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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,


I am new homeowner, and the home I recently purchased is 70's/80's retro'ish in a few rooms. You'll see that the family room has the knotty pine tongue and groove paneling...not my liking. Thanks to the tax credit, I want to make a few renovations early so I can enjoy them while I live here. First purchase...Sony 55NX810 3D LCD TV, now I need it to fit in haha.


I've already received estimates to put drywall up & reface the brick fireplace with stacked rock. I plan to tear down the paneling and gently take off the trim and then I want to wire everything for my home theater. The TV will end up being mounted on the wall probably level with the bottom of the window...still undecided on ultra-slim vs. fully articulate. I want to futureproof the wiring if possible (but just to a normal man's needs), because I know it will be harder later on to get it done. My future plans most likely include upgrading my receiver in the next couple of years, and once I do that I can enjoy 7.1 lossless audio with 3D as well. I'm trying to keep this low-budget, but really improve the look of the family room and be a kick-a$$ game/movie room.

Equipment:

Sony KDL-55NX810

HK AVR-347 7.1 Receiver

HK HKTS-18 5.1 Speaker Set

2 Average Floorstanding Polk-Audio Speakers

Playstation 3

Nintendo Wii

Room Dimensions:

18 ft. 5 inches x 13 ft. 5 inches

Seating Distance:

9-12 ft. away

Wall Mounts:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

or
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

Wall Plates

Recessed Power: http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2


7.1 Wall Plate: http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2


Outdoor Speakers (2 Backyard, 1 Front Porch) Wall Plate: http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

Cables/Wires

Speaker Wire: 200 ft. of 16AWG (no runs further than 50 ft)

HDMI Cables: various lengths - 28AWG - High-Speed

In-Wall Speakers (haven't purchased yet): http://www.crutchfield.com/p_107RC65...nwall+speakers


-Questions-

1) With a room of that size, is 7.1 really that important? I already plan to put in-wall speakers for the surrounds, so if I'd wire the extra rears, I'd probably plan to buy another set of in-wall speakers. But if its overkill, I don't want to waste my money.


2) Do you put a wall plate where the speaker wire will exit? or just run the wire through the drywall?


3) Can you think of anything you'd do differently? Any other product you'd recommend? Let me know any opinions, tips, comments, etc. Thanks!


Goal - hopefully in time for Christmas








 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I've attached a rough sketch of the room dimensions and how I plan to set it up. Are the rear surrounds and mid-surrounds too close? I don't want to force 7.1 if 5.1 will do just fine in a room like this. Any suggestions?


I had planned on converting the closet into a media shelf because its kind of awkward to have a coat closet in the family room...and I don't use it. That'd open up the room more because then I could eliminate the need for the entertainment stand. Any ideas?


Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Made my order for the mount, wires, cables, and wall plates yesterday. Will start to remove the wood paneling this week and into next week.


An idea from a friend said that I should remove ALL of the wood paneling, but I should keep the paneling 1/3 of the way up the wall and then sheetrock the rest, with a chair rail in the middle. It'd probably look good and give the room more character than just sheetrock...I'm just not sold on it.


I know that there are bigger and badder renovations going on in this forum...but can a little guy get some love? lol!


Its my first renovation, and I just want to make sure I'm going about it right...and I like opinions too!!!


I'll continue to update as progress is made, I hope the finished product brings attention!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, so maybe I didnt get any replies because everyone knew I was a procrastinator?!?


So my last post didnt hold up - I still haven't even removed the wood paneling. I was busy with the holidays then other small projects around the house, but the time has come around again!


Last weekend I moved all of my video/audio equipment up to my bedroom - no need to ever leave the bed now! I took a few pieces of trim off with Stanley's Wonderbar but the prybar is too thick and I'm afraid of damaging the trim. I've purchased this super-thin prybar that received excellent reviews for removing trim & molding:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000224TY


I'm hoping to remove the trim, molding, & wood paneling in the next week. Then I need to wire and prep for sheetrock.


I've decided to wire for 7.1, but I will only use 5.1 currently - and have a Zone 2 outside for the 2 remaining slots.


Anyone from central VA that is a home theater expert?! What about an electrician? Thanks!
 

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Pine Paneling - I love real wood paneling - tongue-in-groove is classic - sorry you want to replace it with something different.


Display - your thread title say "theater" - just IMO - you won't get there with a 55in television - why? - a 55in television simply can't deliver a "at the movies" visual experience - we have a 60oin 1080p TV for watching television - "theater" requires lowering the lights and lighting up the wall screen and projector - the 13ft 5in width would support a projector and 100in diagonal screen image or larger while the 18ft length would easily support a 120in diagonal image - keep the little TV for watching television but if you want a "theater" experience upgrade to PJ and screen.


Just my 2 cents based on our personal experience.

GoodLuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by imjay /forum/post/20154568


Pine Paneling - I love real wood paneling - tongue-in-groove is classic - sorry you want to replace it with something different.


Display - your thread title say "theater" - just IMO - you won't get there with a 55in television - why? - a 55in television simply can't deliver a "at the movies" visual experience - we have a 60oin 1080p TV for watching television - "theater" requires lowering the lights and lighting up the wall screen and projector - the 13ft 5in width would support a projector and 100in diagonal screen image or larger while the 18ft length would easily support a 120in diagonal image - keep the little TV for watching television but if you want a "theater" experience upgrade to PJ and screen.


Just my 2 cents based on our personal experience.

GoodLuck


Thanks for your input Jay. You're right, it technically wouldn't be a theater without a projector & screen but then again if I did that, would it still be a family room?! I want to keep it simple yet still pleasing to my eyes and ears - and since I just bought the 55 incher, its going to be my main TV for the next few years.


I've had quite a few people ask why I want to replace the paneling, and the reason is the room just looks flat out dated with it. I did receive the thin prybar last night and used it to remove a few pieces of trim. DANG is that difficult! I don't know if its just that the trim has been there for 30 years or what, but it wasn't as easy as I was expecting. One piece of trim slightly split when I removed it, so I dont know if I'll be able to salvage much of it but I'm trying my best. Supposed to be nice in VA this weekend, so I may need work this project in between some outdoors projects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Progress! I have to remove paneling off of only one more wall. Didn't have the patience required to save one board, those guys were really nailed in.


I did find some mold on the insulation above the fireplace and and along the wall with the two windows. I know I should replace the insulation, but I'm thinking it'd be a good idea to find the cause...maybe crawl space???









 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Question - How do other threads have big pictures posted within their posts? I uploaded the pics to Google's Picasa and linked to that, but the pictures still show up small...


For the past week or so, I've been seriously contemplating a projector and screen in this room. Since I'm going to be already re-doing the drywall, I figure the costs to get this done would be just the materials, a screen and a projector.


I had looked at this Monoprice Ceiling Recessed Tab-Tensioned Motorized projection screen:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2


And this for a projector, Epson 8350:
http://www.amazon.com/Epson-PowerLit...3915517&sr=1-4


As much as I want a real home theater, I think I've decided to wait to tackle this desire in another house down the road for a few reasons.

1) Not any reviews on the projector screen

2) Future Homebuyers may not be into home theater...especially in their family room.

3) I have a ceiling fan smack dab in the middle of the room, and I don't want to remove it. So placement of the projector would be difficult...back of the room is about 17 feet away from where the screen placement would be.


I think total costs to add this on to the remodel wouldn't exceed $2,500...worth it to you guys?


I've got a few more estimates coming this week for electrician's and drywall, hopefully the electrician can begin next week.


You guys can try your best to convince me to...until I hire out the electrician, my options are still open!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Decided against the projector, good thing because the half roof is on that end of the room and the joists would have run perpendicular with the projector. Project is finally picking up steam - recessed lights done and drywall being done a week from today. To prep for drywall, I need to replace insulation and wire for surround sound and box in where I want my 2 in-wall rear speakers.


A few questions...
  • How do other threads have big pictures posted within their posts? I uploaded the pics to Google's Picasa and linked to that, but the pictures still show up small...
  • The insulation has a little mold on it I believe, black spots throughout. I think its best to replace this 30 year old insulation since I already have the walls down. Is there a certain way I should wire for surround sound in walls with insulation?
  • What do you all run Cat5/6 for? I want to make sure I'm wiring for everything I'll need. I'll have recessed power plug behind TV and conduit for wires (HDMI x2, ethernet)


Thanks! More pictures to come.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentleyazure /forum/post/20464056


How do other threads have big pictures posted within their posts? I uploaded the pics to Google's Picasa and linked to that, but the pictures still show up small...
Take a look at this thread , it pretty much spells it out, but with photobucket instead of Picasa (although I'm sure they're very similar).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bentleyazure /forum/post/20464056


The insulation has a little mold on it I believe, black spots throughout. I think its best to replace this 30 year old insulation since I already have the walls down. Is there a certain way I should wire for surround sound in walls with insulation?

DEFINITELY replace the insulation if you have mold (yes, black dots). I would also do a thorough walk-through once you have all the old insulation removed to make sure it didn't creep to other areas as well. Mold is no joke, take care of it now so it doesn't bite you in the a$$ later on down the road.



Wiring for InWalls is really no different than wiring for other speakers, just make sure you use speaker wire that is rated for InWall installation (CL2 rated).


Quote:
Originally Posted by bentleyazure /forum/post/20464056


What do you all run Cat5/6 for? I want to make sure I'm wiring for everything I'll need. I'll have recessed power plug behind TV and conduit for wires (HDMI x2, ethernet)

CAT5/6, besides running it for home networking, is a great "all purpose" cable for anything from additional HDMI connections (with the use of baluns), to IR Repeater systems and everything in between.



It's too bad you decided to scrap the idea of a projector and screen, I would advise you to rethink that strategy. You can easily DIY an excellent screen for $300-$400 dollars, so you can get the total cost of the screen and PJ easily under $2,000 including your PJ mount. Cheaper depending on how frugal you want to be. If you're going to all of this trouble to build a home theater (which I also did!), make it a true home theater and go big!! Just my opinion, but that is much more important that a ceiling fan in that room.
 

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Just saw this thread...going back a few months, you asked what else you should wire for regarding surround sound. Since your seating is not up against the back wall, future rears are not a bad idea. You may also want to consider wiring for future front heights or wides (11.x).


Regarding the PJ and screen - I think you were on the right track - to help future proof, you could run an HDMI from the AVR location to a proposed projector location (and power). You could also run a power line to the front wall/ceiling in case you do decide to add a motorized screen. Since you ran into rafters, you could build a small bump out at the wall/ceiling to cover the PJ screen box (nice clean stealthy look).


I noticed that you were looking to purchase a 3 speaker wall plate to run 3 pr of outside speakers - I almost did something similar and was planning to power them with a zone 2 or 3. My issue was when the HT surround music was on, I could barely run/hear the outside speakers (not enough power). I bought an Aton speaker selector (DLA4) with the RF remote (which is very cool by the way) and a 2ch amp.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentleyazure /forum/post/20464056
  • The insulation has a little mold on it I believe, black spots throughout. I think its best to replace this 30 year old insulation since I already have the walls down. Is there a certain way I should wire for surround sound in walls with insulation?

Not sure if it's too late for input or not, but definitely get rid of every bit of insulation that has - or may have - signs of mold! Trust me on this - it's way cheaper and way easier to get rid of mold now than to do it later once you've invested time and money in new wall coverings! Ugly details in the first part of my build thread if you have a strong stomach, but the crib note version is: don't ***** foot around with mold.


Some other quick random observations/questions:


What is the climate - where do you live? Make sure you take the time to properly insulate while you walls are open. Living in a northern climate, adding insulation was huge for me. I had paneling almost exactly like yours, and I'm so glad to have drywall & insulation now. Feels much more like regular living space than an old crusty basement.


I agree on running wire for possible future 7.1 speakers, and maybe even a PJ. For the cost of some cables now, you'll be ready if you want them in the future. You can run those speaker wires & other cables to a low voltage box in the wall, which will work very much like an electrical box does for electrical terminations.


That's all for now, but a friendly suggestion: you'll also get far more feedback if you provide lots of photos that are large enough to be seen! Yours are almost too small for old farts like me to see, and with a gazillion other threads to look at, we won't waste much time on those that don't make it easy for us.


Welcome to the madness & good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the responses!


I'm going to make a trip to Lowe's tonight to buy some insulation, conduit, and gang boxes for the speaker cable connections. I already ordered a ton of other wall plates and stuff from Monoprice back when this project was starting...uhhh 5 months ago haha.


I bought 16awg speaker cable from Monoprice with a UL symbol on it, but I dont see CL2...what does that stand for? Edit: Nevermind, looked back at order and said its CL2 rated...why doesnt monoprice say it on the box? I plan on running a pvc pipe from the TV mount area down to where the entertainment center will be, so hopefully that'll let me adapt to any future needs. I do like the idea of wiring for 7.1, maybe not putting speakers in just yet though.


Scout's staff, what are the I'm not knowledgeable on speaker selectors, would I need anything else besides that device?


On to the insulation...I hope this isn't a huge problem, maybe its just isolated to this one room? I live in central VA, a variety of weather throughout the year. If you look at the insulation pics, you can see to the left of the fireplace they had the insulation with paper backing, then above no vapor barrier, then to the right, plastic sheet over it - its definitely not consistent work. I wonder if the mold is due to taking shortcuts on the insulation the first time around? I'm not sure if having wood paneling makes insulation more prone to mold either.


Here's pictures of the recessed lights too, I think they turned out awesome - I'll put on the trim after the ceiling is patched and painted. When the fireplace is done it'll really look nice since that recessed light is on its own dimmer.








 

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UGH! MOLD!!! Aaaagggggghhhhh!!!!



Before you buy the insulation, I would take the time to try and identify what is causing the mold, as you may want to get a different type of insulation. I can elaborate on that much more if you want, but want to quickly communicate this if you're running out to buy insulation tonight.


What is behind that mold infested insulation? Exterior wall? Made of what? Is the wall itself showing moisture leakage and/or mold?


Also be careful handling the moldy insulation! You don't want to disturb it if possible, as the mold spores can easily become airborne and transfer to other spots where it can grow. Ideally keep the insulation contained in the plastic vapor barrier where it exists, or otherwise into plastic bags with minimal disruption. I'd also wear a mask and gloves.


Sounds like overkill. It's not.


You need to first deal with the cause and source of the mold before wasting time and money on new stuff.


Sorry to be a downer, but I've ben there, done that, and have the ribbons to prove it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I did buy the insulation but I can wait to install it. Please elaborate.


The rest of the house shows no signs of mold/waterstains, exterior wood needed painted when I bought it last June but the cedarwood was still in good condition. My dad and I painted the house last fall, so thats protected for a good while at least. The crawlspace has a bunch of crickets....good bc they eat bugs, bad because they are attracted to damp, dark areas. There is vapor barrier in the crawlspace but I'd like to add a little more - other than that the crawlspace is in good condition.
 

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Well, first order of business should be to safely remove the mold infested insulation and identify what's causing the mold. You really should take some time to google/start learning about mold, even if there are a gazillion other things you'd prefer to do, because it has the potential to be a big problem for you, including a health problem. Here's what I'd say to get you started, although I'm no mold expert - just a guy who realized he had a serious mold thing going on and a wife who was allergic to it, and sick from it.


Basically mold growth can only be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must fix the moisture problem. If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the moisture problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back. Mold cannot grow without moisture, so fix the moisture issue and you'll be well on your way to fixing the mold problem.


Often times moisture problems are tied to poor drainage around the house - that was one of my problems as my gutters were emptying too close to the house and the grading around the house was not taking the water away from the house, so it was getting stuck in the ground against the basement walls/foundation. I also had a slow plumbing leak in old pipes behind one bathroom wall. Finally, once the source problem was corrected, we also ended up buying a large, industrial strength dehumidifier, which helps keep the humidity under control in the summer. I don't know what your moisture source is, but you really need to identify and fix that if you want to keep the mold away.


I think I've sufficiently beat the moisture issue like a dead horse.



The second part of the mold equation is a substrate for it to grow on. It can grow on most surfaces, but some substrates have been found to be much more resistant to fostering mold growth than others. One of those is insulation in areas like basements that are prone to moisture. Turns out the typical fiberglass type of insulation exposed to direct moisture is an ideal place for mold to grow. OTOH, non-organic materials resist mold growth much more effectively, which is why polystyrene insulation is often chosen in basements at least for the at-risk walls. This is also known by other names like rigid board insulation or foam board. Whatever you call it, it is the preferred type of insulation to use against walls that are likely to be subject to future moisture. It's a similar cost as fiberglass insulation, and is actually pretty easy to install.

Here is a link to one post in my build thread where there is some more details, including links to many, many websites that contain far more information than I can list here.


I know this isn't the sort of thing anyone wants to hear, but it's the lesser of two evils, as it's easier and cheaper to attack it now than it would be after you finish your renovation. If all else fails, a few stiff drinks helped me a lot when I was at the initial stage of realizing I had a much bigger project than I thought.



Hang in there, my friend. This, too, shall pass - and hopefully it will be before you pass!
 

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Hanes has a reputation round here as a jokester and a useless picture poster. Having said that I would put a lot of weight on his position and advise on the mold/moisture mitigation front as he has had first hand experience in the matter.


In this regard when Hanes speaks, you should pay attention.


Good luck, we WILL be watching with interest.


Regards,


RTROSE
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE /forum/post/20471504


Hanes has a reputation round here as a jokester and a useless picture poster.

MOI?!




Technologie, moi must admit, is not moi's cup of java.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yesterday I checked out the crawlspace and everything looked fine under there. Like I said, I plan to add more vapor barrier on the crawlspace floor, but theres no mold growth under there at all. If the crawlspace was the culprit, I'd assume that the mold growth would start on the insulation at the base of the wall, that wasn't necessarily the case though.


This morning I removed the moldy insulation and sprayed the areas with a bleach/water mixture. Surprisingly, the back side of the insulation was mold free. Likewise, the studs and walls showed no signs of mold either.


I am starting to believe this may have something to do with the wood paneling, since the mold grow was on that side of the insulation. Also, the home is 30 years old, I dont believe this is just something that happened over the last year, I think its taken quite some time to even build up to this.


I think by changing the insulation & spraying with bleach/water, I think I've defeated any mold that was there currently. I'll continue to monitor the crawlspace and keep it as dry as possible. After seeing under the house and behind the insulation, I don't believe the problem was as developed as first assumed.


I'm waiting for the bleach/water to dry and then I'll put up R-13 insulation this evening!





 

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I really hope this strategy works out well for you, since you will be essentially just replacing the mold infested insulation with new insulation without identifying, much less correcting, the cause of the problem - which is moisture, not your wood panelling. Changing the bandaid does nothing to treat the wound. It just covers it for a while. Your call though.


Good luck!
 
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