Planning the Summit Cinema - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-14-2012, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello AVS'ers,

It's been a while since I have been active on the forums, but the time has come once again to begin planning for a new basement home theater. For anyone who cares, you can check out the theater build from my old house here.
My wife and I built that theater knowing we would only be in the house a couple of years. But this time around we are planning to be in the house for much longer, and thus want to step it up a notch or 2. Or 4.
Enough with the chit chat, I'd be super appreciative if I could get some feedback or ideas on the plan for the new house, first draft shown here:
Untitled.jpg

Some comments regarding design, wants, limitations, etc:
-Need a bedroom on a window
-Need a bathroom, located where it is. Well, it would be ALOT of work to move it all...
-Furnace area not relocatable
-Want a multi-purpose room, drew a ping pong table in there for now
-Want a wet bar, which will have a beer fridge, wine rack and wine chiller under the counter, and shelves above for all the good stuff
-Need some storage area, which will have the deep freeze
-For the theater room, want seating for more than 4, ideally at least 6. 7 fits nice here.
-Screen will be AT, with speakers behind, all up on a stage
-Back row of seating up on a riser
-Would like to have the double doors so we can open it up to the other room, should we be watching a sporting event of some kind with many others or having a party. Side question - has anyone else done this kind of door, how hard is it to seal up without having a support down the middle of the 2 doors?
-Theater walls will all be staggered studs, very likely with DD and GG. Will have some amount of acoustic treatments in the room.
-Likely put in a trey ceiling to house the lights and ducts.
-Ceiling is 8'6" for the most part, drops down a bit where the beam is drawn in (dashed lines)
-Drawn it up several ways having the entire top portion of the basement as a large theater/general area - we decided we didn't like any of the options for what we want.

I have this built up in Google Sketch-up, I'll see if I can pull off a couple images tonight to post, give you a bit of a visualization.

Construction will begin next spring, so there is still lots of time to get the plans together. Just wanted to get some ideas flowing, so we can finalize plans, and begin getting permits, planning etc.

Thanks so much in advance for everyone's help on this!

Steve
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-14-2012, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, home from work, got some captures form Sketchup. Last build, the input from you guys was a huge help, so let me have it. Made a couple changes to the plan that I haven't incorporated in the model yet, so there are some differences.
Basement plan: I don't have the linen closet or shower drawn in, and I have the AV rack in a different spot
BasementModel-PlanView.jpg

Theater plan view: I only have 1 door drawn in, not the double doors
TheaterModel-PlanView.jpg

Theater back overhead view:
TheaterModel-BackView.jpg

View from back row:
TheaterModel-FromBackRow.jpg

View from front row:
TheaterModel-FromFrontRow.jpg

Might have to change the back row from 4 seats to 3... might not have the width. We'll have to see.

Once again, any input or ideas you guys might have would be a big help

Steve
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-15-2012, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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More pictures!

Got a couple more plans drawn up, each with some pluses and minuses...

Back theater - plus: bigger theater room, better layout for furnace room and bathroom. Minus - no separate multi-room, speaker placement may be more of an issue.
BasementPlan-BackRev1.jpg

Back corner theater - plus: bigger theater room, potentially good furnace room layout. minus: smaller bathroom (but should still be ok), have to move all the rough-in plumbing and the support pole.
BasementPlan-BackCornerRev1-1.jpg

Basement is currently totally unfinished, and a blank slate. Perhaps I will snap some photos of the basement as is tonight...

Steve
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-15-2012, 01:57 PM
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I like your last plan the best. Take it from someone who has spent years and way too many dollars trying to get a shared space to work...the idea is a self contained theater, but the first plan seems a bit too small. I would kill the double doors if you have any intention of trying to control sound coming in and leaving the room...much easier to treat a single door. Also consider saving space in the utility room for your rack and your theater components...that way you keep them, their noise, heat and flashing lights out of the theater. You might consider making the riser a bit deeper too in case you decide to go with reclining theater seats at some point...6.5-7 feet would be a minimum I think.

Just my thoughts, I am sure some of the gurus on here will have some for you too.

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post #5 of 13 Old 08-15-2012, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I hear you about the double doors, but I'd be curious to hear if anyone else has been able to successfully seal off the double doors. It does sounds like it would be a big hassle...
I would put the AV rack in the utility area, just too lazy to draw it in. I had read in several places that 6' was good enough for a riser with a reclining couch on it, which is what I used for my design. Any other insight out there?

Here are a couple pics of the virgin basement:
Top left corner, looking towards the stairs
TremblantHeights42.jpg

Top left corner looking towards top right
TremblantHeights43.jpg

Top right corner looking towards bottom right
TremblantHeights48.jpg
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-20-2012, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post

Ummm, unless I'm disoriented isn't there a nasty jack post right in the middle of your proposed hometheater room?
All that pesky load-bearing stuff can really be a pain when trying to find a room greater than 12 feet in both directions.

You are correct, there certainly is a jack-post in the middle of the 3rd plan. We would have to remove it if we go with that layout, would would definitely cut into the budget.
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-21-2012, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post

Reading back I see you did mention the need to move the post for layout 3. Some have done it, but hiring a structural engineer to draft a new plan and then hopefully have it approved and inspected seems pretty extreme. The specific location of that support makes me wonder if there is a structural member above (other than the floor of course) that it is holding up. Nice of the designer to break up your largest basement areas with a post and a furnace. Typical. Cramming 6 or 7 seats into the remaining bits and pieces is going to be a chore (Yup! I guess that is why you asked for input in the first place. smile.gif Sorry, ain't got none.)
Good luck.

The more I look at it, the more I think I will be building some variation of option 1. Makes the theater narrower than I would want, but I can't see any way around it. The more reading I do, the more I think removing the jack post will obliterate my budget. And I definitely can't fit the theater on that side of the basement with the post still there.

Well, maybe the next step will be to tape out the floors, and refine my sketchup model.
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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So after several iterations and changes here, I think we have settled on a plan that we like, that gives enough space to each of the things we want, and best of all won't be a pain in the ass to build. Need to slightly relocate the water heater, but that's easy.
Really the only thing that is still up in the air is the exact location of the door to the theater. Put it where it is drawn, or move it to the right a bit and have it swing inwards....
BasementPlan-BackRev5.jpg

Next steps:
-Tape out the basement with this new plan so we can visualize and see if there are any spaces we thing are too big/too small/too awkward.
-Make a Sketchup model to again help visualize.
-Plan out electrical and plumbing so we can go get some permits!!
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 11:13 AM
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I've never been a fan of the "floating" riser (one that doesn't run to the back and side walls). Have you considered extending your riser all the way to the back wall? And maybe all the way to the "bottom" wall. You could add a 2nd step or maybe make one L-shaped step to gain access to the space behind your back row. I think that back area would feel nicer if it was at the same level as your back row. It will also give you some flexibility in placing "something" behind your back row. You can always slide your seats around to make room for whatever you stick back there if everything is on the same level. If not, the size of your riser will determine what you place back there.

How wide is your proposed theater space? I'm wondering if you could center the seating on the screen and still have enough aisle space to get behind your back row. Being off-center bugs me a bit and does not help your surround sound experience if you're jammed up against a side speaker.

Is the plan to have your side surrounds in the columns? If so, you might need to look at their placement relative to your seating. Typically, the sides should be just behind your first row.
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

I've never been a fan of the "floating" riser (one that doesn't run to the back and side walls). Have you considered extending your riser all the way to the back wall? And maybe all the way to the "bottom" wall. You could add a 2nd step or maybe make one L-shaped step to gain access to the space behind your back row. I think that back area would feel nicer if it was at the same level as your back row. It will also give you some flexibility in placing "something" behind your back row. You can always slide your seats around to make room for whatever you stick back there if everything is on the same level. If not, the size of your riser will determine what you place back there.
How wide is your proposed theater space? I'm wondering if you could center the seating on the screen and still have enough aisle space to get behind your back row. Being off-center bugs me a bit and does not help your surround sound experience if you're jammed up against a side speaker.
Is the plan to have your side surrounds in the columns? If so, you might need to look at their placement relative to your seating. Typically, the sides should be just behind your first row.

That's a good idea about the riser, I'll think about the logistics of that a bit. I think i should have the height to do that.... Risers are what...8" tall?

As drawn, the theater is 13' wide by 26' long (plus 2' behind screen). I have 3' from the wall to the riser. I was too lazy to re-draw the couches (for now), the front row would likely be centered on the screen and the back row off-center. The person in the center-right seat would be centered on the screen (me!). I suppose if I moved the door to the right, I could have the entire back half on a riser.... that's alot of riser to build. Most likely I think that the "something" in the back would be a taller table (think pub-style) which could be used for playing cards, overflow seating, housing snacks if we are entertaining, etc.

Columns are very roughly drawn on, not exact locations by any means. But yes, they are intended to house the surrounds.

Thanks alot for the input!
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post #11 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 11:37 AM
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Usually about 12"+ for the riser. There is a handy calculator floating around that will dial it in for you if you really want to go exact. For my build it was supposed to be around 16". I couldn't sacrifice that much height so I had to adjust accordingly knowing that the rear row sight line might be obstructed for the lower edge of the screen.
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post #12 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by vanice View Post

Usually about 12"+ for the riser. There is a handy calculator floating around that will dial it in for you if you really want to go exact. For my build it was supposed to be around 16". I couldn't sacrifice that much height so I had to adjust accordingly knowing that the rear row sight line might be obstructed for the lower edge of the screen.

Using some of the typical parameters others were saying, and assuming I can get my screen 30" off the ground (110" screen, which is 4.5' tall in a 8.5' room), I need a 16" riser. Could probably squeeze that down a bit to 12" or so (use 2x12's and plywood to build the riser) and set up the couches to be looking between heads.... Looks like I'm in the same boat as you more or less.
Maybe I'll set up a stool downstairs tonight to test things out.
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 01:18 PM
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Yup, sounds about the same. If I were to go up to 16" I would most likely be hitting my head on the soffit when I wanted to get to the back row. And that's with an 8'-5" ceiling height after drywall. I used 2 x 12's with two layers of 3/4" OSB to get me to 12 3/4" top of riser. A trial run is definitely worth the time.
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