I figured it's about time to start the thread for my basement build. Here are the basics:
- House built in 1958
- Basement height is 7'10", so probably leaving about 7'4" after finishing
- Basement is totally dry, and does not have a sump pump (basically no chance of having water problems)
- Will do drywall ceilings in most of it, but drop ceilings in the bedroom where there are pipes, etc we may want to access
- My dad is an electrical contractor, so he'll be doing all the electrical work (he already put in a brand new 200 amp panel)
- There are two egresses, a stairwell going upstairs, and another stairwell going right into the garage
- We plan to do a bathroom eventually (it's shown on plans), but not initially, to save money/time, so just ignore that for now
Ok, here is how the basement stands now:
In other words, it's a blank slate, besides the raised concrete pad where laundry is (have no idea why the pad exists), and the utilities. Along the entire right wall and the top wall (the half to the right of the laundry), there is the sewer drain pipe running along the wall, which is why those finished walls are a foot off the cement block walls.
Ok, onto the plan. Here is our design.
Screen wall view:
Some additional comments and answers to questions that are bound to come up:
- the three steel columns (there's 1 by the stairs) are holding up a steel I-beam running the length of the house. i don't want to eff with those, so they stay where they are. We did first consider orienting the theater North-South on the east wall, but the column and the required soffit (for the Ibeam and duct work) made us plan on what i'm showing
- There are obvious concessions made with regards to the theater, most apparent being the doorway next to the screen, making everything off-center in the room. I wish i could change this, but WAF prevents it. I don't think it'll be a huge deal in terms of actual use, and hopefully the acoustical panels help prevent acoustical mal-effects
- With the size (and especially height) constraints, I know the theater won't be ideal at all. That's not really the goal, either. We want a nice space where we can entertain, have family time, etc. We want it to be easily enjoyed by 8-10 people. I also want to enjoy 2-channel audio.
- Seating drawings are placeholders; not sure what config they will be
- I will make sure I get a 20amp circuit just to the equipment rack, as well as another dedicated one just for the front wall (2 subs and 3 powered speakers)
- Was planning an 8 riser, so that I didn't need an intermediate step. I don't want to go higher than that anyway, to ensure head-clearance.
- I didn't mention the floor yet. We have all the Dricore bought to do the whole finished space. We will put carpet over it everywhere, except for the striped area by the stairs and table, as well as the craft room, which will be some kind of laminate or engineered wood. For construction, we will build walls first, then put down Dricore instead of putting the walls on top of the Dricore as i've seen some people do
- We just finished putting Drylok on the walls, as a precaution. There was very little effervescence, and zero evidence of actual water, but it's a little extra peace of mind
- I have no interest in an AT screen. I like seeing my speakers, and i don't want to accept the compromises that an AT screen induces in terms of acoustic coloration and loss of lumens.
My wish list:
- Decent pre/pro, hopefully under $2k
- Mackie HR824mk2 x3
- Mackie HR624mk2 x4
- Decent subs, like the Hsu VTF-15H (hopefully, but may have to settle for 1)
- Carada 112" BW 2.35:1 screen
- A decent projector, under $5k
I like very flat response in my audio, hence the Mackies. I realize some people don't think of them as high-end audio, but they are truly amazing speakers. The inherent benefits of having an active speaker are tremendous.
Finally, i have conversed with Ted White about soundproofing. Due to the staircase in the back of theater being open (the area under the stairs will be boxed in, but the wall won't go above the steps), it didn't seem worth it to do clips and channel and GG. Instead, i will just be doing a layer of OSB everywhere for rigidity (and so i can screw things in where i want), followed by a layer of drywall. I will be using 25ga metal studs for the most part.
An extra picture of the ductwork going down the middle of the basement (where the soffit will be).
Current tasks: more cleaning out of the basement (still have boxes from the move), and putting down track so we can cut some more studs.