Hawaii Home Theater Construction - Page 27 - AVS Forum
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post #781 of 795 Old 09-25-2014, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all. I'm back. I've been working like crazy on the rest of the house but there are still things to do in the home theater as well. Here are some unfortunate updates on my full project:

House update: Review of the internet company "Stair Supplies": I have tigerwood floors throughout my house so I decided to splurge and buy a tigerwood handrail to match. When the wood handrail arrived it was inspected and looked nothing like tigerwood. It was devoid of markings. It looked like a bland piece of maple without any markings. A visitor at my house thought I bought it at Home Depot for 50-100 bucks and laughed when I said I paid over 700 for it.
I contacted the company by email and they initially declined to discuss this issue stating that wood has variations. Basically, they were saying: you get what we send you. I also sent a picture of the handrail they sent me lying on top of my tigerwood floor to open a dialogue. The difference between the handrail and the floor in the picture was quite dramatic. The floor was beautiful and the handrail was terrible looking. Here is the picture:



While talking to the head of customer service the following day I had one single question for her, “if you wanted to buy a tigerwood handrail and you walked into a stored that stocked tigerwood handrails, would you buy the one you sent me?” After a long discussion I asked her the same question again and she paused and said, “no”. I thanked her for her honesty and she said she would talk to someone within her company. The last email I received from them basically said (again, I am paraphrasing)… you get what we give you and be happy with it.
I am not the type to complain but what I feel this business did closely approaches “bait and switch” or at a minimum has no quality control measures. I am very disappointed with their efforts and strongly warn others not to trust them. This is just my opinion but if you read this, you've been warned. You can waste a lot of money quickly with these guys.


Home theater: My Fujitsu cassette air conditioners failed again. They fully leaked all their coolant and I had to get yet another replacement. I'm starting to lose track but I believe I've had a total of four coils leak and go bad. Never ever use these cassette AC units. I will switch to a central AC on the next failure which should happen in about three months. I'll need to open up a wall so I imagine it will spill a lot of sound to the side of the house by putting in duct work through my sound proof wall, but oh well. I just cannot continue to spend about 700 every three months on my home theater AC system.

Beyond those two bad stories, the rest of the house and home theater are coming along really nicely. More pics to follow.

Last edited by psychdoc; 09-26-2014 at 12:49 AM.
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post #782 of 795 Old 09-25-2014, 11:03 PM
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700 for a handrail? and looks like crap to boot.
What are you going to do?
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post #783 of 795 Old 09-25-2014, 11:59 PM
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Send it back for a refund and go for something else?

Under construction: the Larch theater
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post #784 of 795 Old 09-26-2014, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I wish there were some options…. they are not willing to budge. I offered to pay more than half of the same 700 dollar bill again if they would send me another version (but this time have it actually look like tigerwood). They declined. They also made it a point to rule out refunds and returns. Basically, you order from them and they send you whatever they feel like sending you…. even if it's laughable.

I just hope enough people see this that Stair Supplies makes some process improvement changes… or goes out of business. Wishful thinking but maybe shining a light on them has some impact.

As far as the crappy tigerwood handrail I currently have is concerned… I'm not quite sure what to do with that ugly thing. I may be stuck using it on my staircase. One thing is for sure, I won't be using their company for the rest of the large stair project. They failed the initial test miserably.

Last edited by psychdoc; 09-26-2014 at 12:52 AM.
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post #785 of 795 Old 09-26-2014, 01:13 AM
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Get someone in to faux paint it?

Under construction: the Larch theater
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post #786 of 795 Old 09-26-2014, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
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LOL….that is a great idea. I have no idea if that would actually work. Sadly I don't know anyone locally with type of skill. Regardless, pretty imaginative Nightlord!
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post #787 of 795 Old 09-26-2014, 04:31 PM
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Did you pay with a credit card? If so, dispute the charge.
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(Formerly "ReplayMike". These opinions are mine alone, and in no way reflect the opinions of employers past or present!)
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post #788 of 795 Old 10-11-2014, 08:25 AM
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Congratulation on a beautiful project.

Quite a far cry from my time in Hawaii as a Navy doctor in Kaneohe for a short time before being shipped out with the Marines to Vietnam almost 50 years ago. In my dreams I would love to do what you've done. I read all your posts and marvel at what a beautiful job of planning and building that you have done.
When you retire from the Army you could have another career designing and building home theatres in your spare time. If the Army decides to move you somewhere else will you be able to get your money back when you sell your house?


My wife wants us to sell our house and downsize, and I am wondering what will happen with the home theatres that I've built and all the equipment that is built in. Do I leave it or take it with me? That is the question.
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post #789 of 795 Old 10-11-2014, 10:25 AM
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You leave it behind, and build a new one. I'm in the middle of building my third theater in our new smaller home (although this time it's not DIY -- getting a little old for that stuff anymore).
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post #790 of 795 Old 10-11-2014, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Larry!!! That is very nice of you to say. I still have work to do in the theater though. Then I'd like to pay someone who can take some professional photos (my iPhone doesn't do the room justice)

To answer your question, I doubt I’d get all my money back that’s been put into the home theater. Soundproofing adds a major expense that a new buyer wouldn’t understand. All the Kinetics equipment and extra material is not cheap! Would a new buyer care if I told them? No.

I saw in another thread on avs (I forget which build it was) the buyers of the house made every attempt to minimize that theater or claim it was of poor design. From the pics I saw, it was an amazing build! So my situation would follow suit I suspect if I had an open house for my property and included lots of pics of the home theater…. a massive turnout shows up to see the house and theater but few serious home buyers. Still, for the right buyer it makes the house a great buy. Whenever we have guests over that haven’t been in my house I try not to tell them about the theater. When they walk into the theater it’s quite the entertainment to see their faces. Their jaws all hit the ground. It’s great to think the room looks even better in person, especially to those who really don’t care about home theaters.

Thankfully I won’t need to worry about selling it. If the Army plans on moving me after being here in Hawaii for a decade, which is a serious threat for the first time, I will lock the home theater and rent the house which would still be about a 3400 sq ft home sans home theater. Even though I’m still working hard on the rest of the house (I installed all the sink and plumbing parts in the upgraded bathrooms last weekend) and still have some more work left in the home theater, my mind is slowly prepping for building my next home theater. This, of course, assumes the Army sends me somewhere that is worth buying a home and building a theater. My dream would be to have my Hawaiian home and a mainland home very near a ski resort (also with a home theater). I would be the opposite of a snow bird, I’d fly to Hawaii in the summer and go skiing in the winter. That would be the perfect retirement for me. So no matter what, I have to build at least one more theater. If I had to do it again I would be much faster and far more efficient. I’m no construction expert but I do feel my skill level has increased exponentially. I’m still slow as snot though. I’d love to do this as a business but I’d go bankrupt due to the time it takes to really focus on details.

As far as K-bay is concerned, it’s still the same as you left it 50 years ago. The buildings look old but the area is still very beautiful.

Other updates…. the boss at Stair Supplies finally got involved and said she’d build a new handrail as long as I covered shipping costs. I’m crossing my fingers that this version resembles tigerwood. I’ll post when it comes.

As always, more to follow to include lots of whole house pics following final house inspection.
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Last edited by psychdoc; 10-11-2014 at 05:10 PM.
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post #791 of 795 Old 10-11-2014, 02:55 PM
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Great build..more than jaw dropping equipment I am amazed at your committment and hardwork. Being physician I know how tiring it is physically and mentally day to day..and yet you find time to keep going..hats off to you sir...
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post #792 of 795 Old 10-11-2014, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks drriddhish. Yes, time is the limiting factor in getting this done. It's been a tough balance to have family time and still dedicate yourself to finishing such a huge project. My approach was to force myself to do at least one hour every weekday and 8 hours on every day off. These were the minimum acceptable times, I often did much more but the key is that you have to constantly chip away at it. When the family was relaxing or asleep, I was pushing myself. Sometimes family demands meant I couldn't work at all for an extended period. Vacations for me were great opportunities to work on the house and theater. It was very hard, back breaking work, but I really enjoyed seeing it come to life. It still isn't done, however. I felt like making this public thread also would also keep me honest and it did. I was able to keep my pace. Still, the biggest hurdle was anxiety. I'd never done any meaningful construction in my life. It seems everything I did in this build was a process of researching thoroughly, asking questions to those that have experience, planning it out, day dreaming about possible errors and second and third order effects then measuring 5 times and cutting once.
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post #793 of 795 Old 10-11-2014, 04:39 PM
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Psychdoc, great to see the updates. I volunteer my photography and videography skills. Such as they are to document your theater at no cost. If I'm ever visit Hawaii.
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post #794 of 795 Old 10-11-2014, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks PGTweed! If you ever get out here let me know. Mahalo
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post #795 of 795 Old 10-20-2014, 04:30 PM
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Doc, it has been an intimidating pleasure to read through this build. I hope you have many years to enjoy it. Glad you remembered a few terms from ochem - now, do you remember how frontier orbital theory can be used to predict rates of Diels-Alder reactions? I get poor teaching this stuff at St. Lawrence. Make sure all your charges read David Finkel's book, Thank you for your Service. I can't lose the image of the poor soul in Colorado with a clipboard seeking out a couple dozen signatures.
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