Greengate Ranch Remodel
Remodeling a Daylight Ranch in Oregon

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Home Theater #4 - Lighting Plan

I put together a lighting plan for the theater room, shown below. I am not 100% sure that this is what we will do yet, but it's a starting point.

There are 4 lighting zones:
1. Lights across the entry to the room. We will like put a game table in this area.
2. Perimeter lights in the back of the room. These will be the ones that are typically on.
3. Perimeter lights in the front of the room. These will likely be on, but a very low setting.
4. Two conventional lights for fully lighting the room, to keep the space multipurpose. These are already in place.

After looking at a few options and the costs, I decided to go with simple recessed lighting and dimmer controls for each zone. These will be build into soffits that I will add, which will give a tray ceiling effect to the room.

I found a good site for home theater information: DIY Home Theater Design. It has quite a bit of technical content and is fairly comprehensive.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Home Theater #3 - Lighting Design

After a number of hours searching the web, I found very few resources on home theater lighting. I visited all kinds of sights that gave a trivial amount of information, but few with a lot of actual content. Unfortunately, most of them had a couple of paragraphs and wads of ads. I guess I will need to spend the next week or two doing some additional research...

Home Theater #2 - Framing Pictures

Here are a few pictures of before and after the framing...

The pictures above and below show the soffit that forms the entry to the theater room. This soffit holds the HVAC ducts and a 20" gluelam beam that supports part of the garage and kitchen above. Obviously, we are not going to move or modify it. We don't really like the look of it - the framing in the pictures below is meant to turn it into an entry.

The wood post shown was wrapped in sheetrock, and looked very 70's. Also, the entire area is a mess in this photo.

Here is a picture of the framing. These are built to accept bookshelves. The post was kept in place has now become part of the wall along the stairs.

Finally, here is the framing from the backside. This is the storage area for the wood pellets (see last post).

Now it's on to designing the lighting scheme for the room...

Home Theater #1 - Floor Plan

We decided to do most of the basement remodel at one time, so we only get a huge mess one time, and part of the remodel is the home theater.

The 500 sq ft space under our garage is finished and is currently being used as our theater room. This consists of a projector, inexpensive home theater receiver (the DVD player on it is broken) and some cables strung along the walls. We don't have a screen yet, so we project directly on the wall. The space is wide open to the rest of the basement, so sound is somewhat of a problem. All this being said, it still makes a great place for watching movies and sports.

The first phase is to some additional framing to close the theater area in a bit. In general, we want to keep the house as open and multi-purpose as possible, but this area is currently too open. Here is the before layout:

The after layout shows the change to the walls (in orange). These two "boxes" create a doorway to the theater room and allow for a lot storage. They will also block a lot of the sound that travels up the stairs when the TV volume is loud, some of the light that comes from the back of the house.

This floor plan gives a 19 x 28 foot space, allowing for a full three rows of seating if we want.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Hallway Remodel #1

The most unfortunate feature of our house is (now was) the long, dark hallways. The one in the basement is 3 feet wide, 27 feet long, with a 7' 4" ceiling height. The main air ducts run right above the ceiling, and the outer wall is a central load-bearing one - so there is no changing this.

As the diagram shows, we are getting rid of as much of the hallway as possible and turning it into storage closets.

Here is a picture of the hall before the remodeling started. Its about as claustrophobic as you can get as still meet code (at least in the 1970's)

Before doing any drywall removal, I like to draw the full layout on the wall with a sharpie. I mark all the existing studs, as well as the new positions. This gives me the chance to make sure everything is going to land where it should. In this case, I moved the closet door 2 inches toward the bedroom door to maximize the room for the bed. A little extra time saves a lot of work later...

I have learned the hard way, do not just start cutting into the wall. I like the reciprocating saw as much as the next guy, but there is pain involved in cutting things you don't want cut. I took my hammer and knocked a channel on the sheetrock, so I could inspect what's in there.

If everything was perfect, there would be no electical wires where I want to put the door (fat chance). In this case, there were two wires, both part of the same circuit. All I had to do was move it over one stud bay. Anything more than this, and I would have had to peel a good deal of the wall back to reroute the circuit correctly.

Here is the framing in place - not a lot of work.

Book Table Finished

My DW finished painting the book table I made for her. She chose a black semi-gloss paint, and the finish turned out well as shown in the picture.

Here is the inspiration piece I used to desgin this table (sold by Ballard Designs)

Obviously this piece is much larger and open. I used the "X" pattern and edge details, on a smaller scale. I decided to make the sides solid, since the tipped-back shelf was not at the same angle as the "X", and wouldn't have looked good.

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