Archive for March, 2014

Track lighting done

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

The track lighting is up, and all the lights are in place. I decided on seven lights total – I could probably take one out and still be happy with the distribution, but I’ll also have to reevaluate after the railroad shelf and any artwork is up. Here’s the view from the back of the main room:

track-1And then from the front of the room, with the lights on:

track-2No, they’re not all aimed properly. The aim is just a guess when I plugged the modules into the track. After I get the shelf and possibly artwork up, I’ll adjust the aim accordingly.

Flooring progress

Friday, March 14th, 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve made an update, and since the flooring is going in rather nicely and is almost complete in the office, I figured I’d brag a bit. I have to take up the carpet tack strip at the laundry room door and put down the tack strip for the hardwood divider, but that’ll be semi-easy. So, with no further ado, the office, part 1:

floor1-1The baseboards aren’t in yet (obviously) and there’s a bit of painting touch-up to be done, but damn it looks good (if I do say so myself). It even runs into the closet seen in the upper left hand corner of the picture – it’s a small closet, but it’s a closet. Part 2:

floor1-2The HVAC closet is on the right behind the fanfold doors. This is the first time in 2 years (possibly more) that those fanfold doors have been closed, simply because closing them on a bare cement slab would have been pointless. I also decided not to put in a divider at the doorway since the total length is about 35 feet, 5 feet shy of requiring an expansion strip per the manufacturer.

The main room isn’t nearly as far along – I still have quite a bit of cleanup to do before I can even put down the underlayment, much less the flooring. Still, here’s the main room:

floor1-3The silver is the underlayment. The floor literally just snaps together – no glue, no nailing, nothing. On the left is the newel post I put in – I have to finish that out and put up drywall there, but I still haven’t completely figured out what order I’m going to attack that in (drywall, stair treads, stair risers, etc). My wiring closet:

floor1-4Again, no baseboards. The “wall” in the back will eventually be solid and have a shelf in front of it, but be openable to get to the storage spaceĀ  behind it. The yellow things in that space are sawhorses. The table saw in the picture is the one I scored on clearance today – $230 table saw for $137! A slightly different angle showing the current closet rack holding my network gear:

floor1-5The Black & Decker bag with the drill in it will eventually live behind the wall. Once everything is done, the cabling will get a serious cleanup, and a shelf will go in on the right that my frankenstorage server will sit on. Probably also going to put a monitor arm on the right wall with a small (15 to 17 inch) LCD panel since I don’t really have a “crash cart” and putting up a permanent monitor would be a heck of a lot smarter than trying to kit out and then store a crash cart so I can roll it into this very closet when something goes wrong, then roll it back out when I fix whatever it is. Hey, I may be dumb, but I ain’t stupid!


Newel Post!

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

So in the middle of ordering the next batch of laminate for the main room, I decided I wanted to open up the staircase a bit. I can’t remember the blog I got the idea from right now – and my Google-fu is failing me, but it wasn’t entirely an original idea. Well, right after removing the ugly siding on the inside of the stair at the bottom, I realized that that igly siding was how it was secured. My bottom two steps now had no support aside from the riser on the outside! Eeep!

Fortunately, I was able to work around it by bracing them on the newel post I put in, which wasn’t purchased, it was (so far) custom built from project lumber. Why? Two reasons – the newel posts I could buy were all expensive as sin, and I didn’t like the looks of any of them.

So, I started with the core, which is four 1×3’s, 5 feet long, formed into a square. My new pneumatic nailer made this almost absurdly easy, by the way – I strongly recommend a pneumatic nailer for any sort of home improvement project that involves nailing things. A big thank you to Scott Zekanis for loaning me a framing nailer to secure the core to the floor piece – I wasn’t comfortable with 16ga brads doing that job.

So, anyway… After putting in the core, I cut and placed the bottom finish pieces. It’s not the final design by any means, but here’s what it looks like (currently) from inside the main entertainment room:

newel1-1It looks a little tall from this angle, and I may have to shorten it a bit later, but in real life it’s not as tall as this makes it look.The two pieces of wood to the right that look like they’re not doing anything? Heh… they’re bracing the bottom of the stair casing. Since it doesn’t go all the way to the floor any longer. And all that. Yeah. Moving right along…

Here’s a closeup of the top of the lower finish pieces. Yes, there’s about a 3/8″ gap between the finish pieces and the core – I’ll take care of that when I do the finishing bits.

newel1-3The second tread from the bottom will wrap all the way around the newel, coming out from it about an inch, with the bottom tread being a full step out from the newel towards the opposite wall. It will look quite nice. Finally, a view from directly in front of the staircase:

newel1-4This side of the bottom finish piece doesn’t extend all the way to the floor because it doesn’t have to. The second riser will go over it and extend out so it’s edge is flush with where the drywall will go, letting the newel protrude out about 1/2 to 3/4 inch from the drywall. This is intentional, I didn’t decide to do it that way because I dorked up somewhere else. The small piece sitting on the 2×4 I put in place initially to simply steady the core of the newel while I was securing it to the tread braces, and since it will be entirely hidden I saw no reason to pull it back up.