Friday, December 18, 2009

Theatre Set up

Ok; quick run down on what we ended up getting for the theatre:

1080P Optoma HD20 Projector

94" Manual Pulldown screen 16:9 White with black matte

ONKYO 7200 Sound System and Receiver

In all, I feel these components went excellent together. We ceiling mounted the projector (I had pre-run conduit to where I wanted it and reinforced the joice so that mounting would be easy.).

Mounting on the ceiling was indeed easy and I'm very happy with how this turned out. As a note about the HD20 projector, it only has MANUAL focus and zoom... which means you have to reach up to adjust. This isn't a huge deal... but auto focus would be nice. (For the price of the HD20, I'm MORE THAN HAPPY to reach up :) )

Here is a photo of the basement in use... You can see the screen in the room in the background. (Sorry; its the best photo I have on the web.)
From Enlarge Photo

The above photo was from a LAN party the first weekend in December 2009. (You can see we ended up getting a ping-pong table... You can also get a glimpse of the flooring I mentioned in a separate post).

99.9% Completed... and holding!

Well its December; and we've been 99.9% finished with the basement since early October... To be Honest; its hard to get motivated to 'finish' now that its entirely usable... and beautiful.

We eventually got the windows in, 4 new basement windows (Energy Efficient enough to qualify for a 30% tax cred... not too shabby); and were able to finish up framing.

Framing overall went very smoothly; and was surprised how easy it was to put up the bones of a building. Once framing was done; it followed that I finished running electric before moving on to HVAC.

For HVAC, I ended up just cutting into existing feeds going upstairs and installing ceiling vents... I HIGHLY recommend this. Very easy; and the result is a very comfortable environment with vents that are still rather aesthetically pleasing.

Once HVAC was completed I decided to bring in people for bids for drywall... I ended up taking the first bid. Yes, I can hear it now... "Always get multiple bids." Well, this guy Drywall Pros LLC, came recommended by a friend of mine; and the bid was MUCH less than I had imagined so I went for it anyway.

In all, we spent around 3,000 for Drywall (Including supplies, delivery, installation, taping, mudding, sanding). That was for about 1,200 SQ FT, Including the ceiling. The results were amazing. Oh, also worth mentioning; we had extra thick insulation installed in all the walls, with double insulation in the wall surrounding the storage room (To cut down on A/C noise). We also had double thick insulation installed in the ceiling between what was to be the media room and our bedroom... Very glad we did this... you can hardly hear the bass when its 'bumpin'. We had a sister company of Drywall Pros LLC (Insulation Pros LLC) do the insulation as a 'package' deal. (500 bucks for insulation... worth it. To not be itching... priceless!)

With drywall/insulation up, we invited some friends/family over to help us paint this monstrosity. Results were beautiful. (Sorry for lack of photos... they are coming... eventually).

Once paint had finished, it was time to finish the bathroom. Just a simple half bath; with a 12" tile floor. Tiling was easy; I've done my share of tiling so this didn't take too long. I was very worried about the toilet and sink installation; as it was my first attempt... but this ended up being a cinch. Managed to knock it out myself in about 4 hours on a saturday. (Oh; I have no clue if I mentioned this before... but we used PEX tubing for plumbing instead of copper... WOW, my first time using this. I'll NEVER go back to copper.)

With bathroom completed, we installed the engineered hardwood flooring we had bought back in Februrary (That started this whole basement renovation madness.) Floor looked great; we actually ended up going back and purchasing another 500 sqft to replace the upstairs flooring to have the two match. (Did I mention we decided to tear out the wall around the stairwell to 'open' up the basement? Very glad we did this, don't renovate your basement without this! It made the basement feel like part of the house; instead of 'the basement').

Once floor was up, I went around and installed all of the doors. Simple enough. We ended up going with two sets of double french doors; one set for the media room and one for the craft room. Glad we did this as well. Ended up looking great.

After doors were up; I went and got a bid on carpet... and again, took the first one. (I'm bad about that.) We opted for a neutral carpet, that was carpety and in my opinion; basement worthy. I dont know anything about carpet. It looks nice and was reasonably priced.

After carpet went up; the last steps were to: Install trim, install door handles, and finally; the THEATRE System.

I'll put that in a separate post.

Sorry to end this abruptly but

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ok; here is a quick update....

So its now July and we've been making some progress. The last post provided the details of how we were planning on doing this project; and now we've actually started...

In fact, we started 2 months ago. Here is our current status:

Framing 85% complete
Just waiting on new basement windows before we frame the final room

Electrical 20% complete
Installed 1 new 20 AMP breaker in the panel and wired up a room! (Well two halves of rooms... on the circuit diagram in the past post, its the bottom wall connected to the 6 recessed lights). We've also set up a 3 way switch for those 6 lights; on a dimmer!

HVAC 0% complete
I'm waiting on electric to get done before I start on HVAC... shouldn't be too hard since I'm just planning on leeching off the current HVAC going through the cieling to the main floor.

Drywall 0% complete
I've been going back and forth on whether or not to outsource the entire job; or just taping/sanding... Once framing and electrical is done I'm going to get a few bids and decide how hard I want to work.

Sorry, no photos right now... they are all on my wife's camera. I'll update this post later with photos of each stage and one with our current progress.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The beginnings of a basement...

I've recently decided to undertake finishing our basement (with some help from the wife), and have decided to track 'progress' using this blog.

This is of course assuming the basement ever gets done. Unfortunately, if it doesn't I'll have an eternal reminder of my complete failure in the form of this blog... Hooray!

Here is what an empty basement looks like. No, we do not have a toilet sitting in the basement; its where a rough in is... although, you could poop there if you wanted, it would just be very gross... So I'd rather you didn't.

Now on to the fun; about a month ago, we used sweet home 3d (Its FREE Online) to design a rough layout from our basement.
Once that was done, I imported a screen shot of the floor plan into Visio, and duplicated the walls there. I was then able to start my rough wiring diagram, just to get an idea of what I was getting myself into.
How does it look? I haven't leaped from the plane yet, so there are still time for second thoughts or putting on a diaper before the fun begins.