Finishing up foundation/basement plans, could use some advice. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-13-2013, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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My Architect and I have been finishing up my house plans and the last piece I'm trying to get locked down is my basement and theater area

My original intention was to have 9 feet in height in the basement from TOS to bottom of floor joist, which could leave me room to achieve an 8' ceiling. In the portion of the basement where I plan to build a theater I intended to do a recessed slab, recessing another 2', with the thought being I could do a room within a room build and still have a 10' ceiling height in the theater.

However structural framing is making life a little more difficult than I would like. Currently the design calls for columns to carry the load and would possibly interfere with the width I'd like to achieve in the theater.

I could use a little practical advice when it comes to the width, particularly when it comes to wall thickness. If I'm framing up against the poured concrete wall how much of an air space should I allow myself between the concrete and the stud framing. Also, on that wall, is 2x4 framing with insulation and 2 layers of drywall with GG sufficient for sound control, or should I do staggered framing with the insulation, drywall and GG?

The width of this wall impacts the overall width of the theater for me, as it was my desire to get at least 18 feet of width inside the theater itself, however I'm thinking I could be looking at 17' at best.

We're looking at beefing up the W12x14 beam in order to eliminate the columns all together, but it would be much thicker beam, which could end up effecting the height and entrance into the theater. Where I'd possibly have to raise the height of the basement overall and then bulkhead around that beam within the theater (Which I assume would create isolation difficulties).

I'd like to look into hiring Dennis' firm once to help design the theater itself, once I get the house plans finalized and get underway, but I want to make sure I leave myself as much room as possible before hand.

Any suggestions?

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post #2 of 8 Old 03-13-2013, 01:19 PM
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What is your vapor barrier strategy in your basement? If you are in a relatively cold climate, you will need to address condensation on those exterior concrete walls. Closed cell spray foam is a popular option, but you would be looking at about 2" of foam IIRC (I think it's the same for rigid foam board as well). Then an air gap (1/4" maybe) to decouple your wall from the foam. As you move further south, the requirements change, so it may be worth contacting your local building inspector and just tell them you're laying out your basement and need an idea of how much space you will lose due to insulation and vapor barrier.

Next, as long as you decouple the walls from the joists, the walls adjacent to the foundation walls will be decoupled, and you can just add the DD+GG. However, I've read a few posts where Dennis likes to use clips and channel all the way around regardless as it presents a similar impedance for all the walls/ceiling. It apparently makes life easier when you calibrate, but you should ask Dennis about that if you use him for your design.

Finally, have you considered a steal beam for your support? I had a similar situation to what you're describing in my house. If I had it to do over again, I would have had a steal beam put in. They're not as expensive as you might guess, and it's just a matter of looking up the deflection in a table to decide which one is appropriate. I ended up with an 18" parallam in my basement, which was a compromise from the 24" LVL they orginally spec'ed. It still cost me 2" of ceiling height, though.

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post #3 of 8 Old 03-13-2013, 01:20 PM
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I think you've got plenty of width to work with, even with the columns, assuming the recessed slab area extends to the column (and that the footings are at/below the recess). Even with space consumed by framing inside that 18'9" dimension, you'll have 17' or more. My theater is 16' wide, and I'd have liked another foot - you'll be able to fit 4 recliners easily in that width.

Your depth appears to be ~22' before framing. This may be an issue depending on how many rows you want. I fit 3 rows in a 22' depth using a bar table for the 3rd row - but I didn't use a false wall / AT screen setup, either. But you'd be able to fit two full rows with no problem.

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post #4 of 8 Old 03-13-2013, 05:43 PM
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You should engage Dennis now. He can work with your artichoke to get the space right.

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post #5 of 8 Old 03-13-2013, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petew View Post

You should engage Dennis now. He can work with your artichoke to get the space right.

Shawn Bryne (Erskine Group) would also be happy to work with your rutabaga.

One little random thought. You might be able to hide the columns inside decorative columns along the side wall of the theater and gain another 6-8 inches of visual width. You would want to consider the location of the poles carefully so they end up where they can be hid. They may have some latitude of where they are placed along the beam now before the foundation pads are poured.
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-15-2013, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help guys.

I'm only looking to have 2 rows of seats, but I'd prefer to have 5 seats per row, which is why I'd like to shoot for at least 18 feet in width. In thinking more about it, and taking my site into account, I think I'm going to raise the over height of the basement by 3 feet and not mess with a recessed slab, and then go with a heavier beam to carry the load and eliminate the columns. I should be able to get 10 feet from TOS to the bottom of the beam, and then bulkhead around the beam (I was thinking about a coffered ceiling) and still ultimately get 18 feet in width. I'll build my risers up as opposed to building down and enter from the front of the theater.

I'll get in touch with Shawn in the coming weeks.

BTW: "Artichoke" As a commercial GC, I like that. smile.gif
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-15-2013, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mntneer View Post

BTW: "Artichoke" As a commercial GC, I like that. smile.gif

I worked as a drafter for a structural engineer back in the days of Mayline parallel bars and 2mm mechanical pencils. It was always "artichokes" preceded by the F word, and followed by a long string of other creative expletives.

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post #8 of 8 Old 03-16-2013, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petew View Post

I worked as a drafter for a structural engineer back in the days of Mayline parallel bars and 2mm mechanical pencils. It was always "artichokes" preceded by the F word, and followed by a long string of other creative expletives.

LOL. I've got a few I'd lump into that category. smile.gif

Fortunately the architect I've hired for my house is one we've dealt with for decades and is the best one we've ever worked with.
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