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post #1 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow; I find myself both excited, and trepidatious...about starting this thread. But...the time has come to at least try, to re-vamp my withering, v1 of a Home Theater.

Like many, I suppose; I made many, many mistakes...my first go-round. In my defense, I didn't exactly have the easiest space to work with, from the start. Mine...is a walk-up, Attic build. That provided challenges, certainly; and in hindsight...while my mistakes were both in conceptualization and construction...I suppose the biggest misstep, came from not biting the bullet, making the hard choices, and instead trying to fit my square-peg of a build...into the proverbial round-hole (or triangular, in this case tongue.gif)

There are some pics below; the first two, represent where I came from...the last three, are as the space sits now. Construction-wise, the biggest problem...aside from uh, not finishing (lol)...has to do with the screen-wall. The Attic was cut in two, with the HT space being ~18 x 12. For a variety of reasons, the screen had to go on the dividing wall; but I also need access...to the other "half" of the Attic that would be behind it.

My strategy, was to try and allow pass-thru...with those bump-outs you see, to each side of the screen-area, in pic 4. I built the space, so that the Fronts sat in there; and the idea was...I'd find a way to fasten some kind of removable panel, that was acoustically transparent (GOM, of course). Then...when the missus and I needed access behind that wall, we'd...remove the panel, move the speaker; do our business...put the speaker back. Well...you can already see where this is going; it was not the most practical solution.

Combine that with the fact that I...moved PJ, screen, recliners, and 7.1 into the space...before it was done; and well...you have the perfect recipe, for an unfinished theater on your hands. With the "screen-wall" dilemma staring me in the face, I tried to use the space...while I figured out the "right" solution. But it made the space, so impractical; we actually started to dread using it...rather than taking any joy.

Because only the "HT" portion is finished...not completely closing it off from the unfinished space, made it: unbearably hot in the Summer, unbearably cold in the Winter; and yes...more bugs near the screen, than anyone would ever want to contend with, lol. We eked-out a few movies, in the small slivers of time...when the temperature was "just right"; and then it started to become the storage area, you see now.

But...believe it or not; the sh*t-hole you see before you...did cost either close to, or just shy of the 5-figure mark. I can't live, with that space just catching boxes. Hell...it could have been that, for free; without the drywall, carpet, and blackest-of-flat-black paint I could find. wink.gif So...it has to become something.

In hindsight...or maybe I should say, knowing what I know now; I wouldn't make it the dark, you-can-only-watch-a-movie-in-here man-cave that I set out to. I'd like to lighten it up, and make it more of a multi-purpose space. As such...I had to think long and hard, about whether to keep it an HT at all. After all...I don't have to consider the money spent to finish it, a waste...if I at least turn it back into usable square footage; a nice Family Room, with a 65" Plasma.

However; since I still have my 100" Carada, and old PJ (screens, aren't exactly a hot commodity in my neck of the woods...and the PJ, being old, probably has little value in the used market)...I've decided to try and make the space usable for movie-watching again.

When I talk about biting the bullet, and making hard choices; I can sum it up in a word. I needed a damn DOOR...lol. A DOOR, that allows access from the finished side of the space, to the unfinished. Because it's an Attic...and the challenges of the A-frame; there's just no getting around where it needs to go. It's going to have to be behind the screen.

That's the hard choice; the one that I avoided, at all costs...and, in the end, it cost me my room. I will hear all the cockamamie suggestions, to still try and work around it. But the truth is...you'll have a hard time convincing me. With what I've been through (for 3-4 years now), I'd rather have the room completely shut-off...and not have it end up being an "HT"; than try another work-around, and wind up back at this place.

I think both are do-able...but, as always, I'll need some help from the forum. With Spring breaking, here in the Mid-Atlantic...I'm hoping to be able to start working, in the very near future (even with the re-vamp, the space will always be hard to use in the dead of Summer. I've got, what is an adequate ductless unit; but it can't perform miracles. It would be nice, to actually be able to use it again...before the dog-days roll around). So this is idea time; game-plan time.

With the frustrations, that ill-conceived screen-wall has come to represent; I'm tempted to instruct my new contractor (which was another mistake, first time around. I can barely swing a hammer straight...but I tried to hire someone, on the "cheap", and have he and I do it ourselves; with the direction from my build-thread. In the end...it certainly didn't turn out well (natch), and didn't even end up being very "cheap". I have a new guy, and new approach this time around...though I will still rely on the direction and feedback of the group biggrin.gif)...to just tear it the hell down, and start anew. However...looking at it; really looking at it and the room, for the first time in long while (understandably)...maybe that's unnecessary? Maybe, my first step...is to just get a door put in; right smack in the middle of the screen-area...and start thinking about how to best minimalize that impact, on viewing.

I know that's a lot to take in. You know how things are in the beginning; lots of ideas...no starting point, lol. Not so different, second time around. The good news, I guess; is I'm not starting with nothing. Almost everything, will need some tweaking; but let's say we're at least at v.5...on our way toward v2.0. I'll really look forward to some initial feedback, starting up conversations about the direction to take the (re-)build...and seeing if some of my old friends are still skulking-about out there.










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post #2 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 09:27 AM
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Looks like a perfectly useable space to me. We all love a challenge, too. Could you post a layout that shows the entry, the seating, the screen, and possibly the adjacent spaces so that all the rest of us can get oriented? I have a couple of immediate, thoughts, but I'll keep them to myself until I make sure I understand where everything is in relation to the room.

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post #3 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 09:41 AM
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I'm with you, count me in. I'll even hold your hand (and get locked in the room with you if you want, don't ask tongue.gif ) to help you along as much as I can. I think there are several here that will go "all in". I can actually pick up on your disappointment and frustration with the previous project results. I'm with J_P_A at this point. More photos, room sketch/floor plan so we can dig in and get to work.

I think there will be many here who will come along for the ride and as you already know there is a huge wealth of knowledge and resources here for you.

Good luck in your part deux redo.

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post #4 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Well...thanks guys; but let me warn you...I'm no Rembrandt (or even decent SketchUp artist). About the best I can muster, is a Paint doc here or there (and a boatload of actual pics, when called for).

But what I lack in skill, I make up for in enthusiasm...lol. In other words...feel free to ask for anything, and I will do my best to convey the information; one way or another.

Here's what I can produce so far. Yes, that is seemingly...another challenge; which is the entrance/stairs, right smack in front of the screen. It's not that big a deal. It's really mostly just me and the little-lady...and once we're seated, we're typically either staying seated or both getting up. Actually, one of the things I also didn't do...first time around...was make that staircase up into the room (it's what we call a walk-up Attic, here in the Mid-Atlantic), "compliant" to pass inspection.

What's likely "required", is tough; because any kind of railing or "barrier"...will have to exist between the seating area and the screen. Again, I'm open to ideas...but let's call this a secondary concern, for the moment. I think my contractor will probably be OK, working around a permit and therefore inspection...at the moment; and my feeling, is the room is going to need a re-working anyway; once it's time to think about selling.

OS; didn't put measurements in here. Well, as I've said...the "HT", as a whole...is about 18 x 12; that's back-wall to screen-wall. The riser, with the rear seating...is 5'; so I have about 11-12' from front seating, to screen (with the stairs, chewing up ~37" there on the right of the theater floor). As the previous pics show, there is a window at the rear (that seems like just about the last thing, to be dealt with); and I do have this kind of first-time-ever-doing-something-like-this, DIY...funky built-in, right there below the screen-area (the thing catching all the boxes...lol).

That's all I can think of for now. Let me know if you need something more...then, feel free to fire away. TIA


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post #5 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 12:30 PM
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How many people do you realistic plan to have watching a movie at a time? My first thought is if its just you and one other, then you might need to consider a single row, and put the stairs outside the room.

It seems like I remember another attic build where the stairs came up like yours. I don't remember the details, but it might be worth looking for it.

Also, what's below this room and what's below the adjacent attic space? I'm wondering if you might be able to get a duct or two into adjacent rooms to get some air exchange to help with the cooling.

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post #6 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 01:05 PM
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How often do you need to access the adjacent space? How much "reconstruction" do you really want to do. If this were my build, depending on budget of course my first thing would be to do the best that you can to control the temp of the room. If that be more insulation, reroute HVAC, small rooftop unit dedicated to the HT space. I understand your frustration with the current state of things as only having a small window of time to watch movies when the atmospherics are cooperating. That would truly be a bummer. It looks to me though and by your explanation this was/is the main reason you don't enjoy your room as it is.

You mention that you have to have access to the attic behind the screen. If you would place the screen on hinges you could then swing the screen up and out of the way. Behind the screen you could cut in a "door" to access the space. You could also build a hinged bridge to swing down to cover the stairs. Swinging the screen up and lowing the "bridge" would be much easier than doing all that you had to do to access the space before. Maybe I am over simplifying the solution, but from what I see and understand at this point could be an option to consider. This would however necessitate you getting rid of the "built ins", locating your equipment to another location, say the rear of the theater, and mount your center channel above the screen.

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post #7 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

How many people do you realistic plan to have watching a movie at a time? My first thought is if its just you and one other, then you might need to consider a single row, and put the stairs outside the room.

It seems like I remember another attic build where the stairs came up like yours. I don't remember the details, but it might be worth looking for it.

Also, what's below this room and what's below the adjacent attic space? I'm wondering if you might be able to get a duct or two into adjacent rooms to get some air exchange to help with the cooling.

JPA, that's not a bad thought. One of the things I have to do, this time around...and am perfectly happy to; is guard against dream vs. reality. The "dream", was many, many...couples nights; showing off our awesome HT. One of the things, I think...and I'm sure you guys agree...that separates a "true" HT, apart from just a "Family Room"; even aside from the PJ and BIG screen...is a riser. Having it, so that the back row...can have as good a seat as the front; is priceless...and very "showy", lol.

But the reality is...these couples nights haven't really materialized. Now...that's probably, in large part, due to the fact that we didn't have an HT worthy of showing-off; but to answer your question, honestly...I can't imagine any more than 4, and 99.5% it'll just be 2. So, that makes your smaller room and 1-row scenario do-able.

That said...and you'll have to get used to me being contradictory, lol. I'm not trying to be unappreciative; I just need to understand the process, and will always point out...what I see, at least, as any challenges or obstacles to a particular suggestion. Hang tough...and get me through it! That said...I think I considered the whole "screen-wall on this side of the stairs" approach; and I'm not sure it works for 2 reasons.

One...I think if you take the width of the room (~12')...but the slope of the ceiling; by the time you make a screen-wall, that allows a pass-thru as you come up the steps...it doesn't leave enough room for my Carada screen (~8'). This pic, kind of illustrates what I mean (well...you could get it on the resulting wall; but not centered to the viewing area)



Two...my seating right now, is 2 HT recliners and a love seat. It's been OK, and even cozy; to have one in front, and one in back...on the riser. But they wouldn't work in 1 row; and they don't make our recliners anymore...so we'd be looking at the expenditure, of all new seating. frown.gif

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post #8 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

How often do you need to access the adjacent space? How much "reconstruction" do you really want to do. If this were my build, depending on budget of course my first thing would be to do the best that you can to control the temp of the room. If that be more insulation, reroute HVAC, small rooftop unit dedicated to the HT space. I understand your frustration with the current state of things as only having a small window of time to watch movies when the atmospherics are cooperating. That would truly be a bummer. It looks to me though and by your explanation this was/is the main reason you don't enjoy your room as it is.

You mention that you have to have access to the attic behind the screen. If you would place the screen on hinges you could then swing the screen up and out of the way. Behind the screen you could cut in a "door" to access the space. You could also build a hinged bridge to swing down to cover the stairs. Swinging the screen up and lowing the "bridge" would be much easier than doing all that you had to do to access the space before. Maybe I am over simplifying the solution, but from what I see and understand at this point could be an option to consider. This would however necessitate you getting rid of the "built ins", locating your equipment to another location, say the rear of the theater, and mount your center channel above the screen.

Regards,

RTROSE

RTR; I want to do as little reconstruction (read: spend as little money), as I can...to keep the space, from still being so unusable that...whatever little I did/spent, it was still a waste in the end. I have...what I think to be a decent-sized and adequate ductless unit, for heating and cooling (I'll have to double-check the model and SEER, etc... should it become relevant). And I'm open to maybe more insulation, or doing something to allow the knee-walls to keep more of their temp.

That unit, was one of the tough, tough calls...I had to make with the build, the first go-round. HVAC guys, told me my current handler...was pretty much maxed-out. Were I to add a few ducts, for the HT; I would have needed to replace that...obviously, at great expense and work. We also talked about a "switcher"; that would mean...we would divert resources from one floor, while re-routing them to the HT. The wife, didn't like the idea of coming out of a warm movie...to a freezing bedroom, lol; so we crossed that idea off the list.

The problem with the ductless...at least I've been told, when I tried to broach the issue, with others on the forum, previously; is it doesn't matter how BIG a unit I have. If it's trying to combat, the freezing or boiling air...seeping into the room, from the unfinished/un-closed side; it's like trying to hold back the ocean. That's why...priority NUMBER ONE, with this re-model; is get the room closed off!

I like the hinged screen. I'll need some way, of getting the screen "removed"...for access to the door behind it. It's beyond my skill-set; but I'm sure...with the help of the forum...my contractor can fashion whatever is suggested. The hinged door, for the stairs...has been suggested before. Not a fan.

Lots of issues to solve; but for now...I need to focus on this screen-wall thing FIRST. I'm going to stop with the ridiculous Paint sketches (except, where absolutely necessary...to convey what I'm trying to say); and try to start taking and posting more pics of the space. That is...if the wasp I just encountered up there, will go away. redface.gif

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post #9 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 02:12 PM
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Is it fair to boil it down this way?

First, you need a permanent way to have convenient access to the other half of the attic.

Second, you need to do what you can to make the space more comfortable, in terms of air quality/temperature.

Third, there are a few finishing issues to be sorted.

It seems to be that (unless I'm missing something) these are what lie between you and the usable space you previously envisioned. If that's true, then dealing with these is certainly the most direct and cost-effective path to completion. It seems to me that these are totally resolvable problems. On the other hand, if resolving these issues in not going to be sufficient, you'll need to rethink the budget and ultimate design.

Fred
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post #10 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 03:03 PM
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A couple quick things. I was actually considering one row of two or three, and maybe some bean bags for the kids. I was also thinking of putting the screen wall in front of the window. Blocking it off would also help reduce the heat loading. Finally, is there anywhere to run some ducts for a dead vent?

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post #11 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

.....I like the hinged screen. I'll need some way, of getting the screen "removed"...for access to the door behind it. It's beyond my skill-set; but I'm sure...with the help of the forum...my contractor can fashion whatever is suggested. The hinged door, for the stairs...has been suggested before. Not a fan.

Lots of issues to solve; but for now...I need to focus on this screen-wall thing FIRST. I'm going to stop with the ridiculous Paint sketches (except, where absolutely necessary...to convey what I'm trying to say); and try to start taking and posting more pics of the space. That is...if the wasp I just encountered up there, will go away. redface.gif

For your immediate issue.




This is not for the stairs. This would be behind the screen that you would lower across the opening like a drawbridge. It would be only be used when you needed in the area, not something you would have to mess with all the time like a door over the stairs.

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post #12 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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For your immediate issue.


Trust me; we've had those cans in the past. Problem is...they're typically made, for outdoor use. As such...I find that they shoot a stream, half a mile long. Not exactly what you want, in your indoor HT (but then...whotf, envisions wasps in their HT to begin with! mad.gif)

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post #13 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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A couple quick things. I was actually considering one row of two or three, and maybe some bean bags for the kids. I was also thinking of putting the screen wall in front of the window. Blocking it off would also help reduce the heat loading. Finally, is there anywhere to run some ducts for a dead vent?

One...no kids to consider. We're DINKS (dual-income, no kids...lol). Even if we get the space, suitable for couples-night; I still don't foresee little ones.

Two...I also wrung my hands, over the screen-wall on the "window" side. It eleviates all sorts of issues...in regard to those stairs (not an issue, and actually kind of "cool"...to come in from the rear; and it makes a door to the other side, a no-brainer). But if you didn't catch it; the ductless unit...is above that lone window. I was told it had to be on an outside wall (or it was going to be a LOT more difficult, not to have it so)...and there were all kinds of reasons, that made it the best, and really kind of only choice.

In any case; what's done is done...with regard to the ductless unit. And I have a tough time, with considering it above the screen. Sorry frown.gif

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post #14 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HopefulFred View Post

Is it fair to boil it down this way?

First, you need a permanent way to have convenient access to the other half of the attic.

Second, you need to do what you can to make the space more comfortable, in terms of air quality/temperature.

Third, there are a few finishing issues to be sorted.

It seems to be that (unless I'm missing something) these are what lie between you and the usable space you previously envisioned. If that's true, then dealing with these is certainly the most direct and cost-effective path to completion. It seems to me that these are totally resolvable problems. On the other hand, if resolving these issues in not going to be sufficient, you'll need to rethink the budget and ultimate design.

Fred

Yeah Fred; that's on the nose. However, it sounds easier, than it will be to actually pull off. I'm not an idiot...and I have good instints, the right ideas...and the wisdom of the forum, to guide me.

If this were a conventional space; BOOM...Home Theater! lol

That being said; I do agree...these are totally resolvable issues. As you'll see me shoot this or that down; it's either because there's a subtlety, that I hadn't conveyed...that makes a certain suggestion not possible. Or...I do want to try and stick to my personal preferences; even though I understand some compromises will likely need to be made. After all...if I end up with a workable space, that I don't like much for other reasons; that's not a whole lot better than what I have now.

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post #15 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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^^^ And let me just say in general...for everyone who's contributed so far; how much I appreciate it.

This community; I mean, AVS in general...but the builder's community in particular. Man...they're so passionate. I swear...whenever I ask for help here, the attitude is like "damn it; we're going to roll up our sleeves, and figure out whatever it is you need to do...to have Home Theater". Like it's everyone's birthright, or something! wink.gif

It's certainly welcome.

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post #16 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 03:40 PM
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post #17 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 03:55 PM
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That ductless unit could be hidden by a soffit above the screen very easily. It wouldn't look any different than a regular vent.

Again, how are the finished conditioned spaces in the rest if the house situated compared to this one. It would be very helpful to run a supply and return into those spaces to supplement that ductless unit!

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post #18 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 04:28 PM
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Just my opinions

1) the location of the air-handler is fine
2) If the room had been completely drywalled and insulated it would be comfortable 365 days a year.
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post #19 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 04:41 PM
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BIG's idea is the simplest. IMO. You get to keep the A/C, the window, the stairs - all as is. Assuming you have space (which I bet you do) between the stairwell and the dividing wall to fit that hidden hallway behind the screen, the only downside is having to at least dismantle the cabinets you built. Maybe you can reuse most of it configured differently. I see there's a sub in the cabinets, so you must have at least 20 inches, maybe more. That's not a large area, but should fit a rack. The screen can come all the way out to the stairs and even hang over an inch or two.
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post #20 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post


OMG; a BIG napkin-sketch! Sorry; there are a couple of impediments...that I hadn't disclosed yet...that make that whole wall-in-front-of-a-wall approach tricky. That circle, is an "immovable" duct portal. And then the yellow space, is actually the peak of our lofted, Bedroom ceiling.

The point is...the "adjacent" space, isn't wide open and ready to be divided where we decide it should be. Still...this whole wall-in-front-of-a-wall thing has potential. I'll have to crunch the numbers, see if I can make that work.


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Just my opinions

1) the location of the air-handler is fine
2) If the room had been completely drywalled and insulated it would be comfortable 365 days a year.

Lot of 20/20 hindsight here BIG. That is a big space to rock, insulate...and try to control the temp in (if the HT is 18', the whole Attic is probably ~35-40'). Still...we might look into insulating and dry-walling the "adjacent", unfinished space; but I'd still want a solid wall between them, so the ductless can do its thing efficiently.

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post #21 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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BIG's idea is the simplest. IMO. You get to keep the A/C, the window, the stairs - all as is. Assuming you have space (which I bet you do) between the stairwell and the dividing wall to fit that hidden hallway behind the screen, the only downside is having to at least dismantle the cabinets you built. Maybe you can reuse most of it configured differently. I see there's a sub in the cabinets, so you must have at least 20 inches, maybe more. That's not a large area, but should fit a rack. The screen can come all the way out to the stairs and even hang over an inch or two.

As I've said; that's not a slam-dunk...but I am actually excited, to see if there's any way to make that WIFOAW thing work. I will take some measurements...when I get some daylight, and can keep an eye on that critter.

Trust me; those cabinets are expendable. In fact...there are almost surely history, as part of the re-do.

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post #22 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I've gone through my PhotoBucket album...looking through pics from the first build; see if there's anything worth snatching, that can help shed some light on potential landmines in my space.

I must have deleted a LOT; but here are a few, that might help.

Here's one; probably when I was my most excited, lol (you know...when that blue tape goes up, visions start dancing around in your head). This can give you some idea, how much usable space there is between the stair-well...and current screen-wall (hard to gauge now, because it's all covered in black carpeting). You can also see, the PITA ventilation duct...that is ruling-out, some of these design ideas.

BTW...a wall, just like this...without the bump-outs; is exactly what I'm hoping to pull-off, for the front screen-wall.



Here's another good one; that shows the "naked" floor, and available space...post bump-out.



And finally; here's a peek, behind the screen-wall...into the "adjacent" space. To the right...you see the roof of our Bedroom, jutting up into that space.



I know these few pics, don't come close to telling the whole story. It's what I have...for now. As I said at the start; I'll document anything you guys need (though, in their way...limited as they are; they give us a view we'll never have again. Pre build; raw space).

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post #23 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 05:49 PM
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I would only rock and insulate the theater. leave the storage with just a floor to walk on.
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post #24 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 06:28 PM
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I would not build a full 2x4 and drywall wall to hang the screen on. It wouldn't need much, and can be built flush with the opening of the stairs. Really, one of BIG's minimalist screen walls should be plenty, except obviously yours wouldn't reach all the way out to the sides - just enough to hang the screen on.
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post #25 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 08:03 PM
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I've been trying to keep up with this thread while traveling with the family, and I think I overlooked a few things. First, I assumed the room was well insulated. Trying to cool an uninsulated attic is an exercise in futility in my part of the country. Hopefully, the ceiling was insulated before drywall in V1.0, and the walls are or can be insulated.

Next, I missed the fact that you have been leaving the room open to the unfinished attic. Sounds like you are already aware that this is not going to work. But I didn't realize you we're leaving that open AND trying to cool the room. Once the room is completely finished, your AC should have a better chance of keeping up.

Finally, as mentioned earlier, I would agree that BIG is on to a good idea. With two small children in the house, it wouldn't work for me just because I would not want a large open hole in the middle of a dark room. If you're good with it, it certainly seems like the easiest solution so far. Like Fred said, build the screen wall flush with, or nearly flush with the stair well. You might bring it back a little to keep people from wanting to put their hands on it when climbing the stairs.

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post #26 of 68 Old 03-31-2013, 09:00 PM
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I can understand not rocking the adjacent space, but would you not gain or benefit from at least having that space insulated? I think that would help control the temp in that space which would also help in the theater.

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Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
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post #27 of 68 Old 04-01-2013, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Guys, just a quick update...and then a couple of comments. Here is a Paint (sorry), and a pic; to try and illustrate better, what's going on between the stairs and potential obstacles on the "adjacent space" side. This is presumably, where we're going to construct both a "solid" wall...to contain the theater; and a screen-wall...in whatever incarnation it might end up taking.

I was, at first, encouraged...because there is ~45" between the stair-well and where wall construction cannot move past; because of the ceiling joists, up into the adjacent space. That seems plenty "workable", for constructing one...even two, standard 2x4 walls.



But I tend to forget about this damn ventilation duct; as if I don't already have enough challenges. It's represented in the Paint sketch, as the red circle (it's to the right side of the room...as you view the screen, from across the stair-well...from the seating area)...and here's a pic, from behind the current screen-wall



There's only about 28" in front of the vent, over on that side. So I guess my first thought, is a wall as far back from the stairs as I can get...and a bump-out around the duct, on the right-hand side; kind of like this.



But (of course)...I don't think there's enough height, for a standard door; too far to the left-hand side. And if I have to go more toward center...I need to have some room, to step through; rather than the door just opening up, right on top of the joists (if you guys can imagine that).

Oh gosh; I just thought of another possible obstacle! Sorry...I need to take a break; this is starting to frustrate me. mad.gif

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post #28 of 68 Old 04-01-2013, 05:55 PM
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What are the requirements for the door? Big enough to walk through with a box of Halloween decorations? Big enough to walk through with a refrigerator sized box? Do you need to get through with lumber?

Here's my suggestion. Get rid of the bump out and cut in a new door. The door doesn't need to be square if that doesn't fit, but that will mean buying a slab and cutting it as well as the mortising for the hinges - that's not trivial if you've never done it, but it's totally doable. The screen is wide enough (or said another way, the door is moved far enough) that you can't see door form the seats. The door opens in a direction that makes travel into the attic space as easy as possible. The best part is that the only work I've done is add a new minimalist screen wall, remove the bump out, and add a door - just a few hundred bucks for door, drywall and some small lumber to cover the bump and hang the screen.

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post #29 of 68 Old 04-01-2013, 06:06 PM
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I don't know what it cost, but our house has a mini-door in an area where the ceiling is low. Check with the local building supply about the door selection and see if they can get a short door that's prehung. Ours is clearly a pre manufactured door and not built on site.

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post #30 of 68 Old 04-01-2013, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
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OK guys; bear with me here. I've taken a breathe, poured myself a Black Bush; put some music on, and am going to try and articulate a few thoughts...albeit, in a thinking-out-loud/stream-of-consciousness kinda flow.

Remember; I started this whole thing off, by saying I was excited...and trepidatious. I've been down this road before, and my shortcomings weren't just a matter of poor planning and non-commitment. This space, presents some honest-to-goodness challenges. It seems at every turn...with every suggestion from the forum; it's like "that won't work, because...of the sloped-ceiling; because of the ventilation duct; because of the ceiling joists from the Bedroom; because there's only 28" instead of 29."

All of the suggestions have been good. My thinking is definitely tilted toward a solid wall, that spans the width of the room and closes it off from the "storage area"; and a screen-wall in front of that, just wide enough to hang the screen...and walk around and behind.

There's a lot of ways to approach it...and I'm suffering a bit of paralysis from analysis. I, of course, wanted this theater to be "perfect". Well...unfortunately...that plan went out the window, about 1 day into my build...lol. So now...I just want it, to still be the least un-perfect it can be. In other words, I want to accomplish...what I need to accomplish; in the best possible way, of the 5, 6, 10 different ways it could be done.

I've always had a hard time with modification. In all facets of life; I'm more a tear-up-the-blueprint...one-step-back-to-take-two-steps-forward type. As such...I really feel the first step (even though it will increase costs), is to tear down this bitch-ass of a screen-wall...I have now! That'll just give me some wide-open views, and (mostly) 45" of good, useable space...to fashion our screen-wall(s) solution.

One of the reason for the frustration...is, if that's true; that the first step is some demolition... then I really have some steps a, b, and c before I even take that "first" step.

If there's going to be demolition, I've got to a) get cleaned up in there (fun!). B) get the screen, PJ, and any sensitive gear out of there. And oh yeah...c) deal with the f***ing wasps (yes, wasps...plural. When I went up there today, it is more than just a rogue stinger). Talk about feeling like I'm stopped, before I even get started. But...I need to just stop with the whining, and just get to it.

One thing is for certain; I said early-on, I wanted to try to get this thing done...before the dog-days of Summer rolled in. Ain't happening; probably not even before all this BS...but definitely not, now that it has. Probably more realistic anyway. I'm a slow mover...and a guy who needs a plan, before he engages anyway. So please; don't stop the ideas...but this feels like a get-done-by-Fall deal. 5 months isn't excessively long anyway; and Fall always was, the best moving-watching weather up there anyway.

Let me answer some of the specific posts now. Thanks redface.gif

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