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post #1 of 80 Old 04-25-2009, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all -

I'm a long time lurker who finally joined the forums and I'm hoping to share my build.

about me:
I'm a typical movie buff, who has been looking forward to the day I could build my own theater. Unfortunately, my last foray into the a/v world was many, many years ago, so I'm not what you'd call an audiophile at all.

About a year ago, I purchased a house with an unfinished basement and immediately began planning out the theater in my mind.

My construction began in January of this year and I probably won't be done for another 4-6 weeks.

(There is also a second side to the basement that will have a bar, poker table, etc. That won't be completed until this summer.)

DIY vs pro-install:
Although I'm handy, I gave up any financial savings for professionalism and hired a contractor and an a/v installer. It's obviously a bit more than a DIY build, but had I tried to do this on my own, I wouldn't have known where to begin.

About the room:
I've include a wonderful plan view of the theater half of the room (thanks MsPaint!!).



The theater room itself is 25' deep and 14'6" wide (light blue area). But due to the closet created by the stairs, the actual depth of the "seating area" (yellow) is closer to 18'-6". The seating area will be two rows of recliners (4 seats per row). The electronics will be in a rack mounted in the wall by the stairs (dark blue). The small room at the bottom left of the diagram will be a bathroom.

Photos:

Here is the theater build so far:

Screen Wall:

Before build


Studs, wiring, & stage


Sheetrock


Paint


Better view of screen wall
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post #2 of 80 Old 04-26-2009, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Equipment Information

Video
JVC DLA-RS10 1080 D-ILA Projector
Draper Clarion 106" screen

Components
Marantz SR8002 Digital Surround Receiver
Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-Ray Disc Player

Speakers
2 Niles IW-2650LCR Stage Front Speakers
2 Niles CM760DS in-ceiling Directional Speakers (center)
2 Niles CM760 Two-way in-ceiling speakers (side)
2 Niles CM760 Two-way in-ceiling speakers (rear)
1 Niles SW-300 600 Watt Subwoofer

Seating
Bass Celebrity Lounger
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post #3 of 80 Old 04-27-2009, 05:18 AM
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looking good so far, makes me want to go back and fix mine up.

check mine out. I think I am gonna change the paint someday, and trim out the floor and ceiling better. I wish I never went with laminate flooring in the basement, Live and learn, this is my first basement reno. My next house will have a nicer theatre room.



I love the trim and riser you did. Keep us posted.

are you doing this all yourself or do you have a contractor? if not are you a carpenter by trade?

My HT setup updated april 27/09
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post #4 of 80 Old 04-27-2009, 05:32 AM
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Looks good, I think I would stagger the front row a bit and push it more to the center of the room as long as you can sneak by on the right.
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post #5 of 80 Old 04-27-2009, 05:57 AM
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That screen wall is screaming for an AT scope screen... just a wait a few months for upgraditis to set in.

Looks very nice!
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post #6 of 80 Old 04-28-2009, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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@XavierXY

Thanks! Your room looks great, too.

I am using a contractor. I'm sure it would have been much cheaper to do it myself, but I don't have the tools or the skill to do a lot of this, so it's worth it to me to pay someone else for their expertise.

Why do you regret the laminate flooring you used?

@BigMouthinDC

I thought about the seating for a long, long time. Even though the room looks a bit lopsided, the seating actually makes sense. I had thought of staggering the chairs (3 centered in the front row, 4 centered in the rear), but that left far too little room to navigate by.

The room is actually about 5 seats wide. So even though it looks a little weird, it's actually a 10 seat theater with the 2 leftmost seats removed for an aisle. The 'second' seat in on each row is actuall the 'center' seat.

The riser is 12" - not the most comfortable step, but it gives me a bit more elevation above the front row. And the screen will be mounted fairly high. I'm crossing my fingers that this makes up for the fact that I didn't stagger the rows.

@jamis

Upgraditis is already here! And I'm not even done yet. I'm going with a 106" screen - my a/v installer said it was a good size for my room and for the viewing distance I have. It looked great when we tested it. But I see a lot of folks with 120" screens in rooms about the same size, and I'm wondering if I shouldn't have gone larger. I can see why many theater rooms are never actually "done".
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post #7 of 80 Old 05-21-2009, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Finally had carpet installed:

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post #8 of 80 Old 05-21-2009, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is another series of progression photos from a different angle:













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post #9 of 80 Old 05-21-2009, 06:08 AM
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Wicked nice! I'm diggin' the carpet.
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post #10 of 80 Old 05-21-2009, 06:12 AM
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How did you manage to cut the curve on the stage top? Looks like you routered a bullnose on it... but did how did you cut the initial curve? Looks amazing. I am getting ready to build the stage and would love some advise!

Thanks,
Tim
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post #11 of 80 Old 05-21-2009, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiservt View Post

Wicked nice! I'm diggin' the carpet.

"wicked" nice? Sounds like we may be in the same neck of the woods.

My wife and I both loved the carpet from the moment we came across the sample. It definatley had that 'movie theater' look to it. We're both very happy with the way it looks in the room.
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post #12 of 80 Old 05-21-2009, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pennektj View Post

How did you manage to cut the curve on the stage top? Looks like you routered a bullnose on it... but did how did you cut the initial curve? Looks amazing. I am getting ready to build the stage and would love some advise!

Thanks,
Tim

I wish I could help you out, but all of my work was done by a contractor. (I could never have built this stage on my own). I do know, however, that the curved peice with the bullnose was actually supplied by a millwork company, then t&g flooring was cut to fit the rest of the stage.
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post #13 of 80 Old 05-24-2009, 06:47 PM
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vespaguy,
Very nice. That carpet looks amazing!
keep the pix coming.
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post #14 of 80 Old 05-25-2009, 08:15 AM
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I'll bet your getting excited...

Looks can be decieving but it looks just a week or so out of your first screening?


Of all your choices, I have to wonder what you will screen first in this amazing looking theater?
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post #15 of 80 Old 05-25-2009, 04:17 PM
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Looking good. I agree, I like the carpet as well.
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post #16 of 80 Old 05-25-2009, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the great comments! More pictures tomorrow night, hopefully!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNnDENVER View Post

I'll bet your getting excited...

Looks can be decieving but it looks just a week or so out of your first screening?

I'm definately excited! Tomorrow, I'm getting the screen installed and hopefully the acoustic panels as well. The countertop for the snack area is getting installed later this week. And once the panels are up, I need to have my electrician return for a little more work (wall scones, rope lights, etc), but that's about it.

The seating is due in by next week.

I should have picture and sound tomorrow night. And the theater should be ready for an opening night within the next two weeks.

Quote:


Of all your choices, I have to wonder what you will screen first in this amazing looking theater?

My first official movie night with friends will be "The Dark Knight". But I'm sure I'll watch a few movies before then. I'll probably watch the BBC's Planet Earth which I bought on Blu-Ray several weeks ago, but I've been putting off watching so that I can see it for the first time on the big screen.
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post #17 of 80 Old 05-26-2009, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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As promised, here are a few photos showing the latest work. Today, I had the screen installed and hanging the acoustic paneling has begun:



And the movie poster cases have been hung!

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post #18 of 80 Old 05-26-2009, 07:08 PM
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looking good, can't wait to see some more pictures.

Whats your budget for the entire construction, (not including equipment) you mentioned contracting the work out. I am curious, as am thinking of contracting out my next home theatre project

My HT setup updated april 27/09
Click Here
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post #19 of 80 Old 05-26-2009, 07:10 PM
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Vespaguy,
Just curious, did you use veneer plaster on your walls & ceilings? I haven't seen that system used too much lately, cost being the main reason. One thing to be said for using contractors, the job typically gets done in a reasonable amount of time (hopefully). Your place looks like a keeper.

What happened- your Harley was deleted to a Vespa to help pay for the HT?

"Unless you continually work, evolve and innovate, you'll learn a quick and painful lesson from someone who has"
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post #20 of 80 Old 05-27-2009, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theater Seats View Post

Looking good pics are very good cant you make your screen a bit bigger.

Room looks really nice...but I agree; it seems like your screen could have been a little bigger. Also, it feels a touch too high; you're really pressed up against the ceiling. Don't mean to nitpick...just some suggestions. Otherwise, again...nice room!

CD

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
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post #21 of 80 Old 05-27-2009, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XavierYZ View Post

looking good, can't wait to see some more pictures.

Whats your budget for the entire construction, (not including equipment) you mentioned contracting the work out. I am curious, as am thinking of contracting out my next home theatre project

It's hard to get a firm number since my contractor is doing another portion of basment at the same time. So he gave me one number for everything, and of course, it's gone up since then with changes that I've made in both rooms. I'll see if I can find out for you though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GG386 View Post

Vespaguy,
Just curious, did you use veneer plaster on your walls & ceilings? I haven't seen that system used too much lately, cost being the main reason. One thing to be said for using contractors, the job typically gets done in a reasonable amount of time (hopefully). Your place looks like a keeper.

Not sure if that's what it's called. Blueboard and a paper thin skim coat for the walls. You can see it in the pics above. They were in and out in a few days and did an excellent job. Very little dust.

Quote:


What happened- your Harley was deleted to a Vespa to help pay for the HT?

LOL. Nah. I lived in the city a few years ago. I own a 1979 Vespa Sport and it was ideal for buzzing around. I've always thought Vepsa's were cool - maybe it was from watching Roman Holiday when I was younger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theater Seats View Post

Looking good pics are very good cant you make your screen a bit bigger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Room looks really nice...but I agree; it seems like your screen could have been a little bigger. Also, it feels a touch too high; you're really pressed up against the ceiling. Don't mean to nitpick...just some suggestions. Otherwise, again...nice room!

CD

Ok. The screen. Both excellent points.

First the size.
(Let me start by saying that the seats have not been installed, and the wide-angle lens used for the photo does make the screen look smaller than it actually is. It's a 106")
As I said in the OP, I've been using a professional installer, and since this is my first home theater, I'm relying on him for certain recommendations (that's before I found this forum!). When we laid everything out, he recommended a 106" screen for optimum viewing. The back of my front row is 12' from the screen. When we laid it out on the wall with painters tape, it looked positively enormous, and I was actually concerned at the time that it would be too big for the folks in the front row.
Later, when he hung the projector, I saw what the image would actually look like. It looked amazing, but I thought that it could be bigger as well. He told me that I really didn't want to go any bigger and confirmed my fear about the front row.
Now that I look at the screen, I definately think I could have gone bigger. But, I'm not losing any sleep over it. Once the seats are installed, I'll be able to judge whether I should have gone bigger or not.

Now the height.
My installer laid out the viewing angles, and determined that we really needed to hug the ceiling to avoid people in the front row blocking people in the back row (I didn't go with staggered seating so that I could squeeze in 8 seats). This was also my installer's concern about going with a larger screen. As the screen get's larger, the bottom of the screen would be lower on the wall and might cause people in the front row to block the sightlines of those in the back.

ALl of that being said, I'm quite happy with the size and location of the screen. Time will tell if I need to upgrade.
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post #22 of 80 Old 05-27-2009, 10:50 AM
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The only change to the screen size that I would make would probably make in this case would be to widen it to 2.35:1. Keep the same height so as to maintain the 16:9 screen size.

Then zoom out or use an A-lens to fill the screen for 2.35 material.
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post #23 of 80 Old 05-28-2009, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Today I got sconces installed! And more importantly, I now have picture and sound!!! The only component that hasn't been hooked up yet is the sub-woofer, but I threw in a few Blu-Rays, and I'm getting some pretty incredible sound already. Can't wait to hear the completed theater.

I also threw in a few PS3 games. Burnout Paradise is wild at 106" and COD4 is a bit overwhelming.

I'm still waiting for countertops and seats. Both are due in a week or two. Hopefully the next pictures I post will be of the completed theater.

Here's a composite photo from tonight:


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post #24 of 80 Old 06-01-2009, 05:03 AM
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Great Job, I really like the stage!

Cheers,

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post #25 of 80 Old 06-01-2009, 08:49 AM
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Looks great!

But, how did you manage to get by without providing access to the clean-out covers in the main drain line. I would have thought you need to install a pop off access panel on the walls. I do count 3 and maybe the GC thought just the one immediately before exiting the house was fine. You can pull a toilet and snake from there if you need to have access to the rest of the line. I can't see the finished wall in that room but I assume there is an access panel.
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post #26 of 80 Old 06-08-2009, 05:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

Looks great!

But, how did you manage to get by without providing access to the clean-out covers in the main drain line. I would have thought you need to install a pop off access panel on the walls. I do count 3 and maybe the GC thought just the one immediately before exiting the house was fine. You can pull a toilet and snake from there if you need to have access to the rest of the line. I can't see the finished wall in that room but I assume there is an access panel.

The cleanout cover on the screen wall was moved around the corner to an unfinished part of the basement prior to covering the studs. I think that's the only one that was really affected.
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post #27 of 80 Old 06-08-2009, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
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More photos!!

First and foremost, my countertops have arrived. Here's the counter/bar behind the last row of seating.



We used the same stone for the candy counter as well. (with enough candy to send my dentist's children to Yale).



The subwoofer is all hooked up.



And here are some more photos of the (almost) completed room.





My seating has just arrived, too. It's currently in huge boxes in my garage. Should be installed this week. Opening night on Friday!
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post #28 of 80 Old 06-08-2009, 06:16 AM
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look forward to see the opening night pictures.

congrats on the new room.

The seating I want is on backorder until august so I have to wait

My HT setup updated april 27/09
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post #29 of 80 Old 06-08-2009, 06:40 AM
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Looking very nice.

Probaly a wise choice to go down the pro router if your not to confident. Don't want to ruin all your new stuff

Those sweets wouldn't last 5 mins if that was my house
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post #30 of 80 Old 06-10-2009, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Chairs are in!!



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