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post #1 of 15 Old 09-26-2011, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently purchased my first house. One of the things on my 'must have' list was a space for a dedicated home theater, preferably in the basement. Although the space is smaller than I had hoped (aren't they always?), I have an area for the theater room. The previous owners rented the basement out as a mortgage helper. In order to offset the ultra high house prices here in Greater Vancouver, I plan to do the same. But, I'm stealing back some space for the theater.

The purpose of this construction thread is more to solicit feedback and suggestions than to showcase my work. So please feel free to provide your 2 cents.

Some of my requirements for the theater are:
  • Enough soundproofing so that my basement tenants wont freak out
  • The biggest screen I can possibly fit
  • 5.1 Surround Sound
  • Seating for 5 - 7 people

I'm now a month into it now and a lot has changed. Heres the basement the way it was and the layout I've decided on for the basement suite/theater:

Before:


After:


The room is only 7'5"tall, 10' 9" wide and 17' 11" long (inner dimensions). I tried to sell my wife on building a dedicated garage in the back and using the attached garage as the theater, but it was a no go.

Since moving in, I've gutted the basement, started construction on the basement suite and added a double wall between the Kitchen and the theater. I have some pictures of the double wall construction but I cant seem to find my memory card right now. Once I find it I'll add the pics if anyone is interested.

Here are some sketch up designs I have created for the room. It's my first time using sketch up so please bear with me.

This pic shows the entire room, notice there is a false wall with an AT screen in front of the speakers.


With the wall and soffits 'disabled' you get a better look at the AT screen and riser for the rear seats.




The view from behind the rear seats:






Some of the dimensions:
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post #2 of 15 Old 09-27-2011, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm about to run the electrical and speaker wires, but I cant decide which wall to make the screen wall. In my head I see the screen either on the narrow exterior wall (with a window that needs a plug) or on the narrow wall that separates the theater from the kitchen.

Can anybody tell me if it makes any difference from a sound proofing perspective to have the screen wall against an exterior wall or interior wall? That is, if my screen wall is on the exterior wall, the speakers face an interior wall and the sound is directed towards it. Does this mean that more sound will travel through the interior wall, into surrounding rooms, or does it not make a difference?

Thanks!
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post #3 of 15 Old 09-27-2011, 10:02 AM
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It should not make a difference which wall the screenwall is in terms of soundproofing. If you truly want to avoid bothering the tenants It will take a lot of work and it is also going to take up some valuable real estate to have good soundproofing.

The double wall you have will help but the theater side needs to be decoupled from the rest of the house. You also need to deal with the other walls and ceiling. A ceiling with can lights is going to transmit sound right into the kitchen (which I assume is the tenant area).

By the way, what part of Vancouver are you in. I lived in White Rock for a while (about 20 years ago)


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post #4 of 15 Old 09-27-2011, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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@stockmonkey2000:
Thanks for the reply. I just moved to Surrey into the Fraser Heights area. We looked in White Rock, but the commute was a bit to much for me to handle.

For the double wall construction I've used 2x4s @ 24" on center for each wall with 3.5" of space between the two walls. One of the walls is directly under a ceiling joist which runs the same direction as the wall. I haven't had much luck finding any information on how to decouple the wall beneath the joist from the joist. Right now it sits roughly 1/4" below the joist and is only mechanically attached to the joist at 3 points. The other wall is free floating between two joists and is not attached to the ceiling (there is about 1/4" of space between the ceiling and the top of the wall.

I've filled both walls with Safe N Sound Insulation and left the cavity between empty. I will be putting double 5/8" dry wall w/ Green Glue between the sheets on both the kitchen and theater sides. I don't plan to have any outlets in that wall either. After building the wall I read that 3.5" of space between the two walls may be a bit of a waste as 1.5" would have cut it. - Oh well!

I'll try to get some pictures up tonight.

I'm still debating on putting can lights in the ceiling. I had planned to run a soffit around the room and put the lights in there, but at only 3.5" thick, my soffits wont be deep enough to house the can lights. Unfortunately the room above the theater has a sunk-in floor which reduces the theater's ceiling height to 7'5 after 2 layers of drywall so I don't want to go very thick with the soffits. If I don't go with can lights, I could always use wall sconces, or I was thinking of trying under cabinet lighting through the soffits. Anyone ever tried that?
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post #5 of 15 Old 09-27-2011, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post

Have you tried sketching in the seating?
If you want to optimize the room, take a serious look at the capacity requirements.

I think that's good advice. I had thought, however, that 10 ft would be too narrow for 4 seats, but maybe not. I agree that getting two rows into 17 feet is tight, but would 2 rows of three make more sense than one of four? I don't have enough experience with seating sizes to say, but that's my gut reaction.

Fred


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post #6 of 15 Old 09-27-2011, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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@DavidK442 Ahhh, the Okanagan, I love it up there. Penticton, Kelowna, Osoyoos, I vacation in one of those three almost every year. I actually just had an opportunity to take a Job in Kelowna but the logistics didn't work out. One day I'd love to live up that way. For now, the lower mainland is fine.

Regarding the seating, I was thinking of putting in a rear row of 3 or 4 for now and keeping my options open to add another 2 in front one day. I've been scouring Craigslist for the past month looking for a deal on narrow HT seating and I came across a guy selling a row of 3 leather recliners that fit the bill. I bartered him down to $300 because they reaked of smoke. I thought I would be able to get the smell out, but after two weeks of trying, they're a bit better but still not acceptable. So it looks like I'm going to have to get rid of them. Before I do, I'll measure them and get them into sketch up to see how they would have fit.

I completely agree with your suggestion of using an AT screen. That will allow me to have the largest possible viewable area. If I put the AT screen in front of the window wall, I could use the void where the window is to locate the speakers. I'd have to buy some new, smaller speakers for the right and left channels, but I'd gain 12" on the room's length.

@HopefulFred
I think I can get two rows in, but Just. That would put the first row at about 9-10' viewing distance and the 2nd row at 14-15'. Another concern is the space to get around the front row. I'm going to mock them up in sketch up tonight and see if it's doable or if it just feels too cramped.
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post #7 of 15 Old 09-27-2011, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I've measured the chairs and put them into sketch up:


I only bought three chairs, but I figure I can find chairs with similar dimensions for the other row if I need to. To me it looks like two rows will fit fine. If the rear part of the room were only one inch wider, I could even fit a fourth chair in the back row.

I am a bit concerned that the projector may be blocked by the heads of anyone in the front row. The projector I have is an Optoma HD200X. Projector Central's calculator says it can project a 10'3" wide image from 15'4" (at full zoom) but the center of the lens has to be 11.1" above the screen. With the projector tight up against the ceiling, the top of a 16x9 image would be approx 6'4" from the ground and the bottom only 7 7/8" off the ground. Most of my content is in 2:35:1 which shouldn't be a problem (I don't think) but I like to watch the occasional 16x9 movie also.

I may be able to create a small cavity between the ceiling joists to raise the projector up a few inches, but that's still only a few inches. It's looking like I may not get the gigantic screen I had hoped for
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-02-2011, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Not much progress this weekend, I've been trying to get the basement suite side finished off. But I do have some pictures of the double wall construction. I still can't find my memory card, but I haven't drywalled the kitchen side yet, so I pulled some of the insulation out and took some new pictures.







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post #9 of 15 Old 10-10-2011, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I got a bit done over the long weekend:
  • Insulation in ceiling and walls (Roxall Safe N Sound)
  • Double drywall on both sides of the double wall
  • First layer of drywall on walls
  • First layer of drywall on ceiling (50%)

I also built a temporary shelf to position the projector and get an idea of how things will look. I'm pretty happy with the results.

Temp shelf:


Test screen shot on double drywall:




This week I hope to finish off the drywall on the walls and ceiling.
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-10-2011, 10:59 PM
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Hi there Vandak,
Just a quick question...did you sheet the ceiling first before the walls? I was of the understanding that the order is ceiling, then walls, then 2nd layers in the same order if applicable so the corner joints are overlapped. That is one impressive YouTube page!

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post #11 of 15 Old 10-11-2011, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingaling2004 View Post

Hi there Vandak,
Just a quick question...did you sheet the ceiling first before the walls? I was of the understanding that the order is ceiling, then walls, then 2nd layers in the same order if applicable so the corner joints are overlapped. That is one impressive YouTube page!

That is the way it should be done however, I got cheap/lazy and did not remove the drywall from the wall opposite the door, nor the window wall, so I'm doing it slightly out of order. I boarded the first layer on all walls, then the first layer on the ceiling. After I finish off the ceiling, I will GG and board the ceiling and then GG and board the walls. So there will still be some overlap.

The way I figure it, the benefit to the overlap is structural - the walls help to hold up the ceiling. But since I am leaving a quarter inch gap for Acoustical sealant the walls are not helping to hold up the ceiling anyways, so it shouldn't matter as much.
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post #12 of 15 Old 10-11-2011, 10:48 AM
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Gotcha. Thanks for that. Reason I ask is that I am just about to do drywall in my room. Btw, yours is looking great!
Cheers
Greg

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post #13 of 15 Old 10-11-2011, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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@Dingaling2004
Thanks for the complement, my room is far from finished, but I think its coming together nicely.

After your first post to my thread, I followed the link in your signature and have read through the first few pages of your thread. I was tempted to skip to the last post to see how everything turned out but I think I can control my temptations and read the next few pages to see It sounds like we are at about the same stage, hopefully I can get some tips from reading through the rest of your thread. Keep up the good work!
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post #14 of 15 Old 10-12-2011, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vandak View Post

@Dingaling2004
Thanks for the complement, my room is far from finished, but I think its coming together nicely.

After your first post to my thread, I followed the link in your signature and have read through the first few pages of your thread. I was tempted to skip to the last post to see how everything turned out but I think I can control my temptations and read the next few pages to see It sounds like we are at about the same stage, hopefully I can get some tips from reading through the rest of your thread. Keep up the good work!

Hey there mate, not sure what I can teach you about theatre building but feel free to read over the thread.... It's a tale of frustrations, love lost, drama, excitement, fortunes dissipating and even some stuff about room construction! It's been quite a ride. Lol. Anyways, you are just a little ahead of me. I just ordered my drywall lift today and am going to have a crack at sheeting with gg and double 5/8 over the next couple of weekends. Will keep an eye on what you are doing as well.
Cheers
Greg.

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post #15 of 15 Old 11-03-2011, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Well It's been a few weeks since I've posted as I've been busy working on other Projects around the house (who would have thought being a home owner would be so much work!?) But I managed to make some progress with the theater too.
  • All but one of the walls now have 2 layers of Drywall w/ green glue.
  • I've created a recessed section for the projector mount in order to get the Projector as high above the rear seats as possible - this was a PITA! I hope it's worth it.

I made a somewhat serious mistake putting up the 2nd layer of drywall up on the ceiling. I didn't end up with the joints landing over joists so any screws near the joints didn't have anything solid to grab. I realized my mistake after about 4 sheets. I took the screws out and tried pulling one down, but it was on there pretty good so I screwed it back up and boarded the rest in the same manner. I'm hoping that the Green Glue is strong enough to keep them from moving once I tape. I will be really really unhappy if I put all this work into the room and the ceiling joints all crack! Anyone else ever do this?

Since my ceiling height is only about 7.5', my room is only about 18' long and I want the biggest picture possible, I need to mount to projector as close to the ceiling and rear wall as possible. Unfortunately there was a joist running perpendicular to the screen wall about 8" from the rear wall. It was restructured and a recessed 3'x2'x3.5" cut out was created. At 3.5" deep, it should position the projector almost flush with the rest of the ceiling and at 3' wide, it should provide ample space for lateral positioning and future upgrades.

Recessed section for the projector:




The rear wall is the final wall yet to receive dry wall. I can't decide how I want to finish it. As you can see, there is a window which is recessed about 13" and is roughly 7' wide by 20" tall. I like the idea of having a window in the room as a fire escape, but I don't like the idea of light coming in and sound leaking out. My original plan was to keep it. In doing so, I was going to put my rear surround speakers on the window ledge as it's almost the same depth and height as my Polk Monitor 40 Series surrounds(12"x7"16"). Then I was going to cover the whole thing with some black GOM fabric to hide them.



Now I'm leaning towards building a plug for the window. Ill put the blinds down and then build a removable plug that goes from end to end, with some trim around it to hide the seam. That way if there ever was a reason I needed to escape through the window, I could pull the plug out. That leaves me with the problem of what to do with my speakers. Anyone have any suggestions?

As an alternative to those speakers I have a pair of in-wall JBL 6" speakers that I could position on either side of the window or in the plug itself. If I were to put them in the walls, I was thinking I'd need to build a box for them so that the sound doesn't echo through he walls and into the surrounding rooms. I probably wouldn't need to do that if I put them in the plug. Any thoughts on this?
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