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post #1 of 137 Old 01-05-2015, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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The Broke EF build thread

It is finally time! I have been passionate about home theater for quite some time (about 15 or so years) but have never really be able to have a proper setup. Usually that was because of living in a small apartment, or some other similar living condition. Now that I finally have my own house, the gloves are off! I do not post on this forum very much, but I have been lurking for years. I actually started a build thread earlier on another site, so I am going to more or less copy and paste it here for now. Going forward though I will update both sites properly.


(Originally posted 11-30-2014)

I started to write a bit of a back story, but then deleted it. Nobody wants the boring details of how I got here! Suffice to say that I recently bought a house, and the down stairs area was fairly well suited for a home theater type space. It is not without its challenges, but since this is NOT a dedicated theater it should be more than good enough. The only piece of equipment that will be making it into this setup is my Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A2010 receiver which I got a couple of years ago now. I will probably use my Panasonic BR player temporarily, but will be replacing it with an OPPO sooner or later. Why don't we just do a basic gear list that sounds easier?

Main room (7.2 planned, wired for 7.2.4 with bi-amped fronts)
Receiver: Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A2010
Blu-Ray player: OPPO BDP-103
Amp: Emotiva XPA-7
Projector: BenQ W1070
Screen: Visual Apex 106" tab tensioned motorized
Front tower: EMPTek R55Ti
Center: EMPTek R56Ci
Side surround: EMPTek R55Wi
Back surround: EMPTek R5Bi
Subs: SVS PB-2000 (X2)
I also built a new HTPC (click for HTPC thread) and have a Silicone Dust HD Home Run Extend-2

The family room is also going to get a 5.1 set up eventually. For now I will be using my old Integra DTR 5.4 to run it all along with my Panasonic Blu-Ray player, and Canton speakers. Eventually I will change out everything and go with in-wall fronts and in-ceiling surrounds, and a small sub. This will also be the "Zone 3" from the main system. I am going to do Zone 3 as a preamp out into some input (probably AUX) on the receiver in the family room.

Last up is the garage and back yard. This will act as Zone 2, and I will hook it up the same way as the family room. I am using my trusty old Kenwood receiver, and my my Infinity Pimus 150 bookshelfs for now. When I re-do the garage I will probably change the receiver and the go to in-ceiling speakers with a small sealed sub. I am going to just hook up a pair of outdoor speakers to the "B" pair for the back yard for the rare occasion I need some music out there.

I am also doing a wired network thought the house, and redoing all of the cable and antenna RG-6 cable while I am at it.

Let’s get on to the pics, the reason everyone is here!!!

I started by ordering up 1,000ft of 12ga speaker wire, 1,000ft of CAT6, and 500ft of RG-6 to start out. I ended up getting another 500ft of RG-6 and 250ft of 12ga speaker wire. Here is a shot of the first order of wire and some connectors


After the wire came in I built my equipment rack, and got the closet ready to hold it. I punched, formed, and welded the shelves at my work using 18ga brushed stainless steel. I used 1/2" rod for the uprights and everything except the casters is stainless steel.


All finished!


Then came the gigabit switch, and patch panel in the rack style bracket. I have a shelf coming this week for the remaining spaces.


And then the pieces of the new HTPC. Too bad the case didn't fit the MB, and the one HD was dead on arrival. New parts should be here soon.


Then I got the 28" Samsung 720p LED, and made up a bracket to attach it to the rack. This will be used as a monitor for the HTPC as well as a display for the system for adjustments and watching TV in the office.


After that we started cutting holes to plan our routes, and see what we were dealing with. Lucky for us there were no real surprises. You will see the holes later, so no pics of holes in walls with no wires J [IMG]file:///C:\Users\seans\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\ clip_image001.png[/IMG]We also fixed the antenna wiring from the roof into the attic and removed a metric **** ton of RG59 cable that was literally all over the house (inside and out). Years of various suppliers running cable badly led to a massive amount of junk wiring. NO MORE!

After we planned out the runs, I got to rough cut everything to length!



This weekend we finally got to the good stuff, running wire!!! We had set up 3 separate pulls into the main room because of the amount of wire. We ended up splitting the room in half, so one run is

Front Left 1
Front Left 2
Sub Left
Center
Sub Right
Front Right 1
Front Right 2
Front Atmos Left
Front Atmos Right

The second run is
Network 1 (projector)
Network 2 (projector)
Network 3 (left side wall)
Side Surround Left
Side Surround Right
Rear Atmos Left
Rear Atmos Right
Rear Surround Left
Rear Surround Right

The third run (not in yet)
HDMI 1 (projector
HDMI 2 (left side wall)

ON TO THE PICS!








Before cleaning up


And after

Also, that one outlet is going to change to two, one at each sub. We have to see what the circuit is like, but will probably just pull a new one for them.





The rear section is only run down the middle, so excuse the messy looking wires back there.






And here is the closet side all together!


That is all for now! Not a lot to look at yet, but it is getting there. We should have the main room all pulled to final locations this weekend, and hopefully have all of the wire up to the attic as well. Then we need to distribute out to the rooms for Antenna, Cable, and Network.

I have to take a second and point out that I am doing all of this by really mostly watching my buddy Chris do it all [IMG]file:///C:\Users\seans\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\ clip_image001.png[/IMG]He is a union electrician who is very patient with all of my demands. We have worked on a ton of various projects over the years, but this is the biggest one I can remember where I just try and stay out of the way. So far he is being a good sport, but we aint done yet! Then again he wants it done quickly (as quick as my OCD will let us) so we can get back to working on his car (X275 turbo LS Trans AM). At least then I feel like I am contributing since the roles get reversed on the car since I can weld.

Anyway, sorry for such a long post I tend to ramble on a lot. Hope you guys like what we are doing! I am sure I will have a bunch of questions as it all comes together, so look out for those as well.



Thanks,
Sean
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post #2 of 137 Old 01-05-2015, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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(Originally posted 1-4-2015)


It is FINALLY update time!!! YAY!!!!!!!!! As you could imagine, with the holidays it’s been pretty busy so work was a bit slow. But progress was made regardless, and I finally was able to get some pics to post up and show you what we have been up to.

So since the last update we have gotten (almost) all of the wire run to the main areas. That is to say we have the upstairs wire pulled into the attic, and temporarily terminated an antenna cable so I can hook up my HD HomeRun in the basement. The TV's in the bedrooms are hung, but we have not bothered to run the wiring to them, or move the outlets yet. This may be we we do this coming weekend, or if not then, very soon.

Now I think I will take the lazy way out, and move to mostly pics [IMG]file:///C:\Users\seans\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\ clip_image001.png[/IMG]

Here you can see my wife sealing me into the basement before I rip down the ceiling. There were a few reasons to pull down the entire ceiling, mostly that it was installed like crap. They had glued and nailed it mostly so it was VERY wavy. The can lights were also "installed" poorly to put it nicely. Also we needed quite a bit of the ceiling removed to do the planned electrical work. SO I decided to just take it all down.




I sealed off the other rooms, and the return vent, though that last one was pointless since it used the drywall to make the channel.


And ALL GONE! I didn't get any pictures after I pulled it down until days later after we did a bunch more work AND cleaned everything. Still, I think you get the point.






Here you can see the box for the power to the projector, and two of the 3 boxes for pendants over the bar. We also segmented the lighting, so the cans are 3 zones, and the pendants are separate from the cans. More on all of that later on once I get some of the lighting gear.


Here is the last pendant box


The main trunk of wire coming into the room. It is still missing a USB extension, but again you get the point.


New box going from a single switch to 4 for the lighting. They are all temped together so that switch turns it all on for now.


New cable from outside. No more cable wrapping around the house for no reason. Goes straight to the main equipment close from the junction box on the side of the house.


Not very exciting, but added a switch for the closet light (but have not changed out the light yet)


Here you can see where we added two new dedicated 20A circuits. We aslo changed out the sump pump outlet to the proper simplex outlet.


Here you can see the second outlet that we added higher up for the network gear.


A better shot of the two main trunks of cable coming into the closet (and the trunk that goes to the left that goes up to the attic). The bundle on the left is all of the speaker cable for the main room, and the one on the right is most of the network cables. The piece of drywall is temporary spacing.


Here are most of the I/O connections for other areas of the house (except the subs of course)


Last up is a shot of the front wall showing the two new outlets for the subs which are on a dedicated 20A circuit.


We still have a bit more wiring to run, mainly the stuff in the office. We also still need to add an outlet for the screen in the front of the room. I think this upcoming weekend we will take it easy and trim out all of the TV's That means adding an outlet, bringing in/terminating the Antenna, Cable, and two CAT 6 network connections at each location. We need to do that in 3 spots, and more or less the same in a fourth spot in the family room which has the addition of the RCA connections for the Zone input.

Speaking of the family room, I am being pressured into changing my plans from a receiver in the room with in wall/in ceiling 5.1 to going with a sound bar. Obviously this would not be the room to watch movies in, but it is where we do most of our daily TV watching. What does everyone think?

OK, that is all I have for now. Let me know what you all think of the progress so far! Stay tuned for more updates soon



Sean
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post #3 of 137 Old 01-05-2015, 09:39 AM
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Holy Cats! You've been busy.
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post #4 of 137 Old 01-06-2015, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Holy Cats! You've been busy.
LOL thanks! We try and work at a steady pace to keep up the progress every week. We have been lucky in general that we haven't run into too many issues. So far everything has been pretty straight forward, and has gone to plan. It really helps too when your best friend is a union electrician, and this is all super easy for him compared to his day job Honestly if it wasn't for his help (and by help I mean him doing all the work) this project would be VASTLY scaled down. The same can be said in reverse about his car though, so it all works out.

We were talking about this exact subject yesterday when I told him how shocked some of my co-workers were on the scale of this project. To me (and especially to him) it is really not that major of an undertaking. For a small home it seems excessive I guess, but if you are pulling 1 wire to a room you can pull 4 wires just as easy. I'll give you a quick example of something that seems really difficult (and I actually was expecting it to be myself), but ended up being very easy. Because my house is a split level going from the "basement" to the attic means going up a single floor (with 8' ceilings). First off we didn't really think about the fact that it was only one floor. Second the wall we used to go up was extra deep since it was the main wall for all of the plumbing. Since it was an interior wall as well, once we pulled the insulation in the attic back you could see all the way down. Hell, I could have almost reached down and just grabbed the wire from him! So things like that which I thought was going to be a challenge were as easy as could be. The things we thought would be easy, well they were super easy His experience also means he has plenty of tips and tricks for times when things are a but more difficult, which has been exceedingly rare so far.

Anyway, I am rambling. Thanks for checking it out, and stay tuned for more updates this weekend. Hopefully we should be VERY close to done with wiring. It depends on how ambitious we feel I guess.


Thanks,
Sean
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post #5 of 137 Old 01-06-2015, 07:47 AM
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Yea I like your build. Looks nice and clean! Having an electrician friend is huge! My brother in law gave me a hand with getting started and helped me get most of my can lights installed. He also added in my sub panel which I could not of done by myself. But he lives about 15 hours south so by the time he had to go back home I had a good handle on what I was doing with the electric and was able to do the rest myself. By the end of it I could of been an apprentice pipe bender with all the conduit I had to put in (Illinois code) and before starting I never bent a pipe in my life. I'm glad that you have found things to be easier then expected! For my build I'd have to say most things were the opposite for me. Most things that I would of thought would not be to hard turned out to be a huge pita! But mostly probably due to me never doing anything like this before. So having to research everything was time consuming! But I've learned a lot along the way so the next basement if there ever is one I should be good. My father helped me do most of the framing and between him and me we figured things out pretty well. I'm looking forward to some day helping my boy's do something like this in their homes when they are old enough!

Keep up the good work. Looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.
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post #6 of 137 Old 01-06-2015, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you! Your build is one of my favorites, and was MUCH more involved than mine is! Electrical is not too bad, but having the tools, and knowing the little tricks is extremely helpful. My buddy actually hasn't done pipe work in a while since now he does mostly building automation and programming. He said if he was set up to do pipe work all day on a job he could do 400 or so feet of pipe in a day. So doing my few feet here, few feet there is nothing You also kind of touched on another piece of the puzzle with the sub panel. We have added three 20A circuits (two in the equipment closet, and one for the subs), but we are also adding a sub panel in my garage as part of this project. That is something I would be leery of doing myself even if I had all of the gear needed. Something about 100amps seems better left to someone who knows what they are doing.

I think having had some experience with working on houses gave me a pretty good idea of what I would be dealing with. We were not 100% sure which way my joist ran before we opened the ceiling, but knowing basic construction we could guess pretty well (and we were right). We have both done framing, drywall, plumbing, electrical, etc. before so we also were not scared to bust open a wall if need be As I said though, to me this is actually a pretty simple project. If you take away the electrical, then it is a very simple project. It looks intimidating because it is a lot of wire, but it really is as simple as making a couple holes and throwing the wire from one to the other. People who have never done anything like this before seem to think that the difficulty ratchets up because its 20 wires from one room to the other instead of 2. Unless its going through a tight area it makes no difference really how many wires it is.

I am babbling again. I am sure you see what I am saying having tackled a much larger project than mine. Yours is turning out great, and I hope to finish mine with as much quality and detail as yours.



Sean
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post #7 of 137 Old 01-06-2015, 08:47 PM
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SUBSCRIBED!!! Awesome cant wait to see it complete.

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Just checked out your thread , and was going to say either you're an electrician , or ONE HELL of a DIY'er befotre I saw your post about your buddy being one. It is clear that hes used to working commercial or industrial , because virtually no houses are wired that way . EMT , chases and support for the data lines, got to say it's sexy! 15 year union electrician here.I'm used to most of my hard work being buried and invisible when everything is done , and unfortunately most of my personal clients ( non HT enthusiasts) don't want the walls opened up enough to be able to run pipe instead of romex or maybe flex , but one of these days I'm going to open up my walls and attack it the way yours is done, or maybe run all the pipe on the surface , so I can see everything. Good luck on the rest of the build , I'm looking forward to seeing it transform.

Turn that $*!# UP!! --Beethoven
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post #9 of 137 Old 01-12-2015, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Just checked out your thread , and was going to say either you're an electrician , or ONE HELL of a DIY'er befotre I saw your post about your buddy being one. It is clear that hes used to working commercial or industrial , because virtually no houses are wired that way . EMT , chases and support for the data lines, got to say it's sexy! 15 year union electrician here.I'm used to most of my hard work being buried and invisible when everything is done , and unfortunately most of my personal clients ( non HT enthusiasts) don't want the walls opened up enough to be able to run pipe instead of romex or maybe flex , but one of these days I'm going to open up my walls and attack it the way yours is done, or maybe run all the pipe on the surface , so I can see everything. Good luck on the rest of the build , I'm looking forward to seeing it transform.
Thanks guys! I showed my buddy your post and he said I should have claimed I was a first time DIY'er just to mess with people. You are correct, before he was union he did residential and light commercial. Once he got in the union he was doing commercial build outs mostly. He was used to all of his work being exposed for years which means (to him at least) that it has to be perfect. On top of that we both have an attention to detail that (apparently) many do not have. To both of us it doesn't matter if it is exposed or not, it still needs to be the best it can be.

In my area of IL pipe is standard for electrical, but most people would have done a lot of what you see in flex. We have done some flex, and will actually be doing some more, but in the closet and the main room we decided it was best to open everything up to be able to run wire and electric properly. I also cant stand romex, so even if my house was done in romex I would have insisted on piping anything we were doing. I do like the surface mounting idea if its done nicely. My buddy just added a sub panel to his garage and decided to run all surface mount since it was all drywalled already. I was a bit skeptical of it at first, but it looks great! We will probably do my garage the same way when I get around to that project later this year (I hope).


Not much to update this week unfortunately. We tried to work on my kitchen lighting which has turned out to be the biggest pain in the ass! Long story short it has 4" cans currently. 4" cans are already more of a pain than 6" cans, but I was able to find some LED trims for cheap. I already knew they were going to be a bit more complicated to install than usual since my 4" cans also use a GU24 base bulb for some reason. So we went to install the LED trims a couple weeks ago to find out that the cans are some weird semi finished can that neither of us has ever seen. No biggie, we will just change them out to a standard remodel 4" can which isn't so bad since the existing ones are not IC rated anyway. This weekend we tried to install the cans just to find out that the holes for the existing cans are exactly the same size as the ring on the new can housings. Meaning that they wont work since you can push it straight through. Anyone who understands how these work will be wondering why the old ones fit since its pretty standard sizing. WELL as I said the existing lights are "semi finished" so the ring that is against the drywall is almost the full size of the trim ring. That gave the people installing it a lot of room to make the hole too big.

Anyway, after much debate we decided that we are going to change them to 6". The reason this was a debate was that some of them are up against the rafters (may not be the right term) so they will be shifted to one side. We had thought that more of them were in this predicament, but it turned out it will only affect two so we can live with it. The other option would be to cut out a larger square of drywall, patch it in, and cut it out for the standard cans. That seemed like much too much work, so going bigger won out. Its a debacle for something that should be super easy and it was very annoying!

After working all of that out we went and got the remaining supplies to wire up the TV's, and a fan controller for the master bedroom. When we got back I got to work changing out the fan in the master, and adding in the fan controller so we can FINALLY use the switch to turn on a light in that room Chris stirred off the couch to wire the controller, fan, and switch so everything worked like it should. I then took the fan from the master and swapped it with the hideous fan in the guest room. That was really all that we got done I hate to say. We had gotten an early start and the wind was taken from our sails early on for the day. This coming weekend we will hit it hard and should hopefully finish the wiring. Then again, I said that last week


Thanks for following along!
Sean
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post #10 of 137 Old 01-15-2015, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
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So, no update yet (since I work on the basement on the weekends) but I have some questions. After making the mistake of looking over at the dedicated theater builds I have some concerns. My latest plan was to do some fiberglass insulation in the ceiling and add resilent channel with 5/8" drywall. Is that really worth the effort though? The reason I ask is because the walls are all going to be as is. So that means that two walls are fully insulated, the back wall is currently half insulated (but that will change) and the right sidewall is just 1/2" drywall with no insulation which means is almost useless. Unfortunately I don't have the funds to be able to properly do all of the walls and ceiling which sucks. Anyway what I cant decide is if the channel is worth the effort/money. I see the insulation being worthwhile but I feel like the only advantage to the channel is to help keep the rest of the house quieter. I don't actually care about that though since its only the wife and I. I am more concerned with things that will help the sound within the room be better more so than keeping the rest of the house quiet.

OK that was a bit of a rant, but help guide me in the ways of cheap ways to help the sound within the room! I do plan on DIY acoustic panels later on as well, so we can skip those for now.


Thanks guys!
Sean
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Originally Posted by Broke EF View Post
So, no update yet (since I work on the basement on the weekends) but I have some questions. After making the mistake of looking over at the dedicated theater builds I have some concerns. My latest plan was to do some fiberglass insulation in the ceiling and add resilent channel with 5/8" drywall. Is that really worth the effort though? The reason I ask is because the walls are all going to be as is. So that means that two walls are fully insulated, the back wall is currently half insulated (but that will change) and the right sidewall is just 1/2" drywall with no insulation which means is almost useless. Unfortunately I don't have the funds to be able to properly do all of the walls and ceiling which sucks. Anyway what I cant decide is if the channel is worth the effort/money. I see the insulation being worthwhile but I feel like the only advantage to the channel is to help keep the rest of the house quieter. I don't actually care about that though since its only the wife and I. I am more concerned with things that will help the sound within the room be better more so than keeping the rest of the house quiet.

OK that was a bit of a rant, but help guide me in the ways of cheap ways to help the sound within the room! I do plan on DIY acoustic panels later on as well, so we can skip those for now.


Thanks guys!
Sean
Suggest that you save your money versus using hat channel and clips on the ceiling. Since you're not planning to do the side walls (particularly the right sidewall which has 1/2" drywall and no insulation), you would have sound flanking that expensive soundproofed ceiling. There are a few good papers available on the Soundproofing Company website.

Since the ceiling is open, putting some R-19 or similar up there would be worthwhile to attenuate some of the sound. And, if you're replacing the ceiling, you may as well use 5/8" drywall versus 1/2" since that doesn't add too much cost. But, the clips and hat (not resilient) channel add cost for little benefit given how much you plan to do.

Also, thanks for checking out my build.

My in progress build thread: The Salt Mine
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post #12 of 137 Old 01-16-2015, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Suggest that you save your money versus using hat channel and clips on the ceiling. Since you're not planning to do the side walls (particularly the right sidewall which has 1/2" drywall and no insulation), you would have sound flanking that expensive soundproofed ceiling. There are a few good papers available on the Soundproofing Company website.

Since the ceiling is open, putting some R-19 or similar up there would be worthwhile to attenuate some of the sound. And, if you're replacing the ceiling, you may as well use 5/8" drywall versus 1/2" since that doesn't add too much cost. But, the clips and hat (not resilient) channel add cost for little benefit given how much you plan to do.

Also, thanks for checking out my build.
Thank you for the reply! That pretty much sums up what I was thinking, that making the ceiling pretty good is kind of a waste since the walls wont match. I am planning on stuffing the ceiling with the itchy stuff and then putting up 5/8" drywall like you said.

Your build is fantastic! Really great work you did on it! One day, in a different house I will do a build like that


Sean

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post #13 of 137 Old 05-18-2015, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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It is finally time for an update! It's not as much of an update as I would like, but that's how it goes sometimes. As it stands right now 99% of the wiring is pulled where it needs to go. There is still some networking and an HDMI cable that need to be finished in the office, but it is already pulled out to the main room. We still need to do the wiring at the TV's, and add 1 more outlet for the screen in the main room. Hopefully my buddy can get over by my place to knock that stuff out soon. Should only be a days worth of work to get it all finished up. Then I can spend a day or two terminating and checking everything.

Anyway, enough about whats left lets see what is done....DRYWALL!!!

First piece in!


Front wall all done. Still need to do the low voltage rings for all of the speaker and sub connections


Not very exciting, but here is where we pulled the new cable connection into the house.


Now we can do a bit of before and after

Switch box at the bottom of the stairs



Access hole outside of the main equipment closet



Ceiling area in main closet


Here is the panel before I installed it


And done!


The back wall of the closet. I cut out more than was needed to replace damaged drywall




And last up, the right side wall of the closet


I had a couple other small patches, but I figured this is enough boring stuff for one post. I know drywall work is not very exciting, MESSY, but not very exciting. I am glad to have it at least this much done now. I am probably going to outsource the ceiling, and all of the mudding. I am going to call around and see what that would cost, and make a decision from there.

I should be getting some of the materials to finish up ceiling this weekend as well. Nothing too exciting there, just some flex duct and insulation. As I said I am mostly waiting on my buddy to come finish up that last bit of electrical work so I can close everything up.


Thats all for now, thanks for following along!

Sean
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post #14 of 137 Old 08-02-2015, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Well its been a while, so I may as well update Unfortunately not a whole lot has happened, but I am almost to the point where it will start going quick again. I got my buddy to come over last weekend to knock out some of the electrical, but nothing in the main room. We did however come up with the game plan for the last couple of things.

As you can see, three of the walls (rear, left, and front) all have a bit of a ledge where there is a concrete wall below grade. I decided to get rid of that ledge on the back wall since it was only about 3" wide anyway. Also that will allow me to route the wiring to rear speakers much better as the existing wall was directly under the joist. I also decided to add a sub connection in the left rear corner of the wall so I can have the two subs in opposite corners. Since we already added the two outlets on their own circuit for the subs on the front wall, we will just carry that over to a new outlet in the back corner. That does mean opening up the wall to run the piping and also the sub coax cable.

Lets get to the pics

First up, I decided to layout the proposed dimensions for the bar. The wife thought it would be way to big, but when I taped it out she liked it. We also put some boxes on the outer corner for a few weeks to get an idea of having to walk around it, and there was no issues.


Next up was the demo (again)! I really hope this is the end of tearing stuff down!


Back wall all opened up


And the side wall


I ended up removing that piece of drywall between the column and the bar. I still need to cut out a little bit more for the bar and the rear wall. I was always going to run some wiring to the bar, so some of this mess was always planned. Now we need to decide what we want to do with that ledge on the remaining two walls. We are thinking of some kind of stone or tile, either of which will mean pulling off the drywall

I should start building the rear wall and the bar next weekend. I did not have time to go get wood this weekend since I have to travel for work. I need to pull the wire for the rear sub, and we still need to run the outlet for the screen and then everything can get closed up!!!

While we are here though, I actually have a question for all of you guys. I am planning on running the EMPTek speakers, including the R55Wi on wall surround speakers on the sidewalls. Here is a picture of the back of those speakers.

My question is, do I need a hole in the wall for the speaker wire to have some room? I cant see how there is enough room for connectors and be flat against the wall any other way. If that is the case it poses a bit of a problem for me since my right side wall is actually a return for my HVAC. I may have to build out a box of some kind, or make some kind of bracket. Lets see how you guys have dealt with this, and/or any suggestions.


That's all for now, thanks as always for following along with the slowest, most boring build EVER!

Sean
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post #15 of 137 Old 08-03-2015, 06:55 AM
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Lookin good keep up the hard work!


As for you speaker issue I have similar speakers on my back wall for the back surrounds. Mine are DefTechs but same type of style. I do have a hole where the speaker wire comes out so the speakers do lay flat and it wasn't an issue for me. I'm not sure I'm understanding your issue 100% I don't think. Were you going to have the speaker wire run up the wall instead of behind the drywall? If that's the case then you may have a bit of an issue with the speaker resting on the speaker wire. It may not be that big of an issue but your speaker wouldn't be totally flat to the wall. You would have to have the wire come from behind the wall in order for it to lay flat. Will the drywall be totally flat on the HAVC? You wouldn't need a ton or room in between the drywall and your vents to fit some wire into. Or like you say you can build out a small shallow box for your speaker to mount to that would house the excess wire and allow the speaker to lay flat on the drywall.
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post #16 of 137 Old 08-08-2015, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you sir!

So, its a bit hard to explain the problem I guess. On a normal wall, I would measure out a nice square and just cut a hole. On my right side wall if I were to do that it would be the same as cutting a hole into my duct work. Its my return air duct so not a HUGE problem, but I would rather keep it properly sealed. So from what I can gather I have 3 options

1. Build a box or a bracket that holes the speaker off of the actual existing wall so there is space for wire behind the speaker so it can rest flat. This means I am not breaking the seal on the wall.
2. Build a box behind the existing wall so that there is space for wire behind the speaker so it can rest flat against the existing wall. This box would need to be sealed from the duct.
3. Let the speaker sit raised off the wall slightly. Obviously the easiest option, and also means I don't break the seal on the wall.

I definitely want to run banana plugs on the wire ends, so I will need some space for those. My favorite option from an aesthetic point of view is option 2. That is the most work, but the speaker will just look like it is floating there, nice and tight against the wall and I wont have compromised my return air duct. Next up is option 1 which is slightly less work and pretty much achieves the same goals except that the speaker will be moved out a few inches into the room. If I was building some columns into my room this would be a perfect opportunity for one! It was discussed at one point, but we don't want columns so that means this would just be a box on the wall. Option 3 works fine IF I didn't want speaker terminals on the end of the wires. With terminals it will not sit even close to flat against the wall.

I am for sure overthinking this as I do with everything. I think I am going to go with option two so that both speakers look the same. On the left side wall I don't have to get fancy I can just cut a hole behind the speaker and it will sit nice and flat. I have a while before I start on this little project anyway, so I can keep thinking of other solutions.

Today we are going to hit it hard and make some big progress! I have a truck load of material I bought yesterday to start framing up the back wall and the bar. My buddy is coming by to finish electrical work. Should have a good update later today or tomorrow!



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post #17 of 137 Old 08-09-2015, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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The time for progress is upon us! I will just go right for the pictures.

I decided to start by building the base for the bar which meant I needed to cut out the floor


We are going to replace the flooring down here, but for now no need to rip it all out.

Next up came the walls!




You can see here that I actually built a 2x3 wall on the left side as well. The top is 3/4" plywood which is just part of the base for now.


Next up came building out the back wall. This turned out to be more work than I had planned. I started by adding in some 2x6 pieces between the joist above where the new wall would be. I decided to use joist hangers on the back side rather than running screws through on an angle. I put 6 up, all nice like and then built the wall.




Then when I went to install my beautiful new wall I realized that not only does it hit the bottoms of the joist hangers but even if it didn't the hangers were directly above the header which means I couldn't actually use the new stringers to attach the top of the wall. So out came all of the nice work I did with the stringers and the hangers. It's not that big of a deal, I will just tie the new wall to the old wall. It was getting pretty late though, so that will have to wait for later in the week.


While I was working on that, my buddy was busy running some wire around. We got the outlet installed and wire pulled for the screen, set the box and some of the piping for the new outlet in the back corner for the sub, started running pipe for the outlet in the bar. He also ran some of the low voltage wiring down the outside wall. We also tried to run the networking and HDMI to my office but had some trouble. More on that when we come up with a solution.

Thats all for now. Screen and projector will be here this week so I can check if I need to any blocking for mounting before closing up the ceiling. I am super excited to have some actual progress going on. Thanks for following along!


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post #18 of 137 Old 08-11-2015, 12:56 PM
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Your work is very neat! Subscribed.
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post #19 of 137 Old 08-12-2015, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Your work is very neat! Subscribed.
Thank you, I appreciate the kind words!


My projector came in yesterday!!! I just missed the Fed Ex man, so it was either wait a day or drive over there and pick it up....





I actually wasn't even going to open it yet. The wife came home and said she was surprised I hadn't opened it, so I said "OK, Ill check it out". After a precariously resting it on a shaky stack of tool cases, I decided to put it on something a bit more stable. Once I did, I hooked up the long HDMI from the closet (may as well test it while I am playing right) and hooked it up to the server since that is the only source I have in there. I fired up some Interstellar in HD onto my green painted wall










The image is a bit larger than what my screen will be, but the projector is also placed back from where it will be mounted. I think (hope) that the math came out correct. The screen should be here Friday but I am not sure I will be able to hang it to test any further this weekend. Anyway, I was excited about the projector, so there it is




Thanks,
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post #20 of 137 Old 08-13-2015, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I had a couple quick questions for you guys. The first one I know is debatable, but I would like to hear some reasons why I should go one way or the other. For the rear surrounds (on back wall) should I go with bookshelf (R5Bi) or Bi-pole on wall (R55Wi)? I am doing the on wall Bi-pole for the side speakers, but just not sure which would be better on the back wall.


Next up, would there be any negative side effect of adding a piece of wood behind the speakers under the drywall? I am thinking while I have everything open I can add in some 2x6 cross pieces between the nearest studs so I have a nice solid area to put screws for mounting. I cant really see it being a problem, but I thought I should ask.


That is all I got for now, thanks in advance for any help!




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post #21 of 137 Old 08-18-2015, 09:57 AM
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I have on wall for my rears and book shelfs for my sides. I'm not sure it matters really and I'm no audio expert. I like my rears and they look nice sitting flush to the wall. As for the second question adding in wood filler for mounting is a good idea and there is no adverse effect that I am aware of. I did that all over the place where I new I'd be wanting or thought I may want to hang something. As for the speakers I did that and it worked well since I had plenty of meat to screw into and I know my speakers are in the wall nice and secure. Your putting the drywall over it so it should not have any effect on sound that I'm aware of. And you'll never see it since it's behind the drywall. I recommend doing it personally.
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post #22 of 137 Old 08-18-2015, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the reply! After looking into this a bit more, I think it is recommended to use direct firing speakers as surround backs. I am sure that it probably wont make a ton of difference, so I still may go with the Bi-pole speakers. I know that my wife would prefer the looks of the Bi-Poles on the back wall since they sit nice and flat.

Speaking of them sitting nice and flat, I think I came up with a good solution to my "problem". Instead of trying to describe it, I will just post up some pictures when I do it. I will also be adding some blocking behind the speakers for sure. I am going to be doing the same for the screen and projector soon as well. I have only a couple more things to do in the ceiling before I can insulate it and start putting up drywall! Slowly but surely I am working my way there. I cant wait to fire it all up soon!


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post #23 of 137 Old 08-23-2015, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
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UPDATE TIME!!! I am finally starting to feel like I am getting close to closing everything off. Still quite a lot of work left to do, but made some good progress this weekend. On to the pics!

Well I stared out by figuring out that my original plan for the screen location wasn't going to work out. It was a situation where I had drawn up the best case scenario, and the discovered a problem. No big deal, just needed to come forward into the room a little bit. I put up 2x6" pieces between the joist on both sides. I have them spaced so the mounts will hit center which means I have plenty of movement all around if anything ever changes. In this pic you can also see that I started wrapping the duct work with some insulation, and also got the wires (5 CAT6, and HDMI) for the office run down the front wall. Last up you can see the new outlet box for the screen.


Better shot of the wiring snaking around everything


After that was done I put up some supports for the rear speakers and ran the wire through.


Surround back right


Surround back left



Next up I tackled the right side surround speaker location. As you know, this is the one that has been causing me some concern as it is going into the air return for my HVAC. Started by knocking a hole in the wall so I could see what I was working with.


I knew I wanted to do a 2x4 across two studs to have plenty of area to mount the speakers, so I stared with that. Then I basically just boxed it out with 2x3's. I built all of this outside of the wall so I could attach everything nice and secure. Then I put some silicone caulk on the back side and attached a piece of drywall so that it was sealed off from the duct. You can see I brought the speaker wire in from a different joist bay since I had already sealed up the one right above the speaker. Where the speaker wire comes into the return duct, and also into the box I built are sealed with silicone. I ran out, but I still need to run a bead on that right edge between the drywall and the stud. I will also run a bead on the face when I put up the drywall. I am sure it is WAY overkill, but now I have space for the terminals to go into the wall without compromising my return air.


After that, I went right to the same location on the left side wall. For some reason I expected this one to be easy! Turns out (as would make sense) that there is a big header over the window. Since I wanted the speaker to sit flat with no wire showing I decided to build out a box. Essentially its the same thing as the other side, juts not hidden completely hidden behind the drywall.


While I was over there I ran the HDMI and the CAT6 for the bar as well.


Then I added some blocking for the projector to mount to. Again, since I am not 100% sure where it is going to mount (and for some future coverage) I went with two 2x6's side by side at the center of the room.


Once that was done I was somehow able to get the wife to come down and help with the clean up! It was pretty bad, but with both of us working on it together it went pretty quick. Here are a couple shots after that was done.




I also grabbed a shot of the start of the power going into the bar.


And the new outlet box for the rear sub location



OK, that is all for now! Still a lot of work ahead, but getting VERY close to being able to put drywall back up!!! I think the plan is to finish the electrical, insulate, drywall. Once that is done I will hang the screen and projector. Then its bar top, the wood on the ledge, and flooring. I am also hoping to order up some equipment this week, not sure if I am getting subs first or a bunch of smaller things yet. It all needs to get ordered, but just not sure which I should do first. Thanks for following along as always!


Sean
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post #24 of 137 Old 08-27-2015, 08:55 AM
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Nice looking build so far! Subscribed.

Gear: Visio 70" M701d-A3R LED TV | Denon x2100w AVR | Sony BDPS5100 (blu ray) | SONY PS3 | Polk 265-RT (L/R) | Polk 255C-RT (C) | Polk RC65i (L/R rear Surround) | Polk RC80i (L/R Surround) | SVS PB-2000 (Subwoofer) | Harmony Smart Control (Remote)

My basement reno: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/15-gen...l#post33708177
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post #25 of 137 Old 08-31-2015, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Nice looking build so far! Subscribed.
Thank you!


While we are here, I may as well give you guys the weekly update. No pics this week since it was all pretty minor work. Saturday my brother in law came by and gave me a hand insulating the duct work. The two ducts that feed the room are getting new boots (apparently that is the term for the end of the duct) so it was almost easy to slide some insulation over them. In practice it ended up being a bit more of a pain in the ass than that, but we got them covered. I had to order new boots since the ones I bought were for floor installation, and also not the correct angle. I have nice fancy ones coming this week and after I finish wrapping the last duct that will all be done.

Yesterday I finished removing the stupid braces they used to hold the joist during constriction. I am not sure I mentioned this before, but they were held in with these crazy long staples. Plus most of them were split, so they were just kind of there. So I removed what was left finally which will make it easier to insulate it.

I also ended up changing my speaker arrangement some. As you saw last week I built up all of the surround and surround back speakers which are staying like that. If anyone can remember back far enough, I had run 4 wires into the ceiling for Atmos or whatever other "3D Sound" format. I never really did my due diligence on the new formats which means I never realized that they all have pretty vastly different speaker locations. After doing some research, and putting some thought into it yesterday I decided to change it to a 7.2.2 configuration and take the additional two runs out. This allows me to position the two Atmos channels properly (if I ever even use them), and makes the wiring a little less complicated. It also allowed me to pull the new sub cable for the back of the room, which I also got done. Other than that I just installed some bridle rings to support everything.

This weekend I am planning on closing up the ceiling! I have a very little bit of work to finish up, and then it is 100% ready for insulation and drywall. I also ordered up the supplies for making the counter top for the bar. I need to get a couple people to help with that one though, so I am not sure I will be able to knock it out this weekend. Still a long way to go, but getting closer by the day




As always, thanks for following along!

Sean
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post #26 of 137 Old 09-06-2015, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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My attempt to have a drywalled ceiling this weekend have officially failed. This will now be the third time that I had wanted to do something early on, was talked out of it only to have to go back and do it anyway.

For this specific problem, I was going to install some resilient channel from the very start. I was talked out of it by a few different people, and settled on some insulation and a single layer of 5/8" drywall. So this weekend I go and get all of the drywall, a drywall lift, and get all set up to put up a ceiling. I of course started with the insulation which really sucks a whole hell of a lot! I can say I am seriously second guessing finishing that part of the project. I moved on to the first sheet of drywall. I only had one can light in this piece (because my Speediboot's STILL haven't come in yet), and I got it perfect on the first shot. It was worth the money to get the big ass hole saw The lift worked perfect, and also was worth the not expensive at all rental. However, when I went to screw in this piece it was immediately evident that the joist are VERY not level. Just on that one piece along the outside wall there was probably close to 3/8" or more between them.

Hopes and dreams were dashed, and I knew I wouldn't have a ceiling this week. I returned the drywall lift, and sulked watching a movie and eating some pizza. A few movies later, and here I am trying to get a game plan set to make this right. So lets dive into questions!!!

1. Is it worth insulating my ceiling? I have asked before, but I cant remember what it REALLY does for me.
2. How helpful will a laser be when trying to shim out the resilient channel to a level field?
3. ANY tips or tricks to making any of this easier are GREATLY appreciated!

I am really hoping I can have everything ready to put drywall up next weekend. That will mean getting the resilient channel grid all up and level during the week, as well as insulation if I finish that. I do have tomorrow free (Labor Day), so I could knock out some work. I will probably close up the walls since that is mostly just patch work.


Thanks,
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post #27 of 137 Old 09-08-2015, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Small update time! I couldn't let the entire weekend go to waste, so I got off my ass and did a little bit yesterday. I started off by running to the Home Teapot and got some R30 pink fluffy stuff to fill up my back wall. Insulating walls is SO MUCH BETTER! It took me longer to get myself changed and all set up than it actually took to fill the wall with insulation. Too bad I have so many wires, and pipes in my ceiling so I pretty much have to do multiple layers.


Anyway, here is the back wall all stuffed




First piece of drywall up!




And done!




I then patched up my right side surround location, which if you remember is my return air duct.




I was a little off with my lower measurement for some reason. Not bad enough to remake the piece though, so it's staying. I applied some silicone around the wood frame, and between the piece and the sheet metal. Seems perfect, no air being pulled though the trim ring, and plenty of air being pulled through the vent at the bottom of the wall!


After that was done I cut the plywood top for the bar. I will update with that later since that is pretty much its own project.


I was able to borrow a rotary laser today, so now I can see how bad the ceiling really is. I would really like to get the channel all installed and leveled off this week so that I can drywall over the weekend. Then next week I can focus on getting the bar ready to pour the following weekend. I have a fair amount of work ahead of me, but I think I can pull it off!




Thanks for following along!
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post #28 of 137 Old 09-21-2015, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Another weekend and more progress! Today we are going to look back at that time I decided I needed a bar in my theater.

So we have all seen the basic frame built and in place, that means we can jump into everything else. I started by putting up drywall on the surfaces I don't need open anymore.




Once that was done I started to build up my temporary support.




Then came the concrete board base. I used a very rigid fiber reinforced product that was impossible to cut! I ended up cutting the end with my circular saw... inside... That didn't go well, the wife was kind of upset Anyway, here it is all installed.


The concrete board was held in place with some silicone, and then I installed the outside forms.


Next up was the fiber mesh, which was held in place with clips that are screwed down to the concrete board. Simple system that holds it in the perfect location while you pour. No worries about it being pushed to the bottom, or floating to the top!


Now we were ready to pour. I didn't get any pics of this process since I was busy, but its pretty straight forward. I used an additive and coloring from www.concretecountertopsolutions.com, so I mixed one bag of additive, 3 scoops of color (charcoal), and 2 quarts of water in a bucket. Then add in a 60lb bag of sand/topping mix and a bit more water, once that was mixed we split it into two buckets to make it easier to carry and pour.

After running to get more concrete (more on that in a sec) everything was poured and being floated by my uncle.


Starting to hard trowel it


So this is where it gets interesting. As I mentioned I was using an additive for the mix, and I had calculated it multiple times, and for larger sizes than what I poured, and always came up with needing 5 bags of concrete. The additive is one bag per one bag of concrete. After going through all 5, we were just a little short. We all thought, no big deal I will go and get more. We still had plenty of the color additive, and the concrete was easy to get, we can just mix up that last little bit without the additive and keep on truckin! Turns out that the additive was much more than just acrylic fibers, and there was a drastic difference in how it poured, and more importantly how it finished.

Here is an area that was mixed with everything as planned, the finish was (is) BEAUTIFUL!


Just a couple inches to the side, you can see the little bit without the additive


We were able to work it a little bit more than that, and it dried better as well. It still needs to be fixed though, and I am concerned more with how well it filled the profile. I ordered up the material I need to fix it today after talking with the company a bit. I am fairly confident that I can patch it up and make everything look nice with some time.

I am glad to get that project at least mostly done. I really cant wait to get the ceiling closed off, which is coming up next! Thanks for following along.


Sean
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post #29 of 137 Old 09-25-2015, 04:20 AM
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Room is looking pretty sweet already! That's a total bummer about the bar top.

When are you expecting to receive the filler?


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post #30 of 137 Old 09-25-2015, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks! It is not the end of the world, just try and learn from it so next time I get even better results. The filler came in the other day, but I didnt pull the forms off until last night. The edges look real good, I am very happy with how they turned out. I am going to wait to post pics after I patch, sand, stain, and seal everything. I am trying to decide if I work on that this weekend, or if I get back to the ceiling. I guess we will see what I am in the mood for tomorrow


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