Garagemahal is done - now time for Home Theater build (pics inside!) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-20-2014, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone.  My name is Chad.  First time post here and really enjoying the great info.  This will be my first theater build but I've done some extreme garage makeovers before and do all the work myself (see avatar and pics below)

 

I'm planning to turn my bonus room above the garage into my HT.  I would like to place a 120" screen on the back wall but need to deal with a window there.  

 

I'm ok with completely blocking off the window semi-permanently but how should I best do this?

 

The top of the screen would hit near the middle of the window so it is goofy.  The "arch" would be showing above the top of the screen.

 

I want it to look like the window doesn't exist. 

 

Should I pull all the trim and stool off so the screen will lay "flat" against the back wall?  Maybe cover the wall in some sort of fabric? Furr out the whole wall?

 

I was just planning on painting the whole wall black but just looking for ideas on how to hide a portion of the window that can't be covered by the screen.  Thanks for any help or ideas.  Here is a pic of the room I'm starting with.

 

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post #2 of 17 Old 01-20-2014, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are a few pics of the garage below for any car and garage nuts that are here as well!

 

 

 

 

 

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post #3 of 17 Old 01-20-2014, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Some before pics of the garage. So glad to get to start with my theater room next.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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post #4 of 17 Old 01-21-2014, 06:11 AM
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From your picture I see no reason to mount the screen directly on the front wall, think of an acoustically transparent screen wall in front. All the speakers hidden from view. You can leave the molding around the window just cover it.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-21-2014, 08:56 AM
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What type of flooring is in your garage?
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-21-2014, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

From your picture I see no reason to mount the screen directly on the front wall, think of an acoustically transparent screen wall in front. All the speakers hidden from view. You can leave the molding around the window just cover it.

 

Thanks for the reply.  I'm a total noob so I'll do more searching to learn about the "acoustically transparent screen wall".  Would I frame out a false wall and cover with something?  I just figured it'd be easier to fill the window in or at least take off all the trim so my screen (which I plan to build) would sit flat on the wall.  I've considered building a stage but figure I can add it later.  If you have any build pics of the arrangement you mentioned please let me know.  Thanks!

 

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Originally Posted by Labman2012 View Post

What type of flooring is in your garage?

Hi it is called "Race Deck" flooring.  I have the "free flow" version and this is my second garage to use it in.  Really like it.  Runs around $3-$4/SF and just lays over the old floor so no adhesive when you have a nasty concrete slab.

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post #7 of 17 Old 01-21-2014, 06:10 PM
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I totally agree with what Jeff (BIGmouthinDC) just said in regards to an AT screen, I just switched over from a standard screen to a false wall/AT screen setup and we LOVE it!

It just adds another dimension to the whole home theater thing! I love not being able to the speakers and just have a wall of sound coming thru the screen.

Check out Falcon screens http://www.falconscreens.com/gallery/ great quality screen for a really good price, Jeff has installed them before.
I ended up going with a 120" diagonal 16:9 screen. You can shoot forum member snickers1 a PM, Rich is the man behind Falcon screens.

He also has masking panels in the works too.

My Gear:

JTR Noesis 228HT (LCR)
Axiom Audio QS8 surrounds
Sherbourn PA 7-350
Pioneer VSX-21TXH
JVC RS45
Falcon Screens FVHD105
Dual PSA XS30's (gone but not forgotten)
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-21-2014, 07:22 PM
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From the looks of your garage, you've got some serious skills and good taste. I'm looking forward to this one. Are you looking for help with equipment purchases or just room design?
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-21-2014, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69bigblok View Post

Thanks for the reply.  I'm a total noob so I'll do more searching to learn about the "acoustically transparent screen wall".  Would I frame out a false wall and cover with something?  I just figured it'd be easier to fill the window in or at least take off all the trim so my screen (which I plan to build) would sit flat on the wall.  I've considered building a stage but figure I can add it later.  If you have any build pics of the arrangement you mentioned please let me know.  Thanks!

Hi it is called "Race Deck" flooring.  I have the "free flow" version and this is my second garage to use it in.  Really like it.  Runs around $3-$4/SF and just lays over the old floor so no adhesive when you have a nasty concrete slab.

Chad,

Check out my build thread in my signature. It contains some pictures of my first theater in my bonus room which looks similar to yours. I didn't do a false wall because I knew ahead of time that I was moving the theater downstairs, but I did try to make the window disappear. Basically I installed blinds, curtains, and a curtain rail cover box. Those 3 items were good enough to eliminate virtually all ambient light. The point of the blinds is so the appearance from the outside looks right. If you build a false wall, you can just use blackout cloth from Jo-Ann Fabrics for curtains, and you probably don't need a box to cover the curtain rails since it's all going to be hidden.

As far as the false wall, I highly recommend it if you have the length in the room. What are the room dimensions? How many seats are you looking to fit? I noticed a HUGE improvement in audio from my center channel when I went to an AT (acoustically transparent) screen. It's so much more realistic to hear the voices on the screen coming from the persons lips instead of above or below the screen. Also being as handy as you are, you have the ability to build yourself some speakers or subs and put them behind the wall. The false wall basically consists of the absolute minimum amount of lumber required to hold up the screen and any fabric panels that surround the screen.

Have fun with the project.
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-21-2014, 08:04 PM
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That flooring is awesome and good luck on your build. I wish I was ready to start my theater however I am just in the early planning stages.
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-21-2014, 09:03 PM
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69bigblok, you seem to be fairly handy wink.gif have you consider building all of your speakers and subs for your room?

My Gear:

JTR Noesis 228HT (LCR)
Axiom Audio QS8 surrounds
Sherbourn PA 7-350
Pioneer VSX-21TXH
JVC RS45
Falcon Screens FVHD105
Dual PSA XS30's (gone but not forgotten)
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-22-2014, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrown15 View Post

I totally agree with what Jeff (BIGmouthinDC) just said in regards to an AT screen, I just switched over from a standard screen to a false wall/AT screen setup and we LOVE it!

It just adds another dimension to the whole home theater thing! I love not being able to the speakers and just have a wall of sound coming thru the screen.

Check out Falcon screens http://www.falconscreens.com/gallery/ great quality screen for a really good price, Jeff has installed them before.
I ended up going with a 120" diagonal 16:9 screen. You can shoot forum member snickers1 a PM, Rich is the man behind Falcon screens.

He also has masking panels in the works too.

I will certainly check out the AT screen then.  I really hadn't planned on a major speaker set up up until way down the road but might be smart to set it up for the end goal.  I was really interested in building my own screen and do it much cheaper than it appears the prebuilt screens go for.  I assume I can buy the AT material and build it the same way as a typical screen?  Thanks for the feedback!

 

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Originally Posted by JVoth View Post

From the looks of your garage, you've got some serious skills and good taste. I'm looking forward to this one. Are you looking for help with equipment purchases or just room design?

Thank you!  I really enjoy working on projects like this.  It is fun to learn new things and never stop thinking about improving even when you "think" you are done ha ha. Right now equipment is actually last on my list.  Just looking to start working on building a screen, false wall, platform, paint, etc.  After that I will add the projector and seating so I have a lot of time to keep researching and learning but will get there eventually.

 

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Originally Posted by Crash11 View Post


Chad,

Check out my build thread in my signature. It contains some pictures of my first theater in my bonus room which looks similar to yours. I didn't do a false wall because I knew ahead of time that I was moving the theater downstairs, but I did try to make the window disappear. Basically I installed blinds, curtains, and a curtain rail cover box. Those 3 items were good enough to eliminate virtually all ambient light. The point of the blinds is so the appearance from the outside looks right. If you build a false wall, you can just use blackout cloth from Jo-Ann Fabrics for curtains, and you probably don't need a box to cover the curtain rails since it's all going to be hidden.

As far as the false wall, I highly recommend it if you have the length in the room. What are the room dimensions? How many seats are you looking to fit? I noticed a HUGE improvement in audio from my center channel when I went to an AT (acoustically transparent) screen. It's so much more realistic to hear the voices on the screen coming from the persons lips instead of above or below the screen. Also being as handy as you are, you have the ability to build yourself some speakers or subs and put them behind the wall. The false wall basically consists of the absolute minimum amount of lumber required to hold up the screen and any fabric panels that surround the screen.

Have fun with the project.

Love your build thread!  I love your colors too.  If you couldn't tell I love anything close to black and red tones!  Your bonus room looks very similar to mine.  You have me convinced to build the false wall.  So I would build the false wall out of 2x4's and just "skin" it in blackout cloth so it looks solid I assume?  I'll keep looking up other build threads to check out the false walls.

 

I just took some measurements and new pics of the room tonight I'll post up.  The room is 13'-4" wide x 27' long.  I really only have the 13'-4" x 18'-4" if I want to stop my seating or rear platform in front of the storage doors shown.  Not sure if that leaves me enough room for a stage, set back distance for first row and then two rows of seating.  I would like to do 2 rows of 3 seats each.  Thanks for your input!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Labman2012 View Post

That flooring is awesome and good luck on your build. I wish I was ready to start my theater however I am just in the early planning stages.

 

Thanks!  This will be a slower build for me and I have a lot of planning to do so I sure understand.  I think most of the fun is planning and dreaming.  I'm kind of bummed my garage is pretty much done.  Looking forward to working on the project is enjoyable.

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Originally Posted by jbrown15 View Post

69bigblok, you seem to be fairly handy wink.gif have you consider building all of your speakers and subs for your room?

Thanks man!  Thankfully I do enjoy building things including cars, motorcycles and some carpentry skills too.  I have built some speaker boxes for cars in the past.  The sound system is down the list a ways but yes it sounds like I could build some boxes and really come up with a nicer system.  I'm really looking to do this build as nice as I can on a tight budget so that will be fun to build some boxes.  I have so much to learn but will research that step more when I get close to that phase.

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post #13 of 17 Old 01-22-2014, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are a couple up better pics of the room.  It is 13'-4" wide by 27' long to the main door entry.  Since I have the storage doors on the side I'm planning to have my walkway along one side and I think I can put my platform up tight to the other wall and shorten the door.  My area would be 18'-4" long if I want to stop my platform right in front of the storage doors.  My wall height is 7'-2" on the vertical portion and 9'-10" to the highest point in the center of the room.  I'd like to start by building my stage, false wall, covering it and putting up my screen.  I think that would give me the "look" of my HT as quickly as possible to see it coming together and then work on paint, riser, seating and projector to actually make it work.  I think putting money into my speakers/components will be last for me.  My goal is to do as many of the "least expensive" items on the build first such as carpentry and screen building.  I spend enough on my garage and my classic camaro so trying not to go too nuts on overspending on the room but then again I get carried away...  I want to set it up so I don't have any regrets or re-do's later but I'm also ok with using my lower end Klipsch soundbar, etc until I can work on upgrades later.  I'm also looking toward the low end of projectors at the $1000 mark.  Thanks for the warm welcome and help.  I have at LOT of research to do on this site but also really looking forward to looking at more of the great builds here.  A lot of talented people with amazing rooms.

 
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post #14 of 17 Old 01-22-2014, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
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post #15 of 17 Old 01-22-2014, 10:33 PM
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I think you're setup would make a perfect DIY project, you can build the AT screen yourself and SeymourAV will sell you just the screen material. For speakers definitely check out the http://www.diysoundgroup.com/waveguide-speaker-kits.html. And for subs you have lots of options, that's a fairly long room so I would personally look at a ported sub. You could build two "Marty subs"http://www.avsforum.com/t/1496365/another-ltd02-designed-sub-build/30#post_23876882 for under $1500 and that includes the amps to power them, and that would give you all the bass you'd need.

My Gear:

JTR Noesis 228HT (LCR)
Axiom Audio QS8 surrounds
Sherbourn PA 7-350
Pioneer VSX-21TXH
JVC RS45
Falcon Screens FVHD105
Dual PSA XS30's (gone but not forgotten)
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post #16 of 17 Old 01-23-2014, 02:59 AM
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wish I had that space and nice tall ceilings to work with! subscribed.
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post #17 of 17 Old 01-23-2014, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69bigblok View Post

Love your build thread!  I love your colors too.  If you couldn't tell I love anything close to black and red tones!  Your bonus room looks very similar to mine.  You have me convinced to build the false wall.  So I would build the false wall out of 2x4's and just "skin" it in blackout cloth so it looks solid I assume?  I'll keep looking up other build threads to check out the false walls.

I just took some measurements and new pics of the room tonight I'll post up.  The room is 13'-4" wide x 27' long.  I really only have the 13'-4" x 18'-4" if I want to stop my seating or rear platform in front of the storage doors shown.  Not sure if that leaves me enough room for a stage, set back distance for first row and then two rows of seating.  I would like to do 2 rows of 3 seats each.  Thanks for your input!
Thanks for the compliment. My wife and I saved tons of pictures of others' build on this forum, and we noticed every time we said we like the overall look of a theater, it always seemed to have red in it. Of course, most every theater has a lot of black as well for better contrast. So naturally you see a lot of that color combination. Here's a couple theaters I used for inspiration when it came to colors:




For a false wall, most people use standard dimensional lumber for the framing. However, they don't attach the fabric directly to that framing. Usually the fabric is attached to panels. Then you can attach the panels to the wall in any number of ways (finish nails, velcro, friction, cleats/hangers, etc). You want these panels removable so you can have access to that area behind your screen. Also, just a nit-picky detail on vocabulary...

when you say blackout cloth around here, it's referring to a specific cloth you can buy at Jo-Ann Fabrics of the same name. The cloth is actually white, but it's called blackout cloth because light can't get through it. It's main purpose is to hang up behind curtains so you can have nice decorative curtains that are thin, but still keep your room dark. Turns out, blackout cloth actually makes a decent screen material for a projector because it absorbs all of the light. The only problem is it's not acoustically transparent. So you couldn't use it on a false wall build.

As far as black cloths on a false wall, there are several options. I ended up buying this stuff:

http://www.acoustimac.com/dmd-acoustic-fabric/

Annother popular manufacturer is GoM (Gilford of Maine sp?).

With that size room you should be able to do 2 rows of 3 comfortably. My bonus room was only 12' wide and I had lower knee walls. We still crammed 3 seats in the front row. You have a much more forgiving ceiling. I think the tricky part for you is going to be the 2nd row, and how you're able to elevate it. Since my room was temporary, I just built a 10" tall box and wrapped it in spare carpet from the room. I put the 2nd row seats on the box with no steps or anything. You actually had to "jump" into the 2nd row seats, but it worked. You're going to have to be creative with how you transition from your riser to the ground near those doors in the back.

Make sure you leave at least 24" of space behind your false wall. That's how much room I have, and it's pretty tight back there with me (5'10").

Stages look cool, and it shouldn't have any affect on the length of your room. If you do a stage, do it first, then build your false wall on top.

Do you have any plans for sound isolation/treatment?
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