it looks AWESOME.

Progression photos March-June:

From under the stairs:

Standing in front of the screen:

At the entry:

Woo hoo !!
Edited by andymo - 11/27/12 at 2:42pm
post #109 of 173
Drywall is a big step. It looks great and congrats on the progress. Now where is the July-November update?wink.gif
post #110 of 173
Thread Starter 
Thanks Spaceman! More is coming tongue.gif


post #111 of 173
Thread Starter 
One extra pano, from the "music corner"

post #112 of 173
Thread Starter 
(end of June update)

- did a coating of primer on the wall and a couple of coats on the cieling- ouchy back. Boy - everything sure is very white.
- also picking away at the house lan once in a while. Starting to clean up the wires behind the rack.
- had to buy another amp (kijiji $50 sony 6.1 LOL) as the other one for the house audio was clipping *and had to adjust all my inputs so things are a bit mroe balanced
- guests are visiting from PRico. Kid mania, school is out etc.

- built the stage. 18 bags of 20kg of sand. taking forever to dry (only one brand available at our HD)

post #113 of 173
Thread Starter 
(July update)

After a week of camping I am back in the basement and the sand is finally dry. Sealed up the stage. Over 800 pounds of sand inside. It feels nice and solid when you step up on it.

Working on the riser:
Got the outlet boxes in, and pulled the wire. The led rope lighting was a bit more of a hassle - i ended up combining them all into an extension cord that I plumbed out the back of the riser and into the back room. This way I have access to the Insteon pllug (instead of sealing it in the riser) in case I need to reset it or something.
Minor beef - the dimming outlet (Outlet Linc) won't turn the LED rope lights completely off. Apparently they don't draw enough load to turn the dimmer all the way off (doesn't make a ton of sense to me honestly). I may have to switch to a on/off switch unit.
Regardless, RISER DONE.

Comin' together ..

post #114 of 173
Thread Starter 
Added a new outlet in the little alcove near the back of the room.
Why? A little keg-fridge appeared at Costco last June and we ended up picking it up (Happy Father's Day, my beautiful wife said to me) and it is going to fit just nicely in the little alcove that we really didn't know what to do with. Putting the plug in AFTER the drywall was not as easy as before, but it worked out okay. It also forced me to rebalance some of the ccts and enable me to move the condensate pump plug onto the same cct as the furnace.

Fits great !

post #115 of 173
Thread Starter 
(August update part 1)

First week of August - finished the coat of primer (borrowed fancy ladder for hard-to-get-to spots). Then painted the ceiling. My eyeballs were going crazy painting cloud-white over primer-white !

With the ceiling painting done I took out the temporary hanging light bulbs and put the proper flood lights and trim kits in the built-in cans. That way when we paint the colour on the walls the lighting will be as it will be. Snapping everything in didn't take long, except ... hey ! ... one light did not come on! It was working before !!!

I changed the bulb, tested the socket, tested power to the socket, etc. etc. Eventually I found the problem was quality control at Cooper industries and it was impressive that it was actually working for a short period of time.

The wire break was right at the entry cable, so too short to splice. Boy was I bummed - the paint is barely dry on the drywalled ceiling and now I have a built-in recessed light fixture that needs to be replaced. mad.gif

But boy was I pleasantly surprised eek.gif and impressed cool.gif as I started disassembling the unit from the 5-inch hole in the ceiling.

The main can slid right out, and when I looked inside - Lo ! A SECRET BACK DOOR to the connections box that is revealed when you take it apart from the inside !

I happened to have an extra housing, so I took that apart and used those parts to replace the bad one. All working again !!
(bonus - I didn't have to fix all the wire cuts I made during the testing)
post #116 of 173
Thread Starter 
(Third week in August.)

For our 18th anniversary, my wife and I painted the basement. :-)

In-laws came over for a two-day painting party. They and my wife painted during the day while I was at work, and then I joined them in the evenings. It's all looking great.

Officially the colour is called "Greige" (gray-beige). It slightly changes colour depending on the light. Sometimes it is nice a gray, sometimes it has a slight olive tone to it.

I installed two of the ceiling speakers to provide more music to my painting crew. They look great !

Aug 15 - Painting done ! and the countertop arrived and now is waiting upstairs.
post #117 of 173
Thread Starter 
(end of August - early Sept)

After much wiggling, the far wall cabinets are in. These things have been taking up space in my garage for over a year now so it is great to get them installed. I actually had to install them twice because of the change in stone vaneer (more on that later) meant I needed less of a gap to accommodate the stone.

But when it came time to put our counter top in, things didn't go as well. I measured and re-measured the heck out of that thing before we ordered the custom top. However the girl at HD who gave me all the required tolerances for the end caps actually forgot to subtract them herself. Oops. So a week later when the top arrived it was a few inches too long and didn't fit. Arg!

So back to HD and the girl realized what had happened. Turns out she is a floor manager or something, but she was great. She gave me free saw blades and offered rentals if I wanted to trim it down myself, and if I mess it up she will replace the whole thing anyway. This was appealing because I could then cut it at a slight angle to make the top fit between the walls super perfectly. She spent lots of time with me getting all the stuff I needed in the store and consulting all the old timers there to make sure I did the best way.

So in the end I cut off the excess, and I cut it at a very slight angle, and holy cow that counter top couldn't fit into that twelve foot space any tighter or more perfect. Woo hoo !

post #118 of 173
Thread Starter 
Mystery photo:

post #119 of 173
Thread Starter 
What's a corbel ?

Ordered the stone for the fireplace wall and counter wall.

In the meantime, time to work on the mantel - it needs to be up before we do the stone work.

Found a couple not too far north that accumulates old barn beams and makes them into mantels (and some other things). She had a fair bit to choose from, however everything is big and long. I have just a little fireplace wall and so it would have to be cut - custom job.

So in the end (just like everything else it seems) I ended up not taking a finished product but just got an old barn beam from her and I would do all the cutting and staining. The good part of this is that I can use the excess to make rustic-beam corbels (are they really corbels? or are they just faux cross-beams ? I dunno!). Regardless, I cut off the end and then made two corbels from that - including fake weathering from my jigsaw, hammer, and sandpaper.

Stained it all up - looks great !

I love this knot ...

post #120 of 173
Thread Starter 
Mantle mounted !

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