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5 Considerations for Designing the Ultimate Media Room for Your West Lafayette Home

Media rooms or home theaters have steadily gained in popularity, and it’s not surprising after lifestyle improvements have spurred demand for home remodeling projects. So, if a home theater or media room space is on your wishlist, we’ve compiled a list of essential design options to consider.

It takes thoughtful planning to make your media space turn out exactly as you had planned. With the right design, your media room can be an inviting gathering place even when the lights are on, and the sound system is off.

Lights! Camera! Action! Pass the popcorn, please! Here’s what you need to know…

1] Choose the Right Space

Carving out a section of your basement is an ideal way to make good use of an unfinished or underused space. Basements typically do not have large windows, multiple doorways, or high ceilings, making them ideal for transforming a room into a dedicated home theater. You might also consider utilizing a section of a garage or unused bedroom that is approximately 20 x 13 feet—an ideal configuration for a home theater.

2] Wiring for Sound and Light

Media centers require electrical wiring—and lots of it— to provide proper lighting, video, and surround sound. Even if you have to remove sections of drywall to reroute circuits, it’s better to hide the necessary electric infrastructure than to “make do” with visible cables and wires. Your design-build contractor and a qualified electrician will assist you with planning your media room, including proper placement of wiring for essential speaker locations, a receiver, A/V equipment, a video projector, and essential lighting.

Generally, you’ll want to consider wiring that allows speaker placement 1) above or below the viewing screen, 2) at either side of the screen, 3) on the sidewalls, 4) and on the back wall. You’ll also want to identify a location for the receiver and A/V equipment, which can be placed in a hidden cabinet or nearly closet.

3] Keep It Quiet — Soundproofing

Soundproofing a media room involves modifying the surrounding wall, floor, and/or ceiling to minimize the amount of sound traveling to other rooms or adjoining neighbors. To quiet the noise, insulation plays a huge role. An insulation rating of R30 is recommended for use in exterior walls, the ceiling, and floors. To keep rumbling movie sounds to a minimum, you’ll also want to consider insulating the interior walls with loosely-packed R11 insulation. The more soundproofing you can apply, the more functional the media room will be.

If permitted, you’ll also want to consider using specialty drywall such as QuietRock Soundproof as an effective sound barrier.

Other soundproofing techniques to muffle sound include hanging wool or velvet drapes on the outside of the walls, or quilt batting covered with decorative fabric. To minimize sound transmission between floors you can even use acoustic ceiling tiles.

4] Optimize Your Viewing Experience

Do you remember, as a child, sitting in the front row of the movie theater? By the end of the movie, your neck hurt, and you were squirming in your seat, right? You’ll want to prevent this from happening in your home theater. There is an optimal location and placement of your screen so that you can minimize neck and eye strain. A rule of thumb from media experts is that the seating area should be positioned 1.5 times the diagonal measurement of the television from the screen for optimal viewing comfort.

And, when it comes to the video display, bigger is not always better. Investigate the relative advantages of LED, LCD, and plasma technology, or explore innovative OLED that is reputed to be thinner, brighter, and more energy-efficient.

Understand that, whether you create a dedicated home theater or you plan a first-class viewing center in your living room or den, your screen, sound system, and lighting must work in tandem. Clarity and picture quality are vital, comfort counts, and you want the sound system to be as easy to operate and as attractive as possible. That means planning! Avoid skimping on the planning process.

5] Design Principles

Once you have identified the room’s location, the next step is to create the “shell” of your media center, select the specific equipment, and plan its installation. When that is done, move on to the aesthetic choices that will enhance your viewing experience and create the finished space of your dreams. Here’s the shortlist of priorities:

  • TYPE OF SEATING: Your media room doesn’t have to have stadium seating, nor do you need reclining theater chairs, but if your room is large, it’s not too difficult to build in a raised section or two to hold overstuffed loveseats and plush lounge chairs. Room size and the number of people in the family will dictate your seating options. Consider flexible modular or sectional seating or a built-in banquette with plush cushions for children.
  • BLACKOUT SHADES: If your room has a large window, roller blackout shades will darken the room and provide an authentic theater experience. Drapes of a plush fabric also serve as additional insulation and can help improve sound quality.
  • LIGHT FIXTURES: Wall sconces add decorative appeal and eliminate the need for a central ceiling fixture or table lamps. Utilize dimmer switches or remote controls for safety and ease of operation. If you have different floor levels, consider low-voltage rope lighting at the steps or install step illumination to prevent accidents.
  • FEATURE WALL: Even though a large-screen television will undoubtedly become the room’s focal point, consider other decorative design features. For example, frame the screen with decorative molding or add columns to side walls as architectural accents. Alternatively, install a cabinet or counter on the back wall to serve refreshments or provide storage. Use one wall as a gallery for poster art, or install shelving to showcase movie or entertainment memorabilia.
  • PAINT COLOR: While most homeowners opt for lighter tones in living spaces, a media room will benefit from rich, darker colors: Navy Blue, Charcoal, Deep Wine Red, or an Earthy Terra Cotta or Forest Green are popular choices and will provide the perfect background for your media room. Darker upholstery or leather chairs work well in a home theater or media room. As an option for elevated seating at the rear of the room, consider pub tables and upholstered swivel stools.
  • FLOORING: Carpet is the right choice for a media room. It not only helps soundproof the room, but it amplifies the richness of movie soundtracks. Consider carpet tiles that can be easily replaced should they become damaged or stained by use.
  • CUSTOM BUILT-INS: Most media rooms are designed for viewing televised movies and DVDs and home movie films. You’ll no doubt have video games and other electronic equipment as well. Having a closet or specially designed custom cabinetry is a boon to organization and enjoyment.

When you’re ready to begin planning your home theater, call on Riverside Construction, which has experience in all things home remodeling. As the premier design-build contractor in Lafayette and West Lafayette, our team can help you determine the best location and the best materials, and the most economical ways to proceed with your media room project. Contact us or call 765.838.1644.

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Maximize Your Basement Remodel by Including These Key Elements or Design Features 

If you have an unfinished or finished basement, you have the option to add valuable living space to your home—whether you need an extra bedroom, theater, workout room, entertainment area, or any other flexible space. Whatever the motivation behind your basement renovation, a finished basement is an ideal extension to your home that not only adds convenience and flexibility but can also add resale value. 

And while a finished basement is a sight to behold, finishing your basement is a big undertaking with a lot to consider. Beyond the necessary basement preparations that are required for finishing (i.e., waterproofing, layout, permits, etc.), there’s the fun part of deciding what features and amenities your basement should have. Here’s a closer look at what you can include in your finished basement to maximize the space and enhance its functionality:

What to consider including in your basement remodel

A wet bar

Wet bars are great for basements that you intend to entertain in, especially if you are a sports enthusiast. What items are synonymous with sports spectatorship? That’s right, food and drinks. A wet bar makes it convenient for you to serve guests without missing any action, and they are great for drawing people in and sparking conversations. Wet bars are also a stylish accessory that can keep guests around the area and out of your kitchen.

Kitchen

Add a kitchen to your basement and it becomes an entirely new, flexible space with the potential to serve as a guest or in-law suite. If you have the square footage, you’ll get long-term mileage out of adding a full kitchen, complete with a refrigerator, oven, microwave, full sink, garbage disposal, and even a dishwasher.

Lighting

When finishing your basement, don’t overlook the important detail of lighting. Since basements rarely have much natural light, it makes it that much more important to create a lighting plan just like any other room in the house. But, you will likely need more. Recessed or slim disc lighting is recommended for all-over illumination. Undercabinet lights work well around food prep areas. Pendant lights can be hung above tables or areas that need a focused spotlight. Use dimmable lighting around the TV. Remember, you want your basement to have a warm and welcoming feel — not be dark and dreary. The right lighting is critical.  

Egress window for the bedroom

When complete, your basement remodel should be stylish, functional and practical. But you also want to make sure that it is safe. In addition to testing radon levels and including a smoke detector in the finished space, if your basement includes a bedroom make sure you include an egress window. In fact, in Indiana, ensuring the availability of some sort of egress window or door is a state requirement for basement bedrooms. Egress windows essentially allow an additional point of exit aside from the main entry point to the basement, which can be life-saving in the event of an emergency.

A bathroom

A full bathroom with a shower is ideal, but even a half bath will suffice in a basement. Bathrooms are practical, especially if you intend for your basement to double as a living space where you entertain. You don’t want your guests or your household members to have to retreat to the ground floor level to use the restroom when nature calls. Bathrooms also add to your resale value.

Storage space

Many homeowners are so zeroed in on maximizing the functional space in their finished basement that they lose sight of one key area: storage space. Remember, the original purpose of a functional basement was to house HVAC equipment and store household belongings, etc. With that being said, make sure to consider adding valuable storage space in your finished basement—for items like holiday decorations, sports equipment, bulk food items, etc. 

A fitness room

When all is said and done, your health and fitness is a number one priority.  Consider dedicating a separate room in your finished basement to fitness and exercise. Doing so can help you save on costly gym memberships and also provide a space where you and your family can work out on your own time and in your own personal space.

A playroom

If you have kids, then you’re likely very familiar with the space needed to house all of their toys. Are you tired of stepping on Legos in your living room or tripping over dolls in your family room? While certain toys are appropriately stored in your kids’ bedrooms, a playroom can be a welcome addition to a finished basement. It can minimize clutter and provide a dedicated area for your kids to play, separate from the main living areas of your home.

A home office

If you’re like most Americans who take work home each night, or you have created a makeshift office in your bedroom or another corner of your house, then you may want to include a home office into your remodeling plans. Home offices can even double as a guest room to maximize the functionality of your living space. Bonus: you may even qualify for a special tax write-off if you incorporate a home office into your basement remodel.

Schedule a Virtual Home Consultation with Riverside

 

We’re all doing what we can and making the most of these challenging circumstances. Most of us at Riverside Construction are still working to create exciting new opportunities to help you solve challenges and obstacles with your home.

With the new shelter-in-place mandate and social distancing, you are likely spending even more time at home. Good news! You can still meet with a design and remodeling expert virtually:

  • We’ll cover all the same material in a typical in-home consultation
  • Anyone in your family can join the meeting where ever they are
  • Using technology, we can still tour your space
  • We’ll explain our design-build process and provide you with a rough budget estimate

For more information on what you can include in your basement remodel to maximize its functionality, contact us to schedule a virtual home consultation today! 

2019 Basement Design Trends to Watch for in Tippecanoe County

Basements no longer need to be damp, dark and unattractive storage spaces in the home. Today, finishing a basement can add much needed, affordable square footage that will allow for a variety of unique uses—a dedicated home theater, a game room complete with kitchenette or private in-law quarters are just some of the possibilities.

A finished basement not only adds space; it adds lifetime value. But there are right and wrong ways to tackle a basement renovation. Here are a handful of emerging trends:

Flexible Design Is Good Design

When planning a basement remodel, a good idea is to keep your options open. Today’s desires might not constitute tomorrow’s needs. Consider the following: Open space plans are adaptable to many uses. They will make a small space seem larger, and enlarge the realm of possibility for using space creatively. Whether you want your new space to be used for entertaining or to accommodate personal interests or needs, think about how to manage the square footage with a minimum number of walls.

Include the features that are important to you: Perhaps a snack center for children and grandchildren, a combination game room and media center rather than a dedicated home theater; space to pursue crafts or hobbies. Other time-honored ways to repurpose basement space include adding a guest bedroom and bath, a family room with kitchen or bar facilities, or even a home gym.

Adding recessed lighting throughout the basement banishes the possibility of a dark, dreary space while keeping future lighting options open. And no matter how the area will be used, you’ll always want to use appropriate waterproof materials to ensure your basement stays warm and dry.

Meet Special Needs with a Basement Remodel

Farmstead West Lafayette Basement Remodel 1

Sometimes special use rooms are just what the “doctor” ordered. If you’ve been looking for space for a home gym, your crafting supplies, a home theater, a teenage retreat, or a comfortable guest bedroom, the basement is the perfect space for these rooms. Take the opportunity to personalize your space, tailoring it to meet you and your family’s specific needs and requirements.

Popcorn and a Movie?

With available technology, adding a large flat-screen television and auxiliary speakers is simple. But if you want a “knock your socks off” media room, plan for built-in bookshelves and cabinets, comfortable seating, light dimmers, blackout shades and noise-dampening materials that might include carpet and additional insulation. There’s also no reason the room cannot be used for reading and music, so assess all the options as you begin planning your basement remodel.

Add a Mini Kitchen or Wet Bar

Double or triple your entertaining options by installing food prep or drink-serving capabilities. If there is existing plumbing in the basement, it should not be too difficult to add a bar sink; assuming that there is sufficient electrical service, small appliances like coffee pots, blenders, and slow cookers should also be easy to add.

What you will want to consider is the need for serving counters and clean up space, as well as for storage. But with the ability to prepare and serve food and drinks on the spot, you’ll double the pleasure you get from inviting guests into your home.

Make Room for Sleepovers

There’s a distinct difference between making space for teenage guests by spreading sleeping bags on the floor and creating a comfortable bedroom in the basement. A guest-worthy sleeping space involves many considerations, including the needs for appropriate egress windows, and the desirability of an adjacent bathroom.

Both should be discussed in advance with your designer at Riverside Construction to ensure that your needs can be addressed and to determine the budget.

A newer trend is to remodel a basement to provide additional multi-generational living space. Many families welcome in-laws and adult children today, and semi-private living arrangements are ideal. Such renovations can be “sweet additions” to a home, especially if your basement includes a walk-out feature, but they do require advance planning.

Comfort Underfoot

Both lighting and flooring are worthy of extra consideration when you consider a basement renovation. Floors, especially in winter, can feel damp and cold; it’s essential to install flooring that will minimize the cool, be visually attractive and durable, and cost-effective. Luckily, the options range from carpet with a good pad to installing radiant heat under tile or luxury vinyl flooring.

Whether you opt for an applied moisture barrier or go with in-floor heating under the finished flooring, be sure to investigate with your remodeling contractor the pros and cons, and determine the best, most cost-effective solution for your particular need.

Finally, Finish that Raw Space

There is really no way to express the personal sense of satisfaction that comes from turning underused or totally unfinished basement space into something attractive and functional that you can enjoy for years to come.

Knowing that a finished basement also adds value to your home is an additional reason to get busy on your renovation plans.

Riverside Construction has the experience and expertise to help you design your perfect basement room or to enlarge your home by renovating the entire existing basement. We can show you examples to inspire you, and we will also explain the perils of some all-too-common basement renovation mistakes.

Why not contact us now to discuss your wants and needs? We’re up on the trends and ready to get to work!

Avoid These 5 Disastrous, But Surprisingly Common Basement Remodeling Mistakes

Photo Courtesy of State Farm

 

Are you thinking about remodeling your Lafayette, Indiana basement from a dark, spooky, musty storage catch-all into a bright, fabulous living space where you can welcome family and friends? As you load your Pinterest board and scrapbook with ideas, step back for a moment and please make sure you know what not to do with your basement remodeling project first! This will help you prevent expensive, time-consuming and downright maddening problems you don’t want in your amazing new basement! The key to avoiding many basement design mistakes is getting experienced, professional help. The design-build team at Riverside Construction can help you steer clear of these six common basement mistakes, as well as many others:

Creating Too Many Tiny Rooms

The mere fact that basements are underground can bring out the claustrophobia in many people, so you want to design a space that doesn’t feel like it’s underground. That means creating a lot of light and open space. While it’s fine to add a couple of rooms, you’ll want to consider space-opening options like in-line cabinets and shelves built into the walls. Whether you’re designing a family fun room, an entertainment room, a man cave or an in-law suite, make sure to choose basement design ideas that are open, airy and bright.

Forgetting the Waterproofing

Again, being underground makes basements extremely susceptible to water damage. Anytime a pipe bursts, a drain gets clogged or there’s a heavy rainfall, you can have puddles (even lakes) forming down there, costing thousands of dollars of damage. Even small amounts of excess moisture can cause mold and mildew—two other things you absolutely want to avoid (see point 4 below for more on this topic). Your design build team can help you by making sure your design includes the following basement waterproofing elements:

  • A sump pump
  • Good drainage
  • Waterproof building materials

Not Adding Soundproofing into the Design

There are two main reasons soundproofing is critical to your basement remodeling project:

  1. If you’re turning your basement into an entertainment room, it could get noisy down there.
  2. Many of your home’s mechanical systems live in the basement, humming, buzzing and clicking along at all hours. This can be unpleasant if you’re turning your basement into an in-law suite or guest apartment. All that background noise can bug you during movies too.

There are several ways to add soundproofing to your basement, including building extra space between wall layers or using soundproof padding. Our design-build team can make the best soundproofing recommendations based on your needs and basement design.

Installing the Wrong Lighting

Choosing the right lighting for your basement remodel is absolutely critical, not just for mood and space reasons, but for safety. As the naturally-darkest area of your home, you’ll need plenty of light to make it brighter and prevent safety issues.

Unobtrusive, space-saving recessed lighting is an obvious choice for basements due to the ordinarily-low ceilings, but you’ll need to check the insulation in your basement’s ceilings first. Depending on what type of insulation you have, you may need to install IC-rated pot lights to avoid fire hazards. Depending on how high your basement ceilings are, you may also be able to install some pendant or other hanging light fixtures as well. Also consider lighting built into the shelves, along the walls and other ways of bringing more light into this normally-dark space.

Neglecting Building Permits and Proper Egress (Emergency Exits)

Proper egress means having safe, essential exit methods in case of an emergency. Not only is this a safety issue that you must not forget for the safety of your family and friends, but neglecting this and other building codes can cost you a lot of money too. Insurance companies will make you pay. Building inspectors will make you pay. Potential homebuyers may cross you off of their list if you’re trying to sell. Your Riverside Construction design-build team in Lafayette will help you make sure that essential window and door exits are added to the design from the beginning, and that the stairways are strong and safe.

Also, if you fail to get the right permits for your building project, this can cause you a lot of expense and hassle too. Riverside Construction helps homeowners obtain the correct permits and ensures that all of the design plans adhere to the latest safety and building codes.

Do Your Basement Remodel Right the First Time

Remodeling your basement beautifully and safely can add a lot of value to your home, but only if you get an expert to help you avoid these and other basement remodeling mistakes. Your design-build team can also help you stay within budget and use the correct, waterproof building materials that will stand up against moisture mishaps that could happen in any basement.

If you’re still considering basement designs, flip through our basement design portfolio for some more inspiration, and contact us for a personalized consultation today: 765.838.1644.

A 2017 Recap: Riverside Construction’s Best Before and After Basement Renovations

Breathtaking Design Ideas for Your Basement Renovation

With the New Year, it’s only natural to feel a renewed impetus for change. It’s the perfect time to channel your energy into that remodeling project you’ve had on the back burner. Kitchen and bathroom remodels are popular, but an unfinished basement? Now THAT’S promising! Think of your unfinished (or partially finished) basement like a blank canvas. Paint in a gym, a studio, an office, or a “man cave” – to name a few ideas – and imagine the endless hours of enjoyment you and your family will find in the finished space. Whatever your downstairs dream room is, the possibilities are practically endless. Here are some exciting ideas that combine fun and function. Scroll down and get those creative juices flowing!

MEDIA ROOM

A Riverside Construction Project

Who doesn’t want a room devoted to kicking back? Whether you have a growing family or you simply enjoy entertaining guests, the basement is an ideal space for a fully loaded media room. With an adjacent half bath and a custom bar or kitchenette for drinks and popcorn, a media room brings a new functionality to your home. Enhance the space with a large screen TV, a custom projector, audio system, plush carpets, and a comfy couch, and your new media room is bound to draw guests and family alike.

 

 

 

ARTS & CRAFTS STUDIO

A Riverside Construction Project

Are you into crafting, sewing or other artistry? Turn your unfinished basement into a large sewing or crafting space with large workspaces, ample task lighting, and plenty of custom storage options. Whatever your hobby, a finished basement provides added function, versatility, and – best of all – designated places for everything you need at hand.

 

 

 

 

 

MAN CAVE OR SPORTS ROOM

A Riverside Construction Project

It’s every sports fan’s dream. Heck, it’s every man’s dream. If you drool over a secluded retreat of your own, your dark and dreary basement can make those dreams come true. Remodel your basement into the perfect man cave using hard wood flooring, back lighting, custom bar and beverage refrigerators, shelving for sports memorabilia, granite countertops, and a fireplace – to name a few ideas. The clubhouse days are over, boys. Welcome to the big leagues.

 

 

 

 

 

HOME GYM

A Riverside Construction Project

Getting to the gym can be difficult. But with a home fitness studio, there are no excuses. Installing the appropriate flooring for exercising and some custom cubby storage for your gear means you can ditch the excuses and catch a workout at a moment’s notice. Whether you’d rather revel in the added privacy, or invite your friends to hang, you’re guaranteed to reduce the distractions – and the germ count – while still getting in your daily reps.

 

 

 

 

HOME OFFICE

Courtesy of K. Marshall Design

Working at home doesn’t have to be a drag. On the contrary, remodeling your basement into an inspiring home office is one of the best things you’ll ever do for you. With great task lighting, a built-in desk, bookshelves, and wiring for all of your technology needs, you can work with ease in the comfort of your own home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GUEST ROOM

Courtesy of Pavel Burmakin

Every house can use an extra bedroom. Whether you have visitors from out of town or just down the street, a guest bedroom is essential. Give your company the luxury escape they crave with great closet space, an adjacent bath, and reading nook in warm, neutral tones that everyone can enjoy. Your guests will thank you for a great night’s sleep in their cozy retreat. Better still, they’ll never guess their ultra-chic sanctuary could ever have been a dark and scary basement!

 

 

 

 

 

 

MUSIC ROOM

Courtesy of Contemporary Basement by Salt Lake City Photographers Lucy Call

Have you recently acquired a resident musician? A renovated basement can provide a much-needed space for jam sessions with plenty of storage for instruments and equipment. Consider designing a basement practice space that preserves the peace with soundproofed walls and flooring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GAME ROOM

A Riverside Construction Project

Game rooms are great for kids and growing families, providing a convenient space to entertain and hang out. With the essential functionality of a half bathroom, kitchenette, an entertainment center for movies and video games, and a selection of seating areas, a game room means fun for the whole family. Better still, a basement game room can keep you enjoying outdoor sports – even in bad weather. With a miniature indoor sports court complete with the appropriate flooring and padded walls, kids can keep on practicing all year round.

 

 

 

 

KID’S PLAYROOM

Courtesy of Midcentury Kids by Grand Rapids Interior Designers & Decorators Mindi Freng Designs

Devote your basement remodel to inspiring your little ones with a playroom of their very own. Design custom playhouses and chalkboard walls to keep the magic of early childhood alive. Using pony walls or custom furniture, you can create designated play areas for a variety of activities. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination. Consult your kids, too! In the end, their fairy tale playroom will be your peace of mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WINE CELLAR

A Riverside Construction Project

You don’t have to be a connoisseur to appreciate wine, but those in the know will surely covet a custom, built-in temperature-controlled basement repository. What better way to add a touch of class to your home than with a luxurious wine cellar complete with proper storage, display cases, and a seating area? Consider transforming even a small, unused space into the ultimate wine cellar with special touches like rope lighting, unique countertops, and a coffered ceiling.

 

 

 

 

 

LAUNDRY ROOM

Courtesy of E/L Studio

Need a better space to do laundry? Consider designing the ultimate laundry room as part of your basement remodel. A well-lighted folding station, a custom drying rack, and a built-in ironing board go a long way to making chores seem less tedious. If your basement has a ground floor entrance, you might even consider an adjacent mudroom or a dog washing station.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN-LAW SUITE

A Riverside Construction Project

An in-law suite is a separate living space within a larger household. It usually includes a bedroom, a full bathroom, seating area, laundry area, and a kitchenette. Converting your basement into private living quarters is ideal for resident family members in need of a independence – with all the benefits of living just downstairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CUSTOM STORAGE

Courtesy of Spacecrafting / Architectural Photography

Courtesy of ACRE Goods and Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Riverside Construction Project

At the very least, a basement renovation is the perfect opportunity to enhance your home storage systems. Goodness knows one can always use more practical organizers! From custom built-ins to open shelving, don’t be afraid to utilize every nook and cranny – including under the basement stairwell.

For more specific details on how to finally transform your “empty canvas” basement into your very own masterpiece, check out this article on reclaiming your basement. Then, take the first step toward your new basement space and schedule an in-home meeting with your very own personal design consultant.

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