H0merJ's house project


Active Member
Hi All

I enjoy looking at everyones projects so I thought I'd share mine with you.

Very much in the planning phase at moment but thats the fun bit when all the decisions need to be made and questions answered. I'd certainly appreciate any input/expertise you guys have to offer over the coming months.


Me and my partner and her twin girls moved into this house Dec 2006. It was (and still is) a bit of a wreck. We did some essential painting of the living room, sanded a few floors, painted and tiled the unfinished kitchen, re-did the bathroom and installed a shower room etc. All done quite quickly and frankly a bit on the cheap just to get us through.

Recently we properly sorted the master bedroom out with a fitted bedroom and properly decorated (skim, paint etc)

Now we are looking to actually do the things we talked about doing and never got round to doing anything about. So I have instructed an architect to do drawings etc so I have some financial investement in the project which should help me get it done (if you see what I mean)

My partner obviously thinks about these sort of things with style and stuff in mind. For me, I get overly focused on how to implement the essential AV stuff!! So hopefully this may have some interest to you lot.

I'm no audiophile but I like shiny expensive things. How this transpires in the end product will remain to be seen.

Current situation

The work for now focuses on the bottom floor. The attached "current" diagram shows what we have currently towards the back of the house. Its not 100% to scale but is near enough for the purposes of this article.

We want to do something better with the office area and utility. Also, the derelict outside loo and coal shed aren't used. The pantry just contains assorted nonsense. We also have a passageway from the hall to the office that is long dark and pointless. The combi-boiler that works only half the time is above the washing machine currently. We want to change this to a megaflow system with a water tank.

I wanted to create a large-ish office that doubles up as a home cinema, music and games room. One of the problems we have is that the living room is currently full of plastic and real guitars, plastic and real drum kits (I use a Roland TD-3 to play Rock Band and Guitar Hero). So we wanted to have a nice living room and cater for all that nonsense elsewhere.

So full on projector home cinema at back end of the office then. Well....no. Not any more. We have just decided to invest in a new sofa so the main focus for movies and music will be in the living room. As you will see, I don't think we can use a projector in the living room so its gonna have to be a TV (albeit a big one hopefully)

I will still proceed with using the office area as a games room and use a projector, but will scale back on the expense.

I have messed around with floorplanner.com and come up with what I believe is best way to implement at back of house. "2D_New" and "3D_New" attached docs shows the kitchen wall being removed and new kitchen installed using the space used by the passageway, a new door through to a small utility area (housing the new boiler and water tank) and then the rest is office / games room with a bi/tri foldy door thing at side and possibly one at end of building.

Phase 1

With the new sofa coming, its full steam ahead with the living room.


(N.B. Not my living room!!)

The pics of living room are from a particularly messy day. The PC is there cos SKY HD box screwed up some recordings while I was away at weekend and I wanted to watch 4OD in comfort.







I can't find anyway to do what we want in the room with the new sofa (Natuzzi Surround) without having the TV next to the door :(

If it goes in the bay, will will walk into back of sofa, over the fireplace is too high and uncomfortable, where it is will have cupboards and shelves in alcoves (both sides of fireplace). So has to be that wall next to the door.

Gonna get a Jahnke PR 3165 to handle housing my amp, BD player and Sky box and supporting the TV. Due to not having a projector screen (cos of the door:mad:) I want an impact TV for viewing. So am currently thinking about the Samsung PS63C7000 63" 3D Plasma. But I'm concerned it will be too big for 3 metre/ 10-11ft viewing. Not sure 50" is that much of an upgrade from my 42".


Got the electrician coming tomorrow to work out what I want doing re: power outlets and I'm gonna ask him if he minds chasing and in wall installing my speaker cables and basically sorting out cabling in the room (phone, satellite, ethernet)

Phase 2

This phase will be the actual alterations to kitchen, utility and office etc.

Architect doing drawings now. Hope to have them in a week or so and hopefully engineers can get cracking doing what they need to do asap. Hope to have this all done by end of year / VAT hike to 20%

Phase 3

Outside. Once we have done the building work at back, gonna re-fence all boundaries and deck the whole of the back yard (its not massive and its a bloody mess presently)

Current topics for answering / discussion:

1) 3D or not 3D?
2) Re-use amp? HDMI 1.3 only. But could get Panasonic 3D Blu-ray player.
3) 60"+ or 50"?
4) Speakers. Thread here: http://www.avforums.com/forums/speakers/1287029-5-1-vs-7-1-speaker-positioning.html
4.a) 5.1 or 7.1?
4.b) Re use current speakers? They are fine and I don't have any issues with them. But there are bigger, better and more expensive ones out there ;)
4.c) Speaker positioning. Left speaker on left or right of door? Are Bi-poles suitable for my purpose in the only position I can see for them (either side of bay). Where to put sub?
5) Media streamer. Currently ripping all DVD's so I can store them away. Thinking Mac Mini streaming from my ReadyNAS. But played with XBMC on PC and found it a frustrating experience. Mac Mini would also allow me to use OD TV services when Sky box fails again!!!
6) Universal Remotes and home automation

More updates when I have them.

Thanks in advance to anyone who has any interest in this :)


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Active Member
If anyone is remotely interested here are some before and afters of the master bedroom. Not much of AV interest here except for a Squeezebox Boom which I stream FLAC from my ReadyNAS Duo.

Before (although cleared which doesn't show what a state of a room we used to live with)







After Not the best pics and could be tidier!!








Still need to tile (mosaic) in the fireplace.

Not my toys!!!


Novice Member
Hi, like what you have done, always good to see the before and after pics. Just wondering, under

Phase 1

With the new sofa coming, its full steam ahead with the living room.

The picture of the sofa, have u ordered this particular sofa? If so, where did you get this from as I like it, wouldnt mind getting for my new house.. Please let me know.

Thanks in advance.


Active Member
Hi, like what you have done, always good to see the before and after pics. Just wondering, under

Phase 1

With the new sofa coming, its full steam ahead with the living room.

The picture of the sofa, have u ordered this particular sofa? If so, where did you get this from as I like it, wouldnt mind getting for my new house.. Please let me know.

Thanks in advance.


Its a Natuzzi Surround sofa (aka various other things). I have ordered it without the gimmicky iPod dock which would have added £600-900 to the price. N.B. I have ordered in excatly same configuration as show in picture, but other combos are available. See http://www.abitareuk.com/downloads/v571_48.pdf

I managed to get my local furniture store in Reading to price match a quote I got from Abitare special offers | Natuzii Jesse Incanto | Abitare. They have it on special offer, and I was quoted £3575 delivered and installed for it without the iPod dock but still receiving a free ipod Nano. I don't get the Nano in the deal I got but the store is very local so I can see value in that if there are any issues. I have to say I was very impressed with the Abitare service over the phone and if Beadle & Chrome in Reading hadn't matched the price I would have had no hesitation in ordering from there.

Long lead time though as they are made to order in Italy so I doubt I'll see mine this side of October.
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Active Member
Well, you look like a very musical bunch. Good luck with the developments, like what you've done with the bedroom.

You'd think that but to be fair the plastic guitars and drums hooked up to play Rock Band are used 99.9% of the time over the real instruments.


Active Member
Spent some time over last few weeks clearing back garden in preparation for new fence.

Forgot to do any "before pics", but just imagine a very overgrown area with a ****ty old shed, a knackered falling down fence and as much Ivy as you could ever want!!

Fence nearly done now. Will be decking the entire back area in next few months hopefully.



Work In Progress. The fencers ran out of timber.
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Active Member
Lovin' the thread, lovin' the fence. Not lovin' the fact that I will have to do the same fence-wise soon. :(
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Active Member
I'm not a DIY'er but I didn't like the quotes I was getting for some wiring and cabling work:

1) A load of power sockets. No choice here, got a sparky to do it.
2) Wiring the 7.1 speakers. Did this myself under floor in PVC conduit/Kopex stuff. The idea being that the wires are mouse protected and I can easily upgrade speaker wire if I wanted. The reality is that once we came to actually try and get the Kopex up behind the massive skirting board it wasn't going to happen. Theres a chance the cables with flow easily but its pretty permanent now.

Gonna be using these:

3) Running satelite cable under floor from where old TV was to new wall plate on opposite wall. Did this myself, but lazily used connector rather than running one new length from the Sat dish. But seems to work fine. Again trunked in Kopex to a new backbox / double socket wall plate (as far as skirting will allow).
4) Running Cat5e from living room to office at back of house. Again, did it myself. Very pleased with myself for managing this!!! Again in conduit, 2 cables for redundancy, tested fine at 1000Mb/s. No ****ty WiFi/Ethernet over Power nonsense required. Back box etc
5) Telephone extension for Sky. Did myself.

A mate helped with the wall channeling, installing back boxes etc. Nightmare with the skirting board and the powder like plaster. Made a right mess of it. Hopefully the decorators will be able to salavge it all and make it nice.

Left of door: (L to R) Power, Subwoofer, Left Front Speaker

Right of door behind AV stand: (L to R) Phone, Satellite, Cat5e, Power

Further right: (L to R) Another power, 7.1 Speaker plate. The Front Right speaker is further right (naturally) out of shot.

Right Side Speaker (Di-Pole). Not going to bother with wall plater, speaker hangs flush so will just cover the backbox. I don't know what idiot thought that would be a good place for Electricity meter and fuse box. The TV used to sort of cover it from sight, now it will be in a cupboard that a joiner is sorting for us with 3 shelves up to picture rail (both sides of the fireplace)

Left Side Speaker (Di-Pole). Again, just gonna hand speaker flush.

The rears are gonna sit on 1000mm Atacama Nexus 10i speaker stands in the bay. Decided against the hassle of wall plates again for these so cable just pops out of floor at base of skirting board ready to go up inside the stand. Managed to get a good deal on some used (yet good nick) MS902i's in Calavdos off ebay to make a matching Calvados 7.1 set.

The new TV wall.

Had some bad news from the decorators, basically the ceiling is cracked to ****. Could patch it but only be a problem again in few years. Decided to get it taken down and plasterboard put up rather than risk it and have to do it all again only a little bit down the line. Another £500 haemorrhaged :(

Looking forward to getting home from work tonight to see what progress has taken place.
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Active Member
No turning back now mate!


Now that is what I call a pretty bad ceiling...

To be honest, it is money well spent having the ceiling re done. Just imagine completing all the work only for the ceiling to carry on cracking after all the decorating is finished, that would **** you off to no end. Long term you will be glad you had it done.

Loving this thread, really interesting and look forward to future updates.

Well done.

PS The fence looks great.
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Active Member
1) Ceiling down (very messy) and plasterboard up.



Had to cut round the "Cornice(??)" as I understand original features are important. Hopefully the levelling between plasterboard + skim will match OK

Ready for new light fitting that should be delivered today. A Kartell FL/Y in white (Kartell <b> FL/Y - ICON </b> Suspension Lamps<br>Design: Ferruccio Laviani<p>*The FL/Y - ICON hanging lamps are a luminous surprise - like light, airy bubbles of soap, iridescent in the reflection of the light. Made in transparent methacrylate in all)

2) Samsumg PS63C7000 63" 3D Plasma ordered on Friday last week, being delivered tomorrow (Thur) morning. I mistakenly told the GF that it will be a massive box so she suggested I try and delay delivery because of all the disruption already. I said I thought it would be difficult <cough> to change it.;) Want it in place on Saturday assuming the decorators finish as promised by end of Friday.

3) New blinds from Controliss (Remote Control Blinds by Controliss®) should be with us before end of week. IR remote controlled open and close. Should be able to control from Global Cache GC-100-06 using IR blaster allowing control from iPad/iPhone. Idea is to macro "Play Blu-ray", dims/turns off lights, closes blinds, turns telly on to right input etc etc.

4) Following on from 3) I have started investing in Z-Wave stuff. The new light switch in the living room is Z-Wave enabled, I have a lamp module for lamp in living room that is Z-Wave enabled. New radiator ordered for this room (Stelrad Compact 450mmx2600mm) and will add a Z-Wave enabled TRV (Thermostatic Radiator Valve) to that so I can control temperature from iPad and from iPhone any where in the world really. Using Mi Casa Verde "Vera v2" as Z-Wave contoller. Not played about with it too much. Will do more when the decorating is done. Will then integrate Z-wave into other parts of house as we progress.

Hoping to see some colour in the room when I get home tonight. Base coat went down yesterday, ceiling should be plastered this morning and I think the joiner is doing the cupboards/shelves this evening.

Thanks for your interest and patience with my prattling on.


Well-known Member
Can't wait to see pics of the Samsung- will be awesome with bluray :thumbsup:


Novice Member
Anymore updates.......


Active Member

Update now living room is decorated and carpeted. Really jkust waiting on Sofa now. Was going to replace glass stand with Jahke PR3165 but I'm not sure it will look right so gonna live with the glass stand for now and do some cable tidying. Fancy the BDI - Marina 8729 but £1300 !!!

Blinds are controlled via Infared (open/close only)

Fuse box and electricity meter now hidden in cupboard.

All lighting dimmable and can be controlled from my iPhone



Door had to come off to accommodate raise in floor level with carpet. Need to shave a bit off the bottom.



Now I'm not going to replace this stand I'll move the receiver to bottom shelf and stack the Blu-Ray and Sky box so the Centre speaker can sit centrally on the middle shelf,


White box is my Vera Z-Wave controller/ Wifi Access point. Was gonna put a Apple Airport Extreme in but I think I can just kill 2 birds with the Vera and save a bit of cash.

7.1 Wall Plate fully Banana Clip'd up (except for centre speaker)

Pretty pleased with the results. Can't wait for the sofa and maybe a funky coffee table.

Architect putting final touches to plans for rear of house so should be able to start getting quotes over next week or so :)


Active Member
great build :) how did you find the coontroliss blinds as Im thinking of getting some and they dont go into much detail on their website as to where the motor is?


Active Member
The blinds are fine.

The motor is just housed in the head unit attached to a "floating" battery pack.


Active Member
Haven't updated for a while but was waitng for delivery of the Sofa before bothering with an update. Once the sofa was in I just wasn't happy with the TV stand as it let the whole thing down so I ordered a BDI Marina and that took a while to come.

Now its in, except for a few bits of garnetry on the shelves etc that I'll leave up to Jane the room is finished :)

Apologies for quality of pics, I have no idea why I am such a bad photographer. Bad appreciation of lighting I guess.




Managed to find a Calvados 309i Subwoofer on Ebay to match the speaker set. My previous one died and I replaced it with A Cambridge Audio one which was fine when it wasn't on show. Bit gutted the Sub isn't tall enough to cover the plug socket but only a minor gripe.



Moving the coffee table is a bit of a pig for playing Kinect and sofa just encroaches on the playing area. Plan is for Xbox, Kinect et al to go into games room at rear of house when thats done so I can live with it for now.



Loadsa room for everything :)

Minimal cables on show but very dusty base where the plastic covering I only just took off wasn't covering.

BDI came with a matching cat :)
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Well-known Member
i absolutely love your setup the sofa looks super comfy and the unit does tie in with the rest of the room. the tv just looks massive watching movies must be a nice and relaxing experience very good job.:thumbsup:

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