New Dedicated Theater in Old Home. Need design help. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-11-2014, 01:41 AM - Thread Starter
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We purchased a home built in the early 30s last year. We've been slowly fixed it up, and we just receiving financing for major renovations. After considerable negotiation (ie begging), and a $60k kitchen renovation the wife has allowed me to begin my theater project.

Here is a quick sketch of the theater-to-be room:


All 3 of the outer walls are concrete.
The built in shelves can be removed, I'm sure the smaller front ones will need to be.
The large radiator in the front will be replaced with with a baseboard unit, but the plumbing is in the corner (the small X) and can't be moved.
Fireplace can't be moved.
Ceiling height is 84.5" to 85"
Door in the back goes to my office.


General Construction Issues:

I am thinking I want to frame out all of the concrete walls. This is for as much heat/insulation as it is for acoustics.
I was thinking 2" foam insulation + 5/8" drywall + green glue + 5/8 drywall
How important is the soundproofing for those walls since they are concrete?

I am removing the existing ceiling and will add insulation (the stuff made from jeans).
We are redoing the floors on the level above. I was going to lay down some EcoSilent HD underlayment under the hardwood. I'm wondering if I should use something like Serenity mat instead to help with sound proof/insulation on both sides.

The floor is currently a concrete slab. We were going to lay down a premium pad and carpet, but I think adding a subfloor of some kind would be good to help with bass response and whatnot.
I have tested for water vapor from both the walls and floor, and I didn't get any.
What are reasonable options? Platon + OSB + Pad + Carpet? It would add minimal height and should allow for better acoustics.


Design Issues:

I want to plan for a 11.2 system and run wiring now. I will install 7.2 initially, and then add additional speakers over the next two years.
I would like the speakers hidden or integrated as much as possible.
I would like a fixed 100-120" screen, 1.78 aspect ratio.
I would like a "stage" up front. I think some kind of pillars on the sides could hide the front and presence speakers
I would ideally like 3 rows of seating.
- Front row would be a couch, mostly used by the kids or my wife when she wants to lie down.
- Second row would be the prime viewing/listening spots
- Third row would probably be almost against the back wall, extra seating for friends/family. Also considered a raised bar or something to sit and eat at.
Fireplace will have multicolor slate on it, not sure about the hearth yet.


I can easily start framing things up and go from there, but I'd like to get a basic design first so that I don't end up shoehorning myself into something, or have to redo anything. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to go about designing anything, and could really use some help. I will be paying someone to do the actual work, so as long as I have something to go off of I should be good.
Of course if someone is in the Grand Valley and knows what they are doing, I'd be more than happy to get live help. I'd also be happy to help with the construction biggrin.gif

As always, any and all comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Sean Hull

Denon 3808ci | PS3 80Gb | Harmony One | Toshiba XA2 | Samsung 61" PN60E6500EF | HTPC with HDMI

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post #2 of 12 Old 04-11-2014, 08:58 AM
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the basic design service from the Erskine Group may be perfect for you.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1518623/erskine-group-layout-service-is-back/0_40


with that door in the middle of the back wall, your desire for a three row theater is severely compromised unless you would consider a sit at bar for the third row and change the swing direction of the door. Best solution is to eliminate that door altogether if you can.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-11-2014, 09:00 AM
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How committed are you to that fireplace? There is no place in a three row dedicated theater for a fireplace. Cover it up.
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-11-2014, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Jeff, I was hoping you'd chime in. I've been following your work for a while and I love it! Wished I still lived in Ohio so I could have you come out and help! biggrin.gif

I'd like a couch up front for sure. If I could get 4 recliners behind it, that would be fantastic, I think if they are in an arc (similar to what bobofbone did here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1309462/lightbox/post/24294006/id/368442 )

For the third row, I wondered if I could get two seats on either side of the door, or just two on the one side. I wouldn't mind a bar back there at all. Not sure I'd want to watch an entire movie like that, but it would be a good place for the kids to eat, and they could hop in one of the other seats when they were done.
I really have no idea how much space seats take up, so aside from the couch, I'm guessing completely on size/placement.

As for the door, it currently swings inside the other room. That room will be my office and it is fairly small (10x10) so I was going to reverse the door to save myself some office space. I can't eliminate the door completely as I would like SOME separation of the two rooms. While I don't expect people to be blasting movies while I'm working, it's very possible that my wife might want to watch a TV show while I'm playing games in my office.

As for the fireplace. *I* am on the fence. Currently the fireplace is in disrepair. It's going to cost a couple thousand dollars to get it back in shape and to make it look nice. Keeping it maintains the "charm" of the house and helps maintain the value of the house (our reno budget is tied to the overall house value). If I got rid of it, it would cost me a few hundred to pull off the brick facade so I could cover it up easily enough, however, I think that might be a struggle to get past the wife. After framing, the fireplace will only stick out an inch or two from the wall (thickness of the cement board and slate). The hearth (requirement for inspection) would be flush with the carpet. I'm thinking a simple sandstone, or even Uba Tuba granite (I can get a piece REALLY cheap).

On the bright side, there is no HVAC at all in the room to deal with. We use swamp coolers here in the Grand Valley.

There are 3 small windows though. One I was going to completely cover up with the false wall/stage. I want to replace the window though since it is old and leaks air quite badly. I was thinking the big glass blocks would be decent. Would maintain a similar look on the outside of the house.
I was going to replace the other two with Pella ThermaStar windows and have them tinted and put curtains up. I was thinking that I could open them to help circulate some cooler air from the swamp cooler. After thinking about it more, I'm a bit concerned about the temp of that room. Ideally I'd have the doors shut (currently there is a 5' opening to the room, but I will put a door in) and that would of course cut off circulation of cooler air from the swamp cooler. Given it is in the basement, the room is naturally cooler (it's almost COLD at the moment, I'm in long pants and a hoodie in the basement and it's 76 degrees outside). While the majority of the equipment will be in another room, there would still be 4-5 bodies plus a projector in the room. Is that going to heat it up a lot over the course of 2-3 hours? Do I need to add additional cooling?


Here's a quick sketch I drew up with stage and seating.

The walls and things I did in marker, the other stuff is in pencil and isn't scanning well.

Here's a shot of the fireplace for reference:

Sean Hull

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post #5 of 12 Old 04-11-2014, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Jeff,

My room has similar measurements to the Curve Frenzy build. Would you recommend similar soundproofing?
Studs + Whisper Clips/Hat Channels + 3x 5/8" Drywall w/ Green Glue for Walls/Ceiling.

Color me stupid, but not sure what "double stud" means. I've framed many rooms before, and I've always done 2-3 studs in corners, and 16" on center. If I remember correctly the Soundproofing Company recommends 24" on center though.

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post #6 of 12 Old 04-11-2014, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm still in disbelief but I just had lunch with my wife, and when I asked her about the fireplace (expecting to be shot down immediately) she said, "It's your room, you can do whatever you want with it."

So there it is! Fireplace can be sealed up!

So with that, what suggestions do you have for seating Jeff? smile.gif

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post #7 of 12 Old 04-12-2014, 12:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I've done a lot more research and work and here is what I've come up with.

1) The speakers and equipment I'll be putting in:
9x Klipsch RB-81 II
2x SVS PB2000
Optima DTR 70.4
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5030UB OR Sony VPL-HW30ES

2) The fireplace will be walled up.

3) I'll be closing up the 5' entry and adding a 36" door with additional MDF+Green Glue

4) I'll be framing inside of the existing walls (room within a room I believe)

5) Will lay Platon (or Serenity Mat) on the concrete slab, then

5) Two rows of seats would be great. I included some that I liked. I was trying for 4 seats per row. They seemed to run 130-140" so, I think that may not leave enough room for a walkway.

6) A third row of bar seating would be awesome (but not required)! Would only need to be on one side of the back door.

7) The bottom of the stage comes out from the wall, the top of the stage goes in (concave and convex)


Here's a quick mockup



Here are some of the seating that I really like:







Right now the biggest thing I need to do is to confirm flooring and wall treatments so I can get that going while I firm up the rest of the design so I can run wires.

I'll probably be utilizing the design services very soon.

Sean Hull

Denon 3808ci | PS3 80Gb | Harmony One | Toshiba XA2 | Samsung 61" PN60E6500EF | HTPC with HDMI

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post #8 of 12 Old 04-12-2014, 04:11 PM
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Hi Dizzy,

I'll chime in here. First thing I would do is put the equipment list on hold. Second thing is decide whether you plan to isolate or not. That is going to determine equipment needs down the road. Then, decide the exact layout of the room. You should also show a side elevation in addition to your floor plan. Height has huge considerations, and there have been a lotta "oopsies" due to this aspect. Third, really consider why you want heights and wides. Can a seven channel system do as good of a job or better? Fourth, if you seal that room off, a swamp cooler isn't going to be enough. They roughly cool about 20 degrees, and that is average house wide, and that does not take into account the specific cooling needs of an isolated theater room. So, take a deep breath and tackle the basics first before you worry about equipment or chairs. Hope that helps!

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post #9 of 12 Old 04-13-2014, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraMikeBravo View Post

Hi Dizzy,

I'll chime in here. First thing I would do is put the equipment list on hold. Second thing is decide whether you plan to isolate or not. That is going to determine equipment needs down the road. Then, decide the exact layout of the room. You should also show a side elevation in addition to your floor plan. Height has huge considerations, and there have been a lotta "oopsies" due to this aspect. Third, really consider why you want heights and wides. Can a seven channel system do as good of a job or better? Fourth, if you seal that room off, a swamp cooler isn't going to be enough. They roughly cool about 20 degrees, and that is average house wide, and that does not take into account the specific cooling needs of an isolated theater room. So, take a deep breath and tackle the basics first before you worry about equipment or chairs. Hope that helps!

Hi Shawn, thanks for the reply!

Just so I'm clear, what do you mean when you say "to isolate or not"? I want the room to be as soundproof as possible (within reason). I won't pay $3000 for an acoustic door to get 65 STC, when I can get a solid core door, add some MDF and weather stripping and get ~50 STC for ~$250 (an example to demonstrate my point, no idea if those numbers are accurate). The wife has given me FULL REIGN on all aspects of the room (I know it's going to cost me later biggrin.gif )

After channels, and sheetrock on the ceiling, I'm looking at 83.5-84" for height in the room.

Not sure what you mean when you ask why I want heights and wides. I would like a second row to be able to seat everyone in the family, and I want to ensure we can see over the people in the front row, that will require a riser/height. I'm really all about form/function. I don't have a design/decorating bone in my body (that's why I married a digital artist to help round me out) smile.gif

Can a 7.1 system do as well as or better, I have no idea, that's where I need the help of some experienced people. Even if I didn't use everything now, maybe I put in 7.x, but have wiring for 9.x or 11.x so I could drop in speakers later. I like to future proof when possible.

Cooling. That has been a concern of mine. It is in the basement, and currently it's ~15 degrees cooler in the basement than it is in the rest of the house (~10 degrees in the hotter months). I don't know if that will still be the case once I add in all the insulation, sheetrock, etc. There is no HVAC in the house so that's a no-go there. There is a small window in the back that maybe I put a small window unit in. All of my equipment will be in a different room, the only thing generating heat will be the projector, and the people. Honestly, I'm more concerned about my office than I am the theater since I have monitors, computers, and other equipment, and similar thermal situation as the theater.
What kinds of solutions have you implemented in situations like this?

Sean Hull

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post #10 of 12 Old 04-13-2014, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzy49 View Post

Hi Shawn, thanks for the reply!

Just so I'm clear, what do you mean when you say "to isolate or not"? I want the room to be as soundproof as possible (within reason). I won't pay $3000 for an acoustic door to get 65 STC, when I can get a solid core door, add some MDF and weather stripping and get ~50 STC for ~$250 (an example to demonstrate my point, no idea if those numbers are accurate). The wife has given me FULL REIGN on all aspects of the room (I know it's going to cost me later biggrin.gif )

Here is my take on sound isolation...AKA Soundproofing (Really dislike that word)...you either do it or you don't. There is, in my opinion, no in between. Treat sound like water. If it can contain water, it will contain sound.

After channels, and sheetrock on the ceiling, I'm looking at 83.5-84" for height in the room.

A height of this magnitude will only allow two rows of seating...at best. Further, if you want the second row to see the entire screen, using a 16:9 will be a problem.

Not sure what you mean when you ask why I want heights and wides. I would like a second row to be able to seat everyone in the family, and I want to ensure we can see over the people in the front row, that will require a riser/height. I'm really all about form/function. I don't have a design/decorating bone in my body (that's why I married a digital artist to help round me out) smile.gif

Your riser height will be very small. Your room, at best, will be just over 7 feet. Pretty low if you want adequate head clearance.


Can a 7.1 system do as well as or better, I have no idea, that's where I need the help of some experienced people. Even if I didn't use everything now, maybe I put in 7.x, but have wiring for 9.x or 11.x so I could drop in speakers later. I like to future proof when possible.

Yes it can. Let me explain. There are only 3 encoding formats, stereo, 5.1 and 7.1. Most folks tack on additional values with the number of speakers or subs. Technically incorrect, but I get it. Some folks add the Audyssey aided heights/wides. I personally don't care for them for a number of reasons. It creates a whole new set of problems that really can be avoided based on proper setup, seating and proper treatment. Further, the quality of the audio isn't as good in my opinion, and really hampers your integration capabilities. Now, you can add additional side speakers using the same encoded surrounds, but that requires the use of specialized DSP's and separates.

Cooling. That has been a concern of mine. It is in the basement, and currently it's ~15 degrees cooler in the basement than it is in the rest of the house (~10 degrees in the hotter months). I don't know if that will still be the case once I add in all the insulation, sheetrock, etc. There is no HVAC in the house so that's a no-go there. There is a small window in the back that maybe I put a small window unit in. All of my equipment will be in a different room, the only thing generating heat will be the projector, and the people. Honestly, I'm more concerned about my office than I am the theater since I have monitors, computers, and other equipment, and similar thermal situation as the theater.
What kinds of solutions have you implemented in situations like this?

The office is actually insignificant in regards to cooling. Further, if you sound isolate, and you add a window unit, you add a lot of additional noise, so you might not have isolated at all. It becomes a waste of money. Consider this, for very person in the theater add 500 BTU/hr. plus any additional equipment in the room that is not properly ventilated, and that room will become hot very quickly prompting you to open the door and thus mitigating all sound isolation efforts.


Answers in blue! Hope this helps get you in the right direction!

Shawn Byrne
Erskine Group
HAA Design Certified -THX Certified Professional

Design-Video & Audio Calibration Information

The original Pro Theater Layout
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post #11 of 12 Old 04-13-2014, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I would like to isolate, and here are my reasons...
1) I like to watch movies at a volume that fills a room and where I can feel the movie and really experience it
2) The wife and I tend to stay up late watching TV/Movies, and more than once gun shots from CSI or an explosion from a movie have awakened the kids (currently have a 2 channel setup connected to the Denon on the main floor that we watch, I miss surround!)
3) Our kids get up at the buttcrack of dawn, and BLAST Spongebob, Barbie, or whatever action movie my son feels like at 6am! Nothing like waking up to the screaming of someone being impaled in a movie
4) The kids will have sleepovers in a few years where they will stay up later than us. We want to make sure we can get to sleep.
5) My office is behind the theater, and my wife's office is above it. We need to ensure that we can both be working if the kids are in the theater.

As for riser height, this is why I was looking at various seating. If I put a traditional couch on the first row, I think I can get away with a smaller riser as the kids will be down there, or my wife will lay on the couch, so it should be fairly easy to see over the heads. The more I've thought about it, the more I'm certain I will use a traditional couches or sectional there. Why would the second row have an issue seeing a 16:9 screen? Would the first row block their view of the lower part of the screen?

I know I'll be using the layout service in the next few weeks, so I assume that will help with the 7.1 setup.

Given the older house and swamp cooler setup, what options are there for cooling the theater?

Sean Hull

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post #12 of 12 Old 04-14-2014, 08:21 AM
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Keep in mind, sound isolation is about keeping the room quiet not to about keeping sound from leaving the room. It will mitigate it significantly, but won't completely block it out. It is a whole lot easier suppressing 40dB at a limited frequency range than it is blocking out 105 dB or more at greater range. This is one reason why I dislike the word "soundproofing". You're not soundproofing anything, and I sincerely believe it completely confuses people. If you want to sound proof, it's gonna take a huge budget and some pretty thick walls.

Shawn Byrne
Erskine Group
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Design-Video & Audio Calibration Information

The original Pro Theater Layout
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