Dave's "finally getting around to posting some photos" thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-09-2008, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
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My theater is (mostly) done! This was not exactly a DIY project. I'm not handy at all with tools, but even more importantly, I simply don't have the time to devote to this size of a project. I work a full-time job, I'm a divorced single dad (who has a fiance), I'm a published writer with another novel to deliver on a tight deadline, and...well, that leaves no time for building out a theater.

So....

I was a CRT front projection guy from 1999 (bought my NEC 9PG from Alan here at AVS) until 2006, when I moved out of my old house and bought a new townhouse nearby. I got rid of the CRT but kept most of the other equipment, though it went into storage since I had no place to set it up.

I designed a theater/bar area for my townhouse's basement about a year ago, but wasn't really ready to do anything about it at the time (mostly because of cost). Fast forward a year, and I need some additional space downstairs for my fiance's son (he's five) and my son (he's nine) to play so I don't strangle them when they're running around upstairs. While I'm doing that, I'm also going to build my theater.

Here's the original layout I made:



It was modified during construction, but not by much. And I lost the bar, which because the boys' playroom. There was never enough room for a riser in the back, or really enough headroom, so from the start I was planning to make do with a large sofa of some kind.

David Forbes

Read excerpts, see cover art and more from my novels at www.davidforbes.net.

My theater
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post #2 of 17 Old 12-09-2008, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Since I am spectacularly unhandy, I hired my friend Carl to build the place for me. He's a contractor who is fantastically meticulous in his work, so I knew I'd be getting a quality build for what I wanted. I also didn't want to go too insane since I'll probably be moving to a larger house in five years or so.

The goals:
  1. Soundproof as much as possible to avoid bothering neighbors
  2. figure out a way to deal with the massive ductwork running front to back in the room
  3. figure out best place to hide equipment
  4. contain costs

Those were the biggies. Here are some pictures early in the construction phase. I had photos of the emptied basement but they vanished into the ether, so I don't have those to show you. Sorry!

The back of the theater-to-be and the giant freaking duct work we (meaning Carl) had to deal with. He rerouted a lot of the pipes from the middle of the room to the far left of the duct to add ceiling height in the center.


The kids' playroom. The area behind the plastic (where the I-beam is on the ceiling) will remain unfinished storage.


The stairs. There will be a closet under the stairs. Carl removed the upper set of treads and replaced them with temporary stairs he could just flip out of the way so he could get drywall down (there is no outside access other than a small window).


The rear of the theater. The equipment closet will be built into the framed opening on the left.

David Forbes

Read excerpts, see cover art and more from my novels at www.davidforbes.net.

My theater
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-09-2008, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's the screen wall:



Sorry, I didn't take too many construction photos. I always meant to but time just got away from me in the evenings.

The screen wall obviously much farther along in the process.


Carl built a soffit to cover the duct. It was the only option. Because of another I-beam, there was no way to move it out of the theater room. Here is a detail shot of the molding he trimmed it out with.


The cabinetry out in the kids' playroom.


And another view of the cabinetry. The door in the background leads to the unfinished storage area.

David Forbes

Read excerpts, see cover art and more from my novels at www.davidforbes.net.

My theater
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-09-2008, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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The shelving unit in the back of the room, with the pocket door opening to the equipment rack somewhat visible on the left.


There was one support column we couldn't quite bury in the wall. I told Carl to just box it in a column and make one to match on the other side. That was far too simple for Carl to bother with! He ended up making curved columns with trim detail that matched the duct soffit. I forget who suggested the lighting, but I ended up ordering rope light that he worked in behind the column.


Here's the column with the face removed. The face just slides on over top and is held in place with four drywall screws (it's a tight fit to begin with).


Another view of the column.


This is how he framed out the column. He then wet drywall and bent it over the framing. It took quite a bit of drywall mud to even everything out!


Another look at the column frame.

David Forbes

Read excerpts, see cover art and more from my novels at www.davidforbes.net.

My theater
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post #5 of 17 Old 12-09-2008, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Almost done...

A view of the ceiling grid during installation.


And now some completed shots!

Front of the theater. My fiance found the wallpaper and border. She and her mom hung part of it this past Friday while I put the tree together upstairs and assembled our new dining room set. Then on Saturday Kelly (fiance) finished the wallpaper and border by herself. She's a trooper!


Tried to get a detail shot of the carpet. It's a very deep mocha and looks great. The pic doesn't do it justice.


Completed soffit. I was close and used a flash, which is why the tiles look gray. Carl did a fabulous job of making the angles in the soffit fit perfect with the ceiling grid.


Solid core pocket doors leading into the theater, with one of the columns visible on the right.

David Forbes

Read excerpts, see cover art and more from my novels at www.davidforbes.net.

My theater
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post #6 of 17 Old 12-09-2008, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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The equipment rack behind a solid core pocket door.


The equipment rack door open. Not a lot of stuff, but it works for me. A three channel Parasound amp on the bottom, a two channel Parasound amp above that, then an Onkyo 805 receiver I'm using as a processor, a Sony BDP-S350 Blu-ray player, and the latest Comcast HD DVR. The rack is a Middle Atlantic Slim 5.

My speakers for those who are interested are Vanstersteen 2CEs, a Vandersteen VCC-1 center channel and VSM surrounds, and a Paradigm subwoofer.


The rack with the pocket door closed.


A different view toward the rear of the room showing the shelving unit and the other column.


Rear of the room with the Sony VPL-VW40 visible.


Detail of one of the columns and wallpaper.

David Forbes

Read excerpts, see cover art and more from my novels at www.davidforbes.net.

My theater
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post #7 of 17 Old 12-09-2008, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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A view of one of the columns lit up. All lighting is controlled by my Pronto TSU-9400.


A view of the other column up close.


Looking into the theater from the kids' playroom. My fiance made this room her project. She picked all the wall colors, the carpet, and wallpaper border. I had my doubts about the carpet but everything works wonderfully together. She wanted to go for a lounge feel and I think she nailed it.


A view looking up the stairs.


Looking down the stairs...the red lights really help with the "lounge" feel.


Alex and Anthony's 37" flat panel TV, all for themselves. With a Playstation 2, Wii, DVD player, and VCR hooked up (yes, the wires are a mess I need to clean up). Wish I'd had toys like that when I was nine years old!!!


And the rear wall of the kids' room. Kelly is going to be painting a silhouette of a guitar player on the wall, since Alex is such a Guitar Hero maniac. If you note on the far right the red paint stops before it reaches the floor. Kel will be painting the wall back from there down to the molding to simulate a stage.


A few other things:

To help with sound isolation, we used Green Glue and double drywall on all walls except the exterior side, which is below ground to the yard. The framed walls were also decoupled from the poured concrete, though we did not use RISC clips for the ceiling. There is extra insulation above the tiles which helps with absorption, but it's not perfect.

I don't listen at reference levels, but I can crank it pretty loud and all but the lowest rumbles are very well contained, and the rumbles that do leak out aren't enough to bother someone upstairs. I've checked it with my neighbors and the only time they've heard anything is when we were testing the sound leakage and had it cranked higher than I would ever listen to it, and even then they said it wasn't bothersome, just a faint rumble they could hear. So that's pretty much what I wanted to accomplish. I know I could have done a lot more, but it wasn't really cost effective given my situation.

That's it for now. Enjoy!

Dave

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post #8 of 17 Old 12-10-2008, 07:16 AM
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Looks great - I saw you had posted a couple pics in a few other threads and was waiting to see the final result.

I am impressed that you got such a good isolation result with the drop ceiling.

Oh, and as an aside, one pic didn't post. You didn't close out the img tag (the final soffit pic).

Those columns are very sharp looking.
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post #9 of 17 Old 12-10-2008, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi DC. Thanks, I fixed the tags. It was late last night and I was beat, but wanted to get some shots up.

The drop ceiling isn't perfect but it works well enough for my purposes. I was kind of surprised at how well it kept the noise out of the first floor, to be honest.

I'll PM you after the holidays to see if you want to stop by and check things out.

David Forbes

Read excerpts, see cover art and more from my novels at www.davidforbes.net.

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post #10 of 17 Old 12-10-2008, 05:47 PM
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That be great, I'd be definitely interested to see it.
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post #11 of 17 Old 12-10-2008, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David F View Post

The equipment rack behind a solid core pocket door.


The equipment rack door open. Not a lot of stuff, but it works for me. A three channel Parasound amp on the bottom, a two channel Parasound amp above that, then an Onkyo 805 receiver I'm using as a processor, a Sony BDP-S350 Blu-ray player, and the latest Comcast HD DVR. The rack is a Middle Atlantic Slim 5.

My speakers for those who are interested are Vanstersteen 2CEs, a Vandersteen VCC-1 center channel and VSM surrounds, and a Paradigm subwoofer.


The rack with the pocket door closed.


A different view toward the rear of the room showing the shelving unit and the other column.


Rear of the room with the Sony VPL-VW40 visible.


Detail of one of the columns and wallpaper.

I love your theater! Is the bottom portion of the theater wallpaper or paint? If wallpaper where did you purchase it? Where did you purchase the wallpaper movie border?

Rinker Family Cinema Construction Thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ghlight=Rinker
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post #12 of 17 Old 12-10-2008, 07:27 PM
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Nice work, theater looks great!
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post #13 of 17 Old 12-10-2008, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David F View Post

A view of one of the columns lit up. All lighting is controlled by my Pronto TSU-9400.

I like your columns. Lighted columns are a favorite of mine.
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post #14 of 17 Old 12-10-2008, 07:38 PM
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Yes! The columns are really Fabulous!
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post #15 of 17 Old 12-10-2008, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, guys. We're pretty happy with how things turned out.

SatelliteGuy, the wallpaper was purchased at Lowe's and CarpetMart. The bottom beneath the border is wallpaper, not paint. The filmstrip border we used is actually discontinued (so the stock they had left was dirt cheap), but if you go to Lowe's and look for "Themes of Life" you'll find other variations.

Here's a link to some samples.

http://www.usawallpaper.com/movietheme.html

My fiance took the border and just matched wallpaper to it that she liked. It really came together well.

David Forbes

Read excerpts, see cover art and more from my novels at www.davidforbes.net.

My theater
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post #16 of 17 Old 12-11-2008, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David F View Post

Thanks, guys. We're pretty happy with how things turned out.

SatelliteGuy, the wallpaper was purchased at Lowe's and CarpetMart. The bottom beneath the border is wallpaper, not paint. The filmstrip border we used is actually discontinued (so the stock they had left was dirt cheap), but if you go to Lowe's and look for "Themes of Life" you'll find other variations.

Here's a link to some samples.

http://www.usawallpaper.com/movietheme.html

My fiance took the border and just matched wallpaper to it that she liked. It really came together well.

Thank you for the link. I will probably be going with the burgundy faux leather wallpaper and the burgundy and gray movie border shown here:

http://www.usawallpaper.com/buandgrmowab.html

Did you buy any wallpaper at this usawallpaper site? Was Lowes cheaper and did they have the same selection?

Rinker Family Cinema Construction Thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ghlight=Rinker
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post #17 of 17 Old 12-11-2008, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I like the choices! They should look good together.

We got the border at Carpetmart (local store) and the faux finish below that at Lowe's. Lowe's had the Themes of Life borders but the one we got at Carpetmart was a close-out and the deal was too good to pass up. We didn't end up ordering anything online.

David Forbes

Read excerpts, see cover art and more from my novels at www.davidforbes.net.

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