Home Cinema - New House - First Build

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by Cowlio, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. Cowlio

    Cowlio
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    We moved into our new house a week last Wednesday and have been planning what has been started for a while before it all went through.

    This is my first ever attempt at a project anything like this scale, and am hopeful it will turn out okay!

    My apologies for picture quality but light is not good in the room and the camera being off my 2MP phone cant really deal with the low light conditions too well.

    The idea is to recess the TV in a false partition above the fire (heavily fire retarded to prevent any temperature problems). The partition will go from floor to ceiling with a cavity above the TV for the centre speaker.

    Depending on temperatures when the surround is built - I have a small fan unit which may be installed at the bottom of the tv recess to push rising hot air away from the TV recess itself and an extraction fan in the top of the recess to pull heat away from the tv and through 2 side vents in the top of the partition.

    I started out removing the old fire surround (mantlepiece) exposing only the marble effect fireplace - this will be remaining to act as a back drop for the fire recess and a step at the bottom (retaining the fireplace feel).

    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e381/cowlio/DSC00190.jpg

    Next came the paper stripping and removing the dado rails from around the room - paper came off easy enough then steamed the thin layer still attached to the walls pretty quickly.

    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e381/cowlio/DSC00199.jpg

    The LCD wall mount arrived after starting the stripping - wish I could have afforded a better (perhaps swingarm) bracket but at £32 from EBay I couldnt resist (finances are very very tight following the move) but the bracket is every bit strong enough and rated for up to 63".

    With the bracket installed using some replacement bolts (to be sure) - turned out my measurements from plan were just 2mm out on the TV height (good for me!), meaning no serious plan alterations.

    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e381/cowlio/DSC00196.jpg

    We did find a hidden window into the kitchen which had been boarded up and plastered over - toyed with the idea of making it a feature but quickly decided not to!

    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e381/cowlio/DSC00213.jpg

    Now the roof - seriously vile (what we thought was artex) arrangement - quite how anybody would intentionally do this to a ceiling is beyond me. Turns out to be plaster and not artex. Rock solid and immovable.

    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e381/cowlio/DSC00195.jpg
    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e381/cowlio/DSC00194.jpg

    Decision was taken to get the ceiling down and re-board it. This way all the electrics could be sorted from downstairs and no upheaval of upstairs to get floorboards up and the like. Moved all the furniture into the adjacent dining area and covered wih dust covers. Blocked off the arches with sheets and prayed for the best.

    The trusty shovel method worked a treat. I think my Father enjoyed this part hehe judging by the look on his face - kind of sadistic look ;) The 3 hour clean up operation afterwards was not a treat however!

    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e381/cowlio/DSC00202.jpg
    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e381/cowlio/DSC00203.jpg

    Got the carpet up and knocked out the coving next, the top of the plaster on the walls under the coving was incredibly soft - broke away in an almost perfect line under the coving. Not a problem just get it filled and skimmed later.

    Removed the exisiting wall lights and ceiling lights (later sttached to 13amp plugs and are now my night lights).

    With the roof down - the electrics looked like Tom and Jerry had had a go - but then most of it had probably never been touched since the 60's when the house was built.

    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e381/cowlio/DSC00212.jpg

    Difficult to see exactly but it was a proper mess - dodgy connector boxes (no tops on, bare earth wires everywhere).

    Have replaced most of the junction blocks and sheathed the earth wires and will be trimming down on alot of the excess cable. Wired up the 6 roof spotlights into their own circuit and ran a seperate switch power lead down the wall to the dimmer locations. Then did the same for the wall light locations. 2 of the wall lights need to be moved into a central position so chiselled the plaster away and mounted some trunking inside the wall then filled the gaps around and smoothed over. Speaker cables installed in the same way, front and back of the room.

    Next day or so gonna be mainly sanding the walls down - get them nice and smooth ready for the lining paper. Plasterboards are due to go up Wednesday night then the plastering finished off on Thursday so the room will start to take shape... I hope ;)

    3 solid days work so far - I get the feeling there a few more to come!

    Thanks for looking!
     
  2. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965
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    Looking good so far, keep the photos coming and good luck with the install. :thumbsup: I can't do mine ATM as I fell of the bottom rung of a ladder(!) and cracked a rib landing on a paint can.:eek:
     
  3. Cowlio

    Cowlio
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    Man thats bad luck - I've swayed on the ladders a few times so far - heh but the beer is keeping me upright!

    ADSL installed Thursday so I will update again then - tryin to upload pictures on dial up is a just too slow.

    Well off to Wickses to buy the plasterer his readymix and get some bits to start the sanding down of the walls.

    Ordered a set of LED lights today - just for mood lighting low down above the skirting: -

    [​IMG]
     
  4. jason g

    jason g
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    never heard that done before?
    cant wait to see it.:)
     
  5. Cowlio

    Cowlio
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    Not really sure how they are going to look - cant find them anywhere local to go take a look at.

    With all the lights off the intention is to mood light from the skirting boards a faint glow - again whether this will work remains to be seen!

    Still toying with the idea of backlighting the tv - not sure whether it is worth it or not - anybody have exoeriences of pro's cons?
     
  6. norfbech

    norfbech
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    Hey Cowlio - keep up the good work. Can't wait for updates.
    Did you go for Halogen spots or LED's? Just in the process of reinstalling 5 spots in my living room (got rid of the transformer driven ones for mains) - contemplated LED's but you can't dim these (perhaps you can buy lower rated ones...otherwise get those sunglasses out).
     
  7. Cowlio

    Cowlio
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    Hey matey - went for halogen over LED - same reason - dimmable and mains powered.

    Just putting 6 in the roof - 50watts each - more than enough for the size of the room, particularly with 3 wall lights too.

    Also ordered a touch sensitive dimmer plate (remote controllable too) - oh so lazy ;)

    Well plasterboards go up tomorrow - started the fireplace frame after a clean up tonight - after finishing off the electrics in the roof space.

    Will get some more photo's of the progress tomorrow night - plus ADSL should be active at last so can do it from home instead of 'work' hehe.
     
  8. Cowlio

    Cowlio
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    A couple of updated pictures.

    The plasterboard is up (courtesy of my partner and my father) - although had a bit of trouble fishing the spot wiring through as this wasnt done as the boards went up. A long screwdriver with a coat hanger hook liberally strapped to the end did the trick.

    Certainly not going to complain though tbh - they did a fine job and saved me needing to be there - for the first time ever I felt guilty to be at work!

    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e381/cowlio/DSC00217.jpg

    Chiselled away much more of the plaster around the window in to the kitchen, to allow for a much better filling job than was there previously.

    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e381/cowlio/DSC00214.jpg

    With the boards in place - I could finally start on the framing for the fireplace unit and false cavity for the screen. Early days but you get the idea from the pictures.

    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e381/cowlio/DSC00215.jpg
    http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e381/cowlio/DSC00216.jpg

    Plasterer is in today - one minor problem already with him having filled the window but not run the wall light power cable into position. Guess I'll just chip that out of his plastering work to conceal and replaster the gap myself.

    Next is to get the frame built and get the cables run into position whilst doing so.

    LED kit is due today - looking forward to testing that out tonight too - that will at least give me some ideas on how best to use it.

    Cant wait to get home to see the roof skimmed - starting to look like a room again now I hope!
     
  9. tojo

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    Looking good! Interested to see how this goes - thinking of doing something similar myself - once I've moved in!
     
  10. jagdeepp

    jagdeepp
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    If you wanna see how the lights look have a look at my project in the members home cinema gallery where i've done a comprehensive thread detailing works done in my cinema lounge. I used the same lights for mood lighting. mine are however circular. What you'll also be happy to find is that they are IR controllable so you can programme a remote control to switch them on and off!

    The lights give a very subtle light in any room, they look excellent against bright white skirting. Mine are installed on the floor shining upwards and give a cinematic feel to the lounge. I wouldn't suggest putting them up against the wall or skirting as they wont reflect off anything. Have a look at my thread and you'll see what i mean.

    Coming on well. :thumbsup:
     
  11. Cowlio

    Cowlio
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    Nice job there jagdeepp - very impressive matey - well done!

    Love the way you used the LCD as uplights there - looks very good. I agree the skirting idea is probably out for these - but I have an idea to use them in the alcoves left and right of the screen partition. 2 at the top and 2 at the bottom on either side should give a nice subtle mood lighting effect.

    When i unpacked and turned them on to test - I wasn't impressed with the brightness at all tbh, but when it got dark i tried them again and was much more impressed. Very happy with them now.

    Plasterer has done a great job on the ceiling - and he boarded up the window for me and is back today to finish skim the tops of the walls and the window area.

    The fireplace frame is coming on - lost an hour or 2 last night getting what i did the night before straight and level - I must have been tired as it was nearly 20mm out on the left hand side but thats all sorted now.

    Will hang the TV there tonight to get some idea of how accurate it all is now!
     
  12. Cowlio

    Cowlio
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    A quick update on progress in the last week or so...

    False Partition fireplace is built - 2x2" framed and plasterboarded. Doubled up the plasterboard around the fire itself and will be ceramic tiled to finish the area surrounding providing the necessary heatproofing. Decided against lighting the fire cavity as spots would create too much heat which would be passed into the TV recess.

    The frame was an absolute nightmare to get square - the back wall bows outwards by 10mm in the middle causing alot of trouble in getting the face of the unit perfectly square.

    Have spurred a mains junction box into the top section of the unit to allow power for the TV, fans and lighting across the upper pelmets. Have prepared a service hatch in the floorboards in the spare room above to allow this to be accessed easily.

    [​IMG]

    And a shot with the TV mounted - chuffed it fits so perfectly - bit of a swine to hang but got it there in the end!

    [​IMG]

    My mate the plasterer - done me a good job with the whole room for a fraction of the cost - so a big thumbs up for all his efforts. The only minor imperfection is on the lower left lip of the centre speaker cavity. We were 4 inches short on the beading so an old piece was used which unfortunately was not perfectly flat. I will blend this in once it is all dried out.

    [​IMG]

    Then came the bit I was dreading the most. Having done little or no wordworking in 10 years+ I was not looking forward to building the AV cabinets either side of the partition. Budget wouldn't stretch to 2 AV racks so the only option was to custom build. The top shelf lifts out and their is a 10cm cavity behind to allow for cabling and surge strips.

    I have to say I am pleased with the way it turned out. £60 on MDF and alot of effort but worth it I think.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Just the right hand unit (partly built as I write this) then the walls (final sanding) ready for the lining paper. and we will be good to paint.

    The day I can relax is approaching!!!
     
  13. louishm

    louishm
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    I am itching to see some more of this done. Hurry up please lol.

    Fantastic job so far though mate, love the way you have wrapped the av cabinet around the false chimney breast.

    keep them piccies coming..

    :thumbsup:
     
  14. table manners

    table manners
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    going good so far.looking forward to seeing the final thing
     
  15. Cowlio

    Cowlio
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    Well the second unit is now finished, staggered the joins to the centre partition to allow room for the in wall speakers' faceplate to fit.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Skirting is going on the walls as we speak and me Dad is popping round tonight to help get the coving up.

    Want it ready for painting by Thursday as I am away from Thursday until Sat evening, and that is something I can leave for the other half to do with her entourage of helpful cousins! This might be a brave step but I trust her! :eek:

    Carpet is on order too so it looks like being in and ready for the cup final on the weekend is a possibility afterall!

    *edit Just realised the cup final is on Saturday not Sunday - ah well!
     
  16. jagdeepp

    jagdeepp
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    i hope those beer cans were drunk after you'd cut your skirting? :rotfl:

    Is that space above ur plasma but for your centre speaker? if so, isn't it abit too high?

    Love your units, great job. Looking forward to seeing the progress.
     
  17. Cowlio

    Cowlio
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    Gotta say I have a bit of a weakness for Strongbow!

    The problem I had with the centre speaker location was that the TV was going to sit way too high if I had the speaker below the TV recess. There was no way around this other than to position it above. To be honest at the moment I have some pretty awful bundled Yammy speakers that came in the AV59 kit - so it wouldn't really matter where the centre sits at the moment - it aint gonna rock anyones world :p

    The plan is to get some in ceilings - probably the KEF's as and when finances allow, but thats some way off right now. The most important factor for me was the viewing height - particularly as I have an LCD. The soundstage can be played around with later - or so is the plan anyway!

    Coving went up last night - didn't factor in the difficulty of cutting accurate mitres so took pretty much all night! There isn't a straight edge anywhere in this room, walls or ceilings - so it was a bit of a tough one to get the coving to look relatively accurate.

    Skirting finished off tonight hopefully!
     
  18. Newton's Ring

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    Looking damned fine. Nice bit of plastering. I like the wooden dowelling you used on your mdf units too - a nice touch. :smashin:
     
  19. eric d

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    Cowlio

    Lokking really amazing. You and your friends and family are doing a great job, cant wait to see finished room.

    Eric
     
  20. Cowlio

    Cowlio
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    The left hand unit was done a little bit on the fly (not too well planned) - when the shelving was in place it looked like the edges definately needed some support.

    There was a thread somewhere regarding a DIY av cabinet using threaded bars as shelf supports that I had read. Then came the idea for the dowel - I had some from some old IKEA wardrobes so tested it to see what it looked like then went and bought some thicker from a local timber supplier.

    Was quite pleased with that one myself!!

    Not on target for this weekend now :( - spent most of last night touching up the coving and finishing the skirting, but there is still so much to do before painting.

    What a time to have to work away for 3 days! Still, hit it in earnest on Saturday night...

    Cheers for the support guys!
     
  21. Cowlio

    Cowlio
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    Long time has passed since the last update - and in truth financial peril put a swift halt to proceedings for a while.

    Having resolved those issues we are almost there now.

    Have MDF primed the units ready for however they are to be finished - still not made up my mind yet.

    We paper lined all of the walls before painting to try and cover as many of the imperfections as possible, there were still some even after days of sanding and finishing but in all am very happy with the result.

    Most of the painting is done, the ceiling has been finished, the coving is painted and so too the skirting. Today/tonight we will put the first finishing coat on the walls and the fireplace.

    Some photo's :-

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    In the picture below you can see the lip problem on the bottom edge of the centre speaker cavity. It is quite noticable and needs to be sorted.

    [​IMG]

    We are tackling the inside of the arches as part of the dining room re-decoration as soon as this room is finished. The arches themselves are terrible and need a proper skim before we can do anything with them.

    More to come soon!
     
  22. FcoBenitez

    FcoBenitez
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    looking great so far!!!
     

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