Archive for October, 2011

More Basement Lights & Even Less Floor

With a layout figured out I had to quick research recessed lighting brands, pick a housing, and find a place that had it in stock and for the best price. Menard’s lighting department stinks. Home Depot had a lot more recessed lighting options. But after a little searching online I found a local electrical supply shop that blew Home Depot’s prices out of the water. Housing, trim, and switches were all cheaper and they had almost everything we wanted in stock. The stuff they did have to order was shipped in two days later and they had great customer service unlike my experiences at Home Depot. Whew it makes me tired all over again just writing it out! We settled on some basic Halo 6” cans. The H7ICAT (new construction) for all of the spaces we could access with the floor up and the H7RICAT for the few spaces we wanted a light but didn’t have access from above.

Originally, I wanted smaller cans because I’ve read the 6” cans are not as in style as they used to be. But looking at the size of the space and how many more cans we would need with the 5” or even 4” cans plus the added cost of the housing and trim didn’t make sense to us. 6” cans were in stock, filled up the big space nicely, and made finding a trim easier.


When it came to installing the lights this handy video was much more helpful than the short directions that were a bit lacking for us novices:


In order to install the lights from above we had to cut off the pieces that a supposed to fit on the bottom of the floor joists or as they call it the “automatic leveling flange.”


We cut all of the holes we could from above so we knew we wouldn’t hit a floor joist or other obstruction. The adjustable hole cutter that failed at cutting ductwork worked good on the drywall.


The recessed lights were quick and easy to install. Here you can see how many more lights we’ll have the existing two we have now.


In the hallway we had to cut the two lights from below because the floor above is not torn up. We used the exposed ceiling in the reloading room at the end of the hall to help determine where the floor joists were but it was still a bit of a guess because above that beam the floor joists switch from 12″ on center to 16″…fun!


We weren’t so lucky with our other remodel style light near the entry door. Here is where we found out the floor joists in this area are neither 12″ or 16″ on center. A random width was used so that the floor joists lined up with some basement walls and the end of beams. It took a few tries but we finally got it right.


So everything was installed it should be pretty easy to finish everything up right? No. Not when your electrician waltzes in and says in addition to all of the subfloor you have removed you need to tear up half of your living room floor too. So the tool storage space also known as the floor behind the couch had a be cleared.


Under the carpet and carpet pad we found a note from the previous owners. Ten years ago they had the all white carpet installed that now needs to be replaced.


When Sophie awoke from her slumber she was surprised to find out that the living room had no floor. “Seriously?! WTH are you doing to my house?”


“OK I’ll forgive you this time only because you made me a huge dog bed and put it in a sunny spot.”


With the guidance from our electrician we’re running all of the wire. Existing conditions meant we had to add a giant junction box to our bedroom. The nice thing about installing it ourselves is that we are able to hide it behind a future nightstand.


This is the story of two twenty something newlyweds who are learning to adjust to life in their first house, a 1973 fixer-upper.
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