A little background about myself before I get started:
I live the bachelor life. I work full time as a paramedic and part time as a carpenter/general contractor on my off days, and I've completely and totally remodeled my entire house single-handedly, so I have quite a bit of experience in the field of home construction. Our family company does multi-million dollar lakefront homes in the Chicago area so I have a lot of experience with the higher end homes and seen quite a few HT rooms put into these houses.
The final frontier at my house was the hideous room that you see here.. matted down berber carpet, ugly windows, and two layers of vertical wood paneling that had been painted a terrible shade of creamy yellow. It once had a fireplace that was leaking, rusted, and ugly with a concrete pad poured for it. Needless to say, this room had to go. Needless to say, working as a civil servant, I don't have quite the expansive budget that many other builders may have. That said, I have the resources (read: freebies) and knowledge to do this all myself.. so here's my journey.
Here's a breakdown of all the components I used (electronics wise). They're almost ALL refurbs, open boxes, or special sales, as I spent 3 months hunting and buying this as they came on sale or otherwise.
Harman Kardon AVR-2600 Receiver
Panasonic DMP-BDT220 Blu-Ray
Belkin PureAV PF30 "Power Conditioner" (pure ********, but it's much cleaner than a power strip in my rack)
Optoma HD20 Projector
Elite Screens Sable 100" 16:9 CineWhite screen
Logitech Harmony 900 RF remote
Polk Audio CS20 Center Channel
Polk Audio TSi300 Floor Standing L/R
Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf surrounds
Polk Audio RC80i in-ceiling Rear surrounds
Polk Audio PSW505 12" Subwoofer (soon to be x 2)
ALL wiring, plates, rack shelves, etc from Monoprice
I definitely have aspirations for higher end equipment, but I'm new to the HT world and I was able to procure ALL of this (everything, wiring included) for under $3,000.
Lowe's house brand 3" gimbal lights inside the beams, over the columns
Minka Lavery 680-14 sconce, freebie value: $400
Lutron Maestro electronic dimmers
Western solid core doors
Emtek door hardware
Here's a quick before and after of the final result, as I'll be doing this in posts periodically since I'm only this far in and running out of typing steam: