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The Arizona Basement Build - Page 2

post #31 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcorbin View Post
Pete, Thanks for the input. How common are basements out there in NM...
Basements are rare here in Albuquerque. Some builders offer them as options but they add a lot of cost since slab-on-grade is the usual construction method here. I found a steeply sloped lot here and built a house with a "drive out" basement. East half is the garage and workshop, west end is the man-cave.

You could do a blower door test on the whole house looking for leaks. My guess is that it was sealed well during construction. With stucco, it's pretty unlikely to get major air leaks
post #32 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcorbin View Post
you know the one where I put my hand in front of it and try to determine temperature change. Wish I had a thermal imager.
I have Harbor Freights version of this infared thermometer in my tool kit and it works just fine. You can only do spot readings not an image.

now on ebay for $20

http://cgi.ebay.com/NON-CONTACT-IR-L...32039877847202
post #33 of 111
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlogan6797 View Post

I remember being optimistic once.

Looks like a good start. It's always easier when you have help. I find that alone I tend to contemplate my next move a little too much.

Ah yes, I put it there on purpose so I have to look at it every time I scroll through.

I think you might have just cursed me though. My help is leaving on a jet plane tomorrow, and I don't know when he'll be back again. On my own now.
post #34 of 111
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

I have Harbor Freights version of this infared thermometer in my tool kit and it works just fine. You can only do spot readings not an image.

Hey you know what, I've always wanted one of these. Just placed an order for a similar looking one with good reviews off Amazon. Thanks for the idea - I can just see me now aiming it at the food on the bbq.
post #35 of 111
Thread Starter 
Alright, so I fell off the horse a bit, but time to try and get the updates rolling again.

The new baby is almost here and I need to get my butt in gear to make sure at least the office is done by May.

I have a slightly updated floorplan. Based on the suggestions of some members here, I've taken out my half table/half loveseat setup for my rear row and replaced it with a bar and some club chairs. That should give me just enough room in back for some half bookshelves / cabinet to conceal a second subwoofer.

Additionally, I've modified the door to be in-swing into the theater. I've also left the option for a communicating door setup.

post #36 of 111
Thread Starter 
So at the same time that I'm confessing to the lack of updates, a few things have gotten done.

- All of the junk laying on the floor has been sorted through and either stored or goodwilled.
- I had probably 1000 sq ft of old carpet laying around from the previous owners that has now been eliminated.
- All the cracks in and around the rim joists have been sealed.
- Monoprice order for Cat6, RG6, and other assorted items should go out shortly.
- Soundproofing materials order has been placed with Ted and should be here before Thxgiving.

Soundproofing plan will include adding a GG layer between the joists to the subfloor from below since I get some hollow sounding foot traffic from the ceramic tile flooring above. Also, after speaking with Ted, I plan on creating a type of backer box within the joist cavity for each of my supplies and return vents.

Now that I have the soundproofing order in, I'm no longer just dinking around with $100 in lumber here or there anymore, this whole project seems much more real.
post #37 of 111
Thread Starter 
Update!

5/8ths drywall w/ GG between the joists is now complete for the theater area. 50% done for the office area. Still needs to be caulked however.

I think I hear a bit of difference in the "hollowness" but I can't say if it will be worth it or not yet. I hope the dampening really does get better as the GG dries. It is painfully slow work since each truss joist can be anywhere from 21-19" apart and between wiring, piping, blocking, strongbacks, and nails from the subfloor above, each little strip needs to be individually measured, cut and dry fit before the GG can be applied.

Fastening the panel to the subfloor is also a pain, holding it with one arm and fastening with the other. I don't think I could have done it without this Screw Gun. Intense shoulder workout nonetheless.

Here are a couple pics before caulking:



post #38 of 111
Thread Starter 
Thinking real hard about (pre) ordering the JVC RS45. Even though my theater won't be done for at least several months, maybe it will motivate me to keep moving forward.
post #39 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcorbin View Post

Fastening the panel to the subfloor is also a pain, holding it with one arm and fastening with the other.

I feel your pain, I helped Jesto do TWO layers for his ceiling. He had a hardwood floor above his theater and it did make a big difference in the footfall sounds from above.
post #40 of 111
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

I feel your pain, I helped Jesto do TWO layers for his ceiling. He had a hardwood floor above his theater and it did make a big difference in the footfall sounds from above.

That's encouraging to hear. Do you recall if it was pretty immediate?

I was considering doing 2 layers, but Ted talked me out of it because over my theater is 90% carpet. Everywhere else it's all ceramic tile which seems to conduct big time. Over the office area is the kitchen, and when my son runs around with his plastic walking toys it sounds like thunder rolling through. The dishwasher also has a nasty vibration to it during certain cycles that I want to tone down. Maybe I'll do a couple double layers in key places.
post #41 of 111
It was immediate, It may be the difference in hardwood versus carpet that is giving you the "can't tell" result. Keep in mind that it didn't silence it completely, it just lowered it a notch so that the clips, channel and DW could do the rest of the job.
post #42 of 111
Quote:
Fastening the panel to the subfloor is also a pain, holding it with one arm and fastening with the other.

I feel your pain. I was so glad to be done with all of the working overhead work. And don't kid yourself...there's plenty more to come.....clips, channel, electric wiring, low voltage wiring.....
post #43 of 111
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

It was immediate, It may be the difference in hardwood versus carpet that is giving you the "can't tell" result. Keep in mind that it didn't silence it completely, it just lowered it a notch so that the clips, channel and DW could do the rest of the job.

Duly noted. Out of curiosity, do you recall if there was also a difference noticed when walking with a heavy foot on the first level? Did it make the floor in general sound more solid? In my tile areas, I'm not sure if I am getting that to the degree I had hoped. Not that it really matters - would just be a bonus to lowering the noise down below.
post #44 of 111
Thread Starter 
Framing just about done! It helps when the only theater framing is a 13' long wall.

Shelving on far left. Then two doorways with about 3 feet in between. Still thinking about doing communicating doors, but may just add an arch.

Moving to the right is the equipment closet followed by the kitchenette nook. There was a little extra space between the back of the theater wall and where I wanted the kitchenette to start due to the way the concrete was poured, so I built a double wall with about 6" in between to line everything up. Equipment closet ended up a little deeper (~36") then originally intended to line it up with the kitchenette countertop.

Looking into the theater space.


Inside the theater looking out.
post #45 of 111
Thread Starter 
Subfloor drywall is now all done, but caulking it is a huge pain. Also don't think I have enough to do it everywhere, so at this point I'm going to leave the office uncaulked and focus on the theater.

As far as the sound goes, definitely reduced the sound while in the basement (or at least changed the pitch). From the tiled areas above, I don't hear much difference, but I'm going to grab an SPL meter and test it just for curiosity sake.

Now onto electrical planning.
post #46 of 111
Thread Starter 
Been working on electrical planning the last week or so. Here is a rough draft:



I have 19 available circuits in my subpanel. I made a list and came up with 13 different circuits. Seems like a lot, but I guess I'm doing quite a few dedicated ones. It's probably overkill, but that's my middle name. Any comments would be appreciated.
  1. 20 amp dedicated to equipment closet
  2. 20 amp dedicated to projector (via equipment closet powerbridge)
  3. 20 amp dedicated to theater front wall for sub 1
  4. 20 amp dedicated to theater back wall for sub 2
  5. 15 amp for theater outlets (8 outlets)
  6. 15 amp for theater can lights (9 cans?)
  7. 20 amp for wetbar GFCI
  8. 15 amp dedicated for wetbar mini fridge
  9. 20 amp for bathroom GFCI
  10. 15 amp for main area outlets (3) and under stairs light
  11. 15 amp for main area cans (9 cans?), incl equip closet
  12. 15 amp for office outlets (9 outlets)
  13. 15 amp for office cans (8 cans?)
post #47 of 111
I am not an electrician, but I am pretty certain that you can combine the light and outlets in each area.

Bathroom needs to be dedicated and I think a refrigerator by code, beyond that it is a matter of not exceeding the amperage.

I guess it all depends on the number of circuits and how much you want to split things up.
post #48 of 111
I'm hoping that smakovits means combining the lights on 1 or 2 circuits and the room outlets on 1 or 2 circuits and not combining lights AND outlets on 1 circuit. You don't want ALL the electricity in a room to go out at once.
post #49 of 111
errr. I think I meant both...

but If I think about what I have, my Grafik Eye is on one and it is all the lights in my basement, then outlets on another in the theater. Then outside of theater outlets and a closet light and unfinished area lights (I think) on another circuit. Fridge on a dedicated and then kitchen area and down light over counter on another. And then a dedicated outlet /circuit for the equipment.

That is 6, which is my sub panel.

So, while I would not combine everything, I was suggesting that lights and outlets in a given area can be combined, 12 and 13 for the sake of an example.

This would mean an area would go out at once and not the entire basement, sort of like my house, the office outlets and light are on a single circuit (that is also shared with an adjacent bedroom as well).
post #50 of 111
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. I was trying to keep the outlets and lights separate as the outlets are more likely to trip. a circuit then the cans.

The general rule of thumb I was going by (according to a basement finishing book that I was reading) was a max 10 devices per 15 amp circuit and 12 devices per 20 amp circuit. Also I've read conservative load estimates of 1440 watts for 15 amp and 1920 watts for 20 amp. I'm far below that on all my circuits, so I'm sure I could combine some of them even if I'm exceeding the device rule of thumb.

Is there anything in the home theater that you would change? Should projector really have its own circuit? Should a sub really have its own circuit?
post #51 of 111
Thread Starter 
I didn't think it would be this hard to decide on lighting. Seems like there is a ton of information out there (and on AVS), but it's quite overwhelming and there doesn't seem to be a general consensus on how much is needed. I tend to like a lot of light and I read a lot of comments about how after the walls are painted darker, the amount of light doesn't seem like enough. I only put 3 rows of 2 cans to cover a 16x19 space (taking out the false wall space), plus 3 smaller ones for the screen accent. Are 2 cans enough to cover a 16 ft span?

For my lights I'm thinking of going with the less expensive 5 or 6in cans. Leaning toward the 5in. at the moment as a compromise between the hole in the ceiling and the amount of light it produces.

I will be making backer boxes for all lights in the theater. It seems to me that non-IC rated might be better if I'm going to build the box anyway - unless I should be putting insulation in the box. I need to check on that.

I'm even reconsidering and I can't decide if I want some sconces. Or maybe even a rope light, but because I'm going with an 8ft door, I don' think I'll have room for the crown molding to hold it.

All this is not even considering the bulbs - oy vey. Hate CFL. LED seems like the choice but the price is super steep.

Also need to consider the grafik eye. Like the functionality it provides but i wish it didnt look like an alarm box or intercom system from 1988. Has anyone ever mounted the grafik eye right outside their theater?
post #52 of 111
Thread Starter 
Thinking some more about lighting and hanging out in the basement staring at the walls, and I think I will go with 2 rows of 3 cans and 1 row of 2 cans in the back. To supplement the back, I'm considering some sconces.

I really like the look of the sconces that let the light flow both up and down, but not out. The problem is my theater space is terrible for symmetrically placed sconces. Between the doors and windows, there are not a lot of places I could place them and keep them symmetrical.



Would you add sconces if they were not symmetrical to each other or to the other features of the room? For example, the sconce between the windows.
post #53 of 111
IMHO, symmetry can be important, but in this case, I don't think you're looking at the opposite walls very often. Also, the two side walls are so different, I wouldn't expect them to be symmetrical. What I'd shoot for is a nice alignment of sconces as you look at each wall individually - so looking at the window wall I might center one sconce between the windows and the back one centered on the piece of wall between the window and the bass trap(?).
post #54 of 111
Thread Starter 
Based on Speqtre comments, here is Option 2 where each sconce is centered within its own wall space.




A third option would be to eliminate the sconces where I can't get them symmetrical, leaving only sconces in the back:




Lastly, a fourth one might be to go with Option 3, but add a fifth sconce centered between the two windows on just that one side.

I can't get past this design decision for some reason. Input is appreciated.
post #55 of 111
I personally am a stickler when it comes to symmetry. I want everything to be symmetrical.

What about ditching the sconces and instead building a small soffit on the two side walls and back wall? Then you could put some small recessed cans or puck lights in the soffit to shine down and "wash" the walls like screen lights. You could also do rope lighting in crown molding to provide a cool effect on the ceiling. This is what I will be doing for my lighting with some additional recessed cans in the ceiling like you have.
post #56 of 111
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaustin View Post

I personally am a stickler when it comes to symmetry. I want everything to be symmetrical.

What about ditching the sconces and instead building a small soffit on the two side walls and back wall? Then you could put some small recessed cans or puck lights in the soffit to shine down and "wash" the walls like screen lights. You could also do rope lighting in crown molding to provide a cool effect on the ceiling. This is what I will be doing for my lighting with some additional recessed cans in the ceiling like you have.

Thanks for your comment. I'm a little slow in responding here as I basically locked myself in the basement for the last week. As much as I do like the look and light patterns of sconces, I think I'm going to go with your suggestion of ditching them completely.

Unfortunately I don't have the room for side soffits due to the height of the windows, but I do have the room in the back. Additionally, adding a rear soffit will help balance the cabinets, bookshelves, bass traps that I will be adding back there as well as provide a better solution for a needed dead vent.
post #57 of 111
Thread Starter 
Plumbing has been completed!

Luckily there was only a handful of things to do for the plumbing.

-- Install bathtub. Went with an Americast from Lowes. Pretty heavy duty and a nice easy install vs an acryllic.

-- Install the shower head plumbing from the pre-plumbed stubs (pex)

-- Install the lines for a wetbar sink on the other side of the shower.

-- Find a suitable place for a drain line. There were only two options - kitchen sink drain and master bath drain. Master bath drain was a longer run but had more of a clear path. Unfortunately that puts the drain line running directly across the theater.

-- Install a sewage pump. I had no idea about these things. At first I was looking for a grinder pump since someone told me that's what I needed, but they are >$1k and that was certainly not in the budget. After a bit of research I learned that what I really needed was called a sewage pump. Around here, Orange and Blue Box don't carry them in the stores. Ended up getting a 1/2hp Zoeller from Amzn - seems to be a good brand.

I have 2 bins in the pump area. One empty one for the newly installed sewage pump where all the water from the basement bathroom flows into. I have another bin where I apparently already have a sump pump, that I don't think has ever ran before. The drain lines from all 4 of the window wells and the air handler condensation line flow into that bin.

Tested the sewage pump. It's a little loud but only runs for maybe 20 seconds. I might wrap those pipes for noise since they are traveling across the theater now.
post #58 of 111
I'm glad I could give you a helpful suggestion.

I also did a bathroom in my basement but instead of using a pump I busted up the concrete and tapped into the main drain line for the house under the floor. Since the line was close to the bathroom I figured it would be better than having to worry about the pump. It was a mess breaking up the concrete with a jackhammer though. Keep up the good work. Got any pictures?
post #59 of 111
Thread Starter 
Electrical is 90% complete!

The existing wiring was a real mess. Since the basement remained unfinished, they ran metallic flex conduit. Each pump (sump/sewage) had it's own circuit. Air handler had its own 220 circuit. Everything else in the basement was on a single circuit so that flex conduit was ran all over the place. What's worse is everything was joined together in metal junction boxes so to trace a wire you'd have to go through up to 4 junction boxes. Damn lazy electricians.

Added 13 circuits and reused that one existing circuit ripping out the majority of the junction boxes and rewiring with romex.

For the lighting, I ended up with:
  • 8 6" cans in office on 2 separate dimming zones
  • Fan in office on its own switch
  • 1 4" can between stairs and office doors on its own switch (existing)
  • 2 4" cans at bottom of stairs on 3 way switch (existing)
  • 4 6" cans in center area on 3way/4way/3way switch
  • 2 5" cans over wetbar on switch
  • 1 5" can in communicating door area
  • 1 Fluorescent fixture in equipment closet due to proximity to wall
  • 1 pull switch light for cat box under stairs

Whats remaining is the theater lighting. Decided on:
  • 8 5" remodel cans in backer boxes
  • 3 4" remodel cans in backer boxes for screen accent light
  • 3 4" remodel cans in rear soffit
  • I guess I need step lights too. I don't really want them, but I think they are required for a riser higher then 8"

Was planning on using a Grafik Eye setup like most here but just realized that it apparently does not support CFL/LED dimming on the 3100 model without a special add on model that I assume would be per zone. I guess I would be stuck using incandescent - not that that's terrible given how little the theater lighting would probably be used, but I like to leave myself a better upgrade path then to replace the entire 3100 unit or buy a bunch of add ons. Need to do some more research on this, but please chime in if you went through this same problem.

I also built my first backer box yesterday as a test fit. It's going to be a challenge lining them up with all the crap up in the trusses now. I spoke to Ted and he said to just balance them up there and then after drywall pull them down and apply the latex sealant to the box edge. Not exactly sure how I'm going to do that through a 5" hole, but I'll need to figure it out.

I'll post some progress pics later, maybe after I sweep up a bit.
post #60 of 111
Thread Starter 
One last thing. I've decided to go with a communicating door setup as highly recommended by Ted. Double the door budget!
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