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The ShaanZara Studio and Viewing Room Build Thread

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Current Status:
Constructing Star Ceiling
Constructing Screen
Working on Screen and Star Ceiling. Clearing up ethernet cables and trying to get whole house distribution

Too busy watching stuff to get everything else done!

Just completed:
Projector Installed/Front row of seating/moved equipment and tested it... meaning I keep watching stuff..

Still to come:

Fabric Panels
Riser (maybe later)
Electronics Rack

Current Pic: Guitar Rack Area is up.

Welcome to my build thread. I had originally started an old thread but that was many moons ago. Instead of resurrecting that one, I think it is best to start with a clean slate.

I guess this thread is going to be more of a "help me, I don't know what the hell I am doing thread" than a "look at what I can do thread."

I have read and read and read as much as I can but still feel a bit overwhelmed by the information. I have acquired some gear just to get my feet wet but now I must begin. I have had a rough but rewarding few years with working all the time, building my house, starting a family. I don't want to put off my build any longer because there will always be a reason to wait. Whether it be time (usually time for me), money (when its not time, its money), having a kid (or two), town permits, meteorite headed to earth... whatever. There is always a reason to put it off; consider this my declaration that I refuse to put it off any further. After all, I don't want to feel stupid in front of the AVS community. Once you write something on a blog on the internet, it has now become written fact right? I don't want to be a liar to all of my new friends here do I?

Due to budgeting issues I think the construction portion of this will go much quicker than the actual equipment and home theater portion. I’m not sure what to do with projector/screen due to changing technology (3D, LED). Should I wait it out or buy something and upgrade later. I’m not huge on 3D but if I’m going to have it one place in my house it would be in the theater.

OK so let's go through this thing.

The beginning and why we are rebooting the project -

This part is not that important to understand the project but just thought I'd share this. Feel free to skip ahead... who reads a prologue anyway?
The project initially was supposed to be a finished basement... then a place where my band can jam... then a Cineplex Odeon combined with Abbey Road. Needless to say things got out of hand so I went out and looked for help. I had someone try to offer me advice but ended up just costing me a lot of money on equipment that really wasn't necessary at the time. I didn't see how acquiring gear was more important than planning the project. That didn't work out and actually left me with some gear that I think is a little beyond my level.

In the meantime, I was lining up contractors. I have relationships with several commercial contractors but I was afraid this job would be too small and they told me themselves that they wouldn't be the most cost effective. Also, none of them ever want to work in the town I live in. They had already worked on my house build and I think they had enough. That's all I will say about that as to not get into any trouble with my town. I found a couple of guys and finally found someone I thought would do a great job. He had good references, good demeanor and was very excited about the project. We met several time and had a good plan and wanted to get started on the basic framing and electrical. He assured me that the permits were in the town and then they were lost, and 3 months went by and we didn't have permits. I went to the town and they told me that they never received any permits for my address recently. He says they are lying, the town says he is lying. I started getting calls that he was really busy but someone else would call me about it and sure enough an architect friend of his called me and wanted to take over the project. I was still awaiting a final contract and more specs and I already had a contractor change. To be honest, I didn't like the way this was going so they both got the boot. I am thankful this happened early than later. No money was paid but alas, now I am alone and lost 6 (edit 12) months.

I think I can do it. I understand basic construction and its always been a worry of time over ability. I always have my commercial contractors as a backup who would always lend me a sheetrock/mud guy if I need them so i am pretty confident things will not get out of hand. I did completely finish my garage very neatly and with relative ease... Ok, still there with me?

Why do I want to do this?
At my parents home, from the time I was 10 my room was in the basement. Not a real nice one. Kind of dingy and drab. Low ceilings, cold and damp. Over time, through installing sliding doors, adding stereo sound to my VCR and TV, installing a carpet, and lots of paint and molding I made it into a pretty cool room. The nice thing was that its was all mine and no one said what I can and can't do. Try doing that on any other floor of the house. Even know I still don't have control over any room in the house. Back then our house was very modest but I loved my basement and I always looked forward to one day when I would have my own house and be able to build out the basement that would accommodate me and all of my hobbies and interests. Well, fast forward 20 years and that's where we are. Now I am 32 (as of the beginning of this thread.. probably 40 when i'm done), and I was lucky enough to design and build my own house two years ago. (I know it was bad timing but when it came to basement I put in a 12" steel beam and two lolly columns to open it up a little bit. I also added one more course of cinderblock to raise the ceiling height in the basement to 9'2". I like to maximize the height of the ceiling as much as possible.

Project Scope:

To convert an unfinished basement into a room that serves the following purposes:
Recording Studio and Rehearsal Space
Movie Theater
Game Room (mainly table tennis)
Central Location for Media/AV for use in house

My "Must Haves":
• 120" Projector Screen with 1080p projector
• 5.1 surround (most likely 7.1)
• Seating for at least 7
• Carpet Throughout
• Open Floor Plan - No walls
• Ability to access AV equipment to family room on the first floor and Master Bedroom on the second floor.
• Office on the first floor must have access to any computers in the recording studio and optional HD content from AV rack
• Fiber Optic Star Ceiling above seating area
• Chair Rail/Moulding - (I just like the way it looks and helps split up colors)
• Maximize all ceiling heights
• Displays for guitars
• XLR (Mic cable) jacks with returns for headphones and effects in 3 spots that go to the Main Console
• PA Speaker locations
• Drum Area (with mic jacks and headphones)
• Small Stage up front for karaoke use with cabinets to house speakers
• Dimmable and Programmable lighting system
My "Really Wants":
• Automated or manual curtains to separate the rest of the room for Theater use
• Drum Shield
• Accent lighting for music equipment and guitar displays and ping pong area
• Whole house lighting/control system - Perhaps we can piecemeal
• Masking System or Panels (manual is fine - Can't afford auto)
• Ability to access AV equipment from office
• HTPC - Not sure exactly what this is yet but everyone else is doing it.
• XLR Mic/Instrument Cables built into the walls at the key points. Included headphone jacks

Completely Optional (not likely due to budget):
• Video Cameras system for baby monitoring and doorbell area (we don't even have a little peephole)

I know it sounds like this is going to be an extravagant build but its really not since I have a lot of the recording equipment already. I am also going to do as much of the work by myself as I can. I do not have enough knowledge about the control system so I don't know what those costs are. I am looking for a DIY solution for control that I can program myself. My budget range including equipment is $20K-30K assuming I do most of the construction myself. This figure includes equipment purchased for the purposes of the theater but does not include the items my ex-consultant told me to purchase.

65% Movies, 10% Gaming, 25% TV (mostly sports)

Timeline: Before I die.

Room Size: Entire basement is 52' X 26' unfinished but that includes the stairs. The theater area is approximately 20' X 26' that is open on the two sides.

Equipment: (* = acquired)
• Projector: Projectors seem to be constantly getting better but I am looking at the JVC RS25/35 or Sony VPL-VW85. I will wait until the last possible minute to purchase. - Not purchased

• Screen: 120" 16:9 screen. I see that most people are going with 1-2.35 but perhaps I just don't know enough about that to go that route. Possibly DIY if it makes sense. Not purchased
• Processor*: Integra DTC-9.8. Purchased May need to purchase high quality HDMI switcher like Oppo for use through the house.
• Front Speakers*: JBL Ti6K Left and Rights. JBL LC2 Center. Purchased
• Surround Speakers: JBL L820. Not purchased
• Subwoofers*: Sonance II In Wall Sub Qty 2 Units each of which are a 2X10". Still need to build the enclosures. Subs have been purchased but considering selling them. Need some Advice on this
• Amplification: Theater - *Adcom GFA 5006, *Sonance 2120 Amp(for subs). Will most likely use Adcom for surrounds and need to purchase another amp for mains. I have no idea which one but most likely something reasonable priced and used Possibly Rotel. HELP Recording/Rehearsal Studio - NHT Pro Monitors with Amp for mixing desk, Nady 2 channel 1000 watt amp (to be replaced with crown amplifier) powering a pair of JBL PA Speakers. Other - Family Room and MBR to be determined depending on control system. Not sure if I should have local HTIB or amplification from downstairs. Since my processor only has 3 zones and 2 zones of video, I think they will have to be separate units. Need some advice on this
• HDTV Source*:
*Two Cablevision Boxes, one with DVR
• Room Correction Processor/EQ* - Audio Control Diva. Because of the open sides to the theater it was recommended that I get a room correction processor. Well I have it, I paid a ton for it and I have no idea how to use it or if I even have the additional items needed to use it. Need some advice on this.
• Gaming Systems*: PS3, Wii, Xbox360. All Acquired
• Blu-Ray: PS3 for now. Being researched if upgrade is needed.
• Family Room Equipment(2nd Floor)* - Panasonic TC-P58S1 58" Plasma TV, Lutron Maestro Dimming Switches with IR controllers, 3 way Joytek HDMI Switcher,
• Office* - Dell i7 Computer with 8GB Ram, Dual 24" Monitors with dual HDMI inputs on each and TV Tuner card
• MBR TV - Sony 52V5E LCD TV and Sony s560 blu ray player.
• Rack: Situated in the closet under the stairs but I am worried about the fan noise. I think it is best to have a separate rack for recording studio items in the recording area and a larger AV rack underneath the stairs. As far as type of rack was looking to purchase a middle atlantic or build something myself out of wood.
• HTPC: I'm not even sure if I know what this is exactly yet but I have plenty of computers and even a rack mounted one for my studio that I can convert into an HTPC. I figure when the time comes, I will mess around with this.
• Miscellaneous - Mackie 32 channel/8 Bus recording console fed through a couple of preamps into RME AD/DA converters. Line 6 Guitar Amp, GK Bass Amp, Tama Drums, bunch of guitars, a yamaha keyboard and you get the idea.

Acoustic Treatments:
2' X 4' DIY acoustic treatments using acoustic panels available commercially. I have put these together a long time ago with great results when we recorded in my drummer's basement.

My aunt is a seamstress and makes curtains and drapes for people. She also reupholsters furniture. She is going to make me the curtains and I was hoping to use one of these systems on ebay for automatic curtains. Looks like they are a few hundred dollars and they seem to get good reviews. I already know I won't be able to afford Lutron.

I missed the powerbuy from Roman for Berkline chairs. I was going to go with the simple black 13217 for 400 each. I think I can swing 9 chairs if I do this right.

Network Wiring:
Currently there is Cat 5e or 6 ethernet in each room in the house terminating in the closet underneath the stairs.

For the star ceiling part I will use a standard fiber optic ceiling kit but I am going to do this in baby steps. I will get the ceiling ready for install though I need to slow down with my costs. For the rest of the ceiling, the HT area will be a darker drop ceiling type of tile and a little brighter in the other 2/3rds of the room. I am hoping to get .75-.95 NRC ceiling tile and also stuff insulation between the joists. I hope this is good enough although drums do get very loud. Another option is this "Supress Drywall" which someone suggested to me and is the equivalent of 8 pieces of sheetrock with no clips needed.
I'm not sure how to keep sound from escaping from the recessed lights. The ceiling is 9'4" high but contains a 12" steel beam through the center.

Sound Proofing:
This is the part where I really could use a lot of help. My current plan is to use Metal studs where possible and put some wood into the metal studs in the critical areas such as where I'm hanging my guitars or cabinets of any kind. I wanted to go with drop ceiling because the NRC ratings are pretty high. Also, with a drop ceiling I could always rout cables a lot easier to the rest of the 1st floor if I ever needed to. I was going to stuff some insulation between the joists to help out with the sound. I need to figure out the best insulation for this purpose HELP . I can decouple the studs from the top plate using the methods described here on these forums but I did not want to double sheetrock the ceiling. I will also be building my own sound panels but mostly for acoustic treating of the studio. I will be using Owens Corning 703 board and some microsuede.

Problems to Contend with:
Sound Proofing. Drums are louder than the movies and I need to keep things fairly quiet with a 3 yr old and a one year old in the house.
Sound Quality - Open Sides of the theater will allow sound to escape and bounce off of things we don't want it to. The curtains will most likely do nothing except provide some ambiance.
Keeping the ceilings as high as possible for ping pong. I know it sounds stupid but ping pong is no joke in my house. Ever see Forrest Gump?
No outside access except for a few tiny windows - Getting material down there won't be fun
HDMI run to bedroom is a long one. Over 50 feet. There is a conduit that goes to the attic from the rack area but its not going to be fun.
HVAC in basement is same zone as main floor. Will that matter?

Integra DTC 9.8
Adcom Amp
Sonance subs -
Sonance 2120 amp -
Speaker Wire/banana plugs -
HDMI 75' cable -
Audio Control Diva - not included because i need to sell and does not count towards budget.

Current Status: Planning (Started basic cleaning, etc)

Done: I have done nothing except type this thing out (edit: I even started typing this out over a year ago. - To Be updated.

Finish detailed drawings
Details needed: Electrical Outlets, and light fixtures, all low voltage wiring
Move all my crap somewhere
Dry Lok basement - Basement is brand new and dry as a bone but I don't want to take any chances
Wall Framing
Soffit Framing
Column framing for lolly columns
Frame Sump pump areas
Run Speaker Wire
HDMI wire for projector
Recessed Tray Ceiling area above seats
Run Sconce Wiring
Run spotlight/accent light wiring
Ethernet Wiring
Run Outlet Wiring
Run recessed lights wiring
Run rope lighting wiring
Sub Panel

To Do:
Run Recording studio cable (partial complete, waiting for supplies)
Sheetrock and mud (In progress)
Build Riser for stage and seating
Frame door for utility access room
Frame projector area (figure out where to put it!)
Frame Equipment Rack Area
Run conduit in key locations
Run outlet wiring including to risers
Build Columns
Understand Control System and install portions needed
Install Ceiling Grid
Install Cans, accents lighting
Install Star Ceiling
Install Curtain mechanism
Add chair rail
Texture paint
Install Sconces
Wire Switches
Build Rack Space
Install Rack
Run new ducts and returns
Wire outlets
Wire Switches, Lights & Fans
Run LV Cables and Conduit
Finish Sheetrock
Install Guitar hangers
Install Projector and screen
Install Ceiling Tile
Install Seating
Snow Cone Machine
Rock and Roll

I know I can't possibly plan everything to the "T" but I think I can roll with it and adapt as needed. I know I won't have all of my must haves but I am pretty easy going. My goal is to do the best I can and as long as its good enough for me that's allt hat matters.
post #2 of 50
Thread Starter 

Image from sketch up of the space

With the beams drawn in

This is the basic layout

Sideview of the basic layout

Looking at the ceiling. This is what I hope to accomplish. Long Soffit with little lights on it. Two Star Ceilings (in due time... not gonna happen for a bit)... and drop ceiling. I'm looking at CertainTeed Symphony m tiles. The soffit will use 5/8" Soundbreak XP Gypsum Board.

Another view of the ceiling
post #3 of 50
Thread Starter 

Top of the stairs.

Looking down from the landing getting down into the basement.

Base of the stairs

Looking from the hot water heater back into the room

Messy room. Viewing from the "East Wall" Looking towards the HVAC/HW units.

Looking from the sump pump oin the South East Corner towards the North East Corner

Same spot looking diagonnaly across towards the hot water heater.

Looking down the wall from the south east sump pump. I'm looking at where the seating area will. Rack should be in that wall in from of me.
post #4 of 50
I would think you might want the theater at one end or the other. This would keep people from having to walk across and in front of people. Just a thought though.
post #5 of 50
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by smakovits View Post

I would think you might want the theater at one end or the other. This would keep people from having to walk across and in front of people. Just a thought though.

You are right. Originally that was the plan but I couldn't figure out a way to get the appropriate amount of seating I wanted without one of the lolly columns being in the way. Originally the plan was this:

But I didn't want to make seperate rooms. One of my favorite things about the basement is that its pretty big and unobstructed. For now, I think its ok in the middle sort of like a focal point. Also if we have the game on while playing foosball/pingpong or poker we can still be see the screen. I don't expect anyone to be playing guitar or mixing music while we are watching a movie. But you are right. If I could I would have made it on one side.
post #6 of 50
Thread Starter 
More pics.

Drylocked and a lot of stuff cleared out.

Brought in some metal studs.

View of stairs. Had to move a ton of stuff.

Much cleaner now.

Back wall

seating will go here

screen will go here.

Materials and borrowed tools. Brought in 9 foot sheets. Had to take down the railing. R19 insulation for ceiling. R11 on the walls.

My hired helpers working hard.... while I frame.
post #7 of 50
I don't know if you thought about this. But what if you put the screen on the wall furthest from the stairs, and a nice big stage flanked by the drum set and the guitar amp? Or are you space constrained? Then put the recording equipment behind the spectator seating next to the stairwell.

I think this would be a great use of the space since no one will probably want to watch movies while you are playing music.

- Speedslyde
post #8 of 50
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by speedslyde View Post

I don't know if you thought about this. But what if you put the screen on the wall furthest from the stairs, and a nice big stage flanked by the drum set and the guitar amp? Or are you space constrained? Then put the recording equipment behind the spectator seating next to the stairwell.

I think this would be a great use of the space since no one will probably want to watch movies while you are playing music.

- Speedslyde

Good idea. I looked at this before but ran into a couple of small problems.
The only problems are the I need to build a soffit on that wall due to the asinine way the HVAC ducts were install under the beam. The soffit cuts down the height of the wall quite a bit. The beam is at 101". Then there is actually duct work that drops below the beam all the way on that wall (see picture above labelled "back wall"). That knocks us down to 84" Add a stage and now you are looking at under 7 feet for the screen and speaker. I guess that would still be doable but then the other problem is the lolly column that would be right in the middle of the first row of seating. That's why I opted to have it in the middle. Trust me, i would have loved to have it at the end. I think it would be awesome to view the screen from throughout the room. But the two lolly columns kill me.
Putting the recording equipment by the stairs was a good option too. It would have worked out well if i didn't have the ductwork issue and columns.

I kind of have it set up where the stage is flanked by guitars and drums on each side (not right next to it but in the area) so that anyone watching a rehearsal or jam session could sit on the seats. I was thinking about it and I thought that if I am going to spend all this money on the seats then might as well use them for both purposes.
post #9 of 50
Thread Starter 

I think this would be a great use of the space since no one will probably want to watch movies while you are playing music.

By the way, nobody ever even wants to stay in the house when I play music let alone be in the same room!
post #10 of 50
Thread Starter 

Little bit cleaner pictures of the cinderblock walls.
post #11 of 50
Thread Starter 
I have a problem that I need help with.

Window Problem 1.

Here are a couple of pictures of the window behind what will be the seating area. I changed my mind on how I wanted this portion of the ceiling but never updated my drawings. So I want to build a two foot wide soffit (two tiered tray ceiling) and then another 1 foot wide soffit 7 inches higher to complete my two tiers. Obviously if you see the levels on the corresponding soffits, I'm going to be in the middle of that window which I never really wanted to keep anyway.

IMAGES Deleted due to thread size getting to slow to download

My question is, how do I block off that window so it looks decent from the outside? Paint the window? Put fabric. Should I still try to retain access to the window through a panel. I don't want that looking horrible from the outside for years to come.

Window Problem 2. I also miscalculated on my Utility room since I decided on having a high ceiling. I am going to have to create some kind of shelf or something near the window.

post #12 of 50
Thread Starter 
OK. The pictures are finally loading now. I don't know why they stopped. Maybe they are too large or something. But anyway, anyone got an opinion on what to do with the window. Or I guess I should say, the best way to block it off without it looking funny on the outside?
post #13 of 50
Thread Starter 
Decent progress this weekend.

All outlet wiring complete including the 3 dedicated circuits for music equipment, HT equipment and projector. Although I am a little unsure where it's going to go exactly. I don't know how soon I'll be able to afford a projector so I have some time. I also need to build a DIY screen.

Installed Electrical Subpanel box

Framed out all of the soffits except for the window that I need to block off.

Moving right along...
Looks like tomorrow I am going to do some insulation R19 in the ceiling. Run my hi hats, sconce, and rope lighting outlets.

I need to get a better understanding on rope lighting and how you put it into a trayed ceiling.

I also need to pick up some z-wave switches so I can start figuring that part out.

Here are some more pics.

post #14 of 50
Great progress!! Looks really good so far.

What did you decide on the windows? I've painted over windows in the past with some black spray paint. If done right it just looks like the windows are tinted on the outside.

Looking forward to the completion.

- SpeedSlyde
post #15 of 50
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I'm getting a little overwhelmed. I have to have the main construction (no electronics necessary) done by October 7 so I can host my daughter's 1st birthday party in my basement. So its a little stressful. The deal was I can save money by not having to rent out a place and put that money into the basement as long as we could have the party there. I thought it was a good deal. Rather put the money into the basement than someone's restaurant or banquet hall.

Good idea with the window. I think that's what I'm going to do. I hadn't thought about black but I'll test it out. My stucco on the outside of the window is a cream/beige color. I was thinking about going with a similar color but I'll test it out. Black might look better.

Right now I am running Speaker wire. Unfortunately my studio snake cables I ordered haven't arrived. I wanted to get on the insulation.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) I keep thinking about stuff I want. I need some switchable outlets for the rope lights for the trayed ceiling. I forgot about those. I have switchable outlets set up for the columns so I think I can just take them off of that. I don't see the need for the rope lights at the top of the columns being on seperately from the tray ceiling. For the Fiber Optic ceiling I am assuming I just need a regular outlet (no switch required). The ones I looked at seemed to have their own control.

I haven't even thought about the projector and most likely will wait as long as possible for that stuff.

I also am trying to read up on how to control the theater using zwave switches and further distribution of video. I know it must be simple but I just don't see how I can control everything two floors up if its sitting in my basement. Some sort of IR to Zwave (or similar) repeater.

Man... after 2+ years of reading this stuff you think I would be better prepared. But like I said, I have time on the electronics.

I have my hands full as it is.
post #16 of 50
Thread Starter 
I built the in wall subwoofer enclosures.

Here's a pic

Now I just have to put them in the walls and seal the speaker wire inside.

Here's a pic of the insulation and additional wiring I did.

Here is the proposed projector mount area.

This is a picture with the projector mount area in the fore ground and the screen area in the background.
Any issues here? Will be enough of an angle to clear the soffit? I can't tell how intrusive the projector is going to be hanging down. Maybe I can inset it a little bit into the ceiling but then I would have to worry about really blocking the lens.

post #17 of 50
Thread Starter 
Started sheetrocking but I had to outsource it. I can do it but others can do it faster better and cheap enough. Of course as they start sheetrocking I think of all kinds of stuff I want to do.

Here is a pic of the subwoofer box being installed.

Trying my luck over at the projector forum to see if I can get some help on placement. Looks like its going to come down to limited my options on projectors or screen size. I am going to try a couple of things tomorrow to see what works out the best.

Lot's of mini projects to do.
Star Ceiling
DIY Projector Screen
DIY Rack
Studio Console Area
Zwave Controller Setup
post #18 of 50
Ok, you had me at Bon Jovi!! Haha!! I just HAD to subscribe as soon as I saw the name of the greatest rock band - EVER!!

Is your band a tribute band?

I posted so I could subscribe so add another to the list. The plan looks great and I'm just jealous of all the space you have for your band.

In my computer sketches there is a room in the opposite corner from my TV and fireplace. It has become a giant storage room during all my construction. But when done I'll have some electronic drums (mom doesn't want to HEAR kids learn from dad) and I'll move my guitars and amps into there.

My computer and workout bench will fill the rest of the space so you can imagine I won't have room for an entire band, just enough room to practice and jam occasionally!!

Keep up the pics!!
post #19 of 50
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Family Time View Post

Ok, you had me at Bon Jovi!! Haha!! I just HAD to subscribe as soon as I saw the name of the greatest rock band - EVER!!

Is your band a tribute band?

I posted so I could subscribe so add another to the list. The plan looks great and I'm just jealous of all the space you have for your band.

In my computer sketches there is a room in the opposite corner from my TV and fireplace. It has become a giant storage room during all my construction. But when done I'll have some electronic drums (mom doesn't want to HEAR kids learn from dad) and I'll move my guitars and amps into there.

My computer and workout bench will fill the rest of the space so you can imagine I won't have room for an entire band, just enough room to practice and jam occasionally!!

Keep up the pics!!

Thanks man. My band is not a tribute band. In fact we are not even much of band anymore. Two toddlers will do that to you. Now just having fun.

The space looked big when I started. When I cleaned up the room it started to look smaller. Now with the sheetrock its starting to look even smaller! Your basement looks like it is a decent size from your pics. If you use that room for your instruments make sure you build (or buy) some sound treatment. I'm going to try to make my own when I have some time afterwards to tweak any reflections the drums make off the ceiling and walls.

Good luck on your build. I'll subscribe as well to see how it goes.
post #20 of 50
Thread Starter 
Sheetrock is basically done. Hired guys to do the mudding and sanding. Installed some of the small 3" recessed lights. Well not the actual lights but the hardware.
I have to work on these columns tomorrow. I have pictures but I'll have to upload them tomorrow.

Since Star Designer is overseas now and looks like he pretty much had to close up shop, does anyone know of a good option for Fiber Optic Illuminators? I'm thinking about going to radio shack and building my own. I don't see any other illuminator that was as advanced as Star Designers with the 10 ports and the RGB and Twinkle all in one. Everything else out there seems really basic. A box with an LED and a twinkle wheel for 120 bucks.
post #21 of 50
Thread Starter 
Some Pics.... Starting to look like something!

post #22 of 50
Thread Starter 
An expensive trip to Home Depot.

post #23 of 50
Thread Starter 
OK. Latest updates.

I finish the columns with the exception of the crown molding on the columns. Everything is square off the wall but not on the wall. I guess I need to cope them or something since the columns are probably not perfect 270 degree angles.

NEVER AGAIN am I going to try to do columns on my own. I thought it looked easy. I had a lot of trouble with getting everything to line up. It took me more time to build the columns than it did to do all the framing, sheetrock, electrical combined. And I'm not even done with the crown molding yet! That's what I get
for thinking I'm Bob Vila or something.

Note the crown molding I screwed up on the far column. I actually wanted to leave a gap between the molding and the ceiling to put a rope light in there. i already wired a switch for an outlet up top.

The color scheme is a blue/gray/white vibe. A little bit like Big Mouth DC.

The colors came from Home Depot (Martha Stewart) line. The dark blue color is called Wrought Iron. Its going to go on the stairwell, seating area top of the chair rail, the screen area, and perhaps some little accents.

The grayish/blue color thats below the chair rail is called Slipstream. I really like the way it looks. I put it on the bottom throughout and on the sides of the soffit. I even put it underneath the darker blue in the seating area. I know you typically don't put the lighter color on the bottom of the chair rail but I couldn't think of how to do the seperation without looking weird. I thought all dark blue wouldn't look as nice.
The white color is actually called Opal. It's not completely white but almost an off white. In retrospect it is a little more white than I had hoped for but I will wait until my lights are in. This is the color that's going to be on top of the chair rail for most of the room except the theater seating area. I know it just looks like white in the pictures. The baseboard has not been painted yet but it will obviously match the trim.

Opal on top. Slipstream on bottom.

The soffit ceiling is called "Cumulus" which is an off white/grayish color. It looks really nice in person. I chose flat. When I get my projector and everything this color may end up being painted over in theater in order to reduce any ambient light. I may end up just covering it with velvet. But I don't plan on having a projector for a few months so for now its ok.
This color is also used in all the wood trim and the columns but as a semi-gloss.

I was going to paint the ceiling grid to the cumulus color but the white looks good with the off white grid.

I'm sure I will tweak some of the colors.

I also built this frame and mounted some fabric on it. It's going to go between the columns (well really pilasters) that are located on each side of the screen. The Sconce is going to get centered and come through the fabric. I guess i'll just make a small box to keep the fabric tight. I have to make it removeable in case I need to access the in wall subwoofers. That is the reason for just having the fabric. Maybe I can mount it with magnets or something. I haven't decided yet. The fabric matches the dark blue perfectly and has a little simple design on it.

I have 4 days to finish the room for the party. I have hired some help because its crunch time. Hopefully things will go faster.

I still need carpet but luckily I have an uncle who is in that business. I have blown my budget out so I need to keep it cheap.

My biggest concerns are:
Putting that crown molding up (i've watched every you tube video, etc). I actually don't have enough molding to make any more mistakes.

Getting carpet installed and everything cleaned up.

Non concerns:
Have helpers painting so that should be fine
I've done all the hard parts of the electrical. I just have to put a couple of boxes, outlets, and install the high hats. I'm going to have a buddy help so that should be easy.

Then Phase 2 will be the electronics and theater/studio install stuff.
post #24 of 50
Thread Starter 
Phase 1 just means that the majority of the construction is complete.
I did it before the party date (which is tomorrow). Here are the pics.

I didn't get a chance to stain/paint the railing yet. I will have to wait. I'm trying to think of a way to incorporate a rope light because the stairwell is extremely dark.

View from the stairs looking over the first third of the room.

Base of the stairs looking at what is now the mechanical room.

Base of the stairs looking at the theater screen area.

Looking across the length of the room

This is where the seats will be.

Looking back at the room from the screen area. Seating will be right here. The back wall will be covered in fabric using the button stitch look. I'm not sure if thats what its called.

Looking at the screen area. Two subwoofers installed in the subwoofer boxes. They are not installed as final. But just put in place because the holes looked ugly!

Sconces on the columns that took me FOREVER to make. The top of the crown molding (also took forever) is not up against the ceiling. There is a 3-4 inch gap to add a little bit of white rope light.

Column and my spotlights for my guitars in the back. Should look cool when I have them hanging up back there against some sound treatment boards.

Tray ceiling. I know the spackling is not very good up top but that is because it will be replaced by a star ceiling anyway.

Guitar Area.

This is a view from what will be the mixing desk area looking back towards the room. (We are near the spotlights).

Front tray ceiling. Will also have a star ceiling. I need to tuck in that rope light. I just wanted to play around with it a little.

You can see both tray ceilings. Can't wait for the stars!

Now. Some more touch ups. Need to start making the star ceiling and treatments. In fact I want to see if I can make the star ceiling into a sound treatment. There is a little reverb coming off the tray ceilings but I suspect a lot of that has to do with the whole room being so empty. I was planning on using dark blue stretch velvet. I was going to mount that on Owens Corning 703 and use furring strips to bind them all together.
post #25 of 50
Nice job. The molding really looks good and adds great detail to the room. I really like the contrast in the carpeting borders. Your not far from where Roman has his warehouse with the chairs on display so you might want to arrange a visit with him. It was a big help for me getting a chance to sit in them all before I actually made my purchase from him.
post #26 of 50
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Javatime View Post

Nice job. The molding really looks good and adds great detail to the room. I really like the contrast in the carpeting borders. Your not far from where Roman has his warehouse with the chairs on display so you might want to arrange a visit with him. It was a big help for me getting a chance to sit in them all before I actually made my purchase from him.

Yeah, Roman is about 50 minutes from me (I play softball in Bridgewater). I was going to wait for the next power buy but I definitely want to try his seats out before then. To be honest, I'm afraid to go there until I budget myself financially. Too tempting!
post #27 of 50
Thread Starter 
Been a while since I updated this thread. We had the party and it was a great success. Only one person dropped something on our brand new carpet that was quickly wiped up.

So I've gotten tied up with work lately but the things I've done are more on the logistical side than actual work.
I've ordered the screen material for a DIY screen. I've narrowed down projectors to a couple of different ones. I am going to go the cheaper route for now and get my feet wet. So I'm looking at the Panasonic AE4000 and Epsons.
They all work well with my throws and seem to get terrific reviews from the majority of folks. At least for the money. As soon as this 3D and LED advancements are resolved I'll look in that direction. But for now I am content with a sub $3K projector.

I bought all of my materials for the star ceiling and have started building the panels. I am drawing out the stars on the backside and will begin drilling the holes tonight. I am going to do the back section first and then the front. I'm thinking about using screw eyes and wire/cables to hold the ceiling in place. I don't have a finishing nailer that can shoot over 2 1/2 inches and I don't want to see all of the screws.

I also bought a Monster AVL300 just to get familiar with the remote controls and RF. I created a couple of scenes with the lighting functions. Pretty cool. It took FOREVER to get it to work because the software kept crashing. I ended up removing and reinstalling the software. Even then I spent a lot of time on google trying to figure it all out. Now I wish I had bought 2 more because I can't seem to find the same price anymore for it.

I bought some Owens Corning 703 to build some sound panels and I also bought some mineral wool to stuff above the drop ceiling.

I bought some additional rope light for the stairs too. I expect progress to get slow down now. I spent so much time doing this for the last few weeks that I need to catch up on my other duties. I would like to have a PJ and screen in place for New Years.
post #28 of 50
Thread Starter 
Here is what our basement looked like for the party:

Here are where the drums will go:

Here are the beginnings of the star ceiling. Also in a different thread as well.
post #29 of 50
Wow, NICE JOB!!! Room looks awesome and I LOVE the carpet colors!!

Can you put a link to the star ceiling thread?
post #30 of 50
Btw, I've seen Bon Jovi 14 times now including 2 concerts at Giants Stadium - one of them was the Giants' Stadium Shower (it rained the entire concert)!!! Visited Ground Zero and even Sayerville when we were there. Next time I'm out that way for another concert I'll give you a ring and we can jam!!
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