House on a Hill Hometheater Build Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 124 Old 01-27-2013, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Alright everyone. I suppose it is time to start the thread. Bare in mind that we are not breaking ground until April. The idea is to have my building rough the room in and put up drywall for me. From there I plan on taking over and doing every thing that I have learned on from here. I have read many of the threads here and purchased the hometheater book that was recommended as well. I have a good general understanding and low to moderate DIY skills. I have build my own speakers before and built a MAME arcade cabinet so I think I am up to the task. That being said I would love to hear everyones ideas, thoughts and experiences as I go through this. I cannot wait until opening night probably a year from this post!

First off, we are in the design process of the house. A perfect time to layout the theater and get the exact size needed to create a wonderful space. I started with dimensions from "Bacon's Theater" but am open to suggestions. Right now we are looking at room with inside dimensions of 23'x 15'wide, 9'ceilings for most of the room and a 5' portion where it comes down to 8'. This is do to part of the theater being built underneath the garage. Right now seats would be under the lower section with the screen being on the side with the higher ceiling. I am not sure if it would be good to switch around or not. Thoughts? What do you think about the dimensions? Should I go bigger? I stated inside dimensions as I told the architect that roughly 4" of extra material will be added on to the walls. 3" of sound proofing, and 1" of sound acoustic material. was planning on 8 chairs. In my current house I have 4 in a 13' wide room with about a foot on either side. I was planning to build a false AT wall about 3' from the back wall. I am not sure I like the placement of the equipment closet at this point. Not sure if it is the right size or location. Again all opinons are welcome.




Equipment I am planning to use:
AVR - Marantz AV8801
Outlaw Audio 755 Amplifier
LG Clone 14k Amp

Speakers choice as of right now
LCR Speakers - JTR 228HT's or 212HT's
Surrounds - JTR Slanted 8's
4 - Dual opposed 18" subwoofers (currently building)

Screen
130" Scope AT screen, not sure what kind at the moment, maybe DIY?
Still need to decide on a projector. We will see what comes out towards the end of 2013.

Sound Proofing
Building stagard walls with 2x6 and 2x4's with every shared wall.
Plan on using insulation, whisper clips/channel along with 2 sheets of 5/8" drywall with green glue in between. The same goes for the ceiling. Not sure if clips are required were the ceiling meets the walls.
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post #2 of 124 Old 01-27-2013, 07:36 AM
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My first thought when I saw the drawing was to flip it.

7'-0" is plenty for head height, but I think it would make more sense to have the screen on that end. I think it works either way, but if you're in the design stage it is something to consider.

However, you would have to see how it works out with the door placement. If you are still in the design process, can you move the door? If you flip the room I think the door i going to end up in the riser (not the end of the world, you could build a step+landing on the outside of the door), but I think it would work better entering at the same level.

Tim

edit: you may also want to consider the entrance to the theater. Two doors with a communicating space is a nice upgrade. Or you may want a nice cinema marquee entrance to the theater. It looks like the entrance is between some cabinets. I didn't consider the entrance when I designed mine.. and I'm stuck with a "blah" entrance due to it being shoved in a corner with the a/v rack on the other side of it.
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post #3 of 124 Old 01-27-2013, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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We can definitely move the door if we switch the screen around. I would like to have it on the same level as well. I think I have about 2 weeks before we say we have landed on the final plans. So now is the time to change things based on peoples opinions!
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post #4 of 124 Old 01-28-2013, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Any other opinions at this time?
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post #5 of 124 Old 01-28-2013, 04:13 PM
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We can help, but a lot depends on what you want out of the room. A picture of the adjoining space would be helpful, so we don't screw up that space while trying to fix this one.

Is there anything in particular that you want to add to the room? Do you want the two communicating doors to the theater? If so, you could probably place the rack equipment in the hallway between the two doors.

I would flip it, keep the screen at least 2 feet off the front wall.

You can probably fit two rows and bar seating behind the rear seats.

I don't see any columns or soffits; where are you putting the lights, speakers, receptacles, etc? Punching giant holes through the drywall to accommodate these things is frowned upon.

130" wide is respectably large, you will need a decent projector. You should take a look at what is out there so you can determine the throw distance. In turn the throw distance will determine where your electric receptacle and HDMI/ethernet/etc cables will come through the ceiling.

Dimensioning the screen-to-eyes distance would also help.

Tim
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post #6 of 124 Old 01-28-2013, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, I played around with the dimensions some more with Sketchup. I flipped the room around putting the screen on the other side of the room. Based on what I am doing I think I need to add one more foot to the room to make it 24' Long. The current false wall is 3' from the front wall. I need to add the extra foot to give my subs a bit more breathing room. They are 28" deep. I am planning on 6" between the front screen and 4-6" from the back screen. I am not planning on columns but am doing sofits, which will house all of the lighting. In the drawing I brought the soffit down 12" to be even with the foot drop in the ceiling. I also put a 5.5" ledge with about a 6.5" of trim going up for a rope light. Most of this I saw on Bacon's theater build. The stage is built with 2x10's and the riser is built with 2x12's.

The picture really shows the direction I would like to take the theater. I did not add the door but it will be in between the front row seats and stage. I am talking to the architect tomorrow about the changes and a larger view of the area, I will post then. Still decided on the equipment room. The way the house is laid out dual doors will not work out. It might be a room near stage/screen.

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post #7 of 124 Old 01-28-2013, 06:24 PM
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The plan looks good. Rear seats are off the wall and you have plenty of space to the sides.. should give you nice sound.

If you are going to be running 4 subs I would recommend two front and two rear. If you have them all behind the screen you will probably end up with issues. I can't speak to the technical nature of the problem, but hopefully somebody else will explain it. With subs in the 4 corners you can even out the response.

I'm not a sub guru, but I did build the F-20 and it rocks. I'm going to build the THT LP soon as well.

Tim
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post #8 of 124 Old 01-28-2013, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I was hoping I could keep them at the front of the room keeping nice clean look. They are pretty big, dual opposed 18" subs. 25"tall, 23"wide and 28" deep. If I did put two in the rear they would be pretty close seats in the back. I was planing 2'x2' triangles of OC703 for bass traps at the corners of the room. The rear wall will have 4" of OC703 or equivalent on the back wall as well. If anything I could run speaker wire back there and at least keep the option open of putting two subs back there. I could always stack two on top of each other if that made it better to.
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post #9 of 124 Old 01-28-2013, 06:59 PM
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Run some speaker wire and some coax in case you go with plate amps in the future. At 25" tall the subs should fit behind the seats and you wouldn't notice them. You can still do the traps in the corners.

4" of 703 on the rear wall could be too much. I don't think I've ever seen that much recommended. Maybe with a membrane in the middle.. or a facing.

You may want to consider having somebody design the treatments for you.

In any case, I wouldn't fabric over it until the room sounds the way you want it to.

Do you have your sub boxes designed? What driver are you using?

Tim
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post #10 of 124 Old 01-28-2013, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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As far as acoustics are concerned. The 4" with facing on the outside was recommended via bpape in the 'Bacons theater build'. The front wall was 2" thick cotton at 3lb density. The front half of the room had 1" cotton at 3lb density floor to ceiling. Once you get to the riser the 1" cotton only goes up the walls about 5'. The rest is open to all for some reflections. And then the back of the room uses the 4" with FSK to the outside to stay reflective at high frequencies.

The sub boxes were designed by "Gorilla", his thread is http://www.avsforum.com/t/1435795/first-diy-project-for-a-guy-looking-to-upgrade-multiple-sealed-18s/240 the subwoofer is dayton's new one.http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=295-472 The 18" subwoofer that is going to change the industry supposedly. I cannot back that up but 4 of these boxes powered by the LG 14k clone amp supposedly has wicked clean sounding base.

I guess just run as many wires as I can. I was just trying to put as few of holes in the dry wall as possible. I plan on using the sound putty to cover any junction box in the drywall so that should help things. These can be purchased at soundproofingcompany.com
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post #11 of 124 Old 01-29-2013, 04:48 AM
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Sounds like you've done your homework. bpape certinaly knows his stuff, and with the facing on the outside it won't suck the life out of the room.

You are thinking correctly with minimal holes, but you don't want to limit your possibilities, either. If you are doing corner traps, you could just drill a small hole and bring the wires out in the corners.. use a little caulk.

Tim
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post #12 of 124 Old 01-30-2013, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Revised plan from the architect. Moved the AV rack to a separate room behind the listening position. Expanded the room by 1 foot. Dimensions are now 24'L x 15'Wx 9' ceilings in 19' of the room, 8' ceilings in 6' of the room where the screen is going. The location of the equipment rack will allow me to either keep it in a separate room or decided to have the rack show through the wall. What are the advantages vs disadvantages of this? Keeping it separate would allow me to have loud fans on amps and it would not bother listeners. I am not sure how I would run audyssey even with a mic extension. I would almost have to put a small hole in the wall. Of course I would need to leave the room to change any media, not that big of deal. Xbox 360 / PS3 controllers should be able to work through the walls.

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post #13 of 124 Old 01-30-2013, 09:10 AM
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I like this setup. You should consider the screen-to-eyes distance and the screen size you want to make sure what is drawn actually works.

The riser looks a little funky, I think you could probably steal an idea from some of the other risers in the forum if you felt so inclined. I would just worry about somebody in the rear row going for the exit and inadvertently stepping off the riser.

Tim
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post #14 of 124 Old 01-30-2013, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I totally agree about the riser. It is not the design I plan on going with. Not sure why he drew it that way. It was not like that in my sketchup file. Making changes and sending it back to him.
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post #15 of 124 Old 01-30-2013, 09:34 AM
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I don't know enough to evaluate the dmiensions of the room from an acoustical standpoint, but visually I like it a lot (probably because it's very close to my own smile.gif).

A few coments/questions regarding the equipment room...assuming you keep it as drawn above, how easy will it be for you to access that unfinished area every time you want to change a disc etc? I think I would get tired of that walk over time. Plus, it is nice to show off your equipment room when you have guests and I'm not sure you want everyone walking through your unfinished storage/mechanical areas.

However, I think it is a VERY good idea to keep those distracting equipment lights and fans out of the theater. So...two possible minor alterations:

#1 (this is the one I would go for): Keep the plan as is, but change the equipment room "window" to see your gear into a door and lose the door to the unfinished area as currently drawn. This allows you to keep your soundproof HT shell. In addition, you will be able to see your gear and screen at the same time (often useful if you're changing settings etc.) and makes it much easier to change discs. It also solves your issue of getting the Audyssey mic into the HT.

#2: Keep the plan as drawn, but move your equipment "window" from facing into the theater to facing the fish tank in your other room. This will also help in preserving your soundproof HT shell and will prevent fan noise and lights from distracting you during a movie.

I hope these suggestions are helpful. Here are a few pics of my layout for reference...




In the process of adding acoustic treatment...there is now a panel on the door and it almost disappears when closed. (You could do a better job of that if you really wanted to hide the door.)


The Esquire Theater Construction Thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1289590
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post #16 of 124 Old 01-30-2013, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks nice Benji. What type of chairs do you have? Also do you know the dimension between the two stairs on your riser? Also how wide are your stairs? Just trying to see what chairs I can fit in my room.

So your opinion would be to have two doors in the room. One to enter the theater and one to get into the equipment room. is that correct?

I am currently drawing a top down view of my own in CAD. I plan on placing some dimensions on it with labels. Hope to post soon.
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post #17 of 124 Old 01-30-2013, 10:06 AM
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With the equipment room where it is, you almost have to have access from theater to avoid a lot of hassle.

However, with 8 subs you have to seriously consider the amount of LFE that will be generated. I know you expressed concern earlier. Putting another door in he space should be carefully considered. If you're going to do it, then I'm sure you read about all the great ways to get the best seal possible.

It still seems to me that the location of the entrance door between two walls of cabinets in the adjoining space is odd.

Can you combine the cabinets into a single run and locate the door at the end of the cabinets, near the stage?

Then you could place your equipment in the space you had originally allocated for A/V equipment, facing the sink. That way it would be adjacent to the entrance, but not actually punching a hole in your aquarium. Just an idea.

Also, the door being in the rear corner of the theater would interfere with corner traps and sub placement.

Tim
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post #18 of 124 Old 01-30-2013, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Top down view with some dimensions. Does not include door placement or equipment room. Want to make sure seating would be ok and acoustically correct size room. Trying to minimize room modes even though it will have them no matter what I do. Working on elevation drawing. This drawing does not include a sofit going around it.

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post #19 of 124 Old 01-31-2013, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel 48 View Post

Looks nice Benji. What type of chairs do you have? Also do you know the dimension between the two stairs on your riser? Also how wide are your stairs? Just trying to see what chairs I can fit in my room.

So your opinion would be to have two doors in the room. One to enter the theater and one to get into the equipment room. is that correct?

I am currently drawing a top down view of my own in CAD. I plan on placing some dimensions on it with labels. Hope to post soon.

Hi Diesel - yes, you're understanding my idea correctly.

I'm sorry but I don't know the exact space between the riser steps. I ordered my seating first and then built the steps around them. My seats are Palliser Blade, purchased from theaterseatstore.com. I don't remember the exact dimensions but I think that the 4 seats with loveseat in the middle are 116" wide (you can find sizes on their site). I have about 2' on each side of the chairs to the wall. It is a bit tighter than I would have liked, but not a real problem in my eyes. I wish the theater was a bit wider, but this is all the width I could get. The back row adds another 5" for an additional armrest.

At the time, I had a few considerations:
- I thought I would always want to sit in the front row. Turns out that I like the back row just as much or better now.
- I usually watch movies with my girlfriend and another couple. I thought it would be awkward to sit in different rows from each other, so I wanted 4 seats in the front row.
- My girlfriend really wanted a loveseat for the two of us. I would have put the loveseat in the back row, but I wanted every possible inch of clearance for the aisle (the back row is 5" wider due to the additional armrest).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Tim View Post

Putting another door in he space should be carefully considered. If you're going to do it, then I'm sure you read about all the great ways to get the best seal possible.

Tim

I would just include the equipment room inside your soundproof shell. (Credit this idea to Dennis.) That way you don't have to worry about sound leaking through the door. But otherwise Tim is right - if you're not going to soundproof the equipment room, then you need a good sturdy door and seals.

The Esquire Theater Construction Thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1289590
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post #20 of 124 Old 01-31-2013, 01:49 PM
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Hey Diesel - I just wanted to chime in on the planning of your riser steps. Like AirBenji, I ordered my seats before I built my steps so I knew how much room I needed. Even after doing this, I found I left a little too much room between the steps and the side of the end seats and the gap was just wide enough to be a hazard when stepping off the top of the riser.

I haven't compared the dimensions of the popular lines of seating, but my guess is they vary enough where you might want to consider making your seating choice now so you can plan accordingly. I didn't think it was critical to pull the steps in tight to the seats, but I was wrong. In fact, I thought it would be a good idea to leave a little extra room in case I ever replace these seats and can't find ones in the same width. I would suggest looking at 3 or 4 of the popular models and compare their dimensions. If they vary quite a bit, you might want to make your choice sooner rather than later. If they are pretty close to one another, maybe plan for a tight fit on the largest of your favorites. I found that anything larger than a 2-1/2" gap between step and seat became a hazard.
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post #21 of 124 Old 01-31-2013, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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What are some of the popular choices out there now? I have 4 berklines in my current room. I purchased them about 6 years ago. Are there models people are drawn to right now?
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post #22 of 124 Old 01-31-2013, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

Hey Diesel - I just wanted to chime in on the planning of your riser steps. Like AirBenji, I ordered my seats before I built my steps so I knew how much room I needed. Even after doing this, I found a left a little too much room between the steps and the side of the end seats and the gap was just wide enough to be a hazard when stepping off the top of the riser.

I haven't compared the dimensions of the popular lines of seating, but my guess is they vary enough where you might want to consider making your seating choice now so you can plan accordingly. I didn't think it was critical to pull the steps in tight to the seats, but I was wrong. In fact, I thought it would be a good idea to leave a little extra room in case I ever replace these seats and can't find ones in the same width. I would suggest looking at 3 or 4 of the popular models and compare their dimensions. If they vary quite a bit, you might want to make your choice sooner rather than later. If they are pretty close to one another, maybe plan for a tight fit on the largest of your favorites. I found that anything larger than a 2-1/2" gap between step and seat became a hazard.

Totally agree with this. I wish I had made my step an inch or two wider to get it nearly tight to the side of the seat.

In terms of the most popular seats, in the sub-$1K/seat category, I would first contact Roman at www.rtheaters.com. You may also want to look at the Palliser options at theaterseatstore.com. If you're prepared to spend more, I would look at Jaymar and Fortress. There is configuration, size, and pricing information on theaterseatstore.com, but I would probably look at other retailers (maybe someone local) before dropping that much coin.

The Esquire Theater Construction Thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1289590
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post #23 of 124 Old 01-31-2013, 02:11 PM
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Check out the seating on Roman's site. If you call him up and tell him what you like and don't like about your current seats, he can probably point you in the right direction.

Ken at Stargate Cinema also offers many popular lines and is a good resource. I bought my Berklines from him.
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post #24 of 124 Old 02-10-2013, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks on the seating suggestions! Sure would be nice to be able to sit in a few before making the decision. The local furniture stores have a very limited selection. Nothing new to report on the room besides continuing to work on subwoofer #2.
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post #25 of 124 Old 06-02-2013, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Just an update. We broke ground on the house today. All the trees and stumps have been removed. They are staking the house out tomorrow and start digging the hole. I finished my 2 - dual opposed 18" subwoofer build. I am running it in the current house. Really pleased with the sound. It will be nice to have the equipment in a second room.
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post #26 of 124 Old 08-02-2013, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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The foundation of the house is finally poured. The build is getting closer!
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post #27 of 124 Old 08-22-2013, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
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The walls are finally going up in the basement! I am using the staggard stud construction for all exterior walls of the theater and equipment room. The equipment room is built into the utility room but accessible through a rear door in the theater. These two shots show rear of the room and the front. The front of the room goes about 5 ft under the garage.


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post #28 of 124 Old 08-23-2013, 10:51 AM
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post #29 of 124 Old 08-23-2013, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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As requested smile.gif
IMG_1764-M.jpg

And then after the foundation was poured.

IMG_1795-M.jpg
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post #30 of 124 Old 08-23-2013, 11:40 AM
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looks like fun! we are building in a community with semi-custom options but unfortunately decoupling is not one and i cannot do it due to inspections - so i am leaving that out - i am sure you are excited to get in there and get the room going -
iamjason is offline  
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