Nick's Homebrew Bar and Entertainment Area - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 1236 Old 12-28-2010, 06:08 AM - Thread Starter
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LINKS TO PROGRESS:

 

HOME THEATER PROGRESS

 

 

HOMEBREW BAR AND GAME ROOM PROGRESS

 

THEATER LAYOUT:

 

 

 

CURRENT THEATER STATUS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CURRENT HOMEBREW BAR AND GAMEROOM STATUS:

 

 

 

 

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post #2 of 1236 Old 12-28-2010, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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After hanging out reading AVS for the past several years and discussing various topics from AV equipment to home automation, I decided to finally start building out a dedicated area in my basement. I thought this would be a great place to document my design decisions, progress and end results.

The basement is currently unfinished, but contains a lot of "stuff" that will need to be cleared out. After lots of thought, the main areas of the basement will be the following:
 

  1. Storage Area - As I mentioned, we have lots of stuff. We have been working to purge a lot of the items we don't use, but we still need a storage area to organize the clutter.
  2. Pinball Shop - I collect and restore pinball machines and old arcade games (non video). One of the biggest issues I have right now is that I don't have a dedicated area to organize my parts and work on projects.
  3. Bar Area - I have been brewing my own beer for years. My plan is to have a bar area where my friends can gather to watch TV, chat and enjoy a homebrew.
  4. Main Entertainment Area - The core of the basement will be the entertainment area. It will contain a complete audio video system to enjoy both video and music. In addition, this area will have many pinball machines, a couple of older electromechanical arcade games as well as a 14 foot long coin operated bowling alley.

While I have done lots of research, measuring and designing, I don't have a final plan yet. I am comfortable with the layout I have come up with, but still need to finalize several details within the rooms.

Below is a sketch I have made showing the general layout. While I am planning to move forward with the room layout, nothing within the rooms is finalized. Any comments/criticism is welcome. I would love to hear your opinions throughout the entire process.

 

----------------------

 

A friend has given me a kick in the pants to stop talking about this project (I have been discussing it with him for years) and get started. As a Christmas gift, he has offered to help frame the walls for the pin shop and storage area. I decided to accept his offer and get started. This will allow me to get organized and clear out the general areas.

Before I get too far, I have several items I am researching for my design (opinions definitely welcome). I will be digging through the AVS archives to try to help me with my choices.
 

  1. Electrical - I know what is required to power the pinball machines (number of outlets, circuits and locations). I have also already installed a sub panel in my wiring closet to accommodate all AV equipment. I want to make sure I don't miss any outlets for things such as the projector, in the seating riser, etc.
  2. Lighting - This is going to be tricky for me. I am trying to find the right balance of lighting for different activities. I need lighting that can be dimmed for movie viewing, but can be turned up for general TV watching (football games, etc.), but also will not cause reflection off of the playfield glass on my games. All of this needs to be balanced with visual appeal as well as sound proofing (concerned about cans in the ceiling).
  3. Sound Proofing - Lots of questions here. This is very important to me and my wife because there are many times that my kids will have there friends in the basement playing games, or I will be watching a movie while others are upstairs doing other activities. I have many questions regarding this topic.
  4. Video Devices - I know that I want to have multiple TVs in the bar area (how many?). I also want to have a projector for viewing movies and sporting events with several people. I am not sure about the screen size. Also, I had originally envisioned having a motorized screen that could be raised to reveal a large LCD/LED TV for general viewing and gaming. Now I am not sure if this is the best way to go.
  5. General Design - Lots of decisions to be made around flooring types, seating types, paint colors, wall coverings, etc.

I am trying to document as much as possible by collecting photos of ideas we like. I am also keeping a list of questions as well as tips. I am trying to draw the detailed design on the computer. I am currently using Autodesk Homestyler (http://www.homestyler.com/home), but it is pretty limited. Does anyone have any suggestions of a better software package (the cheaper the better).

I am worried that if I start asking too many general questions in my build thread that they will get lost. I plan to ask general questions in the appropriate forums and post decisions here. Of course, I will probably still post some questions seeking opinions in this thread as well.

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post #3 of 1236 Old 12-28-2010, 09:25 AM
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Nick
If you want a multi-purpose room then I would stay away from permanent "theater" seating in the middle of the viewing area - they are about as much of a useless space hog as a pool table.

Our room is only 17ftX21Ft. Our projection screen is on one wall - it is a pull down with 120in diagonal image - plenty big for us for a true Theater in the Home visual experience. Our projector is a simple shelf mount 17 ft. across the room which is over our bar along with our rear surround speakers. Bar has five large and very comfy bar chairs - we have other more temporary seating that can be brought in if needed but most times five seats is enough for watching a movie PLUS the bar chairs can be moved around the area as needed by us/family/guests.

The above leaves a very open area - we have seven decent pins, a coin op foosball and two stand up Cougar dart machines. We also have one old baseball arcade machine - a ShortStop - and a bar top video game. All of the games fit along the walls which allows the center of the room to remain open giving the effect of a room that is much larger than it actually is and we can comfortably entertain around 30 people before the space begins to feel full or crowded.

There is plenty of wall space for memorbilia, pictures, posters and a number of commercial beer neons and a couple of custom neon signs we had made.

We have a mid-sized surround 5:1 for movie soundtracks but augmented via a mixer by our much more powerful 2 channel stereo when party music is playing.

Anywho, this is the current configuration that works perfectly for us which is commercial bar/tavern theme with theater capability when needed and my main point/suggestion is keep the space fluid without space hogging permanent theater seating - I'm in my early 60s but still prefer and well padded bar chair to some padded recliner - I haven't turned into my Grandfather yet )
GoodLuck
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post #4 of 1236 Old 12-28-2010, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks imjay. I was glad to see your post. My original thought was to put a nice big comfy couch in front of the screen where the theater seats are in my drawing. This would free up more of the center of the room. The other option is to have only one row of theater seats without the riser. The issue with this is that I can probably only fit 3 theater seats wide to keep enough space on the sides.

The bar behind the seating area would provide some extra space for watching a game or some other event. Plus, there is currently a pole supporting a metal beam in the center of the room right where the bar is. I was thinking of splitting it into two poles (one on either side of the bar) and making it more decorative with the bar between the poles.

I'm still playing around with the layout, but the pins will definitely be a major priority for the basement, so I would lose some seats before losing a couple of pins .
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post #5 of 1236 Old 12-29-2010, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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We are going to frame the storage area and workshop tomorrow, so I had a couple of things I wanted to get done before these walls went up.

Of course, with my basement being full of "stuff", I need to clean up and get rid of a lot of junk we have been storing for years. That piece went well. I was worried that the trash collectors were going to look at my piles and keep going, but they took it all.

One of the biggest challenges during this project is going to be moving my pinball machines around so I can work. I have about 14 machines in the basement right now, plus a 14 foot coin operated bowling alley. I moved them all into one section of the basement for now, but I am going to have to consider sticking most, if not all, in storage for a while. I just hate moving them up and down the stairs.





The other thing I wanted to deal with was moving a duct that was right in the middle of the ceiling. There was no easy way to conceal it and I didn't want to lose that much height. I decided to re-route it on the other side of the main trunk so that it will end up behind the main trunk and in the storage room. In the end, I added one elbow, but reduced the length by about 3 feet. This shouldn't be an issue since the damper was closed most of the way. I will just open it a bit more and it should be fine.

Here is where the duct was originally located. it ran across the joists half way across the ceiling.




I removed the duct from just above the beam and relocated the existing elbow.





I then ran the duct to the end of the trunk and added a new elbow to turn it towards the original connecting point.







Now the ceiling is wide open

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post #6 of 1236 Old 12-29-2010, 10:55 PM
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Wow...That is some collection of pin machines you have. I'll have to remember to keep you in mind when it comes time to research to put one in my game room.
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post #7 of 1236 Old 12-30-2010, 04:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Javatime,

Let me know. I can help you out if you decide to look for one and can maybe even help you find one local to you. A couple of these will be leaving, but a couple more will probably be moving in. I haven't decided what the final count is going to be. Part of that will be determined by space when the room is complete. I don't want it to be cluttered or packed, so I may need to eliminate a couple.
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post #8 of 1236 Old 12-30-2010, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGiovas View Post

A friend has given me a kick in the pants to stop talking about this project (I have been discussing it with him for years) and get started. As a Christmas gift, he has offered to help frame the walls for the pin shop and storage area. I decided to accept his offer and get started. This will allow me to get organized and clear out the general areas.

Before I get too far, I have several items I am researching for my design (opinions definitely welcome). I will be digging through the AVS archives to try to help me with my choices.

  1. Electrical - I know what is required to power the pinball machines (number of outlets, circuits and locations). I have also already installed a sub panel in my wiring closet to accommodate all AV equipment. I want to make sure I don't miss any outlets for things such as the projector, in the seating riser, etc.
  2. Lighting - This is going to be tricky for me. I am trying to find the right balance of lighting for different activities. I need lighting that can be dimmed for movie viewing, but can be turned up for general TV watching (football games, etc.), but also will not cause reflection off of the playfield glass on my games. All of this needs to be balanced with visual appeal as well as sound proofing (concerned about cans in the ceiling).
  3. Sound Proofing - Lots of questions here. This is very important to me and my wife because there are many times that my kids will have there friends in the basement playing games, or I will be watching a movie while others are upstairs doing other activities. I have many questions regarding this topic.
  4. Video Devices - I know that I want to have multiple TVs in the bar area (how many?). I also want to have a projector for viewing movies and sporting events with several people. I am not sure about the screen size. Also, I had originally envisioned having a motorized screen that could be raised to reveal a large LCD/LED TV for general viewing and gaming. Now I am not sure if this is the best way to go.
  5. General Design - Lots of decisions to be made around flooring types, seating types, paint colors, wall coverings, etc.

I am trying to document as much as possible by collecting photos of ideas we like. I am also keeping a list of questions as well as tips. I am trying to draw the detailed design on the computer. I am currently using Autodesk Homestyler (http://www.homestyler.com/home), but it is pretty limited. Does anyone have any suggestions of a better software package (the cheaper the better).

I am worried that if I start asking too many general questions in my build thread that they will get lost. I plan to ask general questions in the appropriate forums and post decisions here. Of course, I will probably still post some questions seeking opinions in this thread as well.

"Does anyone have any suggestions of a better software package (the cheaper the better)."

Check out Billybar's thread below. I think he used a freeware site called floorplanner and his graphics look great.
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post #9 of 1236 Old 12-30-2010, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Had a busy day today, but accomplished a lot. Started at 8:00am with everything laid out and ready to go.





Got started right away. Things were moving at a fast pace. Didn't really have time to stop to take pictures during the process, but we were done by 3:00. We actually got more framed than originally planned and only had two boards left.









Before I can complete the framing on the remaining walls, I need to fix a couple of cracks in the concrete walls. They don't leak, but I don't want to take any chances. I am looking into epoxy injection. Once that is done, I will finish the framing.

In the mean time, I want to start electrical/lighting in the workshop and storage areas. the sooner those are done, the sooner I can finish organizing my stuff (and get rid of the rest ).
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post #10 of 1236 Old 01-02-2011, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't have anything exciting to report, but I thought I would post the good along with the bad. After framing up the freestanding walls on Thursday, and looking at the large amount of work I have ahead of me, I quickly realized that there is simply no way I can do it with all of the stuff I have in the basement. I decided that before I can move forward I need to do a major clean up.

While this is the part of the work that I probably like the least, it is still necessary. I worked all day yesterday and most of today. I filled all of our trash cans and still had a few extra filled bags to set out this week. I also re-organized and cleaned a lot of the items in the basement and storage room. I even made my first trip of the year to donate items to the Salvation Army. While it isn't complete yet, it feels much better seeing this progress.

If you look at the photos of my pinball machines in a previous post, you can't even see from one side of the basement to the other. It was packed. Now at least you can walk around .




My kids can't wait to get there air hockey table back.




To help organize things, I found a great rack to store some of my brewing equipment in the storage area. Previously, a lot of the boxes sat on the floor stacked in a corner. This works much better.




One compromise I did make for the time being is to leave a few pinball machines up for the kids to play. We have a large Superbowl party every year with 30-35 people and there are always a handful of kids who look forward to playing pinball. I figured there is plenty to keep me busy between now and then, so they will stay up for at least that long.




At least I was able to do some research on AVS during my breaks . Of course all that did was remind me how many decisions i have ahead of me.

Some of the research I am continuing to focus on while I continue to prepare the basement:

  1. Basement wall cracks - I spoke to a contractor friend who has a company that does all of his crack repairs for him. It sounds like the price is reasonable and they guarantee their work for life. I hope to get their number from him tomorrow.
  2. Basic sound proofing techniques - I am looking through all of the information on AVS trying to balance budget vs return. After reading about other members success paying a consultant to help with this portion of the design, I am even considering that as an option.
    1. Still looking flexible ducts such as the Casco ducts. Trying to determine cost.
    2. Looking into cost of other isolation hardware such as isolation clips.
    3. Very interested in the idea of using two layers of drywall and Green Glue. Trying to determine cost and amount required.
Tomorrow is my first day back to work after being off since December 17th. Hopefully I can stay focused and not surf AVS too much.
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post #11 of 1236 Old 01-04-2011, 08:10 AM
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Not sure if you have to, and some of the experts can chime in, but shouldn't you be using pressure treated wood for the wood touching the floor? Again, and hopefully someone else will chime in.
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post #12 of 1236 Old 01-04-2011, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumavguy View Post

Not sure if you have to, and some of the experts can chime in, but shouldn't you be using pressure treated wood for the wood touching the floor? Again, and hopefully someone else will chime in.

Yes, it is required and I did use pressure treated wood on the bottom plate.
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post #13 of 1236 Old 01-04-2011, 09:13 AM
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Hi Nick,

good job with your basement!!!

could you tell me which software you are using to create your basement layout??

Thank you!
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post #14 of 1236 Old 01-04-2011, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Nick,

good job with your basement!!!

could you tell me which software you are using to create your basement layout??

Thank you!

I used Homestyler to do the drawing in the first post (http://www.homestyler.com/designer). It is good for general layout and design, but it is somewhat limited. I am looking at other software to create a more detailed drawing, but I don't want to spend a bunch of money on software.
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post #15 of 1236 Old 01-04-2011, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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A quick update on the basement wall crack repair - The company I called came out and gave me a quote. The price came in 3x higher than originally anticipated. They said that due to demand they increased their prices as of the first of the year. I had talked to a couple of other companies last year, and their prices were even higher.

All three companies were using the same process, and after doing some research, it looks like I can buy a kit to do it myself. There are a couple of videos on you tube showing the process. It appears to be well within my skills.

I am looking at this site (and a couple of similar sites) to purchase the kits: http://www.bestmaterials.com/detail.aspx?ID=17322

The kits are $100 for up to 10 feet. I would need 3 kits. $300 is much more digestible than $1400 - $1700. The cracks currently do not leak, but I don't want to take any chances after the basement is finished.
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post #16 of 1236 Old 01-04-2011, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGiovas View Post

Yes, it is required and I did use pressure treated wood on the bottom plate.

I just went back and looked at your photos and noticed that. Sorry about that. That is an impressive collection you have there. Do you have any MAME cabinets as well? Does your wife share the same hobby as you?

Good luck on the rest of the build.
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post #17 of 1236 Old 01-04-2011, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Sumavguy. I don't have any MAME cabinets, but I have considered building one. I actually loaded everything on a computer to try it out. It just hasn't been a priority.

While my pinball machines range from the early '60s through current machines, when it comes to non pinball games, I prefer non video games. I have the coin operated bowling alley, a '60s electromechanical helicopter flying game and an Ambush electromechanical machine gun game from the mid '70s. If I dedicated the entire space to only games, I would be in big trouble .

Unfortunately, my wife is not into pinball. With that said, she definitely supports my love of the hobby. I'm hoping that once the basement is finished, she may play a little more often. My two sons on the other hand love to play pinball (along with all of their friends who are frequently stopping by to play).
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post #18 of 1236 Old 01-06-2011, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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After doing a little more research, I ended up ordering my crack repair kits directly from the manufacturer (www.cmemanufacturing.com). They ended up costing me $98 each (bought 3 kits) including shipping. They had a great video showing the entire process, so I don't think I will have any issues repairing the cracks.



I have a total of 4 cracks to repair, but 2 of them are less than half the length of the wall, so 3 kits should cover all 4 cracks with no problems. I am hoping I have some time to seal the cracks this weekend. Then it is back to framing.




I also noticed that some of the joints on the HVAC duct work were not real tight. I could literally feel air blowing out. I decided to use some metallic tape I had to seal all of the seams. I will probably go ahead and seal all of the joints I can easily get to. I figure there is no reason to condition the dead space in the walls and ceiling.

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post #19 of 1236 Old 01-07-2011, 07:16 AM
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[quote=NGiovas;19761954 My two sons on the other hand love to play pinball (along with all of their friends who are frequently stopping by to play).[/QUOTE]

I really can't wait to see the end product!!

Also if you need any funding, I'd make those coin operated machines functional and maybe up it to 50 cents per game
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post #20 of 1236 Old 01-07-2011, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Also if you need any funding, I'd make those coin operated machines functional and maybe up it to 50 cents per game

I would if I thought I could get away with it . I already warned my sons not to get any ideas about charging their friends as a money making scheme. When I was a kid my neighbor had a shuffle bowler. My older sisters and my neighbors would tell me you had to pay to play. I didn't know any better, so I would drop in a dime each time I played a game. I always wondered where they got the money for the ice cream man.
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post #21 of 1236 Old 01-07-2011, 08:56 AM
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I would if I thought I could get away with it . I already warned my sons not to get any ideas about charging their friends as a money making scheme. When I was a kid my neighbor had a shuffle bowler. My older sisters and my neighbors would tell me you had to pay to play. I didn't know any better, so I would drop in a dime each time I played a game. I always wondered where they got the money for the ice cream man.

As long as your kids can't access the money.... no harm
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post #22 of 1236 Old 01-09-2011, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Spent the last few days doing lots of reading on the forums trying to make more design decisions. It is amazing the amount of information available on the forums. I can definitely say that my theater design has evolved greatly from what I had originally envisioned, and I have barely started building. Fortunately, I am learning and modifying now - before I build.

I had started another thread looking for a source for Casco Silent Flex ducts. I have been able to source them at a very reasonable price, but I am trying to decide between using the 6" ducts so that I can curve them back and forth to further reduce noise, or stepping up to an 8" flex duct to reduce the air noise in the theater. I'm not sure which will give me more benefit (if either).

I had hoped to work on the cracks in my basement this weekend, but I wasn't sure if the outside temperatures are a factor since a small section of the wall (and crack) are above grade. It was 9 degrees here yesterday, so I didn't want to take any chances. I will call the manufacturer tomorrow to confirm.

While my progress has been slow, I feel the pre-planning (and cleanup) will pay off in the long run. Part of me is overwhelmed by the amount of information to read through and I worry about over engineering my solutions, but another part of me is grateful that the information that will make my theater better is available.
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post #23 of 1236 Old 01-11-2011, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I decided to go with the 6" silent flex II ducts. Including shipping, they were within a few dollars of the Home Depot flexible ducts. They shipped yesterday, so they should be here early next week at the latest. I am going to start by replacing all of the ducts that exit into the theater room. I am still not sure if there is a reason/advantage to replacing ducts that run through the theater ceiling but exit on another floor.

I am continuing to tape the seams on the ducts in the basement. While working on this, I noticed that there are fairly wide gaps around some of the vents that exit into the family room above.



I'm assuming that it is best to fill these gaps to prevent further sound leaks. What is the best product for doing this (acoustic caulk, expanding foam, ??).

I also ordered GOM samples today for the second time (OK, read about my stupid mistake here).

Lastly, I spoke with the company that makes the crack repair kit. They said that the cold will not impact the actual urethane foam. There suggestion was to inject the cracks without using the temporary crack sealer (that keeps the foam from leaking out while it expands and dries) on the exterior side of the wall. I can just scrape off the excess foam in the spring. Hopefully I will be able to get the cracks sealed this weekend.
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post #24 of 1236 Old 01-12-2011, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NGiovas View Post

I am continuing to tape the seams on the ducts in the basement. While working on this, I noticed that there are fairly wide gaps around some of the vents that exit into the family room above.



I'm assuming that it is best to fill these gaps to prevent further sound leaks. What is the best product for doing this (acoustic caulk, expanding foam, ??).

After doing some research, it appears that expanding foam has no sound proofing characteristics at all. That is not an option to seal around the vents. I am leaning towards acoustic caulk, but would like to hear what others did (if anything).
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post #25 of 1236 Old 01-14-2011, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I still have a few questions that are posted in previous posts that I am hoping to get some help with. I'm not sure if it is better to start a new thread for each question, or keep them all in one place (in my build thread). I prefer the second option, but wasn't sure.

My Silent Flex ducts came in today, I am extremely happy with the quality. I installed one duct already just to see how easy they are to work with. I will post some pictures and comments after completing the others.

I also have made some minor revisions to my floor plan based on some of the research I have been doing. I still have several decisions to make. Below is a modified plan



1. One of the first things I did was shrink the closets at top of the drawing. This should give me a little more room for the screen (12' between closets). My original plan was to use a 30" door, but I like the idea of using a hidden panel similar to what Big used on his equipment closet. Unfortunately, these closets will need to remain where they are because all of my wiring for the whole house audio, network, coax, and home automation were run to this closet already.

2. I removed the second row of chairs in the theater area. Seemed too crowded and the chairs would get little use.

3. The red circle in the center behind the chairs is an existing pole that supports a steel beam. I would like to remove this pole after adding to new poles off to the sides (blue circles). This will open up the view to the screen.

4. The blue line behind the chairs is where the beam is located. The Ceiling in the theater area drops down from 8'3" (unfinished) to about 7'6" (unfinished). This adds a bit of a challenge to my design.

The only thing keeping me from making a dedicated theater are my pinball machines and games. These have to stay in the basement, so I am planning to use some of the open areas behind the chairs for those.

I am wide open to suggestions on my plan.
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post #26 of 1236 Old 01-16-2011, 05:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Yesterday I finally got around to sealing the cracks in the concrete walls. I ended up sealing a total of 4 cracks. I didn't have any water coming into the basement, but this was a precautionary measure to prevent problems in the future. I previously had the cracks checked and was told that they are normal and there isn't any concern with the integrity of the wall.

3 of the 4 cracks went the full length of the wall. They weren't very wide. I would describe most of them as "hairline". There seems to be some signs of moisture around the cracks, but again - I have never seen any actual signs of water coming through the crack. I was told that this is moisture wicking in from the ground.



The first thing I did was wire brush the cracks to remove any loose concrete, dirt and paint. I then marked the crack every 8 inches so I would know where to place the injection ports.



The next step was to mix a two part surface sealer to keep the urethane from seeping out of the crack when it is injected. First you stick the injection ports to the wall using some of the sealer and then you seal the ports and the rest of the crack with the sealer. Basically the same concept as mixing bondo or epoxy.



After the surface sealer dried, the urethane is injected using a standard caulk gun. You start at the bottom and squeeze very slowly so that the urethane can work its way through the crack. Once it starts dripping from the port above, you put a cap in the current port and move up to the next port. You do this until you have filled the top port. The urethane expands up to 700% filling the crack all the way out to the soil.

Some notes about the process:

  1. There are two products to fill cracks in concrete walls - urethane and epoxy. I spoke with the manufacturer (they make both types) and they said urethane is typically used. It is more flexible and will move with the concrete as it expands and contracts with temp changes. It won't crack or separate from the wall. Epoxy is only used in commercial buildings when structural requirements need to be met. They didn't recommend this method for residential use because 8" poured walls move too much and the epoxy could crack.
  2. Pre plan your project. I was filling 4 cracks, but only purchased 3 kits. Each kit will do one 8-10 foot crack. You want to make sure you put the ports in the right place (they can't be moved once they are stuck on) and you want to make sure you use the right amount of urethane. If you squeeze too fast, you may not fill the crack properly.
  3. The process created more of a mess than expected. When moving from one port to the next, some urethane would drip out of the port before you could get it plugged and the caulk gun would spray some urethane after you pulled it out of the port. Also, at the top of the wall you will get some foam running down the wall where the crack ends.
  4. You can choose to pull off the surface sealer when you are done, but my walls have a water proof coating that the builder put on and I noticed that the surface sealer was pulling some of this off, so I decided to leave it on since it would be behind the wall. I simply cut the ports off and left the rest.
Not a bad do it yourself project. I spent one day completing it, but most of that time was spent waiting for things to dry and working on other things. Plan on spending a few hours on it. I spent $293 on three kits. This was much cheaper than the $1400-$2000 quotes I was getting from the professionals.

Now that this is complete, I can continue with the theater build.
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post #27 of 1236 Old 01-17-2011, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I have installed the Silent Flex ducts for all of the in-theater air vents. This was pretty straight forward. I also plan to replace 4 other ducts that run through the theater ceiling into the family room above. this will help cut back on noise that is carried from the family room to other rooms in the house (in addition to reducing potential noise in the ceiling of the theater).

My son was trying to understand why I was changing the ducts, so we conducted a very non-scientific experiment. I had him yell through a ten foot section of rigid metal duct that I removed and then I had him yell through a ten foot section of the Silent Flex. There was no comparison. The Silent Flex was clearly absorbing a great deal of the sound. Again, this wasn't very scientific, but was very interesting.



One of the issues I am looking at is the actual vent that will enter the room through the ceiling. Two of them are currently mounted between two joists that are 12" on center. They are literally stuffed in there. I am worried that they will transmit sound through the joists.



I am thinking about putting in an outlet that is turned the other direction so that it will not touch the joist on either side. If I do that, I could potentially make them longer as well to reduce air noise.

I started looking for acoustic caulk locally so that I can seal some of the gaps in the vents that go through the theater ceiling into the family room floor. As many other people have mentioned, shipping is not a good option due to the heavy weight of the product. I called around locally and found one drywall supplier that sells OSI SC-175 Sound Caulk for $6 per 28oz tube or Quiet Rock caulk for $29 per tube. I only need one tube initially since I won't need more until I drywall, but the local supplier is 30 minutes away. I was thinking about purchasing a full case to make my trip worth while (I will use the rest later). I did a little more digging and stumbled across a site that had the OSI Sound Caulk for $4.24 per 28oz tube and they will ship free to your local Do It Best hardware store!! It was $53 delivered (including tax) per case of 12. Well worth it - and a much shorter drive to pick it up when it arrives. The only down side is that it ships with their regular shipment which was estimated to be 7-14 days. Not a big deal. I have many other things to keep me busy.
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post #28 of 1236 Old 01-17-2011, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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An interesting sidebar:

My younger son (11 years old) and I were together working in the basement today. Since he was asking a lot of questions about what the theater will look like and how big will the screen be, I decided to take him on a little field trip. We stopped by the local Theater Xtreme store to take a look around. This would allow him to get an idea of what the theaters are like and it would allow me to talk with a local vendor to see what products they sell. I prefer to support local sellers when possible.

We spent about an hour their discussing theaters, equipment and layouts. My son was blown away by the size of the screens. The largest TV we have had was a rear projection 65" which has since been replaced by a 52" LCD (knowing that we wanted to build a theater with a larger screen). Needless to say, he really enjoyed watching clips of movies on the various screens and he is more anxious than ever to help me out with the build.

Unfortunately, I wasn't as excited about my visit when I left. The owner of the store was the person who helped us out during our visit. I am not an expert on home theaters by any means, but I just wasn't comfortable with some of the info he was throwing at me. I thought I would post some things here to get some feedback. Maybe I am wrong and this guy really is guiding me down the right path and isn't just pushing me to buy what he sells.

  1. He stated that 80% of all projectors sold are Epson and that number is growing annually. He said that they are so far ahead of the competition that I shouldn't even consider another brand. I noticed that he only sells Epson, so I suspect this number may have been inflated a bit. I know there are a lot of happy Epson owners here, but that number seems high.
  2. He stated at the last CEDIA show all of the major manufacturers were preparing to launch their new projectors. Epson was the first to present. When they were done, the other vendors were so blown away by the new Epsons, they all canceled their launch with the exception of JVC.
  3. I asked about 2.35:1 screens since he didn't have any on display. He said that this format is dead and that the only person who still uses it is James Cameron, so don't even waste my money.
  4. I also noticed that their screens and chairs appeared to be their own brand (I could be wrong). He also claimed that their screens are made by the same manufacturer that makes all IMAX screens. I wasn't sure about this either.
Obviously I didn't have a great experience. The intent of my post isn't to completely bash the owner of this store, but I find it disheartening when you really want to support a local store, but come out feeling like they aren't helping you make decisions that are in your best interest. Again, maybe I am just not very knowledgeable and he was correct in everything he stated. I just felt like he was really wanting to sell a big ticket theater and didn't care about my goals.
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post #29 of 1236 Old 01-17-2011, 10:26 PM
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I asked about 2.35:1 screens since he didn't have any on display. He said that this format is dead and that the only person who still uses it is James Cameron, so don't even waste my money.

Sounds like a typical salesman to me. Did you point out that James Cameron's Avatar is 1.78:1?

Epsons are certainly popular projectors and I'm sure he could hook you up with a nice one. I don't think they command 80% of the market though.

I think at least 50% of the movies I have purchased over the last few years have been 2.35/2.4:1, so I don't think the format is dead. He might have been trying to steer you back to 16:9 to avoid having to discuss anamorph. lenses, although I'm sure he would like to sell you one.

I think you would be better served by taking the advice/feedback from AVS members to point you in the right direction and then shopping around for competitive pricing. I understand your desire to support a local business and you could always give him an opportunity to price match.
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post #30 of 1236 Old 01-18-2011, 02:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I think you would be better served by taking the advice/feedback from AVS members to point you in the right direction and then shopping around for competitive pricing. I understand your desire to support a local business and you could always give him an opportunity to price match.

I agree. I can definitely find a much more balanced opinion by reading through AVS. I do have to admit, his prices weren't that bad. They weren't much more than several of the AVS supporters. More than anything, I now know what is available in the area.
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