The "Ballin' On a Budget" Bedroom Theater - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 07-26-2013, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Friends!
Been watching the forum for a while and wanted an audience, so enjoy.
My wife and I were able to get a free month of rent so decided to build a theater for the next year we're here.
We have a budget of $2000. This starting number includes equipment, wall fixtures, and anything needed and tallied in the end.

This theater will be roughly 15x19 in a "almost-complete" concrete room with giant floor-to-ceiling windows spanning 12 ft.
Oh, there's also four doors and a stepped ceiling.

The room will also act as a "master bedroom" for us. Only due to the fact that it will be so dark in there with the rest of the house being all windows

After scouring the internet for few hours the wife and I decided on a economy curtain-style theater.

You will want to subscribe to this thread. The entire theater will be built start to finish in 2 weeks. It better be.
This theater is going to be temporary. There also cannot be permanent work done.
We do not own this place. Any modifications we are doing are meant to be reversed with as little damage and evidence as possible
This build will be very budget conscious, while still paying attention to detail as much as possible.

Things I already have:
A TV - will buy a projector soon, depending on if we are still married after this.
A Couch
A set of 3 theater seats
A completely clean canvas
$2000 in cash

Here's the room:
(sorry for the cellphone pics, camera is dead)

I welcome any and all comments. Please don't be too harsh. My first "dedicated" theater





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post #2 of 42 Old 07-27-2013, 06:27 AM
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You've got a nice sized room to work with, though two weeks is definitely tight. Do you have sketch of the planned room layout? Give us some details.

Kevin

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post #3 of 42 Old 07-27-2013, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trancemitr View Post

You've got a nice sized room to work with, though two weeks is definitely tight. Do you have sketch of the planned room layout? Give us some details.

Thanks for the response. I would love to draw up a sketch, but my handwriting is nothing short of a 4-year old's. I'm trying to find a piece of software that would allow me to throw something together with some shapes. I will get something posted up here yet this morning!

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post #4 of 42 Old 07-27-2013, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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as promised: here is a rough sketch with my lack of ability on a interior design program. This is what I would like the end result.
I have entertained scrapping a piece of furniture and putting it sideways but not sure yet. I don't have any friends so I don't know why I need so many seats :/


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post #5 of 42 Old 07-27-2013, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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First thing to be done is to lay carpet on the painted concrete.
I know NOTHING about carpet except that it is expensive and difficult to work with.
This was the cheapest, darkest color we could find.
To save money, I'm we're going to lay it ourselves since we will probably tear it out when we move out to avoid charges




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post #6 of 42 Old 07-28-2013, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Grabbed a "carpet seaming tool" to finish up the carpet from HD rental for $6. saved $12 on buying one for $20, since I never want to do carpet again.

Totals from my first and second trips:
Carpet - 56'x12' - $246.96
Seam Tape - 6 rolls @ $4.49 - $26.94
Carpet Blade - $6.97

$280.87

More Seam Tape - 3 rolls @$4.49 - $13.47
Seaming Tool - $20 (rented) $7

$20.47

Totals - $301.34
Budget Remaining - $1698.66

I'm following a lead this afternoon on some equipment so we will see where it ends up....

Carpet turned out as good as I care. If I owned it, it would be there forever. But we're satisfied. Definitely worth the money compared to that terrible concrete.

Carpet 101
***Now folks, doing this carpet was NOT difficult and saved a TON of money by not hiring someone to do it. Stapling or "tacking" carpet with a pad and tack strips is actually EASIER than what I did. Tack strips allow you to "fudge" some of your dimensions by having the ability to stretch the carpet and "hook" it on the tack strip. When you are doing a mere cut and lay like this on a concrete floor, its basically all or nothin'. If you cut your seam to short, its gonna be short. There is minimal ability to stretch the carpet and get it to stay.
This carpet was laid with merely laying carpet seam tape along the perimeter of the room and down the seams. Very simple peel-and-stick operation that is very strong and has holds up to vacuums as well
work the carpet into wall corners with a heavy metal carpet putty knife about 5" long. Then cut with a razor blade, tuck once more, and you're done. Do some trial and error on a piece of carpet first. After about 3 minutes you will figure it out just fine***


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post #7 of 42 Old 07-28-2013, 04:06 PM
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Looking good so far. I know what you mean about seats and no friends. I'm building a huge room (just because that's what I've got to work with), and you get tempted to put a lot of seats in there. However, I know they'll just about never get used.

Kevin

What I'm planning for an
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post #8 of 42 Old 07-28-2013, 05:59 PM
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I'd ditch the riser and back row. Screw friends - they can sit on the floor.

Some dark paint would be a good move too.

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post #9 of 42 Old 07-28-2013, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trancemitr View Post

Looking good so far. I know what you mean about seats and no friends. I'm building a huge room (just because that's what I've got to work with), and you get tempted to put a lot of seats in there. However, I know they'll just about never get used.

yeah, I have a lot of left over furniture from my previous theater home. I have a large sectional that the wife says we must use and then 3 sets of chairs. looking to sell some off.

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I'd ditch the riser and back row. Screw friends - they can sit on the floor.

Some dark paint would be a good move too.

We are planning on putting up some black panels. When we go to leave the property we can just pop them off the walls and salvage them for another build. Ultimately this build we be so inexpensive it won't really matter.
As for the risers, I came across a pretty good deal here: my local sprint store just did a remodel and a guy threw these up on CL to try and get rid of them. He said take it all for a hundred bucks. The wife wanted these wooden spools to paint and use as tables in another room of the place. She also wanted to utilize a wooden box he had. All in all, he had 18 4x4 pallets with a 1x4 bottom and a 3/4" plywood top. Each on is around 5" top to bottom, with dimensions of 45.5"x35". These things are almost brand new and STURDY. there is no flex, no chips, no uneven surfaces. All of these are perfect matches.
My plan is to throw some insulation on the bottom of them, stack and screw them together, pad and carpet, and finish off. This is going to be a very cheap and easy way to make perfect risers at a decent height. If they are doubled in the back, there would be a nice 10" rise. Then we go to leave, I'll just unbolt and carry.

Either way whatever we decide on seating, it will be elevated in some way. You guys seriously have me thinking about nixing the recliners.. I'll post up some pics of these when it's daylight.

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post #10 of 42 Old 07-29-2013, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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As promised:

Pallets:
18 of them
45" x 35"
5" high



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post #11 of 42 Old 07-29-2013, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Picked up some conduit today. Also grabbed some electrical tape to turn them black faster, without a mess.

The plan is to roll the electrical tape around the conduit to turn it black in lieu of spray paint. It takes around 10 minutes to wrap a 10' length of conduit. That is way faster than your first coat would dry before you had to rotate and spray the other side. This electrical tape also provides a non-slip surface so the curtain rings will stay in place for the most part.

After an hour, we had all 10 done.

3rd trip to the store:

1/2" Conduit - 10 @$1.85 - $18.50
Seam Tape - 3 rolls @$4.49 - $13.47
Electrical Tape - 2 pks @ $9.68 - $19.36

Totals - $51.33

Budget Remaining - $1647.33


*pro tip: my wife figured out if you hook it around the door handle it will hold it taunt enough to twirl. worked amazing. see pics





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post #12 of 42 Old 07-30-2013, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Planning on hanging the curtains floor-to-ceiling to match the window portion when that comes.

I found that the closest i could get to the ceiling was with a 1/2" conduit hanger. It was either that or use a regular pipe-strap and a little gap-block.

Got some paint and painted them black. I then screwed them into the ceiling roughly 30" apart

4th trip:

Black Satin Spray - $4.47
1/2" Conduit Hanger - 5, 5pks@$2.48 - $12.40

Total - $16.87
Budget remaining - $1,630.46







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post #13 of 42 Old 07-31-2013, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
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For the wall coverings, we went to the infamous Beyond Bed and Bath and got $12.99 "Basic Table Cloth 60"x120"

We then grabbed some "Syrlig" rings from IKEA for $2.99/10 pack. One pack will pleat one curtain. My wife pleated the curtains due to my OCD killing my insides.

For this step, all she did was lay out the curtains, measured down about 3" and pinched the curtain together.

When the entire curtain was pleated, we strung it onto the conduit and hung it in the ceiling.

Even against the bright white walls, no color bled through... it also provided amazing sound dampening. They seem to "absorb" the sound!

***pro tip: we figured out that after pleating and hanging with a nice overlap, each curtain will cover around 30" x 115" (give or take for how you want your curtains to fall) do not plan on a full 60" x 120" due to the look of "bunching" them or pleating.




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post #14 of 42 Old 07-31-2013, 05:43 PM
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This is very "VERY" interesting build!

You are surely thinking of some frugal options to make this happen - Good Luck!

I'm subscribing to hear/see more.
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post #15 of 42 Old 08-01-2013, 11:58 AM
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I'm enjoying your build. I did the same thing with my carpet. In fact, it looks a lot like my carpet. Mine was about 50 cents a foot at HD.
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post #16 of 42 Old 08-01-2013, 01:53 PM
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So I am guessing your budget will need to include speakers, subs, and an AVR? If so, I have some suggestions. Really interesting stuff here so far. Interested to see where this goes.


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post #17 of 42 Old 08-01-2013, 04:38 PM
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Yup, I'm subscribing, too. Will be fun to watch!


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post #18 of 42 Old 08-02-2013, 09:37 AM
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I'll be watching this one since I'm in a similar situation with a temporary build that needs to be reversible once we move out.

Did you think about putting the bed on the riser? I think that would be sweet to see the screen from bed! Oh and nice find on the riser.

I'm in the carpet stage and will be doing my own install on top of tile so don't want to do the tack strip. How did you do the edges along the wall; did you just tuck under the baseboard?
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post #19 of 42 Old 08-03-2013, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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so some bad news... I picked up a cheap surround speaker in my garage and tweaked my back BAD. I am currently laid up in bed for the past 3 days frown.gif Big bummer. I have to lay here in my 40% finished theater and look at my building materials and electronics laying around without being able to touch them.

I figure that since I can't get upstairs to my desktop to post pics, I will answer all of your encouraging comments. Thanks everyone!
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I'm enjoying your build. I did the same thing with my carpet. In fact, it looks a lot like my carpet. Mine was about 50 cents a foot at HD.

Ha! Yep! I think it was actually $0.46 a sq ft. smile.gif It was the darkest I could find without going black. Plus, Black was 4 times the cost. We live in a more modern condo so the commercial grade goes with the rest of the home fine. Home Depot is great for carpet. Even when you have to special order! I was telling another member about their whole-house installations for a flat $97. Its an incredible deal because they come out and measure perfectly and install perfectly. I had my previous house done by HD. They do Incredible work! Oh, did I mention its also warrantied for a year? So when the heat from the south makes your carpet ripple and you need it re-stretched that final time, they will do it for free.
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This is very "VERY" interesting build!

You are surely thinking of some frugal options to make this happen - Good Luck!

I'm subscribing to hear/see more.

Thanks! We are currently trying to save money to start a business. I couldn't see dumping a bunch of money into some of the items you professionals use. When I move back to my house I may do a theater the correct way, but for now, this is going to be an "illusion build" It will turn out looking pretty good, but when you start tearing into the materials and such its all smoke n mirrors : )


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So I am guessing your budget will need to include speakers, subs, and an AVR? If so, I have some suggestions. Really interesting stuff here so far. Interested to see where this goes.

I actually made that purchase a couple of days ago and never said something. I will make a separate post about my find in a day or two when I can include speakers. I picked up a set of used speakers, receiver, and sub. I'm excited, but now have to sell some equipment and furniture to compensate for my "over budget" purchase. This will be interesting. I am going to need some input when the time comes...

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Yup, I'm subscribing, too. Will be fun to watch!

Thanks! Appreciate it!

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I'll be watching this one since I'm in a similar situation with a temporary build that needs to be reversible once we move out.

Did you think about putting the bed on the riser? I think that would be sweet to see the screen from bed! Oh and nice find on the riser.

I'm in the carpet stage and will be doing my own install on top of tile so don't want to do the tack strip. How did you do the edges along the wall; did you just tuck under the baseboard?

Yes, basically. All I did was lay carpet tape about 2" from the baseboard, take that heavy 6" putty-knife made for carpet and slam it into the baseboard a couple of times to get the carpet to tuck under and "fold" on its own. I then took the back of the carpet knife and ran it down that seam (carpet side) then flipped the knife over and sliced at the bottom of the baseboard (again carpet side) and pushed it under the baseboard with the 6" putty-knife again. Worked perfect. Oh, and I also ran a bead of clear silicon around the bottom of the baseboard to prevent fraying and pull-up when vacuuming. YouTube has some great vids on carpet.

As for the bed riser. I have been dwelling on that for the past 3 days now.... contemplating how these are going to work. I love that idea.... but I'm having a hard time getting them to fit in this corner!!

I'm also going to incorporate rope lighting or fiber optic side glow for some lighting in here. The only light we currently have is a 4 bulb fluorescent commercial light... not exactly theater friendly!

I promise to post pics this weekend!!

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post #20 of 42 Old 08-03-2013, 06:48 PM
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Get well soon. Looking forward to more.


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post #21 of 42 Old 08-03-2013, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, my wonderful wife is making some dinner so I'm able to jump on and share my find: I picked up Definitive Technology's 2002TL's, a CLR2500 center, and (2) BP2X surrounds. I bought the package with a Pioneer Elite VSX-94THX and heavy duty audio rack for $1200. Now this was about $200 more than I wanted to spend on my system, so to compensate I agreed with my better half I would sell my cheap surround set (Onkyo) and current Denon AVR. The dated Pioneer was still a step up from my current Denon AVR1913 I was fairly pleased due to the condition these came in, which was near mint. They had their original shipping boxes with invoices, packing, and pamphlets/magazine clips about the speakers. All equipment was in near mint with boxes being in equally good shape. These, partnered with my Mirage BPS-400 sub and should pack a decent punch in my space. I hope it performs to my expectations. I'm extremely excited to try this out when I'm up and around!

Input on where to place speakers and Mirage in the room would be great. Thank you all for following the build. I promise I wont let it go dead!

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post #22 of 42 Old 08-05-2013, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, after 2 days we finally finished the walls, just before I got hurt. Here are the updated pics. The wrinkles will fall out on their own after a few weeks.... not too worried about it

The clips are extremely strong. I can literally go up to the curtain and tug pretty hard and they will not come undone. They're solid.

This has been a very simple, fun, and cheap way to change the wall color and have it be reversed in a short amount of time. Not to mention, they can be reused in another room or home.
They also trap sound. Its incredibly quiet now!!

I also took a picture of this ugly fluorescent light in the center of my ceiling. This thing MUST go! I'm thinking of putting up a star ceiling over it to cover that and sprinklers. Not sure what the code is regarding false ceilings over sprinklers, but we will try! rolleyes.gif




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post #23 of 42 Old 08-05-2013, 09:13 AM
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Wow, looks fantastic!!


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post #24 of 42 Old 08-05-2013, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cowger View Post

Wow, looks fantastic!!

Thanks! I appreciate that, coming from you... I've been following your mahogany build. You do some incredible work!!!

I've still got a long ways to go!

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post #25 of 42 Old 08-06-2013, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Starting on the wall panels. Going to use foam and curtain due to cost and easy removal. I looked into the OC703 but its pretty thick and expensive. I will probably use that for the ceiling.

This foam is only $7/sheet at HD. I'm planning on about 15 sheets. Plus curtains. Total cost should be around $300 to finish the walls

First are steaming the curtains to remove the wrinkles.
We then take the adhesive spray and spray the foam with a light coating of adhesive.
Together, we let the curtain fall on the board and smooth flat.

It was a very easy task after the first one.

To get it on the wall without excessive damage, I used little drywall nails about an inch long. This will make it easy to just pop the nails out and the panels will come off the wall.
I had some concern about rattle and noises with the subs. I hooked up the subs and there is zero rattle or vibrations. The foam also absorbs sound more than I expected.

This will be a rather time consuming process.

Sorry about the cell pics, my good camera isn't charged








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post #26 of 42 Old 08-07-2013, 09:00 AM
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I'm impressed by the carpentry working being done while wearing diamonds!
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post #27 of 42 Old 08-08-2013, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolineClark View Post

What a nice one but how did you do the edges along the wall; did you just tuck under the baseboard?

I'm sorry, I'm not quite sure what you are referring to...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RossoDiamante View Post

I'm impressed by the carpentry working being done while wearing diamonds!

She says Thank You! This was a pretty easy job... Just tedious at times.

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post #28 of 42 Old 08-08-2013, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Got quite a bit done on the theater!
We were able to finish the walls off with the black panels. They turned out alright. We just have to go over the outlets where the fabric didn't want to work right. And yes, there is a giant square cut out for around the thermostat. I didn't want to move and and wanted it to have a proper reading in the room. I could have run a different wire but it wasn't worth it. We filled it in with black and it will do.
Yes, there is also a gap about 1.5" from the step in the ceiling. I did this to put LED's around the top of that portion of the room for when we are winding down in bed for the night.

Again, all we did was steam, spray the foam, and lay the fabric down. Everything was done with glue. We then tacked the panels on the wall.





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post #29 of 42 Old 08-08-2013, 12:40 PM
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Lookin' good!! smile.gif


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post #30 of 42 Old 08-10-2013, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone have a good thread or idea on how to hang my rear surround speakers from the ceiling? They are Definitive Technology BP2X. They will need to come around 4.5 feet down from the ceiling. is that possible?

thanks!

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