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New house, new room.

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:31 am
by ByteMixer
So I've been a little out of touch the past couple weeks. We closed on our house, so it's been a busy couple of weeks! Pre-move, actual move, cleaning the old place for final walkthrough, and unpacking. Oh, also building the new desk for the new upstairs "studio" room. It's a hefty 5ft x 3ft desk made of birch. This thing holds EVERYTHING! And on building, I realized how far my old 19-inch monitor sat away from me, so I bought a larger one, and gave the old monitor to my wife for her laptop docking station.

The new "studio" room is mostly set up. I can't hang the panels at the primary reflection points because I've got a closet door in the way on the left, and part of a window on the right. So I'll have to build a couple stands out of 2x4's for them. I only need to raise the panels about a foot, just need to go to a local hardware store and get them to cut some lumber for me.

I'm also talking with some general contractors about building/finishing a room in the basement that will act as a multi-purpose room. Gaming, entertainment, wet-bar, and band rehearsal space. I was hoping to go with a 17x21 ft. room, but it's looking like I'll have to scale it back to 16x20, which should still work fine. However, depending on the local township codes, it may or may not require an egress window. Kinda depends on how the room is used. If it's considered a living space, it needs egress. A recreation room would not need egress. But an eating area/bedroom/family room would need egress. And it's not cheap to cut a new egress into the foundation wall.

The house was built in 1969, so it has a few old house issues to take care of. First and foremost, we had a very heavy rain this evening, and on a hunch I decided to check the basement. Sure enough, we had a little bit of water intrusion. Not a lot, but enough for there to be a couple good sized puddles. I found 2 spots on the foundation wall next to the driveway that were weeping water. Rest of the wall and rest of the basement were bone dry. One intrusion point was about 6-inches to 1ft. below grade in a corner near the clothes dryer, and the other one was a good few feet below grade, under the basement stairs. I'm pretty sure that particular spot is below a hole in the driveway that needs patching. The other one, I think the water just overwhelmed the downspout and pooled along the back side of the side entrance steps.

Hoping it will be a simple fix, but I'm not willing to DIY it, and want it done properly, also because that the area around that wall was drilled to treat for termites by the seller around mid-July. So I contacted a reputable local waterproofing business to come out and do a free inspection, and see what we can do to remedy the issue. Need to nip this problem in the bud! Sadly, it may cut into my available funds for the basement room design, and I may have to put that off until next year. But maybe not. We shall see!

In any case, here's a shot of the new "studio" room upstairs. The acoustic measurement wasn't too horrible. I just need to get the panels up off the floor, and track down a deep null at 125 Hz. The low end does ring a little bit after dropping about 30 dB SPL in the first 300ms. I suspect it's the closet. Packing the closet with more clothes and stuff should help control its resonance. I also need to sort out some clutter and the clump of tables to the right.
GDVP8112[1].JPG (1.84 MiB) Viewed 3694 times
I'm confident I can get this close to the old room (basically +/- 5 or 6 dB SPL @ 85 dB SPL volume, and I usually listen at quieter volumes closer to 60 or 70 dB SPL.) The ray tracing tool for reflection points on the Amroc website is pretty helpful for finding those problem spots beyond primary reflection points!

Re: New house, new room.

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:08 am
by King of Worms
Sounds like a good times actually .)
Congrats on successful moving!
I like the studio shot man, nice place :)

Re: New house, new room.

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:14 pm
by Jay_H
Ah, what an awesome window view. Great setup.

Re: New house, new room.

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:18 am
by ByteMixer
Thanks! It's a pretty decent back yard, and a decent neighborhood, quite a bit of flora around, including some spearmint and hydrangeas around the shed in the back. Eventually we want to replace the grass lawn with a thyme ground cover like elfin or creeping thyme :) We also want to put in a patio with a greenhouse attached so we can grow a little more than herbs. I'd like to restart my jalapeno plant, and maybe grow a couple other small produce in the greenhouse. Maybe some bell peppers and onions. But that idea can wait a bit.

The living room is pretty long, so we used the futon to kind of split it up into a family room and a social room (which is where the Baldwin upright piano I'm inheriting will go) I need to get my parents to mail me my trumpet, too. I'd like to start taking that up again since it's been a good number of years since I laste played trumpet. Thankfully I still have all my exercise books, so it shouldn't take too horribly long to get my chops back.

Re: New house, new room.

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:42 am
by Jigakian
This is very cool, you are a great fellow, congratulations to you.

Re: New house, new room.

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:53 am
by ByteMixer
Oh, FWIW, I found what was causing the that narrow band null around 125Hz. It's the door. Unlike a lot of houses, this room actually has a solid wood door. Not hollow core. So, closing the door causes the resonances/reflections from that corner to basically interfere with what's happening at the listening position.

With the door open, the null is gone, and the frequency range is fairly smooth. And really, there's no REAL reason to leave the door closed or anything, haha! Alternatively I can just get a hook and hang an extra panel on the back of the door, or build a stand to make it movable.

After a torrential downpour last month, we found a small pinhole leak under the basement stairs, and a faster puddle-forming leak at the top of the sill, coming through the bottom of the sill plate at the back of the laundry area. We had the waterproofer out to look at it, and he agreed with me, I found some gaps in the mortar and a spot between the siding and brick wall on the exterior that could be where the water is intruding. I don't think those gaps were expansion joints either. (I need to spray the area down with a hose some weekend and see if that's where the water is actually getting in at) So we'll have them do polyurethane crack injections/sealant, install ports, and seal them, and also to be safe, have them seal up the edge of the driveway against the basement wall with either epoxy or polyurethane. Thankfully, we probably won't need a french drain. Seems the other side of the basement does have an interior french drain along that one short wall where the furnace and water heater are located.

I'm doing some of my own basic repairs. Replacing the grout at the bottom joint of the shower stall with silicone caulk. Have to remove ALL the old grout before caulking, and that's not for the faint of heart. Thankfully, it's just the bottom joints. If it was much worse, I'd consider just getting someone to retile the thing. (seriously, WHY did they grout the bottom joints? It's a change in plane AND material. You need flexibility in those places!!!!!) I also got a steel tamper and some aquaphalt 6.0 to fill in the big pothole int he driveway right up against the basement wall, and a couple other small spots. That went pretty smoothly! Still need to get something to fill in the little "alligator" cracks at the front of the driveway though.

BTW: We got a 9-Gallon DeWalt shop vac with the high efficiency filter bag and cartridge filter to vacuum up the grout dust and debris. Also for other tasks and if we end up with a large puddle again before the basement waterproofing is done. I've used other shop vacs in the past and this thing is GREAT! Not that noisy either! Less than 80dB SPL. Every other shop vac I used is like a damn jet engine!

Re: New house, new room.

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:49 am
by King of Worms
Must be fun to work on your own house. Enjoy, good luck :)

Re: New house, new room.

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:05 pm
by ByteMixer
Well, if fun is used very liberally, yes. I just snapped the tip of the grout bit I was using, so I called a local grout service to get an estimated for replacing the bottom joint with caulk.

FWIW, we decided to put the basement room project on hold until next spring when we have more funds available. I figure rather than trying to cut out things to be done, or buying the super-cheap ceiling panels and replacing with the ones I want later, postponing flooring, etc. It's better to wait to have enough to get it all done right. By next spring we'll have enough to both do the basement and install a patio with a greenhouse kit, so I figure we'll do it all in one go.

Greenhouse should be fun. I'd like a little of the produce we regularly use. (bell peppers, yellow and red onions, etc.) I'll get one of those deep wood troughs to fill with soil and plant some of those things. Plus my jalapeno plant will be in a location to get more of the sun it needs. Of course, I'll keep growing my herbs. I've got some mini-basil, thai basil, curly dwarf and mammoth parsley, rosemary, thyme, and i might try growing cilantro again.

Re: New house, new room.

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:57 am
by Dalebvr
One step at a time can be cheaper and easier, no two ways. I've been doing the 'The house is paid off, I'm retired, now I can do something about the contractor grade stuff'. Andersen will be out this coming week to replace the windows, which should save us some in cooling and heating. I'm about 70% done upgrading the electrical; all LED lighting (which dropped the power bill by 20+ a month), all the switches (tip: check these if you buy a house; 3 out of 5 had split bodies and exposed, energized metal. Nice fire hazard). The outlets are being a pain due to having to move the computer equipment and bookcases to change them all out. Getting ready to tackle the bathrooms next (which will be slow going until I get a feel for all the tricks). But getting a project done can give you a buzz for the next one, at least.

Re: New house, new room.

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:27 am
by ByteMixer
Agreed. I just try to be proactive about some things. Other things can wait without having any major impact or issues. There are some handyman-type things I'm willing to do, or at least give it a good solid attempt and then calling someone before getting in too far over my head. Others, like heights, are something I won't do. ;)