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post #1 of 243 Old 04-10-2009, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all

I have been lurking on this site for the past decade or so.

I finally bought a house last fall, with an unfinished basement.

After a lot of thought, I have decided to have my builder do most of the work. I admire the hard work of those of you finishing an entire basement on your own, but I don't want to wait a year or more to finish.

Here is the plan


The theater will be 11' by 21', with the open room (pool table room) being 13.5' by 15.5'

Here are the pre-construction shots

Of course the largest room in the basement also ended up with all the windows. The builder is going to close in the right window and re-parge the outside wall. I'm going to keep the other window (so the basement has an escape), especially if someone wanted to turn the theater into a bedroom down the road.




I will be doing a 10 foot wide, curved, 2.35 to 1 screen, and have already ordered it from SMX.

I have decided not to do extensive soundproofing, for several reasons, despite some good arguments for it. The two main reasons for this is I am a bit limited in width. I want to have 4 chairs in the back row and they will be 10'9" in size. I am also putting a very large door on the theater so the pool table room doesn't feel too closed off. I will also probably be using the bathroom as an infinite baffle for the sub.

My builder does have experience with home theater builds and I will be working with the custom installer that got me addicted to this hobby in the first place.

My builder thinks the project should take a couple months and the framers start on Monday.

It's kind of funny, I have been waiting years to start a 'true' theater, now that it is so close I'm starting to feel rushed!

Advice may not always be heeded, but is always appreciated.

Greg
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post #2 of 243 Old 04-10-2009, 05:08 PM
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Greg, obviously you're going AT; building a false wall? From your plans it looks like the riser and back of the room is going to be to the left of the doors, and the stage and screen to the right? Have you thought about reversing them, so the doors are towards the back of the HT...or is that wall (to the left of the doors) the one you're looking to keep the window on?

CD

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
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post #3 of 243 Old 04-10-2009, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I thought about reversing it. The door is acutally going to be further back than the plan indicates and open out of the theater. The entrance will be about at my first row, so I won't have the disruption of the door opening at the front. I liked the idea of the reverse plan and building an equipment room in the back that could contain the projector, but I don't think the throw distance would be long enough to do the 10 foot screen with an anamorphic lens.

Since I have to make a soffit to hide a beam, I'll build a hush box for the projector in the same place. Also, it will be nice to have access to a window if I need it.

There will be a false wall at the front, and no visible equipment in the theater. I'm planning to have all the surfaces covered in fabric (kind of like gpower's theater)
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post #4 of 243 Old 04-11-2009, 05:16 AM
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Scopeguy,

Welcome to this madding journey. I can't blame you for using a "hired hammer" to get your build done. My build has been a mixture of DIY and professional guidance/work. I have been working on my build for a long time, and here recently my better half has set a deadline of Christmas THIS YEAR talk about feeling rushed! 8-).

Two things. One I think it is an excellent idea to keep in mind a future use for the space especially if you even think you are going to move at some future date regarding the egress window and possible future bedroom.

The second regarding sound proofing and isolation. I have elected to go your route as in not trying to build a sound proof room or even close. Due to my build/construction budget I just can't do the room in a room/double studs, etc. etc. What you may consider though and maybe your contractor has talked with you about it is spray foam insulation on the ceilings. I have just recently (yesterday matter of fact) talked with a spray foam contractor about insulating my HT located in my basement. I think at the very least I'm going to spray foam the ceiling for the sound reduction qualities of the spray foam. Not the ideal but for my situation it is the best option (not necessarily the cheapest) for my build and might fit yours too.

Good luck and if you have not figured it out already all of here love construction photos (I get harassed regularly in my thread for not posting photos) so consider yourself warned.

Regards,

RTROSE

My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
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post #5 of 243 Old 04-11-2009, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks RTROSE

My builder also said to use spray foam in the joists and I'm going to go for it. I am a little confused because I don't see spray foam mentioned in any of the sound-proofing strategies used in other threads. I would think it would work well, as it provides an airtight barrier, and the foam should absorb some sound. But, from what I've read here about sound isolation, often the logical choice is actually wrong.

I don't know whether others have used spray foam and what their results have been, but I would like to here.

Another question is; My builder intends to put some cardboard up in the joists and then spray foam in order to create an airspace to help a little with sound transmission. This sounds good to me in theory, as the more transitions the sound has to make the less should be transmitted. However I recall in a soundproofing thread that Ted White said (in regards to layers of drywall with resilient channel in between) that the small airspace actually worsened sound isolation. If anyone has some advice, please let me know.

I will try to keep the thread updated with lots of pictures. I also like looking at pictures of other people's builds. Since I won't be doing all that much of the construction, the least I can do is take pictures of it!

Greg
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post #6 of 243 Old 04-11-2009, 10:16 AM
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Welcome Scopeguy,

Your going to have a pretty nice space there. I agree that their is something to be said about having the build go a lot quicker when having someone else do it. It's definately nice to have a builder who is familiar with HT, most usually have no clue.

If it helps any my screen which is a curved DIY AT screen is 110" wide 2:37 aspect. I went 2:37 because it splits the difference between 2:35 and 2:40. It is also the ratio you actually get when you add a lens to a 16:9 projector because it stretches the image by 33%. My projector's lens (actual projector not A lens) is at right about 14' from my screen which sits on a false wall 18" out from the front wall. This gives me a little wiggle room to slightly overscan onto the border and line things up just right.

I mention this because I think your right in regards to your projector and lens set up not being able to go much further or all the way in the back. You have start with the projector at it's minimum zoom and pulling it back from there to fill the screen vertically with a 16:9 image. This will then allow you a little play if need be.

Good luck on the build.
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post #7 of 243 Old 04-11-2009, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scopeguy View Post

Thanks RTROSE

My builder also said to use spray foam in the joists and I'm going to go for it. I am a little confused because I don't see spray foam mentioned in any of the sound-proofing strategies used in other threads. I would think it would work well, as it provides an airtight barrier, and the foam should absorb some sound. But, from what I've read here about sound isolation, often the logical choice is actually wrong.

I don't know whether others have used spray foam and what their results have been, but I would like to here.

Another question is; My builder intends to put some cardboard up in the joists and then spray foam in order to create an airspace to help a little with sound transmission. This sounds good to me in theory, as the more transitions the sound has to make the less should be transmitted. However I recall in a soundproofing thread that Ted White said (in regards to layers of drywall with resilient channel in between) that the small airspace actually worsened sound isolation. If anyone has some advice, please let me know.

I will try to keep the thread updated with lots of pictures. I also like looking at pictures of other people's builds. Since I won't be doing all that much of the construction, the least I can do is take pictures of it!

Greg

Not sure about the cardboard trick but Ted White is very knowledgeable and I would think he has a better handle on those things vs. the contractor applying the product. My installer did not mention anything about the cardboard, but he did say the foam product far surpasses the "pink stuff" for sound deadening properties. He also said that in my application it will help but since I am not going the hat track Z channel route there are limitations and that the floor joist then become the main sound transmission point. Makes sense to me.

Again welcome to this journey and keep us updated.

Regards,

RTROSE

My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
Enjoying my "almost done" theater.
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post #8 of 243 Old 04-11-2009, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Oman321;

I have a good feeling about my builder; Before I discussed with him too much what I wanted he said 'so we're going to do a false wall with acoustically transparent panels right?' He also brought up a grafix eye before I had the chance to. He did such a great job of the finishing on the rest of the house and has really good ideas, I can't wait to see how this comes together.

I think the screen will be 2.37 to 1 as well. The SMX site lists them as 2.35 but when I ordered the guy said 2.37. I guess I'll see when it gets here.

I'm considering an optima projector, and with its' anamorphic lens the throw distance is 1.33:1 to 1.66:1.

The projector will be about 14 feet back, so it should work pretty well, though I will have to use some zoom.

RTROSE;

I may ask the builder not to put in the airspace, unless I hear differently.

Greg
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post #9 of 243 Old 04-11-2009, 12:29 PM
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Oh ya!! He sounds like a keeper Never thought I'd say that about a guy

I know SMX produces all 3 aspect 2:35, 37, 40 so hopefully you'll get the 2:37.
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post #10 of 243 Old 04-11-2009, 05:38 PM
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Hello Scopeguy..

Welcome .. a quick note regarding the Foam.. I assume your talking about a product such as Iceyene or Tiger Foam.. These products are an open celled foam.. althought the open celled foams have less negative impact than the closed cells and they are great for insulation, I dont believe you can expect much for sound isolation. If you have not done it yet, i would definately have my joist band sprayed with 2-3" of this foam.. this is the best solution in the joist band for energy effeciency, which is typically a weak point in most houses.

I would get advice from the more experienced people, but in my opinion, based on your description.. if you are planning on leaving an air gap between a layer of foam and the floor above.. your money may be better spend to just fill the joist cavity with plain Jane insulation... the insultaion will help fill the dead airspace and prevent ressonance that may otherwise occur in the dead air space. The other plus side to using the insulation is that it will be far less $$ than having someone spray the foam.



Good Luck.

Brad

My Basement HT Construction ~ Faster than the speed of Dark

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post #11 of 243 Old 04-11-2009, 06:33 PM
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One more comment on the foam while im thinking of it. The spray foams have advantages for many reasons, you can get more R per inch, and they can create a vapor barrier, they also seal the tiny air drafts that as much as 60% of your's home energy can be lost too, which makes them excellant products for seperating "Temperature" controlled areas from not. Ie.. below your joists exposed to a crawl space, or around your rim joist/joist band, in walls or ceilings. One train of thought however is that the entire interior or your house should breath to keep moisture from building up with in the structure. In an application between two conditioned spaces such as in the joists between a finished basement and the living area upstiars.. i would wonder what the benefit would be, if only in an attempt to control sound, then in IMHO the best solution is the regular insulation... at appx 1/3 the $$

Just a thought

Brad

My Basement HT Construction ~ Faster than the speed of Dark

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post #12 of 243 Old 04-12-2009, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Brad

I've been having the same thoughts on the spray foam, cover the rim joists of the house, then put roxul in the joist spaces. I don't know which I will do, but would like anymore information if people have it.

Greg
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post #13 of 243 Old 04-12-2009, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scopeguy View Post

Brad

I've been having the same thoughts on the spray foam, cover the rim joists of the house, then put roxul in the joist spaces. I don't know which I will do, but would like anymore information if people have it.

Greg

The estimator who came to my house for the spray foam stated if you would only do one thing with the foam this would be the most beneficial (rim joists) then the attic and then the exterior walls.

From what he stated the product that goes on the concrete basement walls is a rigid foam that is also a vapor barrier and then the semi-rigid foam goes in the rim joists, floor joists, walls, and attic.

When time and costs allow I would entertain the thought of having him come back and give me an estimate on the spay foam in the attic. Not now though as all of my money seems to be funneling (or is that spiraling) down into the basement.

My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
Enjoying my "almost done" theater.
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post #14 of 243 Old 04-13-2009, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, things are underway!

The framers showed up at 8:00 this morning.

They have all the walls up, the riser built, and much of the soffit done.

Since everyone loves pictures...

Here is the entrance to the theater as viewed from the stairs


The doorway is only roughed for a 5' door, but I would like a 6' one, so I'll have to get that changed.

This will be the screen wall.


The stud bay to the left of the steel pole will be the opening for a dual 15" sub.

Here is the back of the theater. The riser in on sill gasket and is not in contact with any of the surrounding walls as seems to be recommended here.


Here, the furnace room door has been moved and the bathroom is framed.


Tonight I have to install a tactile transducer in the riser and add some insulation before it's closed up tomorrow.

Greg
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post #15 of 243 Old 04-13-2009, 06:14 PM
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Wow,

That was fast! Got to love the fact that "professionals" work so fast. From what I can tell from your photos looks as though they are doing quality framing work so at least that is a big plus.

Keep the pics coming.

Regards,

RTROSE

My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
Enjoying my "almost done" theater.
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post #16 of 243 Old 04-13-2009, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, the work looks really good and I can't believe how quick it is.

Here's my contribution to the build

Tactile transducer


and riser insulation


Greg
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post #17 of 243 Old 04-14-2009, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Day 2

The framing is done!

The wall by the stairs has been opened up a little


The soffits are in



and now there is a big pile of drywall on the floor


Today it was snowing, tomorrow the HVAC guys come to install the Air Conditioner. I love Alberta!

Greg
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post #18 of 243 Old 04-19-2009, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Well Its been a busy week!

The HVAC guys came on Wednesday, The job looks pretty good, however it's clear that they don't understand theater building. I asked them to install extra ventilation in the theater to cope with up to 7 people and a projector. I ended up with this...

Yes, that is a bathroom fan venting outside.

Anyways, that will be removed.

They did at least install an extra run for my Heat recovery ventilator in the room


The HVAC guys said that they could not install another master control for my HRV, but my home theater installer, who also does alot of home automation does not think it wil be a problem to integrate it into the controls for the theater, so I thick the space should be comfortable.

I was expecting a quiet Thursday and Friday, however the plumber showed up Thursday morning and the electritian on Friday. It must be a bit slow for them right now.

The plumbing rough in is complete, though I may need an additional drain for my dishwasher.
Bathroom

Bar


You may be able to see all the wire running to the area that the rack will be located on the left. This was my project for the day.

The framers have also removed the window and filled it in, though the outside concrete work still needs to be done.

On Friday I met with the cabinet maker and the home theater installer. The lighting plan for the basement was determined, as well as numerous other details. I will be getting a grafik ra, which is a grafik eye to control 6 zone of lighting as well as an RF unit to control the rest of the lights in the basement.

Things are really coming together quickly!

Greg
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post #19 of 243 Old 04-20-2009, 02:17 PM
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Looking good so far. I'll let others chime in on the bathroom fan, but when you get people who don't all that much about home theater sometimes you don't get the result you were hoping for. You may be alright though if it is one of the ultra quiet models that move lots of air but are nearly silent then your golden. One advantage of the fan is if you put in a popcorn machine you can vent the smell outside of the theater so it is not so overwhelming and tease the neighbors to boot!

Keep the construction pics coming.

Regards,

RTROSE

My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
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post #20 of 243 Old 04-20-2009, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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The fan will be removed and the hole in the side of the house fixed. It's not one of those almost silent panasonic fans, so it's useless to me.

The electrician's back today putting a bunch of pot lights and I have no idea what's going on for the rest of the week.

I have to get some conduit to run to the projector and some RG6 to run a few more cables and soon it will be time for drywall.

Greg
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post #21 of 243 Old 05-05-2009, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
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So, time to update the thread.

Last week was incredibly busy at work but not alot was going on in the basement.

Now the last of the rough in is complete and drywall starts tomorrow.

On the the Pics...

Projector rough-in (with 2" conduit)

a 4" HRV return is behind the projector

RTRose, I'm not sure what your spray foam decision was but I went ahead with it

I guess I'll see whether it works.

My SMX screen arrived, I don't think I've ever seen anything packed as well as this


Here is the screen wall


The window has been filled in


The rear speaker positions have been chosen

I'm going with two side rear speakers

Dual 15" subs will be in here


The TV in the pool table room is wired


All the wire is ran to the rack area


I'm excited to see the drywall go up, It should really change the look of things.

Greg
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post #22 of 243 Old 05-11-2009, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Drywall and mud is going up!

Bar TV and entrance to theater


Rack and Bar location


Projector location


Front of theater


I now have to start choosing fabric and paint colors.
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post #23 of 243 Old 05-12-2009, 04:35 AM
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Great Progress Greg.. things are coming together quickly.

I am exploring various lighting options, and looking at unique or outside the box applications.

In your photos, there are a dozen or so "Red" wires hanging from your soffits that kind of look like some type of twisted pair cable, but i assume they are a type of Low Voltage line for lighting.

Will you be surface mounting a type of "Puck" light/small LED's, or are the cables just spotted at this time and later you will be cutting the holes for a standard recessed remodel type can?

Brad

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post #24 of 243 Old 05-12-2009, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Brad

They are low voltage cables for lighting. The transformers are located under the stairs, so there shouldn't be any hum. Honestly, I haven't yet seen the light itself, but my understanding is that it is a puck, but it will be flush with the drywall. I had to go low voltage because the front soffit is full of HVAC ducting and there is no room for a can. I'll try to get the details on the lights.

The room also has 6 five inch cans as well. There will be six zones, controlled be a grafix eye; The front low voltage over the screen, front 5" cans, front seating 5" cans, rear soffit low voltage, rear seating 5" cans and the side low voltage. This is probably overkill for an 11' by 20' room, but since I had the six zones on the grafix eye, why not!
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post #25 of 243 Old 05-12-2009, 08:22 AM
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I just looked over this thread. Sorry for my delay.

For the record, foam, be it open or closed cell, is far inferior to fiberglass for sound isolation.

I have never met a contractor who get that part right.

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post #26 of 243 Old 05-12-2009, 09:43 AM
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Quote:


my home theater installer, who also does alot of home automation does not think it wil be a problem to integrate it into the controls for the theater

Would that happen to be Audio Innovations?
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post #27 of 243 Old 05-12-2009, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Ted

Thanks for dropping by. I appreciate all the help you give out on this forum. I ended up going with spray foam in the joist spaces because most of them ended up having 1 or 2 HVAC lines in them. It would have been a nightmare to get fiberglass into and I don't think as much insulation would have ended up in there. I'm not going for much sound isolation but was hoping to reduce the amount of noise transferred to the ducts and possibly reduce footfall noise from the kitchen above. It certainly wasn't cost effective ($1000) and if it doesn't have the effect that I want, I have no one to blame but myself.

Hi Sleepove

I'm using Audio West as my installer. I've known John and Gary for over 16 years now, and they are responsible for introducing me to the world of high-end audio and home theater. It's nice to get to repay them for the hours I spent in their store demoing things I could afford at the time!

I had initially planned to do the home theater design myself but having a pro involved has been quite helpful. The lighting design is far more complex than what I would have come up with, and the contractors seem to respond better when it is another trade asking for something bizarre, rather than it coming from me. I have also ended up doing some things that I may have considered too daunting to attempt on my own.

Greg
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post #28 of 243 Old 05-12-2009, 05:13 PM
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the contractors seem to respond better when it is another trade asking for something bizarre, rather than it coming from me

I know what you mean when I built my house it was nothing but a fight with the electricians trying to get what I wanted and I am an electrical supervisor for a local company.
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I'm using Audio West as my installer. I've known John and Gary for over 16 years now, and they are responsible for introducing me to the world of high-end audio and home theater. It's nice to get to repay them for the hours I spent in their store demoing things I could afford at the time!

Audio West does some of the best work around here.
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post #29 of 243 Old 05-29-2009, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Well seems like a while since an update.

This drywall, taping, mudding, painting stage seems to take forever.

It's finally nice enough here to take the A/C for a test. Seems to work quite well.


The basement is primed and the ceiling textured. This is a picture of the front of the theater. These will be the final colors of the rest of the basement, the theater will be getting fabric treatments to the walls and a much darker color on the ceiling.


The hole from the window I removed is patched. (need to remove the well)


My theater chairs are here (temporarily in my upstair bonus room). They look great and are very comforable. Maybe a little too comfortable, as I tend to fall asleep in them and I'm not usually a person to nap! I have to figure out a way to attach the tactile transducers to them.


I also have to build the frame to hold the subwoofers (dual 15 inch SDX)
[IMG]http://i252.photobucket.com/albums/hh35/gregward_album/IMG_0769.jpg[/IMG

In other basement news, the bathroom floor tile is in.

It's the same tile as in the rest of the house so it was an easy choice.

Next week the cabinets are installed, so that should make it feel like thing are moving again!

Greg
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post #30 of 243 Old 06-07-2009, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
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The cabinet installers were by over the week. The work looks fantastic!

Here is the equipment rack (well, hole for the middle atlantic rack) and the bar. A keg cooler will go in the hole on the right.


This is the wall unit that will hold the DVDs/Blurays and the pool cues.



I'm going to need a bigger movie collection!

This is the 'bar' on the other side of the stairs. It will hold a bar fridge and a dishwasher.


I finally built the support for my subwoofers, as well.


For this week;

The doors and trim will go in (at least in most of the basement.) The bar room and theater will be getting acoustical treatments in walnut trim and the door and baseboards to match. The tile in the shower will also be done.

Hopefully the countertops will also go in soon.

There are a few lights and plugs that have to be moved, now that the exact size and position of the cabinets is known, but that shouldn't be a big deal.

I need to choose a Bluray player this week. I don't know if anyone has any advice. My installer suggests that I get a relatively cheap one ($200-300) and wait for a high quality one to come out in a year or two when the format features are more finalized. I have a samsung upstairs right now that I've been happy with, but I'm open to suggestions.

Greg
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