I decided to post a few more photos of what the basement looks like now, a couple of months after the majority of the work is done. The tv went up on the wall (after buying the wall mount on ebay) and it is hooked up to the trial service I am using to test the IPTV service. Oh yeah, that junk in the corner is pretty much par for the course; as you'll see based on the other photos on the site, this basement is a magnet for junk. As much as I try, I can't seem to keep the stuff from collecting down here. But as long as it's a cozy space where we can watch tv and relax, then it's all good. The pictures on the wall are a simple photoshop treatment, color copied and then mounted in really inexpensive Ikea frames. I just got some matboard from the art store and cut out the window to fit the 8.5 x 11 copies. And of course there's Winston on the stairs. All in all I definitely learned a few things: create a plan and as much as possible stick to it. It helps to keep the number of changes in check. Changes (and the resulting ripple effect) are to a large extent what causes over-runs in time and expense. have a realistic expectation about what you can do on your own. There's no point in thinking you can do everything involved in a fairly large job if you don't have the expertise or desire to spend countless hours going in circles. you can do everything yourself although there are pros out there who can make your life easier; for a price. For what it's worth, I would hire a contractor to do drywall taping and sanding every time: I learned my lesson. if you can find a good contractor, great. Just remember to have a clear idea about what you want them to do so that you end up with what you want.