Soupdragon's new house build (from scratch)

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
We've got a blank canvas for our new house and the layout has just been finalised with the builder. He's great, and there is nothing he won't do for us. The foundations will be going in shortly but time will tick on so we need to think of all the wiring requirements that we want him to do. I want the house to be as future proof as possible so please chip in with suggestions on how I can make that happen. Getting in done now will save future pain.

I'm especially interested in cool idea's around:

security/alarms
lighting inside and out
multiroom audio
networked media

A bit of background as to what we've agreed on at the moment. We took the basic house plan for the site as agreed with the planning office and managed to get some nice changes agreed. We extended it a bit in a couple of places upstairs and downstairs, added extra height ceilings on the ground floor (9ft - might give me a recessed projector screen issue though), vaulted the ceiling of the sunroom and turned the detached garage into a proper living space with proper insulation, walls, ceilings and heating (the garage will still have the garage look but the garage door will be false) Thats what I mean about the builder being accommodating - no is not an answer he is familiar with :)

The garage is 20ft x 12ft and will be multi-functional but at some point may be a cinema room. My home cinema at the beginning will be in a 11.4ft x 15ft family room so quite a small space but enough to still get a decent sized screen. I would like the screen hidden within the ceiling so this will hopefully be easy enough being a new build. The idea is that with a young family, a cinema in the garage means that only I could use it in the evening when kids are in bed and thats not ideal - I think a home cinema would get more use in a family room situation. In the meantime, the garage can be a haven where I can go chill out and play guitar without disturbing anyone's sleeping.

This is my current kit list. Would hope to be able to put a lot of it to good use, and will no doubt trim it/add to it to get the new house right.

Current Displays:

BenQ W1070 projector and Sony HW50 (thinking of JVC X500/X700 for new house - ran the X90 up until Christmas past and hard to beat JVC's IMO)


Samsung 43" plasma
Panasonic 42" plasma
Samsung 32" LCD
2 x LG 19" LCD

I'm wanting a 50" to go above the fireplace in the main living area of the house, but can't make my mind up over a Panasonic VT65 or whether to future proof with 4k....

Amps:

Onkyo 3008 receiver
Marantz 1501 receiver
Onkyo CR715 CD/DAB stereo
NAD 715 CD/DAB stereo

Speakers:

Focal Chorus 800W series for a front 3
3 x Focal Sib XL
2 x Focal Sib
2 x B&W 601
2 x Gale Gold bookshelf

Subs:

REL Q400e
Velodyne something or other
B&W whatyoumaycallit

Miscellaneous:

3 x blu ray players, 2 of which are network capable
Darbee video processor
Mede8er 600X3D media player
2 x Ipad's and a Hudl
1 x Imac
1 x Windows laptop
Lightwave RF home automation hub
Various lightwave RF devices
2 x Sky boxes
XBOX 360

So I'm off to a good start kit wise, but depending on how things develop, I could change quite a bit of it if its the right thing to do. As I say, if you've any cool idea's then throw them out there - its a blank canvas and I'll welcome any thoughts on how you think I could make this work really well, and do me well into the future.

I'll post plans and stuff in a minute to help give an idea of what we're doing....
 
Last edited:

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
This is the garage which has been started already. Will be built as a fully functional living space with proper heating/insulation etc...



I asked the builder to do build the joists vaulted for maximum storage space above and I'll have a hatch put in for access into garage loft space.

Below is the ground floor plan.



The front left room will initially be the home cinema/family room with ceiling recessed projector screen. Its a pity 4k wasn't further on, otherwise I would know what cabling to put in as I would like 4k projection at some point. Maybe some regular HDMI cables along with a few CAT6 is the best option at this point?

The whole right hand side is the main living space in the home. Living room open plan into kitchen with island/bar seating and the sun room will be informal dining with farmhouse table and custom built window seating along the right hand wall. The fire at the corner will be a wood burner and I'll have the TV just above this. I would like tv and speakers (stereo will suffice in here) and all other kit to be tucked away somewhere out of the way, such as the loft or under the stairs.

This is the design inspiration for the main living area of the house:



I like the spot lighting being at the edges of the room and the main lighting being centralised. Love the window seating idea too. I notice there are ceiling speakers but I've never run them at home before. My current kitchen I have my B&W 601's standmounts discreetly disguised above the kitchen units. Not sure if you can get ceiling speakers with a decent low end or whether I could run ceiling speakers and discreetly hide a subwoofer or 2 somewhere? Not sure if that would work - I welcome suggestions here....
 

00Paul00

Active Member
Wow. Your house is going to be an awesome home. Good luck. Btw are you moving before you finished the golf simulator? Or did I miss the completed thread?
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
Wow. Your house is going to be an awesome home. Good luck. Btw are you moving before you finished the golf simulator? Or did I miss the completed thread?
Thanks!
Yes, I sort of got it finished but never got round to updating the thread. It wasn't safe though so didn't achieve my goal completely and had to use plastic balls. I'll have to give it up this time round as the garage will be used for other things in this house - good while it lasted :)

Been playing a lot more real golf lately though and just joined a society. My old golf club where I was a member since a kid is round the corner so I'll rejoin it once kids are a bit older.
 

00Paul00

Active Member
My old golf club where I was a member since a kid is round the corner so I'll rejoin it once kids are a bit older.
Yeah I know how that feels! I haven't played much now that I have a 2 and a 3 year old BUT there is a good golf club between us and their eventual school (which is all walking distance) so in 3 years time I'll be living the dream!!!
 
i'd have a look at Loxone rather than Lightwave for whole house automation, Av control and Audio distribution. www.loxone.com. They offer a complete solution for lighting, power, heating, Av control, security, Audio systems, remote control etc etc...

The important thing is to get the cabling in so "the world can be your oyster". Run multiple cat6 to every room and run speaker wires to each room even if you end up never using them so much easier to run now than later.
 

Plaverda

Well-known Member
Houzz is such a bad bad place! :)
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
I've been looking at that Aclass and seems a good solution, thanks. Will look into it a little more when I've got a bit of time.

How many Cat6 to each room would you recommend and what do people normally do - run it to each room and put in a cat 6 wall plate?
 
The number of Cat6s to run will really depend what you are aiming to do especially when you factor in Loxone for lighting and/or heating control, as these would also need connecting back to the central server.

For HDMI Over Cat6 we recommend that they are not terminated into a faceplate but wired directly to the receiver from the matrix, if that is what you are intending to do.

This needs careful planning with your electrician, and ensure that the electrician knows about power and data(cat6) segregation
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
A bit more interesting than watching paint dry (but not a lot) Anyway, a bit more progress with the 'outhouse'

uploadfromtaptalk1396297888296.jpg


Rendering complete, and went for Pvc facia rather than wood. Wood looks better IMO but after 3 or 4 years, needs a touch up. Thats a whole days golf/football/movie watching lost :)

uploadfromtaptalk1396297940688.jpg


Slate roof to match the house once its built.
uploadfromtaptalk1396298107517.jpg
 

Herbiefish

Well-known Member
Good stuff. Looking forward to catching up with progress on this one. Barely had time to enjoy the fruits from your recent work and you have itchy feet already!
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
Good stuff. Looking forward to catching up with progress on this one. Barely had time to enjoy the fruits from your recent work and you have itchy feet already!
Lol!
Well, good while it lasted :)
We're going to have a more open plan living area in the new house which was primary reason for moving. Will be a nice sociable layout and we'll still have a seperate room for movies, as well as a garage/outhouse set up as a proper living space too.

Really excited about it :)
 

Herbiefish

Well-known Member
So you should be, sounds great. Will be having a similar adventure as soon as I get the right price for our current house. Will be watching your progress very keenly as I have very similar ideas to you I think :)
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
I must say if I was having a house built again I would be taking a leaf out of Al Briscoes place and have a basement constructed in at least a part of the floor layout and use that for the home theatre.

It answers the problems of light ingress and sound penetrating other rooms if done properly and not too expensive to do if tackled from the outset.
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
I must say if I was having a house built again I would be taking a leaf out of Al Briscoes place and have a basement constructed in at least a part of the floor layout and use that for the home theatre.

It answers the problems of light ingress and sound penetrating other rooms if done properly and not too expensive to do if tackled from the outset.
I remember watching that thread as it progressed and it was a brilliant build start to finish.

I've specced the garage to be a proper outbuilding with heating, insulation, spot lighting etc and it will be wired for home cinema too. This will give me an isolated bat cave environment if I want it.
My home cinema will be inside the house to begin with however, in a living room set up with react 2 screen. Whether I eventually run a living room home cinema and a dedicated bat cave in tandem remains to be seen.
If I have it inside, it will likely get more use and we can have more family movies and me and the missus can watch in the evening. I know for a fact that if it was outside then it would be me on my own most of the time and that's not what I want. My last house I had on the top floor of our 3 story house but the missus simply wasn't interested in going up there - she much preferred being downstairs with the feet up on the sofa.
I don't quite understand the difference, but then I've never understood womens logic anyway :)
We seen the new 4k tv's and oled tv's and she's not adverse to spending 5k on a tv if has amazing picture quality. She just said one or the other - a high end tv or a high end pj in the lounge, but not both. So I'm going with the pj :D
 

indus

Distinguished Member
Will be watching with interest, I'm sure the end result will be fantastic
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
Time for an update!

Thankfully, weather has been good and everything is going according to plan which is great. Images tell the story so I'll not ramble on too much. I've been down to the house nearly every day and photographed the progress.

They did the foundations about 2 weeks ago and this is the front porch:

uploadfromtaptalk1398114091159.jpg


Really hard to get a feel for scale as my immediate thought is that the founds look way smaller than the planned measurements. But I remember taking my partner down to the founds of our 1st ever house and she was like 'ooh, so this is the garage, where is the house going?'. I was like, sorry honey but this is the house lol!

This is the back, looking at it from the dining room:

uploadfromtaptalk1398114420737.jpg


Its a timber frame design and it arrived on Good Friday morning. I called round on my way to the park about 11am and they had already made a pretty good start on the ground floor. This pic is with the movie roon in the foreground. Its got 3 windows which isn't ideal for home projection so I'm really hoping the react 2 screen I've ordered comes up trumps. It will fall in front of the double windows at the front so fingers crossed it all works out ok:

uploadfromtaptalk1398114708179.jpg


This is looking through the front door and you can see the dining room wall floating in mid air to the left a bit. This is the crane guy moving it into position and then the other guys basically nail it to the adjoining wall literally within minutes and then onto the next one! My son thought it was a bit like minecraft - just bang bang bang and then onto the next piece...

uploadfromtaptalk1398114925470.jpg


Just a big jigsaw puzzle really....

uploadfromtaptalk1398115258987.jpg


So those were at 11am doing the 1st floor. Came back after 5pm and the ground was finished and onto the next floor. This is the movie room/dining room side:

uploadfromtaptalk1398115411142.jpg


This is the lounge/kitchen/sunroom side:

uploadfromtaptalk1398115569720.jpg


And one from the back:

uploadfromtaptalk1398115696042.jpg


Thats it for now :)
 

DOBLY

Well-known Member
Is the blue wrap a building paper type thing like Tyvek? - not seen this one before.
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
Is the blue wrap a building paper type thing like Tyvek? - not seen this one before.
I've no idea what it is or why its even there for!
 

Ronski

Well-known Member
I shall be following this thread with great interest, I've also got a blank canvas to turn into a cinema room. Although not a whole house, just a room which is bare block work at the moment. I must start a thread relating to this.

That blue stuff is almost certainly a damp proof breathable membrane.
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
Yes, I think it probably is some sort of damp proofing.

Today I finalised the electrical install and plumbing install and work commences tomorrow. Got loads of speaker cable, network cable, hdmi etc so I hope I've got it right. Reels of the stuff - better too much than too little!
Went with the forum favourite Van Damme 2.5mm - good quality, well shielded and reasonably priced.

uploadfromtaptalk1398889046202.jpg


Hdmi cables in the $15-20 range depending on length so no stardust sprinkled cables in this install. I'll be testing each cable prior to install though just to make sure it works - HDMI can be a real pain at times....

Its just a pity there is no 4k hdmi cable released as I would have preferred to future proof as much as possible. I might be able to fall back on routing via cat6 but I'm not sure if this will be possible?

Anyway. Since last post, roof is on and ready for tiling, windows are going in and blockwork has started.

Lounge side:

uploadfromtaptalk1398890897526.jpg


Movie room side:

uploadfromtaptalk1398890956223.jpg


Side view below. The movie room is right, formal dining room to the left. Up above is our 'Master Suite' :)
This is the full length of one side of the house. The bedroom goes into the en suite and carries through into a walk in wardrobe. The walk in wardrobe is supposed to be a bedroom but we don't need it at this point and its designed in such a way that it can easily be converted back into a bedroom.

uploadfromtaptalk1398891021802.jpg


You can see here how windows attach. They come with a wooden batton fixed to the sides and top and they simple attach onto the timber frame. No batton on the botton as room is left for each window sill.

uploadfromtaptalk1398891520656.jpg


And then they build the blockwork up and put the window sill on.

uploadfromtaptalk1398891647100.jpg


Simple when you know how - I always thought it was more complex than it actually is.

Completion date is end of May. Seems a lot to do in a short space of time but I suppose 7 working days ago the house was only at foundation level!
These guys are moving fast :)
 
Any high speed hdmi cable will be able to handle 4k but keep them below 8m. Over that length use hdmi over cat6.

Please don't spend a fortune on hdmi cables, roughly £2 per metre maximum
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
The one's I got were something like 18.6gbps high speed. It references 7.1 surround and 2160p in the description but if we have ultraHD audio and or 2160/60p down the line I hope these cables will still be up to the job. And yes, I agree about expensive cables - mine are under £2 per m but I've had to go for 10m and 15m on a couple of them. Might give me some handshake issues or worse, not even work, but I'll double up with pairs of cat6 on the same run as a precaution! Better to be safe now than sorry later is my moto :)
 
Only two types of hdmi cables really high speed and not high speed. After that they all do the same.

High speed maximum certified length is 8m. So I would worry about longer lengths going forward

Cat6 is good backup though
 

Herbiefish

Well-known Member
Looking good Soup, blimey that is going up quick. I remember when we did ours and it was all brick and block it seemed like forever to go up.

Mighty impressed with the speed of this. Windows in within 1 week of the foundations...mental!
 

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