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Drifter Street Studios

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Well after building my second theater I thought it was time to post something about my current build. I had planned to have a build thread, but I could never find the time to start it. Actual demolition and construction began January 2009, but we all know the planning stages started months prior. Completion of the theater wasn't until November 2011. So this thread is more of a documentation of my build with some pictures, but thankfully all the construction has already been completed. I know it isn't as fun and exciting as participating in the build, but I hope it gives others a few ideas nonetheless.

My first theater was constructed in a basement and was about 11.5' x 22'. At the time I would have given anything for another 2-3 feet of width and possibly another 3 feet in depth. I built it using standard construction techniques and didn't use any sound proofing materials throughout the room other than a solid core door. In the end I was very happy with the space, but felt the acoustics lacked something. It also didn't help that when watching movies late at night I had to be careful on the volume level even though the bedrooms were located on the second floor on the complete opposite side of the house. Unfortunately, I had to move 6 months after completing the theater only to move into an area with few, if any basements. The house we purchased fit our family well and also had a space I thought would be possible to turn into a future theater 2.0. It did have a few negatives though. The first negative was the space was already a dining room and my wife didn't want to eliminate it from the space. The second negative was the size. After careful consideration of resale value in case we needed to move in the future the space identified as the possible theater only measured approximately 10’4” x 15’5.5”. Yes, I had to resort to measuring down to the 1/2" to determing my seating distances. Since my wife could care less if we had a living room I was free to move the current dining area into that space, but unfortunately I could not figure out how to add space. To make matters worse I had planned to implement sound proofing, as well as a false wall into my new theater, which only adds to the complications of have a small starting area. The only good thing was it had "NO" windows. Enough words here are some pictures…











So, with my space defined I set out to determine the best seating available. Luckily for me I found the perfect seats on craigslist for an unbelievable price, 7 seats for $350 total.



In the coming posts I will add more pictures of my build and I hope to give others the confidence to start a build even if they have obstacles like mine. In the end I would build it all over again given the same circumstances. We use the space a lot more than if it was a living room and isn’t that what being a homeowner is all about, making the space work for you. Would I like to have a larger area? Absolutely, but for now our 7 seat home theater will have to do.
post #2 of 34
Thread Starter 


Since I am posting I may as well add some of the mateials left over from my build if anyone locally is interested. Hopefully, I am not breaking any forum rules by telling you all this, but I currently have a craigslist add (Phoenix area) listing the items. I would rather not have to ship these since there isn't a lot, but I won't be needing them anytime soon.



1. 60+ feet of linacoustic (1" x 48")- SOLD

2. Two to three 7.25"x 7.25" putty pads- SOLD

3. Green Glue Speedload Dispenser

4. Three large 28oz tubes of SilenSeal Acoustical Caulk



I also have some Anchorage "Aubergine" GOM left. It is a remnant, but could easily be used to cover some frames. Here is a picture:





I will delete the materials as they are sold.


Edited by AZGAMD - 10/27/12 at 6:25pm
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Here is the space with the carpet removed.



I planned to have the carpet put back into the theater, so I was careful in cutting it. I also have a remnant that was in the house when we bought it so even with the construction of the riser I should have plenty of carpet for the theater.

To implement some sound proofing I designed the space to have staggard studs, which required me to add a 1" strip to the existing wall. Since the theater was open on three sides I only needed to remove the drywall on the one existing wall and the pony wall.



For some reason I do not have many pictures showing the walls going up, but I do have some of the completed framing stages.



You can't see it in the pictures, but to save length and width of the completed room I built the staggard stud walls using a 2x6 (1.5" x 5.5" actual dimensions) ripped down to a 2 x 5 (1.5" x 4.5"). Building them this way saved me 2" on the width and 1" on the length. The pony wall used a regular 2x6 for the closed in portion because there was no reason to rip it down.





Here is a picture of the arch I built to blend in with the other areas of the house. I ended up not liking how shallow the arch was and tore it out. The second attempt can be seen in some of the later pictures, but I do not have anything prior to the insulation.

post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 
Insulation...exterior pictures









post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
Insulation...interior pictures

Front right



Rear right



Door



Front Left



Front



Back
post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
Drywall...Luckily I hired this stage out.









post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
Soffit construction...













post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 
Crown installation...







The projector moulding was a project that took a lot of time and planning to get it to this stage. Since I wanted to use rope lighting in the soffit I had to figure out a way for the box to blend into the ceiling. I am happy with how it turned out in the end.



post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 
Let the Fabric Frame build begin!

I used four of these to help with the alignment. It made it easy to place the wood strips in and then glue and nail everything into place. The other benefit is I could use them throughout the build no matter what size frame I was building.



Now that I had my jig all I needed was wood...lots of wood.



I built frames 1" and 2" deep using plywood ripped to the proper depth for the frame. The 2" deep frames were for the rear wall and the 1" frames were for the side walls. You can see the colors I was debating on using in the background.



The actual color can be seen here ready to be put on the frames, GOM Anchorage Aubergine (purple).



After putting the frames together I used a router to chamfer the edges.



Although in the end this process worked I would not recommend it. Installation of the frames on the wall caused me to add an additional step, which I will show later.

Areas where the router splintered the wood I used fast drying wall spackle to fill in the voids. After drying I would run the router over them a second time to make the spackle flush. It was not ideal, but in the end the frames look great.



Here are a stack of frames ready for routing and fabric.

post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
Here are some pictures of the theater fully primed with the ceiling painted.





Eventually it became black. At this point to get any work done I needed two to three times the amount of light as before.

post #11 of 34
The projector box came out nice. Is it ventilated?

What color paint is that on your ceiling?
post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

The projector box came out nice. Is it ventilated?

What color paint is that on your ceiling?

I ended up cutting a hole in the back bottom of the soffit and placing a vent cover over it with conduit extended to the back of the projector box. My plan is to add some computer fans that turn on when the receiver turns on to help pull cool air into the back of the box, which I haven't done yet but it is on my list. So far the projector has no issues, but it can't hurt to put some more ventilation air near the projector intake.

The paint color is Behr Cerulean (560B-7) in flat.
post #13 of 34
Great work on the room! Keep the pics rolling.
post #14 of 34
Thread Starter 
Frame installation:

This is the issue I mentioned earlier about using plywood for the frames. I ripped 3/4" plywood to the depth of my frames, which were either 1" or 2". Then the strips were cut to length and glued and nailed on edge prior to routing the edge detail. The problem with plywood ripped to 1" is it tends to flex and/or warp easily. This caused me to install the frames first on the wall using blocking glued and nailed to the wall to keep them straight and flat. During the pre-installation I used strips of fabric between the frames to help with the alignment. I tried to build all the frames the same width and height to make it more like a production line process. The rear corners of the back wall, the side walls intersecting the screen wall, the door, and the floor frames were the only "custom" made frames. After covering the wall with my frames I then began to wrap them individually, put construction adhesive on the corners and then toe nail them into the wood blocking. It was a long process, but in the end I learned a lot and was pleased with the results. Now on with the pictures:

Pre-installation:






Fabric Station:





The corners were a challenge:















Installation phase:

While wrapping the frame I used a scrap piece of wood to keep the center of the frame from being pulled in too much since I didn't make them with center supports. Placing the blocking on the wall also reduced the risk of having the frame bow inward from the fabric being stretched on the frame causing it to pincushion. To install them on the wall I used a fabric covered 2x2 and a hammer to force the frame on the blocking. Using a mallet or hammer directly on the fabric caused the fabric to crush and in turn made a shiny spot where it impacted the frame. The fabric covered piece of wood seemed to not let this happen.



post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 
The fabric wrapped frame for the steps had to be custom made. I originally was going to make a constant 6" fabric wrapped baseboard to go around the entire room, but decided to take the frames all the way to the ground. The rear and side walls that contacted the riser still got the 6" fabric wrapped MDF baseboard, but the side walls from the riser to the false wall had a larger fabric wrapped frame to take up the space. Here is the frame I made to follow the profile of the steps.



I glued and stapled a strip of fabric on the curve of the frame to hide the fact that the fabric needed to be cut in order to follow the curve of the profile. I did a similar thing to build the frame around the door.







It is hard to see the cuts I made in the fabric, but the layer I glued on first hides the wood from showing. The carpet also helps to hide the imperfections so you do not need to make it exact.





post #16 of 34
Thread Starter 
The frame that met the door also had an inside corner to be wrapped with fabric, which was done in a similar way to the frames I showed with the radius.









post #17 of 34
Thread Starter 
I know my thread is a little dry, but I am trying to dig through all the pictures as I get time and document it as clearly as I can. So I am going to try and focus on the front of the theater.

I didn't have a lot of room in my theater so I had to design a space for my components. I even debated on putting them outside the theater, but just couldn't find the right space. The front screen wall was built with openings on both sides of the stage to hold custom built cabinets. In order to gain access to the back of the components I built the cabinets to be installed on heavy duty slides. It wasn't ideal, but I am happy with how they turned out. I was concerned with placing velvet covered doors in front of the components to hide the lights, but so far I have not needed to add any type of remote repeater system. I even placed a second GOM panel inside the door frame to further hide the stereo lights and I can still use the remote through both pieces of fabric.













post #18 of 34
Great job! You were very thoughtful and generous with all the pics. The panel pics, especially. Very helpful.
post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted White View Post

Great job! You were very thoughtful and generous with all the pics. The panel pics, especially. Very helpful.

Thanks Ted. I appreciate the help you and John provided along with the informative write-ups.
post #20 of 34
Curious, what did you use for a staple system? It's just as neat and tidy as can be
post #21 of 34
Great photos, thank you.

Your pull out component rack looks really good, and I think I'm going to steal it. Do you happen to have any information on those glides?
post #22 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BllDo View Post

Great photos, thank you.

Your pull out component rack looks really good, and I think I'm going to steal it. Do you happen to have any information on those glides?

I found the slides on ebay for around $35/pair, which if you price a comparable model new they would sell for about $120/pair. They are Accuride Model 501 full extension slides and have up to a 600lbs capacity and are typically used on industrial work stations. If I remember correctly they are 23 inches in length and weigh about 17 lbs/pair. I don't think they are making this exact model anymore, but if you look for full extension Accuride slides they still make high capacity extra heavy duty models. Accuride has a good website and if you are able to find anything on ebay you should be able to get the documentation from the Accuride website, which will list all the dimensions and weight requirements.

Here is a pair that would work if you could use a 28" extension slide:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Accuride-930...item3f16f9ed4e
post #23 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted White View Post

Curious, what did you use for a staple system? It's just as neat and tidy as can be

I used the 18 gauge staple gun from Porter Cable, which was invaluable for such a project.
post #24 of 34
Great to see someone else from Arizona in here. I think you did an awesome job given the space constraints. I can't believe you built that in your living room! Now that's dedication. I just showed my wife and her first comment was 'I hope they have a family room'.

Any pictures fully finished? What's your final screen size? Distance to seats?

Let me know if you still have some of the supplies listed above in Post 2.
post #25 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcorbin View Post

Great to see someone else from Arizona in here. I think you did an awesome job given the space constraints. I can't believe you built that in your living room! Now that's dedication. I just showed my wife and her first comment was 'I hope they have a family room'.

Any pictures fully finished? What's your final screen size? Distance to seats?

Let me know if you still have some of the supplies listed above in Post 2.

You can assure your wife we do have a family room too. It is tough finding enough space in AZ homes since most do not have a basement. Now all I need to do is find space to start homebrewing again. I am still working on getting all the pictures uploaded to photobucket.

The screen is 109" diagonal and the first row is about 9' (), which puts the second at about 12' 6" from the screen. Not ideal, and some may turn their nose up, but my last theater had a 112" screen with the first row at 10' with a 720P projector. So, I already had some experience and knew with a 1080P the picture should only look better. I have no regrets and love that the speakers are behind the screen. Would I like more space? Absolutely. I almost didn't build the theater, because I was afraid it would look and sound horrible. Now that it is done I am so glad I went through with it. My last theater didn't have any treatments or GG used during the construction and it was something I always regretted not doing. I know my theater doesn't compare to some, but I have gotten a lot of compliments. I decided early on to pull permits for the build and the inspector had more questions for me than I had for him. The carpet installer was shocked I built it myself.

FYI, As for the materials everything is still available.
post #26 of 34
I actually really dislike those extra living rooms that serve no true purpose, so that's excellent that you were able to repurpose it and not disrupt the house walkway flow.

How's the sound level outside while a movie is playing?
post #27 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcorbin View Post

I actually really dislike those extra living rooms that serve no true purpose, so that's excellent that you were able to repurpose it and not disrupt the house walkway flow.

How's the sound level outside while a movie is playing?

Funny you should ask. My wife had a candle party two weeks ago. My son and I decided we were going to watch a movie in the theater. It wasn't ear splitting loud, but some of my wifes friends didn't even know we were in the house. Most nights my wife and I watch shows or movies in the theater while the kids are in bed.

The theater was built with staggard studs, which isn't as good as using clips, so if I crank it to reference levels it will leak sound out the door and slightly vibrate the walls, but even then it contains most of the dialogue. The best part is being able to watch movies and hear very little if any outside noise. You tend to hear things during the movie that you normally would miss if you watched it in an open family room.
post #28 of 34
Thread Starter 
Here are the screenwall frames I covered in black velvet. I angled the sides to help with reflections on the sidewall and think they turned out well. Getting the angle cut right on the table saw was the most difficult part.







Here are pictures showing the sheen difference between the Seymour screen and the Joanns velvet. The pictures really exaggerate the difference though.







post #29 of 34
Thread Starter 
Having a 1-3/4" thick door with a 1" panel on the inside required me to re-design a door handle to make something work. I wanted the outside handle and door to match the rest of the house, but wanted the inside knob to be black. Since the house used Kwikset handles in chrome I was stuck with Kwikset. So I bought two handles one in chrome to match the house and one in black. The owner at door knobs direct (on-line store, which I have no affiliation with) was very helpful and even sent me an extra spindle, but didn't know of a way to make the handle set work with the 2-3/4" I needed. They offer a thick door extension kit, but it only allows the handle to be used on a 2-1/2" thick door due to the design of their spindle. So, I cut piece off of the front of the extra spindle and had a friend weld it to the handle I wanted to use for the outside of the theater. This in conjunction with the extension kit sold by kwikset allowed me to extend the handle set to work with my thicker door.





post #30 of 34
Thread Starter 
Yesterday I finally got around to taking some pictures of the completed room. I have already posted pictures of the front of the theater so I figured I needed to post a picture of the seats too. The final width of the room ended up being 9'6" after installation of the fabric frames with the first row at 9' and the second row at about 12'.

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