My greatest home theater moment ever was actually not a positive event, but a heart-breaking one which eventually culminated in satisfying results after a 6 month escapade of hard work and determination. This event was Tropical Storm Lee in the fall of 2011.
I had setup my home theater 4 years before in the large basement room of my home. Over that time I had upgraded both equipment and room furnishings, constructing many of those furnishings myself; a carpeted stage for my front speakers , a bar counter for second-row seating, media shelves, and even a keg refrigerator I converted from an upright freezer. The room had wall to wall carpeting, curtains on either side of the screen, reclining sofa, and a nice snack bar area in the back leg of the L-shaped room. I thought I had a fairly nice, cozy setup for hosting my regularly scheduled Monthly Movie Nights, held on the first Thursday and Saturday nights of each month for up to ten friends and family members each night. Then, “Flood Lee” struck on September 7, 2011.
Over 10 inches of rain fell that day and overnight, on top of 5 or 6 inches from the previous few days. All that water ran down the large hill in my backyard and pooled up behind the house, until it began to overflow the foundation walls, pouring down behind the paneling in my basement like a rushing waterfall… water was running across the carpeted floor as I scrambled to move valuable items up off the floor, piling them on top of counters and desks or carting them upstairs and stacked up in my living room and dining room. Exhausted, I finally gave up around 3 AM and went to bed, dreading what I would find the next morning.
I awoke to 2” of water covering the entire basement floor. The only reason it didn’t get any deeper was because the garage is located under the house, so all the water was flowing out the doorway into the garage, and pouring down the drain in the middle of the garage floor. That drain ran for two days straight. The carpet and padding in the theater room were saturated, and the baseboards and paneled walls sucked up the water like a wick and proceeded to warp in big waves. I spent the next two days sweeping and vacuuming as much water as I could. All the carpeting, baseboards, and warped wall panels had to be ripped out and tossed into a big roll-off dumpster I had placed in my driveway. After two weeks of drying out with fans, reconstruction began – all completed myself, with some assistance from my mother and a neighbor.
The most horrid work was scraping and sanding 4 layers of massively loose, peeling paint off the concrete floor, which had been on the floor long before carpeting was added. For two more weeks we used sidewalk ice scrapers, sharpened to a razor’s edge on a grinding wheel, to scrape the paint off the floor so new flooring could be installed. I decided to lay commercial vinyl composite tile instead of carpeting, and I replaced all the damaged wall panels and repainted the walls in the entire basement. I installed 4 new 20 amp electrical circuits for power and lighting, seven wall columns with light sconces, and vinyl baseboards which would not absorb water in the future. I also upgraded my projector to a new 3D model – I figured since I spent thousands of dollars on materials for all the repairs, what's a few more thousand for a nice 3D projector?!
After 6 long months of spending almost every evening and weekend in my basement constructing and installing, I was finally rewarded with what is now a much more attractive theater than I had before the flood. Tropical Storm Lee actually gave me the incentive to complete a lot of the projects I had put off for quite a few years, so the devastation of my theater room was actually a big blessing in disguise… That's why I will call it my greatest home theater moment - it was the greatest disaster but also the greatest blessing!From This / To This... And From This / To This... Edited by FreyTheater - 8/18/12 at 1:55pm