New Build for Father-Can I get some Advice?!?! - AVS Forum
Dedicated Theater Design & Construction > New Build for Father-Can I get some Advice?!?!
Zach Peterson's Avatar Zach Peterson 10:42 PM 12-27-2012
Hey all!!

Thanks for any advice you can give beforehand.

My father is looking to build a dedicated home theater and music room. Probably a 70/30 split respectively. He has a 17'X20' room that will require some sort of audio isolation and then treatment. Don't want mom hearing him or him hearing the washer/dryer. He has a budget of around $20,000. This being said, there is no reason to spend that much unless there are significant gains that can be made. He is looking for a projector setup and a 5.1 + system. Ambient light will be able to be completely controlled, but watching a football game while doing a crossword would be preferable (i.e. a projector that works well w/ambient light).

Looking mostly for ideas on

-audio isolation and treatments;

-Projector and screen suggestions. I have made my own screen which works well with an epson 6010. I don't know if this would be a good option a better projector is chosen.

-Sound system selection. possibly need a Blu-Ray player as well.

I am open to any and all advice. it would be great to have multiple choices so we can decide where to spend money for the greatest return.


BIGmouthinDC's Avatar BIGmouthinDC 06:31 AM 12-28-2012
You and your father should read the library of articles at I use those techniques in my projects and they work. The principles of soundproofing are Mass, Isolation, Dampening, and Absorption.

Mass - build the walls and ceiling with two layers of 5/8 firecode drywall, get a solid core (not solid wood) door

Isolation- mount the wall and ceiling on either wall framing and ceiling joists not attached to the rest of the house or use a suspension system known here as Clips and Channel. Those on a budget use IB1 clips and Hat Channel. Those that can spend more go with Whisper clips.

Dampening - You put a layer of Green Glue between the layers of drywall, it converts vibration to heat and increases the sound containment ability of the drywall.

Absorption - Use cheap fluffy fiberglass insulation in the walls and ceiling

Now one more thing you need to build this drywall bunker without any holes. So wiring, lights etc need to all go inside the room not in big holes cut in the wall. Where you absolutely need something cut in wall you apply a backer box or putty pad to the item to keep the sound in. You also want some after market door seals and an automatic door bottom seal. Stages and risers are built inside the bunker, after it is complete.

Since sound exclusion/containment is important you need to plan on allocating at least 20-25% of that room budget on the materials to build the drywall bunker with door.
design1stcode2nd's Avatar design1stcode2nd 08:51 AM 12-28-2012
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

get a solid core (not solid wood) door.

I read through the articles and I saw where a solid core is better than a hollow core due to mass but why is it better than a solid wood door?
dwightp's Avatar dwightp 09:47 AM 12-28-2012
Originally Posted by design1stcode2nd View Post

Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

get a solid core (not solid wood) door.

I read through the articles and I saw where a solid core is better than a hollow core due to mass but why is it better than a solid wood door?

Mass. A solid entry door with a particle board center probably weighs 100-125 lbs. An entry door built out of solid oak, for example, might weigh 50 lbs. Plus, the construction of a solid oak (or whatever) door, with its raised panels and mouldings, means some parts of the door are not as thick or massive as others. A heavy, flat slab entry door is what you want. If aesthetics are a big concern, you can dress up a slab door with mouldings.
design1stcode2nd's Avatar design1stcode2nd 10:37 AM 12-28-2012
Seems like all the slab, solid core doors from the big box stores in my area are at most 40-50lbs. Now these are sold as solid core, doesn't mean it's truly solid.

The estimate I have from a local lumber store for a stave built, poplar slab door is almost $400. I may have to go that route as the door will be all of 75ish inches tall.
BIGmouthinDC's Avatar BIGmouthinDC 11:04 AM 12-28-2012
I use Accent millwork in Fredericksburg Va they will order just about any type of slab and stick it in a pre-hung jamb. Solid 1 3/4 inch thick MDF doors with a panel pattern are about $160 pre-hung and delivered in my area. They will order a 1 3/4 particle core door with flat surface veneer (Birch) on both sides if you ask them. Ask for MIke, tell him Jeff Parkinson the theater builder sent you.
design1stcode2nd's Avatar design1stcode2nd 11:37 AM 12-28-2012
Thanks Big but that's a bit far for me. Takes me an hour and 15 just to get to Leesburg. I'll check around and see what I can find. I can go with a hollow core if need be and then swap it out.
BIGmouthinDC's Avatar BIGmouthinDC 12:49 PM 12-28-2012
When I did my basement Lowe's would special order a Masonite Safe and sound solid core door in a jamb. Got the panel design that matched the rest of the house. took 10 days.
Mobile  Desktop