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post #1 of 221 Old 11-13-2013, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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OK the time has finally come for me to put together a thread for this basement build. I've been lurking and posting around here for the last year and I have been saying that I would do it. Plus it's so much fun to watch the progression of everyone else I figured this would be a great way to get more advice from you guy's and also hopefully be able to help others just starting out with questions just as I have been helped out all this time. First off I have to say this place is the BEST! These boards and all you guys are an incredible wealth of knowledge it's unbelievable. What we did before the internet I just don't know!

Let me start by saying this is my first time ever finishing a basement or doing anything of this size before. I have been learning as I go. I started framing probably 3 years ago. There were large gaps in time where I didn’t even set foot in the basement. My family has had a few things where my 5 year old son (now 7) needed to have some scary surgery on his back so the basement went unworked on for quite some time. I’m glad to say he is now 7 and he is great! He and his 5 year old brother play Hockey like crazy men and are on the ice 3-5 days a week. My 7 year old is on 2 teams at the moment because he tried out and made the league select team so he is kicking butt! With all that hockey however comes a ton of time out of my free time as well so I work when I can. But now I am hell bent on getting this project moving along and completed! My main goals for the media room portion of the basement is to have a nice place where me and the boys and wife can go do our movie nights. Also another huge motivation to get this project done is to have it ready for the Stanley Cup finals! We live just outside of Chicago and are huge Black Hawks fans. Well my 7 year has taken a liking to Crosby so he’s become a big Penguins fan >frown.gif So the space will be split between sports and Movies.

I am 99% sure that I have decided to go with an Epson 5030UB projector when the time comes to purchase that part. Its right in my price range and from what I have been reading in the PJ forums it is a great picture for the buck. As for Screen size and Screen I am still up in the air. I want to go as big as I can so I’m thinking 120 16:9 screen maybe the ticket. But if I can get away with a 133 incher I may try it. But I do plan to get the pj first and shine it on the wall then play with sizes, aspect ratio’s etc first before purchasing the Screen.
Sound I’m still undecided. I may have to do a mix of some new stuff and fill it in with some old stuff I have just for a while. Will have to see what the budget allows for when it’s time to purchase things.

So without further ado… Welcome to my build.

I will start with the media room. The dimensions are roughly 14' wide by 16' long. I have a few annoying obsticals to deal with. One being a sump pump in the corner and the sencond being 2 different ceiling heights.



This is a shot as walking into the media room


Another shot from media room entrance


Screen Wall


Another shot of Screen wall


Back Wall. I put the outlet on the wall because I thought I would put the projector on a shelf. Now I'm thinking of just using a ceiling mount. I could still just leave the outlet because it will still be back just off the wall no matter what. but I have been thinking of moving the outlet down a bit towards the entrance to center it a little more on the wall. I would then have to use the lens shift but I am thinking of adding 2 wall sconces on the back wall so it may look more centered that way.


Another shot of the back wall


This is a shot of the sump pump closet. I still need to actually frame the door. This was one of the first things I framed down there years ago. I may of done it a bit differently now but I'll make it work. I'll be putting some shelving in their for storage as well.

All my lights in their are fully controlled. The first row in front of the screen are dimmable. The second row is also on a seperate switch and dimmable. Then the upper lights are also seperate and dimmable.


With lights slightly dimmed.


dimmed more



And more of the same.

More photos coming in just a few minutes.
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post #2 of 221 Old 11-13-2013, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are some shots of what will soon be the Bar area. I plan to build a small angled L shaped bar in the corner. There will be a sink and counter along the back in that push out area. I had to remove a ton of concrete to get the pipes back there but it will be worth it I think when it's all done!


Shot looking out of the media room a the future bar location.


Here is the run of concrete I had to remove for the plumbing.


Here is a shot from the other side of the basement looking at the future bar area.

There is a little more to the basement that I will post in future posts. there is a bathroom I'm doing, and a small area just by the stairs that I will have a TV on the wall for the kids.
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post #3 of 221 Old 11-13-2013, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Next on my list of things to do is build the AV rack. I'm taking a page from TBL's build and what he did with his av equipment. Mine will be much shorter because I'm building it into the storage shelving I've already built. I think it will be plenty of room for what I will need. Basically it's going to sit on the middle shelf so I will have access to it from behind. Here are a couple pics. I have to still move the stud out more to make it a full 20 inches wide.


This is from the media room side looking in.


This is from behind the future rack location looking out.


This is a shot of my messy network/TV rack. Also the ancient reciever there is powering my 4 speakers for the bar area. That laptop is my future jukebox. I have it all working software wise. I just now have to transorm that laptop into a wall mounted box with a touch screen. That project will come later. But all my music runs from my network. Album player is the software that will run it. I like it a lot. I can also control it with my smart phone.

Playing around with wireing up a PC fan to a power supply. I may put a removable backing on the AV rack so you don't see right through the thing. So my thought was to just have 4 pc fans mounted pulling air out of the unit for air flow. I can dasie chain a few of these together. Works like a champ! I think in the end I'll wire up an on off switch on the back as well so I can turn the fans on and off without needing to touch the power.



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post #4 of 221 Old 11-13-2013, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Question regarding how tall to make my component sections of the rack. The gap between the shelves that this will sit on is 32" tall. So if I plan to put in 4 shelves and taking into account the thickness of the 3/4" boards that would leave me with 27.5" to utilize. I had thought about making my top space 8 inches tall, Then the next 6 inches tall, Then 4", 4" and the bottom 5.5" I'm concerned if 8 inches however will be sufficient height for an AVR? Again I don't have one picked out yet and wanted to cover myself for any main brands like denon, sony, panasonic etc.

Here's a pic of what I mean.

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post #5 of 221 Old 11-13-2013, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I messed with wireing up a switch to those pc fans. Its not pretty but I just wanted to test out out. I'll make it look nice later.


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post #6 of 221 Old 11-13-2013, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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also tonight I reframed the av rack space in the wall. Its a little funky but it will work. Once its drywalled and the trim is up it should look fine.

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post #7 of 221 Old 11-13-2013, 11:14 PM
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I love it when a plan comes together.
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post #8 of 221 Old 11-14-2013, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Me too! I'm gettin there.
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post #9 of 221 Old 11-14-2013, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone know of a wall mount I could use with these speakers? I am using 2 of them in the bar area and have had them sitting on some make shift shelves I built with 2x4's. But I'd like to find some nice wall mount's for them.



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post #10 of 221 Old 11-14-2013, 09:57 PM
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Those were ultra-common about 8 to 10 years ago. Is that hole at the bottom threaded? It looks like you could make an MDF plate that screws against the back 4 holes and you could use a french cleat or put a keyhole in it for hanging.
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post #11 of 221 Old 11-15-2013, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes the hole at the bottom is threaded. I probably could rig something up but was hoping there was some sort of universal mount that would work with these. One last thing I have to really try and figure out. I've seen some mounts that look like an arm that speaker could sit on. I've also seen a mount on mono price that may work. Something like this. http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=108&cp_id=10828&cs_id=1082802&p_id=7842&seq=1&format=2

However I measured the distance in between the holes this morning. They are 3 3/4" on center all the way around. Not sure if this vesa mounting pattern would line up or not?
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post #12 of 221 Old 11-15-2013, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Do you think I could get away with installing a very low profile stage on my screen wall? I really like the look that gives. My worry is due to the fact that my ceiling height is lower there going with a 120 or 133 inch screen I'd have no room for my center channel. I won't be putting any speakers behind or in wall so I'll need some room from the floor to the bottom of the screen. Thoughts?

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post #13 of 221 Old 12-04-2013, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
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OK I finally have an update. I have the rough AV rack built. I plan to stain it with a dark stain eventually. I have 2 more shelves to build yet because I miss calucated the amount of wood I got eek.gif. I have a pull out kvm that is connected to the pc that runs my 2012r2 domain controller. The server lives next to the rack. From it I can RDP into any other computer in my house including all my plex media player clients. There will be a small mini pc that will run my htpc in the media room as well. This is what it looks like so far.













I plan to build a removable back for this so you can't see straight through. I am going to install some good quiet PC fans to pull the hot air out the back. See a few earlier posts regarding the fan idea. I'm also going to be finishing up the electric and getting the rest of my cables and smurf tubing runs in the wall by the end of the year. I plan to be insulated and ready for drywall by Jan or Feb at the latest!

Thanks and stay tuned for more...
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post #14 of 221 Old 12-06-2013, 10:06 AM
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Looking great man! Another great thread for me to follow!

A/V Gear: EPSON 5030UB | 100" Elite Screen | Samsung UN46F5500 LED TV | Yamaha RX-A1010 | Emotiva XPA-3 | OPPO BDP-103 | Panamax M5300 Power Cond.| Pro-ject Carbon Debut Turntable | Polk 265-RT (L/R) | Polk 255C-RT (C) | Polk 65RT (L/R SUR) | Polk RC80i (L/R REAR SUR) | PSA XV-15 | Sonos | Apple TV

904WMC Media Room Thread
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post #15 of 221 Old 12-08-2013, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks! This weekend I started to run some smurf tubing and speaker lines. This was my first time ever working with this tubing but I think it's going well. I used a piece of a plastic bag tied to the pull strings and my shop vac to get the string through the tubes. I have to say that is pretty cool how well that works. Here are some pics of how it's going so far. I hope to have some more done this week!



HDMI and network run for future projector. I will be running 2 HDMI and 4 network to this location along with the smurf tube.


Future speaker location


Future speaker location









with any luck I'll have the rest of the media room runs done this week. At least as far as the smurf tubing goes. I don't have all the cables I need quite yet to go with them yet.
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post #16 of 221 Old 12-09-2013, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Guys,

I don't have a basement update unfortunately. It's been a long cold day and I'm feeling a bit under the weather. So tonight I'm up in bed watching Monday night football. But I figured I'd post up one reason that this project is taking soooo long. But in this case I think it's a very good and worthy reason. My 2 boys are huge Mine Craft nuts and wanted to be mine craft guy's for Halloween in the worst way. To my surprise we could not find a decent mine craft costume. We found some heads but that's about it. So I figured How hard could it be? I found a pretty good how to from someone who had made this costume so I figured I'd give it a whirl. So even though it's almost Christmas I figured I'd post a pic of the kidos in their mine craft costumes. Soon I will have a basement update!

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post #17 of 221 Old 12-29-2013, 11:02 AM
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How it goin' ? Awful quiet around here! wink.gif

A/V Gear: EPSON 5030UB | 100" Elite Screen | Samsung UN46F5500 LED TV | Yamaha RX-A1010 | Emotiva XPA-3 | OPPO BDP-103 | Panamax M5300 Power Cond.| Pro-ject Carbon Debut Turntable | Polk 265-RT (L/R) | Polk 255C-RT (C) | Polk 65RT (L/R SUR) | Polk RC80i (L/R REAR SUR) | PSA XV-15 | Sonos | Apple TV

904WMC Media Room Thread
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post #18 of 221 Old 01-02-2014, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes with the holidays things have been a bit hectic! I did get a few days to work on the electric. Tomorrow night I plan to get down in the basement and do a big clean up. I plan to take a few photos then. Nothing to exciting though since its just a lot of conduit and such. I did put in a sub panel which is pretty cool. Seems like the electric is taking me forever! But im close on getting the electric done so thats good! Then I plan to get the rest of the speaker, hdmi, and sub woofer lines in the wall. I'll be running a ton of network lines as well. Then it will be time to insulate! I'm going to bid out the drywall but I have a bad feeling I'll end up doing it myself like everything else so far! It would be sweet though to just be able to get it done!
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post #19 of 221 Old 01-06-2014, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
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OK I finally got a chance to get in the basement. While it's not a ton I was able to get a few things done.

I got some lights hooked up that I've been meaning to hookup.


I put in a sub panel. I had planned to locate this sub panel in my utility room but it was going to cost me quite a bit more. So in the interest of getting this done I just added it right below my existing panel. I'll just have to build a bigger door to access them!


I ran my speaker lines and smurf tube runs for the front speakers in the media room.



I still have to run my rear speakers for the 7.1 surround but I'm a little unclear on placement. If anyone has suggestions on height and spacing on the back wall I'd appreciate any input.

Well that's about it for now. Hopefully I'll be ready to get the insulation and drywall going in the next month or so! that's the goal at least!
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post #20 of 221 Old 01-13-2014, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm going to start to think about insulation soon. I was thinking for interior walls and the floor joists in the celing going with Roxul safe and sound. But I am not sure what I should do for the exterior walls. Roxul has the comfort bat but I was wondering what would be the best and maybe a more affordable solution? I live in IL just north of Chicago. I have bare concrete on the exterior walls. I've framed close to the concrete but not directly against it. Should I just go with a good fiberglass or as they say "the pink stuff" for the exterior?
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post #21 of 221 Old 01-13-2014, 11:26 AM
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Your project is looking good. I've been reading up lately on sound control and will be going with regular R-19 insulation in between my ceiling joists (I'm just starting my basement project). I was originally going to go the Roxul S&S route, but there is some debate if that works any better than R-19. People are on both sides of that debate and the rationalle behind the R-19 makes more sense to me. Regarding the exterior walls, you have a number of options. I haven't done much reading on that, as my home's exterior walls were previously framed and insulated with the pink stuff.
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post #22 of 221 Old 01-13-2014, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Yea the more I look into it the more confused I get with what is the proper way to handle the exterior walls. I do have a gap between the concrete and any studs so there will be air flow which seems to be needed. I did while framing include a sheet of plastic on the backside of my framed walls thinking at the time that I would be doing the right thing. However it seems I was wrong to add this "vapor barrier" to the cold side of the wall so I will be cutting that all out. One thing though to note about it is that I ddn't do it so it was air tight. And for the last 2 years that it's been up there is 0 condensation on either side of the plastic. To be safe though I will still just get rid of it. I'm not sure if after including the insulation I'd then get the condensation build up or not. I want to do this right and not have to worry about any issues down the road! As I'm sure everyone would feel the same. biggrin.gif
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post #23 of 221 Old 01-13-2014, 12:40 PM
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I just finished insulating the outside basement walls. The gap between the studs and cement walls is required so the wood is not in contact with the cement to prevent rot. I used the 1/2 inch styrofoam-type rigid pink sheets behind the studs (owens corning foamular), then taped the joints with tyvek. This will act as a vapor barrier and R3 insulation. Then I used R13 owens roll faced insulation. I filled all holes (pipes,electrical, etc.) going outside through basement w/ great stuff expanding spray. I used unfaced R-30 to fill in the voids and spaces above the poured walls/framing and my upper floor joists. This seems to kill any type of cold air penetration.

I'm still exploring the options for the ceiling insulation as I'm going with a ceilume drop ceiling and want to minimize the noise, while keeping the room comfortable at a minimal expense.
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post #24 of 221 Old 01-13-2014, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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So you used 1/2 inch rigid board directly on the concrete, Then R13 batting over that between your wall studs? Is the foam board attached with a glue?

Thanks for the info guys!
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post #25 of 221 Old 01-13-2014, 01:14 PM
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I attached it with all purpose liquid nails...but made it so tight to the space that it was almost not required. The Rigid cuts well w/ a sharp utility knife. I ran them horizontal too which saved on cuts.
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post #26 of 221 Old 01-13-2014, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure I can get this stuff behind my studs now that I've framed and run conduit and everything. So i may not be able to go that rout.
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post #27 of 221 Old 01-13-2014, 01:24 PM
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My basement was already framed and wired. But it was finished without any insulation and using a faux textured paneling. So I ripped out the paneling, and had to wedge in the rigid. At 1/2", it's flexible enough to bend into the space between the studs and slide down to the end. How much space do you have between your studs and the cement walls?

If you cannot go that route, you can get an estimate for someone to spray foam the exterior walls. That's ideal for air penetration, warmth, and vapor barrier, but not sure for accostical applications. It's also a little pricier.
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post #28 of 221 Old 01-13-2014, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll look tonight. I probably could get away with slipping 1/2 inch behind the studs. I'm just wondering if it's absolutely necessary. More from an expense point of view then a work one.
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post #29 of 221 Old 01-14-2014, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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The more I read up about this the more I think it a good idea to just suck up the extra cost and go this route. I did some calculations and at roughly 10 bucks give or take for a 1/2" 4x8 sheet It will cost me around 4 to 500 bucks to do my whole basement (exterior wall). For peace of mind I think it will be worth it.
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post #30 of 221 Old 01-15-2014, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I took a piece of 1/2 inch drywall I had laying around last night and checked all around my framing to see if I have room to fit in the 1/2 inch foamboard insulation. And I'm glad to say that I do have plenty of room all around. There are only a few areas near the floor that it may be close but that is just due to some spots where there was metal ties and the concrete just sticks out in small areas. It will easily knock off with a hammer and chisel to smooth out the wall. So I'm hoping to get some of the board and get started putting it in place this weekend.
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