frizbplaya's basement build - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-14-2012, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys. I've browsed AVS for a while and I've been building a basement DIY style for about a year (ug) so I figure it's time I started a thread to show my progress and get some advice.

My wife and I bought a 1920 bungalow 2 years ago with the idea that we'd finish the basement. For the past 13 months I've been working on finishing the basement from the masonry up. I had a whole post worth of pictures written up but they'll have to wait until I prove I'm not a spammer Check back soon.
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-14-2012, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll be using gear I collected over the past few years - which I happen to miss dearly! Before I moved into this house I had the 5.1 system set up but my TV was an older 34" HD Panasonic CRT. The picture was great but it was small and heavy so I upgraded to a 50" Panasonic G25 with wedding money. My wife was for it, gotta love her. Anyway, the 5.1 system went down to a 2.1 while we temporarily set up a media room in the mostly unfinished basement. Since we started the reno 13 months ago I've been going off nothing but the TV speakers. They're fine for what they are but I miss thing like imaging, surround, and anything below 500 HZ. All that to say I can't wait till I get to set up the 5.1 again.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-14-2012, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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... and the actual gear:

TV: 50" Panasonic G25

Receiver: Integra 6.5 - still good to me but definitely showing it's age wtih no HDMI support.

Speakers: RBH Signature classic 661 LCR for left, right, and center. If you're not familiar with RBH, they're 2 6.5" aluminum cones with a 1" silk dome tweeter in the middle d'appolito style. RBH signature classic 1010 non powered 2x10 sub with RBH SA400 sub amp. I still have my RBH 44 on-wall di-pole/by-pole surround speakers but I didn't have a good place to mount them so I switched to RBH visage 615 in-ceiling speakers.

Bluray - Panasonic BD30 which is getting to feel really old when it wakes up to start a disc.

HTPC - running XBMC at the moment. I used Boxee in beta for a long time but since they stopped supporting/updating PC installs I've been looking for an alternative.

Control - RTI T2-C running RF to an RTI room controller

Monster power conditioner, I don't remember the model and it's packed away.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-14-2012, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's my sad media room we temporarily made while we saved up for the reno.


Feb 2011


The basement was half-finished, but it was done so terribly that when it came time to work on it I had to gut the whole thing. Here's the same area, which would stay as the media room in the future, after demo.


June 2011

The original plan was to keep the TV in the same location against that wall. Here's a floor plan of the entire basement, the media room is in the middle on the bottom, the TV is on the left wall with a sectional facing it.



One day it dawned on me to rotate the media room so the TV is on the storage room wall. That way you don't have to squeeze past the sectional to get to the other half of the room and I can put all the AV gear in the storage room where it's hidden but has easy access. Here's the updated floor plan that we ended up going with.



It's a little hard to explain, and honestly I have no idea if it will work out, but the plan is to recess the TV into the storage room wall so you can't see the wall mount and cables when you walk into the room. I'm going to build a recessed shelf below the TV for the LCR speakers to sit on. Ideally the L and R speaker would be directly left and right of the TV but the was space worked out all three LCR speakers will have to be on the same vertical plane below the TV, I guess it's one of the concessions I had to make.

The speaker shelf will technically be in the storage room so the front of the speakers are flush with the wall you see from the couch. My original plan was to make a wide rectangular grill cloth to cover those 3 speakers but my wife, being a good designer, had the idea to try something out of the box. We're going to cut a hole in the wall for the speakers, then cover the entire wall in heavy acoustic grill cloth. Not the thin stretch kind but the heavier synthetic woven stuff like this - FR250 if you're curious. We'll put some trim over the cloth and hopefully it will look something like this:



I'm a little worried you'll see a dark spot where the wall is cut out but if it works out right it will just look like a fabric wall and the speakers will be hidden behind it.

That's the plan, here's how it's panned out:


October 2011


March 2012


May 2012, yesterday as of writing this.

Here's how the TV wall along the storage room has evolved:


Feb 2011


October 2011


March 2012


May 2012, yesterday as of writing this.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-14-2012, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been wrestling with where to place the sub in my media room. Here's the floor plan:



I'd love to build it into the TV wall so it's hidden behind the speaker cloth but there just isn't any room. The sub is a RBH 1010-SEN with dimensions of: 13-1/4" W x 30" H x 18" D.

There's not a ton of room in my layout. The sectional wraps around the left and back wall. I'm planning on building a storage space between the couch and left wall with bookshelves on top. I'm not sure how, but maybe it could fit in there somewhere.

My current plan is to put it to the right of the couch facing the TV wall. In the floor plan I drew a rectangle there but I'm not sure what I was drawing at the time, maybe a book case. How do you think a sub would do there?
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-14-2012, 01:04 PM
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Very nice area you have there and I like the layout.

With respect to the subwoofer placement, can you put it in the room in back of the TV and port it out the front? What the area under the TV on the left for? Maybe there.

Keep up the good work and keep the pictures coming.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-21-2012, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeypuck25 View Post

Very nice area you have there and I like the layout.

With respect to the subwoofer placement, can you put it in the room in back of the TV and port it out the front? What the area under the TV on the left for? Maybe there.

Keep up the good work and keep the pictures coming.

I tried hard to make room for the sub behind the TV wall but it's just too big. It's 30" tall and there's only 20" or so below the shelf for the speakers. It wouldn't fit laying on its side either.
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-21-2012, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Update:

I ran some low voltage. Most of the equipment will be in the storage room behind the TV but I'm going to put the wii and bluray player on a shelf in the room so I ran component and HDMI - plus an extra HDMI and two Cat5 cables for future components. I also put in speaker posts/wire for the in ceiling surrounds and sub.



I haven't mentioned the lights yet. There are two switched branches here, the inside 6" cans are on one switch and the perimeter 5" cans plus the stair tread lights are on another switch. Both switches are the IR lutron switches. The stairs have overhead lights too (on a different switch) but I like the idea of dimming the perimeter lights/stair tread lights for watching movies. It should be just enough light to walk up stairs to the kitchen without having to turn on any bright lights.



Electrical and mechanical inspections are this week followed by the building inspection after I finish framing a couple things. 3-4 weeks till spray foam insulation followed by drywall - things are moving!
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-23-2012, 12:14 AM
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I'm looking forward to seeing how this all turns out. Keep it up!
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-25-2012, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I passed my mechanical and electrical rough-in inspections this morning. That's a pretty big relief since I ended up rewiring half my house - lots of places I could have messed up!
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post #11 of 14 Old 06-04-2012, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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I worked on the TV wall some this weekend. Here's what it looked like a few weeks ago:



I added a pair of studs behind the TV opening for the mount, then covered the back and sides of the recessed opening with oak plywood (2x2s are just bracing it while the glue dried)



Once it was dry I mounted the TV so I could test the in-wall HDMI cables - don't want to have to fight with changing them out after drywall is up if one was bad. Everything worked so my wife, bless her heart, suggested we bring camping chairs down and watch a movie.



It was kind of ridiculous but I was happy to see I like the space for watching movies. The lighting worked out great too.

The next day I added sheathing to the wall - it will eventually be covered floor to ceiling with thick tweed colored speaker fabric and then trimmed out with white wood trim.



Here's the back side:


I still need to build a shelf for the speakers, stain the oak, and put up the fabric and trim but for now it a lot more finished than it was!
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post #12 of 14 Old 06-20-2012, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Update: I passed my electrical, mechanical, plumbing and building rough in inspections! Over the past 14 months this basement reno has been 99% DIY but I hired out spray foam insulation and drywall hanging/mudding/taping. Last week the spray foam went in:

392

This week is drywall and it's already mostly hung. By the end of the week it will have 3 layers of mud sanded out. I'll have some better pictures once it's all done and cleaned up, but here's a cell phone pic in progress.

338
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post #13 of 14 Old 06-22-2012, 12:03 PM
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Looking good. Nice to see another MN build. Where abouts are you located?

Good call on the spray foam. I wish I had had the money to do that when I did my basement.

-




Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?
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post #14 of 14 Old 07-01-2012, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frizbplaya View Post

I worked on the TV wall some this weekend. Here's what it looked like a few weeks ago:





I added a pair of studs behind the TV opening for the mount, then covered the back and sides of the recessed opening with oak plywood (2x2s are just bracing it while the glue dried)





Once it was dry I mounted the TV so I could test the in-wall HDMI cables - don't want to have to fight with changing them out after drywall is up if one was bad. Everything worked so my wife, bless her heart, suggested we bring camping chairs down and watch a movie.





It was kind of ridiculous but I was happy to see I like the space for watching movies. The lighting worked out great too.


The next day I added sheathing to the wall - it will eventually be covered floor to ceiling with thick tweed colored speaker fabric and then trimmed out with white wood trim.





Here's the back side:




I still need to build a shelf for the speakers, stain the oak, and put up the fabric and trim but for now it a lot more finished than it was!


I totally get this. I hung a bed sheet up on the wall in my last theater just as soon as the projector arrived. I think we had a bunch of different chairs for the first movie too. It's really all about the experience.

I love the way the tv is built into the alcove like that. Looks sharp.
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