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Basement stage 2 under way! Pics added

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, January 6, 2020 10:45 PM

Hi Randy,

Sounds like you hired some decent contractors. I hope it continues to go well.

Dave

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Posted by Motley on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 2:09 AM

Pics or it didn't happen. LOL nice to hear you are getting closer to your new layout.

Michael


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Posted by selector on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 2:16 AM

I can feel the excitementStick out tongue

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 7:02 AM

Like Mike said, pics or shens!

Of course once you get the space finished, at least if you work full time and have type A wife, you'll be biting at the bit to work on the layout and often find time is still hard to come by!  I guess I can't complain too much, I started benchwork last month and have 7 sections assembled and most of them up that form the core staging sectoin and a bit beyond; a total of about 50 linear feet.

The red areas represent benchwork assembled and mostly up - seven major sections.  Homasote is down and painted on most of it and leveled.

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 7:59 AM

 Well, the walls have to be painted (she said she'd help - and I am holding her to it, she's the one said we can do it all in a weekend, so I left that option off the contract with the builders). ANd paint the stairs, and install new handrails. The painting will hold up completion - it has to be painted before they can install the drop ceiling and new overhead lights. 

                      --Randy

 


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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 8:36 AM

rrinker

 Well, the walls have to be painted (she said she'd help - and I am holding her to it, she's the one said we can do it all in a weekend, so I left that option off the contract with the builders). ANd paint the stairs, and install new handrails. The painting will hold up completion - it has to be painted before they can install the drop ceiling and new overhead lights.                     

She?   Laugh

Your wife?   LaughLaugh

Your hobby?   LaughLaughLaugh

The basement?   LaughLaughLaughLaugh

Randy, you better call the contractor back.  Sigh

Rich

 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 11:13 AM

rrinker

 Well, the walls have to be painted (she said she'd help - and I am holding her to it, she's the one said we can do it all in a weekend, so I left that option off the contract with the builders). ANd paint the stairs, and install new handrails. The painting will hold up completion - it has to be painted before they can install the drop ceiling and new overhead lights. 

                      --Randy

If you mean she, as in your wife, always a bonus is she helps.  Once we got some  major stuff done on the first floor my wife told me she promised to help with the basement finishing and help she did.  She helped with the drywall hanging, painting after it was taped, mudded and sanded.  Then she did all the tiling in the basement bathroom shower and floor, and then did most of the floor prep and installation.  Bless her.

I would have loved to finish the basement fast in a matter of days or a few weeks but I didn't want to cut into our savings so my wife and I did most of it ourselves, paying as we went - so even though it took almost a year, we paid for it mostly out of monthly income.  On the plus side, we will have increased value of the home - sweat equity. 

Installed the drop ceiling myself which I found was actually much easier than I imagined.

What are you using for lights?  I ordered 16 LED 2x2' 4k temp flat panel lights from greenledzone.com at about $33 each and installed a dimmer with them.  I really like them and the color temp seems better than the 5k LED's I used over my last layout.

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 11:42 AM

 I'm using some sort of 4K LEDs, a mix of 2x4 adn 2x2 panels depending on where. No dimmers, these are strictly for use while walking around and building the layout. The most used entrance to the house is still via the basement, from the garage. There's also a front exterior door. That and the bathroom are getting the vinyl planked flooring, and one circuit of lights, with 3 places of control - at each door plus at the bottom of the stairs. The whole rest of the basement will have LED fixtures in the drop ceiling controlled by another switch at the bottom of the stairs. ANd then 2 switches with pilot lights to control all the outlets - and I still have one more switch for the stairwell light. Not sure how I'm goign to do 5. I guess a 4 gang box plus a single.

The layout will have integrated LED strips for lighting - THOSE will have dimmers, actually DMX drivers so I can dim the white, play with the RGB string to do simulated sunrise and sunset, and bring up the blue for night.

 DMX drivers are pretty cheap, and otherwise it's a very simple and robust protocol (if it's good enough for shows...) and otherwise pretty simple to automate. ANd I can't build ALL the electronics, I'd never get to the layout.

                           --Randy


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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 1:53 PM

So far I'm liking the 4K temp over the 5k.  Interestingly, I painted my Homasote a light brown color just to coat it and give a base color.  It was light brown mistake paint from Home Depot and it look light brown there.  But after I painted the Homasote, it had a greenish cast to it.  I could only guess it was 5K lights influenced the color hue.

Now as I have used the same paint and the sections are under 4K lights, they look more like light brown paint.  

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Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 5:00 PM

rrinker
Well, the walls have to be painted (she said she'd help

My wife did that once.  I got her a scrub suit to wear so she wouldn't ruin any clothes.  After we were done, she couldn't throw that suit away fast enough.  Now "I don't have anything to wear" Big Smile

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 5:40 PM

 Some pics

Day 1:

Day 2. You can see the footer for the wall that will enclose the yard and town on the left and the branch on the right.

 

   --Randy

 


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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 6:37 PM

Very nice!

- Douglas

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 8:40 PM

Nice. Yes Now I see what your doing, stud wall after insulation.  

Mike.

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 9:28 PM

Gee, where'd you get all that insulation? Stick out tongue

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 9:53 PM

 I think they picked it up out a side door at Home Depot Big Smile

                             --Randy


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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, January 9, 2020 12:39 AM

Lookin' good!

Dave

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, January 9, 2020 6:34 AM

Woo.  You'll be done at light speed compared to my finishing!

The best thing is the layout room will be a nice environment for the layout - no ugly unfinished room to mar the photos of the layout!  Wink

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 9, 2020 8:02 AM

 In the bottom picture, from over at the top left where the room disappears into the corner, is where the front door is. From there over past the visible door (to the garage) and then straight down towards the viewer, where the air compressor and hose are, is the part that will get the vinyl planking.

 They are also putting horizonatal spacers between the studs to keep them aligned. Plus there's still all the electric to run before the drywall goes up. I posted a mention of this in the adhesives thread, but in reviewing where I wanted the outlets to go with the contractor, I hit on the idea of putting half up top and half int he usual location - so power supplies for the top deck lighting and so forth can just sit up on top of the valance. Since I really have no way to run wires up from under the bottom deck all the way to the top, but I will be able to run wires from above the top valance down to the top deck. And of course up from the traditional outlet location to the bottom deck.

 ANd that neatly divides the two switched circuits as well, upper outlets and lower outlets.

                                               --Randy

 


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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, January 9, 2020 8:27 AM

Installing outlets at this point costs very little.  The more in a utilitarian space, or train room, the better, IMO.

BTW, see how nice floor to ceiling sky blue walls look, Smile

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Posted by mrrdad on Thursday, January 9, 2020 9:14 AM

Doughless

The more in a utilitarian space, or train room, the better, IMO.

 

 

Normally I would agree. In our son's small 11'x12' bedroom, there are 9 outlets. Two weekends ago I replaced every outlet and cover plate in that room. At one point I remember saying " how many dang outlets did they need in here?!"

Anyway,

It's fun following along on build projects like this. I often pick up an idea or two.

Thanks for sharing.

 

Ed

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Posted by carl425 on Thursday, January 9, 2020 10:19 AM

You, Jim and Mark are making me wish I'd moved to a town that had basements.  When I came to Richmond, I asked the realtor to find a place with a basement and I was told only 10% of the houses here had basements and only 10% of them were dry.

Since '86 I've built 2 HO layouts in what the builder thought would be the dining room and 1 in a spare bedroom (after the kids moved out). Now I'm hoping my move to N-scale in the bedroom will solve my space deficiency.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, January 9, 2020 10:35 AM

Doughless

Installing outlets at this point costs very little.  The more in a utilitarian space, or train room, the better, IMO.

BTW, see how nice floor to ceiling sky blue walls look, Smile 

It's true.  Look at a lot of train rooms and you'll see floor to ceiling sky blue.  In the few cases where the blue goes up 2 or so feet above the layout and above that the color is a shade of cream, it's jarring in photo's.  Thumbs Down

As for outlets, I think where I live, they have to be no more that 12 linear feet apart but I put them more like 8 feet apart or maybe less.  I was surprised that so few breakers run the upstairs.  I went a bit overboard and have two separate 15 amp circuits for the back wall in the train room, and a 3rd circuit for the room with the walkout doors.  A fourth circuit (20 amp) for the bathoom outlets.  The ceiling lights are on their own too.

One of the outlets on the train room back wall was wired with 4 sockets, the rest are all standard 2 socket outlets.  

I don't anticipate needing more than four 5 amp DCC boosters, but need to do my homework on that. 

 

carl425

You, Jim and Mark are making me wish I'd moved to a town that had basements.  When I came to Richmond, I asked the realtor to find a place with a basement and I was told only 10% of the houses here had basements and only 10% of them were dry.

Since '86 I've built 2 HO layouts in what the builder thought would be the dining room and 1 in a spare bedroom (after the kids moved out). Now I'm hoping my move to N-scale in the bedroom will solve my space deficiency. 

I thought the midwest and east coast was common with basements.  In northern Virginia west of DC, basements seemed pretty common when my wife and I were house hunting in 2017.  But cost of living and houses are probably considerably higher than Richmond I'd guess.  Thus the problem for us was finding a home in our price range with a good sized basement suitable for a decent sized HO layout.  Many finished basements were broken up into rooms and I needed an open basement.  And price range was limiting us too. 

We ended up compromising on a bankowned (foreclosure) home that was in good basic condition with an unfinished, but framed in basement.  It still required a lot of work - we had to install a Radon mitigation system and then finish it.   It ain't as big as I'd like but decent.

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 9, 2020 10:46 AM

 Most homes here have basements - it would be the other way around, maybe 10% are on slabs instead. You gotta put the footers down deep for freeze protection anyway, might as well dig it out and make it usable space. And with the ground around here, usually they are dry, but poor construction can make them very wet - usually no in-between.

 A basement was a given. A dry basement was a requirement. A BIG basement was a wish. Due to knee issues, a single story house was also a requirement, but for a given size house, that means a larger basement, so generally an all around win. Until you get to a place like mine where something like 25x26 (I think I measured the width as 25 when I got curious - I know front to back the interior is 26') of said basement is the garage. Yes, through that one door is another space that alone would be a halfway decent train space. There is unfortunately no way to add on a garage to my property, and parking outside is not an option - GF won;t go for it and really, neither will I. It's bad enough that with a lot of space occupied by the stuff moved out of the basement, I can't have my car and truck both in the garage like usual and the truck sits out. Scraping windows and cleaning snow off a car is something I haven't had to do since I moved there.

 I COULD pull a Tony Koester and wall off part of it, and there'd still be plenty of room for 2 cars plus 'stuff', but that's not a cheap job, plus the laundry is currently in the way so I would gain nothing. The next big project is modernizing the upstairs to get a proper master suite with a nice bathroom, and there will be enough leftover space to move the laundry up there, this it would be time th think about what I could do if I expanded into the garage - basically move the staging from my plan over to the left by about 30 feet is the simple option, but I could probably make better use of that space with a different approach to the staging. One can dream.... I think I would be happy to just extend things all the way to the left side of the laundry area once the equipment is upstairs. 

GF was worried that cutting the hosue from 4 to 3 bedrooms would hurt resale, but 3 bedrooms with one being a full master suite with a modern bathroom, plus the upstairs laundry, is a far more attractive proposition than 4 bedrooms which are all pretty much identical, and 2 dinky outdated bathrooms (the hall bathroom isn't that small, compared to the house I grew up in, it's HUGE, but still just standard tub and so forth. The bathroom off the 'master' bedroom just has a shower stall, cabinets, and toilet. No tub - and not even any electrical outlets!).

On the topic of basement renovations - another thing I had done is I had the clothes dryer vented to the outside - I have no idea why the original owners never did this, they had the dryer pipe go through the wall into the garage, and then directed it into a metal trash can to sort of capture the lint - ALWAYS had to close up the car windows or else the seats and dash got all lint covered. ANd it wasn;t safe to be in the garage with the door closed - it's a gas dryer. Plus the humidity just worked its way back into the basement. The sill above the block foundation is just high enough above the ground that a vent pipe could be run through there, so now the dryer exhausts all that damp hot air outdoors and not back into the house. Brushed all the lint off the gargae walls and now things stay clean.

 Tearing out the old basement uncovered some other things as well. I always figured the bathroom off the master wasn't always there. By the really wacky set of elbows in the water lines going to the sink up there - it obviously is a later addition. What it looked like originally, I have no idea. Maybe the hall bathroom was bigger and there was only one bathroom. I'm not sure the master bedroom even was originally a bedroom, but then I don't knwo why it would have a closet that's the same as the other bedrooms, which as far as I can tell is completely original. Guess I'm just curious, it's going to all get changed anyway.

                                              --Randy


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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, January 9, 2020 10:50 AM

2" foam, Randy?

I'm finishing my basement pretty much like you are, but I'm also adding flooring over a dimpled membrane to act as both vapor barrier and insulation. Should be a bit easier on the feet than concrete, as well.

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 9, 2020 10:52 AM

 SNuck that in while I was writing my book - on the subject of electric, I probably went way overboard. I have set it up for two 20 amp circuits for the basement outlets, plus the lights on another circuit (the overheads, not the layout lighting, that gets plugged in to the outlets). The old circuit for the basement outlets was a single 15 amp, the only thing that's going to be left on that one is the outlet for the washer/dryer and an outlet in the bathroom.

 I'm also installing some extra upstairs in the office/workshop room. Half the upstairs is all on one 15 amp circuit, and I already have 4 computers and a laser printer just in the one room. Since I had a subpanel installed int he finished side of the basement, it's easy to run wires up there, and I was putting in another pair of 20 amp circuits, one for my computers, and another for my electronic and hobby workbench - also probably way overkill.

                              --Randy

 


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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, January 9, 2020 11:14 AM

I wondered if I shouldn't have gone with 20 amp circuits for my left and right branches in the trainroom, but since the only things using those two circuits will be the layout, I hope it will be ok.  I'd think the main thing using those two circuits will be DCC boosters.  There are sockets on different circuits on the opposite wall that other things could use.

The 20 amp bathroom circuit has an extra 4 socket outlet run into the unfinished utility "shop" room where I have a work bench and plan for a paint booth eventually.

So my basment basically has 3 separate 15 amp wall outlet circuits (to the main rooms) and a 20 amp wall outlet circuit (bathroom) to the newly finished area, as well as other outlets on other circuits pre-dating the finishing.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, January 9, 2020 11:23 AM

riogrande5761
I wondered if I shouldn't have gone with 20 amp circuits

.

My electrician said the cost between 15 and 20 amp components is so minimal that it did not make sense to choose a 15 amp circuit for the layout, even if expected current draw is under 5 amps.

.

My train room will have 2 dedicated 20 amp circuits in addtion to the wiring tha is already there. One for the layout and one for the workbench.

.

-Kevin

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, January 9, 2020 11:25 AM

rrinker

 SNuck that in while I was writing my book - on the subject of electric, I probably went way overboard. I have set it up for two 20 amp circuits for the basement outlets, plus the lights on another circuit (the overheads, not the layout lighting, that gets plugged in to the outlets). The old circuit for the basement outlets was a single 15 amp, the only thing that's going to be left on that one is the outlet for the washer/dryer and an outlet in the bathroom.

 I'm also installing some extra upstairs in the office/workshop room. Half the upstairs is all on one 15 amp circuit, and I already have 4 computers and a laser printer just in the one room. Since I had a subpanel installed int he finished side of the basement, it's easy to run wires up there, and I was putting in another pair of 20 amp circuits, one for my computers, and another for my electronic and hobby workbench - also probably way overkill.

                              --Randy 

Randy, you did good. You can never have too many outlets or too many circuit breakers.

When we built our new home in 1999, the unfinished basement had one 15 amp circuit. I immediately added a second 15 amp circuit and divide the basement into the "East" portion and the " West" portion. My entire layout now runs off the East 15 amp circuit.

Our kitchen had separate 15 amp circuits for the stove and refrigerator and one more 15 amp circuit (controlling 4 duplex outlets) on the long counter wall below the cabinets. When we added a microwave above the stove, I converted the 15 amp stove circuit to a 20 amp stove/microwave circuit. Later, I added two more 20 amp circuits on the long counter wall so that a pair of duplex outlets shared each new 20 amp circuit. That ended the tripped circuit breaker scenario caused when the countertop oven and the pancake griddle were all plugged in.

Rich

 

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, January 9, 2020 12:00 PM

riogrande5761

 

 
Doughless

Installing outlets at this point costs very little.  The more in a utilitarian space, or train room, the better, IMO.

BTW, see how nice floor to ceiling sky blue walls look, Smile 

 

As for outlets, I think where I live, they have to be no more that 12 linear feet apart but I put them more like 8 feet apart or maybe less.  I was surprised that so few breakers run the upstairs.  I went a bit overboard and have two separate 15 amp circuits for the back wall in the train room, and a 3rd circuit for the room with the walkout doors.  A fourth circuit (20 amp) for the bathoom outlets.  The ceiling lights are on their own too.

 

I think the typical building code is for that 12 foot maximum between outlets in a finished wall.  There is also a distinction if its living space or non living space, for rooms like laundry rooms, walk in closets, and in my case, basement garages.

I could finish my garage and not put in more than one outlet if I wanted.  Not sure how the law can judge all basements to be living space.

An 8ft spread seems reasonable, maybe could go a little tighter.

I think there could be overkill too, if you had 27 outlets crammed into a space, builders might fear someone would use all 27 outlets at once with 54 appliances, thereby overloading the circuit. 

So there has to be some balance between spacing of the outlets and the number of outlets on a circuit just to keep things safe for when dimensia sets in.....

- Douglas

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 9, 2020 12:20 PM

 I have plenty of breaker slots, so it made snese to divide it all up - when I redid the kitchen, I took out an electric stve and a separate wall oven, so that was two double breakers for 240 that got removed. The gas range needs 120, so I ran 120 there, on a dedicated circuit. Where the wall oven was, I put in a shelf to hold a microwave, and changed that outlet to a 120, also on a dedicated breaker. 

 In the basement demo, I found out that the kitchen outlet circuit also feeds the lights for two of the sections of the basement - the two with the cans around the perimeter. It makes no sense, of all the palces they could have pulled power from - the other side has a total of three dual lamp flourescent fixtures on the entire circuit, they could have easily tapped off that without overloading anything. But nothing really is surprising me about this place any more.

                                        --Randy

 


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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, January 9, 2020 12:21 PM

I figured folks would come in and tell me should'a done 20 am circuits all the way around.  Too late, basement is finished.  But I know this forum is full of Tim Allens too so taking it all with a box car of salt.  I did the math and should be ok. 

Heck, there are only 4 two plug outlets on one of those 15 amp circuits and 3 two plug and one 4 plug outlets on the other 15 amp circuit.  If I could have done each of those as 20 amp, the electrician might have said really?  LOL.  The 3rd branch to the "wife-den" has 5 two plug outlets on it.  This is way way more conservative than the circuits to the upstairs! 

Then there is a 20 amp to the bathroom that only feeds the bathroom plug outlet, apparently to allow for power sucking blow dryers.  I ran a second outlet off of it to the utility room wall on the other side for the train work bench.

The finished basement has way more capacity than the main and upper levels in the house.

By my count, the train room has 10 separate outlets on 3 different circuits.  It appears I'll get by some how.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, January 9, 2020 12:23 PM

riogrande5761
I did the math and should be ok. 

.

I am sure you will, You should have plenty of current capacity.

.

-Kevin

.

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, January 9, 2020 12:31 PM

riogrande5761

I figured folks would come in and tell me should'a done 20 am circuits all the way around.  Too late, basement is finished.  But I know this forum is full of Tim Allens too so taking it all with a box car of salt.  I did the math and should be ok. 

Heck, there are only 4 two plug outlets on one of those 15 amp circuits and 3 two plug and one 4 plug outlets on the other 15 amp circuit.  If I could have done each of those as 20 amp, the electrician might have said really?  LOL.  The 3rd branch to the "wife-den" has 5 two plug outlets on it.  This is way way more conservative than the circuits to the upstairs! 

Then there is a 20 amp to the bathroom that only feeds the bathroom plug outlet, apparently to allow for power sucking blow dryers.  I ran a second outlet off of it to the utility room wall on the other side for the train work bench.

The finished basement has way more capacity than the main and upper levels in the house.

By my count, the train room has 10 separate outlets on 3 different circuits.  It appears I'll get by some how.

 

I feel like you're upset and some of that is directed at me since mine was the last comment.  I was simply explaining what I have learned about the number of outlets relative to circuit capacity, and while its convenient to have a lot of outlets, it also it matters to not overload circuits with a bunch of outlets for convenience.  I certainly didn't suggest you should have done anything differently.  No worries, hopefully. 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 1:26 PM

riogrande5761

I figured folks would come in and tell me should'a done 20 am circuits all the way around.  Too late, basement is finished.  But I know this forum is full of Tim Allens too so taking it all with a box car of salt.  I did the math and should be ok. 

Heck, there are only 4 two plug outlets on one of those 15 amp circuits and 3 two plug and one 4 plug outlets on the other 15 amp circuit.  If I could have done each of those as 20 amp, the electrician might have said really?  LOL.  The 3rd branch to the "wife-den" has 5 two plug outlets on it.  This is way way more conservative than the circuits to the upstairs! 

Then there is a 20 amp to the bathroom that only feeds the bathroom plug outlet, apparently to allow for power sucking blow dryers.  I ran a second outlet off of it to the utility room wall on the other side for the train work bench.

The finished basement has way more capacity than the main and upper levels in the house.

By my count, the train room has 10 separate outlets on 3 different circuits.  It appears I'll get by some how.

 

Yes that is more than adequate.

Receptacle requirements in the code are based on square footage and special useage. A 15 amp circuit can handle the general receptacle needs of 600 sq ft, a 20 amp circuit handles 750 sq ft.

It does not matter how many outlets are on the circuit.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, January 9, 2020 2:43 PM

My point was not that the number of outlets causes amperage draw.  It's that the number of outlets provides opportunities to plug in more things that the circuit could handle, even though each outlet can handle what has been plugged into it. 

Too many outlets in a given square footage, on one circuit, can be a hazard because the next person who buys the house doesn't know all of those outlets are wired into only one circuit.  Or we may not know it when we become senile. 

12 feet apart in a big room is too wide for convenience.  4 feet apart in a big room too close together resulting in too many outlets for one circuit to be safe, so we should break up the circuit into multiple circuits.  8 feet and 6 feet apart on one circuit seems like a happy medium, depending upon the size of the room.

Just to be clear, as a member of the banking industry who has had the responsibility of owning houses other people left behind (treating it like it was their god given property despite having a mortgage owed to someone else, or right up until the point in their life they want someone else to buy it), I'm not just a weekend homeowner when it comes to understanding building techniques.  I didn't do it much myself, but I had to police what others did on our behalf.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 2:54 PM

Doughless

 

 
riogrande5761

 

 
Doughless

Installing outlets at this point costs very little.  The more in a utilitarian space, or train room, the better, IMO.

BTW, see how nice floor to ceiling sky blue walls look, Smile 

 

As for outlets, I think where I live, they have to be no more that 12 linear feet apart but I put them more like 8 feet apart or maybe less.  I was surprised that so few breakers run the upstairs.  I went a bit overboard and have two separate 15 amp circuits for the back wall in the train room, and a 3rd circuit for the room with the walkout doors.  A fourth circuit (20 amp) for the bathoom outlets.  The ceiling lights are on their own too.

 

 

 

I think the typical building code is for that 12 foot maximum between outlets in a finished wall.  There is also a distinction if its living space or non living space, for rooms like laundry rooms, walk in closets, and in my case, basement garages.

I could finish my garage and not put in more than one outlet if I wanted.  Not sure how the law can judge all basements to be living space.

An 8ft spread seems reasonable, maybe could go a little tighter.

I think there could be overkill too, if you had 27 outlets crammed into a space, builders might fear someone would use all 27 outlets at once with 54 appliances, thereby overloading the circuit. 

So there has to be some balance between spacing of the outlets and the number of outlets on a circuit just to keep things safe for when dimensia sets in.....

 

A few thoughts and fact from the National Electric code.....

Some local codes adjust the NEC to their wants, but generally in the US all wiring is governed by the single National Electric Code.

If you put drywall, flooring and a finished ceiling in a basement, the IRC (International Residential Code - the common building code in use in the US) and the NEC will consider it "living space".

There are lots of rules about where outlets need to be, and generally the 12' thing is the correct minimum requirement for general living areas. Closer is better.

But there are no restrictions on how many, or how close.

15amp vs 20amp - the code makes not requirement as to minimum or maximum number of outlets on a circuit past the first one. It says the building general receptacle load shall be served by at least 3VA per sq ft.

15 amps x 120 volts = 1800 VA / 3 = 600 sq ft.

20 amps x 120 volts = 2400 VA / 3 = 800 sq ft. (although as a designer I like to limit that to 750 sq ft)

Additionally, 20 amp circuits, wired with #12 wire, can use 15 amp outlets - as long as there are two or more outlets.

A 20 amp circuit feeding only one outlet, requires a 20 amp outlet, like your frig or washer.

So you can have 27 outlets on a 15 amp circuit if you want.........or logistics make it desired.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 2:55 PM

Doughless

My point was not that the number of outlets causes amperage draw.  It's that the number of outlets provides opportunities to plug in more things that the circuit could handle, even though each outlet can handle what has been plugged into it. 

Too many outlets in a given square footage, on one circuit, can be a hazard because the next person who buys the house doesn't know all of those outlets are wired into only one circuit.  Or we may not know it when we become senile. 

12 feet apart in a big room is too wide for convenience.  4 feet apart in a big room too close together resulting in too many outlets for one circuit to be safe, so we should break up the circuit into multiple circuits.  8 feet and 6 feet apart on one circuit seems like a happy medium, depending upon the size of the room.

Just to be clear, as a member of the banking industry who has had the responsibility of owning houses other people left behind (treating it like it was their god given property despite having a mortgage owed to someone else, or right up until the point in their life they want someone else to buy it), I'm not just a weekend homeowner when it comes to understanding building techniques.  I didn't do it much myself, but I had to police what others did on our behalf.

 

Despite what you think is common sense, the code makes no such restrictions.

I know and respect your knowledge, we have talked about that before.

I have been an Electrical Designer Draftsman and Electrician for 40 years, project managed the wiring of factories, sky scrapers, bridges, power plants, and houses........

And work with my tools every day in the building trades, and deal with the inspectors who enforce the codes........ 

In 40 years no inspector has ever told me we put in too many outlets, or had too many on one circuit.......because they went to code class too.........

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:06 PM

By the way Randy, the basement looks great!

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:11 PM

Trivia - where did the "every 12' thing" come from?

Answer - how long is your lamp cord? Generally they are 6'. So in theory you can put the lamp anywhere along the wall and reach the plug.......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:13 PM

 Mainly because it doesn't matter how many outlets are on one circuit - you technically can't overload it. Plug too many things in, and the breaker will trip. Assuming the right value breaker, the proper size wire, and the proper receptacles are used. Even doing something dumb like putting a 20 amp outlet on a 15 amp branch circuit - well, if you try to actually use a 20 amp device, the breaker will trip. 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:16 PM

rrinker

 Mainly because it doesn't matter how many outlets are on one circuit - you technically can't overload it. Plug too many things in, and the breaker will trip. Assuming the right value breaker, the proper size wire, and the proper receptacles are used. Even doing something dumb like putting a 20 amp outlet on a 15 amp branch circuit - well, if you try to actually use a 20 amp device, the breaker will trip. 

                        --Randy

 

 

Exactly.........

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:21 PM

mrrdad

 

 
Doughless

The more in a utilitarian space, or train room, the better, IMO.

 

 

 

 

Normally I would agree. In our son's small 11'x12' bedroom, there are 9 outlets. Two weekends ago I replaced every outlet and cover plate in that room. At one point I remember saying " how many dang outlets did they need in here?!"

Anyway,

It's fun following along on build projects like this. I often pick up an idea or two.

Thanks for sharing.

 

Ed

 

As an electrician who does historic restoration work and custom remodeling, 9 seems right for a bedroom that size depending on window and door locations.

I hate bedrooms with just one outlet in the middle of each major wall. you need the near thre corners, wher nite stands and dressers end up being placed.

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:27 PM

 Train rooms, and maybe some other hobbies as well, tend to throw a wrench in everything. I'm sure I have way too many outlets in my plan, basically every 6 feet. But, with plenty of outlets, I will have no reason to use multi-way taps or long power strips

 I am kind of surprised at that loophole of allowing 15 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits. That makes a potentially dangerous assumption that by having more than one outlet on the circuit, the full load would never be applied through a single outlet. The other provisions (or lack thereof) are generally self-protecting, like no limit on number of outlets on a circuit. But a 15 amp outlet on a 20 amp circuit allows for the chance of overloading and overheating that outlet. Granted, not likely if that circuit is supplying multiple rooms, but the fact that the ability is there - and even without the use of splitters or power strips.

 Unless I'm missing a corresponding requirement that even 15 amp outlets need to be able to withstand a higher current, although I'd be amazed if the typical cheap crappy ones I've found in every home I lived in can truly handle 15 amps, let alone any sort of surge over that.

 Your one outlet in the center of each wall describes exactly how my house is set up. That's another reason I am running two more just to power my workbench upstairs.

                                         --Randy

 


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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:41 PM

rrinker

 Train rooms, and maybe some other hobbies as well, tend to throw a wrench in everything. I'm sure I have way too many outlets in my plan, basically every 6 feet. But, with plenty of outlets, I will have no reason to use multi-way taps or long power strips

 I am kind of surprised at that loophole of allowing 15 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits. That makes a potentially dangerous assumption that by having more than one outlet on the circuit, the full load would never be applied through a single outlet. The other provisions (or lack thereof) are generally self-protecting, like no limit on number of outlets on a circuit. But a 15 amp outlet on a 20 amp circuit allows for the chance of overloading and overheating that outlet. Granted, not likely if that circuit is supplying multiple rooms, but the fact that the ability is there - and even without the use of splitters or power strips.

 Unless I'm missing a corresponding requirement that even 15 amp outlets need to be able to withstand a higher current, although I'd be amazed if the typical cheap crappy ones I've found in every home I lived in can truly handle 15 amps, let alone any sort of surge over that.

 Your one outlet in the center of each wall describes exactly how my house is set up. That's another reason I am running two more just to power my workbench upstairs.

                                         --Randy

 

 

Randy, 

The side wiring straps on a 15 amp outlet are rated for 20 amps. So as part of the feed wiring it is fine. But the outlet limits the device pluged in to 15 amps.

15 amp outlets are allowed on 20 amp circuits as an extension of the various "tap rules".

Since an appliance that draws over 15 amps will have a 20 amp plug, it won't plug into a 15 amp outlet. The one prong in turned 90 degrees.........

Your frig draws less than 15 amps, has a 15 amp plug, but the code still wants you to install a 20 amp circuit and outlet, in case you buy some expensive semi commercial thing, and to keep that startup surge on a bigger breaker and wire.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:48 PM

In spite of the that 15 amp outlets are allowed on 20 amp circuits, why not just use 15 amp outlets on 15 amp circuits and 20 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits?

Rich

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:53 PM

richhotrain

In spite of the that 15 amp outlets are allowed on 20 amp circuits, why not just use 15 amp outlets on 15 amp circuits and 20 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits?

Rich

 

Rich, 

Example, my big Victorian house is wired with all 20 amp circuits, not because I want to plug in any 20 amp appliances in the bed rooms, but so that less circuits can be used to cover the sq footage of the house at the required 3 VA per sq ft.

20 amp outlets have the "T" for the one prong, and have heavier contacts inside. Some people actually object to the appearance and the extra effort sometimes needed to plug into a 20 amp outlet.

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, January 9, 2020 4:33 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
 
richhotrain

In spite of the that 15 amp outlets are allowed on 20 amp circuits, why not just use 15 amp outlets on 15 amp circuits and 20 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits?

Rich 

Rich, 

Example, my big Victorian house is wired with all 20 amp circuits, not because I want to plug in any 20 amp appliances in the bed rooms, but so that less circuits can be used to cover the sq footage of the house at the required 3 VA per sq ft.

20 amp outlets have the "T" for the one prong, and have heavier contacts inside. Some people actually object to the appearance and the extra effort sometimes needed to plug into a 20 amp outlet.

Sheldon  

Sheldon, do you have 15 amp outlets throughout the house?

Rich

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 4:46 PM

richhotrain

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
 
richhotrain

In spite of the that 15 amp outlets are allowed on 20 amp circuits, why not just use 15 amp outlets on 15 amp circuits and 20 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits?

Rich 

Rich, 

Example, my big Victorian house is wired with all 20 amp circuits, not because I want to plug in any 20 amp appliances in the bed rooms, but so that less circuits can be used to cover the sq footage of the house at the required 3 VA per sq ft.

20 amp outlets have the "T" for the one prong, and have heavier contacts inside. Some people actually object to the appearance and the extra effort sometimes needed to plug into a 20 amp outlet.

Sheldon  

 

 

Sheldon, do you have 15 amp outlets throughout the house?

 

Rich

 

Yes, except where code requires 20 amp, like the refrigerator circuit. Or where there was some expectation of pluging in a 20 amp piece of equipment with that special plug.

But, I also used all heavy duty side clamp commercial grade outlets and switches.

With receptacles the rating has little or nothing to do with how much current the parts inside can carry, it has everything to do with limiting or requiring what gets pluged in.

You can't plug in that 20 amp appliance without a 20 amp receptacle, which we hope is correctly on #12 wire and a 20 amp breaker.

If you have 15 amp receptacles, you can only plug in 15 amp stuff, on that circuit that may be 20 amps, or may be 15 amps, but could be serving several other rooms....

My Victorian is seriously over wired. One 20 amp circuit typically covers two rooms, which are as much as 250 sq ft each in many cases. 

Additionally as required by the code, each bath has its own 20 amp circuit.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, January 9, 2020 4:51 PM

Thanks for that info, Sheldon. One more question. When you use 15 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits, is the wire 12 gauge throughout the circuit?

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 9, 2020 4:56 PM

 True, you can't plug a 20 amp appliance into a 15 amp outlet - but you can put one of those 2 to 6 outlet adapters on the 15 amp outlet and plug in 3 things that draw 5 amps each plus another that draws 3 amps. ANd it won't trip the breaker because it's only an 18 amp load - in a 15 amp outlet.

 Yeah, needs some effort on the point of the idiot doing this, but it can happen. I try to avoid such things, but don't look behind my computer desk... thing is, it's like 10 things plugged in, but most of them draw half an amp tops.

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 9, 2020 5:01 PM

 Oh - no progress today, they just brought the electrical supplies, stair treads (the platform is getting removed and the stairs made straight - the horses are still in place, but the old treads were cut short so they can't be reused. ANd a small pile of additional wood for the center wall.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 5:45 PM

richhotrain

Thanks for that info, Sheldon. One more question. When you use 15 amp outlets on 20 amp circuits, is the wire 12 gauge throughout the circuit?

Rich

 

Yes, the entire circuit must be #12 wire.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, January 9, 2020 7:05 PM

Not to get everbody in a twist, but the point of designing a circuit and placing electrical outlets on that circuit is so that it rarely has to trip.  That's why we break our basements up into several circuits, because we plan to draw a lot of amps into that room.  Provide too many opportunites to trip a circuit, and the widow or Russian immigrant who occupies your property after you die will find a way to keep tripping it.  If you have 12 outlets in a room on one circuit, regardless of how they are spaced, they will trip it.  Codes are written in a fairly prescriptive manner and don't always capture the intent behind the code.  Inspectors enforce the written code and have no method of enforcing the intent.  

As has been said, the 12 foot spacing has to do with running cords all over the place within the room itself.  It's so that widow or a future stroke victim doesn't kill themselves falling over the extension cord running to that one outlet in the room.  Or start a fire by fraying that cord they have had tucked under the rug and have been walking over for 10 years. The spacing code has nothing to do with amperage tolerances.

Just what I have experienced and have been told over many years of dealing with other folks' left-over properties.  

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 7:35 PM

Doughless

Not to get everbody in a twist, but the point of designing a circuit and placing electrical outlets on that circuit is so that it rarely has to trip.  That's why we break our basements up into several circuits, because we plan to draw a lot of amps into that room.  Provide too many opportunites to trip a circuit, and the widow or Russian immigrant who occupies your property after you die will find a way to keep tripping it.  If you have 12 outlets in a room on one circuit, regardless of how they are spaced, they will trip it.  Codes are written in a fairly prescriptive manner and don't always capture the intent behind the code.  Inspectors enforce the written code and have no method of enforcing the intent.  

As has been said, the 12 foot spacing has to do with running cords all over the place within the room itself.  It's so that widow or a future stroke victim doesn't kill themselves falling over the extension cord running to that one outlet in the room.  Or start a fire by fraying that cord they have had tucked under the rug and have been walking over for 10 years. The spacing code has nothing to do with amperage tolerances.

Just what I have experienced and have been told over many years of dealing with other folks' left-over properties.  

 

 

In kichens the code requires 20 amp circuits (which usually only have 15 amp outlets) and requires that outlets be on alternating circuits as we move "down" the counter.

In other words a kitchen counter with six outlets from left to right, would be arranged so that the first is on circuit A, the next on circuit B, the next on circuit C, the next back on circuit A, etc.

This is done to spread out the load over the required circuits just as you suggest.

But, to do this to all general outlets, throught the whole property would have several problems.

The first is cost.....

The second is that the code requires circuits to be identified in the panel, "master bedroom", "hall bath", "water heater" (it is not a hot water heater), etc, etc.

This task would become complex and expensive beyond all practicality if circuits were randomized, and that would still not insure trouble free operation.

As Randy said, that is what circuit breakers are for......

A better solution is to over build like I did in my 1901 Queen Anne, using one 20 amp circuit to handle general outlets for only 400 to 500 sq ft, rather than the code legal 800 sq ft.

I don't know anything about Russian immigrants or what that has to do with anything, but a well wired house works fine, and a poorly or outdated one does not. I've rewired more than few a 100 years old and older..........

And brought a lot of ones from the 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's up to current standards......none of them have burned down........

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, January 9, 2020 8:49 PM

The electrical codes vary from place to place.  Here in Ontario, standard house wiring for lighting and receptacles is on 15 amp circuits with #14 wire, although if you have need of 20 amp circuits for certain items, they're allowed, as mentioned, with #12 wire.

The 15 amp circuits are limited to a combined total of 12 light fixtures and/or receptacles.  Fridges and freezers are limited to one per circuit, as are washing machines and sump pumps - for this home, I wired them as split receptacles, as they're located  close together.
For kitchen counters and dining areas, all receptacles must be split - two circuits for each receptacle, and, of course, the receptacle modified to accommodate that.

My house is electrically heated, and all baseboard heaters are on 20 amp/240volt breakers, generally one circuit per room, even if the heaters are fairly small and there could be more on the same circuit.

Air conditioning, water heater, etc. are all on their own designated circuits/breakers, and there's a total (counting the double ones) of 64 breakers on the panel.

I did the wiring myself, and because the inspector from Ontario Hydro was aware of that, and that I was not a trained electrician, he went over everything rather thoroughly.  At the end, he signed off on the job, and declared it probably the neatest job he had ever seen - no faults whatsoever.

It helped that I had bought the code book and read-up on it before tackling the job, and I actually enjoyed doing it - a lot easier wiring a new house under construction than trying to re-wire an older house needing upgrades, although I've since done a couple of those, too.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 9, 2020 9:23 PM

Wayne,

I have no working knowledge of electrical codes in Canada, the differences you have noted are interesting to say the least.

Here in the US, the NEC, and some provisions of the IRC, which really just repeat the NEC, are generally the law of the land. But each county/city/township government is free to amend, interpret, and add to the code as they see fit (close to 40,000 separate counties, cities and townships that regulate their own building construction). A few places have much stricker rules about some things then as provided for in the NEC.

But here in Maryland, most everything is as per the NEC.

You mentioned split receptacles, the NEC allows that, but it is seldom done in that way here. 

Here in the US you cannot have 64 breakers in a single panel enclosure. I would be interested to see a picture and know the brand of the breaker panel.

The NEC restricts all panels to 42 branch spaces or less. Most 200 amp residential panels are no bigger than 40 spaces. So if you need more than that, you use the first panel to feed a sub panel. The breaker manufactuers do make "twin breakers" that put two breakers in one space, but if you filled a panel past 42 "branch switches", it would not pass inspection.

You have electric baseboard heat? I hope your power rates are low. That would be very expensive to run here, and this is a much warmer climate.......

Our new house (new to us, built in 1964) has electric baseboard heat in a sunroom (standard construction, well insulated, but lots of big windows and sliding door). If we run it much this time of year, it adds 20% to our combined gas and electric bill which comes from the same utility company.

The rest of the house is heated with natural gas fired hot water baseboard. One of my projects here is to install hot water heat in the sun room, it will likely not result in even a 5% cost increase compared to closing the door and not heating the sun room.

Our water heater is also gas, much cheaper to run than electric, and we cook on gas.

And since everyone is talking about layout wiring, my new to me train room basement in the 1964 house is pretty sparse on wiring, the previous owner (only previous owner) only used it for storage.

So I will be doing some moderately major wiring down there, lights, layout power, etc.

The house has a 200 amp main service, main panel in the attached garage, a 100 amp sub panel in the basement, and a 16KW backup generator with its transfer switch sub panel.

The basement sub panel has about 12 spare spaces, I will be just fine........

Although I can't really put all the layout wiring on the generator........

This house is very well wired. When we bought it I replaced all the switches and outlets, so I got a good feel for the condition of the wiring and the quality of the orignal work. I am happy.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, January 9, 2020 11:21 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
...You have electric baseboard heat? I hope your power rates are low. That would be very expensive to run here, and this is a much warmer climate.......

The power rates were low when I built the house 32 years ago, but they've climbed considerably.
Several years ago, the provincial government offered incentives to builders and homeowners to install electric furnaces (forced air) rather than gas-fired ones, so I contacted them to point out that baseboard heaters were more energy efficient, and questioned why those installations would receive incentives, while my already in-place heating would not qualify for either lower rates, or a rebate on my current rates. 
Nothing was done, and rates continued to rise, and we were on the verge of converting to gas.  However, our bills have now dropped considerably, and it appears as if a rebate is responsible, even though no official mention of it was ever, to my knowledfge, made, nor were we, as recipients, ever personally notified.  

I'd prefer to move to a smaller house, but would likely have to convert this one to gas first, as people are leery of the costs of  electric heating, which might devalue the price they'd be willing to pay.

Personally, I wouldn't want to live in a gas-heated house after having an electrically heated one, but that's just my preferences.  I've lived in houses with coal heat, kerosene heat, oil heat, and hot water heat (don't know if it was oil-or gas-fired), but I liked the electric heat best - clean and quiet, no stink, and no explosions. Smile, Wink & Grin

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, January 9, 2020 11:38 PM

doctorwayne
Several years ago, the provincial government offered incentives to builders and homeowners to install electric furnaces (forced air)

Sometimes the Government messes up! (Sometimes?!?!?Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh) In my limited experience selling installed home improvements, electric forced air furnaces were more trouble than they were worth. One of the biggest problems seemed to be excess humidity. When I was on a window call and the home owners were complaining about condensation on their windows, one of the first things I looked at was the heat source. If it was electric forced air I told them that new windows might not solve the condensation problem. I always carried a humidity meter. When the skeptics suggested that they didn't have a humidity problem, that it was just bad windows, once the meter got to 60% or more their eyes seemed to widen considerably!

That was a long time ago. Things may have changed.

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, January 10, 2020 5:22 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

 

 
Doughless

 

 

In kichens the code requires 20 amp circuits (which usually only have 15 amp outlets) and requires that outlets be on alternating circuits as we move "down" the counter.

In other words a kitchen counter with six outlets from left to right, would be arranged so that the first is on circuit A, the next on circuit B, the next on circuit C, the next back on circuit A, etc.

This is done to spread out the load over the required circuits just as you suggest.

But, to do this to all general outlets, throught the whole property would have several problems.

The first is cost.....

The second is that the code requires circuits to be identified in the panel, "master bedroom", "hall bath", "water heater" (it is not a hot water heater), etc, etc.

This task would become complex and expensive beyond all practicality if circuits were randomized, and that would still not insure trouble free operation.

As Randy said, that is what circuit breakers are for......

A better solution is to over build like I did in my 1901 Queen Anne, using one 20 amp circuit to handle general outlets for only 400 to 500 sq ft, rather than the code legal 800 sq ft.

I don't know anything about Russian immigrants or what that has to do with anything, but a well wired house works fine, and a poorly or outdated one does not. I've rewired more than few a 100 years old and older..........

And brought a lot of ones from the 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's up to current standards......none of them have burned down........

Sheldon 

 

In my experience, just to make sure you know we are on the same page, what you are doing would not cause any lender any issues.  Its code, and it sounds like you take extra steps to go beyond.  The simple point I was trying to make with Jim was that outlets provide an invitation to plug something into it.  Uninformed occupants don't know what goes on behind the walls.  They understand that plugging in 2 power strips into one outlet and loading up the strips with tvs, computers, shreaders, chargers, and the occasional hair dryers will tax the system, but they don't make that connection simply by seeing a bunch of wall outlets.  I wasn't saying that loading up a circuit with outlets is anything wrong.  Yes, the breaker prevents it from being a big deal, but we don't want to install somehting into the walls that's going to invite occupants to trip the breaker a lot. Granted, that probably is more of a concern for rental properties like apartments and condos and not so much for owner occupied single family dwellings. 

As far as codes:  The codes have intent buried in the text, but a person can't get around the code just  because they have have a different intent.  Example:  as you know, the 12 foot spacing thing has to do with the number of linear feet finished walls can have before there has to be an outlet.  13 feet of wall with no outlet is a violation.

But that's for "living space"  Some people have walk in closets bigger than some bedrooms, but its okay to have just one outlet in that room because the code doesn't expect people to be using appliances, lamps, stereos, or TVs in their WIC. Same thing with finished garages.  One outlet passes.  Code doesn't expect somebody to use it as a workshop.  The code intends people to park cars in it.

But finish a basement, and the code inspectors tend to call that living space.  They assume you have the intent on putting big screen TVs down there, popcorn makers, microwaves, etc, so not only do they expect an outlet every 12 feet, a strict inspector might expect more circuits depending upon how big the basement is.  The fact that we want to finish our basement to use as maybe a 15 amp total draw train room doesn't change the inspector's mind, because the intent of the code implies that 99% of the people who will buy your house intend for the finished basement to be living space.

Nothing about what I was saying was a judgmental thing about how anybody conducts their business.  Apologies if it came off that way.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, January 10, 2020 5:55 AM

doctorwayne

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
...You have electric baseboard heat? I hope your power rates are low. That would be very expensive to run here, and this is a much warmer climate.......

 

The power rates were low when I built the house 32 years ago, but they've climbed considerably.
Several years ago, the provincial government offered incentives to builders and homeowners to install electric furnaces (forced air) rather than gas-fired ones, so I contacted them to point out that baseboard heaters were more energy efficient, and questioned why those installations would receive incentives, while my already in-place heating would not qualify for either lower rates, or a rebate on my current rates. 
Nothing was done, and rates continued to rise, and we were on the verge of converting to gas.  However, our bills have now dropped considerably, and it appears as if a rebate is responsible, even though no official mention of it was ever, to my knowledfge, made, nor were we, as recipients, ever personally notified.  

I'd prefer to move to a smaller house, but would likely have to convert this one to gas first, as people are leery of the costs of  electric heating, which might devalue the price they'd be willing to pay.

Personally, I wouldn't want to live in a gas-heated house after having an electrically heated one, but that's just my preferences.  I've lived in houses with coal heat, kerosene heat, oil heat, and hot water heat (don't know if it was oil-or gas-fired), but I liked the electric heat best - clean and quiet, no stink, and no explosions. Smile, Wink & Grin

Wayne

 

There is nothing wrong with the comfort factors of electric baseboard heat, just its cost of operation. For that reason it is almost a non starter in most of the US, where power rates vary considerably by region and source of generation.

In my opinion as a residential designer, hot water heat, no matter the fuel, is the best. The effect is even more "gentle" and evenly applied than electric baseboard, it offers the same ability for zoning and separate control and with modern equipment is very efficient.

I do not like forced air heat from any source/fuel.

I have had both gas and oil fired hot water heat, and would have either again. I have designed and installed a number of hot water systems over the years. 

Fears of fire or explosion are non existant in my mind. It takes a perfect storm of errors or defects and is EXTREEMLY rare, unless done on purpose........

It sounds as if the government there is more "involved" in these choices than they are here. Here the market and regional needs/wants/availablity is what drive the choices.

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, January 10, 2020 7:19 AM

Doughless
I feel like you're upset and some of that is directed at me since mine was the last comment.  I was simply explaining what I have learned about the number of outlets relative to circuit capacity, and while its convenient to have a lot of outlets, it also it matters to not overload circuits with a bunch of outlets for convenience.  I certainly didn't suggest you should have done anything differently.  No worries, hopefully. 

Nah.  No worries.

As I have been evaluating the DCC power demands of the modest planned layout, it looks like the two 15 amp circuits that will be dedicated to the layout will be more than enough; in otherwords I've been conservative and should be more than fine.

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Posted by Onewolf on Friday, January 10, 2020 7:38 AM

My train layout room electrical was designed with two 20AMP circuits for the outlets around the room with one of the outlets being 'switched' with a wall switch. The 'switched' wall outlet was intended to be the primary on/off switch for the layout power/control.

The room also has 15 dual 32w (960watts) T8 flourescent ceiling light fixtures for room lighting that were _supposed_ to be on their own circuit.  Unfortunately I did not notice that the electrician had daisy chained the room lighting onto one of the 20AMP circuits until well into the layout build.

As I continued to add power supplies for the layout there came a point when the 20AMP breaker intermittantly started to pop when I powered up both the 'layout' and the room lighting. That's when I figured out the lights were on the same circuit as the switched outlet. The layout now has 16 power supplies that power up when the layout is 'turned on' so there is a considerable startup surge current on power-up.  During normal operation the layout pulls about 5 amps (I have a plug-in ammeter device that displays the real-time layout power usage). The biggest consumer of layout power is the four 15AMP 12V power supplies used for the LED strip layout lighting. I balanced the layout LED strip lighting circuits so each one pulls between 4 and 6 amps (of 12V).

Fortunately the room lighting electrical power was daisy chained from the layout power wall switch which made it simple to add an additional 15 amp circuit from the main breaker panel to run a circuit dedicated to just the room lighting.  Which solved the breaker pop when powering up the layout/room lighting.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, January 10, 2020 10:05 AM

Today, even on a large layout with DCC and complex controls, power to run the trains is still not much of an issue.

The thing that really changes the game is layout lighting, something that has become more important and more complex.

LED'S will start shifting that,  but it is still a major consideration.

My DC layout has 10 Aristo Craft wireless throttles each with a 4 amp power supply. That is only 5 amps at 120 volts. Even if other control power needs triple or quadruple that, that is still way less than the three 15 amp circuits my 1600 sq ft space would require as "living space" under the NEC.

Until we get to lighting, then it might be really easy to load up two or three more circuits to light a layout that fills the 1600 sq ft.........

Sheldon

    

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 10, 2020 10:36 AM

 I'll be having a lot of LED lighting power supplies. You can;t chain too many strings together - same has having too long a wire run, you drop too much voltage, so it will be a lot of smaller power supplies. A 5 meter RGB strand takes 2-3 amps , and I will have 3 other strands (2 whie, 1 blue), so that's around 6 amps max. The controllers handle 12 channels, 12 amps, so basically every 10 meters along each deck, I need a 12 amp power supply (at 12 volts). At 80% efficiency, that's 1.5 amps at 120V each. Not counting branch lines, that's maybe 5 power supplies per deck, round off and say 8 amps at 120VAC just for the lightign of ONE deck. DOuble that, just for the LIGHTING. 

 Mayeb all this 20 amp stuff I did isn;t overkill after all...

Though I noticed, they dropped off the supplies needed to install all this yesterday, and they are putting in 15 amp outlets. Breakers are 20 amp, wire is #12. They did get, as requested, the heavy duty type outlets, not the crappy builder ones that fall apart after a couple of years. Guess they've done enough replacing - I've owned 3 homes and repalced the outlets in 4 because they were all worn out.

                     --Randy

 


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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, January 10, 2020 12:06 PM

Onewolf

My train layout room electrical was designed with two 20AMP circuits for the outlets around the room with one of the outlets being 'switched' with a wall switch. The 'switched' wall outlet was intended to be the primary on/off switch for the layout power/control.

The room also has 15 dual 32w (960watts) T8 flourescent ceiling light fixtures for room lighting that were _supposed_ to be on their own circuit.  Unfortunately I did not notice that the electrician had daisy chained the room lighting onto one of the 20AMP circuits until well into the layout build.

As I continued to add power supplies for the layout there came a point when the 20AMP breaker intermittantly started to pop when I powered up both the 'layout' and the room lighting. That's when I figured out the lights were on the same circuit as the switched outlet. The layout now has 16 power supplies that power up when the layout is 'turned on' so there is a considerable startup surge current on power-up.  During normal operation the layout pulls about 5 amps (I have a plug-in ammeter device that displays the real-time layout power usage). The biggest consumer of layout power is the four 15AMP 12V power supplies used for the LED strip layout lighting. I balanced the layout LED strip lighting circuits so each one pulls between 4 and 6 amps (of 12V).

Fortunately the room lighting electrical power was daisy chained from the layout power wall switch which made it simple to add an additional 15 amp circuit from the main breaker panel to run a circuit dedicated to just the room lighting.  Which solved the breaker pop when powering up the layout/room lighting.

 

Don't LED figures use less power and have longer life?  T8 flourescents have a much shorter life span is my understanding - I've had them go bad after 3 years in the old fixtures I still have and am using in my workbench area.

It sounds like putting the lights on a different circuit solved the main problem. 

My ceiling lights are on a different circuit than my 2 RR room 15 amp circuits that  were installed for the layout room and will be layout only.  Your layout MUCH larger than mine so I can see the need for the higher amp circuits.

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Posted by Onewolf on Friday, January 10, 2020 1:17 PM

riogrande5761

It sounds like putting the lights on a different circuit solved the main problem. 

My ceiling lights are on a different circuit than my 2 RR room 15 amp circuits that  were installed for the layout room and will be layout only.  Your layout MUCH larger than mine so I can see the need for the higher amp circuits.

 

 

At the time (5 years ago) my train layout space was being built the LED lights/fixtures cost a lot more AND they didn't produce nearly as much light as the dual T8 fixtures so I would have needed even more of them.  It's been almost 5 years and none of my T8 bulbs have had any issues.  I don't know if the most recent iteration of LED light fixtures change that equation but when time comes to start replacing T8 bulbs and/or fixtures it will be assessed.  First I need to figure out how I'm going to provide layout lighting in the areas where there is not currently LED strip layout lighting. :)

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, January 10, 2020 5:36 PM

I recently changed some of the lighting in my layout room, which had 29 double-tube fluorescent fixtures  (2 8'ers and 27 4'ers, plus two LED bulbs as "fill" lighting for a couple of dark corners under the upper level). 

I removed five of the 4' fluorescent fixtures, mainly due to their location, which had left some foreground areas in shadow.  Part of that was due to the grid of the suspended ceiling, and part of it caused by immoveable obstructions above that ceiling - mainly a 35' long steel beam.

After rearranging the ceiling's gridwork, where necessary, I installed 14 LED lights in the ceiling tiles where the fluorescents were originally.

Here's the fluorescents over the staging areas, set back due to the steel beam, the presence of which is indicated by the shadow in the aisle-side of the lighting panels...

...and the same area with 3 LED lights...

On the opposite side of the aisle, fluorescents are still in place...

...and also around the corner, at left, in the preceding photo...

...and up the opposite side of the same aisle...

 

In the photo below, the fluorescent fixtures in the left- and right-foreground were removed, along with another, out-of-view, to the left...

...and this is roughly the same area with the LEDs in place...

...and finally, an overview of the area now lit by the LEDs...

I am tempted to replace all of the six fluorescents remaining above  the single level of the layout.  That would require another nine LEDs, but I'll wait until they go on sale in the Spring.

The upper and lower levels of the doubledecked portion of the layout are a different situation, as the light sources are much closer to the layout. 
The fluorescents do a good job of spreading the light, while the beam angle of the illumination coming from the LEDs is 120º, which  would require them to be placed closer together than those over the single-level areas, in order to achieve an even over-all coverage of light.

Wayne

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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, January 10, 2020 6:20 PM

I installed my suspended ceiling some 25 years ago. At the time I bought decent 2' x 4' "troffer" fixtures with two, big magnetic ballasts and four T-12 lamps.

Some years later I converted them to electronic ballasts and T-8 lamps. Ballasts can be had in low, medium and high outputs. The wattage calculations (ballast factor) are different for each.

Even with electronic ballasts there was still a 60 hertz hum which I disliked very much. Over the past few years I again rebuilt the original fixtures and now have 48" LED tubes in place of the T-8 lamps. It requires re-wiring the "tombstone" lampholders so one pin is hot and the other neutral. Ballast is removed.

Dead silent and quite bright with a reduction in load. Like Randy is planning I use the LED area lighting for "work sessions" and have dimmable, LED recessed mini-cans for times when I'm operating.

https://tinyurl.com/sj6ra5f

There are dozens of styles. The above are "dual-end" some are single end wired. Also color temperature and diffuser styles to suit.

Work lighting:

 IMG_8609_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

Running lighting:

 IMG_8624_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

I had one more old fluorescent troffer in my work shop that I seldom turned on since it was an original with the five-pound, noisy, magnetic ballasts in it.

Now that I've "upgraded" it to LED tubes I use it all the time. No Buzzzz!

Good Luck, Ed

 

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 7:08 PM

 Latest update - now the walls are all framed up, and the stairs have been changed to straight.

 Looking in to the inner part, yard will be on left, town on right:

Helix will go at the end of this short wall here:

Standing where the helix will go. S&L branch will go along the outside of the wall:

Looking back down the other way outside of the wall:

Today they finished framing and insulating around the exterior door, and started placing the outlets.

                                            --Randy

 


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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 6:21 AM

Very nice.  Very professional looking.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 6:53 AM

Randy, that looks great.

.

How excited are you getting for your new layout? I just can't imagine.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 9:07 AM

Doughless

Very nice.  Very professional looking.

 

 That's because professionals are doing it, not an amateur like me. Laugh

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 9:11 AM

SeeYou190

Randy, that looks great.

.

How excited are you getting for your new layout? I just can't imagine.

.

-Kevin

.

 

 I can't wait until it's done and ready. Trying not to jump the gun - I almost placed an order for roadbed. ANd I still have to determine my ideal deck heights. I need some different clamps, all I had handy were some of the spring type, and trying to hold some scraps to the studs didn't work too well. It's easy to mock things up now, before the drywall goes on.

 WHich also reminds me, I was pointed to a non-box store supplier which has the good 13 plys actual 3/4" thick (not 23/32) plywood, but I was under the impression they were wholesalers only. I need to call and see if they will sell to individuals. If not, my contractor said they'd go get it for me. I just have no place to stack up a bunch of 4x8 sheets right now.

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, January 19, 2020 7:13 PM

 Not much to report. Wiring for the new outlets is roughed in, and I got most of the leftover nails and staples from the old carpet out of the stairs. Problem with all the former stuff being stacked in the garage - I can;t reach a lot of my tools. I need a light to see what I'm going on the top couple of stairs. Then it will be time to sand them down to prep for paint (contractor isn't doing this part).

Also thought of another way to attach they layout to the walls that will make more efficient use of strips cut from plywood. Lag bolt on vertical L girders. For each deck plus the top cap - on one side, they get screws in face to face with the part of the L that sticks out. On the other side, secure with metal corner braces. I figure this can handle a 24" deep section. Alternately, might also add a steel 90 either on the bottom or on the top. I was also figuring on installing the horizontals prior to bolting each upright to the wall - so I will run a couple of screws in from the back as well.

                         --Randy

 


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Posted by rrinker on Monday, January 20, 2020 7:07 PM

 Framing went up for the walls on either side of the stairs, as well as wiring for the new overhead lights. Drywall is coming tomorrow and going up this week. Might be ready for painting by the weekend, at least part of it. 

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, January 20, 2020 7:13 PM

rrinker

 Framing went up for the walls on either side of the stairs, as well as wiring for the new overhead lights. Drywall is coming tomorrow and going up this week. Might be ready for painting by the weekend, at least part of it. 

                                      --Randy 

Randy, are you going to be able to hold your wife to her promise to join you in painting the drywall? Kisses

Good looking, quality work on the framework. I should finiish my baement.  Yes

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 7:11 AM

 Good question. I already told the contractor they may have a week to go work on other projects since I doubt it will get done in a single weekend, even with two of us. Plus she can't reach the top - the basement is deep enough that the walls are a full 8' high - which makes it easy to install drywall, but even for me I will probably want a short handle extension for the roller handle just so I don't have to stretch constantly.

 In addition to all the walls, I have to sand and paint the stairs, too. 

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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 12:23 PM

I was thinking that drywall stilts might be useful for you, then I checked out prices. The cheap ones at Home Depot are $100 and are rated for 228 lbs. 

The handle extension will be WAY cheaper!

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 1:31 PM

 Add in the health insurance deductible for when I fall off the things and crack my head on the CEMENT FLOOR. Plus those wouldn't hold me, I need a high weight rating. Yeah, extension handle for the roller, and those shields used for spray painting so I don't have to tape off along the floor. I'd spray it, but I'd have to shut off the furnace and water heater (gas) and find a way to ventilate the area, all the openings are on the same side of the room. I am SO not crawling on the floor with a paintbrush to make sure it's painted right to the very bottom. And the part people will see, the bottom edge will be hidden behind the moulding that is part of the flooring to be installed. The rest will all be under the layout or behind the baseboard radiators.

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 2:23 PM

rrinker

I am SO not crawling on the floor with a paintbrush to make sure it's painted right to the very bottom. And the part people will see, the bottom edge will be hidden behind the moulding that is part of the flooring to be installed.  

Yep, and that is exactly what professional painters do in new construction. They rely on the moulding to finish off the paint job.  Yes

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 2:54 PM

 My new idea for mounting the layout to the wall means no need to paint any of the wall blue, both the upper and lower decks will have an installed backdrop that stands away from the wall, so painting the whole thing plain old builder's white leaves it in the most useable state for the next person.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 7:50 AM

richhotrain
 
rrinker

I am SO not crawling on the floor with a paintbrush to make sure it's painted right to the very bottom. And the part people will see, the bottom edge will be hidden behind the moulding that is part of the flooring to be installed.   

Yep, and that is exactly what professional painters do in new construction. They rely on the moulding to finish off the paint job.  Yes

 

Rich


That's pretty much it.  I finished my basement and wanted it to be fully finished before starting on the layout.  My wife would have insisted on it if I decided to not do that.  We wanted it fully finished so it would be done and we could advertise the home with a fully finished basement for that some day when we would eventally move out or downsize.

I painted all the drywall from floor to ceiling before the drop ceiling was installed.  That way the drop ceiling rails would be attached to painted drywall - a standard order of finshing.

As to the bottom, as Rich mentioned, I didn't paint the walls completely to the floor.  I rolled the paint on near to the bottom but knowing that baseboard was going on later, it didn't have to be fully down - it could be an inch or two off the floor.

Anyway, anyone who has painted rooms such as bedrooms etc., it's normal to have to paint along the baseboard or ceiling etc. probably with the edges masked off.  This is totally normal to painting rooms and not a big deal.

I realize that when the layout comes down, I'll have to do some work to restore the room to a "finished" appearance, such as mud/spackle the holes in the wall where brackets were mounted etc., and painted over.  All standard stuff.

The good thing about doing these things up front is it minimizes having to do more later when the house is sold or you down size.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 8:25 AM

richhotrain

 

 
rrinker

I am SO not crawling on the floor with a paintbrush to make sure it's painted right to the very bottom. And the part people will see, the bottom edge will be hidden behind the moulding that is part of the flooring to be installed.  

 

 

Yep, and that is exactly what professional painters do in new construction. They rely on the moulding to finish off the paint job.  Yes

 

Rich

 

We never do finish painting before carpentry is done. Drywall priming yes, ceilings maybe.......walls never.

Sheldon

 

 

    

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Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 8:45 AM

Randy, your excitement is contagious!  Fun to see progress being made.  I'm continuing to work on my backdrop - which was delayed when I realized I had to do some remedial work on my exterior basement wall in the layout area.  I'm learning to just put my head down and plow forward.

Andy

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 7:53 PM

 

 Lots of progress today. Wiring, and a whole bunch of drywall went up.

 

North wall, exit to staging will be through the wall yet to go up to the left, which is where the stairs are.

 

South wall, left is where the yard will be.

 

Other side of the room where the yard will go. Town will go along this wall.

 

At the end of the short wall in the center is where the helix will go.

 

View in from the other side of the room, yard will be on the right, town on left. There will be a removeable section across in front of the furnace and water heater.

Not sure if anything will be taped and mudded for painting by this weekend or not. Might be another week until that stage.

                                            --Randy

 


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Posted by York1 on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 7:59 PM

Looks like a lot of progress.  You'll be laying track soon.

One thing that is not allowed in my area is running wire under floor joists in the basement.  In my area, the wires have to go through holes in the joists (at least that's what I was told -- I'm not an expert).  I would think that some boards nailed across the bottoms of the joists running beside the Romex would make it legal.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 8:07 PM

 All the new stuff goes through holes. What they did, and what was allowed when the house was built back in 1973, I have no idea. And I'm not sure when the original owners did the really poor job of finishing the basement, all those light cans are old leftover junk that are being removed. It's all down on those cobbled together supports because there was a drop ceiling before, going to be one again.

                           --Randy


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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 23, 2020 4:40 PM

 Wasn't sure if they were even here today, but they did more wiring rough in, got all the outlet circuits run back to where the switches will be, and from there back to the panel. Aslo looks like they were testing the new lighting, there are temporary screw bases connected to the boxes where the new LED panels will go in the drop ceiling.

                                       --Randy

 


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Posted by rrinker on Monday, January 27, 2020 5:49 PM

Most of the drywall is now up. They were here working Saturdsay and today.

North wall. Side of stairs is not done yet, upper left is where trains will duck through the wall into staging.

It's like a cave down here with just the temporary contractor lights. This is the section where the yard will be on the left, town on right, engine facility inside the curve in the distance.

 

The short hook in the wall, helix goes at the end (not capped off yet), branch goes along the wall in the middle. Extra spaces in the box not yet wired on the wall at the base of the stairs will have the illuminated switches to control the room outlets.3 circuits because yes, here there IS a limit to the number of outlets per circuit, even if they are 20 amp circuits.

 

Even part of the bathroom is now walled in.

 

They were thinking of having most of it taped and mudded by the end of the week so I can start painting this weekend. Not sure of they will make it, the contractor is a father-son team and the dad was down today with a kidney stone. If he's not able to help this week, it will probably be another week before things are ready.

                                 --Randy


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Posted by Doughless on Monday, January 27, 2020 5:56 PM

Looks really good.  Plenty of space.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 7:41 AM

Yea, for sure! looking good! Yes

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 7:54 AM

Aye!  It won't be long now!

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 8:18 AM

Exciting times!

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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 9:07 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Today, even on a large layout with DCC and complex controls, power to run the trains is still not much of an issue.

A while back someone posed this question. I was curious about what my layout was pulling.

 Layout_amps by Edmund, on Flickr

That's three Digitrax boosters, several power supplies for lighting and signals and Tortoise power on a 24 by 38 foot layout. (This was taken while four trains were running, too),

Thank you, Ed

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 9:32 AM

 I will have the same, plus LED strip lights to light two decks worth in about the same space. That's a lot of 12 or 24V power supplies (depending on the strips and controllers I use - total will be way more power than needed for the DCC). I'm figuring 4 strips of LEDs per level - 2 white, 1 RGB, and 1 blue.

 That's why I put half the outlets up high - instead of runnign wire up from the bottom, the power supplies for the upper deck can sit on top, on what is the valance for the upper deck.

Do I NEED 3x 20 amp circuits? Not even close. But I wanted a lot of outlets to avoid having to use extension cords and lots of power strips or adapters like the ones that convert 2 into 6 outlets. Extension cords especially would be a mess considerign the idea is to store stuff in plastic totes under the layout.

And some day, I won't be there any more, but there will be plenty of power for a future owner to install a bar with a fridge and icemaker, plus an AV room with a giant TV and high power amps. Or go major power tool workshop. Overall going perhaps overkill on the outlets was next to a neglible extra cost.

                                           --Randy

 


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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 9:38 AM

riogrande5761

Aye!  It won't be long now!

 

 Hopefully end of February I'll be able to get soem benchwork started and some track down. I have the track. Just ordered a bunch of roadbed. Going to check out an independent supplier of plywood tomorrow - hopefully they have better quality stuff than the junk I keep finding at the box stores. I think I'd rather cut most of the dimensional lumber from plywood, but it may come down to just using higher quality stick lumber. I've been working out alternatives that require no end nailing or screwing - 65 cent right angle brackets for one thing. I want to experiment but with everything temporarily packed in the garage it's hard to get to some of my tools.

                                           --Randy

 


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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 10:54 AM

I started benchwork mid-December and have about 40 linear feet of it up, with Homasote for staging, but no track yet.  Hopefully in the next couple weeks.  Last two weekend I haven't had much time to work on it.

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 30, 2020 7:20 PM

Slowly but surely - first coat of mud is over the tape joints and screw holes. Bathroom walls are done inside and out. Old toilet has finally been removed. THere are a few places that need some frywall bits yet, where the old closet as under the stairs.

 I also got a new light for the stairs. The old one was a flush can, that I refitted with an LED, but it was over the old landing. As that's just a horizontal ceiling over the stairs, it only lights up the bottom of the stairs. From that point to the top, the ceiling above the stairs is sloped, and there is almost no clerance under that drywall before the whole stiarwell shape was roofed over with plywood. So I got a new LED light that needs no can, it just fits flush int he drywall - a couple of springs clamp it to the inner sirface of the drywall, and the transformer is a separate piece. So now the light is on the same slope as the siars - and the whole thing is brightly lit, top to bottom. MUCH better. And now I can see to remove the old carpet staples on the top two steps so I can finish the stairs and get them painted. Got some porch and deck paint that has some texture material in it 

 No wall painting this weekend - but probably next weekend it will be ready.

                                                   --Randy

 


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Posted by wvg_ca on Thursday, January 30, 2020 7:36 PM

glad to see that it's slowly coming together ... lots of small things to figure out ...

As far as benchwork is concerned, i made everything out of ripped 5/8 marine grade plywood, they had a good sale on at the time ... all joints are predrilled and end screwed , fronts were catavaliered to the backs , lots of storage room, single layer but elevation changes to plus nine inches or so on the mining / logging sidings especially

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 30, 2020 9:10 PM

 Got any pictures of how you put together that benchwork?

                                     --Randy

 


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Posted by wvg_ca on Friday, January 31, 2020 4:46 AM

rrinker

 Got any pictures of how you put together that benchwork?

                                     --Randy

 

 

nope, too long ago ..

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 31, 2020 7:42 AM

 Why does this now feel like the scene in Blazing Saddles when Reverend Johnson holds up his Bible to implore the townfolk to settle down, until someone shoots it and he says "Son, you're own your own"?

                                 --Randy

 


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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, January 31, 2020 8:11 AM

Benchwork.  Nothing draws more attention and criticism in here as the topic of benchwork.  How to build it and what to use.  Threads on DC vs DCC don't come close to the controversy that develops over benchwork.

The entire movie, Blazing Saddles, comes to my mind while enduring the benchwork threads.

Randy, just build what you had in mind, and keep it a secret.  Laugh

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 31, 2020 10:10 AM

 Part of the problem is, my mind keeps changing. I though I had it all settled after a combination of Jeff WIlson's benchwork book, all the old MR articls where Linn Westcott talked about L girder, and Tony Koester's book on building multi-deck railroads. Then I saw somethign that looked like a great way to build it all AND easy to attach to the wall with absolutely no legs, but I've become convinced as I try to lay out the pieces on a sheet of plywood (virtually, in 3rd PlanIt) that those who said it would be a big waste of plywood were right. Not that I would eb left with lots of unusable pieces of plywood, but that even with the best cramming I could do (allowing room for the saw kerf), the number of sheets of plywood to make it all would be crazy expensive.

 So then I had another idea, somewhat based on seeing how Jason from Rapido did his - though it was already too late to change to having my basement walls covered in plywood instead of drywall. So the other week while at Lowes I looked at some different options. There are some interesting structural framing angles that would mean all fasteners go through the face of any material used, not into the edge. ANd cheap. Even cheaper, I can get them on Amazon. 40 cents a piece. So, we shall see.

                               --Randy 


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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, January 31, 2020 10:30 AM

Regarding benchwork and dimensional lumber - 

Generally dimensional lumber has become rather expensive even for the pretzelwood stuff Home Despot and Lowes sells. I still use dimensional lumber for L-girders, leg cross-braces, 2X2 sticks for corner attachments and cheap 2X4 wall studs for legs, that's it. For all joists and grids, I use 3/4" white oak plywood. It's cheaper.

Yeah, that's right. Cabinet grade plywood is cheaper than comparable sized garbage grade dimensional lumber. I have the store use their panel saw to cut the ~$55 sheet of 4X8 plywood into 3" wide strips. I get 15 8' strips, plus one narrower 8' strip from one sheet. That's 120' of 3/4" X 3" for about $55, or about 46 cents per foot. 1X3 mostly-clear (few knots) pine dimensional lumber (actually 3/4" X 2 1/2") costs more. 

The only thing extra you have to do when using strip-cut plywood is attach joists to L-girders, or cross-pieces to stringers, using a 2X2 or larger corner block, like here:

The 2X2's are fairly cheap, but only two edges are really square to each other, so you have to check each block to make sure you use the right faces, or your attached pieces won't be perpendicular.

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 31, 2020 11:05 AM

 That's pretty much my plan, although the metla angles, 65 cents a piece at Lowes, or 40 cents a piece on Amazon, are what I am using instead of chopping up 2x2's. The metal is at 90, if it's not they can be bent. Plus I am goign to cantilever my benchwork off the walls and hopefuly have no legs, though I MIGHT need a coupel of legs around the yard area to supprot the weight of a solid sheet of 3/4 plywood (no sense in cookie cutter an dindividual risers for a yard area). The upper deck and the top valance will definitely just cantilever out.

I'm also thinking there is little point to a solid piece running along the front edge. The riser snd roadbed will keep the horizontal pieces in order, plus the fascia attached along the front. Don't know why I would need to add extra weight out at the far end. 

The plywood place I found has 13 ply all-birch plywood for less per square foot than Lowes for their 5 or 7 core birch or oak plywood. Only downside is it only comes in 5x5 sheets - but I don't need pieces longer than 4', the longest horizontal pieces will only be 2' out from the wall. Once I get to the helix and staging, I'll have to look at something else.

                                                             --Randy


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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, January 31, 2020 12:51 PM

That 13 ply must be nice stuff!

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 31, 2020 1:01 PM

 Depending on what day you go to Lowes, the irch they have MIGHT be 13 ply - it was last Sunday, but I bet today it's 7 ply like the oak. This stuff I looked at at the plywood specialty store, it was true 13 ply with the outer veneer actually being thicker than a human hair. I've seen to many articles recommending the use of baltic birch plywood over the years, but was aloways disappointed by what Lowes called birch - it's just cheap softwood core plies with a super thin veneer on each face. The real stuff is birch through and through. 

 Only downside is the plywood place is only open weekdays, and closes before I am done at work. But the nice thing is, 5x5 sheets of it are easy to handle, compared to 4x8.

                          --Randy

 


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Posted by wvg_ca on Friday, January 31, 2020 1:04 PM

it may be extra weight on the far end, but the outside edge is where -most- of the extra weight will be placed later on, when you are working on it ...\

i made mine about the same as dimensional 1 x 4, roughly 3 1/2 inches top to bottom .. all was cut to that size, everything..braces every 16 inches or so, and legs to line up with the studs inside the walls, roughly every 32 inches ...

for the fascia i used 1/8 MDF about 3/8 inch higher than the table top, staples to hold it on, and a neutral color paint

 

 

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:33 PM

 The messiest part of the job started today - sanding out the drywall mud. Looked like a massive scale snowstorm, until they cleaned up at the end of the day. Might be paint ready this weekend.

                                --Randy

 


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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 7:17 PM

rrinker

 The messiest part of the job started today - sanding out the drywall mud. Looked like a massive scale snowstorm, until they cleaned up at the end of the day. Might be paint ready this weekend.

                                --Randy

 

 

Yes, that is how that works..........

 

    

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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 7:37 PM

Be sure to change your funace filter after everything settles.

I found out the hard way after some sheetrock work.

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 9:30 PM

York1
Be sure to change your funace filter after everything settles.

Thumbs Up Yup!! I couldn't figure out why my air conditioning had quit when our kitchen renovation was in the drywall stage. Duh!! I'm guessing the furnace filter weighed about two lbs.! It was packed solid.

You might want to get the ducts cleaned too 'when all the dust has settled'.Smile, Wink & Grin Sorry, couldn't resist. That is so cliche'.EmbarrassedLaughLaugh

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 7:20 AM

 No filters in the basement. I have hot water heat. Much nicer than hot air. AC filter is in the upstairs hallway.

                                    --Randy


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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 8:05 AM

rrinker
No filters in the basement. I have hot water heat. Much nicer than hot air.

I agree.  Do you have the baseboard difussers, or the older radiators?

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 8:37 AM

mbinsewi

 

 
rrinker
No filters in the basement. I have hot water heat. Much nicer than hot air.

 

I agree.  Do you have the baseboard difussers, or the older radiators?

Mike.

 

He has baseboard, you can see the bare fin tube in some of the photos.

Hot water heat, the best by far.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 9:09 AM

OK, I see, I went back and clicked on some of the pictures to enlarge.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 9:26 AM

 And very efficient. Look at the shots showing the furnace and water heater - I have 3 zones, 2 upstairs and the basement. Though more and more I am wondering why they bothered with the basement. It's been shut off down there since the demo started, we've had plenty of cold days, pne of the things that is getting fixed is the exterior door with was totally not sealed in any way, and it's never been cold down there. That's with the old walls of paneling and no insulation, and then with everything stripped completely bare. Now that the walls are insulated and covered with drywall (they used the moisture and mold resistant type, too), the only place the walls feel cool to the touch is in the laundry area which did not get framed out, that part is still exposed cinderblock. And a small area behind the furnace and water heater. 

 Of course this may backfire in the summer and hold the heat in instead of keeping it nice and cool down there - cross that bridge when I come to it, but if it gets too hot down there, I may need to install a mini split to get some AC. There is just enough space above ground level at the back to get the lines out. 

                              --Randy

 


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Posted by rrinker on Friday, February 7, 2020 10:59 AM

 FInal bit of sanding being done today, then ready for paint (these guys are pretty picky with their work - the areas they wanted to touch up today seemed fine to me, couldn't tell the difference running my fingers over those areas compared to other areas). I'd go grab paint tonight but we are goign to a concert. 

 I was going to just use the basic contractor coverup paint, but it seems that for fresh drywall and mud it should be sealed with primer first. No worries, the basic PVA wall primer is cheaper than the paint. I'm windering though since they went to the effort and used the mold and mildew resistent drywall, if I should use a mold and mildew resistant primer as well, or is that going to belt, suspenders, and a few extra bungee cords?

Also going to pick up the flooring for the entry and bathroom so they can get that installed.  Then the new toilet and vanity. Soon as I get all the paintign done, the drop ceilign cna go in. ANd my extra outlets upstairs - the 'office' has 4 computers, a laser printer, and my workbench all on the same circuit. Since there is now a sub panel on the finished side of the basement, makign it easy to run more wires, I'm putting in a dedicated circuit for my desktop setup and server, and another for my workbench.

                                           --Randy

 


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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, February 7, 2020 11:57 AM

rrinker

 FInal bit of sanding being done today, then ready for paint (these guys are pretty picky with their work - the areas they wanted to touch up today seemed fine to me, couldn't tell the difference running my fingers over those areas compared to other areas). I'd go grab paint tonight but we are goign to a concert. 

 I was going to just use the basic contractor coverup paint, but it seems that for fresh drywall and mud it should be sealed with primer first. No worries, the basic PVA wall primer is cheaper than the paint. I'm windering though since they went to the effort and used the mold and mildew resistent drywall, if I should use a mold and mildew resistant primer as well, or is that going to belt, suspenders, and a few extra bungee cords?

Also going to pick up the flooring for the entry and bathroom so they can get that installed.  Then the new toilet and vanity. Soon as I get all the paintign done, the drop ceilign cna go in. ANd my extra outlets upstairs - the 'office' has 4 computers, a laser printer, and my workbench all on the same circuit. Since there is now a sub panel on the finished side of the basement, makign it easy to run more wires, I'm putting in a dedicated circuit for my desktop setup and server, and another for my workbench.

                                           --Randy

 

 

We have a saying, "only a rich man can afford cheap paint". Cheap paint takes more costs and does not last as long.

We use almost exclusively Sherwin William's paints, they have an excellent drywall primer. And their finish paints cover much better than lesser brands.....

In most cases, you do get exactly what you pay for...........

Sheldon

    

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 5:10 PM

Getting closer - painting done. Flooring and drop ceiling, and then the toilet and vanity in bathroom.

No, it's not gloss, it's satin. 

                   

                            --Randy

 


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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 5:15 PM

Lookin' better all the time!

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 5:20 PM

rrinker
No, it's not gloss, it's satin. 

Randy, thanks for the answer before I asked the question. With the lighting used when those photos were taken, it should looked like a high gloss finish.

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 5:34 PM

 Buncha of bare bulbs of various types screwed into contractor sockets pigtailed to the boxes where the real lights are going to get connected. THe real lights will be 2x4 flat panels to fit the drop ceiling, LED. and some 2x2 ones over by the entrance.

                                  --Randy

 


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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 8:44 PM

No sky blue paint?  It's so, so white!

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 9:01 PM

 Yes, botht he upper and lower deck will have a backdrop that stands away from the wall (so wires can run up etween the wall and backdrop. There will be a valance on top, too, so like 2 shadow boxes stacked. Won't see the white walls as the room lights won't be used.

                                      --Randy

 


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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, February 13, 2020 6:21 AM

Any reason you couldn't just use a very light blue instead as a covering color of paint?  Even if it is covered in many places.  I just find white really draws attention to itself.  I like white as a neutral paint in many rooms of a house, but for train room, at least for me, not at all.  Of course it's your show!

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, February 13, 2020 7:47 AM

 Mainly it was cheap and easy. and easier to return to general purpose use. It will also make it very bright while working on the layout with the room lights on - and particularly underneath the bottom deck. Phone camera doesn;t capture it very well but it is nice and bright now, even witht he hanging bulbs. Glares will go away with proper lighting panels.

 It might have helped to use blue though - the drywall is a greenish color (moisture/mold resistant type) so the primer went on easy. White on white though - even though the primer was dead flat. I could only see by looking at reflections of the light - I need a LOT of light with my eyes. Contractor ended up finishing it, I gave up. I don't have a big work light - the one in the picture is theirs. In the end, the brightness gain with the white walls will be hugely beneficial to me.

ANd I still say you won't see it at all once the layout is in place. Between the drop ceiling coming down about 8 inches from the top, and to see under the lower deck you'd have to lean way down to see it - even then most of it not as the space will be used for storage, all you will see are palstic totes, until I hang a curtain of some sort. So from the floor to the top cap, that's about 7 feet covered, wall completely hidden behind curtains or backdrop. Standing close by to run trains, the top cap will block most of the top - or else I will have to put a taller fascia on the top cap that sticks up, because power supplies for the upper deck are going to sit up there and I don't want those visible either. 

 Going to be a while before I can show that, first I have to build the lower deck and helix. And draw a plan for the upper deck. Maybe I can render it all with 3rd PlanIt.  

                                               --Randy


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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, February 13, 2020 8:03 AM

Looking good!  I kind of like the idea of seperate back drop, away from the wall, between the decks.  You could lay the sections on a bench, and do the work on the backdrops, set them in place, see how they look, remove, and make any changes, along with not having to plan out wiring from one to the other, as it'a all hid.

This could also give you a chance to add any lighting to the back drop scenes, like building windows, distant street lights, etc.

What about the upper level?  Done the same way? or right on the wall?

If your having a valance over it all, you could do it the same way.

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, February 13, 2020 8:11 AM

 ALl the same way, but they won;t be removeable sections. There will be a vertical piece at each stud, bolted into the stud, and then horizontal ribs of plywood attached to the back with right angle brackets. On the sides, not top and bottom like shelf brackets, which would mean cutting out the backdrop around them all. Risers will be screwed right to them, or larger sheets of plywood for yard areas. Minimal deck thickness. It'll probably look a little odd untilt he fascia goes on.

                                   --Randy

 


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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, February 16, 2020 10:42 AM

rrinker

 ALl the same way, but they won;t be removeable sections. There will be a vertical piece at each stud, bolted into the stud, and then horizontal ribs of plywood attached to the back with right angle brackets. On the sides, not top and bottom like shelf brackets, which would mean cutting out the backdrop around them all. Risers will be screwed right to them, or larger sheets of plywood for yard areas. Minimal deck thickness. It'll probably look a little odd untilt he fascia goes on.

                                   --Randy

 

 

Finally getting a mental image of your upper deck construction, sounds similar to what I built for a friend.

Things are looking good.

I agree with you about the white paint and basement work lighting.

My basement walls are white and will stay that way. The back drop will hide them, mean while it makes it brighter down there. No drywall for me, the block walls are fine.

Places where there is no layout will stay white.

Because I am staying with a single deck this time, I have decided against any view blocking walls, going more for the traditional open layout room.

Anywhere else in a house I hate white walls, unless you have dark trim, like in early 20th century Craftsman or Edwardian style houses, then white or cream can look real good.

I've been working on completing my track plan, hope to get it posted here on the forum soon.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Yannis on Sunday, February 16, 2020 11:50 AM

Looking forward to seeing this pan out. Great looking canvas so far, with quality "foundations"!

Thanks for posting this.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 4:57 PM

On it rolls. Flooring done, bathroom done, drop ceiling going in.

And my master control panel:

The left-most switch is the lights - problem is there isn't a combo of one normal switch plus 3 outlet shaped items. There are plates for 2 and 2, but not 1 and 3, so they swapped the regular switch for the lights with the same type with the pilot light for the outlets. There are 3 switches because there are 3 circuits. There are 3 circuits because yes, there IS a limit on how many outlets can be on a single circuit, and breaking it up in half, the ones at normal height and the ones installed up high, was too many on one circuit. So the normal level ones are divided in half, and the upper level ones are the third circuit. Still, all off when I leave the room means EVERYTHING will be shut down.

                                --Randy

 


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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 10:51 PM

rrinker
On it rolls.

Randy,

You are really on a roll! It's amazing to see how fast things are developing. Your basement is actually starting to look 'civilized'!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughLaughThumbs Up

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 11:22 PM

Randy,

.

I am very impressed. I am going to be working in the same direction very soon.

.

-Kevin

.

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, February 20, 2020 7:27 AM

 These guys work fast. Though they are quite fussy and take extra time to make sure everything is just right - they still are occasionally touching up little bits of paint, even though it will all be hidden. I used them for other work, which is why I had them do the basement. And I'll have them do other things - kitchen is next. 

Considering it looked like this when I moved in (then add 6 years of it being used for storage - believe me, in these pictures the carpet looked a LOT cleaner than it ever was - washed out pics and it was a couple of phones ago. And these are the ones that all came out sideways for some stupid reason.

 

                               --Randy

 


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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 6:43 PM

Most of the ceiling and the lights are up. Wow, talk about bright!

Won't be long now.

                                  --Randy

 


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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 10:07 PM

Looking great Randy.

 

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 1:03 AM

rrinker
Won't be long now.

That looks great.

I cannot imagine how excited you must be right now.

-Kevin

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 6:14 AM

Looking good.  The plank flooring is nice too.  So far I'm liking the vinyl plank flooring I put in as it cleans up easy.  I try to keep paint off but the random drips come right off.

Once that is finished, the trick, at least for me, is getting time to progress the layout; my wife is a type A and heck, the last 3 day weekend got totally swallowed making an elaborate cat tower.

 

Damn auto correct!  fixed.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 7:13 AM

Nice Randy! Yes

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 8:02 AM

riogrande5761

Looking good.  The plank flooring is nice too.  So far I'm liking the vinyl plank flooring I put in as it cleans up easy.  I try to keep paint off but the random dreams come right off.

Once that is finished, the trick, at least for me, is getting time to progress the layout; my wife is a type A and heck, the last 3 day weekend got totally swallowed making an elaborate cat tower.

 

 Yeah - I still have a bunch to do when the contractors are done. Sand and paint the stairs, and make (several) trips to the dump to clear out all the junk now piled in the garage. Too much mixed stuff, and also more than one or two truckloads even if it wasn't. All the cardboard goes to the recycling center, I probably have a load just of that in squashed boxes. I have a dozen or so fluorescent tubes that I can only take on a specific saturday morning each month when they are there to take e-waste. And all the non-recyclable stuff goes to a different location where it's basically $15 a truckload to unload (they weigh you in and out, but it's $15 minimum and to get to the higher rates I'd need a MUCH bigger truck, probably a 3/4 ton at least, or a big trailer load). And since we have yet to really have a Winter, it's getting towards Spring and it will be time to work on the pool and patio.

                                  --Randy

 


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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 10:55 AM

rrinker
Yeah - I still have a bunch to do when the contractors are done. Sand and paint the stairs,

That is one thing my wife and I still need to finish too.  We did get the stair ceiling and walls mudded, sanded and painted, but the stair steps wood needs stained, the sides painted, runners added and baseboard put down.  Once we got the basement proper inspected and passed, we still had to finished the vinyl plank floor and baseboard.  After that was in we kinda had had enough after 11 months of solid work on weekends and holidays!  Plus I wanted to get moving on the layout construction.  Aside from the stairs, we still need to put a door on the utility room too, so a few loose ends.

We put out construction debri bit by bit through out the 11 months of construction so didn't need to get a truck to remove it.

 

And since we have yet to really have a Winter, it's getting towards Spring and it will be time to work on the pool and patio.                                   --Randy  

Global warming I guess, been a mild winter here in northern Virginia too.  Not that I'm complaining.  But are you going to let the pool and patio distract you from layout construction?   Priorities man!  I try not to let warm weather take too much time away from the trains.  And the basement is nice and cool in the summer too, just sayin!

I have to say, the sky blue sure is easy on my eyes when I'm down in the basement.  Stick out tongue

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 11:46 AM

 I'll put up a blue curtain topper, just for you! Stick out tongue

You'll see, where the layout is going, up to over my head (6') you won't be able to see the wall at all. Unless you crouch down and look under the bottom deck with a flashlight, or stand on something, or stand all the way back to see over the top valance. And in the meantime, while I am trying to work in there - it's super bright. They should have the last couple of lights in today so I can see what it really looks like, I might need sunglasses.

Sheldon - don't forget, I'm checkbooking 99% of this. I can't recommend these guys enough though, used them for a few smaller projects before and they always do quality work, super fussy about making sure everything looks perfect when they are done. And on their Facebook page they have some of the custom cabinetry they've built for others - nice work. A father-son team. I have future plans for some updating of the bathrooms upstairs as well as fixing the kitchen, and I'll definitely be calling these guys again.

                                         --Randy


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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 1:01 PM

riogrande5761

 

 
rrinker
Yeah - I still have a bunch to do when the contractors are done. Sand and paint the stairs,

 

That is one thing my wife and I still need to finish too.  We did get the stair ceiling and walls mudded, sanded and painted, but the stair steps wood needs stained, the sides painted, runners added and baseboard put down.  Once we got the basement proper inspected and passed, we still had to finished the vinyl plank floor and baseboard.  After that was in we kinda had had enough after 11 months of solid work on weekends and holidays!  Plus I wanted to get moving on the layout construction.  Aside from the stairs, we still need to put a door on the utility room too, so a few loose ends.

We put out construction debri bit by bit through out the 11 months of construction so didn't need to get a truck to remove it.

 

 

 
And since we have yet to really have a Winter, it's getting towards Spring and it will be time to work on the pool and patio.                                   --Randy  

 

Global warming I guess, been a mild winter here in northern Virginia too.  Not that I'm complaining.  But are you going to let the pool and patio distract you from layout construction?   Priorities man!  I try not to let warm weather take too much time away from the trains.  And the basement is nice and cool in the summer too, just sayin!

I have to say, the sky blue sure is easy on my eyes when I'm down in the basement.  Stick out tongue

 

I'm so happy I don't have a pool anymore.......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 1:40 PM

I guess!  Ours left the ground when the kids vacated.  We now have a nice small hot tub on the patio.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 2:05 PM

Yeah, pools seem like a lot of upkeep for relatively low use.  When my dad was 2 years from retiring from his 22 year tour with the Air Force, he bought a house in Davis CA, and commuted to Travis AFB for the last 2 years.  The home had an inground Adobe pool - sort of an above ground type pool but installed mostly inground.  We were mostly elementary school age and did use it alot in the hot California summers, but by the time we hit teen years, my dad removed the pool liner and filled in the hole and extended the deck totally covering it.  He had probably had enough of pool upkeep!

My wife and I looked at a home here in Virginia and the basement would have been great for a layout; big, rectangular with stairs coming down in the center.  But two things were deal breakers.  One was a pool!  No thanks.  The other was the framing in the basement was bowed in the middle which appeared to be buckling under the weight of the two floors above.  Major red flag.  The upstairs was meh, also.

rrinker

 I'll put up a blue curtain topper, just for you! Stick out tongue

You'll see, where the layout is going, up to over my head (6') you won't be able to see the wall at all. Unless you crouch down and look under the bottom deck with a flashlight, or stand on something, or stand all the way back to see over the top valance. And in the meantime, while I am trying to work in there - it's super bright. They should have the last couple of lights in today so I can see what it really looks like, I might need sunglasses.

                                         --Randy

No worries.  I just prefer all light blue walls, easier on the eyes.  Of course it's your ball game!

Speaking of "curtain topper", batman has that curtain that is in every photo of his layout - it's a major feature! To show you how much I love curtains and window valences, there were two in my town home basement train room.  Those came out Mui Pronto!

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 3:10 PM

 That's why I said I'd put up a blue curtain Big Smile Since you seem to target his curtain and my white walls - 2 birds, one stone.

 In 6 Summers I've done very little to the pool, really. The work level has not yet exceeded what I get out of it. Last year was bad, I was traveling for work almost constantly so I got very little pool time. Normally, I head home, change, and am in the pool the rest of the evening after work, and as much time as possible every weekend. Only a thunderstorm stops me. I get some of my best ideas just lazily floating around in the pool.

 The minute the ratio flips - it's getting filled in, although filling it in is NOT a cheap job. 

 Being away is the worst part - no one seems to be able to follow instructions. Clean the skimmer baskets. Make sure there are chlorine sticks in them. Make sure the timer has started the filter at night. Start the robot in the morning. Once a week, put in 2 pounds of shock. When I'm home, this is all I go, takes 5 minutes before I jump in, and 10 minutes once a week. Even if I'm gone for a week, it stays clean. But I was gone for a month at a time, and after one trip I came home to a green pool. "But I did what you wrote down" no, you didn't, because I wrote down exactly what I do and the pool NEVER gets green. Cleared up quick enough, but I was only home for a week before heading back out and didn't get to go in at all because I was clearing it up.

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, February 27, 2020 7:44 PM

 FInal touch ups and finishing happening today and tomorrow, and cleanup. Then they will be back next week to check for any issues, and it's officially DONE. I still have a few things to do - install shelves in the laundry area, paint the stairs, etc. But at long last, a totally finished and ready to go basement, time to get a truckload of wood and start building benchwork!

 The new bathroom is just too nice to actually use. 

                                       --Randy


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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, February 27, 2020 8:01 PM

GO!   Yes   Laugh

Ya know, I'm kind' waitin' for Sheldon to get started, too....Whistling

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, February 27, 2020 8:36 PM

 I have a 6 year head start - what that means is that in a few months, Sheldon will have more layout operational than I will. Big Smile

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, February 27, 2020 11:28 PM

mbinsewi

GO!   Yes   Laugh

Ya know, I'm kind' waitin' for Sheldon to get started, too....Whistling

Mike.

 

Sheldon is very anxious to get started, the detailed track plan is coming along.

I do have a few personal and business matters to conclude that will free up a lot of time, and other resources. Hopefully that all comes together soon.

My wife just had shoulder replacement surgery today, that is one personal thing taking a turn for the better.

I am very pleased with the details of the track plan so far. Only a few small compromises have been necessary to this point. And amazingly, some stuff is working out better than the preliminary planning.

Looks like I may also have room for a totally separate waterfront ISL about 10' long and 2' deep - glad I did not sell off all the Walthers waterfront structures and car float.......

Oh, that's right, I have only sold off about 6 things in 50 years, once it is bought.....

The basement really looks great Randy, your contractor seems to be a really good guy.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, February 28, 2020 12:58 AM

mbinsewi
Ya know, I'm kind' waitin' for Sheldon to get started, too.

Nobody is waiting for me. Crying 

-Kevin

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, February 28, 2020 1:07 AM

SeeYou190

 

 
mbinsewi
Ya know, I'm kind' waitin' for Sheldon to get started, too.

 

Nobody is waiting for me. Crying 

-Kevin

 

If I did not have so much going on here, I would come to Florida and finish that remodel for you.....

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, February 28, 2020 1:11 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
If I did not have so much going on here, I would come to Florida and finish that remodel for you.....

No need, I have all the time in the world now.

The window contractor came in today. Three sound reduction insulated windows are going to be $4,000.00, so that is moving along.

The 20 yard dumpster is being delivered in four weeks, so I have one month to finish my layout segment project before it goes to the dumpster.

The plumber moving the closet flange 10 inches and fitting the tub will be right after. So once the windows and plumbing are done, it is pretty much just framing, flooring, and drywall to finish the two bedrooms. 

Then I need to make my wife's closet a reality.

Then... Trainroom!

-Kevin

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, March 2, 2020 6:34 PM

 It is officially DONE and paid for. Time to get started!

I did a little video walking around the room mention what will go where. And I have some more pictures of the finished product.

Edit: Well the embedd a video didn;t seem to work, here's a link

https://youtu.be/9WOTclEA3-M

 

Not that the video tells you much, since it all looks mostly the same. But you can compare with the individual shots and see where it is.

                                         --Randy

 


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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 2, 2020 8:35 PM

Randy,

Nicest video of drywall that I have ever seen!!Smile, Wink & GrinClown

Sorry, couldn't resist. I look forward to seeing your progress.

I have a minor question: What are the small square things that run along the bottom of some of the walls? Are they hot water heat exchangers? I'm sure you have explained them already but please save me from having to read through the whole thread again.

Dave

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 27,715 posts
Posted by rrinker on Monday, March 2, 2020 8:45 PM

 Yeah, the phone camera isn't wide angle enough to actually see much unless I stand way back. So it is what it is. Next one will have vertical supports screwed to the wall.

 Yes, the whole house has hot water baseboard heat. 3 zones, if you look at pics that show the furnace you can see the three pumps. The basement one actually runs through the garage as well.

 We've had a very mild winter so far, but even so, the heat has been shut off in the basement since early Novemeber and it's never been cold down there. On the one wall there was a wire sticking out - that's where the thermostat has to go back on the wall when I get around to it.

                                         --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 2, 2020 9:07 PM

rrinker
Yes, the whole house has hot water baseboard heat.

Thanks Randy.

Dave

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • From: Grew up in Calif, left in 84, now in Virginia
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 11:03 AM

rrinker
 It is officially DONE and paid for.

What was the damage($)?

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 11:15 AM

riogrande5761
 
rrinker
 It is officially DONE and paid for. 

What was the damage($)? 

Randy has the right to remain silent. Anything he says can and will be used against him in this forum of gossip.  Zip it!

Rich

Alton Junction

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  • From: Grew up in Calif, left in 84, now in Virginia
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 11:28 AM

Suite yourself!  I don't have exact figures but I don't mind sharing - my wife estimates about $5k or less to finish our basement.  Guessing between $1500 and $2000 for contractor to do wiring and plumbing.  The rest in materals (50 4x8 sheets of drywall, 700 sq ft of drop ceiling, 16 2x2 flat panel LED lights ~$550), 700 sq ft of vinyl plank floor tile (~$700 from Lowes), about 9 five gal buckets of mud, drywall screws, house wire 12 and 14 awg, baseboard, paint, tile, sink, toilet and shower fixtures for the bathroom).  We used lots of coupons at Lowes to save money too; my wife is a master at getting stuff for less.  The basement shower is the best one in the house btw!  Big Smile  My wife did a great job on the shower wall and floor tile and bathroom floor tile.  Yes

From others in northern Virginia we have a rough idea what the cost would be to finish a basement.  Probably in the $20 - 25 K range these days.  My sister in South Riding had her basement finished - open room, bedroom and full bathroom - I recall it was $19k and that was about 15 years ago and her basment was smaller.  Costs have probably gone up too.  Some depends on where you live, some on are and size of basement etc.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 11:38 AM

Up here in the Chicago area, it will cost about $10,000 just for a basement bathroom. Figure $25,000 all in for a complete finished basement including the bathroom.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
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  • From: Grew up in Calif, left in 84, now in Virginia
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 11:57 AM

I'm guessing similar here in northern Virginia as well.  So maybe we will never know the "big secret" but can guestimate, unless he wants to brag about how good a deal he got.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 11:59 AM

riogrande is in the right range.

There already was a bathroom, so they didn't have to add any plumbing. I had a few extras, not related, like putting a cap on my chimney to keep out the squrrels, and also had two additional circuits run up to my office room, one for my computers and one for the workbench. And the main panel grounding was pretty dodgy so I had a proper ground rod installed. 

Plus after having help with the primer coat on the walls, after all the "we can do this in a weekend", I got no help with the finish coat so I just had them do it. 

So with all new lights, drop ceiling, insulated exterior walls, my new wall down the middle, special things like the switched outlets, it came right in the middle of that range. Little extras that I have some more pictures to show that were included are a nice door over the electrical panel (adding that sub panel was part of this too) and also the space under the stairs that was closed off, they put a nice door there so I can use that as storage.

 Not sure how much less it would have been if I didn;t do the extra wall down the middle. But looking at how it all came out, I don;t think a future owner would necessarily want to tear it down - just add a door across the open and end it would make a nifty theater room. Would easily fit an 80+ inch TV on the far wall, front and center speakers, mid surrounds on the walls, and rear surrounds at the back. Stick in some tiered theater seats....   nope, I'm putting trains in there.

                                    --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 12:43 PM

rrinker

Plus after having help with the primer coat on the walls, after all the "we can do this in a weekend", I got no help with the finish coat so I just had them do it. 

LOL.  I predicted that a little while back.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 1:20 PM

richhotrain
 
rrinker

Plus after having help with the primer coat on the walls, after all the "we can do this in a weekend", I got no help with the finish coat so I just had them do it.  

LOL.  I predicted that a little while back. 

Rich

My wife is the opposite.  She grew up very poor in the north of England so she always tries to find ways to save on costs.  God bless her, but sometimes she over does it.  When she saw the cost for a contractor estmate to install the drywall, which we were thinking of having a contractor do, she said NOPE, we're doing it ourselves.  She helped score and cut and hang all 50 sheets!  She also probably did about half the painting too.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 2:54 PM

 I would have gotten 3 sheet hung and that would have been it, I would be on my own. She also said she could tape and mud - yeah, I'll have the pros do that. It's not that she's lazy, not in the least, it's just she was raised on a farm and her idea of fixing or finishing something is farmer style - it works, but it ain't pretty. She bought a long closet rod she wants to put up to hang a curtain to block off the laundry area. Sheesh.

                            --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 10,987 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 4:43 PM

riogrande5761
My wife did a great job on the shower wall and floor tile and bathroom floor tile.

I agree! Looks great!

Dave

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 27,715 posts
Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 5:07 PM

 Last set of pics, then I will start a new thread on layout construction.

Here's the added room, left is for the yard, right is for the town:

 

Here's looking the other way. A moveable section will go in front of the furnace. To the left will be some industries:

 

Looking over towards the stairs. Switches to control the lights and outlets, and along that wall will be the cement plant. I'm standing about in the middle of the helix.

 

Door on the left goes to the garage, door to the right is the bathroom. Here you can see the nifty little door they put in over the electrical panel.

 

Looking at the front door. On the left there will be a branch line, narrow benchwork, just a foot wide along the left to clear the door.

 

Looking in from the door. The branch will be along the right from this point of view.

 

Looking to the other side of the basement. Branch along the right, and to the left of the short wall will be the helix, with the branch looping around outside of it.

 

From about the same place, you can see the little door for the storage under the stairs:

 

And the most important part, the thinking room:

 

                                     --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 7,128 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 1:07 PM

Randy, That looks like quite a great space, and it sounds like you have plans for every bit of it.

Congratulations.

I hope you keep a good build log for us to share in your achievements.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 6:56 PM

Sorry if this has been asked before...

Randy, are you going to continue the vinyl plank flooring throughout the newly finished area, or stick with the painted(?) concrete?

  • Member since
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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 7:35 PM

Just going to be in the entry area. The rest is epoxy painted. Under the layout will be storage, the walking areas I am planning to get carpet tiles so you don't have to stand on bare cement. 

                            --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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