Finishing Basement - No Drywall Up Yet! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-30-2012, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys,

I've been given the OK to turn my basement into a man's room. I'll be building a bar and would like to put a large screen down there (96"+) for PS3 and movies. I've currently finished my insulation and am very close to finishing the rough-in just over the Christmas Break. Next step will be electrical and then drywall. This is our first home, and while I am very "in-the-loop" when it comes to technology, this is obviously the first time I have built something like this. I am also new to projectors and have been doing a lot of research thus far.

I am looking for any input that will save me headaches before the drywall goes up (pot light location, outlets, etc). Before the pictures, keep in mind we live in a 1967 small colonial in Metro Detroit(~1650sqft). Overall foundation measures ~25x22, but is reduced by insulation and framing. Below are some pics of the progress:

For reference, this is a view down the stairs:


This is from the bottom of the stairs facing the wall I plan to place my screen. I will have a large sectional couch I will place ~14-16 feet from the wall/screen so am leaning towards 100" fixed screen. Because I have limited space to work with in terms of height (7'), I will drywall the ceiling in this area and will use pot lights for lighting. I will also run conduit on the left, middle, and right sides of the ceiling as a just in case, but will use the middle for the projector. FYI, I am leaning towards an Epson 5020 as it appears to work well with both games (low lag) and movies, both 2D/3D, and is in my budget.


Again, for reference, this is a shot from the stairs to the left. Room under the stairs will be storage, room in the back right laundry/utility. Open area in the middle will be bar area.


Any ideas/input/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Nick
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-30-2012, 03:14 PM
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The first think to think about is how much sound isolation do you want. If sound isolation is at all important, then it's advisable to add a door somewhere perhaps at the bottom of the stairs. I recommend against low voltage recessed lights (mine buzz, and if you ever want to go LED, it's harder to find an LED drop in replacement). Think about what you want to do in this space and then think about how to achieve that with lighting. If all you want is to watch movies, then you could use sconces and a few or no recessed lights. If you want to have a multipurpose room where kids might play, then perhaps you ensure even light coverage of the floor (which is what I've done). If you're going to use recessed lights, I'd recommend insulation contact, air tight, and to put insulation between the joists and studs. Will the project be ceiling mounted, mounted on a wall, etc.? Can you put the projector in some type of box (to reduce sound from the fans)? Where will the equipment go and what type of runs will you need for speakers, projector, etc.? Ensure that the conduit to the projector can fit HDMI connectors. I'd recommend at least one HDMI connector to the projector and perhaps one cat5/6 cable (for infrared for remotes). Also, do you wire the projector with a system where you plug the projector into a UPS? That's what I ran.

Bob
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-30-2012, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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ctviggen,

Thanks for the quick reply.

Some more info:

We are expecting our first kid in 2 months, but do not plan on to stay in this house for more than 5 years due to its size. I'm more concerned with making the room accessible for what I want (movies/games) with extra space for having people over and in the bar area. The scone lighting is a good idea, but I will still need some flush mounts since this will be sparingly used as a living area for other uses if we have family/friends over.

I would prefer to mount the projector to the ceiling but have not fully considered other options. Also, I would like to have 1 UPS near the rest of the A/V equipment and run a cord from the projector to it.
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-31-2012, 08:56 AM
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At the very least you'll want to stuff those joists with r-19 fiberglass. I'm not sure how thick of a ceiling you want since those windows are already so high, but that's the one sound transmission solution that is really really cheap and doesn't cost any headroom.

Are those walls built right on top of tile glued to the concrete floor? Those might be asbestos so you probably don't want to remove them. But you also probably don't want to lay carpet or laminate right on top for fear of mold and cold feet. You might consider floating osb/Platon or drycore, or laminate over something like that. To be honest you should have used pressure treated for contact with the concrete floor or some other solution.

Kids take a lot of time but assuming the mother has some maternity leave you'll have time to work on this after the first few weeks when things settle down a bit. It would be nice to get anything loud done now (framing) and leave things that are quiet (drywall, flooring) for later when the baby sleeps.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-01-2013, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys,

I decided to put some batts up in the ceiling where I can (return ducts block a few areas). I will try to get R-19 at least per your recommendation.

Yes, you are correct about the asbestos tiles. I pulled out the loose ones and plan on just placing carpet pad + carpet directly over the leftovers glued to the concrete. I am not too worried about the asbestos - if the tiles aren't breaking and creating dust, there should be no issue. Also, I am very lucky in terms of grade and do not have any moisture problems.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-02-2013, 07:51 AM
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You may want to see about putting a sealant over the tiles or something. Not sure if you have to state you have asbestos when you sell your house.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-03-2013, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Lepus and bepper - I will look in to it and probably seal the tile prior to carpet just as an added safety.

Guys - I think at this point in my build, I would love someone with HT/PJ experience to give me some in-person advice as I want to learn but still perform the work myself. Is there a good place to look for some assistance like this locally? Maybe an hour or so of consultation (paid for in beer, preferably)? I am in the Metro Detroit area (Livonia) for reference.

Thanks again for all the great advice. I have learned so much in recent days that I have been paying attention to these forums.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-15-2013, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Updates:

Finished my framing/bulkheads and started running electrical (picture below is older). I put up a blanket sized correctly to represent 100" diag screen.



Have a few questions now mainly due to the height of my ceiling in the basement (7 foot) as I am planning on how/where to mount the projector now before the drywall goes up:

1) Planning on an Epson 3020 for the room. Using ProjectorCentral's calculator, seating distance should be 10-16 ft with recommended projector location at 12'.


Additionally, I looked at Epson's calculator to help with the height of the projector/screen


With these two pieces of info, it appears the projector is basically going to be right over my head or slightly in front my seating. Anyone have experience with a projector and 7' ceilings? Any recommendations?

If I build a 'box' with an open front and back from the ceiling joists, would that eliminate the fears I have with the projector being right over head (noise, accidentally bumping it)?

2) Because of the limited height I have to work with, I need some kind of low profile A/V shelf to place below the screen. I actually planned on moving my upstairs T/V stand downstairs (see pic) and using it to house my A/V equipment, but I think I want something more open so my PS3 and receiver are not prone to getting hot (which they are now - I have to open the doors and pull them halfway out to keep them cool). Any suggestions?



Thanks for the help all. I'll keep pictures coming as I make progress. My speaker cable, HDMI cables, and wall plates arrive from monoprice this week. Have to re-run some HVAC and my main water line over the next couple days so I can drywall my ceiling (pics to come). Excited that I am getting out of the roughing stage.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-17-2013, 06:40 AM
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My ceilings are only 7'2~7'4 but I lose an inch on the bottom (OSB over Platon) and one on the top (drywall over resilient channel) so I'm about where you are give or take an inch. I don't plan on the projector being an issue but I have a soffit/bulkhead/drywalled in hvac area that hides it. I think if you build a shelf and paint it white it will cancel some noise and stray light and keep "thrown objects" from damaging it.

Irwin speedbor bits are the real deal for running electrical. If you're using something else consider spending the money on one (or a set) and you'll be happy you did. Also, I ran 1-1/2 pvc conduit from my front wall up to the projector and then to the back wall so I have some flexibility in the future. I would recommend this, and an ceiling electrical outlet.

I'm just finishing drywall. It's a bear. Hang in there.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-17-2013, 01:17 PM
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Sounds/looks like you have a pretty similar setup to me (including a new baby, house we'll only be in max. 5 years, low ceilings etc.). Below are a few pictures of my setup. I built a closet at the bottom of my steps to house all of my A/V gear so I didn't need any type of entertainment center under the 100" screen. I ran conduits around the perimeter of the room and to the projector location smack dab above my couch. I've got my Epson 8350 about 3 feet above my head (12' from the screen) and when watching movies, football and playing video games I rarely, if ever hear the projector. We've had a Super Bowl party and baby shower in the basement and have never had anyone comment on the noise the Epson makes....I wouldn't really worry about it.

My ceilings are around the same height and if you're not doing drywall, I'd really recommend a low profile grid ceiling...I used CeilingLink and it was easy enough.

One more word of advice...get as much done in the basement now while you can. I've got a 10 week old and have a kitchen project that has been at a halt since the little guy arrived.

Good Luck!



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post #11 of 11 Old 01-22-2013, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Great advice - thanks guys.

I picked up a set of the Speedbor bits - wow. What a difference. My 3/4" holes went from 10 seconds to 3 seconds through studs.

I have all my pot lights powered up as well as 75% of my outlets (my 250ft spool of 14/2 went quicker than I thought). I think I have decided on a ceiling mount as opposed to a shelf also - when I decide to sell the house in a few years, some people may not appreciate a giant aberration hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the finished basement.

Also had to move my main water line which was a pain. The original routing of the main was underneath the joists - would not allow drywall to sit flush. Pretty stupid...

A couple pics:

Had to move a "trunk" on my furnace - slight over sight on my part. Laundry room door wouldn't open all the way with the trunk in the original location.



Cut my stairwell out and will cap it with a nice piece of wood. Will be a big help when hauling furniture up/down stairs. Looks good too.



Pics of the pots powered (also painting furniture for the babies room - it is crowded down there). There are a total of 6 (other two are right above me). For reference, the second row of lights in the middle is ~12ft from the framed wall. I haven't decided where I will put the projector. The 8350 gives a lot of flexibility. I'm thinking I'll put it between the joists behind the HVAC duct (~16ft) since I plan to put my sectional in the same area. I don't want the projector in front of seating with the low ceilings.



Pic of my low voltage boxes at the front (screen area). Speak outputs on left/right, 4ch speaker wall plate will go in the middle for front/rear speakers, power, and an HDMI/ethernet/coax combo. HDMI will run to the PJ, ethernet upstairs for a repeater.

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