Need input on room layout - door location and vaulted ceilings - AVS Forum
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking to build a new house and am trying to nail down some decisions on the layout. It'll be a two story house with the theater on the second floor positioned over the garage which is at the rear of the house. I've included a diagram of this below.


The media room is represented by the big black rectangle and the smaller black rectangle is the equipment closet. The family room is on the first floor with the loft overlooking it and the dotted outline at the top represents the garage and the dotted line to the right I believe is the patio. The standard layout for this house is to have a 12' x 12' bedroom that is half in the loft and half over the garage. We're essentially pushing that bedroom back then expanding it. The garage is between 19' and 20' wide so the media room will be the same, and I want to make it 14' on the shorter axis. The drawings of the media room and closet are my guesstimate, nothing more. I intend to make the closet about 4' deep and probably take up most of the 12' width there aside from what is needed for the media room door. I believe that most of the wall overlooking the family room will be a half wall.

My question is the placement of the media room door. Position 1 in the diagram makes the wall flush inside the media room. Seems good for acoustics. Position 2 would allow the wall in the loft to be flush. It would provide a cleaner look from the loft and from downstairs. Position 2 is my preference based on looks. It would also help protect the screen (I'm thinking left wall for this) from any light leaking through the doors. I'm probably going to use some sort of split door configuration for that entrance, like french doors but without glass. Would position 2 cause any problems for acoustics?

My other area of concern is the ceiling. Standard in most of the rooms is an 8' to 10' vault. I can probably have no vaults on the two long walls, but I think there might be an issue on the sides. I've seen some posts that say vaults may reflect more of the sound toward the listeners. Is this something I need to be concerned about?
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:13 PM
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Just so you know it is not that unusual to use two doors creating an "air lock" to better soundproof the theater. Sometimes they are just inches apart.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:36 PM
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Keith,

How important is soundproofing between the theater and the rest of the house ?

Cheers,
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
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My initial thought was that that is just overkill for my situation. But the more I think about it the more I like it. I doubt that I can get the builder to do too much in the way of soundproofing, it's not a custom build so beyond getting all the walls insulated there's probably not much I can get them to do. But with the closet where it is, and the fact that it's over the garage, the double doors would be the final piece to do some fairly effective soundproofing. Plus it solves problems with looks on both sides, and any acoustic concerns. I'll definitely push for that with the builder.

Fortunately on the first floor adjacent to the garage is the master closet, coat closet, and utility room. There's going to be a good gap between the theater and any living space.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I checked on removing the vaults and it can't be done because of the roof line. Should I ask them box in those areas instead? It might be 2' x 2', but if it's only around the edges I don't think that's a big deal, as it'll still be a minimum of 8', except over the riser.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Mickunas View Post

I checked on removing the vaults and it can't be done because of the roof line. Should I ask them box in those areas instead? It might be 2' x 2', but if it's only around the edges I don't think that's a big deal, as it'll still be a minimum of 8', except over the riser.

I wouldn't box it in for 'acoustics'. But if you want to do something with the ceiling, like a tray and rope lights, it would be easy... Depends on what your plans are for the rest of the room (risers, etc.). If there's just a vault on the screen wall, you can easily place the screen top all the way up at 8' - if that's been boxed it, that would look weird.

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
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If it were a shorter vault I would definitely have them bring it in a ways, then recess the rest of the ceiling. That can have a nice effect. I guess I'll just leave it alone. Actually with the vault it might be interesting to paint the room with three colors, one shade on the walls, a slightly different shade on the vault, then another shade on the ceiling. Something to consider.

I've signed the contract but I have the ability to tweak things if needed. I think that this is going to come along real nicely. It looks like the length of my room will be fixed at 19'6" based on the blueprints I've seen for a similar house. I'll have an entrance into the room 7'6" from one wall (right wall), and if that entrance is 48", as I think we'll be going with 2 20" doors for the opening, that means the entrance is 8' from the other wall (left from the entrance). The equipment closet will be on the opposite side of the 8' section, and will be a little over 3' deep. I'm thinking of using a 6' deep 16" high riser. That will put clearance at the back at 6'8" but quickly rising to 8'8". So really tall people can't stand at the back of the room, but I don't like really tall people anyways. I'm planning on adding power outlets to the floor for both rows of seating to accommodate powered recliners.

In the shorter dimension I'm planning to have it 14' wide. That is pretty flexible really, but I have to pay for every square foot if I grow it. I've read that 1.4x1.9x1 is one of the optimal dimensions, so I'm going that route. I'm thinking of four theater seats in the front row, with a love seat configuration for the center two. The back row could be three or four theater seats, or perhaps a couch in a similar style. Four may be a little tight, but I like the love seat option and I think that would be odd with three.

I'm thinking of putting the screen on the left wall. The riser plus a step should fit just to the right of the entrance. That entrance will dictate side speaker location, but it should end up placing the side speaker just behind the front (main) row. It's possible the entrance will eat up one of the second reflection points. I still have to figure that out.

I have a few weeks to make my initial decision on the riser location and wiring, and I should be able to tweak that when it's time to install it. I'll have all the coax and ethernet and speakers for the theater run into the closet. Unfortunately I don't believe I'll be allowed to do any of my own wiring. I will have a meeting with the people responsible for that though, so hopefully I can get them to use something better than 16ga wiring like I've seen in the other houses. If it proves to be a problem to have them do the wiring right I will be able to cut a hole in the wall to the closet and run the wires direct for all the front channels and subs. I do that in my current arrangement and have a sub hiding the hole. I believe I will have enough attic access so I might be able to drop new lines down to the closet and run stuff to the ceiling area. I'm having them wire it for a projector of course, but if my needs ever change in that regards I should have access to it.

Damn this is exciting. I'm currently using a loft space for my theater, which I did a good job pre-wiring for, but it's a bit cramped, can't really accommodate more than four people without pulling in some office chairs or the like, and it's not enclosed and a projector would be a pain to add. Now I'm finally going to do it right.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:26 AM
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Get a spool or two of 12 or 14 gauge in-wall speaker wire from Monoprice, and hand it to the electrician... That will be the easiest way to get it done.

The big thing you need to do, assuming with that vaulted ceiling that you won't have access above later - is to figure out your PJ location, get it wired and some additional blocking there to support the mount.

Jeff

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Old 09-03-2012, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Get a spool or two of 12 or 14 gauge in-wall speaker wire from Monoprice, and hand it to the electrician... That will be the easiest way to get it done.
The big thing you need to do, assuming with that vaulted ceiling that you won't have access above later - is to figure out your PJ location, get it wired and some additional blocking there to support the mount.
Jeff

With my current house I bought three 100' spools with the plan that if I couldn't get it wired right I would redo it and hope they didn't catch it. As it was I happened across the guy when he was getting started on my house and hadn't run any speaker wire yet. I gave him my wire and showed him how I wanted things run and he even ran an extra line that wasn't on the plan. Then when I was at the house doing my pre-drywall inspection the guy showed up with a box full of the excess wire. Very nice of him.

The projector distance may be tough to nail down. It will be some time before I get to that stage. I'll have to get by with my TV for the first year or so I'm guessing. So who knows what projectors will be out then. I played with a projector distance calculator and I see that many have zoom then you can combine that with different screen gains to get what you need. So I'll look up some projectors that would be candidates if I were purchasing now and run them through the calculator and come up with a spot that would work with them.
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