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  1. #1
    StrangeTanks's Avatar
    StrangeTanks is offline Senior Member
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    Default Home wish list....

    So I'm renovating a house for myself, its currently gutted down to the brick and framing will be happening soon.

    I feel like this is a pretty unique opportunity to get everything in the walls that I can think of before the drywall goes in. Even if I never get around to installing everything the infrastructure is there.

    Right now, planning on a dual system, radiant heat floors throughout with some ac ducts coming down from the 3rd floor. I want to put in cat5 cable, tv cable and speaker cables to all the rooms. Laundry chute from the 3rd floor to the second floor laundry room. Also thinking of roughing in extra plumbing and wiring from the roof to the basement in case I ever want to try out solar stuff.

    Not saying I will do EVERYTHING on my wish list, but I would at least love to be thinking ahead to the possibilities. This is also going to be a fairly slow, renovation. Doing most of the work myself and not in a huge hurry. Just want yo try to get it right the first time.

    Totally open to any suggestions folks around here might have...and interested to hear your ideas.

  2. #2
    Malloy's Avatar
    Malloy is offline Administrator
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    Radiant floors - 100%.
    Like PS on Facebook!

  3. #3
    Jayfar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeTanks View Post
    I want to put in cat5 cable, tv cable and speaker cables to all the rooms.
    Consider Cat 5e (for Gige) or even Cat 6 (for future 10 Gige), solid, not stranded. Also, check building code to see whether it needs to be plenum-rated (flame-retardent, low smoke).

    What Is The Difference Between Cat 5, Cat 5e, and Cat 6 Cable?
    “Guys like you I would dispatch with my roofing axe.” -- BootsywannabeACretin

  4. #4
    StrangeTanks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayfar View Post
    Consider Cat 5e (for Gige) or even Cat 6 (for future 10 Gige), solid, not stranded. Also, check building code to see whether it needs to be plenum-rated (flame-retardent, low smoke).

    What Is The Difference Between Cat 5, Cat 5e, and Cat 6 Cable?
    ok, cat6 actually sounds like a good idea. I dunno about the whole plenum rated thing...I'll see what the electrical supply house has.

    Before this turns into a giant this or that thread, I'm more interested in the fun aspect of this process and will deal with the practical junk later. For example...I'm really trying to figure out where I can sneak in the secret room behind the book case kind of thing. Unfortunately, all I can imagine the secret room turning into at this point is the secret place to put all the crap I don't wanna look at every day room. Now if the secret room contained my secret annoying neighbor survielance system room....hmmm....

  5. #5
    Jayfar's Avatar
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    Don't bother with the plenum-rated stuff unless the code requires it. It costs substantially more.
    “Guys like you I would dispatch with my roofing axe.” -- BootsywannabeACretin

  6. #6
    jettore is offline Senior Member
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    To try and help future proof in places where you think TV and electronics will go, run pvc piping to wherever your central wiring point will be. This will allow you to easily pull new cable when standards change or you need additional lines. You may want to do the same from the roof to the basement also instead of putting any cabling now.

    Figure out where you might want wireless access points and possible cameras so cabling/power can be run.

    If you are thinking of having speakers in every room then you might want a whole house sound system so see what some of the requirements are for cabling. These systems are reasonable if you are looking.
    HTD Whole House Multi-Room Audio Systems

    If you think you need one cat5/6 cable, run 2. You can extend HDMI signals over 2. You can also use them for IR signals if you want to use remotes around the house or if you want to keep your electronics in a remote central location. If you want to centralize audio/video gear then HDMI cables would be useful. Check out monoprice.com for reasonably priced cable, Etc.

    If you can't tell, these are all things I should have done in my house. I did do heated floors in my master bath and they are awesome. Worth every penny.

    For bathrooms I recommend the Schluter products for waterproofing. Very nice stuff. I used their shower system for the master and then their Kerdi membrane for all tiled walls in showers/tubs. They sell it at Avalon tile. If I was doing my master bath again I think I would have put in a steam shower.
    Schluter Systems - Homepage - Schluter-Systems

    Laundry shute sounds like a good idea too.

  7. #7
    jettore is offline Senior Member
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    If you cook a lot a pot filler behind the stove is a nice addition.

    Maybe a central vac system. Damn now I want one of those, I hate carrying the stupid vac up and down the steps.

    Are you planning on a spa tub? If so you may want a power line for an inline heater.\

    Edit:
    Alarm system? You'll need alarm panel, keypad, siren and sensors unless all wireless. Then probably just need power for keypad.
    Last edited by jettore; 11-14-2012 at 09:39 PM.

  8. #8
    enyo is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeTanks View Post
    So I'm renovating a house for myself, its currently gutted down to the brick and framing will be happening soon.

    I feel like this is a pretty unique opportunity to get everything in the walls that I can think of before the drywall goes in. Even if I never get around to installing everything the infrastructure is there.

    Right now, planning on a dual system, radiant heat floors throughout with some ac ducts coming down from the 3rd floor. I want to put in cat5 cable, tv cable and speaker cables to all the rooms. Laundry chute from the 3rd floor to the second floor laundry room. Also thinking of roughing in extra plumbing and wiring from the roof to the basement in case I ever want to try out solar stuff.

    Not saying I will do EVERYTHING on my wish list, but I would at least love to be thinking ahead to the possibilities. This is also going to be a fairly slow, renovation. Doing most of the work myself and not in a huge hurry. Just want yo try to get it right the first time.

    Totally open to any suggestions folks around here might have...and interested to hear your ideas.
    Conduit with pull wires should buy you flexibility. Maybe some blank plates too. Now that Flat screens and wall mounting are the norm, you might want to go with clock outlets. Blocking out walls might make your life easier down the road. If you're ever worried about noisy neighbors you could put in high stc wall assembly up in the master bedroom. I don't know much about wireless signal amplifiers but that might be worth looking into as well. Dimmable lighting is always nice. Also, with electric maybe do less outlets per circuit... just a thought.

    If it was me, I'd run out to utrecht and buy some onion skin paper and actually survey the space and start playing with layouts. Don't skimp too much on hall widths or anything that might limit furniture sizes.
    "Believing is seeing" - paraphrased from PH

  9. #9
    enyo is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayfar View Post
    Don't bother with the plenum-rated stuff unless the code requires it. It costs substantially more.
    I believe this is only required where the plenum functions as part of the air distribution system.
    "Believing is seeing" - paraphrased from PH

  10. #10
    Eastcoast is offline Senior Member
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    -Central Vac
    -Kick plate activated kitchen sink faucet
    -Doorways as wide as you can make them
    -Cat 6 everywhere
    -Receptacles everywhere
    -Floor receptacles in living area
    -Recessed lighting absolutely everywhere
    -Lights in closets
    -All overhead lighting boxes should be reinforced to someday accept ceiling fans
    -1000's of digital photos showing what's in the walls/floors/ceilings before you drywall
    -Water out front, backyard and roof if a deck is someday possible
    -Electric up top if deck is someday possible

    You said wish list.

    -Transoms over the bedroom doors.

  11. #11
    jettore is offline Senior Member
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    To add to something Eastcoast listed, roof desk planning as well as access is very important at his stage if you ever plan on one. If so I would also consider having a gas line run to the roof with the electric and water.

  12. #12
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    Stack closets on each floor that can turn into an elevator shaft when you are old and decrepit. Or maybe hire one of those building designer guys - what do you call them? Archy-somethings.

  13. #13
    StrangeTanks's Avatar
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    Wow!!...Awesome ideas!

    I'm convinced I want the whole house audio thing now. I probably won't install the system right away, but it would be great to have everything in place.

    Did suggest central vac, but my wife poo poo'ed the idea. I hadn't planned on having a roof deck, but that's today, 5 years from now I might want one and it would cost me about nothing stub out water and electric up there. I might have to draw the line at planning for an elevator though, the floor plan just really doesn't work for stacked closets.

    I was lucky enough to trade custom lighting fixtures for architectural drawings. So, according to my plans so far, the house will be a 4 bed room house. The rear wall and a portion of the 2 side walls in one of the bedrooms in the rear of the house are wood framed walls currently. I wanted to take out these walls and replace them with glass to create a sunroom, which I suppose would turn it into a 3 bedroom house.

    What do you guys think of that?

  14. #14
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    my aunt had a large sun room added on to her kitchen and we spend all of our time there when we visit. it is very nice...but gets cold.

    do you have a porch area that be enclosed into a sunroom type as an alternative? 4 bedrooms is nice if you have or are planning to have kids.

    please post pics as the project unfolds.

    i am very envious of the radiant floor heat.

  15. #15
    cjPhilly is offline Member
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    Having just gone through this whole process, I can share some of things I'm glad we did and others I wish we did.

    First, definitely go with the CAT6 cable. The cable is the cheap part, so it's worth the extra future-proofing. Don't forget, though, that the terminations are the costly part (and time-consuming if you do it yourself). I'd recommend buying the stuff on-line though, it's dramatically less expensive if you buy it in bulk.

    Skylights, especially over stair wells, and ideally electric operable ones to provide extra ventilation. They can be costly when you factor in proper installation, but so so worth it, especially in a rowhouse.

    Depending on your layout and whether you have operable skylights on the third floor, I'd consider a whole house fan. Even with plenty of windows, it can be hard to get complete air movement through-out the house on the days when you don't want to run the AC, and a whole house fan on top of the stairwell would pull all that stale air out through the top of the house.

    Love the pot filler! Kinda wishing we had done a central vac.

    Put lighting everywhere. You can always dim it or not turn it on or put in a smaller fixture, but it's very had to add more later. I have a couple spots where I wish we had put in an extra recessed light or ceiling fixture.

    Also, as mentioned above, plan now for a roof deck if it's even a possibility in the future. Besides structure, there's a lot to consider including roofing, placement of plumbing and roof vents, roof deck access/doors. Consider putting in some switched exterior outlets that are controlled by a light switch inside for possible low voltage lighting, etc.

    Also, pick out your trim and casings now and then be sure to leave adequate room when placing doors and windows. We ended up choosing a trim profile a little wider than what the architect has spec'ed and now we have some "interesting" areas where that extra inch or so made all the difference.

  16. #16
    OldMama is offline Senior Member
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    I have a tiny row that was rehabbed from a shell by the previous owner. Some things I love about the house are the pot filler, the 3 rd floor skylight, the high hats with dimmer switches, and the high end ceiling lights/fans. The money spent on making the little yard/ courtyard look great helped sell me the house. I also like that the rehab respects the character of the house. The inside complements the outside. My major complaint was that a non- cook clearly designed the tiny kitchen. There is not a single cabinet large enough for a stock pot or a large frying pan. Luckily, I had a beautiful corner cabinet from an estate sale that I was able to put in the living room next to the kitchen. I put the dishes in the top and the pots and pans in the bottom. It was inconvenient at first but it gives me an enormous amount of storage. And I didn't have to sell the cabinet which made me happy.

  17. #17
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    Love the idea of the whole house fan!!! I probably won't be putting in any skylights to start with, but maybe I should frame the ceiling on the 3rd floor in such a way to make it an easy addition later....hmmm.

    Definitely, going to be putting tons of thought into the kitchen, I spend a lot of time in there.

    Thanks for all the ideas everyone, I get a little depressed every time I go do some work there. Right now I'm getting windows in (so I don't freeze my butt off working this winter) and shoring up lots of structural defects. The ideas get my mojo going and help to keep going. I bought the house from a family of hoarders who owned it since the 50's, on one hand I'm glad its finally empty and ready to put new stuff into, on the other hand, its going to take a long time till I get to the fun custom stuff.

  18. #18
    jettore is offline Senior Member
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    Keep your head up and just keep working on it. It's going to feel like there's no end to the work for a long while. There will be points when you think you will never be finished but you will need to just keep moving forward and getting jobs completed. The funny part is 6 month after you are done you will look back and say "That wasn't that bad"

    cjPhilly, I'm gonna look into that whole house fan myself. I think it would be great getting the heat out of my top floor.

  19. #19
    OldMama is offline Senior Member
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    When we rehabbed our old house someone gave us good advice. Renovate the master bedroom first. After a hard day working on the rest of the house, it's good to be able to sleep in a clean, finished, serene space

  20. #20
    Eastcoast is offline Senior Member
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    On our full house reno I hit a funny stage where I didn't want to hang the drywall. The framing was done, doors and windows, electric run and live, plumbing was in, insulation done.

    Order had been created from chaos and I didn't want to hide it.

    Then I got over it, hung the drywall and we had a house to live in, which was pretty cool.

 

 

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