I felt the title was fitting, as not only am I in the market for a new house, but I find myself accessing my AVS forum bookmark on an increasingly frequent basis.
As is so often mentioned, the wealth of knowledge here in our one little facet of AVS is substantially beyond overwhelming, even for an "electronics nut" like myself. I find myself perusing the build threads, modifying the ever-complicating vision of my future home theater. In doing so, I constantly fight the urge to post threads about every question that pops in to my mind, knowing full well there's a 99% chance its already been answered.
So here I am, creating what I hope will become a textual and visual archive of one of my greatest passions and largest endeavors. I hope I can look back on this post in a year or two and laugh at my naivety; knowing full well what it takes to truly realize a dream.
So starts my endeavor. I have been home shopping for the last three months, with a couple interesting prospects, but nothing jumping out at me as the one. I have to be honest, whenever I walk through a new home, my first interest is "will the basement work for the theater?", and off I head down the stairs. Often I end up empty handed, but occasionally I am pleasantly surprised at the potential of some existing homes, even with finished basements. "I could make this work", I say to myself, eying the destruction of a wall or doorway to optimize the visual and audio experience.
My first question, that I really want to cement in my head is the "optimal" room that I should be looking for. I know some of the basics like avoiding divisible dimensions and planning on a ~2' false wall in front of the wall I'd put the screen, but I really have no idea what to say is the "best" aside from "bigger is better". Some of the rooms I look at are as small as 20'x13', while others can be 32'x18' or larger.
I guess before I get much further I should point out what I'm looking for in my theater. Really, I'd love to hold up to 12 people comfortably. 3 rows of four if possible. Since the theater will be used about 80% for movies and 10% each for gaming and sports, I'm planning on going 2.35:1, with sliders to adjust size for different ratios.
Roughing that out at 8' per teir plus 2 feet in the rear would put the viewing ranges at about 10', 18', and 26' at each tier assuming a 2' false wall in a 32' room. Would the nearest distance, 10', be too close for a 130" 2.35:1 screen? Would this seating arrangement be feasible in a 32'x18'x9' room with decent seating?
My next question, which has developed much more recently (read: 3 days) is the concept of building my own home. (Often I find a home for sale I like, only to discover a large beam and/or poles running perpendicular to the only possible theater area, thus throwing out the house as a potential option.) Talking with some builders and agents, this possibility is within my price range for a house, and would allow me to spec exactly what I wanted in my basement. So, my question is, seating 12 people comfortably, would would be the "ultimate" room dimensions? How high of ceilings? What would you have the builder finish, vs leave to DIY assuming a good price on basement finishing?
I am meeting with a builder on Wednesday to talk about the feasibility, in the mean time I am continuing my relentless search for a preexisting home that fits the bill. So far the most promising candidates are ranches (for the footprint) with unfinished basements. If I can find the one I could move on it any time. I'll keep this thread updated with my progress. Thanks everyone!