Building My Theater/Bar/Gameroom (digging a giant hole in my basement!) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 60 Old 09-17-2010, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello. I am in the early stages of planning an addition to my house. We have met with several architects and we will be hiring one in the next week or so. The best part about the addition (to me) is that I will be able to convert the basement into whatever I want!

The finished area will be a little unusual because we are digging down in our existing basement to create more ceiling height so it is even with the new room. The pic shows what I think will be the finished layout. The dimensions aren't 100% set in stone but they should give you a rough idea of the room I'll have.

The goal of this project is to have:

1. An open theater integrated with the rest of the room. I'd like two rows of seats but if that isn't possible I'd at least like a bar behind the first row of seats so more than 3 people can watch TV or movies. I'll be getting a projector and screen (hopefully around 100" or more). I'll mostly be using it for watching sports, watching TV and playing video games. I'll also use it for movies but that is not my priority.

2. A very small bar area with a sink and a refrigerator (could be a mini fridge or something smaller than a standard one). I'm thinking room for three at the bar would be plenty.

3. A game room area for some arcade machines. My wife has just about had it with the Donkey Kong in the dining room! I imagine I'll want room for 4 or 5 cabinets.

I'm really struggling with the layout and the architect isn't experienced with this stuff. Any ideas?

Thanks!
LL

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post #2 of 60 Old 09-17-2010, 10:11 AM
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I'm not an architect either, but you have a great space to accomplish what you are looking for. I'm sure others will be chiming in soon and be glad to pencil in where put the screen, bar, and game equip. Planning is key and you'll need to think about electrical, HVAC, and plumbing requirements. Will you be adding a bathroom?
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post #3 of 60 Old 09-17-2010, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Javatime View Post

I'm not an architect either, but you have a great space to accomplish what you are looking for. I'm sure others will be chiming in soon and be glad to pencil in where put the screen, bar, and game equip. Planning is key and you'll need to think about electrical, HVAC, and plumbing requirements. Will you be adding a bathroom?

Thanks! I don't think we will be putting a bathroom in the basement - I'm not sure one would fit with everything else I want although it would be funny if I used the unfinished space with the 6' ceilings for it. I'm not opposed to it though if someone can come up with a nice layout.

I'm off to read your thread now - I'm in NJ too but way north of you (outside NYC). I need to get some ideas - I don't know how much space I'll need for this stuff without feeling cramped.
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post #4 of 60 Old 09-21-2010, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, I played around a bit. This is a start I guess and kind of gives you an idea where I'm headed with this. Getting everything to scale and making sure things fit is going to be tough. The room is drawn to scale for the most part but the components and junk I put in there are not.



EDIT: Some more info... The room the theater is in is approximately 22' x 13.5' to give you a sense of scale.

My goals with this build are to keep the room open which is why I'm thinking of using low walls to delineate the theater space. I'd also like people at the bar to be able to see the TV screen if it is on and I want more than 4 people to be able to comfortably watch a movie at the same time (which is why I have the counter ad chairs behind the theater seats).

I thought about rotating the theater space by 90 degrees and only taking up 1/2 of the new space but I'm not sure if there is enough room to get everything I want out of the room.

Any thoughts?
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post #5 of 60 Old 09-23-2010, 09:00 AM
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not a sound expert but I am pretty good at factory and other layouts and I see a problem with the people flow getting around your bar area and in to the back chairs behind the bar seating area. Need to leave 6' from the bar to the low wall and IMHO you would need at least 5 feet behind the seating bar to the wall clearance if using standard bar chairs.

21' room -so 5' to back of bar 2' bar so you have 14 ' to the screen/speaker wall and need the screen out some 30" so you have room for speakers that leaves about a 10.5' viewing distance.
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post #6 of 60 Old 09-23-2010, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by elkski View Post

not a sound expert but I am pretty good at factory and other layouts and I see a problem with the people flow getting around your bar area and in to the back chairs behind the bar seating area. Need to leave 6' from the bar to the low wall and IMHO you would need at least 5 feet behind the seating bar to the wall clearance if using standard bar chairs.

21' room -so 5' to back of bar 2' bar so you have 14 ' to the screen/speaker wall and need the screen out some 30" so you have room for speakers that leaves about a 10.5' viewing distance.

Hmmm.... thanks for the feedback. I might have to go back to the drawing board - the space fills up FAST. I spent some time in sketchup (I stink at it) and laid it out a little nicer and more to scale with the bar and furniture. I'm not sure about the flow of the room though and there's the big space/closet to the left of the screen that I guess I'd put the equipment in but I don't know. I also moved the screen back to the wall and will have to think of a speaker solution.

Does this look like it will work or should I try moving things around? I thought of maybe putting the bar where the arcade games are but then it kind of removes you from the theater area which I don't want. The idea is to have people over to watch football, drink some beers and play some video games.
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post #7 of 60 Old 09-23-2010, 01:04 PM
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I like your layout of the theater area and bar area. My project I'm about to undertake is going to be about the same with the exception mine won't be a theater but more of a football party room. I'll be anxious to watch your progress and see how it turns out with the bar area and tv.
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post #8 of 60 Old 09-23-2010, 04:37 PM
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very nice... In that last render I shows the problem I saw with that wall to the left of the screen. Why is it there? and why so far out from the back wall?
I think you should not block the viewing from any bar bar seats or even as you walk into the room.. show off the screen as much as possible. While still having a nice AV cabinet closet.
How much time did you spend on that program? I might have to switch from old school ISO's in my ACAD 14. That looks sweet.. But I dont have to convince the lady of my vision prior to approval.

One other layout you might want to consider is a diagonal one where the screen moves stage left and at an angle. I know the sound guys will pipe in in about 20 minutes but it would look really cool and I think is worth a render.
Plan the bar bar better with the fridge or sink on the back wall or what ever you have in mind but what if that main bar started closer to the bottom of the stairs and extended out at an angle so that is is a Bar/Bar on one end and a viewing bar on the other. You might lose that little wall by that first pinball machine to keep the room more open or use it as a counter for the back of the bar so patrons can get a drink there too without having to come around. This might free up some space and if you did not plan on the bar/bar seats and viewing seats being needed at the same time it would work.

PS what is a cocktail cabinet needed for if you have a bar?
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post #9 of 60 Old 09-23-2010, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by elkski View Post

very nice... In that last render I shows the problem I saw with that wall to the left of the screen. Why is it there? and why so far out from the back wall?
I think you should not block the viewing from any bar bar seats or even as you walk into the room.. show off the screen as much as possible. While still having a nice AV cabinet closet.
How much time did you spend on that program? I might have to switch from old school ISO's in my ACAD 14. That looks sweet.. But I dont have to convince the lady of my vision prior to approval.

One other layout you might want to consider is a diagonal one where the screen moves stage left and at an angle. I know the sound guys will pipe in in about 20 minutes but it would look really cool and I think is worth a render.
Plan the bar bar better with the fridge or sink on the back wall or what ever you have in mind but what if that main bar started closer to the bottom of the stairs and extended out at an angle so that is is a Bar/Bar on one end and a viewing bar on the other. You might lose that little wall by that first pinball machine to keep the room more open or use it as a counter for the back of the bar so patrons can get a drink there too without having to come around. This might free up some space and if you did not plan on the bar/bar seats and viewing seats being needed at the same time it would work.

PS what is a cocktail cabinet needed for if you have a bar?

Thanks. I agree about the wall next to the screen. It needs to be shortened. I may be able to get a little more room in that area if I decide to underpin back to underneath the stairs but then I'll have to find a new spot for the washer and dryer. If I can underpin, I can use that space for something else. I don't know what though.

Also, the dimensions/floorplan of the addition (where the theater is currently located) isn't set in stone so maybe I can do something more creative than just a box. I'm not sure I want to angle the theater though (although I don't think I fully understand your layout suggestion). Anyway, here's a shot from the corner on the stage looking out into the room...

P.S. I've already got the cocktail cab - might as well use it!
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post #10 of 60 Old 09-30-2010, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I went ahead and hired an architect for my addition. I'm hoping I can think of a better layout for the basement (or maybe she can). The more I stare at my design the less I like it. Part of the problem is the chairs behind the theater seats. I want to be able to host football games so seating is an issue - I'd like it to be comfortable for at least 4 but workable for 8 or so. I'm also not sure about those seats being so close to the back wall where I'm going to presumably put speakers. The designs I'm liking are the ones with the fake columns and sconces so that is another consideration.

For the bar area, i think I'd like a full sized fridge and maybe some cabinets with a granite counter - more like a kitchen area than an actual bar. I guess I'll know more once the architect starts drafting plans so I can see exactly how much space I've got. Any thoughts?
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post #11 of 60 Old 10-03-2010, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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OK - here is my best guess as to the space I'll have to work with. I still want to fit the projector/screen a bar area and a game area.
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post #12 of 60 Old 11-20-2010, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok. We are definitely moving forward. The architect is coming out to the house to measure everything. The surveyor is also coming out next week. I'm starting to get excited about it but I'm really getting concerned that I'm not going to have enough space when it is all said and done - the wife wants storage in the basement now! I'm not sure how that is going to work...
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post #13 of 60 Old 11-21-2010, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javeryh View Post

Ok. We are definitely moving forward. The architect is coming out to the house to measure everything. The surveyor is also coming out next week. I'm starting to get excited about it but I'm really getting concerned that I'm not going to have enough space when it is all said and done - the wife wants storage in the basement now! I'm not sure how that is going to work...

Are you to the point where you're ready to do another "Sketchup Drawing" of your vision? I'd love to see more of where this is going.

Being a civil engineer/geologist-type of guy, I just can't help but think about the difficulty of dropping that floor a whole 3 ft.! What type of soils you're dealing with for about 4 ft below existing grade elevation? If it's the Jersey Coastal Plains sand, caving will make this a struggle...just sayin'.

How will you get the broken concrete and soil out and the concrete in?

Here's where I am with my project...how big a room do you consider this setup (in cubic ft.)? How are you going to figure the volume (dB) you're going to need/want in that space? I'm simply trying to get to a point of picking out speakers and an A/V receiver, so I put a drawing together in this thread to get a recommendation. Any help you could lend would be appreciated.
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post #14 of 60 Old 11-21-2010, 01:29 PM
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Interesting. I am currently doing a similar remodel. I am also going to be excavating below the existing home footings to put a "basement" below where my existing deck is. Our architect had a couple of engineers out here this week, and we are going to end up putting in some helical? supports which will ultimately replace my existing footings, but will allow me to build the new wall right up against my existing foundation, rather than having to go out 3-4 feet. Cost me an extra $3500, but I'm up against an easement issue on the other end.

We probably need to compare notes as we go. I've got a 21 by 15.5 space for the HT/rec area plus about a 21 by seven corridor alongside which will include a bath, spiral staircase and game area for 2-3 pins and my 1957 AMI Juke. I'm going to do a room-within-a-room concept, with a raised area behind 3-4 theater seats. It's tight, but I need to get a card table and a kitchenette back there.
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post #15 of 60 Old 11-22-2010, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GAS_Wyo View Post

Are you to the point where you're ready to do another "Sketchup Drawing" of your vision? I'd love to see more of where this is going.

Being a civil engineer/geologist-type of guy, I just can't help but think about the difficulty of dropping that floor a whole 3 ft.! What type of soils you're dealing with for about 4 ft below existing grade elevation? If it's the Jersey Coastal Plains sand, caving will make this a struggle...just sayin'.

How will you get the broken concrete and soil out and the concrete in?

Here's where I am with my project...how big a room do you consider this setup (in cubic ft.)? How are you going to figure the volume (dB) you're going to need/want in that space? I'm simply trying to get to a point of picking out speakers and an A/V receiver, so I put a drawing together in this thread to get a recommendation. Any help you could lend would be appreciated.

I'm almost at the point of doing another sketchup model. I'm going to wait for the architect to come back with the maximum size I'll be allowed to add on to my house. The stupid code in my town only allows for 20% building coverage and up to roughly 21.5% with a variance (which I'll definitely be going for). It doesn't make any sense because my house is currently at 18% so in order to gain more space I'm going to have to knock down 1/2 of my detached garage. I'm allowed an extra 100 sqft. without the variance and an extra 250 sqft. with the variance (bringing the total floor plan of the addition to approximately 350 sqft.). Most every other house in my neighborhood has an addition and I can tell a lot of them are WAY over 21.5% so I need to get a better understanding of why the architect thinks we will be limited.

I do not think the excavation will be an issue at all. The architect we hired currently has 3 similar projects going on right now and she said that it will be fairly easy and fairly inexpensive to do. We interviewed 3 architects and the lady we choose didn't even blink when I mentioned the excavation - the other 2 didn't seem so comfortable with it. We aren't that close to the shore so hopefully it won't be an issue.

As far as soil removal, it should be very easy because we are adding an addition on to the back of the house - they will be removing the back wall of the house entirely so they will be able to scoop it out with a backhoe. Total cubic feet of removal (not including excavating for the addition) will be about 1,000 cubic feet if I had to guess.

I'll check out your thread - I don't know how much help I'll be but the more people to bounce things off of the better...
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post #16 of 60 Old 11-22-2010, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stjoe View Post

Interesting. I am currently doing a similar remodel. I am also going to be excavating below the existing home footings to put a "basement" below where my existing deck is. Our architect had a couple of engineers out here this week, and we are going to end up putting in some helical? supports which will ultimately replace my existing footings, but will allow me to build the new wall right up against my existing foundation, rather than having to go out 3-4 feet. Cost me an extra $3500, but I'm up against an easement issue on the other end.

We probably need to compare notes as we go. I've got a 21 by 15.5 space for the HT/rec area plus about a 21 by seven corridor alongside which will include a bath, spiral staircase and game area for 2-3 pins and my 1957 AMI Juke. I'm going to do a room-within-a-room concept, with a raised area behind 3-4 theater seats. It's tight, but I need to get a card table and a kitchenette back there.

Sounds cool... I'd be very interested in the helical supports you are talking about. the entire footprint of my house is only 25x25 so every little bit of space matters. If I come in 5 feet all the way around that only leaves me with about 1/2 of the usable space in my existing basement to excavate (although we do have to consider the HVAC, water heater, boiler, oil tank and washer/dryer so it may not matter for me).

I'm intrigued by your spiral staircase - that can't be the only way in and out, right? Sounds like we have similar space concerns and we want to cram the same type of stuff in there (HT/rec area/kitchenette and some arcade cabs/pins). We have a side room to our house that is 18' x 8' roughly but there is no basement underneath that area. I wonder what the added cost would be to turn that into usable basement space...
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post #17 of 60 Old 11-23-2010, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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The architect came to the house and measured everything today. I guess now we wait to see the design she comes up with (we also have the survey scheduled which she will need I guess).

I also went to a friend's house over the weekend and he has a nice theater room (dedicated) and we measure it to be 12'2" x 18'3". It had plenty of room for 2 rows of seats with the 106" screen. Now I'm thinking of maybe rotating my initial design by 90 degrees so instead of using the entire new basement area from the addition on the theater area maybe I can fit it in about 70% of the space with the kitchenette/bar area on the other side?

If anyone has any suggestions I'm all ears...
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post #18 of 60 Old 12-02-2010, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, the surveyor is coming to measure my property tomorrow. He said he will have the plans ready for the architect (in CAD) by Tuesday. This will give the architect all the info she needs to do the initial layout. I'm hopeful that I'll have a first draft of the plans by Christmas.

Anyway, I've been playing with the sketch-up model and I'm making some progress. After reading a ton of the "Small Theater Builds" threads I think I've decided to go with two rows of recliners instead of one row with the bar behind. Depending on how wide the addition is I'll either put 3 or 4 seats in each row. Ideally I'd like the entire family to be able to sit in the front row (there are currently 4 of us) but we are trying to expand that as I type this... well not exactly as I type this but you get the idea.

Sound layout is definitely going to be an issue - I'm planning to wire for 7.1 but one side of the theater area will be open to the rest of the room and I'm going to have to figure out how to place the speakers on that side.

I'm also think I'm going to go with a kitchenette design rather than a traditional wood bar - a counter and some stools will save on space I think. I'm still up in the air with this.
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post #19 of 60 Old 12-20-2010, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Just got a call from the architect - the first draft of the floor plans are in the mail! I'm pretty psyched - what are the chances she nails it on the first try? As long as there is enough space in the basement...
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post #20 of 60 Old 12-20-2010, 09:45 PM
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Have you gave it any thought about what this thing is going to cost, turn key? I only say that because I have done a couple of projects similar in scope for a few of my cutomers and the numbers really added up quickly. Do keep in mind that the extra load on the mechanicals may render them undersized and may need to be upgraded. I'll make the assumption that we're talking about a 1 story addition w/ 8' basement walls? Your architect of choice should be able to get you a sq.ft. cost, but be prepared to spend more (they're notorious for under pricing work, see it all the time especilly with resi). FWIW, at least put a half bath in with a wet bar (or even better a kitchenette), you will not regret it. You are most likely will need an ejector (if you have one already even better) for the laundry, maybe locate the bath in the general vicinty to save a few bucks although UG plastic is not that expensive but venting/exhausting can be problematic.
GAS_Wyo brings up a point which should not be taken lightly, moving soils around bearing points can get a little "hairy".


Lastly, in today's world the payback isn't what it used to be, but if you're happy with your location and the new floor plan then it's worth every penny- you only live once

"Unless you continually work, evolve and innovate, you'll learn a quick and painful lesson from someone who has"
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post #21 of 60 Old 12-21-2010, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Have you gave it any thought about what this thing is going to cost, turn key? I only say that because I have done a couple of projects similar in scope for a few of my cutomers and the numbers really added up quickly.

We gave the architect our budget (what we hope it will cost) and our "do not go over" number so she knows the parameters and didn't seem overly concerned. Of course this budget is just for the space - not everything we will have to buy to fill it over time. She has done a bunch of jobs like this and her structural engineers for the basement excavation are all in house which should hopefully keep the costs down. I'm mainly concerned with getting the space now - I don't mind spreading the construction for the theater/bar area in the basement out over a couple of years if need be.

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Do keep in mind that the extra load on the mechanicals may render them undersized and may need to be upgraded.

I'm guessing you mean things like my A/C unit and heater may be undersized? We have thought about this but the architect didn't think it would be an issue because of the way the house is set up. We have an oversized water heater - 50 gallons for 1.5 bathrooms - plus 2 separate A/C units. When we moved in there was central air on the first floor of the house only - weird. We have since added the second unit for upstairs and both could easily cool the additional 300sqft on each floor.

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I'll make the assumption that we're talking about a 1 story addition w/ 8' basement walls? Your architect of choice should be able to get you a sq.ft. cost, but be prepared to spend more (they're notorious for under pricing work, see it all the time especilly with resi).

It will actually be a 2 story addition plus basement with 8' (or 8.5' if possible) ceilings. Living room on the first floor and master bedroom/bathroom on the second floor. We also have a walk up attic (finished) that will get bigger as well - we are planning to use that extra space as storage. We are planning on this being an expensive project.

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FWIW, at least put a half bath in with a wet bar (or even better a kitchenette), you will not regret it. You are most likely will need an ejector (if you have one already even better) for the laundry, maybe locate the bath in the general vicinty to save a few bucks although UG plastic is not that expensive but venting/exhausting can be problematic.
GAS_Wyo brings up a point which should not be taken lightly, moving soils around bearing points can get a little "hairy".

I have thought about the 1/2 bath downstairs... if I can fit it in I definitely want to at least prep for it even if I don't install the fixtures right away. I'm definitely going to put a kitchenette in the basement with the bar/counter - I want a mini sink and room for some sort of refrigerator (not necessarily full-size). The 1/2 bath on the first floor of my house is probably 3' x 5' so I know they can go small (I can wash my hands in the sink while sitting on the toilet!).

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Lastly, in today's world the payback isn't what it used to be, but if you're happy with your location and the new floor plan then it's worth every penny- you only live once

Amen to that. I'm not concerned about resale at all since by doing this addition we are basically saying we are here until the kids move out at least (20+ years since we aren't done having kids just yet). We've also been lucky over the past 7 years in that our house has appreciated in value by a lot relative to the market. We will end up spending right around the amount that the house has appreciated so even if we sell right away and the addition adds no value we will pretty much break even.

Thanks for your post - it sounds like you have experience with this stuff. Are you a GC?
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post #22 of 60 Old 12-21-2010, 01:59 PM
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Your architect's firm must be a fairly decent size company to keep engineering on board, nothing wrong with that. My concern was with your HVAC eqiupment along with your electric service but it sounds like you've got that covered also.

A 600 sq.ft addition as yours, with simply adding essentially 2 rooms and a basement is not overly challenging. Without knowing the particulars, especially if you don't have a lot of exterior/interior finishes, you can expect to be under construction for at least 3 months, possible more. I don't know if you down a site survey (julie), to see if there's anything in your building footprint, that can be problematic, hopefull your all good.

When I see the acronym GC, I sometime cringe. The word is used rather loosely at times, but yeah I'm one. When you go to hire one of us, first of all word of mouth (not internet) is gold, then try the local contractor's associations (these can be froth with favored sons) or even some of the local suppliers. When it comes to housing, most of the guys left standing are usually of good standing, one of the few benefits of the downturn

Just to let you know, it took me almost 5 years to get my HT together, so there's no rush but don't buy your pj till the very end- at least you'll have the latest and greatest and not a new in the box 5 year old pj

"Unless you continually work, evolve and innovate, you'll learn a quick and painful lesson from someone who has"
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post #23 of 60 Old 12-22-2010, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Your architect's firm must be a fairly decent size company to keep engineering on board, nothing wrong with that. My concern was with your HVAC eqiupment along with your electric service but it sounds like you've got that covered also.

It is actually the architect's husband who does the engineering - they are still a pretty small shop. I was told they are not cheap but they are not overly expensive either. I went with them specifically because she didn't think it would be a challenge at all to dig out the basement.

We are going to have to increase the electric service - I forgot about that!

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A 600 sq.ft addition as yours, with simply adding essentially 2 rooms and a basement is not overly challenging. Without knowing the particulars, especially if you don't have a lot of exterior/interior finishes, you can expect to be under construction for at least 3 months, possible more. I don't know if you down a site survey (julie), to see if there's anything in your building footprint, that can be problematic, hopefull your all good.

We had the survey done already and they didn't say anything so I think we are OK. I don't mind the construction - I just want it done right. If it takes 3 months or 6 months or whatever so be it - just make sure that I get what I want when it is all said and done!

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When I see the acronym GC, I sometime cringe. The word is used rather loosely at times, but yeah I'm one. When you go to hire one of us, first of all word of mouth (not internet) is gold, then try the local contractor's associations (these can be froth with favored sons) or even some of the local suppliers. When it comes to housing, most of the guys left standing are usually of good standing, one of the few benefits of the downturn

That's good to know - the architect told me that she recommends 3 or 4 different contractors in the area to bid on the job. I've never really done anything like this before so I'm a little scared and I don't want to get ripped off. Our plans arrived yesterday (I'll post them next) and I'm already concerned that our budget isn't high enough for what we want to do - the cover letter said we are going to have to make some "hard decisions" because of "budget limitations". I'm really shocked to hear this - we are doing almost exactly what our neighbors did across the street except for the basement (same model house, same size addition, same new rooms) and our budget is 75% more than their final cost.

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Just to let you know, it took me almost 5 years to get my HT together, so there's no rush but don't buy your pj till the very end- at least you'll have the latest and greatest and not a new in the box 5 year old pj

That's probably realistic for me as well. If construction on the addition finishes next year I probably won't start doing the basement until at least then - it depends on the cost. I've heard that once you have the guys out at the house and working on finishing the interior it's not that much to have them fit out the basement as well.

I keep dreaming that I'll have a finished space by next Christmas but that's probably wishful thinking.

I'll post up the plans in a few minutes and see what people think - I'd really like some feedback (even though there are no basement plans yet - just first and second floor).
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post #24 of 60 Old 12-22-2010, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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OK... here are the plans from the architect so far. I'm pretty sure the back left corner can be claimed as basement space even though it is shown as an outside porch (I'm not sold on this). This would make the addition in the basement 25'4" x 17' which is a pretty nice sized room. I'd also have whatever space I can get in the existing part of the house when they dig down - that should be enough for the bar/kitchenette area and a few arcade machines.

She provided 2 layouts - the first 2 pics are a group and the second 2 pics are an alternate group. The addition is the large room on the back of the house (top of the pics). Anyway, I think I like the "Alternate" version the best even though there's no walk-in closet in the master bedroom for my wife. The "Alternate" plans reduce the size of my existing bathroom on the second floor which I think is a necessity - it is 1/4 of the second floor right now! Way too much wasted space in a small house. I also like how she proposes to incorporate the sun room (where we currently watch TV) into the dining room because once we get the back room the sun room will be kind of useless. Any thoughts?
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post #25 of 60 Old 12-22-2010, 02:27 PM
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Our space is similar to yours except for the big opening toward the stairs.

Inside our 17ftX20ft area we have a 120in diagonal screen with projector, speakers all over, seven pinball machines, one coin-op dart machine, a foosball table and a 70in bar with five big bar chairs and the space does not feel crowded. The key to a multi-purpose Fun Room is multi-purpose and movable (but comfy) seating.

This is why we decided against permanently placed "theater" seats - I'm 63 and still prefer a bar chair to my father's padded recliner - LOL!

Our bar faces the screen and other seating can be brought in if needed (not often). We have room for a larger screen but in that size area - to us - 120in diagonal is plenty.

IMO - use your own creativity - If you're not a "handy man" I'd consider hiring a general contractor instead of an architect - you can design your space a LOT better than some stranger. Put the seating and screen in such a way that leaves other wall space open for games and fun stuff while trying to leave as much of the center of the area as open as possible which creates a larger and more open "feel" to the room. Maybe you can put theater seats along the wall facing the stairs and move 'em in when/if necessary.

Our space began as a primative detached garage - no drywall - no insulation -exposed roof trusses and concrete floor - I can't imagine an unfinished basement being any more basic than what we started out with - we had a contractor do a bit of wiring and AC stuff but we did the rest ourselves. We wanted a true commercial bar and game room environment and that's what we achieved and it is a 100% fun and party space - but when the lights dim it transforms into as good a home theater as we could want.

What exactly do you want? Get creative!

Donkey Kong!!!??? Nice Classic Vid -Now is the time to buy pins - market is depressed - Have Fun!
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post #26 of 60 Old 12-23-2010, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Our space is similar to yours except for the big opening toward the stairs.

Inside our 17ftX20ft area we have a 120in diagonal screen with projector, speakers all over, seven pinball machines, one coin-op dart machine, a foosball table and a 70in bar with five big bar chairs and the space does not feel crowded. The key to a multi-purpose Fun Room is multi-purpose and movable (but comfy) seating.

This is why we decided against permanently placed "theater" seats - I'm 63 and still prefer a bar chair to my father's padded recliner - LOL!

Our bar faces the screen and other seating can be brought in if needed (not often). We have room for a larger screen but in that size area - to us - 120in diagonal is plenty.

That is good to know - got any pictures? I'll be thrilled if I can create a comfortable space that has the 120" screen, a few arcade machines (3 plus 1 pinball or so) and the bar/kitchenette area.

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IMO - use your own creativity - If you're not a "handy man" I'd consider hiring a general contractor instead of an architect - you can design your space a LOT better than some stranger. Put the seating and screen in such a way that leaves other wall space open for games and fun stuff while trying to leave as much of the center of the area as open as possible which creates a larger and more open "feel" to the room. Maybe you can put theater seats along the wall facing the stairs and move 'em in when/if necessary.

Our space began as a primative detached garage - no drywall - no insulation -exposed roof trusses and concrete floor - I can't imagine an unfinished basement being any more basic than what we started out with - we had a contractor do a bit of wiring and AC stuff but we did the rest ourselves. We wanted a true commercial bar and game room environment and that's what we achieved and it is a 100% fun and party space - but when the lights dim it transforms into as good a home theater as we could want.

I am pretty handy. I have a woodshop and I like building things in general. It's the knowledge I'm lacking but I'm willing to learn and read up on stuff. I'd probably be OK framing the room out myself but I'd have a professional come in and to the drywall taping/spackle as well as all of the electrical.

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What exactly do you want? Get creative!

Donkey Kong!!!??? Nice Classic Vid -Now is the time to buy pins - market is depressed - Have Fun!

My wife wants the DK out of our formal dining room! I restored THIS ONE myself last year. I've built a couple from scratch too - it is one of the many reasons why I need a dedicated space!
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post #27 of 60 Old 01-06-2011, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, I just set up an appointment for next week with the architect to sit down with her and go over all of the plans and expected costs, timing, etc. - basically everything. Is there anything I should be specifically concerned with? I don't know what to expect and I'm kind of counting on (and trusting) her to guide me in the right direction and be as cost-effective as possible.

The more I look at the "alternate" design, the more I'm definitely convinced that is is the more costly of the two designs. In order to turn the dining room 90 degrees and incorporate part of the existing sun room, we will have to deal with issues on the floor and on the ceiling. The dining room has original hardwood floors and 9 foot ceilings. The sun room has a plywood base with carpeting for the floor and 8 foot ceilings. Not to mention we will be relocating the bathtub and sink on the second floor. Money money money!!!!
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post #28 of 60 Old 01-09-2013, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow it has been a while... construction has started and the foundation is in. I'm still undecided with the layout but it is going to be a little different than I originally planned based on the way things worked out with the overall design. Still, I think I'm going to have enough room for what I want. I'll have to post updated floor plan layouts whenever I can get around to it.

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post #29 of 60 Old 01-09-2013, 01:19 PM
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Where are you going to be at s.f. wise (cost) when all is said and done? Are those foundation seats/ledges there to catch a slab? Not too many HT room additions going on these days........

"Unless you continually work, evolve and innovate, you'll learn a quick and painful lesson from someone who has"
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post #30 of 60 Old 01-09-2013, 06:29 PM
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"...it is going to be a little different than I originally planned based on the way things worked out..."
It's the way it worked out for me too. I changed and tweaked my plans right up to the last minute quite a few times. Some things look good on paper no matter how good the plans, but got changed at the last minute.
Good luck and looking forward to seeing how it all comes together.
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