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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK - here we go... officially getting started
  1. Friday was move in
  2. Saturday - wiring for basement and 1st floor
  3. Sunday - second floor runs up to the attic
  4. Sunday - Friday life happened


Attached are images from the previous thread with images of the initial build plan and a layout of the basement for the wiring


And an image of the room to be gutted and rebuilt



 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Saturday we managed to do all the wiring for the Basement and 1st floor


all drops are the big green cable (2x2) cat6/rg6 - basically we're also wiring for all home runs and future home automation


This included:
  1. Getting into the basement from the garage
  2. running the cable along the back wall for all drops
  3. 3 drops up to the first floor
  4. 3 drops to future HT room
  5. 1 drop to excercise room in basement
  6. 2 Cat6s to the Systems closet for the security system


Below are pictures of the spool, and the run along the ceiling in the basement


we also managed to get one more drop into the basement for the rec-room on sunday after we ran up to the attic - wires were getting scarce but we managed to salvage from some aggressive runs earlier




 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
couple more detail shots from the wiring for the basement along the back wall - we'll be building a soffit around the cables to close off the room - decided against conduit here for now - just because the cables were so darn thick and we'll be building around them anyway



you can see where we went up to the office in the corner (this will be the back of the equipment closet), and also where all the cabling is spooled and waiting for the HT build




 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sunday was a really fun day
  • Managed to get 5 drops up into the attic before we ran out of cable
  • Salvaged 2 lines for one drop to the rec room and one drop to the room directly above the garage
  • On impulse I bought a spool of 1000' cat5e from home depot (not good quality) and we cut it into 9 cables (5x100 and 4x125) for a run to the attic as well


and then..... we had a couple of mishaps with the electrician up in the attic
  1. Foot came down in the wrong place up in the attic
  2. Body came down in the wrong place in the attic


Luckily everyone was ok, he got his shoulder around a joist so it was an initial fall and then a short drop to the 2nd floor hardwood - 3ft over and it would have been 2 stories down onto marble


I've got to say - the dude was a trooper - he absolutely insisted on getting everything up there even after the fall. After that - i insisted on calling it quits. We had to tape up the ceiling b/c that spray insulation really makes a mess.


The smoke alarm is no real loss - we were planning on pulling that out anyway and using the wires for the new security panel and then using the cat5 up in the attic to hardwire new alarms


With a baby in the house wiring became second priority - on to my first drywall experience


End of the day - everyone is OK and everything is spooled up in the attic waiting to get pulled down into the bedrooms



 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well my first drywall experience went really well.


While I was at Home Depot (only a mile away) - I realized that maybe now wasn't the best time to be learning how to patch holes (and not holes that big) so I started asking everyone I saw if they were contractors who knew how to drywall.


I got lucky and found the leader of a professional crew that was working about a mile away from the house and he brought his team by "after hours" to get things done.


Four guys and less than two hours later - good as new - only got a layer of primer up but you can barely tell anything happened


Bottom line - patch work done, and I decided to focus on unpacking boxes and sticking to labeling for the rest of this week



Figured the wife had been very very very understanding, and we now have no holes inside the house except for where the plates are coming (and in the basement which is where i get banished to anyway)


 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This weekend i'm hoping to
  1. Get the bedroom drops in place
  2. terminate everything


By my calculations I now have to terminate
  • 34 Cat6s to the patch panel
  • 9 Cat5es to another patch panel
  • 26 RGs to a keystone panel
  • 34 Cat6s to keystones
  • 26 RG6s to keystones


Started labeling the panels and cables last night and the cartridge ran out - should be a fun fun weekend



I'll keep you all posted - hopefully the HT build will start mid-Feb... Thanks again to Ted for helping with the soundproofing plan


-j
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One other thing - has anyone put plywood or MDF down in an attic over the insulation?


Is this a bad idea - I am terrified now that someone will fall and hurt themselves up there


any suggestions?
 

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Bethesda "Fallout" of the attic build. :) Glad that dude didn't get hurt!


I have Plywood down in the attic over the insulation. I think MDF would work too but it would be heavier than Plywood and probably more expensive. Anyhow - I recommend 3/4" just to make sure you have solid footing up there. Definitely not a bad idea at all.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesto /forum/post/19910843


One other thing - has anyone put plywood or MDF down in an attic over the insulation?


Is this a bad idea - I am terrified now that someone will fall and hurt themselves up there


any suggestions?


Plywood is a better choice because it is stiffer. I would minimize the amount that you use because as you compress the blown in insulation you lose R value. If you are talking about creating some walkways to get the work done in the attic it should be fine. Personally I would just put down a few strategically placed 2x4s, anchor with some deck screws and just be careful where you step.
 

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If your joists are reliably at 16" or 24" centers, another option is Attic Dek . In my previous house I replaced the old catwalk boards with this stuff. It gave a really nice continuous surface for working and storage, and any time I needed access to run cables or adjust the layout (for example to make room for some new recessed lighting) I could easily lift and move the panels. I didn't even bother screwing them down in most cases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
good progress this weekend
  • put down 2'x4' OSB in the attic for walkways - dododge - those panels are cool - but I basically just went to Home Depot and had them cut 2 4'x8's for me into 8 2'x4' panels (so they would fit in the car)
  • dropped all the cables on the 2nd floor bedrooms
  • cleaned up wiring in the garage
  • installed all the rack management
  • opened up all the cables (the 2x2 cat6/rg6s are really a bear)
  • organized the rack and got everything ready to terminate


probably going to take it easy this week - next weekend - terminations and hopefully building a soffit over the cables in the basement


here are some pics of the rack ready to terminate



 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
need to get a 58" Samsung Plasma on to a big stone fireplace

- TV is 130lbs

- Fireplace mortar has cracks in it

- no idea whats behind the stones

- picture below of fireplace

- I have the Sanus LA112 motorized mount

- it is rated to 180lbs

- it extends out up to 12" and swivels left / right up / down


per BigMouth's suggestion - i'm thinking I need a stonemason out to check out the structural integrity of the fireplace


other than that....


Any ideas?
 

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It should be concrete block behind the stone. Easy way to find out is grab a masonry bit and start drilling (in a mortar joint, so you can patch it if need be).


The hearth extension looks to be about 16" AFF.. which would correspond to 2 rows of block.


Kind of strange the hearth stone is 2 pieces with a joint down the middle. Definitely worth a look up (or down) the flu to make sure everything is good.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesto /forum/post/19928016


- Fireplace mortar has cracks in it

Not evident from the picture is that the cracks are extensive. The mortar is crumbling between the stones and a large section of stones appears to have shifted. It looks like something went wrong with the mortar mix and it is losing it's bond.


Jesto has his hands full. Normally you would say just drill some holes and use masonry anchors to secure the mount. But I have a feeling..............


The vibration of a hammer drill and a masonry bit may actually do some significant damage.
 

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...you have a feeling he may prefer a different stone facing?



Stinks about the mortar mix.. I've actually never seen "extensive" cracking on a stone facing before. Definitely an issue (hopefully, easily solved!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
well - I had a mason come out today and check out the fireplace - he didnt seem to see any structural issues, so i guess thats good news - probably have another one come out this week to double check and get another estimate for the mortar work


not exactly sure what to do at this point - the wifey is not happy about me potentially installing the TV myself (or with help) at this point - shes a bit paranoid these days b/c we have an 8 mo old thats about to start crawling about and the fireplace is right next to her play area


it's either put it on a stand next to the fireplace and put the cool motorized mount somewhere else for another TV (and kill the idea of having it viewable from the kitchen / play area), OR "hire professionals"


anyway, undeterred - i do think that placing like 10 anchors into the mount should be sufficient



regardless - this is the progress i've made today to help me build my case. learned this trick of cutting a template out of cardboard from a contractor friend who did this for the marble surround on the bathtub at my old place


since i had lots of cardboard and electrical tape laying around from the rack equipment and install - i think it worked out pretty well



hopefully tomorrow morning wifey will see how cool the tv will look in the right spot and let me give it a shot
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
so here are some pics of the area where the mortar is pretty much gone and some cracking around the keystone

 

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Could be the joints were just way too big for the mortar mix. Or there was too much water in the mix..


Are you going to attempt a repair, or just let it go?


I know you've probably contemplated this already, but.. What about the heat from the fireplace and the TV being so close?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think i'm going to have someone repair it


somewhat worried about the heat from teh fireplace.... but it is an old plasma



seriously though - I do plan on putting some sort of mantel underneath it to help defray any heat from the fireplace - and to be honest we really dont build fires that often (if ever)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It's been an interesting couple of weeks, and unfortunately not too much has been done on the HT build front


Turns out my wife got a hold of my contractor and decided to completely remodel two bathrooms - so that's slowed things down a little, but the good news is:


1. Whole house wiring is done

2. Patch panel is 90% complete (just need to finish off some coax terminations)

3. Network is up and running (boy is it fast!)

4. Ran 7 additional Cat6 cables through the main run for future touch panels and security cameras

5. Ran 2" conduit to the attic, and 1.5" and 3/4" throughout the basement for future craziness

6. Soffit covering the wiring is complete (including access panels)


Regarding the fireplace - basically it needs to be rebuilt - which isn't necc a bad thing as it will allow me to make it smaller, put a drywall backing above the mantel, and install all the electronics appropriately.


Here are some pics of the patch panel, soffit and conduit

- the hanging loops are the aforementioned future runs for cameras and touch panels for the exterior, first floor and basement

- we also added some decent access panels for any crazy ideas i get in the future


This weekend - DEMOLITION OF THE OLD HT ROOM BEGINS




 
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