Luke's basement theater / media room / office - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-25-2014, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
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When my wife and I moved into our house one and a half years ago I told her she could decorate every room in the house however she wanted as long as the basement was mine for me to do with as I pleased.  The room was already framed and insulated when we bought the house so I only need to finish it and that time has finally come.  It was going to be just a theater room, but I got a promotion at work which allows me to work from home now one or two days a week.  The kitchen table won't work forever so I'll be building a desk in the back corner of the room now.  Here's what my room currently looks like...

 

Yes, that's a bed skirt on the future screen wall.  The Benq W7000 came in a couple weeks ago and the kids insisted that we watch a movie on it so I made a temporary setup with the bed skirt and my old Logitech Z5500 5.1 speakers.  It's enough to satisfy the kids while the build is going on at least.

 

 

 

In the two bottom photo's you can see the 7 1/2" shelf I have along 2/3's of that wall due to the foundation on the bottom half of the wall.  I also have a large box running the width of the room and right down the center of the ceiling boxing in some HVAC piping and venting.  There's also a pipe on the one side wall that connects to the outside AC unit that I have to box in.  Not sure why the contractor who built the house didn't run it inside of the wall.

 

Here's what I hope the room will look like once I'm finished.  Minus the colors, just playing at this point and haven't made a definite decision on them yet.

 

The door on the left in the bottom render goes to our garage and the long space in between the garage and future media room is the stairs going up to main floor.  Net door down on wall is for under stair storage, next is furnace, wide doors are bifold closet doors for washer / dryer and back door is for access to storage and also water distro block.  Room dimensions are 21' 7" x 11' 7 1/2" x 8'.  I'm planning on a 120" wide 2.40 screen.  That will leave me just enough space on either side of screen to hang curtains which will be pulled in for the 16x9 masking.

 

Today I started working on the room finally.  I didn't get to much, but I did get two small partition walls framed and attached to the ceiling.  One can be seen in the first photo at the ceiling next to the stairs.  I built both so they dropped down 11 1/2".  The same as the box near the middle of the room.  This way I can put crown molding all the way around the front part of the room starting at the bottom of the 11 1/2" box.  I'll put rope lighting behind the crown molding and will have a 10' x 10' area of 24" x 24" ceiling tiles with a small drywall border on all 4 sides centered in the front part of the ceiling.  AV closet I haven't framed out yet, but planning on the back wall for it on the opposite side as my desk.

 

I haven't picked out speakers yet, but will be using in walls for LCR and wall mounted surrounds.  I would go in wall for the surrounds as well, but the best place for the left surround would be the narrow space between the under stair storage and the door to the furnace, but that short wall is concealing post so in walls won't work for surrounds.

 

I'm just getting started on this project so any suggestions, recommendations, or tips will be greatly appreciated as they will hopefully reduce the number of times I smack myself in the head for doing something one way and later realizing I should of done it a different way.

 

 



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post #2 of 13 Old 03-17-2014, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been making some progress. Slowly. All of my framing and soffits are finished now. Electrician was here 3 days last week getting the electrical done. I decided to have a subpanel installed in the small alcove at the bottom of the stairs for a little bit of future proofing. Going to be drop ceiling in the room so with the panel box in the same room I should have much of an issue with any future wiring I may need in the room. This morning I called Axiom Audio and placed an order for 3 M22 in walls and 4 QS8's. I can't wait for them to arrive. Later today or tomorrow I should be ordering a set of rack rails and I'll work on my AV rack this weekend.

I also had a bit of bad news last week. Or sort of good news I guess depending on how you look at it. While the electrician was running his wires he noticed the back of the insulation was wet in one spot. Had to tear out the insulation across half of that wall. Turns out the window at the back of the room wasn't sealed properly and water was getting in, running down the inside of the plywood to the top of the concrete foundation, and then spreading out across the vapor barrier on the foundation to cover almost half of that wall. I thought I was all set to start drywalling once the electrician was finished, but not now. I believe I have the window properly sealed now and have removed all of the insulation that was wet, but don't want to replace it and hang the drywall until we get another good rain just to be sure. But, I guess this was better than finding it a year down the road by seeing a wet spot on the finished drywall. This is a hassle, but that would of been a pita.


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post #3 of 13 Old 04-03-2014, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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The bad seal around the window is where the water was coming in at. There weren't any storms in the forcast so I took the hose and created my own. :-) Basement stayed bone dry with the window resealed. Ran all of my wires for 7.2 and got all of the drywall hung now and my sister is doing the last coat of spackle tomorrow. The room is finally starting to take shape. Now UPS gets to be busy. The Axiom speakers are being delivered today along with a box of assorted cables, cover plates, etc from Amazon, up for delivery tomorrow is an Emotiva XPA3 and XPA5, and next week 7 yards of milliskin matte white for the AT screen is coming.


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post #4 of 13 Old 04-04-2014, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Progress pic finally.  All drywall and mudding is finally done.  Yay!

 

 

 

Between yesterday and today I've had 3 Axiom M22's, 4 Axiom QS8's, an Emotiva XPA-5, and an Emotiva XPA-3 delivered.  I really need to get my rack finished so i can install this stuff.

 



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post #5 of 13 Old 04-15-2014, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Got some work done in my basement over the weekend. Got all the walls painted and picked out my stain for the trim and wainscoting. Will have wainscoting on all but the front wall. Black stripe at top of wall won't be visible. Well, mostly. Putting up crown molding with LED lights so only a small amount of the black will be visible above and behind the molding.

frontofroom-1.jpg

backofroom-1.jpg

colors.jpg

Also, I'm not sure why it took me so long to think about this, but I have FINALLY tried out my new speakers and amps. Not sure why it took so long to think to just connect them to my laptop while I wait for a receiver.

speakers.jpg


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post #6 of 13 Old 04-16-2014, 06:57 PM
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You are moving fast! Great progress!!!

Dave

Dave


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post #7 of 13 Old 04-17-2014, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davboy View Post

You are moving fast! Great progress!!!



Dave

 



Thanks Dave! I'm glad someone thinks it's moving fast because 4 months seems like a long time to me. Especially when most of the fun electronics are already here and just sitting in boxes. When it's quiet in the house I swear I can hear them whispering "open me".


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post #8 of 13 Old 05-08-2014, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
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No progress in the room itself, but I'm getting all the doors and trim stained. Hoping to have everything finished by next weekend so I can start putting it in. Still have to stain and seal beadboard wainscoting.





I've also picked out and purchased the ceiling tiles I'll be using.



Last but not least, made a final decision on my subs and sub amp. A couple Dayton Audio 15" Ultimax and an iNuke 3000DSP.



Slowly, but making progress.


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post #9 of 13 Old 05-15-2014, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Made a decision on my receiver finally. Was looking at the Denon X4000 originally to use as a pre/pro but ended up going with a UMC-200. Going this route allowed me to get the UMC-200 and an Oppo BDP-103D for the same price I was initially going to spend on just the AVR. HDMI inputs are all that I need and I only have 4 devices so the stripped down UMC-200 should be ok for my situation. I lose out on XT32 obviously, but from what I've read around here and at HTS most people seem to prefer the sq from proper manual calibrations over any auto-cal so I'll just have to dedicate some time to learning REW.

Still working on the stain, but am almost finished. In-between waiting on coats of poly to dry I've got all the door casings and trim installed. Just a couple more days and I should be 100% finished with staining and can knock out all the wainscoting. My personal deadline to have this room finished is June 28th. Having a July 4th party at the house and would like to have it finished by then. We shall see....


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post #10 of 13 Old 05-20-2014, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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First I gotta show off my father-in-laws great help with the room. I wouldn't be anywhere near as far as I am if it wasn't for his help so far. I've done all of the staining and poly, but actually installing the trim and wainscoting has been mostly him. The side wall is almost finished.

20140519_204939.jpg

I also, FINALLY, got my rack rails and got them installed in the wall. I went with the MA RRF 27U rails. That's more than enough space for what I currently have and hopefully enough for any future upgrades. I built a box out of 1" x 4" pine (actual dimensions are closer to 3/4" x 3.5") that is going into the rough opening and shimmed in place to ensure level/square.

20140519_175723.jpg

Then the rails are fastened thru the pine and into the double studs with 5 3.5" lag bolts per rail. I also put a 2x4 across the bottom with legs going down to the bottom plate, like framing a door, to provide support from underneath. I may have went a bit overboard, but this thing ain't coming out now unless the whole wall comes down.

20140519_204855.jpg

All of my equipment is finally here and tested, just tested the subs last night, except for the Oppo which is still shipping so I should be good to go with no need to return DOA equipment. Maybe I shouldn't say that until the Oppo shows up.

20140519_223402.jpg

In the next few days and this weekend I want to get everything moved into the rack and finish staining/poly the wainscoting. With the wait times between coats that seems to be taking forever to get finished.


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post #11 of 13 Old 05-22-2014, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I got all the gear I currently have in the rack now with the exception of the Oppo. Once I get around to picking up my cable box I'll order a MA custom shelf and faceplate for both. The UMC-200 is a PITA for rack mounting. I knew when I purchased it that the rack kit was 1.5RU, but I assumed that half RU would be all above or below the full RU. It's not. They split the difference. So there is an unusable .75RU space both above and below it.

20140522_200210.jpg

I'm going to pick up a sheet of aluminum from Lowes this weekend, cut two .75RU pieces, Plastidip them, and fill the gaps. We'll see how it turns out.

The 75 pound beasts that Emotiva calls amps are mounted too. That was a chore for lack of a more suiting term. I can think of many more suiting terms for it, but im afraid none of them are pg-13. The bottom of the bottom amp is about 6 ft high and the top amp is 5RU above that. I held both in the air over my head while my brother in law held the front and screwed them in. I put them at the bottom to begin with, but that would of made the xbox, bluray, and receiver too high for the kids to reach so I decided on putting them at the top. With the 6 3" lag bolts per rail I highly doubt the rack is going to go anywhere even with majority of weight at the top.

20140522_233540.jpg


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post #12 of 13 Old 05-26-2014, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Sub box is built now. Just have to fill the screw holes, sand it down, and paint it. Two 15's fill this room beautifully.

20140526_080808.jpg

Build thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1533297/lukes-dual-ported-ultimax-15s


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post #13 of 13 Old 06-03-2014, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I've got my projector mounted in its final home now. Although I do have to take it back down to make the mount more presentable. I was able to get a used Prismasonic lens from the classifieds here, but not until after I had already purchased a cheap mount for the projector that had no way to mount a sled. Also, to get the size screen that I wanted without using zoom because of now having a lens I had to put the projector on the backside of the bulkhead instead of flat mounting to the bottom of it like my original plan was. This meant the drop bar for the projector was too short. A trip to Lowe's for a couple pieces of steel and problem solved.

I was able to find a piece of steel the right width and length to fit the original projector mount and the lens and started measuring and drilling holes to mount the original projector mount and the lens to the new steel.



I also had to cut a piece of steel tubing for a bar to drop the mount below the height of the bulkhead. With the added weight of the lens the original mount point for the bar was way off center so I drilled two holes through the front of the steel and ran cables to anchor point in the joist to keep the front from leaning down.





Hopefully this weekend I'll have a chance to take it back down and make it look presentable. Going to round off the front corners of the steel that is visible and will paint everything black. I haven't decided yet, but I may take the lens apart and paint that too so it matches.


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