The Punishment Room Construction Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 78 Old 03-24-2008, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all!

I've been an AVS lurker for a few years and finally decided to register. I bought an older house a few years back with the idea that I would eventually finish the entire basement. So far I've completed 3 of 5 rooms and am ready to fully tackle the theatre.

I'm doing everything DIY except for plumbing as that still scares me I'm about 2 weeks into the construction and figured I share some pics. I'm also hoping to benefit from the wealth of knowledge here at AVS.

Budget isn't a huge concern (I.e. I'll pick it up if I need it), but I'm currently planning on staying pretty lean.

I have a pretty good Onkyo 7.1 receiver + speakers gathering dust in the garage. Right next to it I have a Infocus X1 (old one with the Fujita (?) chip). I figure I'll start with those and upgrade later.

I'm trying to get this completed by my wedding date in September.

Room is Appx 12 x 20 with 7'2" of headroom.

Without further ado, here are some pics (sorry about the grain)...


Back of room lookin towards future screen


Future Media Closet (entrance to room is on right)


Looking out towards door (back to screen area)


Hot Water heater (problem 1) and Soffits (problem2)
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post #2 of 78 Old 03-24-2008, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll try and do a sketchup of how I want it to look in the near future. I need some thoughts on decisions going forward:

1) I am planning on making the front (screen side) asymmetrical so that I can cover the hot water heater(HWH, see pic 4 above). My current idea is to install floor to ceiling custom bookshelves on this wall and make a diagonal wall to "cover up" the HWH. I have a rather large Dalite screen that retracts. So I was planning on pulling it down to cover the bookshelves when I wanted to watch a movie/play games. What do you guys think? Good idea? Bad idea?

2) I have one layer of dense core drywall installed on the walls. I'm thinking of green gluing another standard layer of drywall to it for soundproofing, but I really only care about sound traveling UP to the main floor. Can I get away with just concentrating on the ceiling vice the walls?

3) I had to make the soffit you see in pic 1-3 for AC. How can I install a door under the soffit?

4) Also thinking about adding a matching soffit to other side of room for balance. Thoughts?

5) Lighting: I currently have 6 5" cans on a remote dimmer. What do you guys think about: a) relying on those, b) installing rope lights into the soffits? c) doing some smaller cans in the soffits as well?

That's all of the questions I can think of now... I had a ton in my head earlier today. I'll try and remember them. Thanks in advance for the help!
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post #3 of 78 Old 03-24-2008, 08:57 PM
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I am not one of the accoustic experts, but I have definitely learned from them that soundproofing is an all or nothing endeavor. Treating just the ceiling is not a good use of money or time because you will get "flanking" from the untreated walls. You definitely need to spend the money on the construction side where it is harder and more expensive to make changes later than it is to upgrade equipment later.

In order to install the door, you will need to frame a wall under the soffit and frame the door opening in the wall. You can't hang a door directly from the soffit.

It seems to me that the 6 can lights may not be enough. You can always "future proof" the electrical by running conduit to locations you may want to upgrade at a later date.

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post #4 of 78 Old 03-30-2008, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Before continuing, I thought it'd be prudent to complete a plan for everything. Also I need advice on a few things... Plan:





1) Does the wall near the HW heater look feasible?
2) Does anyone have experience with a pulldown screen like I am planning? Good idea?


Thanks!
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post #5 of 78 Old 03-30-2008, 07:54 AM
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I think with only 20' of depth, you should consider 2 rows and not 3.

My room is 20' X 12.5' and I've got a row of 3 and a row of 4 (row of 4 is almost exactly 12.5'). This allows for seating at 13' and 19' and a 126" screen. In order to fit 3 rows in, you'd need seating at 19', 14' and 9' (approximately) which would reduce the size of the screen that you could have (based on a 9' front).

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post #6 of 78 Old 03-30-2008, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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All,

Here is an elec plan. The six big recessed lights are in. Now I'm debating on putting in either six smaller cans or 4 wall scones and soffit rope light. What do you all think?

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post #7 of 78 Old 03-30-2008, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stew4msu View Post

I think with only 20' of depth, you should consider 2 rows and not 3.

My room is 20' X 12.5' and I've got a row of 3 and a row of 4 (row of 4 is almost exactly 12.5'). This allows for seating at 13' and 19' and a 126" screen. In order to fit 3 rows in, you'd need seating at 19', 14' and 9' (approximately) which would reduce the size of the screen that you could have (based on a 9' front).

Thanks for the reply!

So you'd recommend leaving the back columns in and taking out the back two seats (maybe just moving them back)?

-Forseti
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post #8 of 78 Old 03-30-2008, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funston View Post

I am not one of the accoustic experts, but I have definitely learned from them that soundproofing is an all or nothing endeavor. Treating just the ceiling is not a good use of money or time because you will get "flanking" from the untreated walls. You definitely need to spend the money on the construction side where it is harder and more expensive to make changes later than it is to upgrade equipment later.

In order to install the door, you will need to frame a wall under the soffit and frame the door opening in the wall. You can't hang a door directly from the soffit.

It seems to me that the 6 can lights may not be enough. You can always "future proof" the electrical by running conduit to locations you may want to upgrade at a later date.

Thanks for the reply Funston!

I was thinking about RSIC clips for the ceiling with a single 5/8" slab of Drywall.

I'm a bit confused on the "best" way to soundproof the walls. I see a lot of folks doing one sheet of DW plus some sound dampening material, and then applying the fabric over it. Is this better than green gluing 2 slabs of DW together?
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post #9 of 78 Old 03-30-2008, 08:15 AM
 
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It would not be expensive to get a plumber to move the hot water heater to the other side of the furnace so you could square off that wall and have a place to put your right front spealer that won't interfere with your screen. The hot water heater needs to have a pan under it anyway so in case it leaks, it won't ruin you theater and bedroom. The pan should have a method to drain the water to the outside or to a sump pump. I would take care of that pronto.

I agree about taking out the back row of seats. If you need some extra seating on occasion, you can always bring in some directors chairs. Alternatively, you could move both the front and back rows back a bit, but don't have the back row against the wall.

Also, I would eliminate the four columns. The just take up square footage. I would use in-wall speakers for the sides and surrounds. You want to have things as open as possible, not crowded.
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post #10 of 78 Old 03-30-2008, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post

It would not be expensive to get a plumber to move the hot water heater to the other side of the furnace so you could square of that wall and have a place to put your right front spealer that won't interfere with your screen. The hot water heater needs to have a pan under it anyway so in case it leaks, it won't ruin you theater and bedroom. The pan should have a method to drain the water to the outside or to a sump pump. I would take care of that pronto.

I agree about taking out the back row of seats. If you need some extra seating on occasion, you can always bring in some directors chairs. Alternatively, you could move both the front and back rows back a bit, but don't have the back row against the wall.

Also, I would eliminate the four columns. The just take up square footage. I would use in-wall speakers for the sides and surrounds. You want to have things as open as possible, not crowded.

Thanks for the response. I'm kinda hamstrung on the "outside" side wall in that I used furring strips on a concrete wall. I could always just hang the side speakers, and not sacrifice too much too much of the theater feel. What do you think?
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post #11 of 78 Old 03-30-2008, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post

It would not be expensive to get a plumber to move the hot water heater to the other side of the furnace so you could square of that wall and have a place to put your right front spealer that won't interfere with your screen. The hot water heater needs to have a pan under it anyway so in case it leaks, it won't ruin you theater and bedroom. The pan should have a method to drain the water to the outside or to a sump pump. I would take care of that pronto.

I agree about taking out the back row of seats. If you need some extra seating on occasion, you can always bring in some directors chairs. Alternatively, you could move both the front and back rows back a bit, but don't have the back row against the wall.

Also, I would eliminate the four columns. The just take up square footage. I would use in-wall speakers for the sides and surrounds. You want to have things as open as possible, not crowded.

In addition to the catch pan, I would install this nifty device called the Water Cop. It uses sensors to detect water you place anywhere you're concerned about massive water leaks. When the sensor detects water, it signals the main unit to shut off the main water supply to the house.
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post #12 of 78 Old 03-30-2008, 10:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forseti View Post

Thanks for the response. I'm kinda hamstrung on the "outside" side wall in that I used furring strips on a concrete wall. I could always just hang the side speakers, and not sacrifice too much too much of the theater feel. What do you think?

I understand now. I would probably hang them but you could use in-walls if you made the columns a stud deep. I'm just trying to open things up for you.

For the same reason, I would forego the wall sconces.
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post #13 of 78 Old 03-30-2008, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forseti View Post

Thanks for the reply!

So you'd recommend leaving the back columns in and taking out the back two seats (maybe just moving them back)?

-Forseti

You've got a few options. Removing the columns altogether was mentioned and that's certainly an option.

I would determine the exact seating first. In other words, with 12' of width, your only option might be rows of 3 seats. If this is the case, depending on how wide the row is, you'd probably have enough room to keep the columns (and sconces). I'd just move the side columns back a bit so they're just behind the first row. You could then keep the rears where they are and just put a row in front of them (one row at about 17' - 18' and the other row at 11' - 13'.

Is that an entrance at the back too? You might be able to find some seats that will allow for 4 in the rear (or maybe single-loveseat-single), but there won't be any passing space. If you want to go that route though, then I'd certainly remove the columns.

Find the seats you want, measure and make your determination.

As for your lighting question, I'm a big fan of sconces. However, if real estate is an issue (just like with the columns), I'd go with another six smaller cans.

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post #14 of 78 Old 06-11-2008, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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OK All, I started working on the theater again last week and have been making fairly good progress:

-Soffit Framing is about 90% done
-Had Plumber in to move valves that hung down lower than ceiling level
-Framed out "angle wall" near HW heater
-Worked on screen/bookshelf wall

My soon-to-be-father-in-law who used to be a building contractor many many moons ago made me a deal. He's going to come out in about a month and paint our entire house for free. The catch is that I need to be done with all of the rooms that I need painted. So... It's time to really kick this thing into high gear.

I'll post pics every few days to update my progress.

To-do list for this week/weekend:
-Finish framing soffits
-Build columns
-Build riser
-Frame equipment closet
-Run conduit
-Speaker/cable runs
-"finish" electrical installs
-HVAC duct/register installs

Question(s):

Should I run my riser all the way to the back wall?

If so, should I build that before I build the columns?

Thanks for reading!

-Forseti
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post #15 of 78 Old 06-11-2008, 07:51 AM
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Missed this thread back when. Anyway just be sure the door to the furnace room is larger then the largest piece of equipment in there.

That is typical building code. In some cases they specify a 30 inch door.

Also you will need to address venting requirements for combustible air.
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post #16 of 78 Old 06-11-2008, 11:17 AM
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I have a narrow room and the one stud deep columns is exactly what I did. I put in wall speakers, the sconces and an outlet in each of six columns around the room... The 2 columns at the front of the room didn't have speakers, but the two to the sides and the 2 on the backwall worked perfect for 7.1 surround placement. It definately gives the room a bit of character without taking up a ton of space.
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post #17 of 78 Old 06-11-2008, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forseti View Post

Question(s):

Should I run my riser all the way to the back wall?

If so, should I build that before I build the columns?

Yes. Yes.

"The dream never dies, just the dreamer."

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post #18 of 78 Old 06-12-2008, 03:50 AM
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Will a 7' 2" ceiling height, coupled with a large riser extended to the rear wall, allow you to meet local building code?

Local code here is 70% of the floor space requires a minimum of 7' of ceiling height. An island style riser allowed me to do a matching soffit to the one housing the HVAC in my 9'5" wide room (with 7'1" ceiling height).
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post #19 of 78 Old 06-12-2008, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all.

Sorry about the grainy Iphone pics. I promise to use my real camera from here forward. I'll also clean up a bit before snapping photos

Riser 75% done + soffits:


Soffits and angled wall:


Wow. These pictures are terrible. Or Tuuuurble as Charles Barkley would say... I assure you all that everything is framed properly (i.e. is not listing to one side) and in reality is not fuzzy.

I did all of the riser work tonight and should have the woodwork on it finished tomorrow. Also I found a local handyman to help for the coming weeks, so I think I might just make my deadline... I'll try and post daily or every other day.

Next up is finishing the riser and doing to columns. Then finishing soffits... then... well I've got some work cut out for me.

Ok, serious question: I originally was going to put a bookshelf in and use the Da-lite pull down screen I purchased a few years ago. Would you all recommend using a dedicated screen wall instead? As I was working this evening, I realized that it might be easier to go the dedicated route. WHat do you think?
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post #20 of 78 Old 06-13-2008, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twashade View Post

I have a narrow room and the one stud deep columns is exactly what I did. I put in wall speakers, the sconces and an outlet in each of six columns around the room... The 2 columns at the front of the room didn't have speakers, but the two to the sides and the 2 on the backwall worked perfect for 7.1 surround placement. It definately gives the room a bit of character without taking up a ton of space.

Twashade,

Got any pics? Thanks for the reply! I'm going to be building columns this weekend.
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post #21 of 78 Old 06-13-2008, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post

Will a 7' 2" ceiling height, coupled with a large riser extended to the rear wall, allow you to meet local building code?

Local code here is 70% of the floor space requires a minimum of 7' of ceiling height. An island style riser allowed me to do a matching soffit to the one housing the HVAC in my 9'5" wide room (with 7'1" ceiling height).

I checked, and it appears that Howard County (where I live) has adopted the International Building Code (IBC). The 2006 version appears to require 7'6" ceilings (unless I'm wrong). So I'm pretty much already screwed.

Dunno what I'm going to do... I got an electrical/framing/finish inspection for one of the other basement rooms I finished that has the 7'2" ceilings - 5/8" drywall, and it passed. hrmmmph
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post #22 of 78 Old 06-14-2008, 05:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, Big day today... I got up at 5:30 to unload supplies from my truck. HOLY COW, MDF is freaking heavy. All told I moved 5 1/2"sheets of plywood, 3 3/4" sheets of MDF, and 16 Sheets of Drywall.

Meeting with contractor at 1000.... Will post tonight.
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post #23 of 78 Old 06-14-2008, 03:42 PM
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Sorry for the delay.. I'm in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, so haven't been doing a lot of forum reading the last few days. I definately have pictures.. hope this isn't too many to drop into your thread, but it gives an idea of the initial thought, the rough concept and then how they look in the completed room.

Here was the rough idea laid out:



Framed out and hanging on the wall to see how they looked:



Here was after I got the back two together on the riser:



And here was a nearly finished room with them in place:



Overall, since my back seats were going to be so close to the back wall I went with a higher sound field, but if you wanted the speakers lower, the sconces could be mounted above them depending on the lighting effect you were going for.

I'm really quite pleased with how the whole room came out in the end



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post #24 of 78 Old 06-15-2008, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks TW! I don't know why, but I never really thought about putting the lights directly on the pillars. I've seen them in about 20 AVS-ers pics, but for some reason never considered it. That looks really good.

I actually framed out my columns before I saw your pics, but may incorporate some of your features in the finished product.

So I met wit the contractor early yesterday. Nice guy, and one hell of a worker. I'm also finishing a bathroom, and will try to throw a pic or two up... Basically before I let him help with the theater, I wanted to see how good he was. So I turned him loose on the bathroom. He finished about half of my entire punch list in two days. Color me impressed. As soon as he's done in that room, I'm going to have him help on the theater.

I had a few friends come over to help in the theater for both Sat and Sun. We completed the following:

-Riser is DONE except for two clean-up cuts on one stair. Holy cow, I was no where near as close to being done with this on Thurs than I thought. I still had to fill it with insulation, then plastic, then plywood, then tar paper, then plywood again. Took almost all of Saturday.

-Made column frames and placed them roughly where they should be. Still have to calculate final positions. I used Anand's plans from Anandtech.com for them:

http://anandtech.com/weblog/default.aspx?bcategory=8

-Ran conduit

I've got a LOT to do still in three weeks. I think with the pro help, I'll get 'er done. I'll post pics as soon as I can get my overly-sore self back downstairs to clean up... I'm wiped!
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post #25 of 78 Old 06-17-2008, 05:00 AM - Thread Starter
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For a little bit of thread diversion, here are some pics of the bathroom under construction. This is after three days of work. The contractor really knows his stuff... all elec, plumbing, framing is done:





I'm going to have him start helping on the theater after he's at the mudding/sanding phase in that room. And he had to put in one hell of a bulkhead!
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post #26 of 78 Old 06-17-2008, 05:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, as you could see by the bathroom pics, I finally dug out my digital camera. I did a bunch of work over the past few days. Mainly I concentrated on finishing framing, electrical, and HVAC. HVAC is now installed and operational, I still have to put an outlet in for the projector and equipment room. Then run the speaker/AV cables, then a few loose ends, and I'll be ready to install insulation.

Here's a shot from the screen wall looking at the riser. I'm either going to have to extend the riser out, or move both columns in alot closer because of the switch...:


Here is a corner shot of the front. Notice I redid the bulkhead soffiting and dropped it to level with the other soffits. This corner will soon be covered in a custom cabinet:


Other corner with framing around the hot water heater:


Little by little, day by day, it's taking shape!!!
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post #27 of 78 Old 06-17-2008, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I just thought of something. As mentioned earlier, I'm going to have to vent the wall next to the hot water heater. Is this going to destroy my efforts to soundproof the room???

Is there anything I can do to minimize this?
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post #28 of 78 Old 06-17-2008, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Also, my walls are not on RSIC clips, but I was planning on using them on the ceiling. Will this negate any soundproofing advantage?
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post #29 of 78 Old 06-17-2008, 09:08 AM
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I think you'll still be OK. My walls are similar, and Im doing RSIC-V's on the ceiling. I think its more of a Fair--- Good --X Better --- Best scenario, rather than a Yes/No type solution.

Eric

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post #30 of 78 Old 06-18-2008, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
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The contractor I hired to work on the project(s) comes through once again. He's making good time on the bathroom and hopefully will be able to help with the theater soon.

Washer and dryer area all drywalled and mostly mudded:


Tub and bulkhead. I need to get that hole patched Actually previous contractor (a year ago) installed tub and threw out the cover. Also notice the difference in mudding techniques in this photo vs previous. This was done by a friend of mine... previous by the pro. BIG difference, LOL


All in all, he's making great progress. I'm really starting to understand the difference between a pro and a DIYer like me.

Here's the theater screen wall from the riser:


I need some advice on what to do with the wall. I keep waffling between doing a pulldown screen + bookshelf combo or a dedicated, perminant theater wall. What do you all think???
Forseti is offline  
Reply Dedicated Theater Design & Construction

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