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post #1 of 56 Old 04-14-2013, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I previously worked up some ideas to put a closed off theater in a corner of the basement. However, my wife decided she would prefer to put the theater in the main space of the basement, leaving everything “nice and open.” Whereas with the previous plans I could build the theater and finish the rest of the basement when I got around to it, that won’t be the case now. I’ll have to finish the whole thing.

Let me start off by saying that I’ve never done any construction, but I’m not afraid to learn. I’ve read and watched quite a few videos on framing, and I feel pretty confident I can do that. In all honesty, my plan doesn’t call for much framing anyway. I think I should be able to do the drywall (except maybe the ceiling), but I’d probably hire a pro for the taping and mudding. My father-in-law is a retired plumber, so that’ll help. I’ll definitely contract out for the electrical, but I have no problem doing the low voltage stuff. I also plan to hire out the heating and cooling.

I previously planned to soundproof the theater, but with the new design I don’t know how practical that would be. I may still try to do something to keep the noise from the furnace escaping into the rest of the basement.

Except for the non-foundation walls, the basement is completely unfinished at the moment. At least I won’t have to rip anything out that way. smile.gif Below are pictures of the current state of things.


I won’t be allowed to do anything permanent to the windows. My wife loves the natural light in the basement, and it won’t be used as a theater most of the time so I can understand it. My plan is to build removable plugs for the two windows in the theater area and just use shades or curtains of some sort for the one in the alcove by the door. Since my first reflection point is likely to be right at one of those windows I figure I’ll have to do stand-mounted absorbers.





Below is the plan so far. The gray lines are foundation walls, the orange is already finished, and the blue stuff is what I plan to build. The bedroom and bathroom areas are just some quick ideas. I need to put some more thought into those. Of course the theater space is why I’m posting here, so who really cares about that other stuff?



The complete space will be 38’8” long x 16’11” wide in the main area, 23’3” wide at the back. Of course a lot of that will be wasted space as far as the theater is concerned. Heights (not counting any framing or drywall) are 8’8½” to the joists and 7’9” to the steel beam that runs the length of the house. I’ll have to build a soffit off of that to hide the ducts that will go 3’5” into the room. I’d like to build a matching soffit on the other side of the room. All told, that’s over 6000 cubic feet!

There’s only 3’3” from the edge of the window by the screen wall to the foundation wall. That being said, I don’t plan to finish the foundation wall; I think I’ll need the extra space for the speakers/subs. Is this a mistake? I will at least put up some rigid insulation.

I plan for a 120” wide 2.35:1 AT screen. To the sides of that will be panel curtains made of some kind of AT material that I can slide in or out for masking. This is the dotted line in the picture. The head rest of the front row is at 11’ from the screen wall, the second row is 18’. As planned, viewing angles would be 48.9 and 31 degrees for 2.35 material, 38 and 23.7 degrees for 16x9 material. I know THX requires 26 degrees for the back row; should I plan to move the seats closer?

I don’t have any of the electronics yet. I’m not too concerned about that stuff at this point, or at least that’s what I try to tell myself. I do have the subs. I purchased four Stereo Integrity HT 18”s with the plan to build some DIY sealed subs. I figured four separate enclosures placed around the room would be best to even things out. I may end up going ported; we’ll see.

I don’t have the other speakers yet. The red/gold speakers in the picture above are Theater 4 Pi speakers that I build about 10 years ago. They’re really efficient (101dB), which will be nice for a space this big, but they’ve always been a little “shouty” for extended use. For the L/C/Rs I might build the upgraded JBL/B&C version, something similar (maybe a SEOS design), or just buy something equally powerful. We’ll see once the room gets close to done. I have no idea yet for the sides/rears.

We have no kids, so it will be just the two of us about 99% of the time.

I won’t be able to start until probably late May, and I’m sure progress will be pretty slow. I’ll have a lot of questions, so I hope you guys are up to the challenge. biggrin.gif

I guess that’s enough for the first post. Please let me know what you think.
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post #2 of 56 Old 04-14-2013, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Saved for (eventual) final pics.
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post #3 of 56 Old 04-16-2013, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Tonight I figured out the way to get my wife interested in the theater; I asked her to help me name it.

We haven't come up with the final name yet, but she did come up with something that got my laughing. She said it should be "The Shamrock Theater" since I'm lucky I'm getting it. biggrin.gif

I had to admit it was pretty good, but I don't think Kelly green will work with my color palette.
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post #4 of 56 Old 04-17-2013, 01:14 AM
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Hard to match the 4 Pi or SEOS with commercial build at anywhere near the price.

Current Gear: PJ – BenQ PE7700; Receiver - Onkyo TX-SR805; Blu Ray - OppoBDP 103; Turntable - Dual CS-515 w/ Ortofon Super OM10; Amplifiers - OdysseyKhartago, Adcom GFA555, QSC RMX 1850HD; PEQ - Behringer FBD2496 [Near FieldSub], miniDSP 2×4 [Flanking Subs], REW; Speakers - 4 Pi (w/B&C DE250/JBL2226H) × 3 [LCR], Yamaha Crap × 2 [surrounds], Exodus Audio Maelstrom-X18" sealed sub [near field sub], LAB-12 based ported sub tuned to 22 Hz x2 [flanking subs, XO set at 40 Hz]
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post #5 of 56 Old 04-17-2013, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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NWCgrad,

I see you built some upgraded 4 Pis. Nice.

I've been thinking along the lines of what you said, but I've also read some great stuff about Tekton's speakers. They look very efficient, as well. I think whatever I do for the fronts it might be difficult to find decent complimentary side and surround speakers. But I'm sure I'll get there.
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post #6 of 56 Old 04-17-2013, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
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So I've got a couple of questions about stuff that I'll need to have figured out soon for framing and such:

1. I mentioned it in the first post, but should I worry about framing behind the screen wall? I guess I just worry about there being enough room behind the screen for speakers. There's 3'3" from the window casing to the cement foundation wall.

2. For the door to the workout location I figured to keep it as far from the screen wall as possible. Is there a better option?

3. My assumption is that soundproofing is a no-go here. I've read all over the place that it's useless to go half way. There's a lot of stuff already there that I wouldn't know what to do with (windows, door to the back yard). Also, all that glass can't be good. Would there be any particularly helpful spots to do something with?

Thanks.
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post #7 of 56 Old 04-22-2013, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, it's a good thing I haven't started putting up walls yet. The rain came down pretty hard today, and my wife found some wet spots in some vertical cracks in the foundation. mad.gif Nothing as bad as puddles, but something to be concerned about. There are some metal rods in the cement that run vertically every few feet along the wall, and a couple of them have cracks that look like they might be a problem.

Epoxy injection looks like the way to go. I've seen DIY kits that look easy enough. Anyone had any experience with this?
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post #8 of 56 Old 04-23-2013, 01:27 PM
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I had the same thing happen to me right before I started my project. Check the first page of my thread.

Going to have to get you and the wife up for another demo now that most everything is finished.

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post #9 of 56 Old 04-23-2013, 02:02 PM
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It's a shame that your HW heater and such are located where they are, that would be the best spot IMO. Any chance of moving said plumbing/ducting?
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post #10 of 56 Old 04-23-2013, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W00lly View Post

I had the same thing happen to me right before I started my project. Check the first page of my thread.

Going to have to get you and the wife up for another demo now that most everything is finished.

W00lly, I'm at work, but I'll definitely check out your thread regarding the waterproofing. After doing a little more reading I think I'm leaning toward urethane injection now. We'll see, but I want to get it done soon.

As to visiting, I think my wife may be a little more amenable to that now. Though not thrilled about the whole thing, she's at least more willing to talk about the theater. Baby steps. wink.gif

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It's a shame that your HW heater and such are located where they are, that would be the best spot IMO. Any chance of moving said plumbing/ducting?

Spec4, are you in the Army? The name just has me guessing. As to the layout, while your suggestion would be an excellent option, it's just not going to happen. For one thing the sump is over in that corner; I'd need to keep access to that, and the stupid pump runs all the time in the Spring and Fall. Secondly, the wife is completely against the idea of ripping anything out that already works perfectly well. Moving all of that stuff would be quite the major overhaul.
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post #11 of 56 Old 04-24-2013, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Scott, I checked out the beginning of your thread and called one of the businesses you linked to, CPR. They were very helpful, and I ordered the materials to fill the cracks. If shipping's quick I may get it done this weekend.

As to visiting your place, I'll send you a PM.
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post #12 of 56 Old 04-24-2013, 09:51 PM
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Great
The cracks are pretty easy to fill and since I did mine I have had no leaks.

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post #13 of 56 Old 04-25-2013, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trancemitr View Post

3. My assumption is that soundproofing is a no-go here. I've read all over the place that it's useless to go half way. There's a lot of stuff already there that I wouldn't know what to do with (windows, door to the back yard). Also, all that glass can't be good. Would there be any particularly helpful spots to do something with?

As someone who's just gone through this, building a home theater in a basement presents a real problem with regard to isolating the sounds of footsteps from the floor above, as well as preventing bass and vibrations from the theater annoying my wife upstairs. If your HT room is below active living space, soundproofing is essential, IMO.

Unfortunately, you're right that it's an all-or-nothing proposition. You can't soundproof a little, or just attempt to soundproof the ceiling but not the walls. Sound leaks everywhere. If there's an opening, the sound will find and travel through it. This can get complicated and expensive, but now is the time to do it, and you'll be happier in the long run.

My $.02. Good luck in whatever you decide.

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post #14 of 56 Old 04-25-2013, 11:54 AM
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Others have replied, but I also filled the cracks in my basement walls by injecting epoxy.  It works great.  No leaks at all.

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post #15 of 56 Old 04-25-2013, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I'm glad to hear the crack filling is relatively easy and that it works. I caulked the crack from outside the house yesterday so the epoxy won't leak out the back side.

Josh, I appreciate you hopping on one of my questions. You pretty much confirmed what I thought about the soundproofing. I know I could soundproof the ceiling and new walls, but like I said, there's so much other stuff. I'll have to give it some more thought. I basically never watch movies without my wife unless she's out of town, so I don't see other sounds entering being much of a problem.... Grrr.

Anyone want to tackle my other questions in post #6? Should I finish behind the screen wall? How about the door location?

On a side note, I decided I wanted to build something. I know it's too early for screens, but since I'm always thinking about what I want to do for the screen size I figured I'd mock something up. I bought some 2x4s, 1x4s, and some cheap white fabric. I couldn't get around to it tonight, but I should get it together and post some pics tomorrow. Whatever the size (10', 11', 12'?), I can't wait to see my wife's face when she realizes how big the screen will actually be.
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post #16 of 56 Old 04-26-2013, 07:30 AM
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Kevin

You could come up and grab my old Mitsubishi 720p projector to give it real perspective. its just sitting collecting dust so your welcome to use it as long as you like and that way you can really see what size screen you'll want to go with and also play with your seating distances.

on the sound proofing I would at least insulate the ceiling's and walls with roxul safe n sound if you do nothing else it will help a lot.

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post #17 of 56 Old 04-26-2013, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Scott,

Thanks a lot for the offer of the Mitsubishi. I'll grab it next weekend when we come by. I'll especially want to borrow it now that I've gotten a taste of what's to come. biggrin.gif



The mocked up screen is 132" wide at 2.35. The right side wall will end under the beam. This wouldn't exactly leave a lot of room to the sides of the screen, so maybe I'd end up going a bit smaller. Checking it out with a projector will really help me figure out final dimensions. That being said, just seeing this makes me think, "Wow. This is really gonna happen."

In other news, the crack repair stuff arrived. Hopefully I can get to that this weekend. I've still got to finish the final project for my last Master's class, but who can think of that now?
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post #18 of 56 Old 05-05-2013, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Scott,

I haven't had the opportunity yet. Hopefully later tonight or tomorrow. My final class project is due tomorrow, so that's been the focus today. Once that's done I can start having some fun. tongue.gif

By the way, Wendy thought your theater was great. She actually described it as "cozy," which is funny since I can never get over the size of that screen. You'd think a 144" wide screen at 13' seating distance would be way too big, but I certainly like it.

Anyway, I'll definitely take some quick pics once I get the projector set up... for testing purposes only, of course.
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post #19 of 56 Old 05-05-2013, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
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....

Anyway, I'll definitely take some quick pics once I get the projector set up... for testing purposes only, of course.

And that is where the project stopped. wink.gifsmile.gif
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post #20 of 56 Old 05-07-2013, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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And that is where the project stopped. wink.gifsmile.gif

Well, I did set it up last night. Since I have the windows right there I had to wait until it was dark enough outside to see the projected image. I know it's a bad idea to set up the projector when things are "mostly" done. I'm not anywhere near done; I don't even really think I can say I've started. Therefore, I will not be dissuaded. All it really did was make me think: 1) This is cool! and 2) Maybe I'll need to go bigger. Anyway, the "screen material" is such a poor choice for this job that I'd be too annoyed to watch for too long.

I finished the last of my schoolwork last night. The only thing keeping me from getting started now is my wife's very recent realization that she may want to move. I should say she may want the both of us to move, otherwise this could really get depressing. I'll just say that the neighborhood we built in hasn't been going as planned. Obviously she doesn't want to put any more money into the house (especially something as custom as a home theater) if we're going to leave it before too long. Hopefully we get that whole thing figured out soon.
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post #21 of 56 Old 05-07-2013, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
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The only thing keeping me from getting started now is my wife's very recent realization that she may want to move. I should say she may want the both of us to move, otherwise this could really get depressing. I'll just say that the neighborhood we built in hasn't been going as planned. Obviously she doesn't want to put any more money into the house (especially something as custom as a home theater) if we're going to leave it before too long. Hopefully we get that whole thing figured out soon.
Definitely get that figured in BEFORE you go any further. I'd hate to move again and leave another theater behind. And I'm not DIY'ing a 3rd one, so if my wife wants to move, she better have a good reason and a good salary to fund the hired construction of a new one.

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post #22 of 56 Old 05-07-2013, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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If she is thinking of moving in the near future you could just get yourself a carpet remnant build a DIY screen hang a projector throw in a couch and your watching movies. I did that for a year before building anything tongue.gif

Now THAT's an idea. I'll keep you all informed.
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post #23 of 56 Old 06-15-2013, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, it looks like we're staying. As soon as the decision was made I bought some lumber and Liquid Nails to start headers and footers. This is going to be a slow process, but I'm excited to get started.

I'm going to start the framing with the wall under the beam. My issue is where do I put the door into the workout space. I originally planned on putting it just to the right of the pole, as far to the back of the theater space as possible. However, that's probably about the best spot for the surround right speaker based on recommended angles. In the updated diagram below I have the surround right speaker sitting at 104 degrees. I could put the door between that speaker and the planned subwoofer, but I'm not too sure about that idea.



Any help on where to frame the rough opening for this door would be greatly appreciated.

On a side note, there are several homes currently being built in my neighborhood. This will surely sound "ghetto," but it's amazing what kind of stuff you can pull out of the trash if you don't mind pulling some nails.
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post #24 of 56 Old 07-19-2013, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, it's going slowly, but I've made actual physical progress. My first wall is up (first I've ever built!), and I have to say it looks pretty decent. Except for the pressure treated footer it's all built from reclaimed lumber. Here's for putting less in the landfills and saving me a few bucks. tongue.gif



I'm doing this all myself so who knows when it'll be done. Oh well; it's a journey.

Note the hand weights on the rug. My wife still works out down there when I'm not in the immediate area.
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post #25 of 56 Old 07-21-2013, 03:13 PM
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Nothing wrong with reclaimed lumber as long as its not to warped.

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post #26 of 56 Old 07-26-2013, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Wall number 2 complete. That might be more impressive if I didn't still have to build out a bedroom, bathroom, enclosed storage space, AND the rest of the theater.
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post #27 of 56 Old 08-15-2013, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I have still been making progress, just slowly. I started building the wall to the other side of the stairs. It turns out I can't complete it because we need to run some plumbing through the cement below where that wall will go. And since two other walls will T off of that one, I'm going into a holding pattern. My ex-plumber father-in-law said he is willing to do it, but of course scheduling against his free time intersecting with mine is more difficult than scheduling a contractor. But the labor will be free, so I guess I can't complain too much. More to follow.
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post #28 of 56 Old 09-02-2013, 12:49 AM - Thread Starter
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BLUF: Need help with power outlet in concrete floor.

First off, my father-in-law was nice enough to come and help with the plumbing rough-in this weekend. We moved the drain for the shower and added a drain for the kitchenette sink. I ended up renting a concrete saw and electric jackhammer, and they worked like a champ.

Since I still have those tools tomorrow (holiday weekends are great for rentals; three days for the price of one biggrin.gif), I want to put them to use in adding power and low voltage outlets where the riser will go.

Details: The riser will not touch any walls, so I can't run power that way. There will be at least a couple of feet between it and any wall. Hence, I figure I need to go through the concrete.

I planned on running wires from the wall into the concrete through two lengths of conduit (one for power, one for LV) to 1-gang boxes mounted flush with the concrete floor, sitting under the riser. I would probably plug an outlet strip into one of the receptacles to power the recliners. Would that be a problem for heat buildup or anything? I'd also like to have power running from the other receptacle to the "wall" of the riser so I could power a laptop or whatnot. Is there a best practice for this?

I figure for the LV stuff (network, HDMI) I could just go straight through the conduit to a 1-gang LV box mounted in the riser wall. I hadn't put much thought to it, but I might want to run step lights as well. Would that mean another conduit?

So, what have others done in this situation? Is there anything else I should be thinking about? Any particular equipment you'd recommend? Any help with even a portion would be greatly appreciated.
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post #29 of 56 Old 09-02-2013, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Work is progressing on power and LV in the concrete floor.

So I cut and dug out the concrete to where I want to place the power, low voltage, and possible riser lights. My wife said she was willing to help, so I let her try out the jackhammer for a bit. Though heavy, she said she had fun with it.



Here you can see it dug out with two 1-gang boxes I might install. I say might because I'm thinking I may need something deeper since I'll want the top of the box to stick above the pad and carpet. Anyway, at least the hole is dug. I can return the rented equipment and figure out exactly how I want to hook everything up some time this week.



If you're curious as to why the trench doesn't go straight to the wall it's because that would mean breaking out concrete around the post holding the beam up. I just didn't want to mess with that. This still puts the outlets under the expected riser location.

Any thoughts on my questions from the previous post?
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post #30 of 56 Old 01-16-2014, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I know, I know. I'll start by saying that a lot has happened, progress-wise and otherwise.

Though I'm not as far as I'd like, I do have most of the framing done -- and this is the whole basement, not just a theater space. All I really have left with that is to frame out the shower. I'd have been done with all of that months ago, but I've been traveling weeks at a time for work, then there were the holidays, and the subwoofer project I wanted to get started before the weather got too cold. Cutting MDF inside is never a good idea. The build thread can be found here. It involves 4 SI HT 18D4 drivers in 16cuft sonotubes each tuned to 16hz. You wouldn't believe how long it took me to play with the WinISD models and finally pick an alignment -- paralysis through analysis I guess.

I have been taking pics of the build, but for whatever reason I thought I'd post the whole bunch when I finished the framing phase. Hopefully I can finish the framing up this weekend. Then my ex-plumber father-in-law can help finish the plumbing, and I have a friend from work that used to do electrical that can help with that stuff.

So that's the "progress-wise" stuff. On to the "otherwise."

Early in this thread I mentioned how my wife didn't want me to start work on the basement until we knew we weren't going to move. So the decision was made to stay, and I started the project. As it turns out, in November we found a small acreage that was pretty much exactly what we'd been looking for. Well, we bought it.

We don't plan on building on it and moving for probably 3-5 years, so I'm still going through with the basement/theater, but it has changed the plans a bit. Finishing the basement will be good for resale, but a completely custom tricked-out theater probably isn't the best investment given our new situation. That being said, I'm going to do it in a way that just about everything will be removable if the buyers at that time don't want it set up that way. So that would be things like the AT false wall, the riser seating, etc. And, obviously, no sand-filled stage. I'll also go cheaper on things like the screen (most likely a DIY Seymour Center Stage XD).

That's it in a nutshell. I'm still going at it, and still having fun with the project. I'll try to post some pics this weekend.
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