The CinemaBuilder Attic Theater Construction Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 48 Old 11-24-2006, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,
Well finally got around to getting this thread started. Planning started a few years ago to turn our stick-built attic into a home theater. This will be for our own personal use and a showcase for some of our CinemaBuilder products.

In addition to the theater, there will also be a bathroom, library, and a huge walk-in closet. The peak roof height in approx 10 feet. The closet could have been another room, but the ceiling height in that area is only 6 feet.

See the next post for the plans.
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post #2 of 48 Old 11-24-2006, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Below are some of the engineering drawings (and mark-ups) that occurred during our Planning Phase for our attic home theater.


The attic will consist of a two-level home theater, a bathroom, a library room and a large walk-in closet. The home theater screen is located on the wall that is at the bottom of the Part 1 image.

Part 1
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post #3 of 48 Old 11-24-2006, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's the second half of the plans.

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post #4 of 48 Old 11-24-2006, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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The following posts have pictures of the attic in its original state.
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post #5 of 48 Old 11-24-2006, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Below are a variety of pictures of the attic before construction began.


The first and second levels of the home theater side of the attic.



Part of the second level of the home theater and the home theater closet (which will be made on each side of the cathedral peak). The peak is due to a cathedral ceiling in the bathroom below).


The HVAC location which will have wall placed in front of - which will become the wall where the home theater screen will be placed. On the other side of the HVAC unit is the "Library".


The existing attic stairs - in an "L" configuration will be redone into a "U" configuration due to headroom issues as you get to the top of the stairs.


The corridor in front of the stairs that leads to the new bathroom (basically where the current plywood is shown).


Looking from the "Library" into the "Library Closet" area.
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post #6 of 48 Old 11-24-2006, 05:51 PM
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Man you got some great vision to create all that in that space. (Either that or you guys are vertically challenged ) . Maybe its just the pictures but it looks like you will have to do a lot of ducking. Can't wait to see how it progresses. Are you having someone do the work, or is this DIY? Just getting the wood up those stairs looks like a challenge

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post #7 of 48 Old 11-24-2006, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbgonzomd View Post

Man you got some great vision to create all that in that space. (Either that or you guys are vertically challenged ) . Maybe its just the pictures but it looks like you will have to do a lot of ducking. Can't wait to see how it progresses. Are you having someone do the work, or is this DIY? Just getting the wood up those stairs looks like a challenge

Well there was certainly some hard thinking that had to be done to design this space. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but the ceiling peak is actually over 10' high - kind of unusual for attics these days (luckily for us). We're having someone do the work - a little too much for a DIY job.

Actually the best way to get material in a job like this is to use a window - that's what we recommend sometimes (and what we did in our case). Here's a link that talks about windows and HT's a little more: http://www.cinemabuilder.com/howto/h...g-general.shtm All the wood - including quite a few 20' LVLs was simply pulled up through the window opening in the "Library closet". I'll post some more pics soon.

But of course being an attic, we do have disadvantages with head clearances as you get closer to the walls - but in most cases where people will be standing, headroom is at least 7'
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post #8 of 48 Old 12-31-2006, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Framing Underway!

Hi all,
Well the framing phase is finally underway - always thought to be one of the hardest parts since we have existing ductwork, air handler and various vents that have to be worked around - all the while building a floor system capable of handling all the load bearing requirements.

So here are some more pictures:


The first and second levels of the home theater side of the attic.


Part of the second level of the home theater and the home theater closet (which will be made on each side of the cathedral peak). The peak is due to a cathedral ceiling in the bathroom below).


From the second level of the home theater, looking at the first (lower) level and the HVAC unit.


Working in an attic isn't the easiest - one wrong step and you have a big hole in the ceiling below.


The "Library" closet.
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post #9 of 48 Old 12-31-2006, 03:44 PM
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An attic for a theatre, in the midatlantic area? I sure hope you've put some serious HVAC into it. That space is gonna get hot in the summer...
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post #10 of 48 Old 12-31-2006, 04:53 PM
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Looking good. So are they just framing over the existing framing? I have a similar space in the attic that I would like to convert someday. I kick myself because I didn't have them frame for it when it was built.

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post #11 of 48 Old 01-01-2007, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post

An attic for a theatre, in the midatlantic area? I sure hope you've put some serious HVAC into it. That space is gonna get hot in the summer...

True - it's an attic - but it will have R-30 insulation and a separate mini-split to add another zone. HVAC load was only 9000 BTU's, but I'm going with 12,000 just to be sure :-)
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post #12 of 48 Old 01-01-2007, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoomerBrian View Post

Looking good. So are they just framing over the existing framing? I have a similar space in the attic that I would like to convert someday. I kick myself because I didn't have them frame for it when it was built.

Yes - the existing framing didn't have the load capacity needed - so basically an entire new floor structure is sitting on top of load bearing points throughout the attic. This is part of the problem why it's taking so long, lots of engineering to be done.
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post #13 of 48 Old 02-09-2007, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's the illuminated poster case we're going to be using around the theater when it's done - they're really great looking in person.







They're very thin - only 1 1/2"
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post #14 of 48 Old 02-10-2007, 05:15 AM
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Got a link for that poster case? I might want one.
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post #15 of 48 Old 02-10-2007, 06:12 AM
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It's funny about the bathroom cathedral ceiling, I have 2 friends that bought the same "Gambone" home, one has the vaulted bathroom ceiling that the model had and his wife "had to have", and I never understood why he didn't open his mouth.
He took me up to his attic talking about finishing it, he'll lose that big pyramid area because he has a vaulted ceiling to look at when he's droppin' a solid duece.

I will follow your thread and send this to both of them, they may be interested.

It does get hooooot up there....would you continuously run the AC in the summer ?
I wouldn't think you could just "turn it on for movie time", as it would take many hours to cool down a room that's 100F.

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post #16 of 48 Old 02-10-2007, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

Got a link for that poster case? I might want one.

Looks like its here:

http://www.cinemabuilder.com/product...ter-cases.shtm
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post #17 of 48 Old 02-10-2007, 08:06 AM
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Youch! those are pricey!
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post #18 of 48 Old 02-13-2007, 09:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Some of the fancy ones on that page can get up there in price. But everybody who has seen the Edge Glow Movie Poster Case ( http://www.cinemabuilder.com/product...e/edgeglow.asp ) has loved it - it's very unique and contemporary.

We're actually going to place a few of them around the theater when we're all done. We're also going to place some of the matching smaller 8x10 glowing picture frames with pictures of various hollywood star photo's along one of the walls as well. Should look great when it's all done.

Stay tuned for more pictures.
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post #19 of 48 Old 03-05-2007, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Well it's been awhile and a lots been happening - here are some updated pictures.

The new staircase is installed!


As well as the Library closet window!
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post #20 of 48 Old 03-05-2007, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I know it's hard to get an idea of the space from a few pictures, so I've posted a couple of home theater construction movies.

Select the following link: home theater construction movies and scroll down to the footer of the page and select "About Us". Then scroll down and select the "Cinema Builder Home Theater" pages.

Here's a direct link: http://www.cinemabuilder.com/our-hom...e-theater.shtm (but this link might break in the future as the site always seem to be changing)

Currently I have two movies on the site, one on the Framing Phase page and one on the Framing subfloor phase. Keep in mind these are over 20MB each, so they will take some time to download.
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post #21 of 48 Old 03-05-2007, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are some pictures with the subfloor:

The new staircase


The home theater side - part 1 (showing the future Home theater closet as well)


The home theater side - part 2


Closeup of the future Home Theater equipment closet


The home theater bathroom


The library
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post #22 of 48 Old 03-05-2007, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Some pictures of the low-voltage wiring that was run under the floor throughout the attic. Wiring included multiple: Coax, CAT6, HDMI, & Component cables. These will be run up into a structured wiring panel on the home theater closet wall. We used (and we recommend you use) flexible wiring conduit when running your cables (to make upgrading in the future easier). We also ran some of our cables outside of the conduit, so we can leave the conduit open for future cables.





Conduit running under floor - cables will come up from recessed floor outlets
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post #23 of 48 Old 03-12-2007, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigl View Post

I know it's hard to get an idea of the space from a few pictures, so I've posted a couple of home theater construction movies.

Select the following link: home theater construction movies and scroll down to the footer of the page and select "About Us". Then scroll down and select the "Cinema Builder Home Theater" pages.

Here's a direct link: http://www.cinemabuilder.com/our-hom...e-theater.shtm (but this link might break in the future as the site always seem to be changing)

Currently I have two movies on the site, one on the Framing Phase page and one on the Framing subfloor phase. Keep in mind these are over 20MB each, so they will take some time to download.

Hi all,
Were the movie's helpful? Let me know, as I I can add additional movies as the project progresses.
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post #24 of 48 Old 03-16-2007, 12:55 PM
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Awesome work! Looking forward to the finished HT since I may be doing the same type of HT in my future home in SC. Thanks for the updates and movies!
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post #25 of 48 Old 03-16-2007, 01:24 PM
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Man that is cool as hell! I can't wait to see the final pics... I always wanted a clubhouse in my attic as a young boy, That's one hell of a grown man's clubhouse!!!
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post #26 of 48 Old 09-11-2007, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,
I know it's been a long time since I posted some updates, been too busy building. Anyway, we're pretty far along, but I don't have the latest pictures yet - but here are some others during the construction phase.
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post #27 of 48 Old 01-14-2008, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Showing the plumbing, ductwork and walls for the bathroom.



Closer view of the bathroom sink area and the shelf behind the sink (which will be illuminated by lights).



The right side of the Home Theater closet area which contains the structured wiring panel and a vent tied into the HVAC system.



The upper level of the home theater and the home theater closet (on the right side).



Installing of the large window in the home theater.



Installing of the large window in the home theater - not a good job if you're afraid of heights!



View of the "Library" wall and the electrical sub-panel (the library closet is in the background)



View of the "Library shelf" which will contain storage units and allows the use of the space above the HVAC unit.



Looking from the library closet into the library area.
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post #28 of 48 Old 01-14-2008, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking at the V-Closet storage area from the "Library"



The mini-split "outside" unit and piping running from the home theater (hidden in the conduit). This is a 1 ton unit and will easily be able to handle the hottest days.
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post #29 of 48 Old 01-14-2008, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Since these various rooms are in an attic - insulation was important. Unfortunately, the ceiling joists are only 2x8's, so to get R-30 without building the space down was to use high-density foam. We used two 3" thick layers of rigid foam insulation which provided us with R-30 as well as allowing for vent chutes to maintain the airflow from the eaves to the upper roof area.



As described above, we needed to use high-density foam insulation in the ceiling. It comes in 4x8 foot sheets which were then ripped to size with a table and hand saws. Here's the contractor carrying the sheets up the stairs of the house - one by one.



A picture of the home theater closet with the vent chute / gap spacer installed and a little bit of the foam insulation towards the left of the picture.



Close-up of the styrofoam insulation and the vent chutes.


Styrofoam insulation installed for part of the home theater ceiling.


A view of the stair area with access areas to crawl spaces for storage.



Looking at the home theater screen wall and the bathroom door and wall area. We used standard fiberglass insulation on the interior walls to help with soundproofing. Also, to provide an additional vapor barrier to the foam we used a smart membrane plastic over the foam. Also, the 100 sheets of drywall has arrived.
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post #30 of 48 Old 01-15-2008, 12:25 AM
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How big are your joists? What did you do to reinforce them for the load? Do you know what your sqft floor load is?

Inspiring for me this project is. I have a large, unused attic and I think it would work for something like this.
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