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"Interesting Name" build thread

post #1 of 249
Thread Starter 
In the beginning:

I've started on my journey to my home theater/family room basement remodel. As many on here do, I will be doing most of the work by my self, or with the assistance of some friends in the HT and construction industries. Also, I am very cheap, so this whole basement must be done for less than $5000 (not including furniture or A/V equipment). I work for a retailer that sells furniture and electronics so I have the hook up there (Cost or dealer accommodations)

My room:
Is currently a partially finished 1200sqft basement (finished area is about 750 sqft) dressed in full 1970's decor. Dark walnut paneling, shaker shingles, faux ceiling beams, faux candle sconces. There is an unused brick wood burning fireplace. Wet bar. 1/2 bath that has paneling and shag carpet (Yes shag in a bathroom, it makes me sick thinking of it)

My plans:
Remove paneling and drywall behind paneling to install insulation and to run new electrical and low voltage wires. I will leave the ceiling drywall intact, however, I will be installing new drywall on top of it with new can lighting. Demo fireplace and build a screen wall that will have a AT screen with my LCR speakers placed behind the screen. Redo the wet bar with new cabinets sink and countertops. Gut the bathroom, install new floor, sink, toilet, and install a shower.

I do not plan on doing much for sound isolation, as this will be open to other parts of the house, and I've realized I don't listen to movies very loud. And for those off times that I do, the wife and kids will more than likely be down stairs too. I will however, try to focus some energy (time and money) on sound treatments.

I will plan on upgrading equipment as money allow, so I will spend the $$ on making the room upgradeable as possible with in my budget.

My equipment:
Most of my current equipment will transfer over to the new room, also most of it is a few years old. But as I said above, I am planning on making the room/area upgradeable so newer equipment can be added.

I currently have a Sony 1251q CRT projector that will be used initially for the theater. This may be switched over to a DLP or LCD projector, if I can find one that I like. I paid $50 for my 1251, so for a cost to performance rating it might take me a while to find a bulb projector I like as much as the CRT.

My receiver is a few year old denon avr 1705 that will stand in place until I decide to spend the coin on a new one.

Toshiba HD-DVD player- the format may be dead, but my player still works.

My speakers are something I've been kicking around replacing, but I love them: JBL HLS series 810's, center, and 410's for the rear. They sound fantastic, so we'll see if they get replaced, again I'm cheap.

I'll try to update this thread as I move along. Pictures will also follow.

post #2 of 249
Thread Starter 
The start:
Yesterday I began the process of removing the paneling. This was easier than I had anticipated as the glue holding it on had disengaged and only a few nails were holding each piece of paneling in place. During this process, I discovered a few things some funny, others not so funny and may lead to other issues as I move along.

1: this space has the soul of a HT. I knew the previous owner (and builder of my house) had a projector screen in the basement just a few feet in front of where I plan on having mine. I accidentally ripped it down during our tour of the house (but that's another story). But what I didn't know was he had installed in ceiling speakers, and a remote volume control. Know, keep in mind this was about 30 years ago, so it's a little outdated and none of it can, nor will it be, reused. But, he knew that this basement had the soul of a theater! I can only hope to bring it to life.

2. Termites will eat the paper off of drywall.

(Just kidding! I tore down the drywall before I could get a pic.)
Termites were once living behind my walls. They are long gone now, but I'm not sure if they got to the studs or not. We'll see once I remove the drywall. They are messy creatures that's for sure.

I also was able to remove the shingles and the faux beams from the ceiling.
post #3 of 249
Thread Starter 
update: I've been under the weather for the last few days. I had hoped to have removed all the drywall by today. Unfortunatly, I was only able to get about 1/3 of it down. But we were able to get all of the nails removed from the rafters and the walls that we are keeping up. This week I'll have to get a dumpster for all the rubble I'm creating. You can see in the pics that there is currently a 4ft pile of trash that needs to be removed. That should be fun.

First plan change: Ceiling drywall removal, well, after thinking about it, I decided it might be wise for me to remove the ceiling drywall. Why? So I can trace the f-d up wiring that is going on in my basement. Also it will make it easier to run and install the whole house audio system I have yet to plan or figure out how to afford. So far we have found 3 dead mice... 3 dead mice....

As it was a week ago.

I think a dead mouse fell on me! (i'm on the left)

This is how the pros do it, right?

What it will look like in about 5 years.... nah, about 6 months.

you can see where I removed the paneling, shingles, faux ceiling beams. I can't yet stomach the removal of the projector.... one more movie, then it will come down.

What's daddy doing? He's making a mess? Daddy's crazy!
post #4 of 249
hey buddy, it's been 5 months since we last met. Is that you in color red/maroon shirt?
post #5 of 249
Thread Starter 
yes it is. Has it been 5 months already? WOW. Well as you can see, my basement is going to look a little different that what it did when you were here.

How's the progress going on yours? I've been following your "fan mod" thread, and I'm very impressed. I'm sure I'll get to doing mine while the theater is under construction.

Take care
post #6 of 249
Originally Posted by imprez25 View Post

yes it is. Has it been 5 months already? WOW. Well as you can see, my basement is going to look a little different that what it did when you were here.

How's the progress going on yours? I've been following your "fan mod" thread, and I'm very impressed. I'm sure I'll get to doing mine while the theater is under construction.

Take care

Yep, we met sometime mid September last year. I haven't started my theater yet. I don't know if I should start this year. I have to check first how our company is doing. It's been going down and down lately.

I like the fan mod. I'm glad that the guys at CRT shared what needs to be added. The few first pic of my zener diode was incorrect. I got an incorrect information from jkrugger but he corrected it. The correct wiring: the dark side of the 5.1v zener diode should be away from the fan on the red wire.

I'm also having some fun with my 2 Autopatch 1YDM device. I stacked them together last night using serial cable. I am now able to reroute hd signals to my theater in the basement and at the same time to the family room(110ft). I got them both at $76 from ebay. Check this out. You will see the HDFury directly hooked to the Autopatch device. We don't need to buy that power supply anymore. With Autopatch, you can route it to your entire house.

I like your SketchUp plan!!! I'm glad that you've started. Keep us posted! PICS PICS PICS
post #7 of 249
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm home from work sick today... Day 2 of that....

In my down time I have been working on my sketch up, making some changes. I figure it's easier to fix issues on the computer vs trying to rip apart drywall and 2x4's. Any way, I decided to block off the "theater/game/family room" from the rest of the house. For buget reasons, I will not be doing much of any sound isolation, other than insulation. Maybe next time.

I have labled some of the key features, and new features that I have added.
Feel free to post comments or suggestions.

post #8 of 249
I know this is going to be a little off topic from an HT discussion, but have you had a ventless FP before? I have had several clients/homebuyers that we installed them for, and they have had a LOT of problems with them. I refuse to install them anymore and tell current buyers that if they have to have one, hire somebody else because I don't want to be responsible. If you are going to have one, please, please, PLEASE make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector installed close by.
post #9 of 249
Thread Starter 
I have not, but I don't plan on using it much, its there really to replace the fireplace that my screen wall will be taking up. I am fully aware of the issues and debate that surrounds the use of ventless fireplaces. I have been in houses with them, as has my wife and children, and neither of us (the kids didn't seem to mind either) had any issue with the smell (lack of smell) coming from it.

As for the carbon monoxide detector, in Illinois it is now the law to have one if you have gas coming into your house. (we have two one upstairs and one down).

Thanks for you suggestion.
post #10 of 249
Thread Starter 
okay an update. My plans are chaning daily now as my wife and I try to work out "agreements" on room lay out. She is getting excited and is happy to lend her input in to the room lay out and design. Google sketchup is perfect for this. We worked through a few things last night and she said, "draw it up on sketchup and let me see what it will look like."

Anyways, I've been busy this weekend with some demo. This is a much larger undertaking that I had anticipated. Being sick and trying to demo isn't fun though either.

Enjoy the pics:

My entryway, looking down into the destruction zone.

2/3 of the drywall down. Just a little more to go. Oh, the fireplace has been the wife and my biggest dissagreement.

More demo. I'm really opening the place up!
post #11 of 249
Thread Starter 
Here is a new "redesign" that my wife and I worked through. What do you guys think?
post #12 of 249
Thread Starter 
post #13 of 249
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post #14 of 249
Thread Starter 
Okay, I don't have any progress updates, I'm still in the demo mode. There is a lot of stuff to remove. But I have been looking over my design and I stumbled into the Accustical Treatment thread, i think that might have been a big mistake. I'm still not too concerned with sound isolation, but I am interested in reflection points. My "theater area" is essentially free standing in the room, with no real side walls to speak of. Based on this design is there any chance of incorporating any sound treatments?

Thanks for the help.
post #15 of 249
Thread Starter 
Okay I ordered my Dumpster today, so all of the debris from my basement will be gone by the weekend, and construction should begin shortly. The wife and I are going out tonight to price building supplies. Drywall in our area just dropped in price, so it seems we are getting started at the right time. I priced carpet yesterday and I can't get over the price of installation. It will be about $1400 for the whole basement for just the install plus about another $1400 for carpet and pad, $2800 isn't in the budget for flooring. So a wood floor it shall be, i can do it for just over $1000.

I'll post pics once all of the garbage is gone and we are looking at a clean slate.
post #16 of 249
Thread Starter 
Nearly a month of deconstruction... Whew! There was alot of stuff down there. Almost 20yrds worth. I have removed all of the garbage and debris and in the process filled a 20 yrd dumpster. My wife and neighbors were impressed. Anyways here is the 90% clean slate pics. I still have to remove the fireplace hearth.

post #17 of 249
Thread Starter 

More pics that (don't seem to be working.....)
post #18 of 249
Thread Starter 
No new pics or really any updates, but I did want to bump this to ask a question.

My basement is not "that" big, what I am finishing is around 600 sqft. Every time I go to plan the switches for my lights I seem to have way too many, around 7 "zones". Does this seem like a lot?
I'll have:
2 6" cans at the base of the steps - switched
4 6" cans in the table/game area opposite the fireplace wall - dimmed
4 6" cans in the movie "zone" - dimmed
3 4" cans above the screen for accent lighting - dimmed
3 4" cans in the soffited area infront of the bar counter - dimmed
1 4 bulb hologen track above the fireplace - dimmed
Rope lights around the movie zone in crown molding - dimmed

That's 7 zones am I over doing it or does this seem about right?
Thanks for the help
post #19 of 249
Thread Starter 
No pics yet:
But framing began about 2 weeks ago. The wife and I decided to move back to a modified plan one with the screen wall where the fireplace is (used to be). We also decided to go ahead a build an office area while we have the basement torn apart. The office is where I have been focusing my time and energy. I nearly have the framing complete. I should be done this weekend and moving on to electical next week. It's been difficult getting work done with the nice weather lately. Luckily this weekend should bring some rain and some progress on the basement.

I'll post new pics later this weekend once I get the framing done and also post up new sketchup drawing.
post #20 of 249
Thread Starter 
Sketchup updates:

post #21 of 249
Thread Starter 
I'm getting closer to actually working on the theater area. I've been focusing my attention on the office/laundry room space. I have decided to use a double pocket door to close off the office area from the family/theater room, so this is causing me some headaches and design/build issues.

Working around work, two kids, spring time nice weather, and other basic family and house hold tasks is making this out to be much larger than what I had planned for. Oh well, it will be worth it in the end! I'll post more pics later.
post #22 of 249
Thread Starter 
Okay so I purchased a couple of pocket doors last night from Menards and attempted to install them. Long story short... I'm returning them and buying a 48" x 80" french door.

The wall that was going to have the double pocket doors would have been built entirely out of the pockets ( 8' 1/2" wide wall). I don't feel this would have been a good idea. Menards has a 48" wide French door on sale right now for $250. I think this will be a better option in the long run as I won't have to worry about the door falling off it's tracks, or coming out of alignment.
post #23 of 249
Thread Starter 
Again no pictures, but I thought I would update how things are going. I have, for the most part, completed framing. Just my bar and the base of my screen wall remain to be framed. I am only framing in the bottom plate of my screen wall because I'm not yet set on how I plan on setting up my speakers and screen. I'm not yet sure If I want to do an AT screen or a shadow box with my speakers below the screen. I have the space to go either way. I am however, leaning towards the AT screen so I can use taller speakers further apart.

Any thoughts or comments? I feel like I'm talking to myself.
post #24 of 249
I had the same debate... AT or not. Based on all the reading I did, I ended up taking the plunge for AT for a couple reasons. (1) More realism with sound coming through the screen (2) hides the speakers (3) cool factor (4) I am going 12' wide with the screen, so putting the speakers out wider wasn't appealing for me. my 2 cents...

I understand you lose some light output when going AT since the screen lets light through, but I am hoping it is worth it. It also costs more money than its equivalent (DIY or manufactured).

In about 3 weeks I will be able to tell you if it was the right call for me! I have the AT material and I am just waiting until we get past the painting stage. Can't wait!

btw, your Skechups look great. good work!!
post #25 of 249
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I've put a lot of time in to the sketchups. Before this project I had never even heard of it, but now I've build a rendering for my parent's whole house remodel. It really helps to get a perspective of what it "Might" look like.

I look forward to seeing your theater as it progresses and when it's done! It looks like it will be a great space.
post #26 of 249
come on with the pictures already
post #27 of 249
Thread Starter 
I've been busy building a play set for my kids. Hopefully I'll get back to work on the basement this week.
post #28 of 249
oh I suppose that is a good excuse...
post #29 of 249
Since your design is more of a media room than a dedicated home theater, I really like your "redesigned" set-up since it makes it feel more like a multi-purpose room with a kick-ass theater set-up.

Looking at your photos, I just have to think how easy myself and others have it to be building a theater in a new house with an unfinished basement. You have been spending a lot time on tearing down and fixing the previous build.
post #30 of 249
GREAT pics so far!

My best advice...get your plan settled NOW or you'll be going back and doing things two or three times (trust me). Of course, I'D prefer you didn't get your plan settled so I can wipe the floor with you.

Good luck,
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