After reading through Warren’s book and lurking about the forums on the site. I felt that I would try and attempt to redesign our small home theater in our basement as part of a basement insulation project.
I would love to get some input as the project progresses and try to work around the limitations of the space. With the right mix, I feel the space would work as there is nowhere else in the house to design one.
Here is a top view of the space.
The room measures 14’x 20’. There is currently a 52” LCD on the front wall that measures 7’ 7” wide. To the left of the room is the entrance to the bathroom. There is also a counter with sink inside the HT room. A pellet stove is installed to the right. The support beam that is off center does not interfere the viewing position of the front wall. There is a small opening to the left of the rear wall which serves no purpose other than the breaker box. It is a perfect spot for the rack (or to hide the subwoofer) but not sure how I would access the breaker box since it only measures around 32” across.
Behind the front wall is the boiler room which also contains the chimney foundation. There is approximately ½ ‘ of space between the chimney and the stud wall.
: Should this room even be soundproofed when I remove the exterior walls? The rear and right wall are 16” 2x4 studded along the concrete foundation. Other than R-13 fiberglass insulation, can more be done to soundproof these walls? The wall to the left separates the bathroom from the HT room. I’m sure there is plumbing inside this wall. The ceiling is 6.79’ high and will also be insulated. I don’t think decoupling is an option for the ceiling since it is already below 7’.
Only my wife and myself live here. There is very little ambient noise that enters the basement. Disturbance of others in the house or around us is really a non-issue. I am mostly concerned with creating a “quality listening environment” with acoustic treatment and if necessary “soundproofing”.
The other issue is the opening to the room at the bottom of the stairs. I am considering placing a door here to close off the room, but I have a limited width of about 33”.
The pellet stove is another issue. Due to code, that is really the only place in the house it can go. Plus, I already have $1500 worth of stone work into that area, and really don’t want to tamper with it.
There are pipes that run across the celing. These are heating pipes. Once the ceiling is removed I am going to see if I can have them raised up to get them out of the way.
2. Screen Placement
: In the front of the room is a 7’7” wall which is really the only place I can see placing the screen. It’s not much space for a seating area. I am considering adding a false wall about 3-4’ in front of this wall so I can place the center and L/R speakers behind the screen for a clean look. Also, would be a nice place to hide the subwoofer, however that will decrease the overall length of the room to 12’ from screen to viewing area
3. Acoustical treatment
: I plan on adding bass traps and other treatments to enhance the sound quality. Without doing any measurements other than SPL, The sound is often muddy and the center channel is sometimes unintelligible which I know is a treatment issue that needs to be addressed.
So here lies my challenge to turn an ordinary small basement space into a least a workable HT room.
Here are some pictures and a model of the room (rear viewpoint) for reference and talking points.
Appreciate any input to make this dream a reality.