Best course of action? 1st floor room with no current light fixtures

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Old 07-30-13, 09:43 AM
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Lightbulb Best course of action? 1st floor room with no current light fixtures

Alright, let me describe the project. I am new to the forums so I hope that I don't mess anything up.

House age: 1950
Overall Project: Existing room with no current use being converted to bar room
Current status of project: Bar has been built in the room

Current electrical in room: 4 wall outlets only, not controlled by any switches
Current room features: Textured ceiling, smooth walls, crown molding
Room location: First floor with two walls on exterior of room, no crawlspace above, basement directly below with access. Electrical panel is in basement directly below room.

Current project: Install 4 pendant lights above bar and 3 recessed lights scattered about room to provide lighting in areas where its needed

Problem: I have no idea where to begin

I am a relatively new home owner. I like to do things where I can, mostly because I like to learn new things. I am a mechanical engineer by trade so I understand concepts fairly easily, the how-to is the part that I struggle with. So reading above, I am looking for the best way to wire this project. I've gotten suggestions ranging from removing the whole ceiling to cut a hole in the ceiling and see what I've got. I'd rather not go with a plan of action that starts with, cut it open and see what you're working with. I have access to most tools through collection of family members so that is not a problem.

I have never wired anything to this extent before. I'd prefer that "pay someone else to do it" is not the option being suggested, as that is always plan B.
 
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Old 07-30-13, 10:13 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

What is above this room?
 
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Old 07-30-13, 10:29 AM
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Above this room is a bedroom.
 
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Old 07-30-13, 11:18 AM
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Does the bedroom have carpet on the floor? If so what is the floor underneath?

How good are your Sheetrock repair skills?

Have you considered and rejected surface raceway such as Wiremold? It can be painted to blend in.
 
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Old 07-30-13, 11:25 AM
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Bedroom has hardwood flooring.

Sheetrock repair skills are amateur at best but I can learn.

Haven't considered wire mold. I was hoping to be able to cut a hole in the texture ceiling. Remove the crown molding, get into the spot between the floor joists from there. Snake wire to hole in ceiling and then down to basement where I can now run to wherever my switch is and the panel.
 
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Old 07-30-13, 06:32 PM
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You can run all the cabling in the basement ceiling and drill up to get into wall cavities to go to the switches and the lights. Your plan of cutting the holes where you need them and running from there should work.

At the wall-ceiling interface, you will have to channel into the framing to run the wiring and protect the wiring with nail plates before you install the crown mold.
 
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Old 07-30-13, 06:39 PM
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Ok. So my understanding of this would be that I have to cut into both the ceiling and wall at the interface and snake in between the floor joists?
 
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Old 07-30-13, 07:16 PM
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Yes. Depending on the size of the crown mold, you may be able to keep all openings behind it.

Do you have a scanner that will show you where the studs and joists are without making holes in the finished surface?
 
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Old 07-30-13, 07:42 PM
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I do, but I have about 5% confidence that the thing actually works. Feels like it was a large waste of money.
 
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Old 07-30-13, 08:09 PM
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Interesting. I have several, and they all work as they should - or as I expect them to. All of the electronic ones I have are made by Zircon. I/we think enough of them that we actually gave one to each of our grown kids for Christmas a few years ago.

The one I rely on for work is a MultiScanner« Pro SL. I love it, for what that's worth.
 
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Old 07-31-13, 10:33 AM
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I have a Zircon, maybe I'm not being patient enough scanning across the wall/ceiling.

Also, since I have a textured ceiling. Any issue with cutting a hole in the ceiling to mount the fixture and then trying to match the texture? Or should the hole be just large enough to fit the fixture box?
 
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Old 07-31-13, 02:40 PM
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The holes for the ceiling boxes for your pendant lights and for your recessed fixtures should be cut to fit them - especially since you'll be using old-work recessed light kits. Unless you want to demo the ceiling and install a new one later. Matching an existing ceiling texture can be a challenge for an experienced professional, from what I hear.

I'm curious. Is there no wall switch in this room, or just outside it?
 
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Old 08-01-13, 06:15 AM
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There are no wall switches in the room at all.
 
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Old 08-01-13, 06:41 AM
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OK. That's interesting. I thought that a provision for controllable light had been a code requirement for some years back. Oh well, it is what it is.
 
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Old 08-01-13, 09:44 AM
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I've been told that there could be strapping in the ceiling. I'm not quite familiar with why that would aid/inhibit me in this project.
 
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Old 08-01-13, 01:31 PM
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What is strapping? Do you mean blocking?
 
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Old 08-01-13, 02:23 PM
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Strapping is 3/4" boards that run perpendicular to the floor joists. Yes, that would be very helpful as you could fish both directions across the ceiling. I see it done all the time on "This Old House" on the East coast but never see it here.
 
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Old 08-01-13, 04:57 PM
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Wow, TI, like 3/4" furring, you mean? I've never run into it, but it sounds like it would be really handy.

I'm also imagining that that might produce some pretty interesting results when scanning the ceiling.
 
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Old 08-01-13, 05:35 PM
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I thought strapping meant:

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Old 08-01-13, 06:16 PM
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This is what I have seen on TOH: It seams like a New England thing where most of TOH shows are filmed. I have not encountered it in our area.

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Old 08-01-13, 08:23 PM
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If I have to fish that I'm using my fiberglass rods. There's no way a tape would make it through.
 
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