Thanks to all,
WOOlly, how did it work out for you on Sunday?
I think I'm going to stick with option #1. I figure staggered studs,DD and GG built around the furnace will probably to the trick.
In my area I believe it's code to put up a louver door for furnace access. But, I also heard that is only needed if your are drawing in indoor air. I have a high effeciency furnace that that draws fresh air from the outside and also vents to the outside (probably why it's so loud), so this would not require a louver door. A solid core door would definitely help contain the sound.
Also, I will not be doing a second row. My plan is to do either 3 theater seats with a bar and bar stools/chairs as a "second row". No need for a riser, trying to save head room. Another option is one of those 5 person couches with built in chaise lounges for the end seats, with the bar and seating for the second row.
We don't entertain a lot so I think this will work and save $ on seating.
What do you guys think?
Anyone elses input woul be greatly appreciated.
Don't fear what you can't conquer. Don't hate what you don't understand