The RTROSE (take my sweet time) HT Construction Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2103 Old 06-14-2007, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I even debated if I should even start a HT construction thread, but I figured "What the hey" I don't have anything to lose and I have lots to gain from you all here at AVS.

As the title states I will be taking my sweet time with this project for several reasons.

1) Like many of you I have a family, job, and other things all clamoring for my time/attention.

2) When it comes to home improvement and home projects I am just slow. It is just the way I'm wired, much to the chagrin of my better half, but I'm not speedy when it comes to construction.

3) Budget limitations due to this being a total finishing out of the basement to include a dedicated HT, workout area, storage, and a kids multi-media "hangout" room.

The actual HT will be approximately 13 x 20 with 7.5 foot ceilings and I am still in the actual planning stages of the HT but have started "banging nails" for the kids area. This alone is getting me excited for the HT part.

There are many things still left to plan regarding the HT and this site really does not help due to the fact my plans keep changing from all the new info I get from here from AVS.

As time allows I provide some pics of what is going on, but first off those of you having built a HT is it better to build a screen wall that is AT and lose some valuable space, or is it better to keep the space and place the speakers on stands or floor next to the screen?

This is the biggest dilemma at the moment. I had just planned on using speaker mounts and placing the speakers to the side and under the screen and after seeing some of the theaters here I have appreciated the clean look of the theaters where the speakers are not visible.

Here I go slowly into this amazing journey. Hopefully I will be done in time for my oldest's graduation party in 2013!

Regards,

RTROSE

Well at the request of a poster later on in my build I have just now (4-23-09) gotten around to putting in a floor plan on this my first post. Sorry for the crude nature of the floor plan but I am in the learning stages of using Google Sketchup. Here ya go.



Ok at the request of the same poster (Drew you pesky devil you) who wanted a stick and paper representation here is a traditional drawing of my basement.



Hope this satisfies you Drew and all others who are wondering what the basement set up actually is.

Regards,

RTROSE

 

EDIT:  Thought it would be nice for those of you who start out with the first post to have some before and after shots to know how I got from here to "almost finished".

 

Kids media room.

 

 

 

 

 

Theater

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe these pics will encourage you to read further, or maybe not.  It has been quite the journey though, why not come along for the ride.



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post #2 of 2103 Old 06-14-2007, 04:21 PM
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I'm taking my time as well, but my time frame is more geared towards later this year, early next year. By 2013, all the decisions I make now would be wrong. By then, the audio standard will be 16.1 and my columns would be all wrong...

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post #3 of 2103 Old 06-14-2007, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

As time allows I provide some pics of what is going on, but first off those of you having built a HT is it better to build a screen wall that is AT and lose some valuable space, or is it better to keep the space and place the speakers on stands or floor next to the screen?

This is the biggest dilemma at the moment. I had just planned on using speaker mounts and placing the speakers to the side and under the screen and after seeing some of the theaters here I have appreciated the clean look of the theaters where the speakers are not visible.

Well, for me, I didn't want to lose the space. Of course, my front wall is somewhat unique. The top of the screen wall slopes (at the 8' mark) to the ceiling. I put all three of my speakers up there and due to the slope, they're perfectly angled toward the listening area. The front wall and ceiling are painted black and the speakers are also black. The sound is great (center sounds like it's coming right from the screen) and the majority of people that have seen my theater don't even notice that the speakers are up there. Here's a crappy picture, but you get the idea (they're not that noticeable with the screen there and without a flash):


"The dream never dies, just the dreamer."

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post #4 of 2103 Old 06-14-2007, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Stew,

that is a pretty good solution for the room layout. In my basement I won't have the sloping walls like you do and I'm concerned with losing valuable real estate in the basement if it is not necessary. Time will tell.

More on the dedicated HT. I am looking for a screen size of 114" to 120" 16 x 9. I am pretty sure I am going the DIY paint route with one of the "simpler" mixes pairing the screen with a 1080p projector.

I will most likely have the first seating area around 10-11 feet and then a raised bar type seating 2-3 feet behind that. My equipment rack will be at the rear wall with acess from the back side.

I just finished a big time consuming project tonight so I'm hoping this weekend will be a productive one in the basement.

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #5 of 2103 Old 06-14-2007, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
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This area was the work out area and now will be the kids media-hang out room.



On the wall in the photo I'm planning on constructing built in cabinets/shelving to store the kids stuff along with putting a LCD TV, 3.1 surround, VCR/DVD, and a game system.

As you can see there is nothing special about the basement yet. A clean slate so to speak. As the weekend progresses I'll try to take more photos of my progress or lack there of!

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #6 of 2103 Old 06-14-2007, 09:35 PM
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Take your time in the planning as well. We did our HT room at the same time as the rest of our basement, and just designed things on the fly... not a good idea.

Our room sizes are almost identical. I went with the speakers out in front of the screen, but if I had to do it over, I would probably hide them. I don't mind the look of the speakers, it is that they can become somewhat distracting while watching a movie. I am going to be adding black fabric to my screen wall, which will help them blend in a bit more, and I will be darkening up my side walls as well, which should hopefully negate the shadows that run along the walls during brighter motion scenes.

Before you pick a screen size, you should really spend some time watching some content at the sizes your are thinking, and the distance you plan on sitting from the screen. 114" to 120" 1.78:1 aspect ratio from 10-11 feet seems quite large. I waited until I got my projector and threw images up on the wall for a couple of weeks before I picked a screen size and aspect ratio (I ended up going around 114" diag 2.40:1 with the front row around 12 feet).

Do you have any plans for sound isolation? While you have a blank canvas, this is the time to starting thinking about how you are going to deal with that.

Ready, Fire, Aim...

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post #7 of 2103 Old 06-14-2007, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron_hinni View Post

Do you have any plans for sound isolation? While you have a blank canvas, this is the time to starting thinking about how you are going to deal with that.


I am "educating" myself on this issue and I am planning so far to insulate the walls and ceiling with standard fiberglass "pink stuff" and looking into installing the isolation clips for the ceiling. I don't know much about the GG and layers of wall board still doing some reading on that.

I will be taking my time in the design stage too as you suggested. I am working out how I am going to pre-wire for all of the "goodies" I want.

My main goal is to get the basic frame work done so I have some building blocks to work from.



Not the best shot and messy to say the least but were all of the plastic shelves are is where the screen is going to be.

On the right side of the picture behind the 2 x 6 wall is where the new work out area is going to be.

I will definitely do some experimenting on screen size to see what I prefer and will go from there.

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #8 of 2103 Old 06-15-2007, 08:18 AM
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Where do you plan on putting the equipment and the entry door? This is the part that I somewhat pooched in my room. Having double doors opening in... not good, and having the equipment closet where I put it ended up causing some problems.

As far as the sound isolation goes, do some reading on the Green Glue site and look at the various framing techniques that are recommended (staggered studs etc). If you can afford it, two layers of drywall and GG are a good way to go. The other big thing to worry about with sound isolation is w/ the HVAC.

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post #9 of 2103 Old 06-18-2007, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Just a quick update.

Was only able to spend about 4 hours in the basement over the weekend so I did not get very much done. Told you all I was slow, didn't I.

Happy belated Fathers Day to all of you dads.

Does anybody have any suggestions regarding built in cabinets? I'm going to purchase a book on them but wondered if anybody here has built any for a multi purpose room. If so show me your pics.

Got some free time this PM wife at work and kids are with a friend so I'm going to go down and get to work.

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #10 of 2103 Old 06-19-2007, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Have you ever noticed when working on the HT that time is expanded (or compressed) depending on your point of view. I worked four hours yesterday and two today and I felt like I had only been working for just a few minutes. I wonder why that is.

As I progress during the build and become increasingly closer to my goal of a finished HT does time then go the other way?

The past few days have provided slow but steady progress. I have gotten the kids area mostly framed out and am starting to tie in the framing to the other parts of the basement.

Nobody has answered my question regarding built ins. Any guidance here would be greatly appreciated.

Also how many out there have had other home projects "tie in" with the HT build. I am finding other things in the basement I should consider working into the finishing out the basement. I have some older (7-10 year old) equipment furnace, water softener and water purifier that may or may not need some attention. I figured these items are better checked into before anything is completely finished. These items have not been any problem so far, but you just never know.

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #11 of 2103 Old 06-20-2007, 04:39 AM
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Yes, the space time continuum is drastically altered when one is in the basement. What feels like 10 minutes to you, will feel like 2 days to your significant other This will eventually be a point of contention. It is inevitable.

The Master HT Builder has learned to navigate this very treacherous situation. I am not there yet, but I am getting better.

Gonzo


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post #12 of 2103 Old 06-20-2007, 05:15 AM
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You will also notice that the closer you are getting to being finished, that you are nowhere near being finished. I don't think these things are ever really get finished.

As far as the builtin in cabinets go, I'd spend some time over in the general purpose media room forum, as you might be able to find some good examples there. Then again, what is your purpose for them? Are you wanting them in the room for DVD storage, or for your equipment, or is this for outside the room for your kids or something? Folks might be able to give you some better suggestions if you state your intent.

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post #13 of 2103 Old 06-20-2007, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbgonzomd View Post

Yes, the space time continuum is drastically altered when one is in the basement. What feels like 10 minutes to you, will feel like 2 days to your significant other This will eventually be a point of contention. It is inevitable.

The Master HT Builder has learned to navigate this very treacherous situation. I am not there yet, but I am getting better.


I am definitely not the master HT builder yet (long, long way to go), but I have learned that while I am busy doing my thing, as long as I also work some on my "honey do's" so she sees progress we have continued to live in harmony...."sigh" But is sure is strange how I can go to the basement and not surface for 4 plus hours and it seems as though I have just gotten a good start on things.

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #14 of 2103 Old 06-20-2007, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron_hinni View Post

You will also notice that the closer you are getting to being finished, that you are nowhere near being finished. I don't think these things are ever really get finished.

As far as the builtin in cabinets go, I'd spend some time over in the general purpose media room forum, as you might be able to find some good examples there. Then again, what is your purpose for them? Are you wanting them in the room for DVD storage, or for your equipment, or is this for outside the room for your kids or something? Folks might be able to give you some better suggestions if you state your intent.


I kind of figured as much. When I built my deck and put the decking on I thought I about had it licked, but I was sadly mistaken bout that! The "finishing touches" is what took me the majority of my time and energy!

Regarding the built in cabinets here is somewhat the look I'm going for.



I need closed storage for the kids stuff (games, toys, DVD's, VHS) Open shelf space to display the kids awards, trophys, nick knacks ect. and then the center for the TV, DVD player, game system, a/v receiver ect.

The picture is not exactly what I want and I don't think anything affordable is available commercially to fill approximately 13 ft of wall space. The unit pictured is from 2500 to 3000 dollars so I was going to build my own.

1) To reduce cost. Unless DIY is more expensive in this case.

2) Get exactly what I need.

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #15 of 2103 Old 06-24-2007, 09:14 PM
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RTROSE,

That unit looks pretty nice. I'm not sure about the availability of a commercial unit that will cover as much wall as you need. The other thing you need to consider is whether that unit will fit down into your basement. Your only option may be to build it. You might want to google to see if there are any plans available online.

How is your construction coming along? Curious to see how the build is coming.

Living up to my user name,

dazed

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post #16 of 2103 Old 07-01-2007, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello Everyone,

Have been away for a while and thought I would update all. My HT construction has come to a stand still for now. Due to other "projects" in and around the house and work considerations I have not been able to do much in the basement which is a real bummer.

I have also learned that by using borrowed tools you are at the mercy of the lender (the price for saving money). So I will be purchasing some of the construction tools I need vs. borrowing them (framing nailer and air compressor). I guess borrowing would work if I just worked faster or other things did not come up taking time away from my HT build.

dazed,

I have actually given thought to the fact the unit may not fit down the basement staircase. I would ideally have a walkout basement, but this is not the case. I am having quite the time finding something commercially available to fit my space (for a reasonable price anyway), and I have done some "googling" in an attempt to find something close to what I am looking for, but just have not found it yet. I have even looked for plans for such and animal but still no such luck. I'll keep searching, but it is looking like I will just have to build it myself to get exactly what I want.

Another question I would like to pose is how many out there run a second or third zone off of your main A/V receiver? I was planning on running at least two zones off of my primary receiver and was wondering how it works out for everyone or if they have had issues what those issues may be.

I sure hope I can get back to pounding nails soon or it will be 2013 when this thing is done!

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #17 of 2103 Old 07-01-2007, 09:26 PM
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Your title says that your plan on taking your sweet time, so don't sweat it. I am stuck in the finish up other things before getting back to the HT room as well. The time away gives you time to plan.

Go get yourself an air compressor. I've not used a framing nailer, but have found all sorts of uses for the finish nailer, brad nailer and stapler. The little Porter Cable pancake compressor w/ the bundle of guns has been one of the best things I've bought.

Quote:


Another question I would like to pose is how many out there run a second or third zone off of your main A/V receiver? I was planning on running at least two zones off of my primary receiver and was wondering how it works out for everyone or if they have had issues what those issues may be.

I wired for 3 pairs of in ceiling speakers in the main area of my basement outside of the theater room, and another pair in the basement bathroom, along with a pair to go out on our deck. I plan on getting some sort of audio distribution system at some point, but for now, I just have one pair of the basement speakers hooked up to the second zone of my receiver.

I love having the music in the main area, but I have to go into the HT room and use the 2nd room remote to control the speakers in the other room. I'd rather do it from a keypad closer to the speakers, or through a remote and some sort of IR distribution. I also plan on switching from 5.1 to 7.1, and my 2nd room speakers are on the amp that will eventually get allocated to my rear surrounds. It would also be nice to have the other sets of speakers hooked up.

Regardless of what you decide, I'd highly recommend wiring for anything that you think you might possibly want before you put up any insulation or drywall.

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post #18 of 2103 Old 07-02-2007, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
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aaron,

I'm with ya on the prewire for everything and running extra for future applications. Much easier now vs. doing it when all the drywall is up and finished.

Speaking of IR distribution and repeaters is there a favorite brand out there? This is one of the many things that I just have very little info or knowledge about. I know I will probably need one due to the 2nd zone option and the fact my A/V rack will be at the back of the room. I figured I would not want to lift my arm and point backwards at the rack so an IR repeater will be necessary.

I'm not sweating the build, it will get done eventually. It just seems when I plan on doing some construction in the basement something else needs my attention. That is just life I guess, just too many projects going on at once.

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #19 of 2103 Old 07-02-2007, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

Speaking of IR distribution and repeaters is there a favorite brand out there? This is one of the many things that I just have very little info or knowledge about. I know I will probably need one due to the 2nd zone option and the fact my A/V rack will be at the back of the room. I figured I would not want to lift my arm and point backwards at the rack so an IR repeater will be necessary.

I think Buffalo Electronics and Xantech are the popular ones around here. If you get something for audio distribution, it may have its own solution. Do some searches on here, and you can figure out everything you need.

I am currently just shooting over my shoulder. My projector gets controlled by just shooting the remote at the screen and the IR bouncing back. I will eventually put in something to repeat the IR from the screen wall to my equipment rack so I don't have to go over the shoulder for the other equipment though.

I ran cat5 cable from my closet to the front of the room, and also from the closet to the projector to use for future IR eyes or emitters. I also ran cat5 to keypad locations in the basement and deck for my other zones. If you plan on putting in some sort of lighting control (like a Grafik Eye) that can be controlled via remote, you might want to wire cat 5 to that location as well.

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post #20 of 2103 Old 07-05-2007, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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aaron,

Thanks I'll look those up and get to reading. I think you may have said this already, but it is amazing as I plan my HT no matter how I plan, I read around here and discover something else I need to consider! Sheesh.......sometimes I wished I had remained an uneducated goof that would still be happy watching DVD in 480i on a 32" tube TV!

The one thing that is to my advantage is I am so slow the technology is improving and coming down in price that if I had built my HT when I first started thinking about it I would have spent more money than I will now to get less performance and then would need to upgrade at about now! So I guess that is a good thing.

I'm planning on some vacation time coming up in the not so distant future (and I currently don't see any honey do's on the radar screen) so I should be able to get back downstairs and get back to it.

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #21 of 2103 Old 07-10-2007, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
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All,

I'm on vacation now for a couple of weeks so I should make some progress in the basement. I was able to work today for about three hours down there and it felt good to get back to work.

It still amazes me that the three hours I spent working down there went so fast. I almost have the kids multimedia area completely framed and I am working on framing the wall that leads into the dedicated HT area.

Making some progress, but a very long way to go for sure. When I get some more done I'll post some pics.

I have decided to build my shelving I just can't find a commercial application that fits my needs and is reasonable in price. I have been looking for plans on the net and even that is turning up very few options. Anybody have suggestions where I can look further?

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #22 of 2103 Old 07-11-2007, 08:04 AM
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What sort of shelving are you talking about?

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post #23 of 2103 Old 07-11-2007, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

Anybody have suggestions where I can look further?

For basic white MDF/laminate cabinet boxes made to order at a reasonable price:

http://www.cabparts.com/main.html

You need to pretend that you are in the business, not just a homeowner to buy from them. Take the time to down load the catalog. You will be surprised at the cabinet options and pricing. It hardly pays to try to make your own.

Then get cabinet doors from:

http://www.maplecraftusa.com/


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post #24 of 2103 Old 07-12-2007, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Big,

Thanks for that. I very quickly checked the site and it looks as if it may fit my needs. I'll go back and down load the catalog to get a better idea.

I wasn't looking forward to doing a DIY built in type of thing, especially at the speed at which I do things. ;-)

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #25 of 2103 Old 07-12-2007, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

For basic white MDF/laminate cabinet boxes made to order at a reasonable price:

http://www.cabparts.com/main.html

You need to pretend that you are in the business, not just a homeowner to buy from them. Take the time to down load the catalog. You will be surprised at the cabinet options and pricing. It hardly pays to try to make your own.

Then get cabinet doors from:

http://www.maplecraftusa.com/

Thanks big! doh, now I wont have to buy a table saw...

Loganed on 4/8/2008

List to be completed
Install blinds - DONE
Finish plumbing my bathroom - WIP
Build EQ Shelves - WIP
Program insteon - DONE

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post #26 of 2103 Old 07-12-2007, 10:03 AM
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Thanks big! doh, now I wont have to buy a table saw...

What!?! And not get a new tool. Sacrilege!!

.................
Michael

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post #27 of 2103 Old 07-12-2007, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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What!?! And not get a new tool. Sacrilege!!

Oh No! That won't happen. I always manage to get new tools into any "home improvement" project and the basement/HT won't be any different.

Looking at getting a nice compressor and framing gun as a start to this project. Pounding nails the old fashion way SUCKS! ;-)

I forgive you Big, you were just trying to help and my wife doesn't read AVS (that I know of anyway) so I'm safe!

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #28 of 2103 Old 07-12-2007, 11:05 AM
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Phew. Tool purchase crisis averted.

And yes, a compressor and assortment of airtools (starting with the framer and then eventually a finish gun) are a must.

After a while you start to run out of major tools to purchase and start having to invent projects that require some new doohickie or another.

.................
Michael

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post #29 of 2103 Old 07-12-2007, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathan View Post

Phew. Tool purchase crisis averted.

And yes, a compressor and assortment of airtools (starting with the framer and then eventually a finish gun) are a must.

After a while you start to run out of major tools to purchase and start having to invent projects that require some new doohickie or another.

Amen =), air tools makes things so much easier when your doing things by yourself, I still have nightmares of hanging a door, while plumb, holding a nail and hitting it with a hammer...

Brad nailers are good as well, especially for window sills.

Loganed on 4/8/2008

List to be completed
Install blinds - DONE
Finish plumbing my bathroom - WIP
Build EQ Shelves - WIP
Program insteon - DONE

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post #30 of 2103 Old 07-12-2007, 12:26 PM
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Compressors are good other than the damn noise, IF you don't fall Face first onto them from a ladder. LOL

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