Help Needed: Small Multipurpose Basement Plan - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 45 Old 03-25-2012, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay I need some help. I am trying to plan out my basement build. None of the gray/white walls have been built and the green walls are just and idea I had if I went with Placement B. I only have about 900 sq. feet to work with, but I want to have a office/bedroom, bathroom, utilities area, and a room for a theater and exercise equipment. I didn't want to break up the theater and exercise area, because I am afraid it would make the rooms feel to small and would limit the use or options down the road. So far this is what I have come up with. The 2 post down the middle of the house add more obstacles and limitations. The way I see it I have 2 options for the theater section, neither are ideal, Placement A and B. Initially I was leaning towards Placement B, but after I drew in the Dolby recommended location lines, the lines jetting out of the couch, I notice that pole behind the couch would block the rear right speaker.

Could you guys tell me which placement you would go or improvements to the layout? Also, I am trying to figure out what type of speakers would work best for the side and rear surrounds. In-wall, on wall, ceiling, mono pole, dipole, bipole, etc...

If it matters, so far I stumbled on to good deals on a Panasonic PT-AE7000U projector and a 100" Steward Studiotek 130 screen, so that is what I will be using for the projection.

Thanks,
Topp
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post #2 of 45 Old 03-26-2012, 12:24 PM
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First, is the bathroom where it is because you already have rough-in plumbing there?

Second, what utilities are in the storage/utilities area? Maybe place them on the pic with notations as to duct runs etc. Windows (I think they are on the plan but not sure)? Floor drains?

Also for a basement bedroom you would need an egress window.

I'm working with similar square footage and rearranged my plan a few times. Can't say that I'll have any better ideas but with some more information there might be some valuable input from others.
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post #3 of 45 Old 03-26-2012, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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The bathroom is where it is because of where the roughed in plumbing. The bathroom is still up for debate, since I don't plan on putting everything in and just use the room as extra storage. I have thought about removing the bathroom all together. But trying to think where else I could put some additional storage.

In the utilities room the water heater, furnace, and electrical panel exist are in the larger section. The weird jog that exist on the right hand side of the office is where the fresh air intake is. There isn't any floor drains anywhere else in the basement. As for windows, there are 3 along the bottom wall of the basement. They are daylight windows, the ground level is about 6 or so inches below the windows so no egress is required. There is a 4th window on that would be on the left wall in the lower corner of the picture. I don't care if I cover of that window with the screen or something. It is like 7 or more feet in the air, so doesn't do much. Not even sure why they put it in.

Not sure if that is enough info or not. If need be and I can try to take some pictures of the basement or show other views from Sketchup.

Thanks,
Topp
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post #4 of 45 Old 04-10-2012, 06:32 AM
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I wouldn't sweat the THX standards too much. Take them into consideration as a solid base line, but there's no reason you can't stray a little. Placement B gives the front three channels side walls which placement A would lack with the desire to keep the space open concept.

I would consider building a wall the width of the seating and use in wall speakers for all four surrounds. Move the seating slightly forward and build two matching columns on the side walls and add a console table behind the seating. The new wall would need to be a little thicker to place the in wall in front of the support post and if the projector has adequate throw, then work it into the back wall by opening up some of the upper space.

Consdier building the av rack into the closet, with an infrared repeater system. The ir receiver would be on the front pojection wall.

Frame all support posts so the drywall just skims the post. Work to keep edge profiles thick. A designer's trick to make things look higher end and better built

The new back wall would help to expand the space visually, since it creates some sightlines and forces a person to move about, to take in all of the space.
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post #5 of 45 Old 04-11-2012, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feed back. I have been playing around with the idea of maybe removing the bathroom. It would allow for more seating with no interference from a pole. I am thinking some 48" wide french doors to not completely close off the area if they are open. Take a look and let me know what you guys think. I am kind of liking the idea.
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post #6 of 45 Old 04-14-2012, 04:12 PM
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A right rear speaker moved a little vs. climbing the stairs to go to the bathroom? Not even close.
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post #7 of 45 Old 04-14-2012, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
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What I like more about the separate room is that it allows for more unobstructed viewing. Since we just had our second child I would really like to have at least 4 seats, if not more.

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post #8 of 45 Old 04-14-2012, 05:16 PM
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slightly wider with the support post in a wide column (and side surround).
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post #9 of 45 Old 04-14-2012, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally, I did think about doing a false wall and do a acoustic transparent screen. However, then I was thinking along the layouts A and B. And then I stumbled into a deal on the Steward Studiotek 130 screen. So now I can't really do the AT screen, well without selling this one first at least.
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post #10 of 45 Old 04-15-2012, 06:22 AM
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A wider four seater take on your original plan.

I'd be tempted to flip the bedroom/office to behind the theater and rework the walls on the original bedroom/office end.
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post #11 of 45 Old 04-15-2012, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Keep the ideas coming.
One thing I see with the last design is that somehow the couch or other furniture would be difficult, if not impossible to get into the room because of the hall leading to it.

Tedd,
What program are you using to quickly edit my pictures like that?
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post #12 of 45 Old 04-15-2012, 04:11 PM
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A sectional type couch would work.

The entry door could be in the bottom corner. I was just working on keeping the space as open as possible.

I use GIMP.
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post #13 of 45 Old 04-15-2012, 04:40 PM
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two av rack location options and entry door change
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post #14 of 45 Old 04-18-2012, 05:20 AM
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This thought came to me.... How about a semi open room plan since the kids are younger? With a little forethought and pre-framing, in the ceiling area, the open corner could easily be framed in, when the kids are older.
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post #15 of 45 Old 04-18-2012, 05:48 AM
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And coming a little bit full circle.....

A little out there thinking, but could the side surround column could be framed to allow a narrow sink to be recessed in the column? The in-wall side surround speaker could eat up part of the interior depth of a medicine cabinetry above.
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post #16 of 45 Old 04-24-2012, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Tedd,
The one thing missing from your photos was one of the post. It was hard to see in my pictures. But it would be in the open corner.

Here is 2 more options/modifications I was thinking. Both add in some storage to the sides which gets rid of the 2 foot set in the one wall. One options I was thinking of doing a 2 foot deep false wall. Probably won't use an acoustic transparent screen right now, but who knows down the road.

What do you guys thinking?

Thanks,
Topp
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post #17 of 45 Old 04-24-2012, 07:25 PM
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I'm wondering how wide the seating is? That bump out comes in handy to access the second row. Once you factor in three wide seating and divide the leftover by two, the aisle space is going to be tight. That said, I like symmetry.

How tall is the room and how much height under the beam? And what is the space between the (right-most) support post and the stairs?
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post #18 of 45 Old 04-25-2012, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dledmo View Post

A right rear speaker moved a little vs. climbing the stairs to go to the bathroom? Not even close.

So true.

I had my theater set up in a bonus room over the garage. Having to go up and down stairs in the middle of a movie night was a PITA. You've got kids and all? You'll be glad you've got the extra bathroom. Highly recommend you make that work.
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post #19 of 45 Old 04-25-2012, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I do agree ideally I would have a bathroom in the basement.

But here is the other issue with the bathroom. We are on a septic and the outlet is above the basement floor therefore we would have a lift station. Which wouldn't be that bad except for when I asked the builder to plumb for a bathroom they didn't account for the vents. With a lift station you need a direct one for the station itself and one for the sink, toilet, shower/bath. Since they didn't tie into the main vent at all and we have a two story house I would have to take the vent out the side of the house. Well on the left hand of the house is air/vent for the fire place. Out the back of the house, bottom of the pictures, is our deck. And out the right side is where all our other vents are, which is pretty crowded. Not to mention the fresh air intakes are over there. So I really don't want to smell the lift station, which other people who had vents out the sides of their houses said they could. If it matters my house already has 2.5 bathrooms. So that is why I am not all that torn up not to have a bathroom down there. Actually kind of ticked at the builder that they half assed it. Apparently I was suppose to know all of this when I asked them to plumb it for a bathroom. Not to mention paid them to do it.
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post #20 of 45 Old 04-26-2012, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topp View Post

I do agree ideally I would have a bathroom in the basement.

But here is the other issue with the bathroom. We are on a septic and the outlet is above the basement floor therefore we would have a lift station. Which wouldn't be that bad except for when I asked the builder to plumb for a bathroom they didn't account for the vents. With a lift station you need a direct one for the station itself and one for the sink, toilet, shower/bath. Since they didn't tie into the main vent at all and we have a two story house I would have to take the vent out the side of the house. Well on the left hand of the house is air/vent for the fire place. Out the back of the house, bottom of the pictures, is our deck. And out the right side is where all our other vents are, which is pretty crowded. Not to mention the fresh air intakes are over there. So I really don't want to smell the lift station, which other people who had vents out the sides of their houses said they could. If it matters my house already has 2.5 bathrooms. So that is why I am not all that torn up not to have a bathroom down there. Actually kind of ticked at the builder that they half assed it. Apparently I was suppose to know all of this when I asked them to plumb it for a bathroom. Not to mention paid them to do it.

that's a bummer. The plumber new that if he's worth his salt...but, the builder probably went cheap.

Referring to your layouts, in my efforts to build my theater, I have come to the conclusion that a balanced layout makes a big difference in sound. We were set up with the theater offset in the room and so it was open on one side. We are now rotating the layout so that all speakers can be placed equidistant from the primary listening/viewing position.
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post #21 of 45 Old 04-26-2012, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Tedd,
I was concerned about the same thing. The couch shown in there is just one I grabbed from Google's catalog. But for reference, our couch we own is about 94", so that would only leave about 17 inches per side. I am guessing that is why in your one suggestion you moved the AV cabinet to the back corner, so you could walk around with more space.

For the height, where the post are it is about 93", before the ceiling. Then just above that in the picture is the duct work and sewer drain. I could bump it up a little once I get out side of that, maybe another 6" or so. I do have this other nice, sarcastic, air vent that sticks down and raps around the floor joist. But that is still above the 93" height.

The post to the steps is about 2 feet 9 inches, give or take.

Does anyone know the recommended height from the ceiling to the side and rear speakers? I know they say at least 2 feet above your ear. Also, how deep does a AV cabinet need to be?

Thanks,
Topp
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post #22 of 45 Old 04-26-2012, 11:15 AM
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Topp what software did you use for your layout?

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post #23 of 45 Old 04-26-2012, 11:21 AM
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Half right, I moved the av rack to the back corner to keep it out of eyesight, and to create aisle space.

20" deep is the absolute minimum I'd recommend for an av rack if we're talking something like an enclosed Middle Atlantic Slim5. 26" would be roomier.
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post #24 of 45 Old 04-27-2012, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Claymca,
I have been using Google Sketchup, the free version. It has been a learning process for me. From work and school I know other solid modeling programs, but Sketchup is different, but some what intuitive.

Tedd,
I am assuming the depth is from the front to the very back. So as is I would have 24". I was figuring I would put some kind of door over the electronics to dim all the lights. Either it be solid or smoked plexy glass. My thought was to keep the electronics in the center, so I would not have to walk the back. Plus would shorten my speaker runs to the front.

How do you guys figure out where to put your subs? In the past I just move them around in the room till they sound the best. But if I want to run wires in the walls for the sub, can't really move them around after that.
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post #25 of 45 Old 04-29-2012, 05:39 AM
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definately out there thinking...

Use the last step height as riser height. Create a wider landing at the end of the stairs by this raised section at last step height. Flip the theater for rec room.
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post #26 of 45 Old 04-29-2012, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I had also thought of moving the theater area to the other side. However, then I have to deal with the large windows. Plus since the poles are in the middle of the basement, I end up with the same width of a room. So can't really think of what I gain by doing it.

Also was debating on instead of have a solid wall, in the jog in the wall, I could make that into some sort of built in cabinet or shelves. But not sure what that would do to the acoustics. Was trying to think of some sliding panels or drapery to cover it, without looking cheap.

Here is an iso view so people can see the windows better and where the ground is. They aren't very clear from the top view.
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post #27 of 45 Old 05-01-2012, 06:15 AM
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A raised landing at the very bottom step height, plus a small bump out could create width for a rear wall entry door. This would be about 7.5" high (average step height) and also be the theater's riser height. (The riser in the theater could also act as a full range absorber.)

The step down in the theater and the step down into the rec room would make the space feel larger. A door at the air handler would hint at the basement being larger, but it's purpose would be access.

The storage room could have a long and low rack on wheels that slide in under the stairs. Shelves could be built in too. Maybe a narrow door for access to the rear of the audio/video rack.
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post #28 of 45 Old 05-02-2012, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Tedd,

At one time I was thinking of moving the office to the left side and trying to collapse the right sides jog. However, when I went into the basement and started measuring stuff I noticed it would be to cramped near the furnace. Also, I need to add the location of the electrical and phone/cable/internet panels. Which are just below the furnace. So I think I need to bring the right horizontal wall down and the right vertical wall to the left. Also, need to keep the fresh air intakes in the furnace room.

I do think that having the office to the left would give a more open feel as you come down the stairs. But I think there are some trade offs.

I will try to update the model sometime this week.

Thanks,
Topp
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post #29 of 45 Old 05-02-2012, 07:03 PM
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There's always trade offs in a small space.

How about a panelled look wall for hidden access?

The storage room door, furnace, and air handler access could be hidden by a panelled mdf wall. Hidden access and a nice focal point.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jw6VEyQTtU
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post #30 of 45 Old 05-02-2012, 09:41 PM
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because of the column placement, I like the original A and move the couch back a bit. You can use an 8' wide screen and put the couch 12-14 feet from it. A couple of tower speakers in the front and with the couch a bit further back, surrounds can go on the side wall.

A receiver with room corrections will be useful.
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