So we bought a house January 2012 and I've finally convinced the "boss" to let me finish the basement and build my dedicated HT/Gaming room! So the allowable space I have is basically half my basement but I need to leave storage space as well since the other half will be the family/rec room with a bar and exercise equipment.
I have the skills and knowledge to design and draft it all using AutoCAD as well as SketchUp for quick renderings (I'm a Project Manager at an architecture firm). I'll also be DIYing the entire build with the help of my dad who is a residential contractor.
A couple of years ago I had designed an entire house including a full designed dedicated HT but our plans changed and we didn't build that house. We ended up buying a house my dad had built and the HT wasn't included in the build at the time...
I've been slowly buying 2x4's and stock piling them knowing I'd eventually get to finishing the basement. And last week woot.com was having a deal on the Pioneer Elite series in-wall speakers so I got four of the S-IW671-LR CST's for the mains and rears and a S-IW571L CST for the center. I have a Yamaha HTR-6130 receiver. I've been researching a lot about IB configurations and REALLY want to go with a couple of 18" subs with the rear chamber in the storage space adjacent to the theater; more on this later.
This build will be pieced together as funds allow so progress will be relatively slow. The reason for this thread is to get feedback and suggestions as I move forward with the design AND construction. We are looking into a home improvement loan which will pay for the finishing of our basement so that means when we close on the loan the "hard" items like drywall, studs, lighting and flooring will be covered under the loan while the HT equipment will be out of our pockets so to speak.
My wife has expressed concerns about going with a projector as her claim is that they don't look as good as our 60" Sharp Aquos or 50" LG Plasma (which both put out a great picture). I'm not sure where she's getting her negative opinion on projectors but we had a Mitsu 73" 1080p rear projection TV and she HATED it!!! So I sold it to buy the plasma! Anyhow, I'm going to need to make sure I get the BEST possible 2D picture out of a projector or the whole project will be a lose since she'll be pissed I spent all the money on a projector with her "perceived" bad picture... We've been to several 3D movies at the theater and just don't care for it so that's not a requirement at this time.
As I've been re-researching dedicated HT's I've been thinking about going with as much flat black for the entire room as I can. That way the picture is truly the only focal point in the room. This theater will be mainly used for watching movies and HDTV broadcast over our DirecTV box. My wife LOVES watching movies at home and I'd like the big HD picture and immersive sound experience. So with that said I think function aggressively outweighs form for my project.
The ceiling is already drywalled using 5/8" Firerock and taped and mudded but not finish sanded or painted. During construction I had the electrician wire me three dedicated 20A circuits (3 duplex receptacles) and an RG6 to the closet under the stairs knowing that I'd be using it as an equipment closet. Below is the basement floor plan as it sits right now along with my proposed space allocations: