Change theater location mid-build? - AVS Forum
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
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So I can't believe that I am considering this, but I have had this nagging thought lately that the theater might work better on the other side of the basement. This would allow us to put an extra bedroom in at the expense of 2ft width in the theater, as well as a smaller office. I floated the idea by the WAF thinking that she would shoot it down immediately given the additional time it would take. She did at first, but when I showed her a sample layout, she is all of a sudden on board. We are both unsure if it is really worth the extra effort.

You can see my build thread link in my sig. I'm finishing the basement all at once and the theater currently has all the whisper clips up and almost ready for insulation and hat channel. Everything is wired in and changing everything will obviously set me back quite a bit.

So I want to take a step back here and think about what will be the best solution. Please throw some ideas around and help me decide!

Original floorplan


New floorplan?



The house has 3 bedrooms upstairs (incl master), while it seems lately I've been noticing most other houses in the neighborhood have 4+, so I think my resale value subconscious is telling me not to waste the opportunity to add a 4th bedroom. We have 2 kids (with wife hinting at a third) so all bedrooms upstairs will be taken. We have guests maybe 3 weeks cumulative per year, if that. With the current plan, guests would stay in one of the kid's bedrooms or throw an air mattress in the office area and I'll work somewhere else for the duration of their stay. WAF likes the idea of having a home for some of her scrapbooking / teaching stuff.

The two rooms taking a hit would be office and theater. On the original, the office area is rather large, so while I would enjoy that, not a big deal to lose some. The theater, losing 2 ft probably means losing the 4th chair of a comfy couch (no theater seating planned atm). This also means less people could fit, but it's unclear how much party use the theater will get at this point. Heck, I don't even know if my wife will enjoy joining me down there yet. This uncertainty has become more apparent lately and so part of me feels that I should not assign the largest space to the theater.

I'm thinking that even if I swap the theater space I may keep the Equip Closet in the same location because there are other wires, including wires from upstairs terminated there. Having 2 Equip Closets seems counterproductive. I will have to figure out the current french door entry into the theater since I purposely avoided that in the original design. Also the closet is a bit out of place in the theater room if I don't use it for equipment. I thought about trying to use the closet area as a super tiny lobby into the theater, but the current closet framing is only 27 inches deep.

So many new thoughts swirling in my head now and I feel pressured to make a decision soon so as not to delay things further. What would you do? All thoughts appreciated. Brainstorm away!

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Old 04-30-2012, 04:18 AM
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They both have their merits. The big question is how long are you planning on staying in this house? If it is your 'forever' house then don't worry about resale - build it for you. if you expect to be moving on in 5 years or less, then the additional bedroom would be more attractive to buyers.
As for the theater side of things, the larger room is preferable. The double doors are a no-no for sound isolation, but the closet space could be used for the rack/DVD storage.
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:48 AM
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Actually you could say your house already has 5 bedrooms. One is used as an office the other is a theater. A buyer could convert as needed. To qualify as a bedroom you generally need an escape window and a closet. Looks like your current plan is a just a closet short.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:10 AM
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I'd say stick with your original floorplan. My theater is about 12ft wide and I wish I had a few more feet in width. Personally, I'd prefer a larger office/study. than a cramped office and a small bedroom too. And like Big says, technically, your office could qualify as a bedroom as far as resale is concerned.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gareth_alien View Post

They both have their merits. The big question is how long are you planning on staying in this house? If it is your 'forever' house then don't worry about resale - build it for you. if you expect to be moving on in 5 years or less, then the additional bedroom would be more attractive to buyers.
As for the theater side of things, the larger room is preferable. The double doors are a no-no for sound isolation, but the closet space could be used for the rack/DVD storage.


Definitely no plans to move in the near future, so say 10+ years, but I tend to be a forward thinking person. You could also say I overanalyze. If I bought the house this way then I certainly wouldn't worry about it, but the fact that I can (relatively) easily fit in another bedroom at this stage in the build process makes me pause and consider it.

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Old 04-30-2012, 10:33 AM
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You are actually adding two bedrooms with the new plan if you include the office space, which to me is significant. Adding a small closet where you currently have the chairs would be easy to do if you ever decide to sell. After adding the walls to the new theater location you are still left with about 13' in width. Mine is only 9'8" in width so 13' seems huge. I know moving what you already have installed is significant so I do not think anyone of us here can convince you to do this change, but we can just show you the pros and cons of doing so.

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Old 04-30-2012, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

Actually you could say your house already has 5 bedrooms. One is used as an office the other is a theater. A buyer could convert as needed. To qualify as a bedroom you generally need an escape window and a closet. Looks like your current plan is a just a closet short.

BIG, was hoping you would chime in here. You are correct that I could call the office a bedroom, which is also why I put the closet in there. For the theater, I guess it has a door, but between the stage, the riser, a built in bar, possibly cabinets/counter in the back, and no closet, I think I'd have a hard time selling that as a bedroom.

One thing I remember from your other posts is saying how you'd thought you would entertain a lot more then you actually end up doing and how you'd have been better off going with a smaller screening room. Now obviously I'm working with smaller scale, but I see the choice before me as almost the same - build the smaller space as a theater because that's all the use it will get anyway. Having friends / neighbors /family over for a movie night really appeals to me but I'm not sure how often it will happen in practice.

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Old 04-30-2012, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by meyer64 View Post

I'd say stick with your original floorplan. My theater is about 12ft wide and I wish I had a few more feet in width. Personally, I'd prefer a larger office/study. than a cramped office and a small bedroom too. And like Big says, technically, your office could qualify as a bedroom as far as resale is concerned.

Thanks for the input. After clips/channels/DD I'd end up with approx 13'3" width. That is a bit short of ideal for the theater, which is why I chose the larger space in the first place. Also I should state that I am going for a hybrid theater / living room type space - i.e. something that can be used for stuff other then watching movies. You could argue that the larger space may be more beneficial for this.

Original:
Theater 16 x 21.5'
Office 13.5 x 21.75'

New:
Theater 13.25 x 21.5' (closer to 3 ft difference)
Office 11 x 16.5'
Spare Bedroom 10.5 x 13.5'

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Old 04-30-2012, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AZGAMD View Post

You are actually adding two bedrooms with the new plan if you include the office space, which to me is significant. Adding a small closet where you currently have the chairs would be easy to do if you ever decide to sell. After adding the walls to the new theater location you are still left with about 13' in width. Mine is only 9'8" in width so 13' seems huge. I know moving what you already have installed is significant so I do not think anyone of us here can convince you to do this change, but we can just show you the pros and cons of doing so.

Yes, you are right 2 bedrooms, but the reason I presented it as one extra bedroom is because in the original plan the office could already be considered a bedroom, especially with the closet, so to move to the new plan I would get one extra above and beyond that.

Agree, it's a very subjective/personal decision but I love being able to bounce ideas off of like minded folks, some who value the larger theater space more and some who value the extra bedroom more.

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Old 04-30-2012, 10:57 AM
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I's say your theater with one full row and a sit at bar qualifies as a private screening room for you and a few friends not an entertaining space that I was referring to with a wet bar etc, with room for 25+ people including the standing around space.

How high is your bar in the plans? I've grown found of designs with desk height bars, then you can use comfortable executive desk chairs for the seating rather bar stools. At desk height you could probably make it portable, even in two sections for ease of moving. May need a slight riser. My eyes are 7 inches higher in a desk chair than a Berkline theater seat. Check out Big Red's theater
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

I's say your theater with one full row and a sit at bar qualifies as a private screening room for you and a few friends not an entertaining space that I was referring to with a wet bar etc, with room for 25+ people including the standing around space.

How high is your bar in the plans? I've grown found of designs with desk height bars, then you can use comfortable executive desk chairs for the seating rather bar stools. At counter height you could probably make it portable, even in two sections for ease of moving.

Hah, well like I said, my decision is on a much smaller scale with only 2.5' difference between my 2 options, but I get your point.

Definitely desk height bar since apparently no one makes a comfortable counter height seat. Planning to use some type of club chair depending on what I can find.

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Old 04-30-2012, 11:34 AM
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I'd say stay the course. The office/study could easily be split into two decent size bedrooms.

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Old 04-30-2012, 01:24 PM
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I'd stay the course with the current layout and split the large office into an office and bedroom. That space could easily accomodate both and while not being overly large rooms, they will certainly be sufficient.

Best of luck.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:58 AM
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Strikes me if you gave up the double entry doors for the office, and framed a door ninety degrees to the stairway, you could have the large office now, and have the option to easily create a fourth bedroom at a later date. The future bedroom doorway could be framed, then a few studs screwed in, and the door frame drywalled right over.

A small closet could be built in under the stairs, with a normal door.

If you took carefull measurements and some digital photos of the framed in doorway, a simple stud wall and drywall section of wall would give the fourth bedroom.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd stay the course with the current layout and split the large office into an office and bedroom. That space could easily accomodate both and while not being overly large rooms, they will certainly be sufficient.

Best of luck.

Thanks for the input and I'm honored that you signed up and made your first post just to comment on my thread.

The builder actually had an option in the original plan that I managed to dig up to split that side into 2 bedrooms. With closets, both rooms ended up being about 10x10, which seems uncomfortably tight to me (i.e. good for sleeping and that's about it). I currently work from home so having a decent sized office is one of the priorities at the moment. However, I can see us possibly modifying the space in the future to fit in a couple bedrooms.


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Old 05-01-2012, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tedd View Post

Strikes me if you gave up the double entry doors for the office, and framed a door ninety degrees to the stairway, you could have the large office now, and have the option to easily create a fourth bedroom at a later date. The future bedroom doorway could be framed, then a few studs screwed in, and the door frame drywalled right over.

A small closet could be built in under the stairs, with a normal door.

If you took carefull measurements and some digital photos of the framed in doorway, a simple stud wall and drywall section of wall would give the fourth bedroom.

Tedd thanks for taking the time to modify those to illustrate your thoughts. I like your out of the box thinking. Having the option to expand the # of bedrooms in the future is probably where we want to be.

There are a few issues with your suggestion. One is the stairs open up right where the closet framing is today, so they would have to be closed to place the wall where you've drawn. Also the sump/sewage pumps take up most of the area under the stairs. I'm going to do some additional measurements however and see if I can pre-plan for this option in the future.

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