My (not very impressive) lounge/home cinema/man cave (corner)

its_all_Greek

Distinguished Member
Get yourself a long drill bit and drill in from the outside, just dont use hammer action on the drill as your only really drilling through plaster which is soft

https://www.screwfix.com/p/erbauer-sds-plus-shank-masonry-drill-bit-8-x-450mm/8382v

I know the one above is an SDS fitting if you don't have an SDS drill then uyou can get them for normal hammer action drills. Just redrill the TV mount etc as it doesn't matter if its in the same place, if you hit the same holes all good if not then no worries.
 

cerebros

Active Member
Well may need to get myself a few long bits in any case as, from the quick look i've had from the outside, it looks like I'll need to widen the hole the aerial cable currently comes in by in order for it to accommodate the satellite cable as well. (actually, I'm half wondering whether to even bother with putting the aerial feed back in as we've not used it for years)
 

cerebros

Active Member
Well got round to ordering some long bits, which will hopefully turn up any day now. Also got round to ordering a custom floating shelf for the computer alcove, which unfortunately, the process of measuring up for, led me to the realisation that the alcove is 3cm too narrow (117cm) for the standard size computer desks I've seen. This means that I'll either have to chop the end off one or get something custom made.

Tonight I've been under the boards to have a look at the gap between the two sides of the under floor to see if I could fit through it and do away with the need for two access ports when I lay the laminate. Unfortunately, unless it's doable with some sort of contortion, I don't think I'd be able to fit through. Having said that, I'm trying to think about whether there should be any need for me to go under the side opposite the TV alcove, which I can't think that there is. It's more just a case of whether there's likely to be any need for tradespeople to get under that side in the future...
 

cerebros

Active Member
So, after a bit of a farce I got my drill bits (I say farce because at the first attempt the place I ordered them from sent them in a cardboard envelope secured with sellotape - by the time it got to me two of the bits had escaped and I'd only got a 12mm in the package...) and drilled my holes. Still seem to have made a bit more of a mess of the plaster on the inside than I was expecting but should be easily repaired with filler and, to be honest, the holes should be hidden by the pattress boxes when they're on.

What's proving slightly more concerning is the position of the aerial socket hole. It's a bit lower to the ground than I was expecting/remembered, about 13cm. Looking at the pattress box it appears that despite the central exit hole having been punched out, the aerial cable must have entered the box through a punch out on the bottom that's also been clipped out. Not a major issue, just means we're going to have a slightly restricted choice of skirting in order to find something that'll fit underneath and that I'll probably need to invest in some right angle F connectors for hooking the satellite cable to the back of the wall plate.

I've also got round to marking out the horizontal positions for the hooks I'm putting in near the ceiling for the Christmas string lights. Although I used adhesive hooks last year, with the way they were pinging off the wall I've decided to get something I can screw in that should be able to support a lot more weight.

All being well, the missus should be keeping the kids out of the way this coming Saturday so I can get on with drilling all the holes and filling anything that needs filling. Hopefully my floating shelf should arrive by the weekend too so I can get that up.
 
Whats the time frame on this project? Its taking a LONG time for you to make any tangible progress. Your a VERY patient man!:)
 

cerebros

Active Member
Well we wanted it done by last Christmas... I'm hesitant to say we'll be done by this Christmas but it would be nice...
 

Sebastalona

Distinguished Member
At least you’ll have the hooks for the fairy lights.........
 

cerebros

Active Member
True. Which should mean they're not almost touching the floor in a couple of locations like last year when the adhesive hooks had pinged off the wall by the end of Christmas day
 

cerebros

Active Member
Great start.

Turns out the drill bit I bought isn't quite long enough for the job... Despite it looking like it should be when comparing the depth of the rawl plug on the depth guage to the length of the bit in the drill, my plugs are still protruding a couple of mm and won't go in with the aid of a mallet.

As the missus had the car to go shopping with the kids, I got on with running the phone cable back inside and attempting to run the satellite cable through what was the aerial cable hole.

The phone cable was straightforward but the satellite proved more difficult. First time round it came off the bit as I was pushing through and must have ended up in the cavity.

Second time through I had more success only to realise I'd forgotten to run the cable on the exterior wall behind the front down pipe... So I had to pull it out again and it took another two attempts to get it through the wall.

The missus then arrived home with the kids so I've had to stop work while we go to town, although it did mean I could pop into Screwfix for a longer bit on the way...
 

cerebros

Active Member
So, final score for the day is:

27 holes drilled for the hooks to support the Christmas lights (think I made this more difficult for myself than necessary by putting the holes only 2cm down from the ceiling, which made holding the drill properly a bit tricky)
4 holes drilled for the front left & right speaker mounts
2 holes drilled for the satellite cable socket
2 holes drilled for the Virgin broadband cover
1 hole drilled to hang the TV bracket off while I sort the positions of the actual holes needed for the four rather chunky bolts supplied with the bracket

Holes still to do..

Phone socket
Exterior wall air vent
TV mount
Floating shelf
Curtain rail

Hopefully can get most if not all of them done tomorrow morning when the missus and girls are at church
 

tonic

Active Member
Ah the perils of an old house. This is a good read and pretty bloody hilarious... though I feel your pain...... and your patient wife’s...
Couple things:
When drilling for plugs make sure you blow out the debris before putting the plug in. If not when you push in the plug the debris will stop it going all the way in... which sounds like your issue.. redrilling is possibly just getting the muck out.
To run fishing line through conduit a little trick is to tie the fishing line to a cotton ball and pop that in one end - don’t jam it, ideally it should be the same diameter as the conduit. At the other end get the vacuum cleaner onto it and suck it through. Kinda amazing to see and seems to go around corner no worries. It seems like you are probably past that issue but a good trick to know.
 

cerebros

Active Member
When drilling for plugs make sure you blow out the debris before putting the plug in. If not when you push in the plug the debris will stop it going all the way in... which sounds like your issue.. redrilling is possibly just getting the muck out.

Yeah, kinda of figured that out today, although I've had to resort to trying to scoop debris out with a bit rather than blowing (I was vacuuming debris out but managed to clog the vac up and cause it to overheat so it was useless the rest of the time I was drilling...).

To run fishing line through conduit a little trick is to tie the fishing line to a cotton ball and pop that in one end - don’t jam it, ideally it should be the same diameter as the conduit. At the other end get the vacuum cleaner onto it and suck it through. Kinda amazing to see and seems to go around corner no worries. It seems like you are probably past that issue but a good trick to know.

Bit late now but definitely something I'm going to try and bear in mind for the future
 

cerebros

Active Member
So, today's drilling....

Well that could have gone a bit better. Granted I had a shorter time window today but I was hoping to get more done.

Two things slowed me down today. One of the four holes for the exterior wall vent I ended up abandoning - I've no idea what I was drilling into beneath the plaster but I got about 2cm in and the drill just did not want to go any further, no matter how much pressure I was applying to it. I gave up as the bit started smoking... The other three holes went in ok and to be honest, when I inserted the first part of the vent into the main hole to test the fit it was tight enough that I could probably have gotten away without fixing it in place with screws

Next up were the holes for the TV mount. Again, it was just one of the four but for some reason, I just could not seem to get it to go in when I needed it to. The drill just seemed to go up as it went through the plaster and the hole, or at least as much of it as I'd dared drill, just wasn't low enough down to look like I'd get the coach screw in properly (not that I could have tried it - turns out the coach screws that came with my mount need a bigger socket than I appear to have in my tool box). I ended up making three more attempts to get a better position, settling on the last as the best of a bad bunch...

So that was where I got up to before the wife and kids got back from work.

Having looked at when she's off on a weekend next I've decided I'm going to have to try and get a bit of drilling done in the evenings this week in order to get the floating shelf and curtain rail up, otherwise this redecoration really will drag on until after this Christmas. To that end I started on the floating shelf while the youngest was being put to bed and managed to get... one whole hole drilled. Granted I had to unpack it first and read the instructions ...

Of course, it was after we'd sat down from working out where the curtain rail needs to go that I realised that I won't be done with drilling holes once the rail and shelf are up as I also need to drill a hole on the chimney for where the clock will go, plus the holes for three Hue dimmer switches for the down lights... although I'm not quite sure yet where the down light for the computer alcove should go
 

tonic

Active Member
Reminds me of the Australian movie... ‘The Castle’ when the young Kerrigan gets half a hole dug.... worth a view for the whole family if you have never seen it.....
 

danielgalvin

Standard Member
Sorry but have to say it. This thread is brilliant. I check in on it every now and then. It’s gotten to a point where it reads like a comedy. There’s so much focus on really insignificant details. Seems like the OP is getting so much enjoyment and satisfaction out of the project that he doesn’t actually want it to end.
 

cerebros

Active Member
Seems like the OP is getting so much enjoyment and satisfaction out of the project

About the only enjoyment I'll get out of this is when it's done... This thread has pretty much morphed into an outlet for my frustrations with how slowly and badly things are going (to wit, see the following post)

that he doesn’t actually want it to end.

You are reading the right thread aren't you? ;). Seriously, I wish this had ended months ago (especially as it's starting to get colder and it would be nice to have the radiator back in the lounge in the next few weeks)
 

cerebros

Active Member
Well one step forward and all that...

After having drilled the first hole for the for the rear wall support for the floating shelf on Sunday, I got on and did the rest of the holes for it on Monday night. Despite, as usual, my apparent inability to get a hole to go in precisely where I want it to, and most of the rear wall holes seeming to go up or down a couple mm, the support has gone on pretty level, certainly enough that I don't think mos people would notice unless staring at it for a while or plonking down a level on it.

After that, despite a brief five minute interlude where I thought I'd lost a screw (which, it turns out, may have been a spare anyway), I was feeling pretty happy with my progress.

Until I tried a test fit of the shelf.

It turns out that I should have paid more attention on Sunday when I drilled the first hole for the rear wall support. It had gone a bit askew, although unlike on Monday night, it went slightly to the right.

So when I tried to test fit it turns out that the dowels are misaligned by about 3mm...

Shelf01.jpg


But wait you say, the rear support went on ok, surely the shelf should just got right on in line with the support. And you'd be right, if we weren't talking about my house.

It appears that the right wall of the alcove bulges out a bit (in fact, on a quick eyeball, I'm guessing it's doing it where I've had the blocks taken out). (Picture below is a view from the underside)

Shelf02.jpg


So, there went my plans of getting the shelf completely fitted.

The one piece of good news is that, after getting in touch with the company I got the shelf from, it is possible to trim it by a few mm either end, so I should hopefully be able to sort things out.
 

danielgalvin

Standard Member
To be honest, I just don’t understand how each job creates so many more additional problems. At this rate of progress the job will never be done. My wife would kill me if I spent a year doing one room. I’m sorry but you need to just reduce the scope of the job and finish it out so the room is usable again.
 

cerebros

Active Member
I’m sorry but you need to just reduce the scope of the job and finish it out

Well at this point in time the remaining scope is just finishing the job - finish drilling the last few required holes, fill in the unwanted holes, paint walls & ceiling, lay floor, get skirting, architrave and doors bought and fitted, reattach radiator. It's just the few snags that keep coming up in the process of trying to get things done that keep causing delays.
 

davidegee

Well-known Member
Well at this point in time the remaining scope is just finishing the job - finish drilling the last few required holes, fill in the unwanted holes, paint walls & ceiling, lay floor, get skirting, architrave and doors bought and fitted, reattach radiator. It's just the few snags that keep coming up in the process of trying to get things done that keep causing delays.

I've been struggling with my living room taking longer than planned. For me, progress is only good when i have a dedicated period of time in the room, no distractions and with a task focused mindset - i'm going to get this specific thing complete.

I've found that with 10 mins here and there you don't achieve much and quality suffers (think drilling one hole one day then the rest another, things go wrong).

I think you need to come up with a way of working that means;
- you have a goal for that session
- you can minimise / eliminate interruptions
- you have everything that you need to start and finish the 'goal' before you start that session and that it's working, stocked, loaded, charged - whatever it may be

Your wife and family will need to support you also!

Good luck!
 

its_all_Greek

Distinguished Member
For the drilling of holes turn off the hammer action until you are into the plaster and touching brick then put the hammer action back on. Stops the drill bit bouncing off where you rested it when you first start the drill

If your painting the shelf then run a thin bead of decorators caulk around the shelf before you paint.

if not after you have decorated then a small bead of silicon of similar colour is another option. See youtube vids of how best to do these options and the results
 

cerebros

Active Member
For the drilling of holes turn off the hammer action until you are into the plaster and touching brick then put the hammer action back on. Stops the drill bit bouncing off where you rested it when you first start the drill

Yeah, I think someone suggested doing that, or I read about it somewhere, last year. Think it's one of those things I was doing at one point but due to long periods in between drilling, that I forgot to do when I started on this round.

(Pretty much like how I dabble with javascript and php so infrequently that I practically have to teach myself from scratch every time I use them)
 

cerebros

Active Member
I think I'm just about sorted with the floating shelf... Having finally remembered that I bought a multi-tool last year that came with a sander attachment and sanding paper I sanded down the right edge a bit and I can now get the dowels to engage. I just need to take a look at it in better light to make a judgement call as to whether the shelf will go all the way on as it is now or whether I need to sand a bit more off to make sure it doesn't get stuck by the bump in the wall again.

While I was not remembering what tools I actually have, I did get round to drilling almost all the remaining holes I had on my list to drill. I say almost all because unfortunately it turns out I made a bit of a booboo with regard to the curtain rail.

Or to be more accurate, the bit of wood the previous curtain rail was fastened to.

For some reason it didn't occur to me to wonder why the old rail was fastened to a board until I was trying to drill the first hole for the curtain rail supports. It was about the time that I was wondering why this seemed to be going even harder than some of the other holes I'd drilled and why was the hole seeming to be growing in width but not depth that I suddenly thought "crap, I'm drilling into the lintel".

While this isn't going to hold things up, as I should be able to drill the necessary holes to fix a board to without having to worry about any errors being visible, I do have to get a replacement board as the original has now gone.
 

cerebros

Active Member
So, today is floor day.

We've managed to persuade granny to have the kids for part of the day so the missus can assist me or do other jobs while I'm getting on with the floor.

To be honest, we should both be using the morning to catch to on some sleep after several late nights trying to get the painting done. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night it was 1:30 by the time I got to bed, and last night it was 1.

Wednesday was the real killer, trying to get the mist coat done and it didn't help that when I went to start the job after putting the kids to bed, I lost about 20 minutes of working time trying to find the paint scuttle and roller set we bought along with the paint, and which is still nowhere to be found, despite a quick search of the sheds, under the stairs, roof and every room of the house.

Fortunately we'd got a roller handle from when I decorated our eldest's room a couple of years ago but it appears to be only a 1.5" diameter as opposed to the 1.75" diameter roller sleeves I'd picked up earlier in the week as I wasn't sure we'd got enough to do the job.

As it was too late at this point to buy an additional handle we made do as best we could, with the wife concentrating on the cutting in while I got on with the roller.

Thursday night, after we, well, the wife, had had time to do a proper search of the house and I'd checked at my mum's in case I'd decided to store the roller set there, I picked up a couple of roller frames and some more sleeves so we could hopefully make better time. To that end I'm still not sure quite how we ended up getting to bed so late again after doing the first coats on wall and ceiling.

Friday night the plan was to get the second coat on the walls so I could get the electric sockets back on permanently. That's what meant to got to bed so late in the end as I spent quite a bit of time trying to get the plates on reasonably level, and discovering that the thread must have been stripped on one of the lugs of one socket as I couldn't screw it down.

Saturday. I'd planned to spend the afternoon doing some spotting work on the walls while the youngest was in bed for her afternoon nap but she decided she didn't need one which put paid to that.

I needed to make a couple of stops for tools at some point and so decided to go then. What should probably have been an hour's trip out in total managed to turn into two as, despite ordering my stops to try and avoid the football traffic getting to one store, I ran into heavy traffic going to the other store...

Come the evening and I got on with spotting on the walls first, which essentially turned into a very quick third coat, while the wife and my eldest got some gloss on the windowsill and shelf. (Yes, in an ideal world we would have done these at the start but I hadn't realised we hadn't bought any gloss at that point).

With the walls done again and the eldest in bed, we then got on with the second ceiling coat, after which, and cleaning up, rethreaded the socket lug and got that last plate on.

I would have taken some WIP pictures of the painting to put up but frankly I've been far too tired at the end of the days to take them.
 

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