The first step of the office project was to build some upper cabinets to install on either side of the windows. I purchased some nice Poplar solid wood planks at Lowe’s for the project (I hate particleboard) and assembled the cabinets with those:
Here they are beginning assembly in the den:
All varnished up and ready for installation:
A small leak had developed behind the bath tub upstairs. The cutoff valves were failing, and dripping ever slight bits of water onto the ceiling of the basement office room below. We noticed little drip marks on the drywall ceiling, but thought that was condensation on the air conditioner ducts…that was until Andrea had a small part of the ceiling cave in on her while at her computer while I was at work….she finished the rest off with the hammer till it looked like this:
Now, the first step in this process was to fix the leak upstairs…so, I cut out the old valves and soldered in nice new ball valves. That’s $20 worth of parts from Lowe’s, and I did the repair myself, saving lots of money from not hiring a plumber:
This presented an opportunity to pull cable. I was trying to avoid tearing out the ceiling to pull any cables and sort of working my way around it. But now that the ceiling is all fallen apart, well, that just presented the opportunity to run cables from one side of the office room, where the closet was, to the other side. This has now enabled me to add an equipment rack to the office room with my computer, mixing board, amplifier, etc, and operate the equipment at the desk. I pulled speaker cable for ceiling speakers (see below), audio cable for the sounds from our computers and other gear, and several runs of CAT5e cable for data.
Now, what you see here will probably make some of you audio nuts cringe, but I found these Bose 301 speakers in the trash…they were already in pretty bad shape. The woofers are radio-shack replacements. I took the drivers and the crossover out of them, made a board to mount them on, and then fastened them in the ceiling…they sound AWESOME! Lots of bass using the ceiling as an “infinite baffle” and they take up much less space than they did mounted to the ceiling. I also made cloth covers to go over the speakers now that the ceiling is finished off. Removing the speakers, which can be done by merely removing the screws holding them in allows access to the cabling, and the plumbing below the basth tub upstairs.
Once the speakers were installed, and all the cables pulled, Andrea’s father came over and helped us put the drywall up. I broke my wrist at Thanksgiving, so I was sort of “handicapped” and didn’t have two hands to lift. I was still able to mud and tape the drywall with my left hand, and paint it after it was all finished:
Things are really starting to come together now. I had an old office desk that came from my Father’s office that I used at the previous house, but it would not fit into the office room…wouldn’t go in turned in any way! Well, I decided to disassemble it! The sides and the top became the desktop, the drawers were salvaged, along with the rails, and with a little bit of wood from the torn-down shed at the Irisdale house, I was able to build a nice workbench with room for our computers and other stuff:
Next step was to get rid of the ugly Fluorescent light that was in there. Sure, it gave plenty of light into the office, but the light was intermittant, it flickered, and the light it gave out just looked bad. I installed a track light system with 4 lights and a light dimmer. I used LED bulbs in the track lights for energy efficiency, and because they do not turn yellow when you dim them down.
I still have some work to do on the office, but I’ve sort of put it on hold while I work on some other things. I obtained some cabinet doors from Andrea’s parents when they upgraded their kitchen, and I am going to install these on the lower and upper cabinets, and I also want to put a formica surface on the workbench to make it smoother. For now though, it’s in a good condition to use and looks much better.