The Small Hall Home Theater Project build - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-16-2013, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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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.

Planning Thoughts.

1. Soundproofing: 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.

James Hall
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-17-2013, 04:25 AM
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With only two of you, I'd go for a low noise floor but not worry about sound isolation.

I would raise that lower pipe higher. Looks like the floor joists run ninety degrees to the pipes, so it might just be simpler to work them into
a low height soffit, that could become a feature of the room.

How many bodies are you looking to accommodate?

One row of seating, with a roll out equipment rack could be recessed into the back wall, or built flush with the front of the bar. An AT screen would
hide the front speakers and sub/s, and I'd be thinking 54x96" as a minimum screen size.

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post #3 of 6 Old 05-17-2013, 05:39 AM
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Remove the support post and beef up the support beam??

Post 3: http://www.avsforum.com/t/735097/must-create-reedzone-theater-thread

Then work the pipes and deeper beam into a soffit, that becomes a design feature of the room?

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post #4 of 6 Old 05-19-2013, 05:55 PM
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live with the post and bury it in a column. smile.gif

and throw in a hallway....

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post #5 of 6 Old 05-20-2013, 06:10 AM
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more work but eliminates that support post.

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reworked bath room version, might buy you a little more depth?

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post #6 of 6 Old 05-26-2013, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Now that I've removed pretty much everything in the room, I can get some better shots of possible layouts for the projector

All speakers have been removed from the walls and based on the flow of the room, I've decided the best place for the screen is actually opposite from where the TV was .

Some Testing with our "in the field" NEC 1075 projector at approximately 110" width




The plan is now to remove the pellet stove and open the wall to the left. However, I may rebuild a small bump out that is large enough for the equipment rack since I would be easy access from the boiler room on the other side



Left Wall of Pellet stove (Rear View)


The structural beam will be enclosed with a column that will also house an electrical outlet and perhaps an input plate for computer or other media with a sconce light. Seating will begin to the right of the beam in the current configuration. The lower ceiling pipe will be raised to match the recessed pipe, then covered with a soffit.



The plan is to also frame out the speaker area so as to hide the speakers but keep the screen recessed back against the wall. The seating distance from screen to seats is ~11.5' and I really don't want decrease the distance anymore than it already is

View from initial seating area ~11.5' from screen wall


Still trying to figure out what i would do for a door. A pocket door would be the ideal solution due to space, but not from a sound isolation standpoint.

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