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The Plains Theater - Page 5

post #121 of 1535
Thread Starter 
The problem in house is the main floor. There's a long span for an open area on the main floor that will need a beam as well. The end of that beam has to be supported, and the post supporting it on the first floor happens to fall in the middle of our theater.

I agree with you as well BIG, my first thought was to have them rework it, no questions. But once they explained why they did it, it made me start thinking more seriously about it. I really do think it's going to be too crowded there, though.
post #122 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

The next thing has my blood pressure through the roof.

I feel for you. I survived a year-long new construction last year...it was amazing to me how often the subs just did their own thing. Got to the point where my wife was basically stationed at the site and was the de facto foreman. And framing is the part that should go smoothly!

I would definitely have them correct the stairway if you can. It's completely unacceptable for them to have deviated from the construction documents. What is the width of the landing in the plans? As Big noted, you will have to take 4" out of that for framing as well.
post #123 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

I actually considered raising the first floor,

I think it's expensive to raise the whole 1st floor and there are other down sides like the number of steps required to reach the entrance in the garage & front porch. Taller steps in the garage eat into your garage space. Then do you need to make the garage wider to still fit 2 cars? If you expand the garage, what's above it that you're now also making wider (more sq footage). Taller steps in the front add cost, and after a couple steps code requires railings on the steps and then on the porch itself. Not only does that all cost more, but it locks you into a certain look. Plus extra steps to the house are a PITA with groceries, grand parents, or if you intend to grow old there. It snowballs. I decided it wasn't worth it for me. The 20" raise in my plans now is just an artifact of insisting nothing protruded down into the space.
post #124 of 1535
How much will the steel beam cost YOU? I'd go that route if cost is in the "noise level" and doesn't delay things by much, otherwise the 18" beam option doesn't appear like it will cost you much in terms of headroom when all's said and done.

Would be interesting to know though how the designer went from a 24" beam to an 18" beam....."decided they could get by" with it
post #125 of 1535
Thread Starter 
Steel beam would add quite a bit of time. Our contractor said the company they use is only qualified for wood beams. They could provide the loading, but we'd have to farm out the actual design.

They actually went from a 2-ply, 24" LVL to a 3-ply, 18" parallam beam. So it was more than just a smaller beam. I asked that very question because I didn't want to be walking around down there thinking about how they downsized that beam!

EDIT: I think I'd be on the hook for the cost of the beam and analysis as well, but I have no idea what the cost would be. For us, the real concern is just the delay. We're really trying to get into the house before the new baby gets here in May.
post #126 of 1535
I'm with the others here as I would have them rework the stairs for sure. Having a tighter than optional entry into my basement I sure would like to have 4" of additional "wiggle" room from time to time.

On the ceiling deal, is seems as though you are not loosing a great deal of head room in the big picture. If you were ceiling challenged like I am it would be a much bigger deal. I think the minor loss of headroom is acceptable vs. the alternative of going and getting a steel beam that you have to foot on your own bill and delay the construction timeline as well. Just remember that all through your build you will be faced with thousands of decisions and compromises it all boils down to what is acceptable by your standards. In the end you and your family are the ones that neeed to be happy and it is your dime so you are ultimately the boss as well. Pick your battles, the one you give in on today just might pay dividends tomorrow when it is something that really matters to you.

Of course this is just my .02 worth on knowledge. Use it wisely.

Regards,

RTROSE
post #127 of 1535
Thread Starter 
Good advice, all around. I really do need to lighten up as well. This just really surprised me today. After all the time we spent making it clear what we wanted that room for, then to find 8" of beam hanging down in the middle of it. Well, it rubbed me the wrong way to say the least.

Anyway, it looks like we'll have the 18" beam here on Thursday, so hopefully progress will resume once the weather improves. I think I'll take everyone's advice as well, and have them rework the stairs as shown on the plans. We were concerned about tripping over the odd stair there, but I think with two different floor coverings it will be ok.
post #128 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

Good advice, all around. I really do need to lighten up as well. This just really surprised me today. After all the time we spent making it clear what we wanted that room for, then to find 8" of beam hanging down in the middle of it. Well, it rubbed me the wrong way to say the least.

Anyway, it looks like we'll have the 18" beam here on Thursday, so hopefully progress will resume once the weather improves. I think I'll take everyone's advice as well, and have them rework the stairs as shown on the plans. We were concerned about tripping over the odd stair there, but I think with two different floor coverings it will be ok.

I am sure you and the builder have already figured this in but make sure when they do redo the step that it is within 1/8" of the next step. The city is crazy when it comes to all of the steps being with 1/8" of each other. They will make you tear it down and completely start over. You must factor it in with whatever type of flooring you are using.
post #129 of 1535
Nah, I don't think you need to lighten up at all. Building a house is STRESSFUL!!! And those little things can drive you crazy.
post #130 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

So when you come down the stairs you'll be staring at the wall on the right. Thoughts on which alternative you would prefer, anyone?

Big is right - they should redo it at no cost to you and no cost to your GC. Better to do this immediately before any more house gets built on top of it and the structural load wall shifts. It is a relatively easy fix that would take those guys less than an hour to fix and less than $50 in materials. You have a great design plan to have the bottom of your steps be the riser height for your theater and a nice cascade of two steps into the media room and I would make sure these guys stick with that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

This means that there would be 8" of beam hanging down into my 9' ceilings! Nobody bothered to ask if I was OK with that, either. After I mentioned it to our builder, they went back to the flooring designer and they've decided they can get by with an 18" beam there, so I only lose 2" of head room. The only other alternative would be a steel beam, but we'd have to have another company design it.

Any thoughts?

My opinion is to go with the steel beam. It would take your engineer / architect of the plan no more than an hour of calculations to determine the proper size of steel beam to carry the load across the width of your theater. Most steel companies have all shapes & sizes of these I-beams in stock and will cut it to length for delivery and booming into your job site in relatively short order.

Like you, I unexpectedly got involved with the structural support in our new home to shift and/or eliminate support posts. I was faced with the same LVL height vs. steel beam height situation and I ended up going with what's called a W67 steel beam which is a super heavy gauge I-beam THAT IS ONLY 8 INCHES IN HEIGHT! Only cost an extra $225 vs. the LVL, so it was a no-brainer to preserve the smooth, seamless ceiling you are looking for without any sacrifice in the strength/support of the point load. In fact this beam was rated for more than triple my actual load - but the goal was to get an 8" beam....not 10", not 12" but 8" to pull off the design.

Perhaps you can use the rain and holiday season to your advantage and work out the logistics of redoing this structural support without really losing and build time.
post #131 of 1535
I agree with others. Don't lighten up. This is your role. Unfortunately (and curiously) these things are a part of the process. In another month or so you'll be a seasoned pro. Deciding which things you need to press and which things you shouldn't will be second nature. These two items are the right sort of thing to press on.

Gather yourself and get in the right mindset to handle curves without additional stress. You can get through the build unscared, but you have keep your head in the game and keep perspective. Great job so far!

I spent several hours at the end of every day at our build. Three out of five days I discovered a punch list that the general had not.
post #132 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

Steel beam would add quite a bit of time. Our contractor said the company they use is only qualified for wood beams. They could provide the loading, but we'd have to farm out the actual design.

They actually went from a 2-ply, 24" LVL to a 3-ply, 18" parallam beam. So it was more than just a smaller beam. I asked that very question because I didn't want to be walking around down there thinking about how they downsized that beam!

EDIT: I think I'd be on the hook for the cost of the beam and analysis as well, but I have no idea what the cost would be. For us, the real concern is just the delay. We're really trying to get into the house before the new baby gets here in May.

To tag onto my previous comment as I seemed to have missed reading this posting from you but.... if they already have the loading requirements for this beam then it will be even easier to have a structural steel company tell you what you need for the span. It is really just a chart that looks at load vs. span and tells you what you would have to use for an 8" beam, 10" beam, 12" beam, etc. And they would certainly be able to provide a short list of top-notch contractors they typically work with to handle this 1/2 day job.

Two other points: 1. Although the GC's supplier may only be familiar with structural loads on wood beams, the architect of the house should be able to modify and specify the equivalent steel beam in the height you want in relatively short order. Your GC will have to bring in a steel beam supplier, but if he is worth his weight in anything I am sure he has a list of suppliers and contractors he has worked with in the past. 2. As for the steel beam adding "quite a bit of time", this to me is a subjective statement. Inclement weather can add quite a bit of time. Delays from suppliers can add quite a bit of time. Redoing work to plan can add quite a bit of time. I take this as a statement that the GC doesn't want to be bothered with it more so than it actually taking quite a bit of time to complete, especially if the loading is already known and since there would be no change to the footings. A couple days of calculation and delay will save you years of staring down that LVL and saying "I wish I would have just changed that to steel when I had the chance".

Just imagine Sandman's large, continuous fiber optic ceiling in your theater and say "this is what I paid for, damn it!!!"

As a side note, now may be a good time to review the other LVL heights/placements in the rest of your house to make sure they meet your expectations.

Keep up the great work (and pics)!!!
post #133 of 1535
Thread Starter 
I appreciate all the feedback! It makes me feel better that I'm not overreacting. I guess after all the time I spent pouring over the plans for the past several months, I just figured they'd build that house. I wasn't expecting to run into a situation where things were changed without even asking us about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMcG View Post

..........You have a great design plan to have the bottom of your steps be the riser height for your theater.........

This is the rub with hole situation. The way the framers have it, the landing is at riser height. The way we have it planned, there is one step down from the landing to riser height. The tradeoff being a larger landing.
post #134 of 1535
saw your post in the BIG/Ohio thread and thought "hes just joking." but then again maybe not. question is: are your builders FINISHING your theater or will the space be unfinished and then youll execute your plan from there? the more I think about it the less far fetched it would be for u to prefer a more specialized entity to do the theater.
post #135 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

I appreciate all the feedback! It makes me feel better that I'm not overreacting. I guess after all the time I spent pouring over the plans for the past several months, I just figured they'd build that house. I wasn't expecting to run into a situation where things were changed without even asking us about it.

This is the rub with hole situation. The way the framers have it, the landing is at riser height. The way we have it planned, there is one step down from the landing to riser height. The tradeoff being a larger landing.

I think the larger landing is more important. The builder and the subs will tell you that it's not important because they don't want to have to go back and fix their mistake. You should stick to your guns and correct mistakes whenever you see them.

We spent a year designing our house and spent a fortune on the architect and engineering. Our builder was a nice, reasonable guy...but the subs had to be monitored constantly. Even with us spending hours on the site each day, we missed things...for instance, in our dining room there is a set of double doors and two door-height windows flanking them on either side opening out to the patio. The room was designed to have the doors in exactly the center...the framers incorrectly centered them based on the exterior elevation (which did not need to be done); they needed to be centered on the interior, as there were two dry-wall pillars on either side of the room which changed the width of the interior. This put doors/windows about 6 inches off center. We didn't notice this until the day we moved in. So we've had to fudge the dining table a little, and while almost impossible for a visitor to notice, it grates on my nerves every time I think about it.

And believe me, when it comes to the interior finish, the subs are even worse. They just don't pay attention.
post #136 of 1535
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistaforty View Post

saw your post in the BIG/Ohio thread and thought "hes just joking." but then again maybe not. question is: are your builders FINISHING your theater or will the space be unfinished and then youll execute your plan from there? the more I think about it the less far fetched it would be for u to prefer a more specialized entity to do the theater.

You hit the nail on the head! We're not planning to finish the basement with the house. So, when I do get around to finishing the basement and theater, it would be nice to have some experienced help! Here's the thread if anyone is interested


.......And believe me, when it comes to the interior finish, the subs are even worse. They just don't pay attention.....[/quote]

Thanks for the pep talk!

The subs changing things on the fly is probably the most aggravating part. You spend months designing the house like you want it, and the subs make a decision in a couple of minutes to change something. The sub probably figured you'd never put any thought into where that door was supposed to go, so they just picked for you. Never mind that they don't have to live in the house.

I think this will all be fun, when I look back on it, but yesterday was definitely not!
post #137 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

I think this will all be fun, when I look back on it, but yesterday was definitely not!

When I look back on it...I need a drink!
post #138 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

You hit the nail on the head! We're not planning to finish the basement with the house. So, when I do get around to finishing the basement and theater, it would be nice to have some experienced help!

I'm right behind you. I brought Dennis in to do the room design through HVAC & drywall, but I've changed my mind at least 6 times between having the builder finish the room or leaving it unfinished. I ended up going to contract with it unfinished. I'm also looking into options for finishing it.
post #139 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

they went back to the flooring designer and they've decided they can get by with an 18" beam there, so I only lose 2" of head room. The only other alternative would be a steel beam, but we'd have to have another company design it.

I missed the 2" part earlier. That isn't too bad, but it all adds up.

When they did your walls, was it a 9' pour or 9' ceiling height? For mine they quoted the pour (the wall height) and I found out later I lose 4" of ceiling height because basement floor is 4" high.

Also, if you haven't reviewed HVAC plans do that now. I would look at plumbing as well. Especially with the space being unfinished. They will run pipes & HVAC however is cheapest. If they run something under a truss instead of between them, you'll have another headache. You'll either have to cover it during finishing with an ugly soffitt, build false walls around it, or drop your ceiling even further to keep it level. My flexduct air returns are 16" deep. If they decide to put a distribution plenum for the first floor in there, it could be even worse.
post #140 of 1535
Thread Starter 
It's supposed to be 9' finished ceiling height. Our plans say,

"Fin. Floor To Ceiling Hgt. 9'-0" Except Where Noted"

It's not noted anywhere that it should be less than 9'. I'm planning to discuss the HVAC with our contractor tomorrow as well, and I've hinted that we might consider having the basement finished while we're at it. So we're going to have to come up with a plan for the HVAC. It's actually in our contract that the flooring system was supposed to be designed with the HVAC and plumbing contractor's input.

We'll see how it goes.
post #141 of 1535
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rs691919 View Post

When I look back on it...I need a drink!

The past two days really make me wish I hadn't given up drinking
post #142 of 1535
I concur that you need to get with the plumbing and HVAC contractors ASAP to get that covered from the start. Not that I'm saying give in to anything, but you could tolerate a soffit in one general location vs. several running all over the place. I would be the most picky/steadfast on the theater area for obvious reasons but surely with the size of your joists there should be plenty of room to run all the odds and ends between them that need to be run. Speaking about HVAC have you considered a separate zone for the theater? I would consider it if you have not. That is the good thing about building from scratch, you can cover this now and not deal with someone else's wish list.

Regards,

RTROSE
post #143 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

The past two days really make me wish I hadn't given up drinking






Gotta love Airplane!

Regards,

RTROSE
post #144 of 1535
Thread Starter 
Awesome, RT! Believe it or not, I don't think I've seen that whole movie. I'm going to have to remedy that, I believe.

Good news all around on the construction front. Talked to our builder today, and I remember why we picked this guy! Apparently the original beam was never supposed to be installed. They had discussed several different options with the floor designer, and apparently the floor designer decided nothing else was acceptable, and just sent the beam anyway. Either way, they're putting in the 18" beam today (even with it raining)!

The next bit of good news, is we worked out the landing/riser issue. Apparently with the original layout that we had, the landing will be at 15" rather than 22.5" that I thought (just 2 steps). So, we're going to build the stairs as shown on our drawings. This will give us the larger landing and put the landing at riser height. So no step down from the riser into the theater. Apparently everyone else thought I wanted a 7.5" riser in the theater.

So, life is good again, and I'm pleased with the way our builder is handling this.

I've got a few pics that I'll get posted a little later. I know you guys will start abandoning my thread if I don't keep the pictures coming
post #145 of 1535
Glad to hear it has been worked out! Today was a terrible day with the weather. Glad to hear they are marching on.
post #146 of 1535
Good news on the construction front.

I think if you appreciate slap stick, stupid humor, and a nod to all of the "in" things of the time you will really find Airplane! a truly funny movie. If you don't enjoy such things you'll hate it. I can not even begin to tell you all of the one liners and great sayings that have come from the movie. Truly a classic for sure.

Regards,

RTROSE
post #147 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

Truly a classic for sure.

I think you meant, "Shirley, a true classic," you jive turkey.
post #148 of 1535
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopefulFred View Post

I think you meant, "Shirley, a true classic," you jive turkey.


Oh, most definitely that is what I meant.

Excuse me stewardess I speak jive.

Oh, we could go on and on and on and on....Somebody stop the madness!

Regards,

RTROSE
post #149 of 1535
Thread Starter 
This is like some sort of secret handshake you guys have. I've gotta watch this movie. I feel left out

I'm a little behind on my pictures, but I'll spare you guys all of the gruesome details and just post the high points. They finished putting in the floor joists, and actually put in the new 18" beam and finished the decking yesterday. This pic is probably a little boring for everyone else, but I was pretty excited to be able to walk around the first floor and get a feel for what the house will be like.



Here's a picture of the replacement beam being set. My dad was there for this part, and he said it gave them fits trying to wrestle the thing into place.



Here's another picture after the decking was installed from in the theater. Notice how thick that beam is Both the framer and our contractor said they don't remember seeing a house with as many laminated and doubled beams as this one. I don't know if that's a good thing or not You can see in that picture alone there is another doubled up I-joist as well as another laminated beam to the right.



And here's a (bad) picture of the doorway into the theater after they reworked the wall to open the area back up. I think we made the right decision here, it feels much less cramped now. Even our contractor didn't care for the way they had it, and I think he would have made them change it even if I hadn't noticed it.



So there you have it, that's the current progress! We're hoping for good weather next week so that we can get a lot done!

Hope everyone has a great Christmas tomorrow!
post #150 of 1535
Thread Starter 
Framing is moving along nicely! They're getting close to being finished with the first floor today, and have the floor joists for a good portion of the second floor done as well.



It was actually a pretty eventful afternoon. They brought in a large laminated beam for the garage late in the day, and the truck it was on got stuck in the yard. So they brought in another truck with a fork lift to set the beam on top of the garage (see the picture below). I'm sure you can see where this is going, but after they unloaded the beam, we decided we could try to use the forklift to push the truck out, and yep, you guessed it, the forklift got stuck too! When I left they were waiting on yet another truck to come pull them both out. I half expect to stop by there tomorrow and see a line of stuck trucks out to the road




The next big thing I can see coming up is pre-wiring for all the stuff I can't afford to do now. I've got threads going on over at cocoontech.com and in the home automation section here at AVS. If you've got any suggestions, feel free to chime in here, or there, or even by PM! I'd love to hear any suggestions while I've got time to do something about it!
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