An A/V Cabinet And A Little Remodel

This is such a universal problem, how to have a nice, tidy, media area that’s still easy to reconfigure.  There will always be another cable box, or game box, or router, or speaker, and how do you plug those in, how do you rout the wires and find the old dusty wires to remove them?  I have this problem myself.  So did Scott, but he doesn’t have that problem anymore.

Here’s what we did.


The Situation

Start with the typical A/V installation – an Ikea cabinet with a TV perched on top and myriad boxes below with a few dozen wires tangled in the back.


Behind this cabinet, conveniently, is a closet.  The idea is to increase the size of the closet by moving the wall behind the tv out about three feet, flush with the wall to the right.  Then add a built-in A/V cabinet right about where this one is.  Mount the TV on the wall.

Sounds simple.  No big deal.   But why bother?  The answer to that is in the details!


The Remodel

So, we start with this.


Note the existing built-in cabinet sitting about 18″ off the floor.  After a little repaint we will use that later as well.

There is a lot of wiring to move.  Switches, power, cable, fiber, and thermostat.  Another detail is the lighting.  There are two ceiling can lights that will fall right inside the new wall so they will have to be moved.

This is an older home, so we will be working with the original knob and tube wiring as well as some more recent romex.  That is the thermostat wire with the cable tie around it.


And there will always be surprises.  In this case, termites!


Fortunately, the damage is old and the termites are gone.  Still, this means I have to replace some door framing and reset the jambs and casings.

So now everything is good.  Wood replaced, door reset, and new wiring run.


Time for the cabinet and the trim.  Then paint the whole wall.  You can see the new ceiling can wires sticking out, above.

And now the cabinet is in, the trim is done, and everything is painted.


The carpet needs fixing, but I have a great carpet guy, Mike.  Mike The Carpet Guy.

Note the PVC pipe coupling sitting on the shelf.


The Details

I use that PVC coupling to rout wires through the wall into the closet.  It makes a nice clean conduit where wires can be easily changed.  I saw a 2″ hole in both sides of the drywall and that pipe slips in, fastened hand tight with knurled knobs on each side.  Nice finished look even though it hides behind the TV!

Around the other side, the inside of the closet has been stripped of old stuff and repainted a nice bright white.  Three heavy duty shelves are added over the cabinet for plenty of sturdy storage.


The round cover plate is for the thermostat wire that I had to splice.  Class 2 wiring doesn’t require a junction box for splices, but if there were ever a problem with the thermostat wiring, this would come in handy.

And now, the TV is mounted and connected.  65″ OLED,  Nice picture!

These are the last pictures I have and things are still incomplete.  If you note the original cabinet on the right, there is a thin wire dangling in front of the open space.  I ran that wire through the wall into that cabinet to provide a signal for a new Klipsch subwoofer, which will occupy most of that space.  There is already power in the back of the cabinet, so it’s pretty much ready to go.

On the inside, also not finished.

We have some spaghetti wiring that will soon be tidied up real nice.  Note the four outlets added on the right.  There is an existing grounded GFI on the left.  Plenty of power.  There are six nicely finished (with trim rings) access holes in the back, and beneath each one is a cable tray called Panduit.  This is something I used in my days as a controls systems engineer installing huge factory redesigns.  You can slip a wire into the tray at any point and pull it back out again at any point, so the wires stay hidden, but organized and accessible.

Here is a closeup, showing the side “fingers”.  There is a snap on and off lid for the tray.



To the left is the AT&T fiber box.  I also left Scott with two short pieces of Panduit that he can use on the top of the cabinet to tidy the wiring better up there.

So, problem solved.  Easy access, nice tidy implementation, room to expand.


“Hey Terry. Thanks for everything.  We are extremely pleased with the project.  The quality of your work is excellent.   The check is in the mail.”

“Also, that “Panduit” is super cool”


And getting that last check is super cool, too!


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