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Let's finish this

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

I'm starting this thread as my build thread. All suggestions are welcome but here is a list of everything I can think of relating to my plans.

Soundproof everything possible
First and foremost I want the issue of sound to be solved up front. I would like to do clips + channel + dd + gg all around to create a blank slate. Then after I have a blank slate I can come back and add on soffits or built in cabinets, desk, and stage area. The way I look at it is then all those pieces could be done after inspections and treated as furniture. Rather large furniture. So here is a list of issue and solutions I've come up with so far for my room.
Walls and Ceiling - I plan on using Whisper RC clips and 25ga hat channel. The following is a list of trouble spots identified to isolating the room.
1. Electrical Panel - Still looking for a solution.

2. Outlets - The outlets will be attached to the 2x4 framed wall but I will use putty pads to help dampen them.

3. Windows - Here is an offered up solution that I will follow.

Originally Posted by Rod Gervais View Post

There is no way you will achieve any real level of isolation by attacking just the ceiling..... the flanking paths through the walls will be the "weak link" - and when it comes to isolation the level of isolation is (for the most part) only as good as it's weakest link.

If you're working with normal resilient channel - you need to be very careful around windows to make certain you do not short the system out (in fact it is very easy to destroy the isolation with resilient channel - all it takes is a few screws in the wrong place). Much better if you use clips and hat sections.

With window openings you are much better off creating drywall finishes instead of wood trims.

Shim and wrap (using drywall) the inside face of the framing to the correct size of the window - allow this to be about 1/8" short of the inside finished face of the drywall on the wall surface.

Make sure that your hat sections stop about 1/4" from the edge of the framing that creates the window opening.

Install the drywall face - holding it about 1/8" from the inside face of the framing.

This combination will allow the face of wall to flex freely - without transmitting sound from the wall the window in installed in.

You can then make a picture type trim frame the correct size for the opening - with (perhaps) a 1/2" return on the inside face - and then either screw this to the hat sections using wood trim screws - or just glue it in place using a good quality construction adhesive....

All you want attached is the face - the idea here being the free movement of the wall with nothing physically hindering that movement.

Whatever you do - be very careful that you do not install any fasteners that connect directly to the wood frame itself - this will lock the floating inner wall - and that will cause you a serious loss in isolation levels.,

4. Sconces - The boxes will need dampening unless I use remodeling boxes.

5. Projector Mount - Still searching for a solution. Would installing a strip of plywood as a first layer be sufficient for mounting the projector.

6. Pool Light - For something that may be a bit heavier Ted gave this nice solution.

Originally Posted by Ted White View Post

This is an example http://pac-intl.com/rsic_whi.html

7. Recessed Lighting - This is a tricky spot for me. Unfortunately I had already purchased a dozen 6 inch cans that have been mounted and unmounted many times. But now that soundproofing has become a goal I think less is of them is more. So on the theater side of my room I now have zero cans and made use of sconces more. On the other side over the pool table (which will really be a board game table to start with) I want a lot of light so I plan to build backer boxes.

8. Equipment Rack under the stairs - No set solution but I was planning to decouple the wall inside the room and also at least do DD + GG on the underside of the stairs.

9. Radiant Cove Heaters - I have no hvac in the room so I have been trying out electric radiant cove heaters. I've really liked them so far. They make no sound and once the room is so throughly insulated I will be able to heat the basement separately from the rest of the house. The heaters are not very heavy so I'm thinking to install plywood as a first layer on the decoupling channel and that will give me a mounting option.

10. Room Ventilation - In talking with www.soundproofingcompany.com I just realized I need to put some thought into fresh air for the room. Currently I'm looking to put a "dead vent" in the utility room below the air exchanger. Still need to determine exactly where to run the flex and vents.

11. Hallway and Door at top of stairs - I think my best option is an extra door just before the main room. Suggestions welcome.

12. In Ceiling Speakers - Just like the lights I'll build backer boxes.

13. Shelf along walls and under window - I haven't thought about this much. I assume driving clips into the concrete block and decoupling drywall on top would be the best option. Then if I wanted it trimmed in wood I could add that later.

I'm all out of thoughts at the moment so here's some current build diagrams.


Next I'll pull some current photos of the basement.

Edited by michaelstrunk - 1/15/13 at 8:19pm
post #2 of 29
Thread Starter 
Utility Room into before main room.

Reverse Shot

Electrical Panel

Windows - Shelf - Radiant Cove Heaters
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have a nice setup that they used for an electrical panel. I'll be doing clips + hat channel + DD + GG all around it. I would think you would want it sealed by either a door or a hanging panel.
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Climate control has turned into my number one concern for my basement now. I could use some advice and if anyone has some example links I'm on the hunt for a solution. My basement has no open vents at all (heating, cooling, returns, etc). There is one 6" flex duct which runs from the opposite end of the basement all the way to the furnace and is basically hanging open about a foot off the floor next to it. I purchases electric heaters awhile back but from the sounds of it I don't think heat will be an issue. Does anyone have any recommendations if I want to have my basement completely separate from the rest of the houses hvac systems. I assume I need a fresh air solution (from outside or the small utility room), a way to exhaust hot air (to the outside?), and a cooling option (minisplit?). Any help is greatly appreciated.
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Things have been progressing slowly. Planning takes a lot of time and it's hard to do much without parts. So I resort to the computer so I feel like things are getting done

In my drawing I replaced my electric heaters with a split pump unit since I'm leaning towards that for heat/cool and tapping off of my existing air exchanger unit for fresh air.

I also purchased a basepump to backup my sump pump. It only runs during VERY heavy rainfalls and in the spring but if my power went out or the pump failed I'd be in a world of hurt.

I'm second guessing installing my equipment under the stairs area since I'm trying to build that envelope for sound I think it might be better to keep the equipment in the room someplace. Any suggestions?

Also I created a picture for the ceiling and putting clips + channel up. I think I have it right. My floor joists are 24" apart.

But as a positive there was someone locally who is just finishing his basement and had 4.5 cases of green glue let. So I bought it from him

post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Been thinking about a different design recently. I'm in the process of putting in a Basepump backup sump pump system which will run a pvc pipe right up through my original location for my equipment. So back to sketchup I went and this is a new variation. The whole room has been rotated and a minisplit in the back wall. Also the pool table is out of the picture to be replaced with a lounge area / game table and probably toys, I guess I do like legos.

The hallway is a new change that I'm not entirely sure would turn out good or not. I could use some suggestions for that. Currently it measures at 3'.

In the top corner behind the screen is where the water comes into the house. I figured at the end of the hall I could put a door to get me access behind where I would put my equipment, receiver/ps3 etc.

post #7 of 29

I beleive a 3' wide hallway is just barely making code. Why not just straighten the hallway and make it easier to access the theater?

Would you be open to eliminating the front wall columns? You could cover the whole front wall with black fabric and hide a door to the backside of the av rack. The fabric would also hide the front wall absorptive treatments and the black background would be more performance driven.
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
I think I like it a little better going straight in also. The table in the pictures is more for reference of a 4'x6' size. I play quite a few boardgames with friends so I'd like enough space for people to move around.

post #9 of 29
I was thinking it'd be easier to move furniture into the room with a straight run.

I'd leave the side wall there to have a symmetrical set of walls for the front speakers. And to eliminate distracting electronic displays in the front of the room, plus move the electronics heat load and fan noise outside the room.
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
I agree Tedd so I've done some additional planning and here is what the latest plan is , will it ever be the last plan?

Some important steps have been accomplished recently. We decided to have an HVAC company install a minisplit and at the same time tap into our existing air exchanger for a little fresh air. One neat thing is just a simple push button timer on the air exchanger to run it at full for about 5 minutes.

I've almost finished putting in a basepump backup sump pump system

And I've done some new drawings of plans. In looking at the photos I will have a false curtain or something to gain access behind. And realistically the three walls around the component rack will be installed after the soundproofing envelope is complete. (that reminds me I need to order supplies stat).

I'm still amazed at how much things have changed. I've completely changed the direction facing of my room. Moved the equipment someplace else. Gave up on having a pool table. Abandoned putting in recessed cans. Althought I do have 2 standard lights in the basement that I either need to cover with access panels or put in lights. The plan right now is to find the brightest flush mount lighting I can find to use when we really want all the lights on for crafts or vacuuming etc. Looked at 2.35:1 and saw the cost

Any other suggestions?
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
A good recommendation was to move the door so the equipment is outside of the room and to give the room equal spacing on the front wall. So I've made a new design which has a wall coming off the point by my sump pump under the stairs. The one large wall now dividing the room from the furnace/utility area is 11" wide for comparison. My question is if I am already planning on doing clips + DD + GG what would be the best wall to build. Should it be a standard 2x4 wall, or an alternating 2x6, or 2 completely separate walls. I mocked it up last night and really like the idea of doing more to eliminate the sound from the furnace area.

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
It's been awhile since I last posted so here's a quick update on my progress.

I went ahead and put up my new wall to separate the room from the furnace room. I ripped a bunch of 2x6s to 4" to make a staggered stud wall. The furnace side is 16" on center. Then on the theater side I have gone back and placed extra boards at 24" for the clips. The plan will be to finish out the theater first and then at some point in time do a little better job in the furnace area. For now it's going to hold all my computer/AV equipment outside the main theater.

I've received my clips , putty pads , and green glue. So now comes the push to get the electrical complete for inspection. Here is what I decided to do to accommodate the 2 7/8" needed for clips + channel + DD. I rips some slightly less that 1" blocks from a 2x4 and then mounted the carlon adjustable boxes with screws long enough to go all the way through. This way there will be a gap so the first layer of drywall does not touch the metal mounting plate of the box.

Finally I removed all my ceiling cans and wiring. I'd like to put in 2 flush mount ceiling fixtures to use as full on light in the room when not watching the projector. I haven't decided if I should put those with remodel boxes or ceiling fan brackets yet. Then on the walls we are going with sconces unless I find something better.

post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
And one more picture for tonight. I do not actually have surround speakers yet so if you have any recommendation I'm not really all that up on what to buy. Currently my fronts are paradigm studio 80 , cc 350 center , ps1200 sub. I'm looking for wall mount speakers unless there's a strong consensus that in-wall is the way to go. Same goes with 5.1 vs buying more speakers. Personally I'd probably be fine with 5.1 and spending extra money someplace else but I've been known to change my mind a fair amount.

post #14 of 29
Go for 7.1, you won't regret it. If not with all the speakers - at least wire for 7.1 as a minimum.

Also - and I'm not clear on the dimensions of your room - but you may prefer to go for and acoustically transparent screen and put the front speakers behind it. It gives a much cleaner 'cinema' look.
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
Today I decided to go with the platon flooring system for my basement. I bought one large roll because it was the last one at a discounted price. It covers 475 sqft so from what I've figured I do not have enough to cover the entire floor. But if I choose to build a stage directly on my basement concrete then I would have enough platon for the rest of the floor. I'm looking to build a stage like in this thread http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...=822384&page=4

Does anyone have any do's and don'ts for a stage on concrete. Or should I really build the entire subfloor first and then the stage on top. Thanks, Mike

One additional thing, should I put my floor and stage in before or after I drywall the ceiling and walls. I am doing clips + DD.
post #16 of 29
I think the stage goes in after the drywall is up. The thought being you want your room to be sort of like an aquarium for sound. Connecting the stage to the framing would short circuit your sound isolation plans I believe.
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
J_P_A - that's where I think I'm heading. I'm really close to the drywall phase and then I'm going to build the stage area on top of my concrete floor. Then for the rest of the floor I'll do my platon system with 3/4inch osb.

Surround speaker question - I have my sides figured out but for my far rears I can't decide if I'm better off with the speakers behind the seating (so a couple feet on either side of the minisplit unit) or should I space them out more which would put one speaker in the far corner between the windows. If between the windows I was thinking I should place them pretty high then. I've never had 7.1 so if anyone has experience I'll take a recommendation.

HDMI question - for cables I need to start over. Anything I have is too short and by my measurement I need 32ft to get through my 2inch conduit. I've been trying to find out if I should run hdmi using two cat6 cables with the IR extender (monoprice) to the projector and then at the equipment rack put an hdmi switch. At that point I think I should be able to run and convert anything I need. PC = dvi/hdmi , PS3 = hdmi , wii = convert component to hdmi , vcr = maybe not.

One more night of insulating and I'm ready for inspection. New pictures to come very soon.
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
I've been back at it today and decided to take a break from insulation and put up some clips and channel. I decided to hit the harder spots around the windows and split unit. My question is what should I do about my shelf area. It's basically 6 inches of concrete block and then3 inches of framing. I'd like the end result to be a wood shelf so I think I'm looking at either directly attaching that or I could put clips and channel for the shelf also. Has anyone ran into a similar issue with their room. Thanks, Mike
post #19 of 29
Originally Posted by michaelstrunk View Post

Surround speaker question - I have my sides figured out but for my far rears I can't decide if I'm better off with the speakers behind the seating (so a couple feet on either side of the minisplit unit) or should I space them out more which would put one speaker in the far corner between the windows. If between the windows I was thinking I should place them pretty high then. I've never had 7.1 so if anyone has experience I'll take a recommendation.

Here's a link that might be useful. If it doesn't work, you can go to the Dolby site, and they have published recommendations for speaker locations. They even have a little tool that lets you put in seating distances and it calculates the speaker locations. It's a little limited, but you can figure out where things should go based on this.
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
So this is the point when I realize my thread is more than 47 days old. REALLY it's been 47 days. Must be summer. Today was a good day. I had my framing/heat/insulation inspection and everything was perfect. So finally I can move onto estimating drywall and making it look like a room again.

I do have a couple questions now. I will be doing 2 layers of drywall with Green Glue and I've seen people who do both sheets vertically and some who do the first sheet horizontally and then a vertical. My ceiling is going to end up being 8'5" so I thought it would be so much easier to buy 9' sheets and then put everything vertical staggering the seams. What about on the ceiling? Wouldn't it be stronger to do everything perpendicular to the channeling.

I'll try and take some new pictures after I clean the room this weekend.
post #21 of 29
I think most people orient their drywall to minimize the number of seams to tape and mud, not really for strength.
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
Finally back again. Drywall has been delivered and all my inspections are complete. It's a nice feeling being free to finish everything out now.

Is it best to put up the walls and leave about half an inch off the concrete. And then I'll come back later and put in a subfloor with platon barrier.

On top of the ledges I put channeling so I'm hoping it turns out ok. At first I planned on putting a layer of plywood first but now I'm thinking the 2 layers of 5/8 drywall should be strong enough.

Iif anyone has any last suggestions there's still a couple days before things start to get covered up. And a big thanks to everyone who has helped along the way.

post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
Here's some new pictures. I'm so happy I can hand off the taping to someone else and take a break. The discussion now is paint colors. I have a friend who can help with some Valspar paint so I was thinking Dark Kettle Black for the ceiling but my wife will probably veto that so does anyone have another suggestion closer to the earthy brown tones.

post #24 of 29
I went with the darkest brown I could find for the ceiling - so maybe that's an option if black is out.
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
Ok here some new pictures and I need a little advice for one problem. In the corner under the windows the concrete was really high from when a sump pump system was put in before we had the house. It probably started to rise really bad 16" from the wall so I cut out a 16" square from the 3/4" subfloor and tried fastening down a smaller sheet and filling with concrete. Well no surprise it didn't take long and started to break apart. So now that patch of concrete is out of the corner and I need to do something new before carpet comes in. I'm pretty much burnt out on trying to fix the floor so now I'm considering covering it up with a corner shelf unit or stacking oc703 as a trap with a corner shelf on top. Anyone have some nice pictures that they've seen for corner units.

post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah, would putting the corner oc703 under the windows actually do anything. I haven't done any research on acoustics too much yet. Thanks
post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 
Here's some new pictures of the carpet we went with. I'm really happy with the way things are turning out. I had planned on not doing anything in the furnace room until a later date but I had enough drywall and framing to quick get that much done. But the carpet was scheduled and holding off any longer would be sad. Carpet goes a long way to making it look complete. So what I'm looking to do next is

1. Build a minimal screenwall. I have a motorized 106" 16x9 screen right now so I'd like to start by using that. Later I may change to something else. The look of the 2 pillars and then fabric panels is what I'm shooting for. But I also was thinking I should have a light door on each end so I can get to the electrical panel easily. The room is about 19' wide at that point.
2. Finish window and ledge woodwork.
3. Find a new way to route speaker cables to my fronts and center. I originally was going to put in a stage and have a hole from the furnace area through the wall into the stage and then all the cables would be in that. Now we're not doing a stage so I may just need to put a hole above the baseboard in the corner and run them on the ground. It'll all be behind the screenwall eventually anyway.
4. Build acoustical panels
5. Build bass traps - Has anyone ever made soffits that act as a bass trap?
6. Tape and Mud and Trim the hallway area
7. Install component rack in furnace area

Ok enough brainstorming. Here's some new pictures.

post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well another month has passed by so here's a new batch of pictures. I finally decided on axiom audio M3 on-wall speakers and I love how they mounted. It was so easy and they sound great. Currently I have some low cost Sony speakers for my surround backs and I've been debating switching to front height speakers instead. Another addition was an Onkyo 709 which is a step up form my previous receiver.

I still plan on minimally walling off the front area and I think we've decided against building a stage area. I'm amazed that a whole year has gone by and I get the feeling I'll be at this for another year. Now all those threads about how long it takes makes sense.

post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
So I'm going to get back into finishing some things out. I think I've decided before I go any further with the screenwall I'm going to replace what I have. Currently it's a 104" viewable electric screen 16x9. But what I want is the 2.35:1 aspect screen for watching movies. Question is does anyone have any recommendations for how big I should go. The room is 19' wide and I'm going to go with a fixed AT screen so I can move the speakers behind it.
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