Advice for RAW space planning - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 05-13-2014, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
tephlon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 67
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
So my boss is planning an expansion to his house, and if he gets his way he will be getting a 'dedicated theatre room' in the process. In his previous house he had a small room that was dedicated to HT by the previous owner, but it was basically a den with a fireplace that was used as a HT-- no wall treatments, Room-within-room, or anything like that. Vaulted ceiling. Two sets of double doors on both sides of the room. A dedicated space but not dedicated HT construction. It had alot of acoustical challenges.
He enjoyed the space enough that he wants to take it "to the next level", but he's not familiar enough with his options to know what he really wants, in both cost or design choices.

He's pretty sure he wants to get the rest of the expansion done first before he finishes out the HT room and he's looking to me for advice.

In all of you guys' experience, what "generic advise" would you give to someone planning on a raw space to later be used as a HT?

I'm thinking along the lines of-- if you want 2 rows of 4 seats, you really want a room 'X' deep.
Or-- you want at least 9ft ceilings for a decoupled room-within-room. Drop the foundation of half of the room 2 ft. Plan for HVAC in a particular way. Dedicate a space for an equipment rack. Entry door at back/side. Leave bare studs. Etc.

I'm looking for advise that will give him the most options possible down the road so he isn't disappointed by painting himself into a corner.

My plan is once he's "ready" to start dedicating time to the effort is to turn him onto Dennis Erskine and let him design the room. If necessary I'll reach out to Dennis I would just hate to waste his time as we are still very early in the process.

What would your bullet points be?
tephlon is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 Old 05-13-2014, 03:56 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 8,033
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 229 Post(s)
Liked: 365
There are an awful lot of variables that will prevent you from getting the absolute dimensions and numbers, but having gone through the process in the same manner (see thread in sig), I'll take a stab at some bullet points.

Although the best advice is probably to read the "What I would do differently next time" thread here, and yes, consult with a designer during the planning phase (of the expansion). Little things like routing of ductwork and dealing with hardwood floors above a theater are items in the general construction that can impact the theater construction 'later'.

  • Figure out the expected seating plan - at least in general - and set the room dimensions from there. Ensure there's enough depth to consume 2' in the front for an AT screen setup.
  • Plan for risers as needed, but build them inside the room after construction. Plan for steps outside the room if the entry will land where the riser(s) will be.
  • HVAC is critical - ensure there is a return, enough capacity for the load a full room of people and gear will generate. Look at zoning the system or a dedicated unit to allow for better control.
  • Multiple electrical circuits, at least one 20A for the equipment, and a separate one for lighting.
  • Extra ceiling height is worth it, especially when risers are involved. Don't craft risers in the concrete foundation - pour the whole room "low" and build up as needed.
  • Find a place for a rack of gear "nearby", that is convenient to use and has the proper electrical / HVAC as well.

Basically he needs to ensure the room is "big enough" to fit all the stuff he wants in it (whatever that is), and have the facilities available to feed the room (electrical / HVAC) when the time comes.


Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 05-14-2014, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
tephlon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 67
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks for your advice.
I'll definitely take a look at those threads.

Right now my biggest issue is that several years ago when I first found the dedicated theater section of AVS, I was so impressed by the theaters made by members here that I showed him several pictures of finished products.
He was also thoroughly impressed, but he didn't read through the construction threads as I have to really understand what it takes to get one up and running. It's both harder and easier than he imagines... as well as more and less expensive.

He's one of those "that's why I have you for that" kind of guys, so I don't think he's ever going to fully invest into reading up on the subject and learning as I have. But at the same time I'm not given any control over the general planning and construction of the expansion, so I'm just trying to find balance.

I understand that he probably won't ever have results like some of the more premiere theaters here on AVS if he doesn't invest the time to learn and understand, but I'm trying to get him to a place where if/when he does come around, he won't have made any disastrous mistakes early on.
tephlon is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 05-14-2014, 08:06 AM
HOME THEATER CONTRACTOR
 
BIGmouthinDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 21,093
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 399 Post(s)
Liked: 684
I think one of the biggest crimes in basement theater planning in a new house, is while the floor plan can look great by the time the HVAC and Plumbing guys do there thing it is a pitiful space.
BIGmouthinDC is online now  
post #5 of 7 Old 05-14-2014, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
tephlon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 67
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Luckily this won't be a basement theater.

We're in Texas and basements are rare. We've got tons of space so we tend to expand outward (horizontally) as apposed to upstairs or downstairs/basement. This addition will follow that trend and just be a single level addition, so no worries from sound traveling up, accounting for an upstairs space, utility pipes above, etc.

Thanks for chiming in Big. I've followed your work for years and wish we were closer to New England.


If I hit the lottery I'll get Dennis to design me a theater and pay you to come help me install it. biggrin.gif
tephlon is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 05-14-2014, 04:34 PM
HOME THEATER CONTRACTOR
 
BIGmouthinDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 21,093
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 399 Post(s)
Liked: 684
The Erskine basic design service is $700
BIGmouthinDC is online now  
post #7 of 7 Old 05-15-2014, 06:50 AM
AVS Special Member
 
rabident's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 2,028
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Liked: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

There are an awful lot of variables that will prevent you from getting the absolute dimensions and numbers, but having gone through the process in the same manner (see thread in sig), I'll take a stab at some bullet points.

Although the best advice is probably to read the "What I would do differently next time" thread here, and yes, consult with a designer during the planning phase (of the expansion). Little things like routing of ductwork and dealing with hardwood floors above a theater are items in the general construction that can impact the theater construction 'later'.

  • Figure out the expected seating plan - at least in general - and set the room dimensions from there. Ensure there's enough depth to consume 2' in the front for an AT screen setup.
  • Plan for risers as needed, but build them inside the room after construction. Plan for steps outside the room if the entry will land where the riser(s) will be.
  • HVAC is critical - ensure there is a return, enough capacity for the load a full room of people and gear will generate. Look at zoning the system or a dedicated unit to allow for better control.
  • Multiple electrical circuits, at least one 20A for the equipment, and a separate one for lighting.
  • Extra ceiling height is worth it, especially when risers are involved. Don't craft risers in the concrete foundation - pour the whole room "low" and build up as needed.
  • Find a place for a rack of gear "nearby", that is convenient to use and has the proper electrical / HVAC as well.

Basically he needs to ensure the room is "big enough" to fit all the stuff he wants in it (whatever that is), and have the facilities available to feed the room (electrical / HVAC) when the time comes.

That's a well thought out overview. It should probably be a sticky thread for what to consider when starting with a clean slate. There are a lot of repeat threads with the same theme, and some info is missed continuously re-posting. I agree it would be best to involve a designer, and there are lots of options for HT designers, but for those that rely on AVS alone, it would be good to have as comprehensive a list as possible. Small details missed in planning can have large downstream impact.

The only things I would add to your list are:
  • examine potential external noise sources and physically locate them away from the theater. Easier to move a noisy pump or AHU on paper than trying to soundproof the noise away latter.
  • consider reserving a few feet in the back of the room for a separate projection booth which also needs it's own electric & cooling solution.
  • consider prepping a HT space larger than you need to allow more soundproofing & acoustic treatment options. The space saving products are usually sold at a premium, and some options aren't even considered because people feel they can't afford to lose the space.

 

 

rabident is offline  
Reply Dedicated Theater Design & Construction

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off