Long time lurker; first time poster to the dedicated theater section. While consumer electronics is my day job, I'm routinely amazed by the talent, ingenuity, and overall borderline insane devotion to craft that repeatedly appears in this corner of the Internet.
And with the formalities out of the way...on to my question:
I have a split-level house, built in 1983. I bought the house in foreclosure from a hoarder about 4 years ago, so after removing the god-awful testament to capitalism gone mad from the garage, rebuilding the lower level, teaching myself to install a 125' retaining wall, and remodeling the upstairs...it's time for a dedicated theater space.
There is an attached 2-car garage, the main area of which roughly measures 23' wide by 27'' deep. As cramming a "movie area" into a bedroom was never really an option for my tendency to overdo home improvement projects, the options are to build out...or build up. I don't want to lose the driveway or yard area by expanding outward (not to mention the associated issues with electrical, setbacks, etc.), so I'm looking to engineer a second story above the existing garage.
The garage has 8' 2x4 walls, all of which I double-studded last summer. I know second (and often third) stories are built over 2x4 walls all the time, but the weight requirements of a dedicated, properly isolated theater are far beyond standard living space. I will more than likely need to get a structural engineer involved to vett some of my ideas (footings for an independantly supported 2nd floor is my first thought), but that's where the title of my post (finally) comes into play.
I find myself in a situaiton where in order to build a second story to house the theater, I need to plan out exactly what that theater and associated construction would weigh, in order to have the engineer design or approve what would be needed to support the second story...well, you see where I'm going here.
Some extensive design and planning work is in my future, but I thought I'd start by reaching out to the community and seeing if anyone had undertaken a similar adventure. The floor plan of the existing garage is below (the top right buildout houses a fireplace); please let me know if any further details would be helpful.
Thanks in advance for any insights!