What I'd do differently next time. - Page 28 - AVS Forum
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post #811 of 840 Old 01-24-2014, 06:01 PM
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Sorry I haven't gotten back to your response. I under went a medical procedure that day wasn't feeling very good afterward. The speaker wire is designed to go in the wall it's 12 gauge wire. That's the minimum requirement that Martin Logan recommends to be connected to there speakers. Or you can go with a thicker gauge wire to bring out the best performance from there speakers. And since I did not have conduit going towards the speakers there's no way that's going to happen. It's simply a matter of choice, flexibility if you will.
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post #812 of 840 Old 02-20-2014, 10:02 PM
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It took me sometime with actually having the room setup to finally decide where I best liked all my equipment. Thankfully nothing is too permanently installed (yet) but I did run speaker wire Under installed carpeting to hide it. (in a finished basement) That took a LONG time and now I will have to redo it. Biggest reason I haven't moved stuff to where I really would like it. (my component rack)

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post #813 of 840 Old 04-08-2014, 09:18 PM
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Know your limitations! We're not all skilled in every craft. At least I'm not. I got a local guy to help with the framing. Best $40/hr I spent. Get a pro to tape and mud the drywall too. It will be money well spent. I'm just about at that stage, but have done it before and was glad I paid someone who knew what they were doing. Put in more electrical box than you think you'll need. I hate extension cords. If you'll be using a big, wide-screen TV, put in a 4' x 2 x 10 in the middle of your TV wall. Then anchor the TV mount to piece when installing. It will never come off. My new plasma is 120 lbs! smile.gif




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post #814 of 840 Old 04-23-2014, 08:00 AM
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Someone really needs to create a bullet point list of these items in this thread as list of "watch out for this" for new builders. Some excellent suggestions in this thread.

-

"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #815 of 840 Old 04-24-2014, 09:33 AM
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Since my space will be used as a multi-purpose room, I've included a lot of extra things that you would not normally find in a dedicated HT. Like running 20-amp service to every outlet, locating outlet boxes at desk-height, cabling for 2, or more complete audio systems (vintage & modern), and multiple sets of speakers to be jacked in/out at will. My total space also includes an electronics workshop that will also house the servers and all communications gear, along with a structured media enclosure.

I'm taking it very slow because I didn't engineer every cable run and type and have opted (by default I guess) to design as I go along. Not the smartest move, but I think we (my son and I) have just about thought of everything and have accommodated for it now. So, in retrospect, I would have 'architected' all of my structured media cabling needs much more thoroughly and taken the extra time to plan it out properly. As it stands, I haven't forgotten any big item, but let's just say, Monoprice had made a lot of money over the past 3 months from me - including late night orders for something we discovered we needed. smile.gif Not the most most efficient use of my time, and/or shipping $. - Rick

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post #816 of 840 Old 04-24-2014, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blipszyc View Post

Now that I'm pretty much done with the framing, soundproofing and soon to be drywall - my "WIDDNT" would be to hire someone else to do it all! I'm getting too old for all this manual labor and it's not getting done fast enough for my wife. biggrin.gif I'm hoping this is my last theater for a while, which means if I do move and need a 3rd one, I'll definitely be too old for DIY.
Haha blip. I understand completely. My space started in earnest last December and I just had my rough and electrical inspection last week. They both passed! Now my son and I are trying to finish up all the structured wiring and insulating. You are right, I won't being doing this again. It's my last mancave. smile.gif Rick

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post #817 of 840 Old 07-18-2014, 12:55 PM
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one thing I'd do differently is make my stage about 12" deeper. After every movie my kids (2 and 4) go up and dance to the ending songs and would love for them to have a bit more room.

I'm not sure what is more entertaining: the movie, or the dance party
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post #818 of 840 Old 07-20-2014, 07:03 AM
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What I'd do differently next time? I'd just not do it! If I'd known what I had to do and what it would cost, I would definitely not have started it!

If we skip that part, I'd definitely give more concern to soundproofing to begin with, it caused me a teardown and rebuild since it wasn't good enough to begin with...

Under construction: the Larch theater
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post #819 of 840 Old 07-22-2014, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightlord View Post
What I'd do differently next time? I'd just not do it! If I'd known what I had to do and what it would cost, I would definitely not have started it!

If we skip that part, I'd definitely give more concern to soundproofing to begin with, it caused me a teardown and rebuild since it wasn't good enough to begin with...
A bitter pill to swallow. But there was something I heard recently about "the decision you never make". If you hadn't started, you would always wish you had. And when you finally get the space up and running, the memory of $$$ lost will fade as you sit back in your comfy chairs with your family and friends and proudly enjoy what you created! At least that's what I tell myself! No...that's what I tell my clients when I blow past their budget!!!

And a couple a wee drams and the pain will fade even faster...

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post #820 of 840 Old 07-23-2014, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Nightlord View Post
What I'd do differently next time? I'd just not do it! If I'd known what I had to do and what it would cost, I would definitely not have started it!

If we skip that part, I'd definitely give more concern to soundproofing to begin with, it caused me a teardown and rebuild since it wasn't good enough to begin with...
that's tough. i know both theaters i've built in my house took longer, cost more, and required more work than i expected. but once the work is over and the bills are paid off, i'm so glad i did it. i wouldn't have a house without a dedicated theater at this point.

i guess i could see it if i took a $100k loan out or something, and would be living with that for another 15 years. but that would be true if i bought anything that big...it's not that a theater per se isn't worth it. you can have wonderful outcome for relatively little money. certainly little enough not to have these kinds of regrets, i think.

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post #821 of 840 Old 07-23-2014, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightlord View Post
What I'd do differently next time? I'd just not do it! If I'd known what I had to do and what it would cost, I would definitely not have started it!

If we skip that part, I'd definitely give more concern to soundproofing to begin with, it caused me a teardown and rebuild since it wasn't good enough to begin with...
I felt that way at about the three-year mark. But the theater is essentially done now (four years total) and I'm just delighted with it.

Mike Kobb
(Formerly "ReplayMike". These opinions are mine alone, and in no way reflect the opinions of employers past or present!)
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post #822 of 840 Old 07-26-2014, 09:42 AM
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3/4 through my project and I would have demolished my existing room to the ground and rebuilt it from the ground up. I would have also spent the money and bought plans. There are somethings now that I realized I made mistakes on, but not much I can do now. I have had thoughts if I am going to keep the house I may demo the room and rebuild it again the way I want in a couple of years, well see.
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post #823 of 840 Old 07-26-2014, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post
3/4 through my project and I would have demolished my existing room to the ground and rebuilt it from the ground up. I would have also spent the money and bought plans. There are somethings now that I realized I made mistakes on, but not much I can do now. I have had thoughts if I am going to keep the house I may demo the room and rebuild it again the way I want in a couple of years, well see.
What are some of those things?
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post #824 of 840 Old 07-27-2014, 12:19 AM
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What are some of those things?
More 20 amp lines. I would have moved a door (rear entry door) I should have removed all the existing electric and started fresh. I placed my low voltage boxes to close to the where my screen is for height speakers. I bought new mains that are bigger and did not account for that for screen size. I would have done an AT screen. I kept two windows in the room and I should have removed them also. Just little things. I will have a nice little room, but it could have been better with some better planning I guess.
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post #825 of 840 Old 07-27-2014, 08:50 AM
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More 20 amp lines. I would have moved a door (rear entry door) I should have removed all the existing electric and started fresh. I placed my low voltage boxes to close to the where my screen is for height speakers, that is only because I bought new mains that are bigger and did not account for that. I would have done an AT screen. I kept two windows in the room and I should have removed them also. Just little things. I will have a nice little room, but it could have been better with some better planning I guess.
Thanks. Specifics like that really help make this thread invaluable. In fact, I'd almost say newbies and veterans should read this thread before any other about building a home theater.
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post #826 of 840 Old 07-28-2014, 08:32 AM
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I didn't get a dedicated circuit for my media room. I have a tract home with 2 15AMP (12 amps of current at 120 V) plugs where the equipment rack will be. That gives me 2X1440 = 2880 watts. Is that enough for PJ, receiver, Lumagen, Blu Ray and all the other good stuff?

There are other 15AMP plugs on the other walls also but I think I did a mistake by not having a dedicated circuit for the media room.

what does everyone else do? Do you guys have a dedicated circuit for the media room? How many 15 AMP plugs do yo all have for the full equipment.
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post #827 of 840 Old 07-28-2014, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by smuggymba View Post
what does everyone else do? Do you guys have a dedicated circuit for the media room? How many 15 AMP plugs do yo all have for the full equipment.
Per Erskine Group recommendations, I am using a 240 V. 30 A. receptacle for all the equipment power. Then a step-down transformer which will handle a total of 5 KVA at 120 V. Thus all the equipment is on the same "phase".
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post #828 of 840 Old 07-28-2014, 10:59 AM
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Per Erskine Group recommendations, I am using a 240 V. 30 A. receptacle for all the equipment power. Then a step-down transformer which will handle a total of 5 KVA at 120 V. Thus all the equipment is on the same "phase".
thanks a lot. Do you know how much it would cost to pull a new circuit from the main to the media room via the attic in an already finished room?
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post #829 of 840 Old 07-28-2014, 11:03 AM
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thanks a lot. Do you know how much it would cost to pull a new circuit from the main to the media room via the attic in an already finished room?
No idea -- too many variables. Where I live, it takes a couple hundred $$ to just get an electrician to show up -- actual work is extra.
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post #830 of 840 Old 07-28-2014, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by smuggymba View Post
I didn't get a dedicated circuit for my media room. I have a tract home with 2 15AMP (12 amps of current at 120 V) plugs where the equipment rack will be. That gives me 2X1440 = 2880 watts. Is that enough for PJ, receiver, Lumagen, Blu Ray and all the other good stuff?

There are other 15AMP plugs on the other walls also but I think I did a mistake by not having a dedicated circuit for the media room.

what does everyone else do? Do you guys have a dedicated circuit for the media room? How many 15 AMP plugs do yo all have for the full equipment.
I did 2 dedicated 20amp circuits for each of my subs. Each subs has a 4000watt amp, so I am treating them like monoblocks. I also did 1 20 amp circuit for the rack with existing 15 receptacles right there also. I also did a 30 amp line for the mini split AC unit. I would love to find a way to get a duct in that room because now I want that 30 amp circuit for my rack.

If you are low key with an AVR, you will be fine, but you start getting into big amps, monoblocks or big subs, you are going to have to get some dedicated 20 amps lines in there.
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post #831 of 840 Old 07-28-2014, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by smuggymba View Post
thanks a lot. Do you know how much it would cost to pull a new circuit from the main to the media room via the attic in an already finished room?
Depends, my guess would be about $300 bucks. The materials would depend how far you have to go from the breaker to the room. 100 foot of 12/2 wire would be around $90 or $100, $13 bucks for a breaker and $3 bucks for an outlet. So looking at about $100 to $120 in materials and labor. I had an electrician in for my hot tub. He ran a 50amp line with service panel and it was $900. All depends on who you get.
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post #832 of 840 Old 07-28-2014, 01:59 PM
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Thanks for the reply everyone. I guess it's a lesson learnt so all other newbies should pay attention about having a dedicated circuit while the house is being built.

I have 4 15AMP plugs on the front wall where there will be speakers and subs so I guess that should be ok.

The 2 on the side for the equipment will basically be for PJ, Receiver, Blu-Ray, Lumagen so maybe it might just work out.
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post #833 of 840 Old 07-29-2014, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smuggymba View Post
Thanks for the reply everyone. I guess it's a lesson learnt so all other newbies should pay attention about having a dedicated circuit while the house is being built.

I have 4 15AMP plugs on the front wall where there will be speakers and subs so I guess that should be ok.

The 2 on the side for the equipment will basically be for PJ, Receiver, Blu-Ray, Lumagen so maybe it might just work out.
It's less about the number of plugs -- you can always use a power strip - and more about how big or how many circuits feed the plugs in the room. One 15 amp circuit or less, you may have trouble at some point.

You'll find out quickly! The circuit breaker will trip and you'll know you need another circuit.

But if you are using a regular thousand dollar receiver, and a sub in the thousand dollar range, no special giant amplifiers or giant multiple subs, and no plug in a/c or heaters, you may be okay.
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post #834 of 840 Old Yesterday, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post
It's less about the number of plugs -- you can always use a power strip - and more about how big or how many circuits feed the plugs in the room. One 15 amp circuit or less, you may have trouble at some point.

You'll find out quickly! The circuit breaker will trip and you'll know you need another circuit.

But if you are using a regular thousand dollar receiver, and a sub in the thousand dollar range, no special giant amplifiers or giant multiple subs, and no plug in a/c or heaters, you may be okay.
On the front wall, where the speakers and Subs will be, there are 4 15amp plugs, so I should be covered.

Near the equipment rack, I just have 2 so when I get the equipment, I'll have to be careful of the wattage. Lesson learned for the next house
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The point nathan is making is that, if those plugs are all on the same circuit, you may run into trouble. Sometimes (probably very often) an entire room is wired to one circuit breaker. For most rooms, that's not usually a problem. But we don't have "most rooms," do we?!

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post #836 of 840 Old Yesterday, 12:44 PM
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The point nathan is making is that, if those plugs are all on the same circuit, you may run into trouble. Sometimes (probably very often) an entire room is wired to one circuit breaker. For most rooms, that's not usually a problem. But we don't have "most rooms," do we?!
Right, I've got a 14 20amp plugs in my room. But only two circuits drive them.

I've got 8 20amp plugs in my gear closet, but four separate circuits.


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post #837 of 840 Old Yesterday, 01:43 PM
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that's tough. i know both theaters i've built in my house took longer, cost more, and required more work than i expected. but once the work is over and the bills are paid off, i'm so glad i did it. i wouldn't have a house without a dedicated theater at this point.
Of course I'll be happy too, but if I'd had the choice upfront how much it would costin money and lost family(kid) time, I think I would have postponed until the kids had left the nest. I cannot ever get that time back.... They've grown so quickly. Little kid just today explained to Mom why we needed all the layers in the cinema walls, so he has been listening even if he can be rather hard to call on whether he listens or not. But that made Dad quite happy to know. I hope I can get it to working state soon - daughter is startingto ask about Lord of the Rings and I much rather show it in the cinema than on a 50" tv (Kuro or not)...

Under construction: the Larch theater
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post #838 of 840 Old Yesterday, 02:34 PM
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I guess we could 'plan to death' and never get anything built! That's almost what happened to me. And now almost a year later and I'm finally finishing up the trim and other details. I had a blank slate to work with after I demo'd what horrible framing of 2x3's were already there. I knew in my head what I wanted, but no professional plans. I did most of the work myself including electrical. I wasn't finishing just one room, but for the most part the entire basement - save the boiler/storage room. I also had the pros in to mud, tape and cornerbead the drywall I put up. Wasn't about to do that.

I'm a real stickler when it comes to power and didn't want to skimp there. I had decided to put all wall sockets on 20-amp circuits and all ceiling lighting on 15-amp. In my media room/office alone I have 4, 20A circuits driving 4 dedicated zones of power, and a 5th 30-amp circuit for my mini-split heat pump. I don't have any exotic gear that requires that much available power, but it's there if I need and want it. I don't want the lights to ever dim, for any reason! I installed a 100-amp sub-panel that feeds the 12 circuits for the entire basement. Never worked with #2 gauge wire before. That was fun! I let an electrician hook it up to my mains panel.

So far I'm happy, but it's a project I want to end too!

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post #839 of 840 Old Yesterday, 05:30 PM
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Power/Amps to your room

All you guys are talking about how much power you ran to your rooms and that's great.
RedJr, seems like you have a total of about 125 amps running to your room on the different circuits (but obviously limited to 100 by your panel).
My question is, did you guys actually need to upgrade the service to your house?
I think I have 200 amps coming into my main panel for the entire service for my house.
I can easily just run a 100 amp sub-panel for the theater, but I'm wondering if that's been a problem for anyone and they actually needed to upgrade their service from the street.


Thanks,
Bill.
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post #840 of 840 Old Yesterday, 07:09 PM
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All you guys are talking about how much power you ran to your rooms and that's great.
RedJr, seems like you have a total of about 125 amps running to your room on the different circuits (but obviously limited to 100 by your panel).
My question is, did you guys actually need to upgrade the service to your house?
I think I have 200 amps coming into my main panel for the entire service for my house.
I can easily just run a 100 amp sub-panel for the theater, but I'm wondering if that's been a problem for anyone and they actually needed to upgrade their service from the street.


Thanks,
Bill.
That's probably going to depend on the current load in your house, along with the equipment going in your HT room. For instance, do you have a electric strip heating, all electric appliances (vs gas heating and gas range, etc.). How many and what types of AC units, etc. You could be sitting at a max load of 100 amps with all of your current electric loads, or could be sitting at 190 amps (probably not this tight), which would determine whether or not you need additional service.

So, there really is no way to answer that without knowing more about your house, HVAC units (size, LRA/FLA), etc.

Now, me and electricity are not friends (I've just had to throw myself into amp loads lately for both a work generator and new home where I'll get a generator), but my understanding is the only thing that matters is the load of your equipment. Meaning, you could have 100 15 amp breakers in breaker boxes, which would be 1500 amps if all of them were drawing full, being driven by a 200 amp service, if at any given time you didn't surpass 200 amps.
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