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Building A Barden Home

My step by step experience with Barden Homes

Another Busy Week Of Construction on Our Barden Home

clock September 11, 2009 15:41 by author Donny Kemick


This week brought many aesthetic changes to the house!  Those ones tend to be much more exciting than the others :).  The stone was finalized this week, the drywall almost completely hung, the sewage hooked up, the electric hooked up, the siding progressing, the furnace set and in progress, master bath-shower in place, hot water heater, drainage and the garage door installed.

I decided to do photos again versus a full video.  They are faster for me to upload!  Here’s a rundown:


The stone on the exterior of the house was completed this week, which was very exciting for us to see.  It turned out really nice.  We’re very happy with it.  We also got a quote for doing the chimney on the back of the house, but the cost couldn’t be justified right now.  Maybe down the road.  I’d rather save that money for the deck!  You can see the finished product above.


It’s amazing how much it starts to look like a house when the drywall gets hung!  You saw some of the drywall in my last post, but they made a ton of progress in 4 days!  It’s sounding like they will be done in about a week and a half.  Then I get to start painting.

Here’re some shots of the drywall progress:

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After several weeks away from my job, the framers/siders came back this week to get rolling on the siding.  They made great progress.  My wife and I are very happy with the siding/trim/keystones/shutters.  Here’re some photos:

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Sewage Hookup

Last week the plumbers ran the PVC pipe up to the sewage main and tapped in.  They needed to come back today to hookup the sewage grinder-lift pump that we need to pump the sewage up hill to the road.  The pump sits below ground with a man-hole cover for access if needed.  Here are some shots of the tank and tank work:

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The interior and exterior drains around the foundation along with the basement + garage floor drains all drained out near the walkout part of our basement.  This obviously provides a wet walk down to the yard!  Today, while the backhoe was there, they extended our drain pipes away from the house quite a ways, so water shouldn’t build up around the house.  Here are some shots of the PVC going in:

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Furnace and Hot Water Tank

The GC made some progress this week on getting the furnace set in it’s final place and starting the major ductwork to the ducts placed around the house.  Looks like it won’t be long until we have heat!  Good thing, it’s starting to get cold!

The plumber got some of the work done for the Hot Water Tank, but hasn’t gotten it hooked up yet.  I think they’ll finish up on Monday.

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We Have Power!

The electrician has had his conduit underground and service in the house ready for a week, but the electric company finally came out today to get the wire pulled underground and to the house.  The contractors are VERY happy as they can now say goodbye to their generators and the giant extension cord that ran from my in-laws house to our house.

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Master Bath Shower

The shower that we ordered for our Master Bath is custom made by the manufacturer, American Bath Factory.  When we ordered it, we didn’t know that or the lead time they needed.  It ended up taking about 6 weeks to get the shower, causing pain and suffering to our plumber because they couldn’t rough in the plumbing.  Luckily, it showed up yesterday, just in time for the plumbers to come back today, plumb it, and allow the drywallers to finish the room directly below it and the walls next to it.  Here’s a shot of the actual shower we ordered:

Here’re some pics of the shower during installation at the house: (they didn’t finish it)

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Miscellaneous – Garage Door, Home Theater Wiring

The garage door was finally installed, less the motor.  We were happy to see it in place, especially from a security standpoint.

Like my networking, cable TV, and phone wire runs, I made sure NOT to leave anything out with my home theater cables.  Because we are mounting the TV over the fireplace, I wanted my cables run behind the scenes to the back of the fireplace, with ALL of the current options for connections including:

- 6 HDMI
- 2 Component with Audio
- 2 VGA with 3.5mm Audio
- 2 RCA
- 3 Network
- 2 S Video
- 2 RG6 Quad Shield Coax
- 2 Toslink fiber optic cables for audio
- 7.2 Channel Surround Sound Speaker Runs with 12 AWG cable

For the time being I just ran them to the hole I need them in, and dropped them down to the basement.  The plan is to then run them up the chimney chase, away from the heat and behind the TV.  I will do a full post on my Home Theater plans.


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Wiring Our Barden Home For Internet, TV, and Phones

clock August 27, 2009 08:10 by author Donny Kemick

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I have a Web Marketing & Development firm with an IT Services division.  Having a business/techie background makes me very mindful of the future and what capabilities may be necessary in the years to come.  It also allowed me to wire our new Barden Home for Internet/Network, Television, and Telephones. 

While my firm has great experience in wiring businesses, we really don’t do large home wiring jobs.  Not because we can’t or don’t want to, but because people don’t ask for it.  I have run most of my PCs wirelessly in our previous houses, and that works fine, but it’s never as efficient as running from a wire.  You can achieve much higher throughput with a cable.  So, I decided to run cable to every room, in addition to the wireless we will have. 

What Do I Want to Run?

Because I already had to run networking to each room, I decided I would run coax (quad –shield RG6) cable with my network runs so I could have TV in all rooms.  While I was at it, I figured I may as well pull another wire for phone.  So, I ended up pulling 5 wires total for each run:

- 2 Cat6 Network cables for Internet/Networking
- 1 Cat6 Network cable to be split into 2 phone jacks (you only need some of the twisted pairs in a network cable for phone)
- 2 Quad-shield RG6 coax cables for TV

My jacks will look like the diagram on the right.  Yes, it was a lot of cable to run!

Where All Do I Need It?

EVERYWHERE!!!!!!  Sorry, I got carried away there…  Maybe not everywhere, but pretty darn close!  Here are some of my drawings that indicate locations for each jack (in red):

First Floor and Outside Deck:


Second Floor:


There’s no doubt in my mind that you are thinking I am completely insane.  That’s okay!  I’ve excepted that fact :).  Some day, you will all regret your judgment of insanity toward me, when your washing machine can send you an email saying the darks are done!


Just planning the locations of each jack what quite time consuming.  I did my best to envision where potential devices (Phones/TVs/Computers) would be in each room, or how technology might become a part of each room and place outlets at each location.  In bedrooms, I planned outlets on useable walls, in locations that could cover a whole wall if need be.  In living areas, I put outlets where we had pre-planned on having TVs or technology.

What Cable To Buy and Where?

Working so much with networking I knew up front that I would be running Category 6 cable in my house.  It’s one grade slower than the fast of the standard network cables, behind Cat6A which is very, very new, and thus very-very-very expensive!  When it came to the Coax cable, I knew I would be running RG6, but wasn’t sure about shielding.  Some reading lead me to believe that Quad-shield RG6 is currently the best, so I went with that.  For phones, I originally planned on running two phone cables (Cat 3 I believe), but found that I could run 1 additional Cat6 line and split the wires inside into two phone lines.  So, I had my 5!

After doing some VERY rough measurements of the amount of cable I needed, I quickly found that I would need about 2,000 feet of each cable.  The cable comes in 1,000 foot rolls, so I had to buy 10 boxes of cable total.  Because I needed so much cable, I decided to do an exhaustive search for the best deal on these rolls as possible.  My search lead me to  They had the best prices on all of the cables by a sizable margin, and even gave me a further price break because I called to place the order. 

FireFold’s selection was huge as well, which allowed me to pick a different color for each cable.  That will make things 10 times easier to identify in the central closet that this mess ends in!  See below:

Central Closet: (wires come from the basement and 2nd floor to this closet)


Basement: (Wires run to their first floor locations, and back up to the central closet)


Second Floor Closet: (Wires run from the 1st floor closet, up to the attic, where they drop down to their locations on the second floor)


As you can see, my runs look like a bag of skittles :).  Again, this will help tremendously in keeping them straight.  I labeled the closet end of each run with the outlet name/number from the diagrams above.  If I use the same colors for the same purposes at each outlet, keeping cables distinct should be fairly strait forward.  I still have to label each individual cable.

Online Resources

I obviously researched online for tips to make running the cable as easy as possible.  One of the biggest resources was a site written by a man that did exactly what I needed to do called the Structured Wiring How To.  There were a ton of great tips on the site about achieving the best signal possible by avoiding electric cables, and cross them the correct ways when you have to.

I Told You I Had a TON of Wire to Run!

I kept telling the GC and electrician that I had a ton of cable to run.  I don’t think they took me seriously :).  Then my boxes of cable showed up, and I got the typical “I think you have enough cable, hahahaha”.  Then, they came back after my weekend of work and saw the pile of cable in the wiring closet.  I think they finally GOT IT, that I was running some cable :).

I just figure, you may as well do it while you have free reign of the open walls.  I ended up running about 10,000 feet of cable total.  Here’s a shot of what was left at the end of my pulling: (just enough for some patch cables)


Cleanup and Next Steps

I now have to go in and get my cables out of the way so the drywallers don’t cut them.  Then, after the drywall and paint are done, I have to put the jacks on all of the ends… I’m REALLY NOT looking forward to that. :)


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