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post #1 of 241 Old 08-23-2009, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I've been trolling AVS for years, and it's finally time to build my own theater. Technically, it's my second home theater but the first one was kinda lame and kinda small.

I'm going to use this thread as a way of keeping track of the build both for myself and for others to see, so hopefully there won't be too many pictures making this thread boring.

I just starting "building" today. In fact, I have to destroy a part of my basement in order to prepare for the build. I have some gyprock to remove and a wall to build.

Theater info:

Room size: 19' x 17'
Seating: 2 rows, front row of 3, back row on riser (12" high) of 4
Screen size: 106-110" Carada Criterion
Projector: Unknown as of yet (suggestions for approx $2-3k max)
Speakers: Front and center unknown as of yet. Rears: Boston Acoustics, Sub: Velodyne
Processor: Integra DHC9.9, but this could change

Here are some before pictures and I've made a bit of progress by tearing away the gyprock on the front wall which will eventually be where the screen will be.

Looking towards the front wall where the screen will be:


The right and left side of the room:



Looking towards where the back wall will eventually be (behind it is a playroom):


And by the "end" of day 1 (there was a lot of prep work so I didn't get much REAL work done yet):


A shot of the plastic sheet I've put up while building the wall and tearing things apart:


So now it's question time. First of all, as you can all see, I have two big windows on the left side. I don't know what to do about them. I have to keep them in the wall because of the overall look of the house. Here's what the house looks like from the outside:


The windows are on the bottom left. As you can see they kinda mirror the symmetry of the windows above them (the living room).

So, I have a ledge on the wall the windows are on (you can see if you look at the picture carefully). So I could quite easily build a structure to cover the windows and make a full straight wall. I am just wondering if this is safe and if there is a good way to do this. I will put some kind of reflective sticker on the windows so you can't see into the house and then I can put insulation, sealant, or whatever else to make sure there's no humidity build up, etc...

Can anyone steer me in the right direction here?

Here is a quick sketch I did in Chief Architect. The seating is wrong, but the overall idea is there:


So that's all I've got for you all today. I have no idea how long this is going to take, but I'll be sure to keep things up to date here.

Thanks in advance for any help you guys can give with respect to the windows!
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post #2 of 241 Old 08-23-2009, 03:05 PM
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On those windows do you have any other emergency egress windows or doors from the basement. If no, don't cover them up. While they don't technically qualify as emergency exits because of the floor to sill height and the size of the window. I think you could get out in an emergency.
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post #3 of 241 Old 08-23-2009, 03:07 PM
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Gotta ask. You took down the drywall because?

I would put the step up to riser height outside the theater and have the door open into the theater.
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post #4 of 241 Old 08-23-2009, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Bigmouth,

There are two other windows out of the basement, yes. Both are as hard to get up to but they're there.

I'm taking all the drywall down to have a clean slate for the construction phase. I'm going to be running a lowered portion of the ceiling to mirror where the duct is and then putting insulation everywhere so I need access. Not to mention for wiring.

I really like your idea of the step and I might just do that, thanks!

Any ideas how to cover up the windows?
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post #5 of 241 Old 08-24-2009, 10:28 AM
 
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Robert...I would just make plugs for the windows...You could construct them using a 2x4 frame with plywood covering (overhang)...Kinda like the front of a drawer...Then just cover it up with the acoustic panels...
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post #6 of 241 Old 08-24-2009, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Chuck,

Thanks for there reply. So I was thinking of putting some kind of reflective sticker on the windows so that people from the outside don't see insulation, then I was thinking of building a frame out of 2x4s as you mentioned, then stuffing insulation in there and then covering in plywood, also as you mentioned as I'll be using that surface to anchor the lowered part of the ceiling which runs around the theater (and eventually has crown molding and rope lights and such). So I guess there's no concerns for humidity. That's good to know! Thanks!
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post #7 of 241 Old 08-24-2009, 11:14 AM
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If you are going to be using any linacoustic in your build you can just stick some up in the windows with the black side facing out as part of your plugging process.

In my house I hung a vinyl blind in the window in the closed position to match others on that side of the house, Then I added some plywood, insulation and finally just drywalled right over the window.

In your case I would be tempted to do a good looking window plug if you are concerned about getting your house ready for resale quickly.
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post #8 of 241 Old 08-24-2009, 11:18 AM
 
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Chuck,

Thanks for there reply. So I was thinking of putting some kind of reflective sticker on the windows so that people from the outside don't see insulation, then I was thinking of building a frame out of 2x4s as you mentioned, then stuffing insulation in there and then covering in plywood, also as you mentioned as I'll be using that surface to anchor the lowered part of the ceiling which runs around the theater (and eventually has crown molding and rope lights and such). So I guess there's no concerns for humidity. That's good to know! Thanks!

Yeah no problemo..."Bigs" idea of putting in blinds in the closed position is a good one...I'd do that first so it will look good from the outside...
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post #9 of 241 Old 08-24-2009, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah so I was thinking of finding some kind of sticker with a mirror finish, and that's what people would see from the outside... then I wouldn't have to bury blinds in there...
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post #10 of 241 Old 08-24-2009, 03:04 PM
 
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Yeah so I was thinking of finding some kind of sticker with a mirror finish, and that's what people would see from the outside... then I wouldn't have to bury blinds in there...

you could always paint a piece of thin plywood black and cover it and from a distance it will just look dark and blacked out?
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post #11 of 241 Old 08-24-2009, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
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So I'm done what I set out to day for day 2... keep in mind that I'm working evenings after work, after supper, after entertaining the kids and sometimes putting them to bed... so I won't get much done on weekdays.

In any case, I took apart the left wall and prepared the windows to be covered up tonight. Here's the result (lots of dust in the room so the flash shows off the spots on my lens):



Tomorrow evening I'll attack the right wall or the ceiling, we'll see.

I ordered my seating today. They is a back row of 4 with the loveseat conversion in the middle, and a front row of 3. They are all black leather with power reclines. I ordered the EXACT same thing as dogone, so they will look like this (hope you don't mind I stole your pic Chuck):



For the windows, the final verdict is I'll be putting on a tint sticker from the local hardware store and then building the frame for the inset part of the wall with 2x4s on their side as I only have 1.5" clearance from the inset part of the wall to the 2x4s which make up the lower part of the wall. Just enough for 2x4s on their side. I was considering covering up the windows with a piece of black-painted plywood, but I just don't have the room.
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post #12 of 241 Old 08-25-2009, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
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So day 3 has come and gone. Let's just say things are going slowly because I'm doing this alone and because I do it after work, etc...

Tonight, all I did was rip off half of the ceiling:


Hopefully all the DEstruction will be done soon so I can start the CONstruction this weekend...

In other news, my seating shipped ALREADY. I guess things must be slow at the factory... these had to be custom made, so to be ordered one day and shipped the next -- must mean they aren't too busy.
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post #13 of 241 Old 08-25-2009, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh... if anybody's listening...

The floor is currently "floating floor". It's a thin laminate of about 8mm (about 1/4") that snaps together in pieces. Under it is a little felt and then the concrete floor of the basement. I was wondering if I should keep the floating floor or if I should rip it out and put the carpet on top of that.

Any advice?

Thanks in advance!
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post #14 of 241 Old 08-25-2009, 10:21 PM
 
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Oh... if anybody's listening...

The floor is currently "floating floor". It's a thin laminate of about 8mm (about 1/4") that snaps together in pieces. Under it is a little felt and then the concrete floor of the basement. I was wondering if I should keep the floating floor or if I should rip it out and put the carpet on top of that.

Any advice?

Thanks in advance!

I would leave it myself....I mean unless it's all crumbling apart or something...If it's in good shape just leave it...
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post #15 of 241 Old 08-26-2009, 06:35 AM
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I vote leave it, but I would talk to a couple of carpet shops to see if they bring up any issues that we haven't thought of. I anticipate that it will be more difficult to secure the perimeter tack trips assuming the laminate is thin and brittle. The nails used in the strips may not get as a good grip. But I am sure they have experience.
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post #16 of 241 Old 08-26-2009, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Bigmouth,

Yeah, the problem is the floating floor is just that -- floating. So it's not bolted to the floor. If the carpet nails don't go deep enough, the carpet could life. I will definitely speak to a carpet place, and it would take a total of 15 minutes to take the floor up, so it's no big deal.

Thanks all for the opinions!
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post #17 of 241 Old 08-26-2009, 07:06 AM
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For the windows, the final verdict is I'll be putting on a tint sticker from the local hardware store.

Be careful with hadware store window tint. I've personally seen it break down due to direct sunlight. My neighbor puts new stuff up every year. The tint he put up in January of this year is already cracked and peeling. The sun hits the window for approximately 3-4 hours (morning) every day on an east facing window. If you put it on your window and close up the wall, you could potentially have an ugly issue down the road.
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post #18 of 241 Old 08-26-2009, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
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UofM,

I was worried about that... the sticker peeling or fading, or anything else... Now you've made me paranoid. I'll have to come up with another solution. Back to the black-painted plywood I guess!

Thanks so much for chiming in!
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post #19 of 241 Old 08-26-2009, 08:08 AM
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When I covered over my windows I removed the inside lock and screwed the window tightly shut with stainless steel screws from the outside. That way if a mouse decides to crawl up in the window and die I have a way of getting in there without tearing down my wall or breaking the window.
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post #20 of 241 Old 08-26-2009, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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When I covered over my windows I removed the inside lock and screwed the window tightly shut with stainless steel screws from the outside. That way if a mouse decides to crawl up in the window and die I have a way of getting in there without tearing down my wall or breaking the window.

First of all... how morbid!

Second of all, great idea. I'll do the same!
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post #21 of 241 Old 08-26-2009, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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OK time for a question again.

In my original plans, I have my equipment rack to the right of the screen and the sub to the left. I have since realized I can put my equipment in the right wall which adjoins to a storage area under my stairs. Because of that, I will relocate my sub to the back of the room to the left of the seats. So now I have the whole screen wall free to do what I want with it.

My question is... given that the room depth is "only" 19 feet, should I attempt a false screen wall and use up the extra foot of space to be able to have the speakers at the same distance as the screen, or is it better to increase viewing distance and have the speakers in front of the screen.

Here's a diagram of what I'm talking about:


Any feedback is appreciated!
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post #22 of 241 Old 08-26-2009, 02:29 PM
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UofM,

I was worried about that... the sticker peeling or fading, or anything else... Now you've made me paranoid. I'll have to come up with another solution. Back to the black-painted plywood I guess!

Thanks so much for chiming in!

No problem.

I think the painted plywood would also have issues with direct sunlight and fading.

I'd go for something UV resistant. I've always thought the "mini-blind" idea was a good one. Get a couple mini-blinds (they don't need to be real fancy since you won't see them from the inside), hang them in the wondows and close the blinds before putting up insulation and sheetrock. From the outside it looks like your mini-blinds are always closed. Blinds are UV resistant and wont fade over time.

I'd also go with BigMouth's idea of screwing the window shut for accessability. It would make life easier down the road.
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post #23 of 241 Old 08-26-2009, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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No problem.

I think the painted plywood would also have issues with direct sunlight and fading.

I'd go for something UV resistant. I've always thought the "mini-blind" idea was a good one. Get a couple mini-blinds (they don't need to be real fancy since you won't see them from the inside), hang them in the wondows and close the blinds before putting up insulation and sheetrock. From the outside it looks like your mini-blinds are always closed. Blinds are UV resistant and wont fade over time.

I'd also go with BigMouth's idea of screwing the window shut for accessability. It would make life easier down the road.

I actually have blinds that were in the windows when I bought the house, so maybe I'll just re-install them and bury them in there... they'll get smooshed into the window by the insulation but who cares.

Thanks again.
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post #24 of 241 Old 08-26-2009, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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So day 4 of destruction is done. Slow and steady wins the race.

I've got most of the ceiling gone and most of the right wall gone as well. One more night of destruction and I'll be ready for construction.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've found a new place to locate my equipment. It's not an 8' high space, but I don't think I'll have that much equipment anyway. And the amps (7 monoblock Marantz amps) I can hide somewhere else (they don't need to be visible/accessible to the home theater). In this pic of the right wall, you can see the space (to the bottom right) where I will install the equipment:



That spot is actually in a storage area under the stairs. It will take some modification because part of the structure in there is load bearing but I'll reinforce when I open it up. I'll cover the space with a few fabric wall panels when using the theater so it'll be nice and hidden. This frees up space at the front of the theater to make a nicer screen wall. Please see earlier post -- still seeking advice.

I also finished most of the ceiling:



Hopefully tomorrow night will be the last night of destruction cuz, I admit, it must be extremely boring for you guys.
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post #25 of 241 Old 08-26-2009, 10:36 PM
 
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OK time for a question again.

In my original plans, I have my equipment rack to the right of the screen and the sub to the left. I have since realized I can put my equipment in the right wall which adjoins to a storage area under my stairs. Because of that, I will relocate my sub to the back of the room to the left of the seats. So now I have the whole screen wall free to do what I want with it.

My question is... given that the room depth is "only" 19 feet, should I attempt a false screen wall and use up the extra foot of space to be able to have the speakers at the same distance as the screen, or is it better to increase viewing distance and have the speakers in front of the screen.

Here's a diagram of what I'm talking about:




Any feedback is appreciated!

I would get an acoustic transparant screen and hide the front towers and sub behind there...It really gives the room more of a "theatrical" feel...That little bit of room depth is worth the trade off to have empty space in front of your screen...My room is only a couple feet longer than yours and I have plenty of room for 2 rows even with a 150" screen. Helps if you decide to use 2 subs someday...I have just installed another sub under my equipment rack storage area in the back of the room...(see pic)...I now have one behind the screen and one in the back of the room...Really gives both rows more incompassing bass.

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post #26 of 241 Old 08-27-2009, 06:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I was actually hoping to be able to save the money on an acoustic screen... my budget is rather tight. I could still have a screen wall though and put the speakers behind acoustically transparent fabric. Argh, so many decisions. Anyway, thanks for the opinion!
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post #27 of 241 Old 08-27-2009, 07:29 AM
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With your skills you can easily make your own AT screen either using Phifer Sheerweave 4500 or Seymours new XD sheerweave.

You can get either material from Seymour's
Correction: it seems you can only get Seymour's propietary XD weave from their website. They no longer stock the 4500 it would appear. Trust me though the 4500 is what is used on many DIY screens including my own.

http://seymourav.com/

or you can get the 4500 hundred at this place.

http://www.interiormall.com/cat/ndis...bric&book=2182

You can see my DIY screen on the thread listed on my sig. line.
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I was actually hoping to be able to save the money on an acoustic screen... my budget is rather tight. I could still have a screen wall though and put the speakers behind acoustically transparent fabric. Argh, so many decisions. Anyway, thanks for the opinion!

My acoustic screen was only 800.00 bucks for 150"...if you go smaller you can go even less expensive...Check out this site...The brand is Elite.
http://www.projectorscreenstore.com/...xed-Frame.html
wwwdotprojectorscreenstoredotcom
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post #29 of 241 Old 08-27-2009, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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My acoustic screen was only 800.00 bucks for 150"...if you go smaller you can go even less expensive...Check out this site...The brand is Elite.
http://www.projectorscreenstore.com/...xed-Frame.html
wwwdotprojectorscreenstoredotcom

Chuck,

I checked the link you sent up... the 125" 2.35:1 acoustically transparent is $1047... maybe I'm looking in the wrong place?
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post #30 of 241 Old 08-27-2009, 04:17 PM
 
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Chuck,

I checked the link you sent up... the 125" 2.35:1 acoustically transparent is $1047... maybe I'm looking in the wrong place?

Oh really?...something is not right...let me check...
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