Greengate Ranch Remodel
Remodeling a Daylight Ranch in Oregon

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Home Theater #7 - WIring for Sound

Before I close up the soffits with sheetrock, I needed to run the speaker wiring through them. Here is a diagram of the sound layout.

The layout is based on a central seating point. We sit in various locations from just in front of this point to the back of the room. The blue zones are for Dolby 5.1 set up - this is the receiver we have now. To make sure we are set up for the future, I am going to run the wires for Dolby 7.1 as well. Dolby 6.1 has a center speaker in the back, which won't work well in the room, since it's the entry point.

The wiring took about three hours to run, since I had to do a bit of fishing in the walls as well as the soffits.

Using Visio for the floor plan
Having the floor plan in Microsoft Visio has been a huge advantage. It allows easy modeling of the various elements of the work we are doing to the room. It doesn't render 3D images, but it is the best lower-cost interface I have found.

On line resources I used
- Practical Home Theater Guide
- Understanding In-wall Speaker, Video and Audio Cable Ratings
- The Dolby Guide to Home Theater Sound

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Home Theater #6 - Recessed Lights

I was able to get the recessed lighting installed today. It took time, but went in without any trouble. Here is a picture of how I mounted them...

These are 5 inch Utilitech can lights. I bought them at Lowes for about $10 each, including the trim. This cost me about half as much as the halo 5" lights we put in the kitchen. I figured since these were cheaper that they may be a bit harder to install, but that was not the case. They didn't come with metal mounting bars, so I attached them to wood cross members. I left a about 3/4" space between the can and the wood for heat purposes. The rest of the can has a lot of air space around it, since these are not IC rated.

The pictures above and below show the lights along the soffits. The lights on either side of the beam are on different switches. This will allow us to dim the lights more at the front of the room near the screen.

What are all those holes in the wall? Access spots to run the coax cable to the receiver. I did this to keep it away from the 120V power lines and reduce the chance of noise. The sheetrock job on the wall as pretty poor anyway (lot of seams showing), so I needed to patch and skim the wall.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Home Theater #5 - Soffits

I made quite a bit of progress on installing the soffits in our theater room. These will create a tray ceiling effect and hold recessed lights around the walls.

Here are two pictures of walls and ceiling before starting...

The HVAC and one of the main structural beams are in this soffit. I am adding lights and making it look more integrated into the overall plan.

After putting all the layout marks on the surfaces, I started by nailing 2x3's to the ceiling . I put poly glue on these, and once in place I added 3" screws about every 3 feet. This might be over-kill, but I don't want these ever coming loose.

I like using 2x3's for this. They are straighter than 2x2's and are quite a bit lighter than 2x4's.

Once these where in, I hung OSB off of them. These are only stapled in place. When I put the sheetrock on, the nails will go through the OSB to the wood.

I needed to run the video cable (RBG) from the tuner to the projector, through the soffit. I decided to put it in a 2" PVC conduit. If I ever need to change the cable (probably to HDMI at some point) this will make it much easier. I needed to get this into place before putting the bottom of the soffits in.

This assembly is the for the bottom of he soffit. Once put together, I just slide and nail it in.

Here is one of the bottom units with the recesssed light holders in place.

Here is the soffit bottom put into place - nailed to studs and stapled to OSB.

I was able to get about 80% of this framed today. I will finished it out tomorrow and wire the lights.

Here is the final floor plan...

See my article library on eHow...