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The Austin Home Theater - Page 7

post #181 of 405
Sounds good. Always nice to find a cheaper solution that gives you nearly the same results. I have a supply and return for my room attached to the whole house HVAC with a damper that I can use to shut off air supply should it get too hot or cold. I also plan to add a supply and return dead vent (one in the HVAC closet and one in the equipment room) to exchange air with the rest of the basement should I need it. I don't know if I will be able to have my fan be as accessible as yours though since mine would most likely be in the equipment closet which is basically in the theater (which means fan noise is bad).
post #182 of 405
Thread Starter 
Yeah I definitely wouldn't want it located inside the soundproofed shell. Any reason you can't do the fan in the HVAC room and make the other dead vent passive to draw air in?
post #183 of 405
Having the return in the back of the room I thought was the best solution so that I would be pulling the hot air from the projector and equipment room out and also pulling the cooler air towards the viewers rather than dumping it out right on top of them. Seems to be the concensus around the forum.
post #184 of 405
aaustin, do you have your puck lights installed yet? Curious how you strung them together. Did you use the cords that came with them, or strip them and use romex?
post #185 of 405
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vanice View Post

Having the return in the back of the room I thought was the best solution so that I would be pulling the hot air from the projector and equipment room out and also pulling the cooler air towards the viewers rather than dumping it out right on top of them. Seems to be the concensus around the forum.

Good point.

You might also consider doing only one dead vent and letting your existing supply lines draw air in from the rest of the house. It might open up some more options for you.
post #186 of 405
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GWCR View Post

aaustin, do you have your puck lights installed yet? Curious how you strung them together. Did you use the cords that came with them, or strip them and use romex?

Well this post got me motivated to work on installing the puck lights during some of my free time today.

Thanks GWCR!

I could only get half of them in since I ran out of wire nuts. Yet another thing to add to my Home Depot list.



I am very happy with how they turned out. As someone who designs lighting for musicals, I'm into this sort of thing. I love the wall wash effect.

To answer your question GWCR, I ran Romex into a junction box at each light location while I was building the soffits.



Then I cut a hole in the drywall of the second layer so that all of the connections are in the box and the light covers the hole.

I cut the plugs off of the lights and hardwired them in even though I don't think you're necessarily supposed to do that because the lights aren't "designed" to be installed that way.

All of the connections are tight and they are working fine for me though. Plus since they'd be getting the same 120 volts if they were plugged in anyways I don't see it being a problem.
post #187 of 405
Excellent. Looks like they are giving you the desired effect!

One more quick question for you. Looks like you ran 14-2 romex to the puck locations. Did you use 14-2 with ground wire or without? I only ask because I picked up the pucks today, and I noticed they were only 2 wire. I have 14-2 run with ground but can still easily swap it out. Curious if you just grounded to the junction box or went without.
post #188 of 405
Thread Starter 
Since they were metal junction boxes I grounded to those. I believe that all metal boxes should be grounded for safety.
post #189 of 405
Thread Starter 
Another busy weekend here at the Austin household, though admittedly about half of it was devoted to set building so there wasn't a ton of theater progress.

Here is what i did accomplish though....

I started by installing the rest of the puck lights in the soffits. As I said before I love how they turned out and I think that the wall wash look is a very nice design element. With all the pucks on the overhead lights are not even necessary. They will most likely end up being used only for cleaning or other work that needs to get done (getting the remote lost in the chairs comes to mind ).



I also got the screen wash lights in the front of the room installed. They should provide a nice compliment to the screen once it's installed.



Then I moved onto the jamb extensions for the door. Since my wall is a 2x6 staggered stud and I have two layers of drywall on the theater side I had to extend the jamb by 5/8". I ripped down some 3/4" pine then glued and brad nailed it to the existing jamb. It was nice to put the table saw to work since I don't get a chance to use it very often. I've still got some work to do with the wood filler to make everything look nice and smooth.



Then it was on to beefing up the door. I decided to add a layer of 1/2" MDF with Green Glue to my door to make it heavier and provide some dampening to improve sound isolation. I contemplated going with 3/4" MDF but decided that I didn't want to risk overloading the hinges and because the 1/2" would make my final door width 1 7/8" which means that I can use the doorknob that I already planned on that fits doors up to 2" thick.

I set up my workshop in the drveway.



Then I used the last of my Green Glue to cover the door. I savored the moment as it was the last time I'll get to apply the Green Glue (well at least until I get my own house that is and do theater 2.0 ).



Covered in MDF.



Then I filled in all of the screw holes with wood filler and sanded it smooth.



After that I primed it with two coats of KILZ Original oil-based primer to seal the MDF.

Note to self: be careful with oil-based paints and primers!!!

In my stupidity I managed to kick the quart over and send it all spilling onto the driveway. And having never dealt with oil based paints before I completely forgot to pick up some paint thinner to clean it up. So in my panicked state I pulled out the hose thinking that the water pressure might "push" it off. Well stupid head maybe you should close up the paint that you managed to save before spraying the hose so you don't ruin all of that too! So in the end I had to go back to the store to get more primer (and paint thinner). There's still a white blob on the driveway but I'm hoping that when we get it sealed soon it will cover it up.

DIY lesson of the week:

Close your paint can when your done pouring it out so that you don't kick it over and spill it everywhere and always have something on hand to clean up oil based paint.

I also picked up all of my door casing, baseboards, chair rail, and crown molding for the theater. I managed to get all of the casing and baseboards cut so I'm making good progress there.

The next step is to finish cutting the molding then pull out the sprayer to paint it. I'll be going with a gray about two shades lighter then what is on the bottom of the walls and the soffits for the molding. I threw the black idea out because I thought that it would look a little strange to have black crown molding hanging on the bottom of the soffit. I like the lighter gray much better.

I also have to paint the door with the same red as the top portion of the walls then hang it and get the weather stripping installed.

I'm trying to decide what to do for a door threshold. Originally I was going to just run the carpet through the doorway to meet up with the laminate in the hallway but now I'm realizing that that isn't the best option in terms of soundproofing. Now I'm thinking that I'll do some kind of wood or maybe even marble threshold. Does anyone have any advice on what type of wood to use? Also if you've used marble where did you get it from?

I'd also like people's opinions on when to install the baseboards. I've heard put them in before carpet raised 3/8" off of the floor but then I'm worried that they'll get all scuffed up.

I'm also trying to find some nice gray dimmers, outlets and wall plates to install in the room. The choices at Lowes and Home Depot are pretty poor. Has anyone seen an online store that is competitively priced with a good selection?

As always thank you everyone for following along and for your invaluable advice!
post #190 of 405
Not sure exactly what you are looking for, but Smarthome.com and Amazon carry quite a few dimmers. If you find a better online source, let me know. I'll be shopping for mine soon.
post #191 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaustin View Post

I'd also like people's opinions on when to install the baseboards. I've heard put them in before carpet raised 3/8" off of the floor but then I'm worried that they'll get all scuffed up.

As always thank you everyone for following along and for your invaluable advice!

Having done two basements and hired for carpeting twice with two different installers, I've been told and advised, you should always install baseboards, and hard flooring before they lay carpeting.

I didn't notice any scuffs his last time with white painted baseboards....


Killer
post #192 of 405
Thread Starter 
Thanks spaceman. I've got to look around and see what I can find.

Killer;
Thanks for your experience with the baseboards. I guess that's what I'm going to do and hope that they don't get too damaged.
post #193 of 405
Quote:
I savored the moment as it was the last time I'll get to apply the Green Glue (well at least until I get my own house that is and do theater 2.0 ).

Heh,heh,heh. I remember my first beer. Theater 2.0! I was young and optimistic once, too. You young guys crack me up!
post #194 of 405
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlogan6797 View Post


Heh,heh,heh. I remember my first beer. Theater 2.0! I was young and optimistic once, too. You young guys crack me up!

Hey I'm a dreamer!

Don't worry I'm still intently focused on this room and extremely happy with how it's coming together, but I've also got quite a few cool ideas once I can get my hands on a bigger space.
post #195 of 405
wow man, saying great progress is definitely an understatement! you built a car from scratch?!?! who does that?? lol. the room is coming along excellent bro, make sure you hang that MJ poster up somewhere in there when its done. hahaha. keep it up!
post #196 of 405
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by azula View Post

wow man, saying great progress is definitely an understatement! you built a car from scratch?!?! who does that?? lol. the room is coming along excellent bro, make sure you hang that MJ poster up somewhere in there when its done. hahaha. keep it up!

Thanks azula! It certainly is coming along nicely.

Yeah the car is one of my proudest achievements right up there with the theater. I think your Z would beat me in a race though! But I get MUCH better gas mileage!

I don't really know where the MJ poster is going yet. Not in the theater though. Haha. It will probably end up in the hallway that the bedroom and bathroom are off of.

Thanks for checking in!
post #197 of 405
Excellent progress! Looking really good. I would say that you're good with 3/8" inch as spacing. You could always get a carpet sample place it next to the walls place a piece of trim on the carpet and measure. The pad will take up the slack and make for a nice and tight seam.

Yeah I learned the hard way too with regards to capping the paint can and oil based paints. Not near as bad as yours but a learned lesson none the less.

On the threshold you could use a nice plank of Oak, or marble, or granite. To get the marble or granite go to an actual supplier/fabricator of counter tops and tell them what you are looking for. They might give you the piece, but I can assure you they will charge to "finish" the piece. When looking for granite for the basement I actually was given an unfinished sample large enough to be a threshold or a cutting board. You just might luck out.

Keep the progress coming, looking good.

Regards,

RTROSE
post #198 of 405
Thread Starter 
Thanks RT!

I'll have to try and find a countertop place around here. That would be AWESOME if I could get one of their scraps. I'd have to figure out some way to transition from the granite or marble down to the laminate floor in the hallway though. On the theater side I don't think it will be a problem since the carpet and pad will likely be close to the same height as the stone, but in the hallway you'd probably stub your toe. I'm thinking that the ideal thing would be to get a bevel cut on that side of the treshold, but I don't have the tools for that and I don't know how much that would end up costing.

Any other ideas? I'd think that a metal floor transition piece wouldn't look that great.
post #199 of 405
"...ideal thing would be to get a bevel cut on that side of the threshold..."

Marble is pretty soft. A belt sander might do it.

On second thought, you could rough it out with an angle grinder fitted with a concrete grinding stone. Use the belt sander for final finish and polish.
post #200 of 405
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by petew View Post

"...ideal thing would be to get a bevel cut on that side of the threshold..."

Marble is pretty soft. A belt sander might do it.

On second thought, you could rough it out with an angle grinder fitted with a concrete grinding stone. Use the belt sander for final finish and polish.

That's an interesting idea Pete.

I don't have an angle grinder or belt sander, but we have both at my school and I consider that workshop an extension of my own if I need it.

I'd have to be careful to get a nice smooth bevel but I'll keep that idea in mind when the time comes.
post #201 of 405
This is a beautiful build - jealous!
post #202 of 405
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by designcouch View Post

This is a beautiful build - jealous!

Thanks designcouch! I appreciate the compliment.
post #203 of 405
Thread Starter 
Somehow throughout this hectic weekend I managed to get most of the trim work complete.

I started by making all of the cuts (I didn't screw up a single miter! ) and then laid everything out in the yard to be painted.



Nothing gets a nosy neighbor going like setting up a spray booth in your front yard.

Once everything was painted I began with the door casing.



I had to rip about 1/2" off of the top piece since the top of the door is so close to the soffit.

Then I moved on to the chair rail and baseboards.





I'm very happy with how they turned out. I think that the lighter gray is perfect for splitting up the two colors of the wall.

Then came the first piece of crown.





I don't like it........

It just seems to be too overpowering in the small room. It makes the soffit look like it is painted two different colors. So my thinking now is that I will paint the crown the same dark gray as the soffit to make it blend in more. After all, its main purpose is to hold the rope lighting.

Any other thoughts/opinions?

Speaking of rope light, I'd like some opinions on what color I should order. Maybe a clear white or amber?

As always, thanks for following along!
post #204 of 405
I actually like the way the crown looks. If you paint it the same color as the soffit it may blend in too much. If you have a scrap piece you can paint it up and see how it looks.

On the rope lighting I'd go with the white (not the blue white) or you could go with those LED strips that can change colors via a remote control so you could change them as the mood dictates.

Regards,

RTROSE
post #205 of 405
Thread Starter 
Thanks RT.

I guess I just thought that it stuck out TOO much. Good idea with the sample. I'll try that. Also since they are already painted the lighter gray color I think that I'll hang the last two pieces as is and then assess the situation from there. Then if I decide to repaint them I will paint them hung.

Thanks for your input on the rope light. I'm still torn on whether the white or amber would be better. Anyone else have an opinion?

I've got to do some more research on the LED but will look into that too.
post #206 of 405
I like Damelon's red but if you are looking for white then I would go for more of an incandescent look. I prefer the warmer look.

The color change LED is a nice thought. Then you can change it based on mood.
post #207 of 405
Thread Starter 
Well I've been looking at the color changing LED light kits and I'm really liking that option.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A325274ZEF9XYZ

The ability to change the color would be really cool.

I've got a dilemma though. Since I originally planned to have incandescent rope lights controlled by a standard dimmer switch I installed a four gang electrical box to accommodate the dimmer and had plans for a switched outlet up in the soffit to plug it in. With the LEDs I wouldn't need a switch as it is all controlled by the remote and the transformer also needs to be hidden somewhere. If I had known this before I would have put the transformer in the equipment room and ran some low voltage wiring to the soffit. Live and learn I guess.

I think there is enough room in the crown molding to hide the transformer up there, but there is still the issue of the four gang box. Since I wouldn't need the dimmer switch I'd have an open slot. I suppose I could take the box out and replace it with a three gang, but that means filling in the excess hole in the drywall......oh joy.....

Any other ideas?
post #208 of 405
Quick first thought.....Do they make a 4 gang plate that the 4th slot is solid or covered? Meaning 3 openings for the switches and the fourth solid this way you can leave the 4 gang box in the wall for future expansion if necessary. If they dont make one I know there are places online that will make custom switch plate covers for a price.

As for the led strip lighting check ebay as the prices are as good if not better than what you listed. I just got some off there for under my second riser for step/accent lighting and have thoughts to use the same for some crown if I decide to do so........
post #209 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlogan6797 View Post

Heh,heh,heh. I remember my first beer. Theater 2.0! I was young and optimistic once, too. You young guys crack me up!

Heck Tom, you'll be lucky to finish theater 1.0! I think it's only natural to think about things you'd do differently next time!
post #210 of 405
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iusteve View Post

Quick first thought.....Do they make a 4 gang plate that the 4th slot is solid or covered? Meaning 3 openings for the switches and the fourth solid this way you can leave the 4 gang box in the wall for future expansion if necessary. If they dont make one I know there are places online that will make custom switch plate covers for a price.

As for the led strip lighting check ebay as the prices are as good if not better than what you listed. I just got some off there for under my second riser for step/accent lighting and have thoughts to use the same for some crown if I decide to do so........


Thanks for the ebay tip Steve. I've got to look around some more to find the best deal.

I guess the wall plate with a covered slot would work, but honestly I don't see myself using that extra slot if I go with the LEDs and I think it would be somewhat of an eyesore. After thinking about replacing the box a little more I think that that is what I will do. I used one of the screw on old work boxes since it has to go into the backer box so it will be pretty easy to remove the four gang and replace it with a three gang. I took some measurements and a three gang is about two inches shorter than the four gang. So if I center it in the hole then I'll have to fill in a one inch gap on each side with drywall mud. Considering the fact that some of it will be covered by the switchplate when all is said and done, I think that that is workable.

One more hurdle to get over with this plan; the transformer is too big to hide behind the crown. I stuck one from a laptop that is a similar size up there and it just won't fit. So I've got to find a way to house the transformer away from the soffit. Here's what I'm thinking:

There is a piece of romex that runs from the current four gang switch box to a box behind the crown. I think I will remove this piece from the switch box and take it out of the wall. I can get to it if I take a piece of drywall off of the backside of the staggered stud wall (not a big deal since that drywall is unfinished). This piece of romex will be long enough to reach into the hallway that the equipment closet is off of. I will house the transformer in the equipment closet and run a wire up above the drop ceiling to meet up with this piece of romex. Now here is where I need some help. I'll have to cut the end off of the transformer and splice in a longer piece which will then be spliced again to the romex in the hallway. Then I'll have to splice the end back onto the romex behind the crown on the soffit so that it can plug into the controller. I think the wire coming out of the transformer is coaxial cable? To splice this would I just strip a few inches off and bunch the outer conductor up to form one lead and then the center conductor would be the other lead? Then I could crimp the connections together?

I'd appreciate any advice on if this plan is even feasible.

Thank you!
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