The Black Banshee Home Theater and Gaming Lair Thread!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 215 Old 02-04-2007, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Pics of the completed room!







Includes a motorized center lifting console for two LCDs that are used for multiplayer gaming. Closed:



Open:



Equipment Room:



Rec. Room:




Home-Built MAME Console (7000 games, Arcade, Nintendo, Pinball, Many More):




Final acoustic treatments:

Isomax clips for drywall attachment
Stagger stud walls
Double 5/8” drywall with Green Glue
Sand filled stage
Corner Bass traps
Insulated soffits around perimeter of ceiling
Linacoustic on walls up to ear level

Current Equipment List:
Panasonic PT-AE7000U 3D Projector
Monster Vision 3D glasses
144” wide acoustically transparent custom screen with SMX material
Lutron 6 zone Grafik Eye
Klipsch RF-83 Front Speakers
Klipsch RC-64 Center Speaker
Klipsch RS-62 Side Speakers
Klipsch RS-62 Rear Speakers
Klipsch RT-12D Sub
DENON 2112CI Receiver/Amp
Custom 20TB HTPC using MyMovies 4 and TMT5 for Blu-Ray ISO playback
Xbox 360
PS3



ORIGINAL POST:
I’ve been lurking on AVS for a year and a half, reading and learning, and am in the planning stages of my dream home theater! My new home is currently under construction (late April finish date) and it has a large basement that I will be finishing with a billiards room, lounge area, home gym, and of course the home theater. Preliminary layout below (after about 15 different iterations):



The home theater room dimensions are about 13 ft 3 in wide, 27 ft 9 in long (length is negotiable), and 8 ft ceilings. I plan to do most of the work myself, at least the framing and electrical (I’m lucky enough to have a dad who is a master electrician and also a state electrical inspector).

Preliminary acoustic treatments:
• RSIC clips for the attachment of stud walls to the concrete sides
• Stagger studs on the walls adjoining other rooms
• Double 5/8” drywall with Green Glue on all walls and the ceiling
• Fabric Frame Walls with Linacoustic up to ear level and at the speaker first reflection points
• Acoustimat and Carpet on the floor
• Sand-filled stage
• Corner Bass traps
• Insulated Soffits around perimeter of ceiling

Preliminary Equipment List:
• Acoustically transparent screen (probably SMX material), 2.35:1 Constant Image Height, 12 ft wide
• 1080p projector (TBD model)
• Anamorphic lens for 2.35:1 horizontal stretch (TBD model)
• DVDO VP50 Video Processor
• Klipsch THX Ultra 2, 7.1 speaker system (includes two subs and the sub amp)
• Pre-Amp (model TBD, looking for suggestions)
• Crown Xti Amps
• 8 Berkline seats with power recline, 2 rows of 4. Second row on an 18” riser.
• HTPC (details in work, but must be capable of 1080p processing)
• Terabyte server for all DVDs (server details in work)
• Cinemar software and touchscreen mobile PC for control of all equipment
• Lutron lighting control system
• Xbox 360
• Nintendo Wii
• Playstation 3
• 1080p HD-DVD player (model TBD)

Here is a render of the room from just behind the second row:



Here’s a picture of the actual basement from about the same spot:



Here’s another render looking from the screen position:



Now in case you didn’t notice from my equipment list (or the title of my thread), I also intend to make this room a dedicated gaming room, particularly for on-line multiplayer gaming like Xbox Live games (PS3 and Nintendo are still catching up to Microsoft, but they’ll get there). I love to have friends come over and we all hook up our systems to separate monitors for some late-night gaming. So to obtain this feature for the room, I’m planning on building a custom gaming cabinet between the two rows of seats. Below is a slightly better view of the theater from above showing the gaming cabinet:



Now the cool part – when I want to play games with buddies, I plan to place two 32” LCD’s in the cabinet that will have motorized lifts. Each screen will have its own dedicated Xbox 360, so with someone playing on the main projector and one person on each monitor, then 3 people can play together on-line:



The cabinet can also be used for storing equipment, or when the LCD screens are retracted, you can simply place appetizers on it for Superbowl Sunday!

If the room looks a little like Sandman’s, it’s no coincidence. I’ve always loved his design and am a big fan of the dark red and black color scheme. Haven’t decided on the type or color of wood accent but it will probably be something close to the design pictures.

I have many questions on my room design, but to keep from overwhelming everyone I’ll start with two related questions:

1) My current seating distance for the front row is about 13 ft 6 in. For a 2.35:1 movie on my 12 ft wide screen, that’s a 47 deg viewing angle. For a 1.78:1 movie, that’s a 36 deg wide viewing angle. This sitting distance meets the THX recommended range for both aspect ratios per the calculator at http://www.carltonbale.com/home-thea...er-calculator/. I plan to have a 1080p projector, but most source material will be DVD (at least until the HD format war is finished) and 720p video games. Need opinions if this is too close?

2) How are the room dimensions for acoustics? The various online calculators say that a room with my width of 13 ft 3 inches shouldn’t be longer than 22 feet or so for optimal acoustics, but I can’t fit both rows of seats plus the gaming cabinet within this length. The minimum comfortable length that will fit all the furniture is about 26 feet long, but that’s too close to 2X the width, so I increased it to the 27 feet 8 inches you see in the layout. What are the disadvantages of this room length if any?

Thanks to all the amazing folks on this forum! There are so many experts and resources here I feel truly humbled. I plan to post all my future progress for feedback and reference.

Any other comments/suggestions are welcome!

-Lance
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post #2 of 215 Old 02-04-2007, 09:19 PM
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That's going to look pretty nice when it's finished. What do you plan on doing with the window(s) - I spy a couple in that picture.
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post #3 of 215 Old 02-04-2007, 09:37 PM
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Looks like a great plan! I'll look forward to watching your progress.

It is nice to see another Colorado theater in the making. Are you in the Denver area?
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post #4 of 215 Old 02-05-2007, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brien View Post

That's going to look pretty nice when it's finished. What do you plan on doing with the window(s) - I spy a couple in that picture.

Thanks! The hard part will be waiting until May to get started.

I've seen several ideas on AVS for covering windows. I've got three windows to cover, right now I'm thinking I'll cover them in plywood, then build the stud wall over the plywood (but I won't directly attach the stud wall to the plywood). I'll paint the back of the plywood black so it looks like a dark room from outside the house.
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post #5 of 215 Old 02-05-2007, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottJ0007 View Post

Looks like a great plan! I'll look forward to watching your progress.

It is nice to see another Colorado theater in the making. Are you in the Denver area?

I'm in Littleton ScottJ - how about you? Do you have a theater in work?
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post #6 of 215 Old 02-05-2007, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Banshee View Post

I'm in Littleton ScottJ - how about you? Do you have a theater in work?

I'm in south Lakewood (Kipling & Hampden). I am just about finished with my basement finish / media room. I only have the finish trim, carpet, screen, and acoustical treatment to finish and then I'll be done. I don't have a construction thread of my own. In retrospect, I wish I had started one like you are when I began my project. I'll probably post an "it's finished" thread when I'm done.

I really like your basement layout plans. It looks like you will have a great space when it is done!

- Scott
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post #7 of 215 Old 02-07-2007, 11:02 PM
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13'3 looks pretty narrow for even the smallest 088 Berklines. You're looking at around 26" aisles, and even less if you want a curved row. I'd try out having that small of an aisle before committing.
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post #8 of 215 Old 02-07-2007, 11:49 PM
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Looks great except.... Are you going to have the ceiling white? That's a big projector no-no.
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post #9 of 215 Old 02-08-2007, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottJ0007 View Post

I'm in south Lakewood (Kipling & Hampden). I am just about finished with my basement finish / media room. I only have the finish trim, carpet, screen, and acoustical treatment to finish and then I'll be done. I don't have a construction thread of my own. In retrospect, I wish I had started one like you are when I began my project. I'll probably post an "it's finished" thread when I'm done.

I really like your basement layout plans. It looks like you will have a great space when it is done!

- Scott

Hi all. Nice to see you getting further along with your planning Black Banshee. Scott, you should post some pictures of what you have so far. I know I'd be excited to see another Colorado theater. I'm up in Broomfield working on my build now.

-Ryan
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post #10 of 215 Old 02-10-2007, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post

13'3 looks pretty narrow for even the smallest 088 Berklines. You're looking at around 26" aisles, and even less if you want a curved row. I'd try out having that small of an aisle before committing.

Thanks - I agree it will be tight. I'll do layouts in the actual room before I commit. I really want 8 seats in the room though.
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post #11 of 215 Old 02-10-2007, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post

Looks great except.... Are you going to have the ceiling white? That's a big projector no-no.

Definitely not white, just looks that way in the render. Will be black or dark grey. Might do a star ceiling eventually.
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post #12 of 215 Old 02-11-2007, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Banshee View Post

Now the cool part - when I want to play games with buddies, I plan to place two 32 LCD's in the cabinet that will have motorized lifts. Each screen will have its own dedicated Xbox 360, so with someone playing on the main projector and one person on each monitor, then 3 people can play together on-line:

That will be awesome. What are you going to use for the lcd lifts? The ones I priced are outrageous.

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post #13 of 215 Old 02-11-2007, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Banshee View Post

Thanks - I agree it will be tight. I'll do layouts in the actual room before I commit. I really want 8 seats in the room though.

If that's the case, you probably don't have a choice but to do three rows, the back row being bar stools. At least you have the length to do it.
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post #14 of 215 Old 02-11-2007, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoomerBrian View Post

That will be awesome. What are you going to use for the lcd lifts? The ones I priced are outrageous.

I found a decent priced LCD lift at www.coolwoodworkingstuff.com that is less expensive than the others, about $600. I think you can get these on Ebay too. I'm probably a good year away though from looking into the LCD lifts. Maybe there will be something better by then.
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post #15 of 215 Old 07-17-2007, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Need some advice guys,

I finally have my house and we have settled in. I am ready to start my basement and HT, so I'm starting to fill out the permit forms. I'm doing my drawing, but I can't put down the width dimension of my theater until I get some help with the following:

I want to maximize the width of my theater. I have a garden level home, so the cement wall only comes up half-way the left side of my HT as shown:



What I'd like to do is attach my 2 layer drywall directly to the concrete on the lower half of the wall, isolated only with sound isolation channel or furring strips. Then I'll add framing members to the top half of the wall as required to provide an even mounting surface for the drywall. I don't want to put a full thickness frame wall on the lower half so I can maximize my room width.

My question is, do you think this will meet code, or do I have to build a complete perimeter frame wall? I've been trying to get hold of my county office and get an answer, so far no luck.
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post #16 of 215 Old 07-17-2007, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Banshee View Post

My question is, do you think this will meet code

I think there are two possible gotcha's.

First your counties requirement for insulation in perimeter walls may require a thicker wall to get it all in there.

Second I don't know if you are plagued by the infamous Colorado expanding soil problem. In may areas the walls in basement rooms are actually hung from the ceiling joists and float a couple of inches above the floor. A baseboard that is not attached to the wall covers the gap.

If you are not familiar with this concept it has been documented here a few times and if you google "floating walls colorado basements" you will find some references.

My county publishes a guide for homeowners finishing their basements. You might want to check with your county.
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post #17 of 215 Old 07-18-2007, 05:33 AM
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There also might be an issue with egress from the room. Do you have the original plans? are any of those windows marked as egress?

What's behind that plastic lining? If it's a stud wall, maybe you could fur it out to the depth of the concrete below, and fill the whole cavitiy with insulation...

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post #18 of 215 Old 07-18-2007, 06:23 AM
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Here is a link I had found a while back on the Colorado expansive clay soil issue, contains a good diagram on how you build a code compliant wall.

http://www2.asktooltalk.com/question...ting-walls.php

Looking at that picture I think I see CLAY soil.
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post #19 of 215 Old 07-18-2007, 07:05 AM
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Looking at your first pictures with the staircase in it, it appears as if you guys have a floating wall code.

I must admit, this is the first time I have heard of such a code. I don't see how this code really makes any sense, especially considering that your supports are fixed to the supporting beams and concrete floor... not allowing any moving... so I don't see the point of having a wall hang right next to it. Anyways, I am sure they have a great reason for their madness.

My suggestion would have been (once again, first time I've heard of this code so this suggestion might be worthless). Would be to build a wall on the upper exterior out of regular 2x4's so that the upper wall is flush with the concrete wall... then use 2x2's and build a second simple frame while bolting the 2x2 frame to the concrete and screwing the upper half of the frame to the newly made 2x4 structure. Perhaps you can still do this without fixing the 2x2 to the basement floor... allowing for the floor moving.

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post #20 of 215 Old 07-18-2007, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rm1759 View Post

There also might be an issue with egress from the room. Do you have the original plans? are any of those windows marked as egress?

What's behind that plastic lining? If it's a stud wall, maybe you could fur it out to the depth of the concrete below, and fill the whole cavitiy with insulation...


Seems to me that those windows are egress windows. One of the windows has something in the deeper well that appears to be an escape ladder of some sort... I can't really tell.

I would assume that the plastic is covering the studs, I believe this is a building requirement as the wall is an outerwall. This is a good chance for the OP to stuff that baby with a whole lot of insulation! I would think it should have not only a sound benefit, but also a energy savings benefit.

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post #21 of 215 Old 07-18-2007, 07:30 AM
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OCKIE, good Eye.

I totally missed that shot of the stair case. The wall framing is built using the floating concept. SO I guess we know what that means.

As for the support columns I think you will find that the foundations for the columns go deeper and are separate from the floor slab therefore not as susectable to the movement. Same for the perimeter foundation wall.

It's just the floor that floats
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post #22 of 215 Old 07-18-2007, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys. I'm aware of the expansive soil problem. Luckily my lot soil report has a "low" soil expansion rating. However, to be safe I am taking the proper precautions with the floating joints at the bottom. This was one of my questions a while back on this forum, and Dennis Erskine suggest I use "MLV" or vinyl sheet at the bottom of the floating wall to simultaneously allow for movement and to seal it acoustically.

Thanks for the 2x2 suggestion, that sounds like a good possibility. I'm finishing up my plans and will be headed to the county office next week.

I've also started making a mockup in my future theater room to set my future seat positions and screen size. Here's my redneck theater!



I was a bit nervous about the screen size (12' wide, 2.35:1 ratio), but after much reading here I think it will work great with my 14' seating distance. As a sanity check I determined the equivalent distance I'd need to sit from my 52" LCD to get the same field of view (about 4.5 feet away) and watched a 2.35:1 movie. It was just right for the total viewing angle I usually like at the movie theater. I also forced my wife to sit in the seat, she had no idea what I was doing, but agreed the movie looked OK at that distance.

Now I just want to start work!
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post #23 of 215 Old 07-18-2007, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ockie View Post

Seems to me that those windows are egress windows. One of the windows has something in the deeper well that appears to be an escape ladder of some sort... I can't really tell.

I would assume that the plastic is covering the studs, I believe this is a building requirement as the wall is an outerwall. This is a good chance for the OP to stuff that baby with a whole lot of insulation! I would think it should have not only a sound benefit, but also a energy savings benefit.

Regarding the windows - code here says I only need egress windows for bedrooms or "rooms where people will sleep". So, I'm hoping I won't have any problems boarding up the windows. I will at least paint the outside surface of the close-out with black paint so it just looks like a dark basement.

Has anyone had problems with egress window requirements in their theaters?
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post #24 of 215 Old 07-18-2007, 07:59 PM
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[quote=Black Banshee] I will at least paint the outside surface of the close-out with black paint so it just looks like a dark basement.
QUOTE]

Another solution used a lot is to hang a blind in the window in the closed position then board it up. The end result is little nicer looking then a painted black window if appearance is an issue.

For example if this was a bonus room with a widow facing the street it would make sense.
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post #25 of 215 Old 07-30-2007, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Need some acoustic advice...

I'm chalk-lining my basement floor, and am stuck on my HT room dimensions. My room width is currently measuring at 13'-8". This dimension is firm.

Due to the rear wall layout around an existing sewer pipe, my theater length right now is at 28'-0".

I know you're not supposed to make your room width versus height even multiples of each other. I'm pretty close to a factor of two, but not exactly. I couldn't find a clear answer in the acoustics thread. Does anyone know how close you can be on this ratio without seeing detrimental acoustic affects? I'll move the sewer pipe or hide it in a column or bass trap if necessary, but I'm not sure if I should currently be worried.

thanks
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post #26 of 215 Old 07-31-2007, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Banshee View Post

Need some acoustic advice...

I'm chalk-lining my basement floor, and am stuck on my HT room dimensions. My room width is currently measuring at 13'-8". This dimension is firm.

Due to the rear wall layout around an existing sewer pipe, my theater length right now is at 28'-0".

I know you're not supposed to make your room width versus height even multiples of each other. I'm pretty close to a factor of two, but not exactly. I couldn't find a clear answer in the acoustics thread. Does anyone know how close you can be on this ratio without seeing detrimental acoustic affects? I'll move the sewer pipe or hide it in a column or bass trap if necessary, but I'm not sure if I should currently be worried.

thanks

That is certainly close enough to be affected, how bad it will be is an individual thing, have to wait and see.

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post #27 of 215 Old 07-31-2007, 09:39 AM
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This looks like it will be a great Basement Space...

I will have to keep an eye on what you are doing ..

Good Luck !!

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post #28 of 215 Old 08-04-2007, 08:12 PM
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Looks like a very nice theater. Emulating Rubin's sound system isn't a bad idea (patting self on back ) A few suggestions on the build...

Since this is a basement, before you put any kind of plastic over things, use a concrete sealer ala Kryton T1/T2 on the walls and WET Conseal 1000 on the floor to keep the moisture level down. And no, these are NOT the same thing as the "moisture sealing paint" like UGL. You also may want to put a mold preventative coating on the studs (PM me for details on any of these). Why? Put it this way...my other company is called The MoldBuster Group. Basements bring me a lot of income.

On the windows...what we did in our demo theater was to create solid hinged doors that were finished the same as the walls (fabric, insulation) to cover the windows. I used rubber and foam seals to seal the light out. This allows you to open the windows when the theater is not in use and close them with little impact on the look of the walls when the theater is in use. Given the number of people that may be in the theater, you may need egress by code plus it is just a good idea.

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post #29 of 215 Old 08-05-2007, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Soundood - will look into the sealant. I can say that because of the expansive soils here, the homes are designed to carefully route all water away from the foundation, so I'm not sure how important sealing is on the concrete. I'm not aware of other HT owners in Colorado doing it, but I could be wrong.

As for the windows, I'll see what the permit folks say - my plan clearly showed I was boarding them up. I expect my permit any day.
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post #30 of 215 Old 08-05-2007, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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My progress this week - had the HVAC folks come out, they are working up my quote. Specifically told them I want to run all my HT HVAC lines in the soffit, and to use flex-duct with multiple turns.

Am awaiting my permit any day.

Also had the lumber delivered this week, boy was that a chore getting it in the basement. It helped having a garden level basement so I can feed the lumber through the window. The wife actually helped me for about 30 minutes on the lumber move before saying I was crazy!

More to come...
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