Need help with some basic design and beginner questions .... Help ? - AVS Forum
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I going to be starting a home addition soon and I'm in the discovery and planning phase of my project. I need some help.

My proposed theater build is going to be a bonus room above a two car garage. I'm thinking something like 32x24. Debating 8 foot or 10 foot walls before peak roof starts. 10 feet is my choice but it make the garage taller than the house and adds more cost. My budget for whole project is not huge. thoughts?

My next issue is if I have enough width available due to zoning requirements. I need 15 feet from my property line for a permit and to be legal and that side of the house is tight. I need to find property line to find out specifics. I'm just guessing at this point at my dimensions but I think I'm close. I've paced it out many times.

My next question is how wide do I need for 4 theater seats in front row in half arc with plenty of room on both walls for walk way to higher level of riser, second row and bar in the back ?

My wife is trying to steal width from my theater for more closets frown.gif I'm thinking no way. Lol

Second question: how much length do I need for a first row with 4 theater seats, second row riser of couch in middle plus two seats on sides, third small row of normal cheap folding chairs, and then a bar on the riser with bar stools and counter facing screen? Is 32 feet enough for three rows plus modest bar area behind ? I might do fake screen wall too.

Am I way off ?

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Old 05-25-2013, 01:03 PM
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18 ft width is fine for 4 seats, wider even better. 32 long should be fine for the seating you described.
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok more questions: smile.gif

How much room is ideal for behind a false screen wall ? I'd probably put speakers behind it and screen.

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Old 05-25-2013, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Also is there any good PC programs or PC or for iPhone to help design plans or layout ?

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Old 05-25-2013, 03:10 PM
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

How much room is ideal for behind a false screen wall ?
I'd shoot for 2.5 feet if you have the space. You probably wont need that much - most do with 2, I think.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:49 PM
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2 is ok 2.5 is better, You may want to check the dimensions of whatever subs you have in mind for the front of the room, A room that long will need additional subs somewhere in the rear sides.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

2 is ok 2.5 is better, You may want to check the dimensions of whatever subs you have in mind for the front of the room, A room that long will need additional subs somewhere in the rear sides.


I would probably do two subs up front and use my dual 12" now in the back since its nice looking high gloss black. I could add additional for "fill" if I tuned a little farther down the road (I would when theater done)

Bass is easy to make. More drivers. More watts. More surface cone area.

I would like to tune the room for flat accurate response when its done.

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Old 05-25-2013, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I can go 32 or even 34 feet long do I'm hoping I should be ok for 2.5 even 3

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Old 05-25-2013, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
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How tall is a tall stage ? I'd like to possibly build subs into the bottom front of stage versus behind the screen. Good or bad ?

I was thinking 24" high stage would allow 18" or 15" drivers. I'd make black cloth custom covers ... And do enclosure of MDF .

Or better to do behind screen ?

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Old 05-26-2013, 12:44 PM
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Most stages are less than a foot tall. If it was 24" high, I think you'd want to turn it more into cabinetry below the screen, vs. a stage. And if you're going with an AT screen and false wall, you've got that room behind the screen to place subs, and you can move them around for best results, vs. fixing them in a location.
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Old 05-26-2013, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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So a false wall and 24 " stage is not good ?

I like idea of subs and cabinets below

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Old 05-26-2013, 06:01 PM
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Have you worked through the height of the bottom of your screen? 24 inches may not leave enough room, depending on ceiling height and screen size.

Check out Mario's screen wall.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm 10 foot ceilings at sides ... 12 in center.

I think I need to figure this out ...

Perhaps a false screen wall with 3 feet behind makes more sense

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Old 05-28-2013, 06:52 AM
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Keep in mind that you want your eyeballs to be about 1/3 up from the bottom of the screen. I would think a 24" stage would be WAAAY to high to place the screen properly. Unless you LIKE sitting in the first row and looking up at the screen.

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Old 05-28-2013, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Great point ! I'm thinking less now.
Very appreciative of the help and comments on this forum. Invaluable in helping me plan.

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Old 05-28-2013, 11:50 PM
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Very appreciative of the help and comments on this forum.

Payback for all the support you offer in the HTPC area
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Payback for all the support you offer in the HTPC area

Thanks! I just wish I knew as much about this stuff. As you can probably tell I've been reading and devouring info from this forum in my attempt to learn as much as I can.

The problem with building a theater is I can't afford to simply build another one with knowledge found in the previous build smile.gif I built 20 HTPCs and about 10 media servers last year- but I've never built a theater. HTPC costs 3 or 4 hundred bucks while a theater could cost 30 or 40 thousand (or more).

Point being - I'm trying my best to do it as properly and good as I can the first time because there is probably not going to be a second. Wife and I expect kids soon so I'm trying to get this project started this summer and as much done as I can. Theater is going to be the part I do myself.

I come from a do it yourself family. Ive got nearly every tool I'd need, and willing to buy what I don't. I've put up Sheetrock 20 times which is way more than enough to know I'm going to pay a pro to do it smile.gif I can do the electrical , I changed my own home from fuse to breaker ten years ago - but I need a licensed pro for permit reasons. I'll pay for framing - roofing and the grunt work I'm just less efficient at. But trim, finish, riser, design, and general build stuff I'll certainly do myself. If I hired help (pro) I'd like to at least work side by side.

At this point the best questions I can ask and the best help people can give me is information. I'd love to know any good resources I can learn from:

Is there any good books, web sites, or threads I should read ? Where's the best source for me so I don't ask 50 idiotic questions?

I'm not quite ready to start a build thread or throw up sketches. Im getting closer smile.gif

I've thrown away 50 different design plans. Haha. I wish I knew how to use google sketch or a render program well. I might just graph paper sketch it... Then scan ... Lol

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Old 05-29-2013, 08:21 AM
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Thanks! I just wish I knew as much about this stuff. As you can probably tell I've been reading and devouring info from this forum in my attempt to learn as much as I can.

The problem with building a theater is I can't afford to simply build another one with knowledge found in the previous build smile.gif I built 20 HTPCs and about 10 media servers last year- but I've never built a theater. HTPC costs 3 or 4 hundred bucks while a theater could cost 30 or 40 thousand (or more).

Point being - I'm trying my best to do it as properly and good as I can the first time because there is probably not going to be a second. Wife and I expect kids soon so I'm trying to get this project started this summer and as much done as I can. Theater is going to be the part I do myself.

I come from a do it yourself family. Ive got nearly every tool I'd need, and willing to buy what I don't. I've put up Sheetrock 20 times which is way more than enough to know I'm going to pay a pro to do it smile.gif I can do the electrical , I changed my own home from fuse to breaker ten years ago - but I need a licensed pro for permit reasons. I'll pay for framing - roofing and the grunt work I'm just less efficient at. But trim, finish, riser, design, and general build stuff I'll certainly do myself. If I hired help (pro) I'd like to at least work side by side.

At this point the best questions I can ask and the best help people can give me is information. I'd love to know any good resources I can learn from:

Is there any good books, web sites, or threads I should read ? Where's the best source for me so I don't ask 50 idiotic questions?

I'm not quite ready to start a build thread or throw up sketches. Im getting closer smile.gif

I've thrown away 50 different design plans. Haha. I wish I knew how to use google sketch or a render program well. I might just graph paper sketch it... Then scan ... Lol

I started with Warren Peterson's e-book which can be purchased off this site. Also, the video and audio interviews that are offered with the book really helped me understand a lot as well.

www.soundproofing.com and some links on the gik.com site have some very good information as well in regards to treatment and soundproofing the room.

I am approaching my build by addressing the walls and ceiling first, I'll then decide if I want a stage or even an AT screen at that point. I have a small space so my options are limited, and the wife now wants a small bar area as well so we can have Pats and Bruins parties.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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+1 on Patriots and Bruins smile.gif

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Old 05-29-2013, 10:27 AM
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Where exactly in Western MA are you anyway?
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm in Agawam , near Springfield.

^ thanks for advice too. At this point I'm just gathering as much knowledge as I can to create a plan. Keep it all coming !

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Old 05-30-2013, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damelon View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallus2000 View Post

Sounds like a plan..:-)

Still deciding where to put AV rack, any thoughts?

BTW thanks for all the advice...

With the rack, the major things you need to consider are:
1) Making sure the front lights on the rack aren't visible while you are watching a movie (Make it behind you if it is in the room, or if it is on the side or front, make sure that it is covered with a door or something) - This is also accomplished by many by having it in a hallway going to the room or in an adjacent room. Even if it is in the back of the room, some of those blue LED lights some components have can be amazingly bright!
2) Making sure you can get behind the rack. You can either have it recessed into a wall somewhere and have a rack that pulls out and rotates, have a free standing rack in a closet where you can see both sides, or have it so you can see the front from one room and the back from another room. Just make sure that if you put any part of your rack in your main theater, that you consider soundproofing when you do it. IE: If you cut out a hole from your theater into another room, that the other room is soundproofed or all of your sound will go right through that rack hole. ANY hole you have in your theater walls could leak sound and needs to be considered.

As for speaker brands... that is an entirely different can of worms. Every person has their own personal favorite and reasons why they like them. Some people build their own speakers, some like brand X or brand Y, and others hate those same brands. Decide on a budget and post it in the speaker forums and watch how many dozens of different answers you get!

Wow. It's like you read my mind with this post.


Awesome advice!

I'm going though these issues now. I'm considering making an AV closet for the rack inside the theater room. I'm thinking behind the last row .. In front on the bar area and facing the side - so lights don't look very visible when watching movies.

I'm going to do some sketches now and will be posting when I have some specific questions.

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Old 05-30-2013, 12:35 PM
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Wow. It's like you read my mind with this post.


Awesome advice!

I'm going though these issues now. I'm considering making an AV closet for the rack inside the theater room. I'm thinking behind the last row .. In front on the bar area and facing the side - so lights don't look very visible when watching movies.

I'm going to do some sketches now and will be posting when I have some specific questions.

If it is behind the last row and facing sideways you probably won't even need a door. In fact somewhere near the rear corner on the side is something I've seen in several builds. Mine is on the back wall, but it faces forward, and if the door isn't closed, I notice all of the blue LEDs, and the light is definitely caught on the screen (Though you would only notice it when the screen is off). That was one of the reasons I got a smoked glass door.

Also, don't forget about your remotes. Depending on the angle, you may have to turn backwards or have issues directly pointing your remote at your A/V equipment. So don't forget to put in a wire for an IR blaster or something!
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I was considering a glass door because I'd like to see the equipment from the bar. - but glass scares the crap out of me from a sound reflection perspective

Wondering if the noise by having no door on the closet and building on the components flush front faced- is better than soundproofing with glass door in front ?????

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Old 05-31-2013, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I was considering a glass door because I'd like to see the equipment from the bar. - but glass scares the crap out of me from a sound reflection perspective

Wondering if the noise by having no door on the closet and building on the components flush front faced- is better than soundproofing with glass door in front ?????

If you have your rack in the back corner, you probably won't be dealing with much reflections, and the reflections you do get will likely be from surrounds, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I haven't noticed anything in my room, in fact, the absorption in my room takes almost all of the rumble out of my bass completely... I guess I need some bigger subs!! hehe.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok- Thanks for all your help.

I was considering the alternatives. I guess I could start with a sound proof AV closet- and simply add a glass door if I find too much noise escaping the front.

My Norco server is likely to be in the rack and it draws it's air flow from the front. I plan to vent the AV closet up into the crawl space above- keeping noise not a big issue. The main noise would escape from the front through the components themselves. The AV closet would be in the room and pretty close (behind the second row)

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Old 05-31-2013, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopefulFred View Post

Have you worked through the height of the bottom of your screen? 24 inches may not leave enough room, depending on ceiling height and screen size.

Check out Mario's screen wall.

I am still playing around with this. Until I know the final wall height it's tough to go into it. I think I should be ok with 10ft walls- and I think I want a lower stage.

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Old 06-02-2013, 01:40 AM
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Any luck on the design?

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Old 06-02-2013, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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A little bit smile.gif

I'm still learning ...

I've been in Tampa on vacation for last two weeks. Just flew home and drive up to lake George NY for cousin wedding. Leaving now... Headed home.

I've been limited without a PC so I've yet to be able to start planning. I'm hoping to try playing around on pc tonight and this week.

Anyone have good suggestion for a pc program ?

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