Crazy attic home theater??? Need some advice! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-24-2008, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I have viewed the threads (there are just a few) about attic theaters.

In short, I am getting ready to build a dedicated theater. I already have a theater in a shared space in the house. My daughter recently moved out leaving a 13x20 room in which I was planning to build the theater. It would be a great space.

But now I am thinking of doing this crazy thing up in the attic. It would be about 14x21 or so. The space is totally unfinished. from the floor to the roof peak is just a hair over 8'.

My 92" diag Carada screen would just fit (it would be about 4" lower than it's current installation.

I see some hurdles ahead: would the floor support the weight? Limited headroom along the sides.

I am not going to tear up the roof to add a dormer, so I would have to work with what I have.

I figured the dimensions would be like this:

14' x 20', 8' to the peak, 4.5' at the walls.

It would make an interesting theater as access would be challenging etc.

My wife loves the idea. She thinks it would be neat and it would save this other bedroom for guests etc.

What do you guys think? I have attached a pic so you can get an idea of what we are talking about.
LL
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-24-2008, 10:21 PM
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What kind of budget do you have in mind. I see lots of potential but the cost of converting this space into a theater is gunna be vary costly. The one thing you point out is supporting the weight of the floor and dont forget Heating and cooling the space.

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post #3 of 13 Old 01-24-2008, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, I have looked at that. I was planning on some direct ceiling vents and a some small Cadet electric heaters.

I am concerned about the floor loading. The joists are 2x6, but the are supported by many walls underneath. The main floor is 2x12's. I plan on having an engineer come and take a look at the structure. I can sister joists if need be.

Thanks!
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-25-2008, 01:56 AM
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=\\ small space to work with here. Perhap projection isn't a good idea, maybe a large flat screen?

It you are plan to have carpet up there, make sure the paint goes on the wall of both side match it. It'd make the place look bigger. *something i learned from HGTV =)
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-25-2008, 03:31 AM
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Depending on your building codes, you could run 2x12s alongside (and fixed to) the 2x6s. This will reduce the room height of course but the floor loading capability will have doubled.

If it's at second story height or more there may be some other regulations regarding fire and escape that may need taking into account as well. Sometimes new metal support joists have to be fitted and a new floor installed to give added protection from fire below, or at least a second layer of plasterboard added to the ceilings below.

I had a loft cinema room in my last house and to get a wider image due to the limitation the sloping roof gave I went for a 2.35:1 screen and anamorphic lens. Depending on the floor height you end up with you may only be able to manage a 7ft wide 16:9 or 8ft wide 2.35:1 screen unless you want the screen very close to the floor, in which case you can go a bit wider

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post #6 of 13 Old 01-25-2008, 05:22 AM
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How about flipping the rooms? Finish the attic for the guest room, and use the 13x20' bedroom for the theater?
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-25-2008, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post

How about flipping the rooms? Finish the attic for the guest room, and use the 13x20' bedroom for the theater?

I think that's the ideal solution!

Reason being that I had a loft cinema room in my last place, and the house I've just bought will have a dedicated room (albeit a tad smaller) on the ground floor. It'll be more convenient and easier to access than stairs etc. and there'll not be any problems with head height or screen size restrictions either. If you're like me, you'll be watching movies more than having guests, so Tedd's idea makes sense IMHO (hope the wife agrees!).

If you get the loft done professionally, you could have an en suite for the guests up there as well. It certainly looks big enough.

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post #8 of 13 Old 01-25-2008, 12:22 PM
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I was thinking you either go loft style suite, or do a simple guestroom and keep the costs down.

We did an attic master suite in one of my sister in law's home, and all the various ceiling angles really look incredible. It was a bit of a design challenge but the results were impressive.
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-25-2008, 01:42 PM
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Besides redoing the floor joists, there are also building codes for the minimum height for the side knee walls that meet up with the sloped ceiling. I think it is a 4' minimum. Since you don't have a whole lot of head room, I think the room will get awfull narrow.

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post #10 of 13 Old 01-26-2008, 01:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info guys. Here is some more info as I did a few more measurement:

My 92" Carada screen will fit OK. I will have to lower it 3.5" from it's current installed height. That will make it 26" off the floor and give me about and inch of clearance drywalled.

The knee walls would be 4.5' tall at the 14' width, so that should be OK.

I think the idea of putting a bedroom up there is an excellent idea. Less worry about floor loading etc. I will talk with the wife and see what she says.

I am also concerned about the building codes as well. That will be my next research.

Thanks guys!

Mike
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post #11 of 13 Old 01-26-2008, 09:33 AM
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keep in mind also, that adding a guest room in the attic will add value to the home

sounds like switching the rooms around is a sound idea, no pun intended.
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post #12 of 13 Old 01-26-2008, 10:02 AM
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If you convert the attic to a bedroom, a window would have to be added for it to be considered a "bedroom."

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post #13 of 13 Old 01-28-2008, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Roger that. I am going to have an engineer stop by this week and give me the structural low down. If it is a doable thing with the existing space and maybe some sistering, it will be the new theater. I just love the idea of the hidden theater.
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