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Mo' Basement Mo' Theatre (it's a build thread!)

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hello all ! Long time lurker here finally going to finish that basement and build that theatre area that I have been dreaming about. Currently the entire basement is unfinished and I will be finishing most of it.

Where I am at the moment:
- I have a good chunk of the basement cleared. Enough to work around and then shuffle once one half is done.
- Resolved (hopefully) a dampness/leak issue on the East wall. All the insulation there is gone and will have to be replaced

I am starting to lay down my subfloor, working from the NE corner and then around to the theatre area. In general I will work this way as I will learn my mistakes before I hit the theatre, and it also gives me more time to think about the theatre area design.

A snapsnot of my current design is below.



Note that the bar shown in the design is just a stock model used as a placeholder. I will build my own to suit the final design. Everything else is as accurate as I can make it (including the chairs - I already have them). The couches don't exist yet.

I like the idea of the bar on the side so that while the men-folk are watching the game the ladies can sit at the bar and chat and yet still be "involved" and somewhat see the screen. The small couch on the far left is for when we are more socializing than movie-watching.

As you can see, I also toyed with the idea of a small riser and couch behind the main seating for when neighbourhood kids are over. I am limited in width by the cold=room door.

Originally i was going to have the equipment rack at the back in the sump-pump area (easy access, noise, no lights) however I have discovered that I do like being able to see the volume setting, and twisting around to see it all the time would be a pain. So I now have it as a built-in through the screen wall.

So what to do with the sump-pump area ? There is no wall there now, so I could leave it open and just close off the sump pump hole and pipe. It just seems like dead space. Maybe the elliptical ?

You can see the main posts that i have to work around, and that is one of the reasons I have the screen on the east side of the room.

... Andy
post #2 of 23
Thread Starter 
Here are a couple more views ... any suggestions or comments are appreciated !



post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
I really hope to do my own masking system for CIH - i think that will be fun to put together. However that is a long way away at this point.

Current focus: subfloor.

Based on all my learnings from AVSForum and its brilliant post-ers I am putting my subfloor down first and will build the walls on top. My layering is as such:

===== (5/8" T&G Plywood)
===== (Delta FL)
------ (Landscape fabric)
________________________ concrete floor___________

re: the landscape fabric, I did some tests on the floor with and without the fabric and it does attenuate any clicking sound a little bit. How much noise there will be when I Ramset the floor edges in i do not know, however for the $50-60 in fabric I don't have to worry about whether I should have done it or not. It *IS* mentioned indirectly in the installation documentation.

I just have two strips of the Delta laid at the moment, but now that I have started hopefully I will get some momentum!

Let's hope for a snow day ... :-)
post #4 of 23
My two cents: how about rotating the theater room 90 degrees counter-clockwise, screen on the left - and turn the bar stools / counter to face the screen. Side benefit would be less light infiltrating, further from the screen. Can part of the sump room he carved off for AV equipment?
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
I really like that idea, and the sump pump area is totally open for use and would be great for the gear rack. What I can't figure out is how to work around the posts. There are four posts that make a 9' x 12' square (centre-to-centre) that you can see more clearly in the 3D views. I can easily put the chairs in front of the two right-side posts, but then the left side posts are sort of in front of the screen.

I don't think I can move the posts, particularly the NW one. Maybe if I slide the NE one a little bit ....
post #6 of 23
I agree with Brad about considering the flip. Look at Jamis' thread for open concept of 2 rows of 3 with a 3rd row bar.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ighlight=jamis
For the sump pump area 2 words "INFINITE BAFFLE" that's what I would do if I had space like that.
Here's a couple of threads with IB setups.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ghlight=knkknk
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ghlight=moggie

Also depending on what part of the country you are in, and wether or not flooding is a concern, you may rethink about building the walls on top of the subfloor. A few of us have learned that you want to do the subfloor afterwars because if you flood you will have to rip it out. It makes it quite a bit more difficult (with an already difficult process) to rip all that floor and subfloor out if you have to cut along the walls.
post #7 of 23
Is there any way to get the 2 poles tucked inside the wall near the stairs?
post #8 of 23
You can use some tapcon scews and pull the flooring down to eliminate squeeks. I used about (8) 2 1/2 " screws per 4x8 sheet and the floor is squeek free. When you get the carpet underpad and carpet on top it will help too.
It was an easy task with a hammer drill and a cordless impact driver to put all the screws in...
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Oh no! I feel myself falling into "Design Indecision" !

Here is some poking around with doing the flip:





I put the screens a little behind the posts, but not much, so I would have to make a wall. This puts the bar in the right place, but not really any room for a back couch (not a huge deal). A little tight for a forward elbow bar like in Jamis'.

In this set up I would probably have to go the AT screen way, but the chamber in the back makes it ok. Lots of options for putting the gear rack.

oman: IB ... hmmmm - good to think about ! Who says the kids need to sleep ?

Todd: those would be the only posts I think I could move, however I'm a bit leery of the idea. The house has settled on the existing structure - wouldn't moving the support points change how the house sits on the I-beam frame ?
post #10 of 23
How about pushing the wall back and going with an AT screen between the pillars and decorating them by incorporating them into a stage/simple proscenium? That would limit your CIH screen but has a lot of potential to look good.
post #11 of 23
With a 20' length, I still think if you go with a straight bar (with the edge starting at the bump out that you show in your rendering), that you will have enough room for nice row of ht seats in front of the columns and perhaps have the couch on a riser behind them in between the columns.

I guess it depends what the actual distance is from the wall to the 1st set of columns where your screen would be placed.

It's really ideal for an AT screen as you will have space for treatements, and bass traps.

My room is 18' with 16' of usable space because of the AT screen and false wall setup. Since I have a curved screen I only lose 18" at the center while I lose 24" at the side but that works out perfectly for bass traps. My first row, eyes to screen is 9'6" inches to a 120" scope screen.

My second row is about 6-8 inches off the back wall. While this is not ideal in most situations as you typically want more distance from the back wall, it is what I had to live with. Funny thing is that sound (to me at least) is better in the back row for movies with a lot of surround effects. I credit this to the type of speakers that I used and how they disperse sound, as well how I built the back area with the ceiling being stepped down for the projector.

My point to all this is that you may be able to get the seating arrangement in the way you want it with a couch and ht seats and still have appropiate distance from the screen. If the couch is non reclining you would really only need a riser that is about 5 feet deep and then have you HT seats in front.

If you already have a big fridge, I would relocate it to go in between the proposed HT and Piano/Guitar area. If you don't have the fridge, I would go with a smaller under counter model and you can maybe do some cabinets and counter on that back wall as well.

Good luck, the design phase is always tough.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
The unfinished distance between the posts "long ways" is 12 feet, and 9 feet "short ways". Both ways I can't really get the Berklines between the posts (they are 72" a pair), so they have to go in front.

Looking to the left puts the front posts farther away, but I can't put the screen that much farther behind the posts without them being distracting or in the way.

Looking to the top, the front posts are farther apart, so I can put the screen farther back. Even planning for a thick wall to in-set speakers and I can probably get the screen 10' away from viewing position.

So both ways I can get us a little over 10' from the screen. It's a wash. We are leaning towards the more multi-purpose setup (looking up) but I don't have to lock in a decision right now. The flooring and main walls (and drain before that) can be done while I waffle.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by andymo View Post

The unfinished distance between the posts "long ways" is 12 feet, and 9 feet "short ways". Both ways I can't really get the Berklines between the posts (they are 72" a pair), so they have to go in front.

Depends which model, some are narrower than others (unless you already bought them, in which case its a moot point). 13175s in a straight row of 4 for example are 120", which would fit between the 12' span you mentioned.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
I already have them. Got a great price so I had to jump. The good thing is it helps me plan accordingly. The bad thing is that they are configured as two pairs, so total is 144".
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Trying to do more "out of the box" thinking ... how quiet can you make a furnace ? I could make a good room at the top end of the drawing, but the noise of the furnace going on and off would be unacceptable.

So if you build a mini-room around the furnace (forced air natural gas), how quiet can you make it ?
post #16 of 23
OT but I am curious about your bar design. Did/are you using a set of plans? It looks like it has space for keg with drain at the elbow? I've looked at a few sites online and am still undecided on mine.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
re:Bar design
Sorry, i should have mentioned at the outset that the bar model in the Sketchup design is just a stock model used as a placeholder. I will build something custom, so it should go all the way to the wall or whatever we plan on doing. Everything else is more or less accurate, including the Berklines.

My bad !
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by andymo View Post
re:Bar design
Sorry, i should have mentioned at the outset that the bar model in the Sketchup design is just a stock model used as a placeholder. I will build something custom, so it should go all the way to the wall or whatever we plan on doing. Everything else is more or less accurate, including the Berklines.

My bad !
LOL ok. I think I'll end doing the same.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by andymo View Post

Todd: those would be the only posts I think I could move, however I'm a bit leery of the idea. The house has settled on the existing structure - wouldn't moving the support points change how the house sits on the I-beam frame ?

Honestly, I don't know. I'm not an engineer, so all I can do is come up with the idea, someone smarter would need to make it work. If it can be done, I think it would be worth while in the long run to get them moved. Even if it put me back a few grand to do it. (if it were me, of course)
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Initial progress !

In order to save me from carting junk up and down the stairs, my plan is to rough-in the top-left corner so I can move my storage racks and workbench over, thus clearing the rest of the basement for the "main event".

So for this one section of the basement I have the Delta FL down and the T&G plywood down. Behind the furnace is a bathroom rough-in, so there was lots of custom holes and cuts to get the floor down.

Wouldn't you know it tho - the very first tongue and groove join I do ends up being really hard because of a warped and damaged panel. For a while there I was thinking "Holy cr-p, this is going to take me forever to do the floor!" Once I got on to the second and third panel I realized it's not so bad. Scary first impressions.

Here is a pick of the corner - small steps, but I am glad to get rolling:


I had to laugh at all the instructions about keeping the subfloor 1/4" away from the wall. OMG my walls are nowhere near straight, and everytime they go around one of those sections that stick out of the wall (like a square column) there could be a 2" difference in depth on either side!

Ah, the fun of discovery !
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'll have a look at seeing what is involved in moving those posts. A little slide would be worth it if the $$ is reasonable.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Tonight's update:

Long day but I'm determined to get something done tonight. Since I have to do a small stretch of framing I have been studying up the last few days on as many tips and hints that I can find. In particular taking notes since I am going to have to stop the framing in order to do the big junk-shuffle so I can finish the floor.

So tonight I get that back half piece of blanket insulation out of the way, and start my measurements for the wall. All is going well - chalk line snapped, 3-4-5 checked against the next wall, etc. etc.

I crack open the plumb-bob that I purchased, oh, about 4 months ago, and do you think I can get the top unscrewed ? No way. I've got two plumbing wrenches twisting all over that thing and it ain't budging. At one point I think I must not understand the complex world of plumb-bob assembly and start a google search on "assemble plumb-bob". Obviously there were no direct hits, but I learned some interesting history on the plumb-bob. I even showed it to my wife hoping she would embarrass me and figure it out instantly, but nothing.

So after digging up the receipt (took a while - 4 months ya know) it's off to Canadian Tire I go. I get the young kids in there to try it and they can't, despite the small competition that arose between them. In the end we pulled another off the rack, opened up the packaging and it worked no problem. I left the store while the staff headed to the auto service department with the original plumb-bob while mumbling something about hydraulics.

Unfortunately after all that I am out of time. I have to get my little guy to the hockey arena by 5:30am tomorrow. Not as much progress as I had hoped. *sigh*

Just call me Andy-bob.
post #23 of 23
How did this turn out for you? I'd love to see some pictures.
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