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post #1 of 87 Old 06-06-2013, 01:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Great - this is my home theater build thread and my first home theater that I will be designing/building. I am looking forward to the entire process.

We are having a new home built - and while we are a few months out until completion I am am trying to finalize some details with the builder to maximize the space. This is in a planned community and is a semi custom build meaning that a lot is to spec but we have a lot of leeway with certain design elements. the new home is 4400 sq feet (our current one is 3700 sq feet). even though it is a larger home the movie theater will be smaller then what i am used to. going from an 18x18 room to a 12.6x17.4 will be a big change.

So far we have added the media port for wired internet/streaming($170). We added the tube (not sure what it is called) to run the hdmi cable from the projector to the receiver letting me swap cords in the future as the tech changes without having to get into the crawl space(about $220), prewire (about $350). we will be choosing carpet soon but will go with the one pick for the rest of the house since it is included in the cost,

I am keeping our DaLite 106" screen and Panasonic 4000 projector (unless it is negotiated with the sale of our current house) but decided to do ceiling speakers to save on space in the smaller room - we added paradigm cs-60r-30 speakers for the LCR and paradigm cs-60r-sm($2k for the speakers and install). 5.1 set up....though i do not have the sub yet it is something that has been on my wish list for a few years.....and maybe for a few more -

I will be building a riser, stage and a pair of floating walls (one on each side of the screen) to block the a/v eqip and movies.

My main concern at this time is the size of the room and how i will design the riser -



This is a screen shot of the movie theater - it is on the 2nd floor and has a bathroom on one side, a bedroom on the other and to the left is an open game/bonus room. don't pay attention to the room measurements on the image as that is showing it as an optional 7th bedroom with a closet. The way i will have it configured is one open room, no closet and like i mentioned 12.6x17.4 with 9 ft ceilings.

The doors cannot not be moved but I would like to have my riser on that side of the room so that my screen and LCR speakers are at the bathroom wall and not on the wall that boarders my kids bedroom. I have the option to add additional insulation to the screen wall or all 3 walls but am waiting to hear back on pricing as we have a million other expenses for the house to think about.

my current riser is 8'x6'x12" and fits our back 3 movie chairs perfectly so they can recline but there is only about 2 inches left on each side so it is a great size. I would like to build a riser just like that one but at 8ft wide i would only have 2'3" feet of space on each side of the riser. I am waiting to heat back about the width of the doors. If they are each 2ft wide (like ones we have now) then I am all set as one door can be locked and the other with swing in without issue. If they are wider then I will need to think more about my placement and size of the riser. we have two rows of 3 and would like to keep it that way. if the doors are an issue i could make everything off center to the right side of the room but i think that would get on my nerves. I am also trying to get a price on making the double doors pocket doors but am hoping that the doubles are 2 ft each. of course i could offset the seating by 2 or 3 inches and still be good.

any thoughts on the insulation? my sales consultant said that instead of the standard insulation they would use a thicker one and fill in the walls as much as possible to add more of a sound barrier. does that sound like something worth doing? we need to hear back from that vendor about cost.

I think there will not be much for me to add until i get into the room and house (not until nov 2013) but wanted to get this started with my beginning stages. I have a lot of inspiration for building some of the features, wall colors and lighting from the forum and will post those when i can.

and if anyone cares here is the exterior of the house....colors are different but you get the idea - we are very excited!

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post #2 of 87 Old 06-06-2013, 04:39 AM
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You said the builder won't move the doors, Can you do it after you take possession? Can you make them swing out? Can you convert the double door to a single? Solving this would make all your riser issues go away.

As for insulation, the difference between cheap and deluxe is that your mortgage will be higher for the deluxe. You aren't doing any real soundproofing no matter what you pick. Insulation alone will not contain the the lower frequencies of a Home Theater sub-woofer.
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post #3 of 87 Old 06-06-2013, 05:01 AM
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If that is not a load bearing wall, then why not just have the builder leave the wall out completely? Then you could add the wall and put a single door elsewhere.
If you flipped the room, and did your own framing, then maybe you could widen the room several inches, and move the door away to where you want it. If you
put the riser step outside the room, and it doesn't interfere with circulation space, then you'd have end up with this:

1.jpg 30k .jpg file

Or the entry could be a single door spaced away form the screen, but at floor level. :

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post #4 of 87 Old 06-06-2013, 05:14 AM
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Don't overlook the need to have a dedicated HVAC return in this room. I'd wager that there isn't one in the current plan. Six people and your gear are going to make this room really warm when the door is closed.
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post #5 of 87 Old 06-06-2013, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the info - as for the wall position it is one that i added as an option - we have 5 kids so i would not to take up anymore space in the adjacent bonus room for them - I am hoping that the doors are 2 ft each - if that is the case then one will be locked and the one that is the furthest back will open in allowing easy access into the room then i can just scoot the riser 2-3 inches.

about the insulation - this is something i have never done in a room so just a thicker, higher rated insulation will do nothing for the sound of the theater? if not then what is the benefit if any? maybe i can add some sound panels to that wall to absorb the sound? i have seen some nice uses of that in theaters on this forum.

good thinking about the hvac - i did not think of this but the builder does not have the option to add a 3rd ac unit - maybe i can look at some other options at that time -
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post #6 of 87 Old 06-06-2013, 09:56 AM
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At a minimum it involves running an insulated flex duct up in the attic from the theater ceiling to the other return lines. Cost of materials is less than $50.
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post #7 of 87 Old 06-07-2013, 05:57 AM - Thread Starter
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oh i was thinking you meant an actual a/c unit - there will be a vent in there but not sure about a return - will need to check on that.
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post #8 of 87 Old 06-07-2013, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamjason View Post

thanks for the info - as for the wall position it is one that i added as an option - we have 5 kids so i would not to take up anymore space in the adjacent bonus room for them - I am hoping that the doors are 2 ft each - if that is the case then one will be locked and the one that is the furthest back will open in allowing easy access into the room then i can just scoot the riser 2-3 inches.

about the insulation - this is something i have never done in a room so just a thicker, higher rated insulation will do nothing for the sound of the theater? if not then what is the benefit if any? maybe i can add some sound panels to that wall to absorb the sound? i have seen some nice uses of that in theaters on this forum.

good thinking about the hvac - i did not think of this but the builder does not have the option to add a 3rd ac unit - maybe i can look at some other options at that time -
It is your house and honestly a good 1 3/4" safe and sound solid door is probably cheaper than the French doors your builder is planning anyway. French doors and sound proofing make it tough. My builder is letting me make any changes I want in fact I am constructing the sound proof shell and the house is still under construction. Check my thread. Whose bed room is on the riser side of the theater and do they like base late at night. If it is the master and the wife is with you than sound proofing is less important. Check Soundproofing.com for sound proofing ideas. R13 in all 4 walls and R 19 in ceiling is a start but you must decouple the walls, use a double layer of Drywall with Green Glue sandwich at a minimum. 2 ways to decouple and my build has both. IB-1 Clips and hat channel on my ceiling front and side walls and decoupled wall with IB-3 clips on the rear. Both walls in rear have R13 (billiard room and new decoupled wall in theater) I even had him put 2 layers of 5/8” drywall in the billiard room between the theater. You will lose 5” on each wall if you go decoupled as opposed to IB-1 clips and channel which is only 2” loss but cost more to do. I am not sure what is below your room but I put and additional layer of ¾” T&G subfloor with Green Glue on my floor which is above my garage just to avoid the flanking of sound.
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post #9 of 87 Old 06-07-2013, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamjason View Post

oh i was thinking you meant an actual a/c unit - there will be a vent in there but not sure about a return - will need to check on that.
Standard method for air return in a ducted system is under the doors. If you seal your room including your door for sound control it does not matter how many supplies you have the air will not come into the room. It is like having your vents closed. After a lot of discussion I had my builder just add 4 6" supplies and a 10" return on my system for my room vise a standalone unit. I wanted zoned system but that will come later if I need it. My plan is to turn HVAC fan to on vise auto whenever I use the theater. This will help draw the stale air and heat out even if the AC is not supplying air at the time.
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post #10 of 87 Old 06-09-2013, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cw5billwade View Post

It is your house and honestly a good 1 3/4" safe and sound solid door is probably cheaper than the French doors your builder is planning anyway. French doors and sound proofing make it tough. My builder is letting me make any changes I want in fact I am constructing the sound proof shell and the house is still under construction. Check my thread. Whose bed room is on the riser side of the theater and do they like base late at night. If it is the master and the wife is with you than sound proofing is less important. Check Soundproofing.com for sound proofing ideas. R13 in all 4 walls and R 19 in ceiling is a start but you must decouple the walls, use a double layer of Drywall with Green Glue sandwich at a minimum. 2 ways to decouple and my build has both. IB-1 Clips and hat channel on my ceiling front and side walls and decoupled wall with IB-3 clips on the rear. Both walls in rear have R13 (billiard room and new decoupled wall in theater) I even had him put 2 layers of 5/8” drywall in the billiard room between the theater. You will lose 5” on each wall if you go decoupled as opposed to IB-1 clips and channel which is only 2” loss but cost more to do. I am not sure what is below your room but I put and additional layer of ¾” T&G subfloor with Green Glue on my floor which is above my garage just to avoid the flanking of sound.

great link!! i learned a lot about how and why the various techniques work to sound proof - I will need to check with the builder but i am thinking that they will not decouple and am not sure if they can insulate the floor (the ceiling in the crawl space obviously is. - i know i can add the insulation to the walls and am waiting to hear back on cost - as for the surrounding rooms the screen wall has one of the bathrooms and the seating wall has one of my kids bedrooms. the left wall is to the play/bonus room and the right wall is exterior. Below the room is the master bath and above is just a crawl space.

so i will ask about decoupling and will find out about the cost of insulating the 3 interior walls. They do not add additional layers of dry wall so that would be on me if i wanted that - then i would need to add the texture to the walls as well, reattaching the baseboards and paint. Are there any steps that if i cannot do will make other steps pointless? for instance if i cannot have the builder decouple then will the other steps be pointless - or is it more along the lines of whatever i can do is better than nothing to helps reduce the sound?

would i see any benefit i kept the walls with one layer of dry wall then made sections of drywall squares, green glued those to the wall, then add some sort of acoustic or visual treatment?

thanks - i am learning a lot - my current room was ready when i moved in but has no sound treatments. i like the idea of reducing the sound but need to keep in mind i am buying a new house and my wife informed me that there are other rooms in there as well so i am trying to see what the options are and what i can do to make it all work!
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post #11 of 87 Old 06-09-2013, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Standard method for air return in a ducted system is under the doors. If you seal your room including your door for sound control it does not matter how many supplies you have the air will not come into the room. It is like having your vents closed. After a lot of discussion I had my builder just add 4 6" supplies and a 10" return on my system for my room vise a standalone unit. I wanted zoned system but that will come later if I need it. My plan is to turn HVAC fan to on vise auto whenever I use the theater. This will help draw the stale air and heat out even if the AC is not supplying air at the time.

so you are saying to have a vent on the wall or door that goes in to an adjacent room to ensure the air is able to flow or are you saying i should have that return attached to the hvac system? if it is into another room then would that not defeat the purpose of soundproofing?

thanks - hvac is also new to me as i never had to think about it.
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post #12 of 87 Old 06-09-2013, 08:36 PM
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Using the gap under the door as a return vent works for a bedroom, Now imagine a bedroom that sleeps 6 with a space heater (All your gear and a projector) in the middle of summer. Not going to happen. Also most guys like to have their doors sealed as tight as possible to contain sound. You need to add a dedicated return preferably in the rear ceiling assuming the supplies are in the front.

Connect that return directly to the return duct system, don't rely on it flowing through another room.
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post #13 of 87 Old 06-11-2013, 01:18 PM
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did you catch this link I just posted http://www.avsforum.com/t/1468993/the-retirment-dream-home-theater/90#post_23411450
here is the vew from top side. return is on left supplies to left side of theater is on right

it is a 10" return which goes directly into the main return for my upstairs HVAC. I will take a picture of that for you and post it here
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post #14 of 87 Old 06-13-2013, 06:17 AM
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Here is where the theater cold air return is integrated into the 2nd floor unit.

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post #15 of 87 Old 06-17-2013, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the great info - it looks like they are doing a jumper duct so there will be a return in the movie room that connects to the return in the adjacent bonus room and that connects to hvac - so i think that will work great -

still waiting on cost of insulation.

since we are using ceiling speakers any recommendations on placement? since they need to be prewired i need them installed where they need to be as i cannot move them around.

about how far in front of the screen should these be and how far apart should the LCR be? room is 12'6" wide and 17'4" long. rear seating will be appx 14ft from screen and front seating will be appx 9 feet from screen.

same question for proper placement of the rear speakers.

also should i have the sub prewire place in the front of the room or side - i know i can adjust position on the sub but would like to minimize the connecting wires as much as possible.

thanks
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post #16 of 87 Old 06-17-2013, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamjason View Post

about how far in front of the screen should these be and how far apart should the LCR be? room is 12'6" wide and 17'4" long. rear seating will be appx 14ft from screen and front seating will be appx 9 feet from screen.

same question for proper placement of the rear speakers.

also should i have the sub prewire place in the front of the room or side - i know i can adjust position on the sub but would like to minimize the connecting wires as much as possible.

thanks

Are you doing 7.x or 5.x ?

For 7.1 I would put the side surround speakers between the first and second row about 30" from the side wall. For the rear speakers, probably just behind the heads of the back row.
What kind of in-ceiling speakers are you looking at?
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post #17 of 87 Old 06-17-2013, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Are you doing 7.x or 5.x ?

For 7.1 I would put the side surround speakers between the first and second row about 30" from the side wall. For the rear speakers, probably just behind the heads of the back row.
What kind of in-ceiling speakers are you looking at?

prewire for 5.1 - all speakers are ceiling mounted - LCR are paradigm cs-60r-30 and paradigm cs-60r-sm for the rears - so the fronts have a 30 degree angle toward the viewer.

sub has not been decided but can be added whenever i have the funds

i considered 7.1 but with the size of the room i decided against it -
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post #18 of 87 Old 06-17-2013, 08:52 AM
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I just moved into a new construction house with a nearly identical dedicated theater room - 13x16, second floor, 9' ceilings, and double french doors on an end of one of the long walls. We screened Star Wars on Saturday night (side note - very temporary setup with 109" photo backdrop paper taped to one wall, my son sitting in a lawn chair, and the surrounds sitting on wardrobe size moving boxes, but the projector and 5.1 system were fully operational).

Anyway, the room got rather warm. The heat from the receiver and the projector were noticeable. I set the upstairs thermostat down to 75 and turned the a/c fan to on, but the media room was still 5-10 degrees hotter than the rest of the upstairs. My media room has 2 a/c ducts but no return duct. Halfway through the movie, I cracked the doors open but it didn't help. I'm not looking forward to spending money to modify the a/c for the room, but eventually I'll have to do something.

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post #19 of 87 Old 06-17-2013, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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My media room has 2 a/c ducts but no return duct.


thanks for the info....especially with similar room dimensions to what ours will be - i am not sure how many a/c vents will be in ours but with the return jumper duct i am hoping that the air flows well keeping the room cool -
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post #20 of 87 Old 06-18-2013, 05:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn_Law View Post

I just moved into a new construction house with a nearly identical dedicated theater room - 13x16, second floor, 9' ceilings, and double french doors on an end of one of the long walls. We screened Star Wars on Saturday night (side note - very temporary setup with 109" photo backdrop paper taped to one wall, my son sitting in a lawn chair, and the surrounds sitting on wardrobe size moving boxes, but the projector and 5.1 system were fully operational).

Anyway, the room got rather warm. The heat from the receiver and the projector were noticeable. I set the upstairs thermostat down to 75 and turned the a/c fan to on, but the media room was still 5-10 degrees hotter than the rest of the upstairs. My media room has 2 a/c ducts but no return duct. Halfway through the movie, I cracked the doors open but it didn't help. I'm not looking forward to spending money to modify the a/c for the room, but eventually I'll have to do something.

Glenn
a lot of folks use the dead vents with fans to draw cold are from other rooms and dump the warm air back to the cold air return. Check the soundproofing company web site

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thanks for the info....especially with similar room dimensions to what ours will be - i am not sure how many a/c vents will be in ours but with the return jumper duct i am hoping that the air flows well keeping the room cool -
a good rule of thimb is have the run HVAC load based on a kitchen a independent return is vital.
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post #21 of 87 Old 06-18-2013, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cw5billwade View Post

a lot of folks use the dead vents with fans to draw cold are from other rooms and dump the warm air back to the cold air return. Check the soundproofing company web site
a good rule of thimb is have the run HVAC load based on a kitchen a independent return is vital.

I've started looking at vents and fans. I really like the information exchange on this forum. There are options out there that I never would have known about but for this forum. Y'all are great at helping me spend money smile.gif

I've got attic space above the theater and and adjacent gameroom. I'm thinking to do a jumper-duct into the gameroom and use an in-line 160 or 240 cfm fan to pull air out of the theater. I can easily go into the attic and add dead vent baffles to the jumper duct if noise becomes a problem. I find it amusing that the in-line fans are apparently used for marijuana growing, too. One fan listed on Amazon says it comes in "discrete packaging." I'll probably end up on an NSA list just because my theater gets too hot.
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post #22 of 87 Old 06-19-2013, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
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not movie room related but since many on here have new build homes and remodels - i thought i would ask - our new place comes with a 50 gal water heater - (our current house has a 40 with 3 baths and a 40 gal and we are fine) - but the new house has an upgrade to 80 gal or the GE hybrid 50 gal which looks pretty sweet in the way it heats the water and saves energy....but the new house will have 6 full baths....any advice as to which way to go?

in regard to the movie room i am just measuring and checking out more of the details that our current one has (not built by us - was there form previous owner) to see and learn for the new one. also reading some of the build threads on here for ideas -

i did change the direction of the double doors so they swing out and not interfere with the room -
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post #23 of 87 Old 06-19-2013, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
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so our current house is not under contract which is great but much of my movie room gear was negotiated in - not too big of a deal as i can replace the equip - i was hoping to take the opportunity to bump up from our current 106" screen to a 119" screen or look in to a 2.35 screen (115") but after measuring my current set up i am not sure if this will be possible - i was planning on using sliding panels to block the av rack on one side of the screen and the movie shelves on the other so that the black fabric panels blend in with the screen wall - with the dimensions of the rack and stand i would need to have both panels to be 27" across - with those and the 92" wide screen i will be at 146" - this will leave me with 2 inches of buffer since the room is 150" - leaving me no way to have a larger screen. having the rack built in a wall is not an option since i do not want to take space from anywhere else and after i add the seating there will be no other place in the room to have it -

i think all will be well as the seating will be about a foot closer than what i have now but i was hoping for a slight bump in size - our new house is 850 sqft bigger but the movie room is much smaller - at least i will still have one!
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post #24 of 87 Old 06-20-2013, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamjason View Post

not movie room related but since many on here have new build homes and remodels - i thought i would ask - our new place comes with a 50 gal water heater - (our current house has a 40 with 3 baths and a 40 gal and we are fine) - but the new house has an upgrade to 80 gal or the GE hybrid 50 gal which looks pretty sweet in the way it heats the water and saves energy....but the new house will have 6 full baths....any advice as to which way to go?

in regard to the movie room i am just measuring and checking out more of the details that our current one has (not built by us - was there form previous owner) to see and learn for the new one. also reading some of the build threads on here for ideas -

i did change the direction of the double doors so they swing out and not interfere with the room -
I am going with LP gas tankless water heater for 4 1/2 baths yes it cost more but you are not paying to keep 80 gallons hot 24/7 you will get return on investment back in first year.
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post #25 of 87 Old 06-21-2013, 02:13 AM - Thread Starter
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we opted for the ge hybrid - after learning more about how it works and heats it seems like that is the way to go - it was an expensive upgrade but the cost savings per year should pay for itself in about 4 based on GE's own estimates in relation to its cost -
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post #26 of 87 Old 06-21-2013, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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any suggestions on a dimmer that uses a remote - i added a dimmer to the room with the builder but it does not have a remote option - would i be able to easily switch the dimmer switch out with one that has a remote in the future -

our current home has a remote dimmer that i run off my harmony and it is nice to have but if the cost is high enough then i am ok without - i am not going all out with the lighting in there - just 2 cans and i wired for 2 sconces (need to keep my eye out for a pair of good looking sconces). i will also have rope lighting in the front of the room. and will more than likely have that plugged into the plug that is connected to a wall switch.

also i added a 20amp outlet - it was $80 but is it needed? - we do not have one now and run the receiver, bd player, xbox, wii and HD tuner (using a power strip/surge protector) - unfortunately i do not have a sub and will not at the new place.....but will sometime in the future.
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post #27 of 87 Old 06-23-2013, 02:57 PM
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Lutron makes an affordable one that is controlled via remote. Your local Lowes or HD should carry it.

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post #28 of 87 Old 07-09-2013, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I received the pricing for the sound damping - $350 to add r-13 sound buffering insulation to the 3 interior walls - $1100 for the soundproof dry wall on the 3 interior walls - not sure what type or brand the dry wall is but the description is sound proof -

the walls will not be decoupled nor can i do the sound proof dry wall on the ceiling (though the builder) or anything additional for the floor - but this is a 2nd fl room above the master bath - should i add both - or one or the other or none - my main concern is that the room borders a bedroom on one wall and the bonus room which will be a play room and homework area on another wall.

i did opt to have the double doors to be solid core doors - if that matters -

i need to get back to them soon so they can order the supplies but with the cost of this house we are watching our money and want to make sure each thing is of high importance.

i have nothing to compare the sound to - our current room was ready when we moved in and is a converted bonus room that does not even have a door so the sound travels everywhere - so i am wondering if just having a sealed room (meaning with closed doors) would do anything or how much of a difference or benefit i would actually have by adding the drywall and or insulation -

thanks!
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post #29 of 87 Old 07-10-2013, 05:33 AM
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they are probably using a layer of quiet rock drywall. It costs $25 more a sheet. It is better than regular drywall but doesn't have the mass sufficient to contain the lowest frequencies of your sub-woofers.

Doing only three walls will be like carrying water in a t-shirt. It will only do so much and there is a high probability you will be really disappointed that you can't use the space if someone is trying to sleep in the adjacent rooms,

But in dealing with new home construction you are at their mercy of what they are willing to do, which from your description is not much. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you may join the club of those who take possession of a new house only to start ripping out a room and redoing it if you desire a high performance room.
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post #30 of 87 Old 07-10-2013, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks big!! so do you think that if i can get them to do 4 walls for the drywall that it will make a difference even though the floor and ceiling are not done? - i would not be cranking it up when people are studying or sleeping but want to do the best i can at this point -

also if the volume is down during those times will r-13 alone make a difference - ?

i know that i will not do any ripping out or adding of drywall on the new home after we move in - that is not something that would get the OK from a time, skill and budget - plus modifying the walls of a new home is not something that my wife is a fan of -

so i guess what i am asking is that will doing 4 walls with the drywall and r-13 make a good difference (since i cannot do the floor or ceiling)- will r-13 alone do anything by itself - or is that something that needs to be done in conjunction with the drywall to maximize the effort?
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