The ITOLLTHW Theater Build v2.0 - The thread for the person who DOESN'T know what he's doing - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 10-27-2013, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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The - I'm Tired of Learning Lessons The Hard Way (ITOLLTHW) - (and might as well teach others)- Home Theater Build v2.0

I've read through tons of threads on AVS and gained tons of good info, and also lots of bad , and also spent TONS of time reading through other people's threads.
What I've also found is that the devil is in the details - even after applying the general concepts, how you handle specific challenges can totally make/break the project.
Also - oftentimes there are details that the "pros" may omit as they take it for granted or simply lack of time lends to short concise posts - the result is that a total newbie (like me) can follow their directions exactly - and make that fatal oversight - hopefully I can spell it out entirely

I'm hoping to organize this thread with the original post containing
My Goals
And just so I don't lose sight of what tangible improvements I hope to obtain with the rebuild (in priority order)
  1. First and foremost - better sound containment - i.e the ability to hear movies at movie theater volume and not be heard upstairs (being heard in the basement is OK) - My lesson learned the hard way was that soundproofing is somewhat all or nothing - thus my prev. method of doing the best I can afford and incrementally improving was a waste (adding add'l layers of DW and GG only gets you so far). Last year I redid the ceiling the "right way" now I need to redo the walls/soffit.
  2. Ventilate - I use the room A LOT (see multi function bullet below), and the air quality stinks
  3. Hidden front speakers - Acoustically Transparent (AT) Wall and Screen
  4. Taller doorway without having to feel like Gandalf walking into a hobbit's liar (despite waste pipe and support beam running the length of the HT room)
  5. Better room acoustics
  6. Heat, A/C
  7. Nicer look - maintaining multi function purpose - (a) HT (b) Work Office (c) Exercise/ workout room- ideally it'd look like a living area and not a HT
Time Frame - I'd like to start working by Nov 27 - and hope to have the work completed over that extended weekend.

Comments are VERY Welcome

  • links to separate threads that deal with each of the individual issues tackled (e.g. a separate thread entitled "Building a wall next to a foundation wall") to provide simple info access for others
  • Summary of Final Conclusions


Topics:
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post #2 of 43 Old 10-30-2013, 09:14 AM
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Dude - you've cluttered the forum with 6 of your posts, not to come off bad but can you imagine if everyone did that?

I suggest instead of multiple separate threads for each topic in this construction forum, that you combine them into your master build thread, it's this one I believe.
You, as the originator of those, then can delete those specific threads after you move their good info here....

If not, It's then a overload of your threads......
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post #3 of 43 Old 10-30-2013, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, that was the last intention that I had - I was trying to help the forum members. I hear what you are saying, though on the other hand - the reason that I set it up this way (and take the add'l time to do so) is that I found that when I have looked up info on the forum. I get a hit and have to read through pages and pages of a thread, and read through as the topic changes back and forth - just to get the info that I was looking for. I imagine that others had the same experience. In this way all of the info is neatly laid out, and when you open the thread, you get right to the info that you want. Having 6 threads won't clutter the first page of the forum much and to the extent that it does it's not long as after the question gets answered it soon gets buried down with the older posts.
Just letting you know that there might be a big benefit to it - though I'll try to keep it in check.

thx
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post #4 of 43 Old 10-30-2013, 11:41 AM
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Depending on which search option you select, the search can bring you to relative threads OR to relative posts. No need to create individual threads. Assuming the appropriate keywords are used, it's fairly easy to find the info even if it's buried in a large thread.
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post #5 of 43 Old 10-31-2013, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Even with the search option - being that each "my HTthread" involves many sub topics / details encountered - you end up reading through tons of posts until you get to the end of the sub topic you were interested in.
Also - this way - people who like to post and offer advice - don't need to read through post after post (or worst - just read the latest post and miss out on prev. stuff) - instead they can simply post on the subtopic that they are interested in offering advice to.

anyway - Just presenting that there's another way to view this as many might find it rather helpful.

Nonetheless, I'll try to keep things in check....
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post #6 of 43 Old 10-31-2013, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Along those lines - I'll consolidate the design issues thread in this main thread

Things considered
(a) I'd REALLY like to have the couch under the soffit - though realistically I don't think it's possible as then I'd be limited to a very small #of HT projectors which have short (10') throw ranges
Nonetheless - was curious - would sitting under a soffit (bottom of soffit = 5ft) present acoustical problems?


Another thought (if I keep the HT the long way) was to go for an acoustically transparent screen - and put my speakers behind the screen (big WAF)
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post #7 of 43 Old 11-05-2013, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are the DETAILS of the costs that I'm seeing:

•Items needed – 4 walls and soffit, and lobby
  • Redo screen wall – 12’
  • wood
    • •(2) 2x4x16 = (2x$7.50 = $15) – •(12) 2x4 = (12x$2.50 = $30) -
  • Drywall =
    • •front : 3 layers 5/8 DW= 11 pcs x $10 = $110 = $11x11 = $121 •Back (have already some 5/8” 4x10 sheets – though ultralight – see above) – 1 layers = 3 pieces (using left over from front also) = $33
  • Green Glue – (on front only) = 3 tubes per sheet = 6 tubes x $15 = $90
  • Clips -
  • Insulation – R13 - $12
  • Silent Seal -1 tube - $6
[*] ================================
[*] Total Cost of Screen Wall = $350 (= approx. $30 per linear foot)

[*] Long wall adjacent to foundation wall = 22’ feet [*] Total cost of Long wall = $860
[*] Back Wall- same as screen wall = $350
[*] Door Wall
  • I currently have 5 layers of DW + a layer (or 2) of GG – that I salvaged. The height of the DW doesn’t go up to the ceiling, however if I choose to keep the door wall recessed closer to the HT – this should suffice, as I can rest the “L” shaped soffit, directly on top of this DW. If not:
  • = 8’ x $30per foot = $240
  • Door - $200
  • Total Cost of Door Wall = $450
[*] Wall under soffit

[*] oSoffit (approx.. 8’ long to cover the now exposed area- as I have an existing soffit for the rest)
  • Salvage existing soffit, but trim some of the height
  • Soffit extension
  • Quick Guesstimate for cost of soffit extension = $75
[*]Wall under soffit about 14’ feet x$30 = $420
[*]Lobby
  • 1 layer of DW
  • Whisper clips (in case I decide later to incorporate the lobby as part of the HT)
  • (Already purchased)
[*] 2’ Area behind screen wall
  • Rigid Insulation- can I just use 6mil plastic as a vapor barrier (I already have this) instead of buying rigid insulation (~$80)
  • Fill with R30 insulation = 8 x $12 = $100
  • Cost of 2' area behind screen wall = $180
[*] oCeiling (already done)
[*] Ceiling extensions
[*] Already have
  • 1 case of GG - $175
  • 50 clips - $250
[*] Etc:
  • Cables
  • Room acoustics
  • Vent
  • Lighting
  • AT wall - $300

Thus it seems the full upgrade to v2.0 = approx. +$3k However, I currently have only ~$1k to put towards this project now, but as the Theater Build is named – I don’t want to put money in now and learn the hard way that it was wasted. And I have a threshold to meet - namely to be able to play movies (e.g. LOTR) at movie theater volume without people upstairs hearing/feeling the LFE (don't mind if it's heard in the basement).

So I’m thinking of keeping the existing screen wall, and door wall as noted, and likewise leave the existing soffit intact (just need to extend) keeping the equip room wall intact – this should save $1,000. I want to make sure that whatever I do will not need to be redone, and perhaps for v2.5 I can extend the HT by removing the equip room wall, and shortening the existing soffit (more head room). However, even with this it still puts me at $1,000 over budget (i.e. I have ½ the $ I need) …

Also go with 2 layers of DW (instead of 3) (i.e. DW+GG+DW instead of DW+GG+DW+GG+DW) and save $7.5 per foot. Thus Cost of •Screen wall would be $260, Long foundation wall $700, Back (short) foundation wall - $260, door wall - $390, wall under soffit - $320
•Thus all walls would be $1,950 (instead of $2,420), and just doing the Foundation walls = $960 instead of ($1,200) – though I think if I’m only doing the foundation walls, I’d just do 3 layers for $1,200
Again the theme of this thread is don’t learn the hard way, but I think adding another layer of GG +DW is an incremental step that can be done, without any loss to the initial work
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post #8 of 43 Old 11-06-2013, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's a Summary of costs and Q
Summary (first price = w/ 3 layers of DW/GG), 2nd price w/ 2 layers)
  • Screen Wall - $350 / $260
  • Long Foundation Wall - $860/$700
  • Back Foundation Wall - $350 /$260
  • Door Wall - $450 / $390
  • Soffit Extension - $75
  • Wall Under Soffit - $420/ $320
  • 2’ area behind screen wall = $180
  • AT wall + Screen = $450
  • Ceiling – already done
  • Vent - $400

==============
Total = $3,535 / $3,035
i.e. using 2 layers instead of 3 is only a $500 savings.

If I don’t open up the area under the existing soffit (i.e. continue to use that as an equip room) – that save $420/$320
If I move the doorway in, inline with the existing equip room door – that would mean that I can use the existing DW for the Door Wall (save $250)
Than the total savings would be $1000
i.e. total cost $2,535/$2,035 (getting closer – any ideas?)

I can also downgrade my center channel (from a Klipsch Reference RC64II) i.e. sell it for something cheaper and pocket $600 extra- bringing my budget for the HT build to $1,500
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post #9 of 43 Old 11-10-2013, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Gonna sell off some photo equipment (Canon T3i's if anyone's interested)- want to make sure this is done right (again don't want to learn the hard way - Have to keep reminding myself of the title of HT build :-) - amazing how strong the impulse is to just "do something" regardless of whether it's the "right" 9or at least well established) way)
So I should have $ for full budget

Near the home stretch now - as I want to build over Thanksgiving
Here are my design choices that I've narrowed things down to:

Q - Where would you recommend I put ventilation?

Existing Layout: - bare foundation walls on bottom/right = possible flanking issue; low doorway height; equip room too large; currently not to code


Option 3 (I tossed out options 1 &2) - - AT Screen to hide speakers, smaller equip room, regain space under soffit; take care of flanking issue; built to code


Option 4 - same as 3 - except expand HT into hallway area, allowing for near full size door (I'm 6'2" tall)


Option 5 - same as 4 except move equip behind screen wall
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post #10 of 43 Old 11-10-2013, 09:57 AM
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seeing those all lined up... makes me wonder if a rearrangement isn't even better?

six.jpg 138k .jpg file

Keep some of the beam as a soffit and flipping the entry to the other end.

You could use the ceiling joist space and wall depth to bring cool air from down low, to the front of the room.
A powered dead vent could exhaust air and use some of the wall depth.

I think 2 layers of 5/8' drywall + GG is enough. I did do 5/8-GG-5/8-GG-5/8 on my beam that runs down
the side of my room. For a tight budget room, I'd skip the GG...

I would prefer the center channel to be identical to the mains. If that saves money, even better. smile.gif

If those stairs aren't floating stairs and are enclosed beneath, then I'd open up that wall some, and
put that area to task for storage too.
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File Type: jpg six.jpg (138.4 KB, 18 views)
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post #11 of 43 Old 11-10-2013, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Not sure what you mean - please explain
Also - my ceiling's already done - so I don't want to redo any of that.
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post #12 of 43 Old 11-10-2013, 01:48 PM
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An end of view of the front of the room, standing at point A.

six end view.JPG 14k .JPG file

You could just cut venting holes in the ceiling and feed ductwork from outside the room (assuming the pink area ceiling is
just studs).

You could also do a rear soffit and flip the entry and dead vent. The soffit could have two returns buried in it and then on to the
vertically arrayed dead vent.

six venting options.jpg 129k .jpg file

If the ceiling is done, is there spot lighting in it? What's your lighting plan?
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File Type: jpg six venting options.jpg (128.9 KB, 8 views)
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post #13 of 43 Old 11-12-2013, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, I figured out how to use SketchUp (very recommended t watch some of the vids on Youtube)
Here's a pic of the room before I did anything (except put a floating laminate floor on top of the concrete slap

Next I'll post what the room looks like at the moment (i.e. after my prev. soundproofing work)...
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post #14 of 43 Old 11-27-2013, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, after a month of planning (actually more) - I've begun building., Believe me this took a lot of willpower - as the urge was VERY strong to just start building.
I still don't know 100% what I'm doing so over the next 4 days - I'd REALLY appreciate if guys can help.
I'm pretty much starting from scratch - with the plan to do it "the right way". Fear is that one mistake that ends up ruining the entire project - so again I really can use the quick help to save me from lots of loss.

Step 1 - to clear out my junk (pic below)


AS you can see I started to take apart the existing walls...
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post #15 of 43 Old 11-27-2013, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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After I exposed the existing foundation wall (poured concrete) - I found something that looks like a crack (see pic) it stretches about 7 feet long

Is this something that I can repair myself? If so - how?

thx
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post #16 of 43 Old 11-27-2013, 01:27 PM
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Hard to say how serious that crack is from the pic, but another forum member (barlav) confronted this issue and used something like what's below. You can find his thread in the General/Media Rooms section for more info.

http://www.radonseal.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=319590&Product_Code=301&Category_Code=

Installation video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWOD8BOTgYY#t=205

The Esquire Theater Construction Thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1289590
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post #17 of 43 Old 11-27-2013, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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thx!
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post #18 of 43 Old 11-28-2013, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I also see that the previous owner had inserted pegs into the foundation wall (see pics) when I removed them, they leave over a hole in the wall - do these need to be filled/fixed - or can they be left as is? There are approx dozen of these

Peg

Hole left by pegs:
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post #19 of 43 Old 11-28-2013, 10:53 AM
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those are masonry nails used before the ramset gained widespread acceptance also cheaper no tool required, just a stout hammer. Assuming your foundation is several inches thick a one inch hole won't bother anything. If on any given day your OCD is running above 8, they sell a ready mixed concrete patch and you make them all pretty.
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post #20 of 43 Old 11-28-2013, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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thx
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post #21 of 43 Old 11-28-2013, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Inline with the name of the thread: "I'm Tired of Learning Lessons The Hard Way (ITOLLTHW) "
Removing the wallpaper (currently attached directly to the foundation wall) - Black Mold! ...Another lesson learned the hard way
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post #22 of 43 Old 11-29-2013, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, finally got the wallpaper off of the FW (should have listened to BigM years ago when he warned me about what a headache it is to remove wallpaper - took me about 6-8 hours to get it off)


The concrete foundation wall was painted (white - by prev. owner) and I put the wallpaper on top of that. It seems the mold grew between the pain and the wallpaper, b/c in some sections I was able to scrape off the paint and uncovered the concrete with no signs of mold
Q - There are large sections of mold on the wall (below), what should I do to get rid of it before putting on the rigid insulation? Do I get paint remover? or some kind of mold remover (are they even effective) I've read on line how bleach can make it grow, and some other things are ineffective
?
thx (well at least one positive about the mold, was that sections w/ mold were easy to remove the wallpaper ;-) )
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post #23 of 43 Old 11-29-2013, 11:54 AM
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Just so you know there are been documented cases of DIY homeowners dying because of a reaction to mold encountered in home improvement projects. At a minimum wear an appropriate mask, eye protection and gloves. If you are freaked out hire a mold remediation specialist to do it for you.

If the paint was DryLok that is a form of vapor barrier and if the wall paper was vinyl you had a vapor barrier sandwich, once moisture got between layers it would take forever to dry, therefore mold.
I don't think DryLok can be removed with paint removers.


Whatever you do don't get the mold airborne by scraping and have anyone in the house breathe in the particles. If anyone in the house develops a fever seek medical attention and mention exposure to mold.
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post #24 of 43 Old 11-29-2013, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks! very much appreciated. Won't scrape it.
Yep - I'm wearing mask, eye glasses, and (now ) will wear gloves.
Not freaked out - so what do I do?
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post #25 of 43 Old 11-29-2013, 02:04 PM
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post #26 of 43 Old 12-01-2013, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks- I'm going to get a good mask made for mold protection, rubber gloves, and eye goggles
I sealed the room
And am going to apply concrobium mold spray and then bleach +water mixture
Also venting air out the window

Also measure and the contaminated area is "just" 40 sq ft.

After doing so-before I install the 2" rigid insulation should I apply dry lok paint in the spots that were not painted with dry lok?
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post #27 of 43 Old 12-02-2013, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Started the mold removal - taking good care to dress up like I'm auditioning for Breaking Bad.
Also hooked up a air mover and attached exhaust pipes to the exhaust shoot of the air mover to send the air out the window

After it's dead, I'm going to use bleach to clean the area...
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post #28 of 43 Old 12-02-2013, 05:30 PM
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Good luck with the mold, you definitely don't want your family exposed to black mold. You need to get all of it or it will come back quickly. I found mold when building out my basement a few years ago - hired professionals to kill it & clean it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Schmidt Haus Theater - WIP (or not) since 2010
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post #29 of 43 Old 12-02-2013, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtwi View Post

Good luck with the mold, you definitely don't want your family exposed to black mold. You need to get all of it or it will come back quickly. I found mold when building out my basement a few years ago - hired professionals to kill it & clean it.
How long does it take to show signs if it's growing back.
i.e. should I delay finishing the wall (if so , how long) to make sure that all of the mold was killed?
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post #30 of 43 Old 12-02-2013, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgott42 View Post

How long does it take to show signs if it's growing back.
i.e. should I delay finishing the wall (if so , how long) to make sure that all of the mold was killed?

Sorry, I can't answer how long it takes to show signs of growing back - that's why I hired professionals. wink.gif

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The Schmidt Haus Theater - WIP (or not) since 2010
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