jimrutherford.com 1990-2016
Home Improvement:
Kitchen Electrical and Lighting The Computer Modeling Basement
Here’s an example.  On the left is the back of the dining room drywall and straight ahead if the back of the family room.  The big black pipe is a soil pipe to the upstairs bathroom.  It used to be ABS - the lightest and loudest to code in this area.  Gutting the room meant that we could replace that section with cast iron and quiet down those upstairs toilet flushes.  Installing insulation everywhere around the room also cuts the noise transmission.  And finally, we found some interesting ways where air coming through the recessed lighting could (easily) pass through to a vented attic above part of the kitchen.  This is the chance to properly air seal everything - at least in this room. 
This is much of the drop ceiling in the basement that needed to come down in order to make the plumbing and electrical changes for the kitchen.  We needed a few more circuits, another sink supply and drain, and plenty of other cat-6 and audio cabling.
Note the piece of subfloor cut out.  This was to get access to a pipe that used to have the refrigerator ice maker tapped off of it.  The Fein Multimaster lets you plunge cut like this and replace the same plywood back with some extra joist work.

Inside the Walls


Once you rip down the drywall and plaster at the beginning of a rehab, you’re struck by how advantageous it is to do any wiring and insulation and air sealing at the same time.
Here’s a wall behind a future sink location.  We put in a new drain/vent as well as ran the supply using Pex.  The horizontal outlets are in the future backsplash
One corner of the refrigerator nook opened to a ductwork chase adjacent to the Living room.  This was the chance to run some extra cat6 cables to the living room.  Using baluns, we can pipe the high def video from the living room to the kitchen TV.
What was an alcove, was framed into a pantry. During construction, this was also the tool closet.  Very convenient!
.And since we had access to the dining, room, we could run audio to a new pair of in-wall speakers.
You can see the effect in the background of this picture.  The framing in the picture at left forms the continuation of the hallway into the kitchen.  Then the Sapele surround for the fridge is only 12” deep and winds up looking like a big shallow pantry.
Without drywall, we suddenly had at least some access to inside the walls of our laundry room, stairway, half-bath, living room, dining room and family room, and a bathroom and bedroom upstairs.  Now was clearly the time to wire for whole-house audio, make electrical and plumbing changes, etc
In this corner, we framed out a new wall that visually makes the refrigerator have 13” less depth.
All walls and ceiling were insulated in order to cut down noise transmission to adjoining rooms. 
This is a handy device for one-person drywall hanging.  Usually available on sale at Harbor Freight for $200.
ITime to drywall.  In this case we want to use veneer plaster and so this is “blueboard” which has special multiple paper surfaces to bond with the plaster without drawing too much moisture and weakening the plaster..
The one thing that I farmed out was the plastering.  I really wanted to learn this since I’m a pretty good slim-coater, but my first experiment made it clear that I’d need a few days practice to get something acceptable.  Instead, I spent the money, went on a short business trip, and came back to this perfection.
Tough to see in this terrible camera phone picture, but every joint in the drywall was caulked for air sealing before the taping and plastering.  electrical boxes were taped with Siga Rissan tape inside the walls (not in the box) where wires come out.  And the place in the ceiling where there’s a transition to an attic was detailed with spray foam to disallow air from the inside to that attic.