"The Grove" Entertainment Complex - from start to finish - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 90 Old 08-14-2011, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I have started planning our second home theater area and will document the planning and construction here like I did for our first one. I learned lots from this forum the first time around, so looking for input, and to help others by sharing my experience in this thread.

My wife and I have bought a new house - we take possession at the end of September. We will be making a large addition to the house, which will include a large space over the garage for an entertainment area. We expect to be moving in in the spring of 2012. The garage is on the basement level, so the theater area will be attached to the main level of the house. (see attached picture - the pale grey walls represent the new addition to the main level).

The space will be 30 feet by 25 feet when the outside walls are built. There will be windows on the front for cosmetic appearance. I can use the space any way I like, but have decided to split it into two separate areas - one for the theater, one for games and bar. I want this to be a fun area to hang out in with family or friends, and yet at the same time I want to create a room that provides great picture and sound. (Right now I have a great theater in the basement next to a kids' playroom. The room itself is great but the location is a detriment to social gatherings.) To accomplish this I will "semi" divide the large area into two - with partial walls down the middle, so that you can go between rooms through the middle under a sort of archway.

Construction will be all new. Done by a great professional building contractor. I will have 8 or 9 feet celings. Soundproofing is less critical than in my current situation - there's a decent amount of space between this area and the rest of the house. There is no living space above or below - it will be attic and garage. Our neighbours are 150 yards or so away. However, I want to contol sound leak somewhat and also want to keep noise OUT during movie watching. I may do double drywall and green glue again - worked well the first time.

Seating - I want 8 seats this time - six doesn't work well when we invite another family over for a movie. I have 6 LaZBoy Matinee chairs now, and will buy two more. Two rows of four.

Equipment will be mostly what I already have:

JVC RS-15 projector
Denon AVR-3806
Oppo BDP-93
XBOX 360
Paradigm Studio refence speakers - Studio 100 mains, matching center, four dipole surrounds, and a Seismic 12 subwoofer.
Logitech Harmony 1100 remote

I'll post the open space layout that I'll be starting from. Will put up some follow-up posts about my plan for the details over the nxt few days. Can\ wait to get started! (and more importantly, finish!)

Greg


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post #2 of 90 Old 08-14-2011, 07:27 PM
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Suggest 9ft or taller if possible for ceilings...! Since you have a choice and most people do not.

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post #3 of 90 Old 08-14-2011, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tbraden32 View Post

Suggest 9ft or taller if possible for ceilings...! Since you have a choice and most people do not.

True. I've never been more than a tiny bit botherd by my 7'6" height basement theater. Having 9 feet would feel awfully nice though. And as you say - I can make it as high as I want so might as well...

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post #4 of 90 Old 08-17-2011, 04:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Change of plans on the upper level. With the building of the garage and main floor entertainment area, we have created a useful space above it which will be 14 feet by 36 feet. This area will be accessible from near the kids' bedrooms so would make an excellent playroom area.

This will be great for the kids but means I'll need to be more fussy about soundproofing my area. Have been researching sound proofing again and have an idea of what I'll need to do. Planning on thick underlay upstairs to reduce vibration and bumps. R13 insulation between the joists. Double drywall with green glue on the ceiling with no holes cut in it. Drop ceiling slightly below that for wiring and ceiling lights.

Does that sound right/adequate? Anyone with a similar setup care to chime in on effectiveness? Any better ideas? This seems to be what most have done in this forum. I read about mass loaded vinyl but it sounds like a pain and inferior.

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post #5 of 90 Old 08-19-2011, 05:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Have re-thought the soundproofing. Since it's all new construction I figure I might as well go all out, especially in the ceiling where sound transmission and vibration will matter the most. I don't mind spending the money to do it well.

Given the playroom above I'll do:

Vibration dampening material under the floor in playroom
Roxul Safe n Sound in the joists
Small gap under the ceiling joists with RSIC clips for isolation
Double drywall with green glue for the ceiling
NO holes in the drywall ceiling
Soffit around sides for running electrical, lighting, speaker wire and HVAC
I won't bother with a drop ceiling. I want to keep the height. And I like the look of a well done soffit.

Only one of the side walls is attached to interior living space. The rest all outdoor walls. The side walls I'll do double drywall with green glue with minimal holes at bottom only and Roxul in the walls.

Floor I'll do thick carpet and Roxul underneath. I don't care if every once in a while there's noise from garage door opener for a few seconds and almost always we're all in for the night by the time we watch a movie anyway.

Still trying to sketch out the best layout for the two rooms. Will likely do up a tentative plan this weekend.

Greg
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post #6 of 90 Old 08-19-2011, 06:51 AM
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Looks like an interesting build. I think you made the right choice by skipping the drop ceiling. I've seen others complain about the ceiling tiles rattling/buzzing which would be quite distracting.

Which way do you intend to split the room? Along the 31' dimension or the 26' dimension? Do you have a screen size in mind? Aspect ratio? Are you going to use an AT screen?

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post #7 of 90 Old 08-19-2011, 07:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A
Looks like an interesting build. I think you made the right choice by skipping the drop ceiling. I've seen others complain about the ceiling tiles rattling/buzzing which would be quite distracting.

Which way do you intend to split the room? Along the 31' dimension or the 26' dimension? Do you have a screen size in mind? Aspect ratio? Are you going to use an AT screen?
Will split it so have maximum width. Each area will thus be about 15 feet wide and 26 feet long. Should be a great size for each. The only door will open at the back of the bar/games area.

Screen will be 133" diagonal 2.35:1 with side masking for 1.85:1 material. Also will go acoustically transparent with center channel vertical behind the screen. No sure about my main L and R - they have so many drivers that I don't know if I can get them properly behind the screen at a reasonable height or not. If no they'll GI beside the screen and toed in a fair bit.

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post #8 of 90 Old 08-19-2011, 07:20 AM
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I'm still having trouble envisioning what you've got planned. I was thinking you were planning to put a wall down the middle of the room with an archway in the middle, but that would put your wall where the double doors are shown on your attached drawing. I'm sure I'm missing something?

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post #9 of 90 Old 08-19-2011, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A
I'm still having trouble envisioning what you've got planned. I was thinking you were planning to put a wall down the middle of the room with an archway in the middle, but that would put your wall where the double doors are shown on your attached drawing. I'm sure I'm missing something?
I need to update the main sketch. Still waiting for final drawings from our architect. Will make a single door off-center so that you walk in to the games room part. And yes partial walls dividing the area. Wish I was better with CAD tools to work on diagrams.

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post #10 of 90 Old 08-19-2011, 07:44 AM
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Ah. I got it.

I Googled your chairs, and it looks like they're about 40" wide (assuming I got the right ones). Four chairs across puts you at just over 13', so that's going to put your chairs really close to the walls in a 15' wide room. You could make a very large opening so that you don't have to have an aisle, but it's still not ideal to have your seats that close to the other wall, and it makes surround placement tough.

Oh. When you do a new sketch, could you imbed it rather than attach it. That way you don't have to click on it to see it full size.

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post #11 of 90 Old 08-19-2011, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

Ah. I got it.

I Googled your chairs, and it looks like they're about 40" wide (assuming I got the right ones). Four chairs across puts you at just over 13', so that's going to put your chairs really close to the walls in a 15' wide room. You could make a very large opening so that you don't have to have an aisle, but it's still not ideal to have your seats that close to the other wall, and it makes surround placement tough.

Oh. When you do a new sketch, could you imbed it rather than attach it. That way you don't have to click on it to see it full size.

One of the reasons I picked these chairs was the slightly narrow width vs other models when I was building my current theater. I only have 12'8" of width now and I wanted 2 rows of 3. It works fine.

I've attached the layout options for this series of chairs. You can configure them several ways. A chair with one arm is only 28.5" wide. You need one in each row with two arms, and that one is still only 34" wide. So I should be fine with 4 in a row - you can cram them in as little as 10 feet of width, though I like the curved end configuration which makes it 135". That would still leave me about two feet on either side of the row (probably cheat like a do now, a little bit moved over to the far wall to make a little more space on the "entry" side.



My theory is most of the time it's me and/or son/wife watching a movie. If there's a large crowd it's for sports or it's all kids and noisy, so I don't care too much if the side seats don't have great surround. I plan to optimize sound for the two middle seats in each row. As long as I can seat 8 and get around the chairs I'm happy.

All that said my problem may be availability. Looking at the LaZBoy website it appears they may not make these anymore!!! Given I already own six I may have to look far and wide to find two more that match.

Thanks re pic info - when I'm at my PC I'll figure that out. (Edit: Figured it out. Will re-do the posts so far to have embeded images)

Greg
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post #12 of 90 Old 08-19-2011, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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It took me way too long to do up this not-exactly-to-scale drawing of my proposed layout.

Each of the two rooms will be approx 25 feet long. I'll make the theater room 15.5' wide and the games room 14.5' wide. There's a 4' x 4' piece lost in the top left corner for a staircase from mudroom to garage one level below.



I want the areas to feel open to each other yet distinct. I will carpet the theater for sure, but may use hardwood in the games room to set them apart. The rooms will open to each other trough an archway like in this picture (not my build - found it in google image search looking for inspiration).



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post #13 of 90 Old 08-19-2011, 08:13 PM
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Greg,

I am no expert in soundproofing so I called Ted at soundproofingcompany.com. He walked me through completely what I should do based on my room location, room layout, room function, and budget. The guy is great. He actually talked me out of a couple of things I thought I needed.

Take it for what it's worth, but he really helped me.


Cory

The BAMA Theatre Build - feedback welcomed encouraged needed badly
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post #14 of 90 Old 08-19-2011, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Now that the vision is coming together there are a few problems to sort out:

I like the columns I have in my current theater, but probably can't re-create them in this room if I go for the partially open wall. The columns are great for looks, for breaking up soundwaves and hiding the surround speakers inside them. Hmmm... I will either have to accept this or install french doors instead of the archway. The doors *may* be a better option for light control too (I figure it will be rare that one person or group wants to watch a movie in full effect while the other(s) wants to play in the games room. But it may happen from time to time and if it does the doors help everyone be happy). If I go with doors, I would need a lot of bare wall on the games room side so that they could open all the way and be held in place with stoppers.

In my current theater with only 7'3" celings I have the second row on a riser that you walk all around. In this room, which will have ceilings over 8', I might rather have the whole back area up 12-14 inches. This would allow sneaking electrical into the riser for ground lighting, etc. The back of the room will host all my gear, projector and media collection along the back wall. Which way would that work/look better??? Going with doors instead of large archway would also give me more room to ceate the back row riser area.

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post #15 of 90 Old 08-19-2011, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manthatsnice View Post

Greg,

I am no expert in soundproofing so I called Ted at soundproofingcompany.com. He walked me through completely what I should do based on my room location, room layout, room function, and budget. The guy is great. He actually talked me out of a couple of things I thought I needed.

Take it for what it's worth, but he really helped me.


Cory

Yes, I've read several of his posts on the subject. I should contact him and tell him my plan and see what he thinks.

Greg
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post #16 of 90 Old 08-20-2011, 05:08 AM
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Looks like a great play space, just a random idea, Double pocket doors in that archway for when you really want to close off the theater.
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post #17 of 90 Old 08-20-2011, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a lot of money invested in speakers so even with a different layout/screen setup I need to use them all or at least most of them. (plus they sound great so don't want to change anyway!). I may replace one pair of dipole surrounds with direct radiators (see below) and will get a second sub before too long.

I have big towers for mains that are currently beside the screen, hidden behind GOM fabric. My center is below the screen and horizontal (not good I know). I have four dipole surrounds, two side and two rear.

I've decided to go with a 130" 2:35:1 acoustically transparent screen, with side masking. Will probably go with these guys:

http://www.seymourav.com/screens.asp

For sure I'll put the center channel behind the screen and vertical. I'm really looking forward to being able to do that with my new screen.

My debate is what to do with the main L and R speakers. They're tall and have a lot of drivers:



(BTW that's a child sized chair) I'll be building a 4" high or so stage in front. Is it even possible to get these behind my screen??? Would the tweeters be too high? I may go beside again, but there my new screen is much wider than I have now. The new screen will be 120" wide and I don't know how ideal placement would be then. Room will be 15'6" wide. I guess that's similar to the amount of side space I have now, but may be too far apart. May put them behind fabric again or may put out in front on edges of stage. Thoughts?

As for surrounds, I'll put two dipoles to the sides, up high, between the two rows. I may try the rear surrounds right in the corners, in a corner column/bass trap. *May* try monopoles for the rear surrounds this time. Reading all sorts of mixed things on one vs the other. Anyone with experience on corner placement and dipole vs monople back surrounds?

Greg
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post #18 of 90 Old 08-20-2011, 10:58 AM
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Glad you have the seating figured out. I had a hard time finding any info on those chairs, and I didn't realize you could organize them in a theater seating arrangement.

I like Big's idea about using pocket doors, but you'd need to figure out how to keep them from rattling. I've read on the forums here that pocket doors tend to rattle in home theaters, but I'm sure with a little thought, you could work something out. Another option might be to use a heavy curtain when you are just watching movies. Maybe even leave the wall hollow (like for a pocket door) and build your curtains so they can be pushed all the way back into the walls.

For the columns, if you made your opening so that the edge comes down near the front of the front row, that would give you enough space for a column to house your surrounds. Obviously it makes your opening quite a bit smaller, so I think it depends on how accurately you want to place your surrounds.

And one more thing For your L/R speakers, I saw this mentioned in another thread, if you're having trouble with the frame of your screen interfering with your speakers, you can always get a screen that's larger than what you need (so that the frame does not interfere with your L/R) and just mask down to the size you want with AT panels.

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post #19 of 90 Old 08-20-2011, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I need to draw out my screen wall and see what works best. May upsize a grade or two if it will help get all the speakers behind it. Who ever regretted getting a bigger screen right?

Plus my room may turn out being 27 feet long finished. Even with a 2-3 foot loss at front for false wall that should still leave reasonable viewing distance.

My only concern is projector brightness. Will I be happy with a screen much bigger? Using a JVC RS-15 projector and Seymour AV screen (they're 1.2 gain)

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post #20 of 90 Old 08-21-2011, 05:15 AM
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Instead of pocket doors you could use a barn door. They make some really great looking hardware these days, and if you make the door heavy you shouldn't have any rattles.

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post #21 of 90 Old 08-22-2011, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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We got the next round of drawings from our designer, atached here:



The entertainment room at top will be the entrance point, as shown. I have only a few inches of space to play with at the entrance.

I need to figure out how much width the theater room will lose with finished walls, and see if I can finagle a few inches more width by moving the entrance door away a tiny bit more.

Games room:

I like the bar area as drawn - I plan on a *QUIET* mini fridge down below the bar, lights above it, and popcorn machine on the useless part of the bar at the top of the picture. I want a small sink on the bar.

The remaining games room space is decent - should be about 20 by 15 feet. A light fixture will go above the center of that space - have to make sure it`s something that won`t rattle! Also want it to not quite hit the theater room screen.

As for a table, ideally I want something a little tricky. I`d like an 8 foot pool table with some sort of custom made overlay that can turn it in to a poker table or buffet table. I`ve searched a bit and can find no such beast - anyone here ever seen or accomplished such a thing???

Lighting

The middle walls will be left open I am now almost certain. I plan on using the room either a) totally dark in the theater for movies, with very dim lights that don`t hit the screen in any way, to help walk through the games room or b) both rooms going with dim lights in theater if sports are on the big screen, and lights in the main room for eating, drinking, cards, etc. I`ll make a column at the end of each partial wall.

I will invest in a six zone Lutron Graphik Eye that will control the lights in both rooms. That way if I`m in the theater alone, one button shuts them all off for movie (or XBOX 360) time.

I could maybe have some dark curtains pulled aside on the theater side of the wall that can be dropped if needed for more light control.

Theater layout

The available space is going to be about 27 feet long. I will use 2 or 2.5 feet at the front for behind the false screen wall. In the back, I will have lots of shelves for media. Rear surrounds will go over these. I like the addition of the back closet in the lower left corner. This was not part of my original scheme but I ended up with that little space down there and it`s great. I will put a small door in the back corner. The equipment rack will go right next to that, and the closet will give me just enough room to 1) get behind the equipment and 2) store extra cables, Rock Band instruments, etc. I love this setup because I can still maintain sound control behind there with double drywall and GG all along, the closet is sort of within the room.
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post #22 of 90 Old 08-23-2011, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
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..........I need to figure out how much width the theater room will lose with finished walls, and see if I can finagle a few inches more width by moving the entrance door away a tiny bit more.
.........
A good estimate would be 4.5" (3.5" for the 2x plus another 1" for the drywall). You could possibly save another 1/2" by using 1/4" drywall since this wall isn't being used for sound isolation, but I've never been fond of using 1/4" on a wall.

Quote:
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.................
As for a table, ideally I want something a little tricky. I`d like an 8 foot pool table with some sort of custom made overlay that can turn it in to a poker table or buffet table. I`ve searched a bit and can find no such beast - anyone here ever seen or accomplished such a thing???
....................
I've actually seen this very thing. I went with a buddy to buy a pool table, and the place he bought his from had a pool table with a solid wood cover made of three segments (like segments you use to make a kitchen table longer) that you used to cover the table. They were really proud of it. They said a guy bought one because the only room they had big enough for a pool table was the dining room, and they used the pool table for their dining room table. I don't know that using it for a dining room table is a good idea, but the top certainly looked nice.

Found a link to something similar

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post #23 of 90 Old 08-23-2011, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I've actually seen this very thing. I went with a buddy to buy a pool table, and the place he bought his from had a pool table with a solid wood cover made of three segments (like segments you use to make a kitchen table longer) that you used to cover the table. They were really proud of it. They said a guy bought one because the only room they had big enough for a pool table was the dining room, and they used the pool table for their dining room table. I don't know that using it for a dining room table is a good idea, but the top certainly looked nice.

Found a link to something similar
Perfect! I agree that I might not put that in my dining room, but as a primary pool table in a games room, with second duty as a poker and buffet table? It looks GREAT!

If you don't mind me asking, did it feel quality made? Solid? Did you play any pool on it? Obviously it's not going to be as awesome as a $10,000 single purpose table but that's fine by me.


I like this one:



Damn, now I'm even more excited!
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post #24 of 90 Old 08-23-2011, 09:25 AM
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The one I looked at was actually different than this, but a similar principle. The table you have pictured would actually serve dual use better because the sides appear to be a bit higher than a normal pool table which would make getting your legs under it when seated easier. I would think that as long as it is a slate bed, and not wood, that the table will be plenty sturdy. It seems like it would be tough to make a flimsy pool table that can hold up an 8' sheet of slate

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post #25 of 90 Old 08-23-2011, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Found a great resource for room planning at http://www.gamesandthings.com/Displa...m_planner_page

I've laid out my current plans for the theater part of the room here. I'm VERY happy with the dimensions, seating, screen and viewing distance as is.

Will have to do some calculations to figure out the best projector placement as I`ll be doing zoom method 2.35:1, but will often be using the screen masked to 16:9. Want to get it right the first time!



The only thing I`m NOT happy about is the placement of the side surround speakers. That`s still my biggest debate about this room - do I want it open like this, in which case I`ll have to put the side surrounds up about 7-7.5 feet high. Or do I close it off more using double doors between rooms, in which case I can likely get it right where I want it, 6 feet high or so and between the two rows of seats. Dilemma, dilemma...

Greg
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post #26 of 90 Old 08-23-2011, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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The one I looked at was actually different than this, but a similar principle. The table you have pictured would actually serve dual use better because the sides appear to be a bit higher than a normal pool table which would make getting your legs under it when seated easier. I would think that as long as it is a slate bed, and not wood, that the table will be plenty sturdy. It seems like it would be tough to make a flimsy pool table that can hold up an 8' sheet of slate
Yes, this was one of about 6 on the website you posted the link to. There are several different styles to choose from. Each comes with many choices including wood type and finish, and whether you want just a tabletop or a top that flips over to to make a poker table as well. There are lots of choices of colors and grades of felt. Says they come with real slate for sure.

Greg
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post #27 of 90 Old 08-23-2011, 09:42 AM
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The only thing I`m NOT happy about is the placement of the side surround speakers. That`s still my biggest debate about this room - do I want it open like this, in which case I`ll have to put the side surrounds up about 7-7.5 feet high. Or do I close it off more using double doors between rooms, in which case I can likely get it right where I want it, 6 feet high or so and between the two rows of seats. Dilemma, dilemma...

Greg
Have you considered making the opening into two archways with a column in the middle?

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post #28 of 90 Old 08-23-2011, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Have you considered making the opening into two archways with a column in the middle?
Ooh, that sounds nice. Maybe even a triple opening, with two columns - whatever works best... It could help position that speaker better. I need pictures of such a thing - off to Google image search. (er, actually, need to get back to work right now. Sigh.

BTW, please subsribe to my thread - your input is incredibly helpful!
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post #29 of 90 Old 08-23-2011, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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post #30 of 90 Old 08-23-2011, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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