We’re lucky enough to have a separate family room, a room where we can watch TV and play with toys, and because it’s off the kitchen, it’s where my kids spend most of their time. That is until I decided I wanted to “fix” it. Yeah, that was back in March. If you remember, my girlfriends came over and we tore out half the fireplace and ripped out the ceiling beams. (That post can be found HERE) Well… it pretty much looks the same 3 months later. I know. I know. You don’t know how we live like this. Easy, we just don’t use that room anymore. I moved the TV and some toys to the
Lego living room and my kids don’t even miss the family room. Huh.
But it wasn’t just the lopsided fireplace that drove me crazy about this room, it was the lack of light. The room had no overhead lighting and was pretty much useless at night time. I moved our old dining room table (post HERE) into the family room in hopes of using it for homework, crafts, games, etc. But when the sun went down, the room went dark, so of course nobody used the table. I finally decided to hire someone, so we had Ian the electrician install 8 recessed lights on a dimmer. It cost $650, but he made it look so easy I am still kicking myself for not trying to tackle it on my own, but I don’t usually get involved with electricity. Smart Girl, remember? As you can see, I still haven’t fixed the ceiling from where we took down the beams. But the lights are pretty, right?Ian also fixed (re-rerouted) the wires from the wall I took down. Someone did a poor DIY job rerouting the wires initially. Ian fixed this for free.He used something I had never seen before, a Non-Metallic Splice and Tap. These gadgets provide a permanent way to interconnect two wires without using a junction box and can be concealed inside a wall. It is not up to code to use a junction box behind drywall aw a means to connect (extend) wires because the wires, which are held together by wire nuts, can come loose inside the box. As you might guess, it would be nearly impossible to guess where someone had added a junction box if it were inside the wall. Wires cannot come loose with this the slice and tap device, so it’s safe to “hide” them behind the wall. If you want to try to DIY, you can find these at Home Depot.Since we had the electrician here anyway, it made sense to have him put in two new outlets for the TV because I plan on mounting it on the wall next to (not above) the fireplace. He ran the wiring for the outlets down from the ceiling, from the recessed lights. The high outlet will be hidden behind the TV and the lower outlet will behind the dresser-turned-TV-stand. I wanted to be able to hide the HDMI cables too so he added an opening in the drywall near the top outlet and attached that orange bracket.I had him reroute the cable wire too. It used to come in through the wall on the far left side of the room, but when I decided I want to try the TV out on the far right side of the room, I had to move the cable. Kinda funny story, because I took the cable out of my son’s 2nd floor room by cutting off the metal end and pushing the wire out the wall, then pulling it down from outside. The cable wire was nice and long because it went up to the 2nd floor (and looked hideous from outside) and I was able to pull it around the back of the house. We couldn’t install it like the electrician did because there was brick there a the time, so we put it through the back wall temporarily. I’m thinking that our cable reception will be much better now that the wire is properly spliced. But who knows when I’ll get around to finishing this room and actually bringing the TV back in here.
I added insulation. Of course I did that skinny area too, I just don’t have a picture.I added more (yes more!) Great Stuff because you could see the sun shining in where the cable wire was added.And then I decided I didn’t like the HDMI cables hanging out behind the wall up against the insulation. You never know what cables are going to be added or removed over the years and I didn’t want cables ripping the insulation on their way through the wall. So I added a piece of $3 PVC behind the wall as a little tunnel for the cords. First I marked where the outlets fell.Then I cut off the front half of each end of the PVC. This provides a flat surface behind the bracket and allows the cords to enter the tube.Installed it looked like this.I replaced that weird metal bracket at the bottom of the PVC with one that matches what’s at the top, the orange 1-Gang Non-Metallic Low-Voltage Old-Work Bracket. I picket it up at Home Depot for $1.38. This bracket is perfect for simple, open wall access or for installing wall plates for TV cable, audio/video and more. When it comes to electrical components, “old-work” means there’s already drywall in place. The outlet the electrician installed at the bottom of the wall is considered “new-work” because there was no drywall. The outlet he installed further up the wall is considered “old-work” because there was already drywall in place. The reason it matters is because if there is no drywall, then you have access to attach things directly to the studs, otherwise there is no access to the studs. As you can see, the outlet above is not next to a stud, the “old-work” bracket attaches to the drywall instead.
And then I FINALLY attached the drywall. Actually, first I had hubby chisel away a little more mortar, then I attached the drywall. And this is what it looks like today.Can you see my vision now? Still no definitive plans about the fireplace, but whatever.It’s a far cry from this already. (I sold that coffee table for $30 on FB and moved the TV stand to the basement. The ukeleles are going to hang above the new board and batten as soon as I get around to it.)We haven’t done much else except take down the last beam, which was more like random crown molding anyway. I thought we might be able to leave it if I added built-in bookshelves along that wall. But of course I am undecided about that, so I figured it’d be best just to take it down. Just one more thing to patch up. Sigh.I hate taping and mudding. And sanding and painting. But the wait-until-the-mood-strikes approach isn’t working out too well, so it might be time to just get my butt in gear. Sigh. There are so many other projects I haven’t finished yet either. Do you know the perfect cure for unfinished project depression??? Starting a new project, of course!!! Who’s with me?
Here’s what’s been happening with the family room:
- Ladies Demo + Wine Night
- Family Room Can of Worms
- Family Room Gets Wired Up <<You are here
- Making Progress on the Family Room
- Design Choices for the Family Room
- Family Effort this Weekend
- The Built-in Bookshelf and Why It’s Not Finished
- Built-in Bookshelf Using IKEA BESTA
- Self-Leveling Concrete
- Tiling Herringbone Floor
- Grouting the Herringbone Floor
- New Step into Family Room
- Lego Coffee Table
- Under Couch Lego Storage