Monday, September 29, 2003

The built-in cabinet has been a mess from the start. The guys came last Wednesday to install the doors and were doing that while the painters were there to stain the cabinets. Of course the cabinet has to also be stained, so the painters had to wait a little bit until the cabinet workers were done. And of course, when they finished, the realized that the doors were the wrong size. So the painters had to stain the cabinet without the doors. On Friday, the cabinet workers returned and installed the correct, unfinished doors on the installed, stained cabinet. The painters also returned and did all of the enamel on the trim. The painters also painted the ceiling and painted the shed that they built on the outside of the house.

Today, the painters should be there (I'm not home to confirm this, of course) to paint the walls and finish up the stain on the cabinet doors. Tomorrow, the tile will be installed. I am hoping that we will begin to see the completed basement this week. I am happy with the work that has been done, and for the most part, it has gone fairly smoothly. There were just a couple of glitches - not all of which were my builder's fault. He has done a good job of keeping us posted on what's happening.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Thank goodness!!! There is actually work happening in our basement! The cabinet makers are here fixing the incorrect shelf unit that they sent us. Also, the painters are here working their magic. Today, I think they are going to stain and varnish. Also today, my builder worked on the goofy handrail, and I think it looks better. The rail is still in two separate pieces, but he lined them up a little better. Hopefully, the paint will be done this week, and the tile will be put down next Monday or Tuesday. The end is near!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

It's been a week and we've had absolutely no progress. The cabinet shop messed up our built-in bookshelf by neglecting to put doors on the bottom of it and instead making it an open bookshelf top to bottom. So, they had to build the doors and other pieces to add the doors to the unit, and then send out a craftsman to install them and set the unit in the wall. The story is that the parts were all done and ready to install on Friday, however, the craftsman has never shown up. My builder called today asking if the cabinet was done and needless to say, he was very upset when I told him that it's still not done. The had scheduled the painters to start today, assuming the cabinet would be done and installed.

So, since the trim carpenter finished up last Tuesday, nothing has happened. We are still waiting for this cabinet guy to show up, put doors on the shelf unit, and install it. Once that's done, the painters (who have been ready to go since last week) will paint and stain and that should be done in 3 days or so. Then the tile and carpet gets installed, and we're pretty much done.

Since I can't hardly stand waiting, I assembled the screen and hung it on a wall in my living room last night. I set up my projector in a TV tray and watched Monday Night Football (I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Raiders get killed, by the way). The little Piano Avanti projector produces a stunning HDTV picture on that Da-Lite Perm-Wall screen!

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

The trim carpenter is still working. He's currently finishing up the curved handrail at the bottom of the steps. We were hoping that the painters would be able to get started tomorrow, but I'm not sure that's going to happen. I think the trim carpenter's going to need another day to finish. If the painters to come this week, then we are hopeful that the flooring will come next week.

We're not sure about this handrail, though. Since part of the wall going down is straight and part of it is curved, he had to do two rails attached to the wall. So there's a straight rail down 2/3 of the wall, then it ends, and the curved rail then starts and goes to the end of the wall. Then another curved rail with spindles will complete the stairs to the bottom. Strange....

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Lots of progress today. The sanders finally made it here and sanded all of the drywall down. Of course, now we have white dust all over the house. The cabinet guys installed the bar and cabinets. They delivered them yesterday, but unfortunately they delivered the wrong shelf unit. That will have to go back. The one they delivered is just a plain book shelf with shelves from top to bottom. We ordered a unit with shelves on top and cabinet doors below. But the bar and cabinets are in and look great. Also today the trim carpenter started his magic. He installed all the interior doors and baseboard. He also started work on the steps. He needs to put new treads on and then build a curved hand rail. It's starting to look like a real room - except for all the dust and crap all over the place.

Also today I found out that my screen has arrived. It's a 92" diagonal Da-Lite screen that will be mounted on the front wall of the theater. This Saturday, I will go pick up the screen and all of my speakers. I'm really looking forward to getting that stuff installed.

Today I also picked out paint colors. We believe the painters will be coming next week. Next week I will go and pick out the tile for around the bar and bathroom and the carpet.

Friday, September 05, 2003

The tapers finally arrived yesterday and finished their first coats. They are back to today working hard down there. Today, the trim guy is supposed to come to measure everything so he can order the trim so it will be here ready for the trim carpenter next week. When the trim starts going up, things will start looking good. The trim really finishes the room.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Today, the drywall finishers are supposed to come to mud and tape my walls. They are already over an hour late, so I'm not holding my breath.

So, here's some information on my HT equipment. First, this whole home theater thing is pretty expensive. Because of this, I am going to use my current receiver and DVD player instead of buying new ones. In my living room now, I have a SONY STR-DB1070 Receiver. It's a pretty nice receiver and will work fine in my new theater. My current DVD player is a SONY DVP-NS700P progressive scan player. Again, a nice DVD player. My original plan was to leave my living room theater in tact and buy all new equipment for the new theater, but my budget won't allow for that just yet. Eventually, I would like to buy new components for the theater, and when I do, I think I am leaning toward NAD. Of course, when the time comes I'll research it more and decide.

I have purchased a PLUS Piano Avanti HE-3200 projector. That is a long name for such a tiny projector. The projector will be mounted on the ceiling and will project onto a 92" diagonal Da-Lite screen. I decided on this projector after talking with my local Home Theater dealer. The Piano is a DLP projector that creates a fabulous picture. I'm looking forward to getting the system set up.

As for speakers, I think I will be buying Wharfedale Pacific Evolutions. The EVO-20's for mains, the EVO-Centre and DFS surrounds. Again, the decision was based upon the advice of my dealer, as well as the bang for buck factor. The speakers are wired with Kimber Kable speaker wire.

The drywall clean up crew just arrived and they are removing all of the drywall scraps from the basement. Still waiting on the tapers...

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Basement and Home Theater

This blog will contain a lot of information, because I have neglected to blog about the basement project until now.

Work continues on our basement. We recently decided to refinance our home and take some money to finish our basement and build a home theater. Work began about 2 or 3 weeks ago. We were able to find the builder who built our house 4 years ago. We really liked working with him, and we were glad to hire him for this job. He was very patient while waiting for our financing to come through. Once it did, his crew went to work, and it has gone fast.

The carpenters came on a Saturday and they had the entire basement roughed in that day, except for some small things they couldn't finish because they ran out of lumber.

The next Saturday, the carpenters returned to finish. The only problem was that they were there at the same time as the electricians and plumbers. Needless to say, it was a very busy day down in the basement. They did get everything finished, and we were then ready for drywall.

In the meantime, I went ahead and ran the cables that I need for the theater. I purchased a custom made video cable from Wire World for my projector, and installed it. I also installed Kimber Kable speaker cable. My thanks to Rob, who owns a great home theater shop here in the KC area.

Yesterday, the drywall guys came to hang the drywall, and they finished up this morning.

Next up is the drywall finishing (mud & tape). I don't know when they will be coming, but hopefully, it will be soon.

In a future blog, I will detail the electronics of my theater. We are very excited about it. It will be a front projection system with a 92" screen. More details to come!