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post #1 of 55 Old 02-24-2013, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
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We've just started to finish our basement. After living here for 13 years, we're excited to finally be able to do something with the space. It's a fairly large full basement. It should be about 1500 sqft of finished space.

We have two primary goals with this project - (1) create additional square footage, add a bedroom, and increase the value of our house, and (2) create a space for our older kids to hangout with their friends. We've decided not to do a dedicated theater room, but we do want movies and gaming to be a featured part of the living area.

I really enjoy AVS Forum as a great place to find out more about home theater. I need to make a few decisions about what to do and I would love to draw on the experience of people here to help me make better informed choices. Specifically, I need to...

  • Finish some wiring and construction details
  • Choose a projector and screen
  • Decide on speakers and speaker placement
  • Choose an equipment rack

Right now we have...

  • 50" Panasonic Plasma
  • Denon AVR
  • Infinity IL-50 towers w/ powered subs
  • Infinity center speaker
  • Infinity bookshelf rears
  • SVS 20-39PC subwoofer
  • TiVo Premiere
  • Apple TV
  • Pioneer Blu-ray player


I'll share the general build progress here and then link to other threads that might better belong in one of the other sub-forums.

Here's the basic floorplan...



Here's a quick render of the space plan (not final furniture)...



And here's a quick render of the view from the "game room"

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post #2 of 55 Old 02-24-2013, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
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post #3 of 55 Old 02-24-2013, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
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PROJECTOR

I started a thread in the projector forum to try and figure out what to do there.
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post #4 of 55 Old 02-24-2013, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
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post #5 of 55 Old 02-24-2013, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
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post #6 of 55 Old 03-02-2013, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's a view of the wall where I plan to put the screen. I'm thinking of building a matching column across from the one around the support post on both walls to better define the viewing space. It would allow a natural break in the wall color as well if I wanted to go a shade darker next to the screen.



The sister column would be in between Sam I Am and Cinderella there. It would probably be 12" x 12" to match the other column, but I might make it 12" wide and only 6" deep. I would probably place the floor tower speakers in front of the column, but I might be able to fit wall speakers into the column.

I would add another false column to the outside wall to define the screen space. That would give me about 98" between the columns, which would just fit a 106" 16:9 screen. I'd have to be careful that I could make it fit the final finished dimensions
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post #7 of 55 Old 03-02-2013, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's a view of the soffit around the support beam. I'd like to place the projector just in front of this beam, but where do I put the speakers? Should I just go with 5.1 and place the surrounds on the column pointing in at the couch in front of the column? Should I ceiling mount?

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post #8 of 55 Old 03-03-2013, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking into buying a 42-44U rack for the space under the stairs. My plan is to frame around the front so that only part of the rack is open to the room. I'll use the bottom portion (that's not visible) for the UPS and such things. I tend to like the APC racks for work, but are there home theater accessories that I should be looking at besides shelves? Where do people get the zero-clearance faceplates for their gear?

http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/APC-NetShelter-4-Post-Open-Frame-Rack-rack-44U/1957023.aspx

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post #9 of 55 Old 03-24-2013, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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About half the electrical is finished now. An old friend of mine is a master electrician and he made up the boxes in the bedrooms and helped me plan out the home runs for the different circuits. Still need to pull rope to the bathroom and kitchenette area.

There's some details of the low-voltage work that I need to settle, but we are moving forward. I'm out of town again this week (3 out of the last 4 weeks) so work will pause until I can return to finish the electrical and get ready for the rough inspection.

I've decided to put a soffit around the viewing area and put in false columns around the screen to match up with the support column. I think this will help define the space without breaking up all the open area. It also allows me to do a coffered ceiling above the viewing area inside those soffits with some led rope light. I can paint the ceiling a darker color than the rest of the space and cut down on reflected light for the projector. The first soffit is up, but not completely nailed down. The rest will go up when I get back.
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post #10 of 55 Old 03-24-2013, 04:04 PM
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I put my side surrounds in the columns pointed at the couch like you were talking. I like that they are flush with the column and aren't obtrusive. I just started a thread for my theater.. It's the Interstate 35 Theater
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post #11 of 55 Old 03-24-2013, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I like the way yours turned out, gtessau. My couch is going to be in front of the columns, so I'm thinking that having the surrounds behind the listener might be a distraction. I'm thinking of putting these speakers (DefTech UIW RSS II) in the ceiling directly above the couch.

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post #12 of 55 Old 03-24-2013, 07:15 PM
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Looking forward to seeing this space come together. I generally don't recommend inceiling/inwall speakers but for your surrounds/rears that just might be your best option. I have the Epson 8350 projecting on a DIY painted screen and I am very happy with the performance. It does tolerate some ambient light, but even if you purchase a "light cannon" projector ambient light will start to wash out the picture at some point and probably quicker than what you would guess. I do most of my TV watching with some ambient lighting and most of my movie watching with lights off. Kind of what it sounds like you will do as well.

What is your budget for a PJ? If you look right at the 3k mark there are several PJ's that have close to or more than 3000 lumens.

Regards,

RTROSE

My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
Enjoying my "almost done" theater.
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post #13 of 55 Old 01-23-2014, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm picking this project back up. It was put on hold when my daughter went into the hospital, but we are back to "normal" now and moving ahead.

I've finished all the framing and plumbing with one exception. I'm bringing a plumber in to help move a drain that runs underneath the stairs. I want to create some more room for the rack that will go in that space.

The electrical is essentially done, but the inspector asked for some changes. I legitimately forgot to put a box for a smoke detector outside the bedrooms. Then I have to add a box in a weird spot to pass the 6/12 rule. Seems silly, but a small price to pay to get him to sign off.

I did put in the columns at the front of the screen area. This creates a defined space for the projection screen to go. I also decided to wire up for a flat-panel TV behind the screen too, just in case I change my mind about projection in the future. I'm kinda excited about the columns because this allows me to put in crown inside that space and some rope lighting for up light in there. Should look cool.

The other change I made (with the benefit of having lots of time to think about it) was to remove a stud in the back of the stairwell (where it's not needed) so I can create a big access opening to the rest of the space under the stairs. The "front" of the stairwell space will be used by the equipment rack. I have access behind the rack through the mechanical room, but it would be hard to get boxes of christmas decorations in and out that way. This new opening makes the rest of the storage place usable.
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post #14 of 55 Old 01-23-2014, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I passed the framing part of the rough inspection, but I have a couple outstanding issues for the electrical inspection. Just need to add a couple boxes that the inspector wanted. One was legitimate, but two were kind of ticky-tacky. Still, not a big price to pay for his signature. Should have that done in the next two weeks.
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post #15 of 55 Old 02-15-2014, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
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The inspector signed off on rough the other week and just finished putting up insulation today. Here's a pic with the vapor barrier up.



I also reframed this front wall to make room for some Triad speakers to go behind the screen. These are actually On-wall speakers, but I was able to frame up supports behind them so they will mount "onwall" inside the stud cavity. The hard part was removing the center stud so I could put the center channel speaker behind the screen.

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post #16 of 55 Old 02-15-2014, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I've decided to go with Triad speakers. I found some really inexpensive, used OnWall Bronze LCRs that I'm using behind the screen, and then I'm going to use Bronze/4 surrounds in ceiling above the seating area.

I hope it will be worth reframing the wall.

Now my biggest concern is that the Seymour AV screen material I was going to use is 1.2 gain and I think the HD131Xe will be too bright. I might have to look into a ND filter to cut it down.
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post #17 of 55 Old 02-18-2014, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Drywall is going up today and tomorrow. I hired this part out because Martin and his dad have been hanging drywall since 1978 and I want it to look nice. They'll take 2-3 days to hang it, 3-4 days to mud & tape, and 3-4 days to texture. There's quite a few walls to take care of.
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post #18 of 55 Old 02-19-2014, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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post #19 of 55 Old 02-19-2014, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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We're thinking about putting in this carpet…


…with this tile (the grey tile at the bottom of the display. We won't have a lot of tile, but it will run from the kitchenette into the bathroom.

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post #20 of 55 Old 02-19-2014, 05:16 PM
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Lookin really goood! That carpet is similar to the one were looking at.
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post #21 of 55 Old 02-20-2014, 11:57 AM
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I used a similar carpet in my basement and it turned out great. I was unsure of it at the time, but it has a really great look with flecks of different color in it. Much nicer than a straight one tone plush carpet.
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post #22 of 55 Old 02-20-2014, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I really like the "twist" in the carpet strands. Makes it more interesting than a regular plush carpet (and hides the popcorn bits better smile.gif )

The drywall guys are almost done hanging, so we'll get the inspector in here tomorrow to look at the screws and make sure it's not going to fall on us. Next week is mud & tape!
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post #23 of 55 Old 02-27-2014, 01:08 AM - Thread Starter
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You can see the walls after the taping is done. I included some shots to try and show the detail for the soffit that defines the media area. I'm going to put up crown moulding inside the coved ceiling here. Haven't decided how to trim out the columns, but will do something here to dress them up a bit. I might add corbels to the front columns to match up the width of the soffit in the front of the space. I didn't want to bring the columns all the way out to the full depth of the soffit because I thought it was giving up too much floor space, but a corbel might make a nice transition there and even it out.




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post #24 of 55 Old 02-27-2014, 07:54 AM
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Awsome! Drywall is a beautiful site isn't it?
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post #25 of 55 Old 02-27-2014, 10:33 AM
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Looks like its really coming along nice
I (one distant day) will be doing an open basement area also
What locations did you decide on for surrounds?
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post #26 of 55 Old 02-27-2014, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gec5741 View Post

Awsome! Drywall is a beautiful site isn't it?
Absolutely. It's starting to look like a real living space. Once the mess is cleaned up from the drywall work, I think it will look even better.
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Looks like its really coming along nice
I (one distant day) will be doing an open basement area also
What locations did you decide on for surrounds?
Thanks. It's been a long journey to get here, but things are falling into place now.

The surrounds are going in the ceiling above the main seating area. It's a compromise, but I think it will be fine for what we are doing. I pre-wired for rears in the columns, but I'm not sure I'm going to put those in anytime soon.
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post #27 of 55 Old 02-27-2014, 11:47 AM
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Awesome Weldon...DRYWALL!!!! That's a big milestone once you start to see that...especially after it's been taped, sanded and relatively finished. Gotta love all that dust though! Whew...took me weeks to get that cleaned up!
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post #28 of 55 Old 02-27-2014, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstivers302 View Post

Awesome Weldon...DRYWALL!!!! That's a big milestone once you start to see that...especially after it's been taped, sanded and relatively finished. Gotta love all that dust though! Whew...took me weeks to get that cleaned up!
Haha, yeah. Primer is being rolled on today. Texture goes on tomorrow. Cleanup starts on Monday smile.gif
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post #29 of 55 Old 03-19-2014, 01:47 PM
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Looking great! I am subscribing. I just finished "phase 1" of my basement which was a media room with double pocket doors. The rest of the basement I hope to start on next year and will have a bedroom, bathroom, bar area and open area for a craft table/board game table. I look forward to following your build.
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post #30 of 55 Old 03-25-2014, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Tile is going in…




Doors are ready to be hung…



Shower enclosure is waiting to be installed…

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