After a five year hiatus from AVS, I’m back for more. I built a small HT in my old townhouse about 8 years ago. I moved out of there 5 years ago into a SFH and boy have I missed it. The plan was to build a new HT a year or two after moving in to the new home, and as many of you have similarly experienced, life got in the way. Three kids and a dog later (I still have the wife!) I’m itching to get going. I may set some kind of record for longest construction duration needing to balance family, time and budget, but I’ll stick to this thread to keep everyone who’s interested up to date and, most importantly, to me, throw out the bajillion questions I’ll have through the process that I’m hoping you all can help me out with.
I’m going to be using my old A/V gear (Paradigm floors and sub w/surround satellites) and projector (Panasonic PTL500). I’m already itching for a newer projector but would rather build the room first and then upgrade that down the road. It still puts out a reasonable image in a light controlled room. I’m thinking about two rows with the first one at 12 ft with a 100” screen. I will probably add the second row later and on a small riser
I’m still heavy in the research phase but I’m itching to start framing. So here are some current questions.
1. My main breaker box is one floor up in the garage. There’s plenty of open space in the breaker and it looks like someone with experience can pull new wire down to the basement. Question: Would it be easier to have an electrician wire up a new subpanel in the HT, like 100amps or so, and then I can run dedicated circuits for my HT equipment and lights (and the rest of the basement when I finish it)? I was also thinking that way I could do all the wiring and then have an electrician tie in the new circuits to the new subpanel.
2. I am building mostly a room-in-a-room. I will use clips and channel to decouple the ceiling and I’m using clips to decouple the walls. Double drywall with GG. There's concrete walls on all sides except the wall between the HT and where I’ll have a pool table. There are two posts along that wall. I foresee putting a double door there. Question: Should I go with two separate walls or should I do a staggered stud? If I do a straight wall for the inner HT wall, then the outer wall will have to deal with the posts (see photo below). If I was willing to give up floor space, I could just do a straight outer wall and sandwich the posts. Or an alternative is to box around the posts and build some kind of column. One of the posts would tie into a soffit (the post holds a large beam), so it wouldn’t look that balanced if I build a column around each post.
3. The HVAC system is in the same space where I plan on storing all my A/V gear. When the home was built, the system was sized for a finished basement. There will be two vents in the rear of the HT where I will simply tie into the current line that feeds the room above it. Question: Should I put a dead vent in the wall between the HT and the HVAC system? This would be the easiest. Should I put one in between the HT and the adjacent room? I don’t see any easy way to tie into a return vent, since there is basically a return on each floor of the house. The home leverages the gaps beneath the doors to pull air out of rooms so I figure a dead vent in the wall would provide the same thing?
4. What are your thoughts on storing all the gear behind the wall? I like the idea of keeping it clean and I’m not too worried about having to go back there to put in a DVD. Any other drawbacks other than using an IR repeater to control things?
Here's some crappy drawings I did.
The chairs are oversized in the drawing. I'm hoping to put a small bar in the back corner. As far as sound proofing, right now I only have one wall between the HVAC and sump area. It will be clipped in with double drywall and GG. I'm hoping I don't need to build a second wall. I'm only worried about minimizing sound from the HVAC. I plan to use a sealed exterior door for entry.
Here you can see the two posts I need to deal with. Was planning on putting the HT entry door in between those. I would like to do a dual single door configuration but I don't think my wife will accept that so most likely an exterior french door is in my future...I'll have to deal with its acoustic properties.
Originally I had started to frame the area out to build a barrier in between the HVAC and to be able to set up the projector just to use it in unfinished spaces. Well, that's the catalyst for now building out the whole space. Notice that I need to keep access to the sump pump on the far right. If I put the screen wall far enough back, I should have plenty of room to add a false screen wall. I'll need to build a sofitt around the beam.
Here's the overall layout of the basement.
I need to think hard about entry into the theater. I'd rather do two single doors to create an air gap, but I will most likely lose that battle.