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

cerebros

Active Member
Somewhat frustratingly, getting the board sorted took me three nights to do over the week. For once this wasn't (entirely) down to my DIY inexperience but chiefly down to the bedtime behaviour of my youngest who had decided over several nights that she wasn't going to have good bedtimes but instead gave us complete hell. Both Tuesday and Thursday nights I ended up not being able to sit down to my dinner until shortly before 9pm.

Having to deal with this misbehaviour also meant that progress on building the Ikea units has gone at a snails pace. In fact, I've not even managed to finish building the double-cabinet unit that I started. I had thought I'd get it finished on Friday but having both stayed up late and gotten up early a couple of times trying to get coats of paint on the curtain rail board the missus basically ended up ordering me to go to bed as I was falling asleep just sat on the sofa after dinner. At the moment I've got all the doors on but need to finish putting in the shelves.

Whilst trying to keep an eye on the kids I have managed to get my receiver hooked back up in time for us to watch Sing as a family tonight, as well as getting the cover back on the wall for the Virgin Broadband - although I had to order a replacement cover after knackering the original due to using the wrong length of screw (I should have used 20mm screws but must have used them in another socket somewhere and ended up having to buy a pack for just two).

Another slight mess-up was temporarily misplacing the spare label cartridge for my label printer, something I only discovered I couldn't find mid-way through labeling up the Atmos and front left and right speaker cables. I ended up ordered a pack of three cartridges on Amazon only to discover the spare I'd already got was on the shelf where I'd it to be, just better buried than I'd expected/been able to easily search for until I was clearing things off the shelf.
 

cerebros

Active Member
As the missus is never keen on the decorations lingering (if only because of time for her to assist in getting them down following Christmas), the decorations came down on Sunday. With the computer alcove now clear, I took the opportunity to shovel all the kids' presents that are still in the lounge into the corner and to make a start on getting the rest of the Ikea stuff built - as my mum had said she'd have the kids today (although not for the whole day) I was hoping to get, at the very least, the wall mounted cabinets built that evening and mark up where the mounting bracket holes needed drilling ready for the morning. I was also hoping to squeeze in a trip to the tip today to get rid of all the packaging and a few other things that have accumulated that I've not had time to get rid of.

My plans then went right out of the window when I was building the frame for the wall mounted unit and found one of the holes had been made too close to the edge of a side panel. This meant that the side didn't line up properly and was therefore useless.

Obviously this was a bit of a problem as the panel would need to be replaced, and as I wanted to get the cabinets built ASAP, it meant a trip to Ikea today to get it exchanged.

Not wanting to have to make a second trip if avoidable, I built the smaller part of the wall mount unit and most of the TV bench to try and see if there were any other damaged pieces. This took me past midnight and I had to call it quits with a view to getting back to it once I'd dropped the girls off this morning.

Unfortunately, while checking out the various parts yet to be fitted or completing bits and pieces (such as putting shelves into the double cupboard) I realised that I'd need to take the glass doors off the double cupboard in order to be able to fit the shelves in due to the different way the glass shelves are fitted.

Having finally satisfied myself that there were no other parts needing replacing, I finally set off to my nearest Ikea. The journey there was uneventful and the exchange went ok. After a quick drink and bite to eat in the cafe, I set off into the store to try and find a Fixa screw and plug set as the mounting brackets don't come with any fixings at all.

Getting home I returned to trying to construct the double wall mounted cabinet. With the panels in I turned the final long piece the right way up to mount it and went to insert the next fixings only to find that I'd got one missing. I can't recall if I'd counted up these fixings last night or not so I don't know if there was one already missing or if I'd left one in the panel that I exchanged today but this potentially leaves me a bit stuck. I think there might be a piece of the correct type in the box for the drawer I'm not going to be using, so hopefully I'll be able to get the cabinet built.

All that was left to do tonight was to mark up where the holes need to be drilled tomorrow when I hopfeully can find the time.
 

sparkie1984

Distinguished Member
I have skim read this so apologies if I am wrong but I can’t believe how difficult some things have been!

Surely it would have been worth paying an odd job man or someone more proficient with a drill? Putting up shelves etc are a nothing job regardless of wall types etc. May have spared so you a lot of grief!

Sorry to see that you had a fairly incompetent electrician, why didn’t they draw a plan of the holes? We do this as standard on our jobs. That said mistakes do happen! I’ve certainly drilled a few holes in the wrong place in my time :)


Also a little tip is take photos at all stages of the job because it’s serves as a handy reference point!

Anyway happy new year and be good to see this all come to fruition!
 

cerebros

Active Member
Hi everyone,

Long time since the last update again. Not that there's been an awful lot to update you on...

So, last time around I was trying to find a suitable part (cam lock nut I know now) to finish off my wall mounted cabinet. Unfortunately, the similar cam lock nut I was hoping to plunder from the unused drawer unit was a more shallow part that wouldn't do the job, which meant I was going to be delayed getting the job done.

A colleague who lives near to an Ikea offered to pop in an see if she could get one for me but when she went she was told they were out of stock of spares of these (and a few other things). I also submitted a request via the spares page on the Ikea website but so far have not heard anything back from them (bearing in mind that was 5th January and it's the 28th as I write this).

Fortunately, any further delay was prevented when the wife decided to make a trip up to Ikea herself last week and managed to get two of the parts so I could finally finish assembly of the cabinet.

The mounting bracket has been up since the 2nd of January. However, I wasn't terribly sure whether I should re-drill for it or not. As the cupboard being put up is a double and a single unit, you have to join three brackets together. That meant that I needed the missus' help to hold the left end in place while I marked the holes for the right and centre. Unfortunately, rather than swapping places to mark up the hole positions for left bracket, I asked her to make the holes, under the assumption that she'd followed my directions on how to align the bracket with the lines I'd drawn on the wall. Alas, when I came to put the brackets up, there was a distinct slope on the left one that, while not exactly massive, was noticeable enough with a level on top of the bracket and I couldn't eliminate it after loosening the screws and moving the ends of the bracket up and down as much as I was able to.

WallCupboard1.jpg



Having now got the cabinets up on the bracket, the left hand hole in the double cupboard doesn't line up enough for me to get the screw into it. As I'm guessing that the screws are only used to stop the cabinets being knocked off the bracket (there's actually plastic pieces in the top corners on the back of the unit that are what puts the unit onto the mounting bracket) I think I can probably get away with only three of the four screws in place - the only issue being covering up the hole that's not been screwed through.

WallCupboard2.jpg


The bigger issue it looks like I'm facing is getting the single and double unit to line up nicely enough at the moment. They're ever so slightly misaligned at the moment and I'm not sure how easily I'll be able to get them to line up.I think it's doable though.

WallCupboard3.jpg


WallCupboard4.jpg
 

cerebros

Active Member
Surely it would have been worth paying an odd job man or someone more proficient with a drill? Putting up shelves etc are a nothing job regardless of wall types etc. May have spared so you a lot of grief!

Maybe if I'd got every single thing that needing drilling worked out in advance it would have been just about acceptable cost wise to get someone in but with the number of times I've realised there's something else that needs doing... While I'm sure a handyman would have been happy to be able to charge for doing lots of small jobs, my bank account certainly wouldn't have appreciated it.

Plus, contrary to what it might sound like from this blog I have successfully put up shelves in this house in the past that are in fact still up to this day. There's one in what is now my youngest's room that I put up when it was the eldest's (that'll be about 9 years ago) as well as a twinslot shelving system in what is now the eldest's room (can't remember how long ago that was... at least 6 or seven years), although I should probably have used three uprights rather than two judging by how the shelves are bending now.

I don't actually recall having any of the issues I've been having as part of this job when putting those up, although I may have blanked the horrors from my mind.

Sorry to see that you had a fairly incompetent electrician, why didn’t they draw a plan of the holes? We do this as standard on our jobs. That said mistakes do happen! I’ve certainly drilled a few holes in the wrong place in my time :)

Well he wasn't there when the builder and plasterers were in and to honest they were as much at fault not marking the downlight in the workstation area (although granted I should have made sure to double-check they had before they started work... hopefully that's something I will remember to check in future) but the sparky was to blame for not reading the map of where the first downlight was correctly. I can't say the plasterer drew the map in a weird way, he drew it exactly how I would have

Also a little tip is take photos at all stages of the job because it’s serves as a handy reference point!

I was trying to remember to (needless to say there are a lot of photos that have been taken that haven't ended up in this blog) but it's often a case of having meant to and then forgotten or in a planning to but really can't be arsed frame of mind (e.g. I was planning to take another 360 degree photo of the room before the furniture started going up but after having to clear stuff out of the way I forgot, or had other issues, such as having misplaced the quick release plate clamp for my tripod having taken it off to put a laser level on, and not having been able to find it yet)
 

cerebros

Active Member
Just to refer back to my radiator paint problems, this is from a particularly bad bit that I'm going to have to sort out when time allows

RadiatorPaint1.jpg
 

cerebros

Active Member
Ok, so while I'm still needing to sort out the wall cupboard, I also remembered I need to finish off tidying up where the speaker cable exits the walls, especially for the two cables underneath the wall cupboard as I need to get them sorted before I can put the new TV bench in place.

SpeakerCableExit1.jpg


The solution I've got is some cable entry grommets that I've trimmed the back off to leave just the disc.

SpeakerCableExit2.jpg


The main issue I'm facing is trying to get the discs to sit flat on the wall before sticking them on (they'll obviously need another coat of paint before I'm done, hence why I'm needing to do the two under the wall cupboard first as I don't want to risk spilling paint over the TV bench reaching over it)
 

tommybhoy77

Standard Member
Try to work on one part of the job until its completed, planning and preparation is key. Constant plate spinning only leads to stress and frustration. Don't Get hung up on the on the minutiae of each part of the job, try to check off mentally each milestone you reach and remember why you started the project in the first place. We're all rooting for you here pal.:thumbsup:
 
One thing. Its all in the detail. The speaker cable coming out of the wall for example. I see you've made it look better by adding the plastic grommet to neaten (which it does) but then spoil it with the shoddy paint job thats now chipped. I know your going to repaint them but the chips will not help.So with this advice, when you come repaint the radiator, try do a neat job with the finish or if funds are available, refit a new one so you it looks fresh.
 

cerebros

Active Member
Hi everyone

Apologies for the lack of updates. Have ended up getting sidetracked with a few different things and haven't gotten round to updating this thread.

I'm sure you'd all be pleased to know that I've finished. So would I but I'm guessing you know by know that that's not going to be the case.

Since the last post I have got a couple of bits and pieces done. The TV bench has been in place since not long after I posted. I'm still not 100% sure on the setup - I've got my amp in the right hand section and the NowTV, Freesat, Blu-Ray player and Harmony hub in the left compartment.

I had planned to have the centre speaker in the central section on the shelf but couldn't think what else to put in the space either side or in the spot underneath so for the moment it's actually on top of the unit (fortunately the TV is mounted high enough that the speaker doesn't obscure the bottom of the screen)

The amp may also need attention. If it didn't offend my sense of (almost) symmetry, I'd shift it to the centre section but that's obviously dependant on what happens with the centre speaker. The main issue I have is that it's sticking out of the unit a bit further than I was expecting it to, as in the fascia is over the top of the door for the section underneath rather than just within the section. I suspect if I want to resolve this I'll have to wire the speaker cable directly to the binding posts rather than using banana plugs as I am at the moment.

I've ended up having to swap the door handles for new ones. Unfortunately it looks like the carpenter was right when he reckoned the ones I'd bought would be of sooner or later due to the angle of the screw holes angling the screws towards the latch rather than straight into the door.

The exterior wall vent is back on...

ExtVent01.jpg

which highlighted that there was some dust on the wall that needed cleaning off.

I've also finally got my door off cuts and sandpaper in the same place for once which has meant that I've finally been able to prep an off cut to test the varnish on (second coat went on tonight so I'll be able to judge the finish tomorrow when it's dry to see if that looks like it'll be enough coats or not).
 

cerebros

Active Member
Courtesy of having to work from home one day earlier this month due to having someone coming to fix the latch on my oven door, I got a chance to test out the computer corner (once I'd harangued the missus and my eldest into helping clear up the crap that had got dumped on our old dining table that's in the alcove at the moment).

WAH01.jpg


This isn't my final setup, obviously. The drop-leaf table is our old dining table, which I've commandeered now we've got a new dining table and plan to use until I can sort out a permanent desk solution for the alcove.

The monitor is one I bought for use with my WHS box on the odd occasion I've needed to log into it directly (on those occasions when trying to treat it as a headless device just doesn't work). When I can finally get set up properly, and have the funds to, I'm probably going to end up getting a 32" monitor here. I'd been planning to get a 27" but work recently upgraded everyone in my office from twin 19" 4:3 screens to 32" widescreens and the size works out surprisingly well.
 

cerebros

Active Member
Sorry for the lack of updates but I've been busy both with getting some more work on the lounge done and lots of other things.

The big news is that I've got the lounge doors varnished. I actually got them done the second week of May and have been meaning to post up pictures before now but, like I say, I've been busy.

Doors.jpg


I ended up only giving the doors "one" coat. I put one in quotes as the colour the doors turned out with one coat was the same shade my test strip went after two coats... Not quite sure how that worked out but as they ended up the shade I was expecting after two coats I didn't apply another.

Unfortunately, my plans for finishing off are going to revolve around whether I can clear enough of the kids' junk out of the way to get at what I need to... The thing I want to get done next is the vent on the chimney but the dining table needs a load of stuff moving off it... One of these days I will have to follow through on my threats to just shove everything in bin bags that's left on surface it shouldn't be...
 

cerebros

Active Member
Progress has stalled again I'm afraid. The next job I want to get done is putting on the vent for the air brick in the chimney. As I'd got board games night at my house a few weeks ago I asked the missus to make sure she supervised getting the kids to clear up in advance, hoping I'd have time once I got home to eat my dinner and get the vent on before people arrived.

For some reason, despite the fact that she knew we were going to be playing board games and would therefore need the table (which needs moving out of the way so I can get at the chimney) this was the state of the table when I came home. Yes, she'd got the kids to tidy up other parts of the lounge, but the key area, the area I really needed clear, was in this state.

ClearTable01.jpg


So the net result was that I was still trying to offload all this junk when people started arriving for games night. And because the only place i could put most of it in the time was the sofa, it pretty much all went straight back on the table once everyone'd gone... Since then I've not had time to sort stuff off it with all the other household chores that need doing, so I've no idea when it's going to get done (although as it looks like I'm going to have to use a day or twos leave to try and tackle the front and rear gardens, I may be able to get it done then)

One of these days I'm going to have to follow through on my threats to just stick everything that's been left on the table straight on the bin.
 

Sebastalona

Distinguished Member
Is this even a home cinema build thread anymore? It reads more like a journal or a memoir.
 

cerebros

Active Member
Well I'm a bit torn between doing no updates until I've got a more home cinema build related post to make (which could be several months before it arrives at this rate) or at least doing something periodically so that people know the thread isn't dead (because I hate reading build threads, or threads of any kind that just stop without any conclusion)
 

nrees87

Active Member
Having taken a year off this place myself (not intentionally - just MANIC with work, wedding and other life stuff) - I'm glad to see you're still chipping away at it mate.

Don't let the lack of progress get you down - in my book, it's better to do things once and do them properly, than rush them and spend an eternity changing them. Have faith, it'll all be worth it in the end!
 

John Woodcock

Active Member
My heart goes out to you read like war and peace. The first thread i have read with no home cinema but pain and suffering, keep it up don't let it get to you. I have altered my movie room five times in the last 12 years.
 

cerebros

Active Member
Well here's a Christmas present for followers of this thread... A teensy status update and some pictures...

Taking advantage of the lounge being an almost acceptable level of tidy (courtesy of a big Christmas Eve tidy up before the big day that even the kids helped with in a manner that was actually helpful) I decided to take a couple of quick shots to show how the lounge is looking at the moment (well, before the kids opened the mountains of presents they'd been given by my sisters-in-law).

There's still a little bit of work to do to finish off. The glass front doors for the wall mounted cabinets haven't been put on yet as we've not yet decided what we want to have in each on a long term basis (which, alas, means in the meantime they're getting a bit filled up with DVDs, Blu Rays and various bits and bobs). The walls around the settee are a bit bare without the Christmas cards, although that's because we're still (very slowly) working our way through the stuff that was put up in the loft during decorating and haven't got round to digging out the photographs that were up there before yet.

You should just about be able to make out one of the Atmos speakers in the ceiling near the window.

201912-Lounge-TV-View.jpg


Looking towards the other end of the lounge, we managed to squeeze in the whole Christmas tree although it did reveal a slight flaw in my plans for the computing corner, in that it's going to be pretty much inaccessible over the festive season, even if we resort to only putting part of the tree up as we have in previous years. We ended up swapping out the doors on the left side of the Besta cupboard for drawers to better organise what I want to put in there. (At the moment I'm really struggling to get the glass doors at the top of the cupboard properly aligned... the one on the left seems properly aligned with the drawers beneath and the frame but I can't seem to get the right-hand door aligned for love nor money)

A bigger issue in the use of the room that has cropped up is that I really wish I'd had an additional down light put in somewhere around where that red decoration is hanging from the ceiling. When I do the ironing, I normally set up in front of the door so that when the missus has done putting the kids to bed and comes back downstairs, the ironing board isn't in the way of her view of the TV when she's sat down.

201912-Lounge-Door-View.jpg


I'm also kicking myself that I didn't make sure we got another drop-leaf dining table when we bought the new one. While having a table we can expand when needed is useful, we have lost some floor space to accommodate it. Plus, the bigger permanent space means more space for junk to accumulate on, no matter how many times we say we're starting a zero tolerance policy towards things on the table.

A bit of good news is that the vent cover for the chimney vent has now been on for about two months.

In terms of the lounge as a home cinema room, my main priority right now is to find some way to keep the settee from getting pushed right back against the wall all the time (instead of being a couple of inches in front of it) and then to sort some new glides for the feet of the settee so I can pull it forward more easily to watch movies.
 

tonic

Active Member
Nice neat finish Cere. About time of course but good things take time. Have enjoyed this thread for a long time... some good laughs and commiserations....
 
I don't get it? This whole thread seems more like a home improvement and diary project than an AV project. One of the more frustrating but interesting threads i've EVER followed!
 

cerebros

Active Member
Yes, 'tis I, back with a post that's definitely a bit more AV related than some of the updates to this thread (which will hopefully please some people)

In fact, for those solely interested in the AV side of things, I'll get that out of the way now.

I've often grumbled in the past (possibly here, possibly not) about how, while my setup is about as complete as it can be, I've not been able enjoy it as much as I'd like, to the extent of not being able to watch movies in one sitting, this year's events have had a positive change on that side of things for me. With Covid putting a temporary stop to the kids going to Rainbows/Brownies, as well as my photography club going virtual for the foreseeable future, the wife was grumbling that I was at home every evening all week. This meant she wasn't getting to watch any of her TV programmes or films she'd watch on my nights out, so we decided to mark out one evening each every week as dedicated TV time. So over the past few months I've been able to clear off a load of films and TV I'd got sat on the Freesat recorder, as well as starting to catch up on stuff on Netflix and Amazon (and Disney+, which the missus signed us up to a couple of weeks into lockdown).

I've also taken advantage of the enforced time at home to get cracking on ripping the DVD and Blu-Ray collection to my NAS for serving up via Plex. Admittedly encoding the files was taking quite a while as I was doing it on my, now 7 year old, laptop. But as that seems to be en route to a terminal (possibly HD related) failure at the moment, I've ended up scrounging the cash together for a new desktop machine, which has drastically reduced the encoding time.
 

cerebros

Active Member
On slightly less pure AV related news, working from home has meant my "office" corner of the lounge has been getting near daily use. I'd actually started working from home two days a week a few weeks before lockdown kicked in anyway but at that time I was using an old monitor I'd got alongside my work laptop screen. After a couple of weeks it became clear that it wasn't going to be an acceptable longer term solution and so I started looking into a new monitor.

Having gone to the effort of having HDMI cables run to the office corner so I could feed to/from it, I was looking for a monitor with PiP mode so I could work on my own laptop on it while watching whatever TV series the missus and I were on that week. After a few weeks of research, plus a false start having misread a manual and getting models mixed up leading to me having to send a monitor back, I ended up with an iiyama XB3288UHSU.

Unfortunately, the dream of feeding TV and films over to the monitor hasn't been plain sailing. I'd tested that things worked before the walls were plastered, and things had worked. For the few hours I had the wrong monitor it also worked with that. However, with this monitor, I get picture break up when connected to the in-wall runs. I'm currently running a (slightly shorter than the in-wall run) HDMI cable directly from the second output of the AV Receiver to the monitor which works without any picture breakup issues.

I think it's some finickiness on the part of the monitor as with the new PC, connecting back to the AV Receiver via the in-wall HDMI cables doesn't cause any problems. Annoying.


Another slight issue is that there's a degree of what I assume is HDCP handshaking going on if I fire up the monitor (not in PiP mode, nor with the HDMI input the receiver's connected to set as the input) while someone's already watching the TV, which can end up leaving the TV without any picture and needing to turn things off and on again to get back in sync. This has become a nuisance to the extent that I'm unplugging the HDMI cable from the monitor when I'm not anticipating wanting to use the PiP mode. I'm not sure if that's the fault of the monitor or the receiver.
 

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