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post #1 of 348 Old 07-28-2012, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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My wife and I recently bought our first home. We don't take possession for another couple of weeks and as you might imagine, we can barely contain our excitement. I've been dreaming about building a proper listening room (for my 2 channel rig) and a dedicated theatre for many years, so I'm quite pleased that the new house has space to accommodate for both.

The current owner partially finished the basement so my first job will be to "gut" it. The work was poor and the layout is not desirable. I will also need to re-locate a largish HVAC trunk that currently runs the length of the theatre space.

I'm not a super handy guy so I will rely on pros for anything I am uncomfortable doing. That being said, the dozens and dozens of construction threads here on AVS have given me a solid understanding of the best practices and techniques required for the job; I hope to tackle quite a bit myself.

I visited the house a few weeks ago and took detailed measurements of the basement and compared them with the plans I was able to source from the builder. The house is 8 years old and while the builder is still offering this model, I wanted to make sure the plans I was given matched that of my place. Luckily they did.

Here is the proposed new layout of the basement:



Room Details:
  • 14'w x 23'd x 7.5'h
  • Located in basement
  • A separate equipment room will be located behind the screen wall.
  • No windows

Goals:
  • Purpose built theatre for movies and occasional TV
  • Clean, elegant design
  • 7.1 setup
  • Seating 5 in 2 rows (Berkline or similar recliners)
  • Hidden speakers
  • 2:35 or CIH AT Screen
  • Carpeted floor
  • Fabric Walls
  • Lighting (5-6 zones) controlled by a Graphik Eye setup

Gear:
  • Projector: ???? In the current design with the projector on the back wall I'd need a throw of about 19.5 feet
  • Speakers: I'll probably use a set of Active Genelec monitors I have sitting around for LCR and in-wall speakers for surrounds (Triad, Atlantic Technology etc)
  • Subs: Stereo subs behind AT Screen.
  • Pre-Pro: Bryston SP2 or SP3 (Canuck eh?)
  • Amps for Rear Surrounds: 2 x Bryston 4B
  • Sources: Boxee Box, Sony Blu-ray, Cable box
  • Screen: Some sort of DIY AT screen -- perhaps I'll buy a frame? Seems easier than building one.

My initial ideas:

Sketch-up file: Theatre Layout - Jul 28.zip 437k .zip file





I've taken ideas from many of the build threads here on AVS but I'd very much welcome any suggestions or comments you may have.
Attached Files
File Type: zip Theatre Layout - Jul 28.zip (436.9 KB, 50 views)

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post #2 of 348 Old 07-28-2012, 09:54 AM
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Couple of things. For your screen, I would contact Jamestown. He uses SeymourAV Centerstage XD AT material and give your a nice frame for a decent price:

http://www.jamestownhometheaterscreen.com/

He hand builds everything so give yourself a good 6 weeks or so if you order from him.

Projector. Are you thinking 3D? If so, throwing almost 20' is not recommend since the longer your throw, the more light you lose. And with the 3D glasses expect about 75% light loss in 3D mode. Otherwise there are some good 2D projectors that will throw that far.

What about soundproofing? Are you planning for clips, channel, green glue, double drywall, etc?

Seems like a fun build and I am happy for you. Nce choice in speakers smile.gif
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post #3 of 348 Old 07-28-2012, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

Couple of things. For your screen, I would contact Jamestown. He uses SeymourAV Centerstage XD AT material and give your a nice frame for a decent price:
http://www.jamestownhometheaterscreen.com/
He hand builds everything so give yourself a good 6 weeks or so if you order from him.
Projector. Are you thinking 3D? If so, throwing almost 20' is not recommend since the longer your throw, the more light you lose. And with the 3D glasses expect about 75% light loss in 3D mode. Otherwise there are some good 2D projectors that will throw that far.
What about soundproofing? Are you planning for clips, channel, green glue, double drywall, etc?
Seems like a fun build and I am happy for you. Nce choice in speakers smile.gif

Thanks for the tip re: Jamestown. I'll look into it.

I'm not considering 3D as it's not really something I'm interested in. I'd rather buy a better 2D projector.

As for soundproofing -- yes, I plan on doing staggered wall construction, clips + channel, DD and green glue. Even though I think it's overkill given the layout of our house and the fact that its just my wife and I, I've read enough on these forums to know that its worth the effort and extra cost to do it properly the first time around.

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post #4 of 348 Old 07-28-2012, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memmo View Post

I'm not considering HD 3D as it's not really something I'm interested in. I'd rather buy a better 2D projector.
Fixed it for you. smile.gif

Looking forward to this one. Do you think you'll start right away, or do you have other to-do plans for the new house first?

Chris

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post #5 of 348 Old 07-28-2012, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerParty View Post

Fixed it for you. smile.gif
Looking forward to this one. Do you think you'll start right away, or do you have other to-do plans for the new house first?

I'll aiming to start right away. There isn't anything I need/want to do upstairs. In fact, I'm taking the week off after our move so I'm sure I'll be knee deep in demo mode pretty quickly.

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post #6 of 348 Old 07-28-2012, 02:51 PM
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Looks like a good space to work with, and a good initial plan - looking forward to seeing how it comes along.
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post #7 of 348 Old 07-28-2012, 07:35 PM
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Looks like a great space. Hard to tell without dimensions, but it looks like you might be able to slide both your front and back rows a little closer to the screen to get a little more separation from your rear surrounds.

Looking forward to watching your progress.
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post #8 of 348 Old 07-28-2012, 09:48 PM
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It's pretty amazing how close my design is to yours. The front stage and plan is almost identical to what I am planing. Have you considered using the equipment space for an infinite baffle sub setup?
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post #9 of 348 Old 07-28-2012, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memmo View Post

My wife and I recently bought our first home. We don't take possession for another couple of weeks and as you might imagine, we can barely contain our excitement. I've been dreaming about building a proper listening room (for my 2 channel rig) and a dedicated theatre for many years, so I'm quite pleased that the new house has space to accommodate for both.
The current owner partially finished the basement so my first job will be to "gut" it. The work was poor and the layout is not desirable. I will also need to re-locate a largish HVAC trunk that currently runs the length of the theatre space.
I'm not a super handy guy so I will rely on pros for anything I am uncomfortable doing. That being said, the dozens and dozens of construction threads here on AVS have given me a solid understanding of the best practices and techniques required for the job; I hope to tackle quite a bit myself.
I visited the house a few weeks ago and took detailed measurements of the basement and compared them with the plans I was able to source from the builder. The house is 8 years old and while the builder is still offering this model, I wanted to make sure the plans I was given matched that of my place. Luckily they did.
Here is the proposed new layout of the basement:

Room Details:
  • 14'w x 23'd x 7.5'h
  • Located in basement
  • A separate equipment room will be located behind the screen wall.
  • No windows
Goals:
  • Purpose built theatre for movies and occasional TV
  • Clean, elegant design
  • 7.1 setup
  • Seating 5 in 2 rows (Berkline or similar recliners)
  • Hidden speakers
  • 2:35 or CIH AT Screen
  • Carpeted floor
  • Fabric Walls
  • Lighting (5-6 zones) controlled by a Graphik Eye setup
Gear:
  • Projector: ???? In the current design with the projector on the back wall I'd need a throw of about 19.5 feet
  • Speakers: I'll probably use a set of Active Genelec monitors I have sitting around for LCR and in-wall speakers for surrounds (Triad, Atlantic Technology etc)
  • Subs: Stereo subs behind AT Screen.
  • Pre-Pro: Bryston SP2 or SP3 (Canuck eh?)
  • Amps for Rear Surrounds: 2 x Bryston 4B
  • Sources: Boxee Box, Sony Blu-ray, Cable box
  • Screen: Some sort of DIY AT screen -- perhaps I'll buy a frame? Seems easier than building one.
My initial ideas:
Sketch-up file: Theatre Layout - Jul 28.zip 437k .zip file


I've taken ideas from many of the build threads here on AVS but I'd very much welcome any suggestions or comments you may have.

Just curious where you live that you can have a basement with a living space such as a bedroom without an egress window/door? It sure wouldn't pass code here in MIchigan. Perhaps I am not seeing something in your drawing.
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post #10 of 348 Old 07-29-2012, 09:05 AM
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If the house is older that requirement may not have been in place at the time it was constructed. It only switched from bedrooms in the basement to any finished living space in our county withing the last few years. If you have a basement bedroom egress that fulfills the requirement for the entire basement now. Building codes can vary by county it usually is a matter of slowness to adapt to national codes. Local unions and politics can also influence codes as there are still some places were wiring must be in metal conduit and in some places home owners are not allowed to do certain things like wiring.
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post #11 of 348 Old 07-29-2012, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

Looks like a great space. Hard to tell without dimensions, but it looks like you might be able to slide both your front and back rows a little closer to the screen to get a little more separation from your rear surrounds.
Looking forward to watching your progress.

I agree completely. I will have to wait until I demo the existing rooms to find out exactly where the beams are. Their position may ultimately define where the door to the theatre has to go. I wanted to avoid having the door be the first reflection point.

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post #12 of 348 Old 07-29-2012, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macfan View Post

Just curious where you live that you can have a basement with a living space such as a bedroom without an egress window/door? It sure wouldn't pass code here in MIchigan. Perhaps I am not seeing something in your drawing.

There is an egress window in the bedroom -- I just didn't put it in this Sketchup mockup.

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post #13 of 348 Old 08-09-2012, 05:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Updated Sketchup drawing -- I increased the depth of the riser to 7' and the space behind the screen wall to 24".

Not shown in this mockup is a 5.5" soffit -- I'm still not convinced it will work with the low ceiling height.

General thoughts at this point:

1. Soffits -- With the riser being almost 12" inches tall and the soffits even a modest 5.5" tall I'm concerned people might hit their heads as they go up onto the riser. I have an 8" deep column placed where the step is which helps a little but I'm not sure if its enough. My primary reason for wanting the soffits, I'll admit, is mostly cosmetic -- as it would allow me to incorporate rope lighting which really adds some polish to the room. Secondly (and maybe more importantly) they would give me a spot to house recessed lighting without cutting holes in the ceiling and they are an ideal spot to run conduit. Would a rope lighting effect be worthwhile on only a 5.5" tall soffit?

2. In the rear of the room, I have "boxed out" the corners. The one side is to conceal a plumbing stack coming from an upstairs bathroom. The opposite side will hide some duct work but it is primary there for symmetry. In the current drawing, I have the rear surrounds in the wall -- I'd love to have them in columns matching the sides but putting a pair of columns on the rear wall look awkward with the corners "boxed out". Any suggestions on how I might get around this?

3. I haven't yet decided on a projector -- Ideally it would go slightly behind the rear row of seats (again so people don't risk hitting their heads). That however means a throw of almost 20' That seems like a lot.

I get the keys in a few weeks and can't wait to get started -- it's really painful counting down the days smile.gif


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post #14 of 348 Old 10-26-2012, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Been a while since an update so here goes:

Moved in at the beginning of September but got busy with work which didn't leave me much time to think about the theater project. A few weeks ago I began to rip out two existing rooms the previous owner had built in the basement. My father has been helping quite a bit and his jeep + utility trailer comes in handy carting stuff off to the landfill. I still have to rip out a sink and finish removing the exterior framing. I should be able to complete the demo this next week at which point I'll be down to the foundation.

The hardest part of the process so far has been getting the F^#&$ carpet adhesive off the floor. I didn't want to use chemicals so its been a slow manual process with a floor scraper I bought from Home Depot. Perhaps I need to change my position and pick up some chemicals if it would make my job easier. You can see I still have a ways to go. I'm almost too embarrased to post these pics given how messy everything still is down there but here goes:




standing at the end of the theatre looking towards where the screen will be (though there will be a wall in-between dividing the theatre and equipment room - and yes the sink will be removed!)

I have to figure out where I can move some duct work -- one is an HRV return, one is a supply for a second floor bedroom. They are located in an inconvenient spot - essentially right between the theater and the equipment room.



As soon as I had the ceiling down in the basement, I took the opportunity to run all the low-voltage stuff required for the rest of the house (I'm also installing a distributed A/V system). Fishing turned out to be easier than I had anticipated. Cleaning up this rats nest on the other hand will require some work smile.gif



Planning ahead:

I've been wrestling with a couple questions in my head:

1. How to go about moving air in and out of the equipment room. Given its location and the way the existing HVAC is implemented it is near impossible to run a supply or return duct into the space without dropping down below the steel beam - something I was hoping to avoid. A dedicated mini split is not in the budget. Could I bring in air from an adjacent hallway via a vent in the wall and then exhaust it using a bathroom type exhaust fan? Any other options I should consider?

2. Dedicated Power - As I'd like to get the equipment room closed off from the rest of the basement ASAP (so I can begin to get some of the A/V stuff running for the rest of the house) I need to think about power. I'd like to install a sub panel. I'm thinking 6-8 circuits in total for the equipment room/theatre - 2 x 20A for the gear, the rest for various lighting details and wall plugs in the columns. Does this sound reasonable?

That's it for now. More pics to come shortly.

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post #15 of 348 Old 11-08-2012, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's the new proposed layout which flips the orientation of the theatre. Key specs are:

Width (after double 5/8" drywall): 13' 8 1/4"
Length (after double 5/8" drywall): 20' 9 1/2"
Distance between screen and the front row seating position: 11' 9"
Riser depth: 6' 6"

Right now, I'm hoping I can keep the projector located on a shelf in the adjoining equipment room. This means a throw of about 19 feet.


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post #16 of 348 Old 11-08-2012, 01:42 PM
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It looks as if your side columns are not far enough forward to be perpendicular to the first row of seating. Looks good.
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post #17 of 348 Old 11-08-2012, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fax6202 View Post

It looks as if your side columns are not far enough forward to be perpendicular to the first row of seating. Looks good.

This is true. I decided to place them there because on the one side of the room I needed a way to conceal some plumbing which comes down from the main and second floors and since the column was near by I guess I just decided that would be the cleanest option.

I could make them wider which would look awkward or I could move them forward and have to add an additional "enclosure" to conceal the plumbing stack... neither seem like great options.

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post #18 of 348 Old 11-08-2012, 02:03 PM
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Make sense to me, I agree that a very wide column would not look that great. Good luck!
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post #19 of 348 Old 11-08-2012, 02:18 PM
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I think you'll be fine placing the columns slightly behind the front row. Both THX and Dolby recommend placing the surrounds 90-110 degrees from the room centerline , so it's not critical that they be exactly at 90 degrees.
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post #20 of 348 Old 11-08-2012, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Lucked out this evening... stopped in at Lowes to ask about delivery options and realized they were having a sale on 5/8" drywall. I ordered 80 sheets at $9 instead of the regular price of $13. Sale ended today.

Won't have it delivered for another month or two but I'm glad I got it on sale smile.gif

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post #21 of 348 Old 11-12-2012, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Any canucks here know where I can source 2" flexible conduit? Shipping 100' from Smarthome costs $300+

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post #22 of 348 Old 11-12-2012, 07:20 PM
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I went to local electrical store, ordered it in.

-----------------------------------------------
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post #23 of 348 Old 11-12-2012, 07:38 PM
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In a previous post you mentioned that you wanted a soffit to hide a rope light. With your ceiling height, have you considered omitting the soffit and using a wide crown molding, but stopping it below the ceiling and hiding your rope light behind it? That way you get to have the rope light and keep the head room too.

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!

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post #24 of 348 Old 11-13-2012, 04:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

In a previous post you mentioned that you wanted a soffit to hide a rope light. With your ceiling height, have you considered omitting the soffit and using a wide crown molding, but stopping it below the ceiling and hiding your rope light behind it? That way you get to have the rope light and keep the head room too.

Thats exactly what I was thinking. I'd be happy with this look:



Only downside is that the soffit would hide some ugly plumbing from the laundry room upstairs. I can't think of a way to box around it without it looking like a complete disaster -- and having rope lighting run around it would only make it more obvious frown.gif

I agree though, the soffit doesn't look like its going to work.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by memmo View Post

I'd like to install a sub panel. I'm thinking 6-8 circuits in total for the equipment room/theatre - 2 x 20A for the gear, the rest for various lighting details and wall plugs in the columns. Does this sound reasonable?
Is the sub panel just for the theater, or will you need extra circuits for the rest of the basement. If your existing panel is full (or close to full) you might want to plan for a larger subpanel to provide extra circuits for the rest of the basement.

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post #26 of 348 Old 11-13-2012, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memmo View Post

Only downside is that the soffit would hide some ugly plumbing from the laundry room upstairs. I can't think of a way to box around it without it looking like a complete disaster -- and having rope lighting run around it would only make it more obvious frown.gif
I agree though, the soffit doesn't look like its going to work.
Can you post up a picture of the plumbing in question, and post a plan with the plumbing location marked? The talented folks here may be able to offer alternative suggestions with a better look at what you have.

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post #27 of 348 Old 11-13-2012, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerParty View Post

Is the sub panel just for the theater, or will you need extra circuits for the rest of the basement. If your existing panel is full (or close to full) you might want to plan for a larger subpanel to provide extra circuits for the rest of the basement.

The sub panel will only be used for the equipment room and theatre. The rest of the basement is powered from the main panel which has more room for growth.

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post #28 of 348 Old 11-13-2012, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerParty View Post

Can you post up a picture of the plumbing in question, and post a plan with the plumbing location marked? The talented folks here may be able to offer alternative suggestions with a better look at what you have.

Sure, here goes.

The main vertical pipes would be concealed with the a combination of the wall and the column. It's the part that comes out at the top on an angle that is harder to conceal. Its not the depth thats the concern here, its the width. If I were to make a column that would conceal the main pipe and the top portions, It would probably be 2 feet wide.






The Big Bay Home Theater Build Thread
My personal theater build on Kempenfelt Bay, Barrie Ontario Canada
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post #29 of 348 Old 11-13-2012, 07:29 PM
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The time you build your stage which I am guessing is 2x12's with 2 layers of 3/4 ply you will be at 12 3/4" High, then build your column the width you like , then build an angled bump out similar to what BIG did in the Ohio build. You would then need to build an access hatch for that clean out i'm guessing.

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post #30 of 348 Old 11-14-2012, 03:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I'm thinking about having a plumber come in and turn the clean-out 90 degrees so that it opens to the side instead of the front. This would save 1.5-2". By the time I build the wall + double drywall and then build a column it will be enough to conceal the lower part of the pipe. My concern is the top part where the 2 pipes run below the joists.

They could be concealed with a 5" soffit but given the ceiling height of 7'5" and the rear riser, I think we've determined that won't work too well. I thought about building a riser just wide and deep enough for the rear row (so it wouldn't go full width)... might that be an option that would allow me to keep the shallow soffits or am I still dreaming?

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