A busy winter!

Been awhile since I’ve posted, not that anybody noticed. Nevertheless, it has been a very busy winter. Car stuff, house stuff, people stuff. Lot’s going on. So I’ll start with the house stuff.

When I bought my house, there was a “finished” room in the basement. It consisted of four walls, three doorways (without doors) and some nasty carpet. The walls and ceiling were “finished” with some really cheap and poorly done 1/4″ drywall panels. It worked for awhile as a playroom, then an excercise room, them I moved my computer down there and used it for an office, then it turned into a mess. Just a place I walked through on the way to the laundry area. The carpet was ripped out after it was waterlogged. Mold started growing underneath the wallpaper. It was poop.

The first step was, of course, demolishing the room as it stood:

Old drywall torn down

Tearing this drywall down uncovered several issues of an electrical nature. The wall outlets in the basement has simply been spliced in at an old box. I found numerous other issues buried in the walls: a junction box with no cover stuff full of insulation; two circuits run down the same three wire run (two hots, one neutral, no ground!). I ended up rewiring no just this room, but the room above it all the way back to the panel.

Once demo was done, I installed some doors:

New doors to furnace and laundry areas

Then I called a guy to come do the drywall for me. The results were fantastic:

Dyrwall up and mudded

The drywall was quickly followed by paint and wall fixtures for a home theater:

The TV wall. Electric and terminals for HDMI, Ethernet, and Power, plus right, center, and left speakers

Then the ceiling. A finished ceiling was a challenge. Not only was the floor of the basement not level (it slopes towards a floor drain), but the floor joists above were also far from level. It’s an old house. I also needed access to wiring, so a drywall ceiling was out of the question. A conventional drop ceiling would have provided a ceiling that was simply too low.

The answer turned out to be a snap-together system that used drop ceiling tiles. I had to shim it quite a bit to get the ceiling level, but I got it:

Snap-in ceiling system and new track lighting

I managed to use a laser level to set a datum on the wall, then worked across the joists. The results were fantastically acceptable.

Some cabinets were next. I had originally envisioned a bar, but there just wasn’t enough space. A cool drink fridge finished it off nicely:

New cabinets and refrigerator

And finally, the electronics:

New TV, existing speakers moved from upstairs.

For the nerds, the TV is a 55″ Vizio UHD. I got a new Pioneer recievier and a Sony 4K Blu-Ray player to go along. The Pioneer sounds much better than the old Sony I had upstairs. All the components are behind the TV wall, with an I/R repeater passing remote signals through the wall to the components. The front speakers are Paradigm, and the rears are vintage 1974 Bose Interaudio Model 1’s. The rears belonged to my grandfather. They were passed to me with rotted out surrounds on the woofers, which I repaired myself to bring the speakers back to life. It all works beautifully, though I can’t turn the volume up too much without clipping the rear speakers. They’re only rated for 40 watts and the new receiver is 110w per channel.

The room is now a cozy home theater. I’ve also added a couch and recliner, and the fridge is stocked. It was well worth the time spent.

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