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Ted,


I have a wonderful Dennis Erskine design, for a 14'6" x 22" basement HT in a 3 yr-old new construction home. I thought I had designed the room correctly 4 years ago, but of course, all the subcontractors had their own ideas of how to use this vast empty space under the house. The two major problems with the room location are 1) all HVAC and plumbing vents through the room to the outside wall and 2) the electrical service is on the outside wall, with nearly every single circuit running through the room.


Dennis spec'ed a new ceiling from which to hang my double-layer drywall and 200# Barcographics CRT projector. No problem with the concept, however, implementation is bewildering me. The current floor joists are 16" O.C. 16' x 9'6" SilentFloor I-Joists with 1 1/2" square flanges. There are a number of items hanging from the joists consuming 5' of space from one wall. These items include the HVAC supply and return lenticular trunks, two 3" PVC pipes for the water heater vents, two 2" PVC pipes for the furnace flues, 1/2" copper water line for exterior spigot, 2 lines for the air conditioner, and lots of little air tubes for the controlling the HVAC zone dampers. I quickly agreed to divide this group of hanging obstacles and move half to the other side of the room.


Six of the joist spaces include ducts for either the HT room or room above, and each has a zone-controller damper. Most are just off-center within the joists, so I could probably squeeze a new joist next the existing joists, instead of centered inbetween. Four of the joist spaces include Thermopan cold-air returns, which I should easily be able to reconstruct, once new joists are in place.


Here is where my problems start. All four PVC lines traverse the entire length of the room under the joists, until the last 2 or 3, at which point, they all elbow up into the joist space, run parallel to the joints, then make another 90 degree elbow and go through the last couple of joists as they exit through the band joist to the exterior of the house. For these 2 or 3 joists that they twist and turn through, I don't know how to get a 2x6 or 2x8 to pass through the exact same space. The second issue I have is that all the electrical run right through the center of the joists, using the available knockouts. There are a total of 1 main ground wire, 1 220 volt line, 2 low voltage, 3 audio, 3 cat 5, 4 RG-6, and 11 110 volt cables running perpendicular though every joist in the room. I think I can get 4" of clearance between the wiring and the bottom of the joist with minimum upward tension on the wires. The new joists would rest on the same sill plate as the existing joists, with a notch to lower the bottom below the existing joists. As headroom is important, I was originally planning on only using a 1/2" gap, but this would only get me 4 1/2". I would feel more comfortable using 2x8 joists in order to support the projector, but I am 3" short of space. According to the framing construction books, I am allowed to make a notch up to 1/6 of the width, which gets me to only being 2" short.


Any suggestions as to how to resolve this, without rewiring half the circuits in my house or losing valuable headroom? I am about 1 1/2 hours from you, and if need be, a visit could be arranged, for some further solution solving. Dennis and I have been working together on this for awhile, but I just can't make it all click in my mind.


Thanks,


Geordon
 

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Sorry for the delay. I guess I missed seeing your post earlier. I'd be happy to pay a visit. It's not far. I have to go that way anyway.


Send me an e-mail at [email protected] and we'll work something out.


Ted
 
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