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Old 07-09-2012, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Didn't get as many non-blurry pics as I would have liked, but here are a few while putting up the ceiling. The big reason I wanted to do the first layer myself was because of all the intricate detail with the backer boxes for can lights, projector wires, lighting, wires poking through, etc. and it sure did take quite a bit of time to get all those things just right. The other reason I wanted OSB as the first layer was to have an unlimited nailing area for hanging speakers, projectors, ceiling fan, acoustical panels, etc.

Speaking of the projector wire backer box, I needed a way for the conduit ran to the projector to gracefully enter into a backer box. I was going to try to use a cut 45deg angle piece, but instead went with a little jog piece with a conduit nut to secure it to the box.

450

450

Over both the projector and ceiling fan, I ran a 2x8 board on top of the OSB and between the joists to spread the weight a bit and give something solid to grab into. Also beefed up the clips in these two spots.

450

You can see the large backer boxes that were built for the HVAC supply vents. These were very heavy so I didn't want them resting solely on the OSB. Got some RSIC clips tie them to the joists. There was one spot though that I had to leave the one on the right touching the joist with a piece of blocking. Hopefully that doesn't compromise things too greatly.

450

Just general ceiling progress

450

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Old 07-30-2012, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright, family vacations are over with and now back to theater building. I've had the drywall scheduled since the first week of July to begin today. So all weekend and last night until about 2am, I was frantically trying to take care of last minute things like setting the door jamb, cleaning up, and caulking everything. Somehow I've managed to go through 2 cases of caulk during this build - that's 24 tubes. So last night at 7pm I'm trying to find out if HD or Lowes carries acoustical caulk and reading on the forums about using regular latex caulk. I ended up skipping caulking the bottom of the first layer of OSB because I just didn't have enough time or caulk and convinced myself doing the 2nd layer would be sufficient.

Go to bed at 2am, wake up at 6:30am and take care of some more last minute things like diagramming exactly where some hidden wires are located. I'm tired but feeling good because I've got adrenaline rushing through me in anticipation of the door bell and the hours of slinging green glue ahead of me. Then I get that dreaded call. The drywall company scheduled the material drop off for the wrong day. ARGH! Took the day off work and everything.

The bright side is that it gave me some more time to track down some more acoustical sealant at the local drywall place. As I drove to pick it up, I was telling myself I'd pick up 6 tubes and that should be enough, but for some reason when I got there I told the guy to give me a whole case. We'll see if I can go through another case before I'm done. I'm already forming a list in my head of more things I can caulk. biggrin.gif

Adrenaline is now back to normal and I'm dead tired, but here are some pictures of the space ready for drywall.

Entryway, where I added the arch instead of the second communicating door (for now).


Towards back wall


Towards front


Towards door


Installing the jamb first allowed me to run the osb up pretty close

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Old 08-06-2012, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Drywall is done!!! smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

I can't tell you what a good feeling it is to have the drywall done. It feels like a major weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. In fact, I feel like I've been so focused on prepping and planning everything for drywall that I haven't even had time to think about what comes after it (i.e. riser, stage, can light install, all the other fun stuff). Now that it's done I feel like I can finally focus on the other stuff and start seriously picking paint and decoration themes, which has given me an odd kind of exuberance and second wind.

Drywall is really the first thing that was subbed out so far, and boy am I happy that I did it, but things did get off to a rough start with the missed delivery date. The second day was not much better unfortunately. The delivery did come on time and the supply place guys hand carried the 58 4x10 5/8" sheets down the stairs. I got the impression they don't have to deal with stairs all that often around here, but I didn't hear many complaints. I did feel bad for them though so gave them a decent tip. The rep from the company then showed up and we walked the job. The windows were a particular concern for me because of this weird lip on the shell holding the window. The company estimator originally told me they'd just fur it up and then sheetrock to the window, which would give me a finished look similar to what was upstairs. The rep tried telling me that wasn't in the estimate and we bantered back and forth a bit and i ultimately caved to have them shim it up and use 5/8 osb to support that final layer of drywall. This worked for me because my priorities were a) both sides of the basement finished the same way, b) 2 layers of material so I could use some green glue and c) as much of an airtight tunnel to the window as possible.

The company rep got a call while we were talking from his crew chief saying he'd be an hour late, but the hangers should be there shortly. The crew chief finally shows up, walks the job, then leaves and no one hears from him. The company apparently couldn't get a hold of him either (not sure if they were just lying to me). One hanger showed up at 11 and started working on the small closet areas. I got the impression that the crew chief wasn't coming back, so the one hanger called in a 'friend', which was basically just another body to hold the other side of the sheet. That guy finally arrived around 3pm and all three of us started working on the theater ceiling. Wife was leaving at 5pm so I had to watch the kids and I didn't want them working in the theater without my oversight, so we only finished maybe 80% of the theater ceiling. I felt pretty stressed and rushed because I had this prebuilt soffit sitting on the floor waiting for install once the back ceiling/wall was finished. I had already taken 2 days off work and hadn't even had time to install the soffit yet. The silver lining of not getting started until later is that it gave me a chance to really caulk the windows in the theater area. After they were shimmed up, there was a significant 1/2" or so gap all the way around the window.

The next day, I had to go back to work, but luckily I can work from home, so the hangers came back at 6am and we worked on the theater from 6am to 10am to finish it up. At this point I'm digging in the bottom of the green glue bucket and everything is sticky and gross. I'm ready for a nap, but had to go to work. At least I had the confidence that the walls and ceiling had great coverage. Later that night I had some help over to put the soffit up. I had my FIL help me prebuild the soffit from his last visit, so we ended up building it slightly different then what is recommended. Because the soffitt was kind of a last minute decision, I didn't read the soffit construction manual until the first layer of OSB was installed. Once I read it, I saw the part where it says that an extra channel and additional clips are needed to support the weight of the soffit. My joists were already 24" on center so this concerned me greatly. So we ended up building it as more of a header where a good portion of the weight is on the side walls. Using OSB for the first layer has already paid off in more ways then one.

Luckily the next few days went smoother. The next morning I installed insulation and some wiring in the soffit so they could close it up. I still need to figure out how I'm going to use it for lighting, if at all. More on that in future posts. At that point I was happy to get the heck out of the basement and let them finish the rest of the job. Tape, mud, texture, sanding. Everything looks pretty good now.

On the bad side, given the open stair case design, quite a bit of dust made its way upstairs, despite a plastic barrier. I went a splurged on some filtrete filters, which do seem to help. Also made a purchase of a Hepa filter and drywall pickup bags for the shop vac. Additionally, sound carries incredibly well now between the upstairs and downstairs. Certainly the theater and office will improve with fixtures and carpet, but it's making me a little weary of putting tile down there in the center area which is open to the stairs.

Here are some pics:

Looking into the theater


Towards back, note the soffit for duct work


Towards door


Towards front


Up close soffit

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Old 08-06-2012, 05:39 PM
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The space is really coming along nicely...
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
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The space is really coming along nicely...

Thank you, much appreciated. I haven't had very many comments lately, probably due to my erratic updates.

So let me toss out a question. I'm considering subbing out the painting as well because I hate painting and my wife is gung ho about hiring it out. Should I bring painters in before doing anything else like trim or riser construction? If I did this, I guess I would have to paint the trim myself later on, which doesnt sound too horrible.

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Old 08-07-2012, 03:52 AM
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I would get any of the structure items done before you paint - stage, riser, columns, soffits, etc. Then you can paint, do fabric treatments and finally flooring. If you paint first, it is likely to get damaged and you will have to touch it up.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I would get any of the structure items done before you paint - stage, riser, columns, soffits, etc. Then you can paint, do fabric treatments and finally flooring. If you paint first, it is likely to get damaged and you will have to touch it up.

Thanks for the feedback. No columns in my build and the one soffit is complete. Riser and stage will be an issue though timing wise. I would like to finish them first as you say, but the WAF is pushing for the rest of the basement to be finished and painted. Talked to a company today about painting and they said they usually put the trim down first before painting and then they spray it all at once. Getting quotes for everything at the moment.

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Old 08-07-2012, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Seeking input on back wall

I'd like to solicit some feedback on my rear wall. My plans have evolved (or devolved, as the case may be) heavily over the course of the build regarding what I want to do with the space left over in the room. The room was just shy of 22' to begin with and subtract 5 inches for the CC/DD, then we are looking at probably 21.5'. Subtract 2' for the false wall. 11.5-12' viewing distance for the first row, leave me with maybe 6.5' - 7' behind the front seating sofa. The plan right now is to put in some pivoting club chairs and a short bar or some tables for the 2nd row of seating which will leave me with a few feet behind the 2nd row since no reclining space is necessary.

My original requirements for the back wall were:
  • 6 and 7 channel speakers (obviously)
  • 2nd subwoofer
  • Bass traps in corners

A soffit to hold my return duct was a late addition. The soffit sticks out about 20" from the wall.

Here is what I'm currently thinking. Finished room is 16'x21.5'
  • Add vanity depth cabinets all the way across or possibly only part way
  • Add countertop on top of the cabinets, would be nice to hold snacks or whatever.
  • Build bass traps using stacked and fabric covered 703 between the countertop and soffit, or possible all the way to the floor if cabinets are shortened. In my mind, triangles would look really funky sitting on the countertop, so I guess these would have to be 18x18 or 20 x20 squares. Still need to research this.
  • Store 2nd subwoofer in the middle cabinet, which is where it is wired currently.
  • Possibly add lights. I've prewired for it. See questions below.


Questions
  1. Any problem (rattling or otherwise) putting the sub in a cabinet? I could build the middle cabinet bottom to be filled with sand.
  2. How would you do the bass traps in conjunction with the cabinet/countertop?
  3. Lights. I know you aren't supposed to mix lights and duct soffits but I have so many other compromises in my room (windows, subpanel) that I don't know if its going to matter too much.. I know it's impossible to find IC rated 2-4" remodel cans. I've been looking at puck lights, but the line voltage ones you have to cut and splice off the power cord. 12 volt ones you have to put a klunky transformer somewhere, which I didn't plan for. Also been looking at some 2" remodel cans as seen here (http://www.usalight.com/2-Low-Voltage-Remodel-Recessed-Housing-p/bl2r-e-50w-at.htm). Only 3.25" depth and transformer/ballast is built in. Takes 120vac input and I assume you can pass through to wire multiple ones. They are non-IC, but do have a overheat circuit. Soundproofing issues aside, I think I could install these without touching any insulation. I could use some low wattage bulbs and probably be okay. Thoughts?


Here is an embarrassingly bad paint mockup:

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Old 05-07-2013, 08:02 AM
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Hey Jcorbin. This thread hasn't had much activity in some time. I presume you have finished up the project? Just followed this thread off some of the posts taht are in the Pioneer 1522 thread and thought I'd give it a look-see. Up 'till December it looks like things had moved along fine. How did it turn out? Final Pics?
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Jeff you're right I've been doing some major thread update slacking. Since the last post, I took a break to finish up some other parts of the basement and get my office up and running so there was a long gap between August and December with big gaps of no progress, although I did manage to build the riser, stage, doors, trim and paint the room.

In December, I got my JVC RS-46 delivered, bought an Epik Legend on their closeout, and sprang for carpeting for the theater and office. Since then, I finished all the wiring for lights, added a first row of theater chairs, hauled my old Athena towers out of storage, added linacoustic on the front wall, and bought some black out cloth for a temporary screen (with plenty of wrinkles so I don't get too comfortable with it). Then the first movie started around end of March- about 40 hrs so far on the JVC so far. That last post I was still thinking about doing some cabinets in the back, but I nixed that idea do to space and rattle concerns. I built the riser at about 80" from the back wall to give me the option to put some recliners back there instead of the cabinets and club chairs that I was planning before.

At this point I'm trying to decide on a final screen size, but I've decided to build the false wall first and then reevaluate with the screen 2 feet closer.

My to do list and not necessarily in this order:
  1. Detail work like outlet covers and vents and probably a lot of spray painting. Also need to touchup some walls/trim
  2. Buy staple gun and fabric
  3. Build false wall and panels
  4. Determine screen size and order it
  5. Seal door
  6. Order a second row of seats
  7. Build bass traps and wall treatments
  8. Build window plugs
  9. Speakers! Looking at DIY SEOS design

Here are a few pics. On a side note, it's crazy to me how much dust is apparent on the camera lens even now. Makes me worried for the projector. Thank goodness for a sealed lightpath I guess.

Also, the paint in the room looks very green on camera. In fact I don't really like it at all. In person it's more of a dark taupe.








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Old 05-07-2013, 07:06 PM
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Looking really good so far, good update. Keep us posted when more work comes up with it!
Also, I call shenanigans, no one has basements here in Arizona!

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Old 05-07-2013, 07:47 PM
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I call shenanigans, no one has basements here in Arizona!

 

I would have thought the same thing, but about the time I was leaving Phoenix 12 years ago, I saw a few houses pop up with basements.  At that time they typically were less than half the size of the main house, were half above ground and cost a small fortune.  Hopefully those things have all improved.

 

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Old 05-07-2013, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by NGiovas View Post

I would have thought the same thing, but about the time I was leaving Phoenix 12 years ago, I saw a few houses pop up with basements.  At that time they typically were less than half the size of the main house, were half above ground and cost a small fortune.  Hopefully those things have all improved.

Nick

Haha, yes I was just being facetious. Though they are still rare (compared to what you see on the East), I've definitely seen my fair share in AZ.
My parents have a cabin in the woods up north and we've got a basement in there, so, I know first hand that they do exist! Though that is in the woods up north, not sure that really counts.. wink.gif

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Old 05-08-2013, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm in the metro area and basements are certainly not as rare as 10 years ago around here. You find them in pockets here or there due to the way that builders around here only offer them in certain developments. It's also a crazy upcharge compared to elsewhere. We picked up this house secondhand during the housing downturn here, but the original owners left the builder's option sheet and an unfinished basement was +90k and finished basement was +150k and that's for roughly 1k sq ft. For the most part, basement space is treated as livable square footage and included in the house's sq footage in the tax records. Ceilings height is usually similar to upstairs at 9 or 10'.

They do make a lot more sense to me here. We do have expansive soils but little concern for water drainage issues. Temperature in basement hits about 81 when it's 115 outside so the AC cooling load is much lower then the same sq footage as a second story, which is the norm around here. On a hot summer day, what's better than a dip in the pool followed by a movie in the cool, dry basement? Hope to find out in a few months.

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Old 05-08-2013, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
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On a soundproofing note, I'm pretty dang happy with how it's turned out. Master bedroom is directly above the theater and a movie or song playing at standard volume is undetectable upstairs. I watched Iron Man 2 the other night at -25db or so at about midnight, just expecting my wife to come down and yell at me and nadda. She didn't hear a thing. Now some might say that just means I need another sub, and they are probably right.

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Old 05-16-2013, 11:13 AM
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Soundproofing on that level is very tricky, as you have learned. What doors do you use? That was the defining moment in my build. I looked at the singificant structure I built for my walls (simlar to yours but without resillient channel including 2/6 top and bottom plates with staggered 2x4 studding, 1/2" and 5/8 inch drywall on interior walls , etc) and realized that I had two gaping holes in my beatifully designed walls that woul dbe letting sound escape like nobody's business. I chose to "just" go with an exterior grade insulated door with rubber seals, etc, and hope for the best. The whole thing turned out ok, but to this day I don't actuall know what the entire room STC shoud be or what it actually is. I too am happy with the lack of sound transfer, but the sub, if listening at anywhere near what I would call above normal levels, does it's thing and puts our those low frequencies that nether man nor beast will stop without CRAZY levels of engineering.

Glad to hear yours is working out, and please do post on the progress, so we readers can live (or relive) vicariously.

Jeff
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcorbin View Post

I'm in the metro area and basements are certainly not as rare as 10 years ago around here. You find them in pockets here or there due to the way that builders around here only offer them in certain developments. It's also a crazy upcharge compared to elsewhere. We picked up this house secondhand during the housing downturn here, but the original owners left the builder's option sheet and an unfinished basement was +90k and finished basement was +150k and that's for roughly 1k sq ft. For the most part, basement space is treated as livable square footage and included in the house's sq footage in the tax records. Ceilings height is usually similar to upstairs at 9 or 10'.

They do make a lot more sense to me here. We do have expansive soils but little concern for water drainage issues. Temperature in basement hits about 81 when it's 115 outside so the AC cooling load is much lower then the same sq footage as a second story, which is the norm around here. On a hot summer day, what's better than a dip in the pool followed by a movie in the cool, dry basement? Hope to find out in a few months.

Yeah totally agree - ground is a great insulator in both hot or cold weather. To be fair, it typically is a lot more tedious to dig in many areas in Arizona though compared to ripping up moist soil elsewhere. The rock is a pain to dig through and move, so I guess there is some expense there. Plus I think it also might have to do with Phoenix being so flat...many homes elsewhere easily have a basement because you only have to dig half of it out on a slight inclined property.

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Old 05-17-2013, 09:33 AM
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In cold parts of the country you need to get the footings well below the frost line. That's often at least 2/3rds of the depth you need for a basement, so it's not much additional expense to excavate a bit more to get a full basement.

Typical construction in the desert southwest is slab on grade, with footings at most a couple of feet below ground level. Non freezing climates like Phoenix, Tucson & Albuquerque may utilize a monolithic slab where the footings and floor slab are poured at once time. Those footings may only be a foot below grade. That's why we pay so much for basements out west. But they are usually recognized as living space and appraised accordingly.

High Desert Theater - work in progress
Building Bass - Subs

Surrounds - Easy as Pi

Storage - unRAID unDELL

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Old 05-27-2013, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffCar View Post

Soundproofing on that level is very tricky, as you have learned. What doors do you use? That was the defining moment in my build. I looked at the singificant structure I built for my walls (simlar to yours but without resillient channel including 2/6 top and bottom plates with staggered 2x4 studding, 1/2" and 5/8 inch drywall on interior walls , etc) and realized that I had two gaping holes in my beatifully designed walls that woul dbe letting sound escape like nobody's business. I chose to "just" go with an exterior grade insulated door with rubber seals, etc, and hope for the best. The whole thing turned out ok, but to this day I don't actuall know what the entire room STC shoud be or what it actually is. I too am happy with the lack of sound transfer, but the sub, if listening at anywhere near what I would call above normal levels, does it's thing and puts our those low frequencies that nether man nor beast will stop without CRAZY levels of engineering.

Glad to hear yours is working out, and please do post on the progress, so we readers can live (or relive) vicariously.

Jeff

Hey Jeff, I certainly made quite a few compromises with regard to soundproofing over the course of the build - 2 large windows, 8ftx3ft door, accidentally coupled part of the equipment room framing to the joists, one of my backer boxes for AC vents was also coupled to joist, nixed my communicating doors idea, etc. I should clarify my statement that upstairs directly above the theater I am very happy with the soundproofing which I believe is mainly due to carpet/pad in that room, a thick subfloor, green glue + 5/8 drywall on the underside, 20" of truss airspace depth, Clips/Channels, and finally, 5/8 OSB + Green Glue + 5/8 drywall. This master bedroom directly above was my main concern. Directly outside the theaterI can certainly hear the movie and bass. Also upstairs, the sound will reverberate a bit up my open stairwell so it is definitely audible in a quiet living room upstairs but the good news is that I haven't put any seals on my theater door yet. I'm planning on doing some basic rubber seals and an automatic bottom and upgrade from there if necessary. I actually put in an order for some q-lon seals a month ago but never received the product so now in the process of doing a paypal claim.

For the door, I went with an interior door mounted on exterior kerfed jamb. I'm pretty sure the one I ended up with was a solid flush slab door from Jeld Wen. I think it was this one: http://www.jeld-wen.com/catalog/interior-doors/flush/wood-composite/all-panel#group=All&model=model1386

I'll do some more soundproof testing at various levels and frequencies soon. I have to be in a certain kind of mood to start up the theater then run around the house to check sound levels, instead of just reclining back. smile.gif

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Old 05-27-2013, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by petew View Post

In cold parts of the country you need to get the footings well below the frost line. That's often at least 2/3rds of the depth you need for a basement, so it's not much additional expense to excavate a bit more to get a full basement.

Typical construction in the desert southwest is slab on grade, with footings at most a couple of feet below ground level. Non freezing climates like Phoenix, Tucson & Albuquerque may utilize a monolithic slab where the footings and floor slab are poured at once time. Those footings may only be a foot below grade. That's why we pay so much for basements out west. But they are usually recognized as living space and appraised accordingly.

Agree completely. I've heard the rocky soil / expensive to dig argument as well, but I think this is the real reason. Bottom line is that there is no structural or climate reasons to dig and so it's much cheaper and easier for builders to just not do it. Extra sq footage as 2nd story is much cheaper and easier to throw together.

Now past the drywall hump - Arizona Basement Build

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Old 05-28-2013, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jcorbin View Post


I'll do some more soundproof testing at various levels and frequencies soon. I have to be in a certain kind of mood to start up the theater then run around the house to check sound levels, instead of just reclining back. smile.gif

That is exzactly what I have been doing since the room was completed. At this point, it is what it is. I think it is really pretty good, and serves the purpose well when I am doing anything but cranking on an action movie with lots of LFE output. There is really no stopping that unless you spend an absolute fortune, and even then, I am not convinced that it is possible. It is just physics.

Enjoy the room and don't worry about the small leakage. Instead, invite everyone in the house in for a good show and don't worry about it at all!

Jeff
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