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post #1 of 45 Old 06-08-2008, 11:32 PM - Thread Starter
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So.... I have been on here for some time, selfishly reading and enjoying other people's build threads.... I kept telling myself I was going to start my own build thread, but have never gotten around to it. I am actually doing a re-build as I originally built my theater many years ago. Anyway, I started building a little yahoo free website deally, thinking I would post it here when I was done. I work on it here and there, but it's really slow going (on the thread/site build)... as honestly I spend most of my free time working on the rebuild of the theater or with my wife and 3 and 1/2 month old son (According to my wife, to much on the former) - plus I have a bunch of side projects, that I may mention on here later. Anyway, I figured I'd go ahead and post a link to this mess now and if anyone is interested they could check it out. I will come back and let you know when I do an update or two, so you know when to look - but feel free to look whenever as I may slack on the updates on the updates as well..... Disclaimer.... the time that I usually do spend on updating this site dealy, or at least it seems to work out this way, is in my down....down time.... after a couple of drinks, unwinding.... so until I go back and clean it up, please ignore all bad grammer, misspellings, sloppy english, run on sentences etc... Also, this Yahoo/GeoCities site is crap.... I can program in HTML etc... but am using their stupid site builder program as it is not free if you upload your own pages through FTP... anyway, there is a limit on viewing hours and uploads and size of page (two viewable (to me) pics per page with any text).... I will re-do this eventually on a real site and clean it up.... but if you are bored and want to check it out, the link is below. I also have a tendency to take way to many pictures, some of very similar things... eventually I will put an index page so you don't have to suffer through it all, but not right now. Also, as you will see, even though I have a decent amount of construction experiance, I haven't done it for a living in many years, and I keep changing my mind mid re-build, and some days I am working on it when I am so tired I can't see, let alone, think straight... so... it is what it is.... I already have a plan for a much bigger theater/rebuild in the future.... thanks for reading my ramblings... comments welcome....

THANKS!!

EDIT - you can still click link below, or just go down to next post as I am moving it all here.... Also, I looked back and I believe I officially started the rebuild around the end of March 2008. Also, I don't think I put this anywhere - the room is aprox. 20' x 14'

http://www.geocities.com/hometheaterbrian
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post #2 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, the more I try and work with that Yahoo site the more I think it is crap, so I am going to try and transfer all of it to here and then just update here.... let's see how this works out.... below is the 1st page - Intro:

Home Theater Build

Background: Ok, I started building my home theater roughly in 1997 or 1998 (I will revise when I can confirm). It started when I bought a Mitsibishi 70" rear projectrion TV. When I got it home, (I had had 50 inchers before but this was a different animal), even though I was able to take it apart into two pieces, I brought it into my 2 car drive under garage and decided that was a good place for it. I then decided to build a theater around it. I have loved movies since I was a kid (even worked in them for a bit when I got older) and this was the new dream. I decided it wasn't much of a theater with just a big screen TV in my garage, no matter how big the screen was. On the back side of the garage was a wall, on the other side of that wall was my basement and in that particular room my workout area/gym, so I cut a whole in the wall into the gym area, big enough so only the screen would be visible from the garage/theater. I then built a platform in the gym for the TV to sit on and proceded to move the TV there. It was pretty cool... I had a couple of couches in their, put in a decent surround sound system that I had originally purchased with my last 50" Mitisibishi TV. At the time Dolby Pro Logic was the latest and greatest, so I had my Denon processor/amp, my bose front speakers (full size bose speakers, not the mini ones, these are actually really nice and I still have them in my bedroom with the Denon. Anyway, I had a Pioneer center and some matching rears and a Klipsh subwoofer (still have the sub in my theater and the center and surrounds are in the bedroom too).

I thought this was very cool for awhile, the envy of my friends. Home theater was kind of a newer concept (I am sure there were people that had full theaters in their homes, like Hugh Heffner and some advanced enthusiasts as well, but not really anyone I knew well, and you didn't hear much about them). I am sure there were more stages to this than I am listing, but for now here is how I remember it.... Eventually I ran a wall up the middle of the two car garage, and made the other room a gaming room, I then upgraded to a Sony VPL-400q front projector (one of the 1st true 16:9 high def capable projectors at the time - at least in a reasonable price range - I think it was around $5,000 new) and a 110" diagonal 16:9 da-lite manual pull down screen. Eventually this led to my purchase from a friend of a pair of Altec Voice of the Theater speakers for my fronts (he had restored them and they were big honking collectible beauties to me, still are, as these are still my front mains). These were the speakers that they use to use in actual movie theaters, stadiums, recording studios etc.... back in the day. They have horns instead of tweaters (they are so clean sounding) and I believe they have 18" woofers. They still sound incredible to me. On the advice of a friend I bought a pair of Optimus di-pole speakers (don't ever trust my spelling on any of this, I am writing this in one long thought process and not double checking anything), with Linieum mylar. I bought them from Radio Shack of all places. This friend that recommended them, designs and builds recording studios for the actual studios and celebs, and he said it's not always about the money you spend, but the quality you get, and he said these sounded great, and now owning them (still use as my rears), I have to agree they sound great. Also, on the recommendation of the same friend I got some Bazooka subs (these are usually used in hi-end car audio systems, and I put these under the rear riser. Oh, yeah, I built a rear riser so I could add multiple rows of seats. From the same friend I got the Altec VOT speakers I got 5 monoblock Altec amps and he built me a custom rack out of wood, and painted it and mounted everything - I think it looks really trick. Very nice and custom - he is a pro and it looks it. The two amps that ran the rear surround speakers are bi-amp, so they split the highs and lows out of two sets of wires. So the highs go the the di-pole speakers and the lows to the bazookas. When an explosion blows towards the back of the room, it rattles the riser - in a good way! Also, the Altec stuff was all originally gray, we painted it all black - just looked cooler.

I bought a bunch of expensive speaker wire and connectors and a Pre-Amp/Processor called an ACT 3 made by Mondial Designs. This was new tech for me then - Dolby Digital and DTS and was high end to me. I know it wasn't Lexicon or B&K, but at the time it was getting rave reviews and highly rated bang for your buck at a little under $2,000. Which for something that started out by buying a TV seemed pretty pricey to me at the time (I still have this pre-pro and use it in my theater with the same rack, amps, cables etc...). I have since listened to a lot of systems and I am sure others would argue with me, but this system sounds so clean and nice and I can't even get half way up volume wise before my ears hurt, with no distortion. So until something else comes along that blows me away, this is where I'll stay. Oh, and my uncle had a Klipsh center, he was replacing with something else, that had a horn for the tweeter and matched my big altecs in clean sound qulality, and for a physically small speaker, had an impressive build quality weighing what feels like 50 pounds (probably less, but it's stout) - still my center speaker - one day I may see if I can get another matching VOT speaker for my center, but this sounds nice). I also took down the garage door opener and hardware, reversed the room so the projector would be mounted in the gym room and speakers would be facing in towards the house.

I then took steel plates/bars and screwed them into the garage door at the joints, making it a solid door. Then I put large hinges on one side of the door and cut notches in the bottom of the door and put on some small caster wheels. I added a handle and some locking latches and made it into one big door so that I could still bring large items in and out.... sometimes I would bring my motorcyclye in to work on or to store (still had concrete floors) or my 1975 corvette - I even used it as a drive-in theater on occasion, but that wasn't that practical and was more for laughs. I then built a large set of swinging doors that met in the middle and were inside, in front of the garage door, and I purchased large pieces of styrofoam insulation (two big pieces) that I would put in between the doors to try and muffle the sound as well as stapling fiberglass insulation to back of garage door. I then put the screen in front of those doors. Of course I made the classic mistake of having all of the equipment working and in place and really never got much futher than that.... occasionally over the years doing a little something here and there, but mainly just watching movies and drinking beer with friends. I did put in 4 columns (two hiding the center garage poles and then matching them on the other side) and 4 matching sconces and a lutron remote controlled lighting system. I eventually got a touch screen Pronto universal remote and programmed everything, inluding the lights (I put some x-10 lighting controls in the hallway and stairs leading up, so you could light your way in and out automatically, like with my shut down macros etc... This stayed basically the same unitl last year when we (I have since gotten married - about 3 years ago and now have a 3 month old son), finally yanked out both garage doors (I had built a false wall in front of the one in the pool table/gaming room) put actual walls in, added a 3 car garage on the other side of that with a 1000 sq. ft. addition above the new garage. That inspired me to start again on the project. I have been working on it since and have documented it with some pictures. I know I have some older pictures somewhere, of my original build, but I am not sure where right now, so my description will have to do. Although I do have some pictures of the theater as it was before I started again here recently (though I know I have some earlier build pics somewhere) - oh, and at some point a girl friend of mine (friend that is a girl, not girlfriend), made me some crimson curtains for the side walls. I recently found a little outline picture I made when I started the main theater project (when I got the Sony 400q).... it's a simple outline I made in Microsoft Paint on the computer, and I am not an artist. Funny though my main idea has not changed much.
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post #3 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Original Sketch for Theater -




These are the only photos I can currently find of the useable but unfinished theater before I started my re-build.....



aprox. 110" 16:9 Da-lite manual pull down screen, behind that is hinged doors that open at the center and behind that is hinged garage door deal (see intro...)

Also in view - Klipsh center speaker and Altec Voice of the Theater Speakers. Sitting under center speaker is a car sub woofer that I was going to modify and use, but haven't really done much with, it's just a cool looking stand for my center speaker with a plexi front and viewable sub speakers in side. I actually built a similar set-up at one time and powered it with one of the Altec mono block amps and nearly blew the box apart... I gave up at the time, but am planning on building large custom subs into some kind of front stage and center speaker mount dealy. Also on top of the left VOT speaker is a collectible statue of Draco the dragon from the Dragonheart movie. The little triangle on the right speaker is an IR repeater which sends my remote control commands to my equipment rack in the other room..
LL
LL
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post #4 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Another Picture before re-build...



Here you can see the red curtains my friend made for me. You can also see one of the sconces (though they look much cooler in person), and of course one of the unfinished columns the sconce is on. You can also see where my bike has been pulled into the theater where it sometimes liked to hang out and watch movies with us. On top of the VOT speaker is a collectible replica of a Batman Batarang. You can also see a piece of unused drywall leaning against the column. This was there for sometime as I was always "working" on the theater, even if by working I was watching movies and telling people what I planned on doing with that drywall. You can also see a remnant of the garage door opener assembly still attached to the ceiling and holes in the soffit from some work I was doing at some time or another.

I think this is the last pic of the theater itself before rebuild - at least that I can find right now. I know I have others.... will keep looking....



Not much to say here... view from back riser, two columns and sconces and curtain that parts in the middle and goes to pool table/gaming room.
LL
LL
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post #5 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 03:04 PM
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Brian - Don't take offense when I tell you that when I just opened your thread I immediately closed it again when I saw your opening paragraph. There is just no way I'm going to try to read it that format. My eyes just bugged when I tried. Please ad a line break and a paragraph or nine.

Otherwise welcome and I look forward to eventually reading all about your build.

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post #6 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Cathan - yeah the "Background" is a bit long and in a definite rambling stream of thought layout.... let me try and get some of this stuff transfered over and then I'll go back and see if I can clean it up a bit....
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post #7 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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A buddy of mine is an artist of some note out in LA and in the movie business... he doesn't get to come out out often, but when he does he airbrushes a little more on my mural canvas that is on the wall of the pool table room connected to the theater.... you would think these would be last, but I am trying to keep some kind of order with this, and this was started some time ago..... pictures don't really do it justice.....



Road to Perdition



Part of Jim Morrison from The Doors movie on the left, and Bruce Leroy from The Last Dragon movie right.
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post #8 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Edward Scissor Hands



Wolverine



Jim Morrison from The Doors movie



Bruce Leroy from The Last Dragon Movie
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post #9 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Some of the sketches... like the rest of Wolverine and a Gremlin.



Current state of Mural... it's much bigger than it looks in the picture....
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post #10 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, here's a nice mess. Hole in back wall is actually where 70" big screen use to be (see intro), but had since been re-framed and drywalled to finish. Then I bought some more gym equipment that was to big to go through doors, so I tore the hole open again. Also, for the addition to the house, the plumbing and electrical had to be run through the ceiling of theater, down center. I started re-drywalling this and only thought to take a picture when I was almost done - thus the hole in the ceiling right above the big hole in wall. I have also obviously re-framed the hole in wall by now as well. You can see the old couches I was using for back row, with built in recliners etc... as well as the original theater seats in front, currently covered in drywall dust as most everything soon will be. You can also see my Da-lite 16:9 screen retracted in it's case and across the theater seats. The theater seats are pretty cool actually. I bought them at an auction a while back, they came out of the Lowes Grand theater here in Atlanta where they premiered Gone With the Wind. I like to think maybe one of the actors from the movie sat in one of these seats. They are in original condition and I have been debating restoring them, but not sure if that would take some of the history out of them. They have detailed metal sides on the ends with the side lights to find your seats and real metal legs etc.... The seat numbers are still on them as well.


Close up up hole in ceiling where you can see electrical and plumbing running through.
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post #11 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Finished putting up drywall in center of ceiling. I used smaller pieces 1st of all to use up scrap I had lying around and 2nd because I was working by myself and they were easier to lift and screw with only two hands. Front wall, that use to be garage door, now framed and insulated.



Back to the back of room. You can see my Sony 400q projector in my homemade adjustable mount. It didn't have to be pretty since the projector was mounted in the gym behind the theater. Each of the four corners had bolts and nuts to adjust the projector just right.
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post #12 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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In my garage - material storage - these are mostly 2x4's salvaged from tearing out old parts of theater.....



Still in my garage..... let's see.... in picture (where's waldo)... table saw, chain saw, file cabinets, belt sander, refrigerator dolley, styrofoam insulation, framed hologram movie poster from Jurassic Park (3, I think), behind it is another custom framed (back lit) hologram poster from Species 2 (not a great movie but cool poster), Time Pilot video game cabinet, and a ton of misc. junk/stuff, depending on if you ask me or my wife. You can also see the stairs going to upstairs part of addition and a Mountain Dew Star Wars Episonde 1 standee.....
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post #13 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Still in garage - in view - old audio equipment, empty keg, insulation roll, display case (old candy counter), popcorn machine, boxes, wood, garbage can, rear wheel/seat/shocks of my bike, misc. electrical parts.



Still in my garage..... Drywall - in front 5/8" and behind 1/2" - behind that some unassembled shelving and arrows..... and of course.... misc. junk. This is specifically why I built and oversized garage.
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post #14 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Back in theater.... finally.... soffit with air conditioning return air ducts for upstairs. Also in view... smoke alarm on ceiling to left... rear di-pole speaker laying on it's side on top of back of couch... etc.... oh, yeah, hole smashed through drywall in soffit with hammer and hands in prep for moving duct work. In view in hole, if you look close is in-wall speaker wire for one front speaker and old tubing for old, in theater, beer tap - I got rid of this a while ago (just kept the one in bar) as beer would get warm in line and it was ultra lazy not to walk into other room (bar) to get beer - also it was set-up for when room was reversed.... seating and tap were on other end of room.....



Took sectional apart and took one part off of riser so I could work. Back wall has been drywalled and taped and mudded. Left rear speaker is kind of still on it's shelf mount, but cockeyed from all my banging around. Nothing else really new in this picture....
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post #15 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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This view is actually of the pool table room next to the theater. This is also currently being re-done by me, so is a mess. To the left you can see the door frame going in to theater. There is some weird framing in view, for two reasons - 1st - We had the whole house re-carpeted, and because it was a better price to do it all at once - even though we did different carpet in the basement - (great idea before making a huge mess - NOT), for them to stretch the carpet in the pool table room, I had to take the pool table out. So I cut a big hole in the wall to the theater and moved it in there, then moved it back when they carpeted the theater. 2nd - I keep tearing down drywall and when I re-did it here, because of where I cut it, I needed more support behind it.... so I stuck little extra pieces of 2x4 in that I had laying around..... Also in view another soffit where more return air ducts run. Also, door that normally goes to house from pool table room, but has been temporarily removed from hinges. In little display case on wall (that I made out of old medicine cabinet (normally there is another one next to it, but I removed it when I was running wire for 3-way switch in pool table room, see hole in wall running above door to right)- 2 license plates used on screen on cars in The Punisher movie, below that is a bundle of fake movie money from same movie and a bunch of Punisher promo cards signed by Thomas Jane (The Punisher in said movie). Below that is a signed picture of me and Thomas Jane. To the way left on the wall (the black thing) is a large promo sign for the movie, The Saint - this was used in theaters. Very top of picture is cobwebs, I guess from all the dust and mess I am making?? There is also a crappy wooden chair for me to rest tools on. If you look really hard, to the far left is the control button for the 4 light sconces in the theater (they are also controlled remotely).



Back in Theater - soffit all the way opened up. All return dusct work visible, also front speaker wire and old beer line.
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post #16 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Back in Pool Table room - soffit opened up to expose return air ducts.



Back in Theater - removed drywall from ceiling at front of theater - it was not anchored to anything on ceiling as garage door was there ? (It just wasn't). Added 2x4 pieces across (between pipes and fireplace support cross members). Also ran some 3/4" flex conduit into garage for alarm wires - another project - upgrading house alarm and adding alarm to addition. The main alarm panel is in weight room, so this will allow me to run addition alarm wired from garage through theater into gym and main alarm panel.



Other side of Theater wall - garage - where 3/4" flex conduit goes to.
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post #17 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Sheetrock back in place on ceiling in front of theater:




I realized that if I was going to have a motorized curtain masking system, it would need power. So, off came some more drywall and in went a new outlet. This is a shared wall with pool table room. I decided to get black outlets since I am trying to do everything in the room in dark colors, except for the side wall drapes, and even they are a dark red....





View from Pool table room - stuck a 2x4 scrap in for better drywall anchor around new outlet:



1/2" Drywall back in place - outlet sticks out another 5/8" because I will be doing another layer of green glue and 5/8" drywall:

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post #18 of 45 Old 06-09-2008, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Green Glue came in:





I had to go to Home Depot and buy a giant commerical caulk gun, I think it was like $19 or $29 (can't remember which):



I rented a drywall lift from Home Depot for 24 hours to do the 5/8" drywall on ceiling over the already existing 1/2" drywall, I can't remember what it cost, I think somewhere around $50 or $75 for the day?



On goes the Green Glue (I will save you the 15+ pictures I took of different pieces of drywall and different stages of Green Glue application, ie.. one tube and then two tubes... As I do this, believe it or not, I am editing myself by choosing only a couple of pictures per deal... I took a bunch.... if anyone wants more info or more pics... feel free to ask.





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post #19 of 45 Old 06-10-2008, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Mudded the 5/8" layer of ceiling, actually this is 1st layer of mud and 1st sand... still have to do second layer and second sand..... I have since emptied pretty much everything out of the room except for one section of couch which you can see to the right upended on it's side....





I didn't like the way the soffit on the left hand side of the theater (facing the screen) took up so much room. Also, if you were in the seat right under it, you took the risk of standing up and bumping your head. Earlier I showed the "teaser" pic of when I broke open the return air soffit.... now follows the saga. My father-in-law is in heating and air. He's actually now more into refrigeration (like for big grocery store chains etc..) and in management/sales. At one time however, he owned his own heating and air company and did it for a living, as well as the company he works for now is a supplier to the industry (they sell to the repair companies). He also teaches the EPA certification course on the side for Techs.

Anyway, I told him my crazy evolving idea of moving the return ducts out of the back of the theater and he foolishly offered to help.... of course he wanted to do it right.... remember this was a garage, so there were no supply or return vents in this or the pool table room. The duct work ran through the rooms, but no vents. When I 1st started building the Theater, I had cut into the supply lines in the other soffit in the theater and pool table room, stuck a boot in and duct taped the hell out of it. I added no return vents... Worked good enough, but it wasn't right.... to do what I wanted he ran the numbers for the ductwork etc... and we started....

First we removed the return ductwork all the way back to the air handler:



Which of course had the added fun benefit of moving a bunch of weight equipment out of the way as the ductwork runs through the gym where the air handler etc... is....



Some of the old ductwork (and gym equip):



Where ductwork ran from gym through theater (supply line flex running across top):



Ductwork removed from pool table room:

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post #20 of 45 Old 06-10-2008, 10:03 PM - Thread Starter
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We decided on square ductwork through the gym, to try and hug the ceiling more than the old round ductwork did. Plus, there were two round ducts running through for the return, which we made in to one wider, but less height from the ceiling, square ductwork.

Of course this added some more problems... doesn't it always (at least for me - that's why these damn "little projects" take so long).... the hot water line from the water heater was in the way, as was the venting ductwork for the water heater and the freon line to the outside unit (eventually I will go tankless and will be upgrading and replacing the old air handler and furnace, but for now....). In this pic you can see where everything was, including the old return air cut-in for the bar/video game room which is to the right of the gym. Also, you can see the fridge to the left, temporarily moved to the side so we could work, which holds my beer kegs and is connected to a CO2 tank and then an insulated line runs from the keg to the tap in the bar (you can see the beer line to the bar at the bottom rightish part of picture).



I moved the water line - here's where it was:



Here's where I moved it (I love shark-bite connectors, if you have never used them - do - beats the hell out of sweating copper) - Also, notice my father-in law moved the venting ductwork out of the way:



My father-in-law moved the freon line out of the way here:

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post #21 of 45 Old 06-10-2008, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
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More scrap sheet metal from the old ductwork (I wish there was a market for this stuff.... I ended up using some of the parts, but we had a ton left, and sheet metal adds up when you buy it.)



Bunch of drywall and scrap from tearing out soffit (notice I am an idiot and buried my nice clean side curtain for that side of the room - more stuff to clean later - look at my brand new carpet covered in drywall dust....):



Added elbow to ductwork in theater to take it over to game room (where it would be connected to new return air duct)... Also added insulation.



Sheetrocked with 1/2" and 1st mud of remaining holes, and center support beam (I am the king of using scrap pieces - yes I know that means more mudding... I am a creature of habit):

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post #22 of 45 Old 06-10-2008, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Started adding square ductwork (also used mastic tape to tighten up any leaks in old ductowork - also I realize there is a pinch in the cold water line to water heater - hasn't effected us yet, but is on my list to fix - it's a long to do list):



A bunch of my crap moved into pool table room. Pool table went onto sliders and slid to left side of room.... neon beer signs from bar (I repainted from the upstairs down through bar and hallway). You can also see some of my Berkline seats still in the plastic and packing material they came in (these will be my back row -I bought 5 motorized leather chairs).



Removed smoke alarm from ceiling - 1st I wasted some time by cutting a hole into the 5/8" drywall for it, then decided I didn't want sound leaking holes in ceiling and moved it to back wall (wires for smoke detector are there - smoke detector is temporarily on floor):



First incarnation of return air ducts that run through pool table room - I will change my mind, of course, on how they are run:



Here is where they run through into my equipment closet (I will provide a much better pic of the equipment and closet later, once it is cleaned up):



Better pic of start of new return air run through gym:



Look at the gym run of return air ductwork and some of the take offs - more of these added later as things change.



In order to make room for new flex return ductwork to run through equipment closet I had to remove the 2x4 that the supply duct runs above, some of the "fake header" 2x4 above that to make more room (it was just hanging off into limbo, not supporting anything) and re-route these wires a bit:

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post #23 of 45 Old 06-12-2008, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so we needed a return air vent in the theater, easiest thing to do was just cut one into the air duct already in room. (By the way, I will be upgrading my whole A/C unit to a higher tonage in the next year). My Father-in-law built me an intake out of spare tin, seen here (still needs mastic sealant):



Note that at the time I hadn't torn the whole soffit open, I just cut into it up to the point we needed and cut in on the other end to see where it went. We knew there was a flex run off of the end of this run that ran to an upstairs return vent, and then we had flex running off in the other direction off of tin, so figured I was pretty safe for sound control. Then totally by accident I was down there working and I had accidently left the TV in the family room on the cable menu. It eventually switched back to TV and it was turned up loud. I noticed I could hear it clearly in my theater. I used my ear and traced it up to our cut in vent. I stuffed a towel in the end going to the left and could still hear it. I new the flex off the end to the right went to my office upstairs so I knew it was something else.... down came the rest of the soffit.



And lo and behold another break off that went into the family room.... so I knew this return vent was not going to work.....



My 1st thought was to replace the last elbow with a Y and run a little flex from there and put the return at the end of the run. Then I thought, why not just put it into the back wall of the theater (the one that connects to the gym) and come right off of the plenum with another take-off. So, I closed the ductwork back up with all flex in the theater (figured it wouldn't hurt to take out most of the sound spreading tin):



And started to rebuild the sofft (stuffing extra insulation up into the ceiling above the soffit and then planning on stuffing soffit full as well):

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post #24 of 45 Old 06-12-2008, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I also went ahead and sheetrocked and mudded the screen wall. Originally I was not going to bother, I was just going to stretch my black fabric over the 2x4's but decided to go ahead and sheetrock to cut out any additional noise from garage area (don't ask me why I mudded the screw holes, as this is all going to be covered in fabric anyway.... I can be a perfectionist at times and not worry about it at others):



I also cut out some moldy drywall from where water had gotten in during construction of the new 3 car garage:



And then patched it:

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post #25 of 45 Old 06-12-2008, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is the rerouted return air runs through pool table room, the black flex at the bottom is for the new pool table return air duct:



More spare tin in my garage:



You can see added return air ductwork in the gym off the plenum into the back of the theater (it's the elbow closest to you with the white mastic on it):
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post #26 of 45 Old 06-12-2008, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I needed a supply vent in the room as well, obviously. I had already planned to put this in the back wall because of where we were going to split off of the supply in the weight room. Here is a picture of where I had cut into the soffit before and stuck a boot into the supply. That soffit supplies the two vents in my family room above. I have since closed the hole in the ductwork and stuffed the soffit full of insulation:



Ok, I think this is kind of cool. Instead of adding another HVAC system (I have 3 already in the house), I came up with the idea of using powered dampers to control the flow of air into the theater with a thermostat. So, my father-in-law came up with a design for me based on what I wanted.... We added a Y into the supply line in the gym before it goes into the soffit. From the Y there is flex going into the soffit to supply the family room upstairs and then off the other part of the Y more flex going to a boot in the back wall of the theater. Actually before the flex on each part of the Y is a powered damper in a in box. These come set "normally open", so my father in law reversed the motor on one to the other side and made it "normally closed", so now the one to the upstairs is open while the one to the theater is closed.



Now he assembled a little control panel with a transformer and switch relay and wired it to a thermostat that we ran through the wall to the front side of the theater. He also added a light switch for manual control. I then ran power to the set-up from one of the outlets I had put in the back of the theater to power my Berkline recliners. I need to still insulate the wall between the theater and the gym and build a protective box around the control panel.



You can see the powered dampers and the Y here:





So now if let's say I set the thermostat in the theater to 70 degrees, it opens the damper to the theater and closes the one to the family room, until we reach 70 degrees and then it closes the damper to the theater and opens the one to the family room. Also, keep in mind my family room is open to other areas that have supply vents.... there are two in the connecting two story foyer, two in connecting kitchen etc... Also, keep in mind that when I had cut the hole into the supply line before, I was getting little if no air through the family room vents at all, and it was like this for years and it wasn't really noticeable. We also went through and sealed up any leaking or poorly insulated ductwork. Whole system is like 70% more efficient now. I think I may add a remote control thermostat upstairs and have that programmed into my pronto remote, in case I need to kick on the air upstairs for any reason as it will obviously do nothing if it is not running. Or figure out some other tricky deal.... but it is working like a charm right now!!

Here is a picture of the return air and supply air boots in the back wall of theater. We used large boots to quiet any air rushing noise. And I am going to put a commericial grill on the supply that forces the air straight forward as it comes out. I am going to also paint both grills black to match black fabric that will be on this wall.
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post #27 of 45 Old 10-01-2008, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow!! It's been over 3 months since I posted on this thread... at least it was because I have been working non-stop on the theater. It's not all the way complete yet, but we started watching movies in there this past weekend. I have been taking pics all along.... It's almost 2am right now, so I am only going to post a few photos that follow the ones in my last post, but I am going to try and catch this thread up in the next few weeks....

Ok, so then I thought, well I have taken all this time to re-do the a/c return line through the theater and re-build the soffit around it.... why don't I just pull all that back apart and move the whole thing into the pool table room (other side of the wall) - then I won't have to worry about any of that duct work in the theater and I can just build a Marquee around the duct work in the pool table room leading into the theater...

So here is the rebuilt soffit with duct work pulled out:



And here is where I moved it all into the pool table room:



And here is with the soffit and all gone in the theater (oh, and I tore open one of the columns to redo the old wiring that had become a mess):

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post #28 of 45 Old 10-02-2008, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, wires cleaned up in column, insulation stuffed into ceiling above where soffit use to be:



First layer of sheetrock up above where soffit use to be, also, notice the big space above the already built columns on this side of the room....



At first I was going to just build solid boxes on top of the columns that were a little wider to simulate the soffit on the other side and keep the column look... beginning of boxes and 2nd layer of sheetrock and green glue above where soffit use to be....

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post #29 of 45 Old 10-02-2008, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Shooting projector image onto drywall to firm up final screen size.... HD-DVD of Transformers:



My temporary test rig.... JVC RS2 projector sitting on a sub box turned on it's side on back riser:



2nd layer, 5/8", drywall and green glue going up on wall between theater and pool table room... I think the green glue was actually easier to deal with when doing the ceiling:

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post #30 of 45 Old 10-02-2008, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I decided it would be cool to build little display boxes on top of the columns and actually use that space instead of just making solid boxes... I kept the original dimensions and then added some 2" x 2" boards to make it appear even a little wider than the column below than it had before, and to give me some more room to work inside etc...



Then I put in a hidden outlet and some LED puck lights:



Cut some pieces of a thin wood veneer, I think I used luan and placed them inside the box. I cut all of the pieces so that they would fit tightly together so I wouldn't have to use any fasteners and everything could easily be pulled out and everything accessed at will and easily reassembled. You can see I rough drywalled the outside of the box as well:



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