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post #1 of 959 Old 01-24-2007, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Updated 11/18/2013:

The theater is pretty much done (as of November 2008). Here is an index to the most interesting parts and milestones of the thread. There are other interesting posts and pictures in between each step, but these are the ones that immediately jumped out as worthwhile to mention.

Thanks to everyone who helped in this 5+ month project!

Take the video tour! (24MB)

My theater was featured on Electronic House! (8/11/2009)
My theater was written up on HackedGadgets.com! (3/15/2009)

01/24/2007 - Started this thread. Posted first ideas and designs.
04/12/2008 - Permits pulled and design revised.
04/21/2008 - Lumber has arrived and the project starts for real.
06/16/2008 - Framing, conduit, HVAC, plumbing done.
06/25/2008 - Insulation, rough electrical done.
07/13/2008 - Drywall done.
07/20/2008 - Bathroom tile and paint.
08/11/2008 - Cabinets installed, picking out carpet and flooring.
08/17/2008 - Hardwood installed in Kitchenette.
08/25/2008 - Granite installed
08/31/2008 - Acoustic panels installed and the start of the screen wall. Put tint on sliding glass doors.
09/03/2008 - Kitchenette and bathroom complete. Starting to tackle basement stairs.
09/05/2008 - Carpet installed.
09/06/2008 - Speakers, screen and seats installed.
09/13/2008 - Stairs done.
09/25/2008 - Bass shakers installed.
10/30/2008 - Projector Installed
10/31/2008 - First screen shots.
11/02/2008 - More screen shots.
11/11/2008 - Movie posters framed and hung.
11/15/2008 - A few more finished pics.
12/02/2008 - Installed Littlites on the bar.
01/08/2009 - Popcorn machine and a finished rack!
03/14/2009 - Cleaned up the equipment closet a bit and my 1000th post!
04/05/2009 - Under cabinet lighting in the kitchenette.
04/24/2009 - Treated screen wall with acoustical cotton.
05/13/2009 - Built a new HTPC!

Final Equipment List:

Panasonic PT-AE3000 Projector
Panasonic PT-AE8000 Projector   (upgraded 12/2012)
129" wide SmX ProLine Screen - 2.37:1

Denon 3808ci Receiver (retired)

Pioneer SC-1522-K Receiver  (upgraded 3/30/2013)
Playstation 3

Playstation 4 (new)
Sony BDP-N460 Bluray player + streaming media (netflix)
Sony BDP-S5100 Bluray player + streaming media (netflix)   (upgraded 4/3/2013)


Monitor Audio RS6 left and right front speakers
Monitor Audio RSLCR center channel speaker
Monitor Audio RSFX surround speakers
Monitor Audio RSFX rear speakers
SVS PC-13 Ultra Subwoofer

6 Aura Pro Bass Shakers
300 watt BASH subwoofer amplifier
Berkline 13175 seating

Nintendo Wii   (retired)
Comcast HD DVR

Verizon FiOS Multi-room DVR
Thecus N5200 NAS (1.5TB RAID5 network attached storage)

HTPC -

  • 2.7GHz dual core Pentium
  • 4GB RAM
  • GIGABYTE GA-E7AUM-DS2H motherboard (geForce 9400 - HDMI)
  • 500GB hard drive
  • DVD +/-RW drive
  • Silverstone LC17B case
  • MS Entertainment Desktop 7000 keyboard/mouse
  • Mythbuntu (Linux)

 

Harmony One universal remote
X10 Powermid IR repeater



-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well... after a year and a half (almost), I've finally decided to start planning the basement theater. Not quite sure on when construction will begin especially since I have yet to finalize my plans. In fact, I'd love to hear feedback on my current sketches.

Some basics (updated 3/16/2009):

 

  • Finished width of the theater is approximately 13'4"
  • The final length of the theater comes out to around 32'
  • 7.1 surround sound
  • Acoustically transparent screen with 2.37:1 aspect ratio
  • Ceiling was drywalled with 2x3's used as furring strips to clear some copper plumbing.
  • Soffits/beam will be approximately 6'9" in height
  • Blue rectangles on the open wall in the pictures are a window and sliding patio doors.
  • Lighting will be primarily 4" can lights. There will be cove lighting (rope) around the soffits and as step lighting for the riser.
  • Seating is comprised of Berkline 13175's (two rows of three) and four bar stools.
  • Equipment rack would go under the stairs
  • Moving the lolly columns is not an option.

 

Update - 3/16/2009 - the information below is from the original post and contains some out of date information.

I'm not sure if I want a wet bar or not, but if I do it will have to be adjacent to the utility room for best access to the sewer pipe. I am also having a tough time deciding what do to in the rear of the theater (wall? wall with french doors? leave it open and just put heavy curtains over the sliding glass doors? Leave it open but continue the wall along the beam?).

I've also been playing with different sized utility rooms (from the entire corner to right up against the oil tank). My wife would like a good compromise of storage + usable space, though again, any sort of wet bar or plumbing should be adjacent to the utility room.

Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! See my attachments for the bare basement mock-up as well as a partially finished layout I've been playing with...

Thanks!
Chris (jamis)
LL
LL
LL

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post #2 of 959 Old 01-24-2007, 07:31 PM
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sounds exciting... keep us posted
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post #3 of 959 Old 02-03-2007, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Some updated layout sketches....

The colors/carpet probably aren't what I'll use... I just wanted something consistent. The kitchenette/sink layout is also undecided, though the location is about where it will be with the drain going under the stairs to a gray water pump in the utility room. I will probably also put some overhead cabinets above the sink for glasses and such. There will also be a large euro-cave style wine cellar as well as a small (probably under counter) mini fridge (possible instead of the angled cabinet).

The aisles are just over 3' on each side of the riser and if I decide to do lighting or transducers in the riser, I will most likely come down from the ceiling though faux columns on the bar.

Any ideas or suggestions?





A few more mock-ups...

Image2
Image3
Image4
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post #4 of 959 Old 02-03-2007, 05:18 PM
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what cad software are u using for these images
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post #5 of 959 Old 02-03-2007, 05:54 PM
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Looks pretty good. Where will the wine cellar go? Also, have you thought about extending the the pass-through counter on the theater side to provide some additional bar seating?

Good luck with the project.

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post #6 of 959 Old 02-03-2007, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorfreak View Post

what cad software are u using for these images

Looks like Sketch Up to me, it is really some cool software, not CAD by any means, but they have a free version on Googles website...
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post #7 of 959 Old 02-03-2007, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Yep... Google SketchUp. www.sketchup.com


As for extending the bar, I had thought about doing a L-shape from the pass-through all the way across, but the wife liked having aisles on both sides. Even extending the counter there would potentially block that aisle.

My current thoughts on the wine cellar would be to the right of the sink (with some cabinetry around it to give it a built in look) where the angled counter is, or right next to the small closet that blocks off the water main. If i did the latter, i'd get a more furniture looking wine cellar.

I had thought about doing a walk in cellar adjacent to the utility room, but that would probably be overkill.
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post #8 of 959 Old 02-04-2007, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I was motivated this morning and put a little more effort into the kitchenette layout. I'm liking this version much better...

I am particularly proud of my homemade EuroCave wine cellar.



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post #9 of 959 Old 02-04-2007, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Another update... I've come around to widening the pass-through counter after realizing I could move the seats/bar forward a bit. In the drawing, the narrowest point between the pass-through counter and the bar is a hair under 36".

The front row is approximately 1.4X from the screen, the back row would be around 2.3X (reclined) and the bar at 2.5X.

I'm figuring berkline 880's for the first two rows... the berkline website suggests a minimum of 36" between rows. Is this 36" when fully reclined or simply to allow enough room to recline? Can anyone recommend a good riser depth for this line of seats? How about clearance in the back to recline?

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post #10 of 959 Old 04-12-2008, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Back from the dead!

The permits have been pulled and I just bought an air compressor (17 gal Porter Cable... good for the sprinklers too!) and a three pack of nailing guns (frame nailer, finish nailer, brad nailer).

Some before pics to follow... now to figure out my lumber requirements and get to get started.

Looking down the length of the theater at the screen wall (tape lines subject to change.. I'm thinking of going CIH):



Future equipment closet/rack to go under the stairs as well as the gray water pump for the kitchenette sink. Kitchenette will be immediately to the left of the stairs with the pass-through into the theater:



Looking from the screen wall back:



The view looking through the kitchenette/passthrough. The doorway into the theater will be to the left of the left-most metal column:
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post #11 of 959 Old 04-15-2008, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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The project gets bigger... Adding a half bath.

This will require a macerating toilet. We were going to need at least a grey water pump for the kitchenette anyway.

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post #12 of 959 Old 04-15-2008, 08:09 AM
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room deminsions and rack location are simillar to mine. it is nice that you have no HVAC to deal with. do you have boiler providing house heat? later.
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post #13 of 959 Old 04-15-2008, 08:10 AM
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Were are you putting your equipment. 2 things I would do is either extend the bathroom to the back wall, or I would use that space behind the bath to put in an equipment rack. or I might move/rotate the bathroom.

edit. nevermind on the equipment rack part, I just looked at the pictures again. I would just move the bathroom some.

For the bathroom and sink look into this system I used. I didn't want to dig trenches. http://www.zoeller.com/zcopump/produ...ve/qwikjon.htm

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post #14 of 959 Old 04-15-2008, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamis View Post

The project gets bigger... Adding a half bath.

They always do... Just remember how many WAF points you're building up

Bryan

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post #15 of 959 Old 04-15-2008, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sknyfs View Post

Were are you putting your equipment. 2 things I would do is either extend the bathroom to the back wall, or I would use that space behind the bath to put in an equipment rack. or I might move/rotate the bathroom.

edit. nevermind on the equipment rack part, I just looked at the pictures again. I would just move the bathroom some.

For the bathroom and sink look into this system I used. I didn't want to dig trenches. http://www.zoeller.com/zcopump/produ...ve/qwikjon.htm

I was looking at this for the plumbing system... the sinks for the kitchenette and bathroom would both tie into it.

http://www.saniflo.com/products/saniplus.asp

The rack will be under the stairs and the space behind the bathroom will be for some of the plumbing (probably the macerating/pump unit instead of directly behind the toilet in the bathroom) as well as access to the equipment. I can only move the bathroom back so far before the access panel would be adjacent to the rack itself and restrict access into the equipment area.

My side goal is to space the bathroom in such a way as to use 1' tiles with 1/4" grout lines and not have to cut a single tile.

As for WAF... she originally didn't want a half bath down there... I actually convinced her we should have it. Amazingly enough.. she is completely on board with this project (she watches more TV than I do...)
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post #16 of 959 Old 04-15-2008, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aham23 View Post

room deminsions and rack location are simillar to mine. it is nice that you have no HVAC to deal with. do you have boiler providing house heat? later.

I am planning on either a mini-split heat pump, or a small ducted unit inside the utility room. Either shouldn't be too hard to manage. The mini-split would be cheaper, but I'd probably prefer the ducted unit so I can put a return in the equipment closet.

The boiler heats the rest of the house (forced hot water)
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post #17 of 959 Old 04-15-2008, 10:33 AM
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Id make the bathroom bigger. Go all the way to the theater wall, and put a door into the back of your rack.
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post #18 of 959 Old 04-15-2008, 06:24 PM
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Id make the bathroom bigger. Go all the way to the theater wall, and put a door into the back of your rack.

This is an excellent idea. I put the back of my rack into a closet and the extra room back there is rather helpful when adding equipment/rack maintenance tasks/etc.

This should be a cool build when done. Keep us posted along the way.

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post #19 of 959 Old 04-16-2008, 06:27 AM - Thread Starter
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The one reservation I had with extending the bathroom all the way back, was the plumbing (mostly, the drain).

As I have it laid out now, the drain for the sink in the kitchenette would run under the stairs and along the back of the bathroom wall in one practically straight run, tying nicely into the bathroom sink and finally the macerator/ejector pump from the toilet. If you look at the earlier drawings I have of the kitchenette, you'll see the sink location in relation to the bathroom and since the rack will be under the stairs, I can't move the drain pipe too far towards the theater.

If I move the bathroom all the way back (or change the layout), I have to work some magic with the plumbing. Running the pipes along the center wall will be difficult due to the metal lolly columns.
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post #20 of 959 Old 04-16-2008, 08:03 AM
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well, then my idea of adding a window from the bathroom to the theater, so you dont miss any of the movie when nature calls, is probably a no go then.
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post #21 of 959 Old 04-16-2008, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlyday View Post

well, then my idea of adding a window from the bathroom to the theater, so you dont miss any of the movie when nature calls, is probably a no go then.


Put a small TV in the bathroom. Problem solved.

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post #22 of 959 Old 04-16-2008, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I've mentioned putting a TV in the bathroom... I could see the WAF points going down the tubes. For some strange reason, she couldn't imagine the need.

I'll at least wire for it...
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post #23 of 959 Old 04-16-2008, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamis View Post

I've mentioned putting a TV in the bathroom... I could see the WAF points going down the tubes. For some strange reason, she couldn't imagine the need.

I'll at least wire for it...

I have a friend who has a small LCD in his HT bathroom. Guests seem to love it butt when I brought it up to the wife I got "the stare". Perhaps a butt kicker attached to the toilet too?

I think I am most interested in seeing how you do your entertainment/bar area. I think I designed mine to be too boring.

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post #24 of 959 Old 04-16-2008, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
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Perhaps a butt kicker attached to the toilet too?

LOL! That could certainly facilitate some things....

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post #25 of 959 Old 04-21-2008, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Holy crap, it's been a busy weekend.

In order of completion...

Saturday AM - Lumber arrives. Lug it all down to the basement.
Saturday PM - De-thatch lawn, rake, overseed, start-up irrigation system for the season.
Sunday - Frame out three sections of wall in the basement. Two of the sections are staggered studs.
Monday AM - Stain deck, railings and stairs (14x16, 12' off the ground)
Monday PM - Build blocking around poorly placed pipes.

I think I'm going to take the rest of the day off.


The lumber pile after framing out the three sections of wall...



The three sections of wall. The screen wall is where the miter saw is... the kitchenette will be against the stairs where I framed.



The blocking around the pipes. Add the drywall, and you have the finished ceiling height. (~7' 5"). I will be putting up blocking on all the joists and using 2x3s as furring strips. This will allow me to span all pipes and wires.
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post #26 of 959 Old 04-21-2008, 01:10 PM
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That nook under the stairs is really lucky for the equipment rack, wish I had something similar.

The only thing I'm not crazy about is the opening at the rear right for the bar and then the open doorway. The surround soundfield will be a little unbalanced and "weak" as some will get lost into that open area.
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post #27 of 959 Old 04-21-2008, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse S View Post

That nook under the stairs is really lucky for the equipment rack, wish I had something similar.

The only thing I'm not crazy about is the opening at the rear right for the bar and then the open doorway. The surround soundfield will be a little unbalanced and "weak" as some will get lost into that open area.

Yeah.. it's a trade off. I originally had thoughts of putting a wall at the back of the theater to keep the sliding glass door completely out of the space, but it would have shortened it more than I would have liked. Instead, I opted for a more open entertaining space. I was also limited by my plumbing options on the location of the kitchenette/wet bar.

I'll just have to up my budget on the surround speakers to compensate.
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post #28 of 959 Old 04-21-2008, 01:57 PM
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I would make those soffits on the left & right wall go all the way to the back of the room and maybe even go around the back wall (optional). Stopping the soffits in middle of the room looks incomplete.
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post #29 of 959 Old 04-21-2008, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I would make those soffits on the left & right wall go all the way to the back of the room and maybe even go around the back wall (optional). Stopping the soffits in middle of the room looks incomplete.

Yeah... I was going to at least take them all the way back (obviously not in the drawings). Hadn't thought of running one along the back wall too... might have to give that some thought.
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post #30 of 959 Old 04-24-2008, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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HVAC guys were out this morning.

Sounds like a 1.5 ton ducted unit is the way to go instead of a mini-split due to the shape of the room, plus having the bathroom. At first they were all for a mini-split, but after describing the project in more detail, they agreed that ducted was the way to go. These guys have done work for me before, so quality and price should be good.

The plan is to add another zone to the boiler and run that to the air handler for heat. Current plan is for 4 total supplies and two returns. They would also add a fresh air supply to the utility room for the boiler, since it will be closed off from the rest of the basement.

The main duct would run along the utility room side of the beam and branch off through the joist bays into the theater. There would also be a supply in the bathroom.
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