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I started early this morning to make sure i could get as many jobs done as i could. I started off before 8am by cutting the hedges, i use garden shears so i didnt make too much noise. After clearing up all of the leaves i moved onto cutting up all of the left over wood to fit into my log burner, i used the table saw for this as i could set the size i was cutting and then just push the wood through. When all the wood was cut i cleared out the log store and then restacked it with all the new wood. Once the garage was clear, i hovered it and mopped it to get rid of all the dirt that had built up. I finished off the day by mowing the front and back lawns.
I got Ethan and I an Xbox controller each, installed Steam and Launchbox on the Media PC to act as a frontend to all of my games. I have setup the Media PC to use the optical out into the amplifier and configured it to use DTS for 5.1 gaming. I tried it out with Portal 2 and it sounds great.
Rachel got Ethan and I some gifts for the Lego side of the loft, some storage boxes and 2 shelves.
Dad and I had a goal to get the loft complete today. I started off by giving the walls a 2nd coat of paint, while Dad started building the shelves and desk. I then moved over to wiring up and fitting the speakers, TV and subwoofer before moving onto getting power into the loft. We framed the feature wall, shelf area and amp rack with wood to tie it all together which turned out great. We then fitted the gripper rods, laid the underlay and finally fitted the carpet. The finishing touch was to put in the stools for the desk and the beanbag seats for the TV space. The loft turned out even better than i thought it was going to!
I had left the bottom of the walls and the bottom of the trusses when painting, so i masking taped off the wood and then with a brush painted all of the bare plaster and wood. While i had some paint left over i also gave another coat of paint to all of the trusses.
It was really warm out today and Joy had got Ethan a new paddling pool, so we went over to see her and Ethan and I had fun in the paddling pool and with some water balloons.
Ethan helped me in the loft today painting all of the walls. He had his own paint tray, roller and brush and got to work. I had a big roller and got most of the walls and ceiling. After getting the walls painted, i decided to paint all of the trusses, as being wood they stood out to much and i wanted them to blend in with the walls and not be a feature.
With the weather being so lovely, we decided to go to the park, so Ethan and I went on our bikes and Rachel walked. We went over the fields to Cosby. We had great fun on the park and it was quite quiet considering how nice it was outside. It was nice getting back out on the bike and lovely to be out in the nice weather.
Initially we were going to just paint the plasterboards, but after fitting them and seeing the potential to how good the room could be if done properly, we decided to plaster the room. We mixed a bag of plaster at a time, got it onto the walls and then troweled it up, the 1st bag was ok, but as the room started to heat up and the sections we were plastering were getting more complicated the plaster went off quicker which made it really had to trowel up. When we got to the cupboard the plaster was going off as we were putting it on, so we had to get it as smooth as we could. It turned out quite well considering we are not plasters, this is only the 2nd time i have done plastering.
Ethans class was asked to dress up as Knights and Princesses, Ethan wanted to be a Minecraft knight, so Rachel and I made him a sword, shield, chestplate and also a cape. He looked great and was really excited to be wearing it.
During lunch and after work i went into the loft added all of the anglebead to the corners and laid scrim over each joint, to bridge gaps and help the plaster would adhere.
Dad and I plasterboarded the loft today. It started with having to fold all of the 8x4 plasterboards in half, carrying them from the drive up the stairs and lifting them into the loft. I then started on the walls and Dad started on the ceiling. We had to build a stud wall next to the loft hatch which would have the light switch in it and also separate the space into 2.
I needed a loft ladder so we could get into the loft easily, but i didnt want a cold metal one as they can be quite painful on the feet and also i dont like how they protrude into the loft. I decided to go for a 3 section wooden ladder that is contained within the hatch itself. We had to make the opening a lot longer, but after that fitting was quite easy. After cutting the bottom of the ladder off we got it to the right angle to make walking up easy.
After a few weeks of waiting the 28 plasterboards finally arrived. I have covered them over to make sure they dont get wet until the weekend when i can fit them.
I wired in all of the downlighters today. They were really easy to do, you had to strip a bit of the cable sleeve and then push the cable into a connector block which locks it in place. The actual light can be removed when we board the ceiling and then connected again when we have cut the hole out.
As i am going to be using the old Media PC in the loft to watch films and play on games, i thought i had better update the hardware. I got a AMD Ryzen 5, 6 core, 12 thread CPU on a ROG Strix B450-F motherboard, a Samsung 970 Evo NVME drive, 16GB Corsair Vengeance RAM and a new fully modular EVGA power supply. I needed a keyboard so i got a Microsoft all in one wireless keyboard. I have reused the graphics cards i had and the modular cabling helped keeping the case clean inside. I installed Windows 10 and found a version of the iMon software to get the front screen working.
I got some new parts for my server as i have nearly ran out of disk space and also to get Plex working better. I have a 1Tb Samsung 870 Evo as the Plex metadata and DB drive, then 4 x Western Digital 12Tb WD Gold drives, which I am combining with a Highpoint hardware RAID card in RAID 5, which should leave me with 36Tb of useable storage. I also got an extra 8Gb of RAM and a hotswap drive bay for the 4 drives. I also got replacement fans for all of the ones in the case to increase airflow.
Before we board the loft i wanted to make sure the network cables that were in the loft were working so i wired up the AP, enabled POE on the port and then adopted the AP. I then did the same with the switch. Now the TV, PC and anything else i need have gigabit LAN.
I wired up all of the plugs into a ring, ready to get it connected into the upstairs ring main. I ran all of the speaker, optical, network, HDMI and aerial cables from the AV rack to where they needed to go and then wired them up to the AV amplifier.
Rachel got Ethan a rainbow lab science kit, which has lots of experiments with coloured dyes and crystals. He had lots of fun playing with the coloured water, mixing the primary colours to see what colours he could make and then he added some crystals which absorbed the colours.
To fit the subwoofer box and the AV rack, i had to raise the floor up to the same level as the room as they were designed to fit flush with the wood trim, once that was dine the boxes were securely fixed into place and the insulation cut round them. The 2 access panels were also fitted and finally the TV mount was fixed to the feature wall.
I needed a way to get into the outer parts of the loft where everything is going to be stored, but also didnt want the draft to get through. After lots of thinking and planning, ended up building a removeable panel inside a frame which is going to be covered in insulation at the back. The hole which acts as a handle is covered with a Fire Door sign which stops the draft.
I wanted some nice small speakers for the loft, but still wanted them to sound good. I looked at buying new but didnt want to pay too much given it was going in the loft. I found a nice set of Boston Acoustics Soundware XS 5.1 speakers on eBay and after testing them I am really pleased with how they sound and they are nice and small.
I got a new Unifi Wifi 6 AP as well as a Unifi G3 Instant Camera for the garage. I ran a CAT6 cable behind the wall from the network switch into the loft and then drilled a hole where i wanted to mount the AP. It was easy to adopt once i had enabled POE on the port. I already had a USB extension cable going into the loft, so i just connected the camera to that and mounted it to the ceiling and the Unifi Protect software detected it and then it was easy to adopt. The quality is really good and i like the 2 way talking feature.
I am going to be using my old AV amplifier and Media PC in the loft to provide music and entertainment. I needed to house all of the equipment so i built an AV rack out of the left over wood and made some nice think shelves out of 2x8 for the amp and pc to sit on. I also built a box for the subwoofer which i plan to buy. Once i built them i realised that the AV rack is too heavy to lift, so i had to take it apart to get it into the loft.
It will be Joys birthday tomorrow, so we went out for a walk with her and then had her over for pizza and birthday cake.
I got a delivery of new carpet today, enough to do the room in a nice light grey colour, the new loft ladder arrived as well which when fitted comes with a new hatch and will increase the size of the opening.
There was a gap around the edge of the room where the boards ended but the walls hadnt started yet, I decided to run boards of 6x2 around the outside to cover the gap, but also act as a skirting board which the carpet can go up to. I then used all of the spare wood i had, 4x3 and 7x2 to create a feature wall, alternating between the smaller and larger wood. Standing back looking at the wall and the perimeter it really looks great, better than i had thought it would.
I have spent most of my lunch breaks in the loft making slow progress on insulating the 2 ends. I framed and then insulated the feature wall, then because i am going to be adding lots of planks to the wall, i wanted more places to fix them, i decided that i would batten the wall with a center to center of 300mm, once this was done i insulated in between the battens. For the shelf end i built a similar framework and insulated the wall, there was some gaps and beams running through, so i used fire proof foam fill to close all of the gaps.
Rachel and I have been married 7 years today. She got me some new Superdry t-shirts and i got her a frame containing memories from our first dance.