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New house, new theather - what'll it cost?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Just moved the family to Tennessee into a nice new house with a huge unfinished basement. And 14' ceilings! I've had projectors for the last 10 years and the plan will be to make a relatively small, dedicated room for a projector theater. Looking at about 16'x16' and a screen around 100-120" with 2 rows of seating.

So the main issues are the lack of a lot of electricity, no HVAC in the basement, and 14' ceilings wink.gif. We know we'll need to run another electric box and add another heat pump for the basement (most of the rest will be turned into a "mother-in-law" suite, so we will need both of these for that purpose anyway). I'm not concerned about it looking as spectacular as many theaters on here, but I want it to be more than just a dark-blue box.

I know it's a foolish idea to ask, but I've been out of the game for awhile. So thinking about the electric box, HVAC, and the space allotted with 2 rows and a 14' ceiling, any guesses on how much to budget for the room? Not talking about the equipment as I already have most of what I need for that, but the room itself with wiring for 7.2 sound and a 3D HD projector?

Thanks, Scoob
post #2 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by scoob5555 View Post

So the main issues are the lack of a lot of electricity, no HVAC in the basement, and 14' ceilings wink.gif.

How are 14' ceilings an issue??? That's a blessing! biggrin.gif
Quote:
I know it's a foolish idea to ask, but I've been out of the game for awhile. So thinking about the electric box, HVAC, and the space allotted with 2 rows and a 14' ceiling, any guesses on how much to budget for the room? Not talking about the equipment as I already have most of what I need for that, but the room itself with wiring for 7.2 sound and a 3D HD projector?

Figure $700 for the AVSforum Theater Design Service...

Rest is something between zero and "how much ya got?". wink.gif

A lot will depend on what you'll do yourself and what will be done by pro's (or, at least, hired contractors...). You'll very likely want to spend some time talking with Ted about soundproofing - if the basement will be shared with a MiL suite.

You might want to get some quotes from remodeling contractors for finishing the basement. Then you can adjust upwards from that - more electrical, soundproofing, any additional finishing, etc. If you have most of the equipment already, most of the cost is going to be in the room finishing. At least, it will be until you start adding in the extra details you'll end up wanting. Welcome to the madness...

Jeff
post #3 of 24
Some seat of the pants estimates. You need a longer room for two rows of reclining theater seats, 18ft min, 20ft better. You can do a basic room for $2000 You can do a nice soundproofed room for $4500, You can add soffits, lighting, riser, stage, acoustical treatments, carpet and make it look like a quality theater for another $4000-6000. Also depends on how much of this you can DIY versus hiring someone.
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I'm waiting for a guy to provide a quote, but it's house-building season, so I'm low on his priority list for a few months. [And that's OK.] I'm just looking for ball-park guestimates so I can get an idea what to expect. I plan to do some basic stuff, but I'll leave most of it to the contractor.

There are a few ways to do the room, so I haven't decided how I want to orient it. There's another possibility of setting up a 15'x20'+ room instead next to the original proposal, but only if the original doesn't work. And we don't need reclining chairs/sofas, so I think the 16' will work for the two rows.
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by scoob5555 View Post

I plan to do some basic stuff, but I'll leave most of it to the contractor.
Then my estimates are on the low side.
post #6 of 24
I agree with BIG, try to make the room a bit longer for a couple reasons. Acoustically you don't want a square, and you'll want a little more room for those 2 rows of seats.

I'd estimate $15K if you DIY and do soundproofing, acoustical treatments, fabric, columns, etc. Less if you just do paint and carpet. $35-40K if you hire a HT company to do it. You may save some $$ if you do most of the planning and design (or have AVS/Dennis do it) and then just contract out the pieces/parts.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Bringing this back to life. Decided on a plan that comes to about 19'x14' after the entrance hall is subtracted. And for future reference, the quote for adding the electric box (with expandability for later projects), electric for all of the basement, a gas furnace install (with all duct-work), an additional water heater (gas to run in series with the existing electric heater), a huge 'elevated' storage area off the main staircase (only about 5'5" tall so the area beneath will still have about 8' height), and the theater construction for $24k. I'm supplying the speaker and HDMI wiring and all of the equipment and furniture for the theater.

My plan is to add the Panasonic AE8000 projector with a Panny or Sony Blu-Ray 3D player and a new Onkyo 616 receiver. Screen will be a DIY or Screen Goo and probably 10-12' diagonal. It will be a 7.2 system with rear and side surrounds using my existing B&W 6 series speakers for front and some old Mirage bipoles for rear and Cambridge Soundworks S300 switchable dipoles/bipoles for the sides. I haven't picked out the sconces or sound deadening yet. Need to get the coax cable and phone wires run for that area. I think that's it for the theater... It should be about 11' tall front to back.

Went with two rows of Seatcraft Catalina seats - both rows of which will be elevated 2 steps from the floor and each other (so back row up 32" from floor). Leaving the front for a couch or bean bags for kids' friends.

Am I forgetting anything?
post #8 of 24
I know I'll probably get bashed for this but I bought a 120" screen off Amazon for about $350 frame and all (EA screen). I don't think I would have saved much by doing it myself and unless you plan on going with really fancy molding around the screen you probably won't get a better finish going the DIY approach. Not sure if this is considered a good screen or not but to my amateur eye it does a great job, especially for the price. If I had it to do over the only thing I would change is I would have spent twice the price to get the acoustically transparent version (and then I would have still used the in-walls I went with even though almost everyone on here hates in walls). Going AT would have allowed me room to go with another 10"-20" of screen size and would have allowed the center to go directly behind the screen.
I think you'll be happier with the 19'x14' size. A square just seems strange for a theater and 16' depth is not a lot to work with, that extra 3' will make a world of difference.
If the basement is unfinished I would highly recommend wiring in some Cat6 cable. I know everything is going wireless but I personally like the security blanket of a wired connection, even if it is just to plug a wireless extender into. With that being said everything goes out of date so I would put that Cat6 cable in conduit while you don't have any walls to contend with. So when we get to Cat97 or whatever it will be easy to switch out the wiring.
Sound like a pretty sweet setup.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ordered the Cat 6 also and will have that run in the walls. Will run three of them between the equipment cabinet and the projector, along with the HDMI cables. Anything else I should run up to there? Won't be doing any gaming in this room - that will be next door in the kids room.

Thanks
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
So I found out yesterday that I should never draw architectural designs. It all made perfect sense in my head - and even on paper I thought it worked. But when I got home last night I realized my mistake.

When I drew the layout of the room, I was dumb enough to draw two steps instead of only one going from level to level. It struck me on some level that it looked odd, but I couldn't figure out why. I got it now!

The long and short of it is my middle and back row seating are 8" higher than I was expecting them to be. I've effectively shortened the room by another 16" and made it impossible for the front row (planned to be just a couch for kids' friends, etc) to see the screen without craning their necks (the bottom of the screen would be above eye-level). S$^&!

My wife partially saved the day by suggesting that the front part of the theater just be built up by 8" so it won't be so bad to watch from there. Even 8" is better than the alternative, so that's how we will go. Contractor offered to tear it down and do it to my (new) specs, but I declined since there's really no reason to undo this excellent work and I don't want to pay further for my mistake... The result is more like true stadium seating and there will be no problems with even extremely tall people sitting in the rows in front blocking any views.

A corollary to the higher seating platforms is that I realized how much empty space there will be under the seating. My wife suggested storage room for something. I see an infinite baffle subwoofer enclosure... Investigating that option now and will be open for suggestions if anyone has experience with such. The volume is about 280 cubic ft and the idea would be to essentially add rump shakers to all of the seats without actually doing them individually. Not a high priority now, but I'm entertaining it and will leave it accessible for future playing.
post #11 of 24
I worked on a theater where the riser was 24 inches high and the final result of the room was spectacular. Actually now my favorite height if you have the ceiling height. See swizzle stick.
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I don't hate it as is, but the front row would be useless without something to raise it up some. When the seats get here I will hook up the old pj to get an idea where to place the screen. When I have that I'll know whether or not the front row will be viable.
post #13 of 24
Can you post images of the design? We like 24 inch risers, or bigger, for a number of reasons. wink.gif. For a room that high, I might even consider 3 foot risers.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
I posted on another thread yesterday. Interested to hear sugestions - but this is the way it's already built. So the options to change at this point are limited. Theater.pdf 327k .pdf file
post #15 of 24
Where are the pictures of said theater.
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Don't have anything yet - too busy doing everything else for the theater, the other parts of the build, work, Taekwondo, etc. If I get a minute tonight maybe I'll take some, but the lighting down there is very dim and nothing too fancy will come of them.
post #17 of 24
Hmmm... We don't like to see the back row against the back wall for sound quality, and the riser depth is at the absolute minimum. Mine is 5'6" and the chairs just barely fit - the footrest will touch the cushion ahead of it - you may get a bit of help from the riser height. At this point, as painful as it might be, I think I'd recommend you rebuild with a single, 8' deep riser, place the front row at 11' at floor level and the second row on the riser, 2' off the back wall...

My opinion.

Jeff
post #18 of 24
Is there a reason for that hallway inside the theater? Unless you really need it for some reason, I would eliminate that and center the room. You could have steps leading up to the entrance on the outside of the theater. I'd also echo what jautor mentioned, and bring that rear row off the back wall. Also, the comment about the footrest touching is correct, as a general guideline you will want six feet for your riser. Yes that means there is some 're-work', but the time to get this right is now. Much easier to do now than down the road.
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys. I realize the back row on the wall isn't ideal, but my seat will be in the middle of the middle row... I'm sorta counting on the microfiber chairs to absorb some of the nasty waves back there. It's a hope more than anything.

As for the depth of the risers, I drew the chairs longer than they will be for regular viewing. They are actually about 52" when partially reclined, the way I expect most or all viewing will occur. Fully reclined will be at an odd angle and not comfortable in my experience. So I think the 65" depth will be more than adequate without touching the row in front. Also that will allow me to place the back row off the back wall by a few inches.

Regarding the hallway into the theater, it was something I'd always had in my mind to keep it like a "real" theater. With the width of the remaining area, I thought it was more than adequate for the intended audience size. I hadn't put too much thought into the acoustics related to the hallway, but I'm hoping some acoustic panels will eliminate anything too bad. Is that realistic? I like the look of it too much to change now. Except to raise up the the front area by 8" or 16" to get that row up to a better viewing height.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by scoob5555 View Post

Thanks, guys. I realize the back row on the wall isn't ideal, but my seat will be in the middle of the middle row... I'm sorta counting on the microfiber chairs to absorb some of the nasty waves back there. It's a hope more than anything.

It's more about the experience for the people in that row - they'll be in the corner where bass tends to pile up, and be underneath or otherwise very close to the surround channels.
Quote:
As for the depth of the risers, I drew the chairs longer than they will be for regular viewing. They are actually about 52" when partially reclined, the way I expect most or all viewing will occur. Fully reclined will be at an odd angle and not comfortable in my experience. So I think the 65" depth will be more than adequate without touching the row in front.

"Partially reclined" still means the footrest fully extended, though, right? Do your feet extend over the end? When I say mine touch the row in front, it's from a comfortable viewing recline, not 'fully', which of course is almost flat and not a practical viewing position...
Quote:
Regarding the hallway into the theater, it was something I'd always had in my mind to keep it like a "real" theater. With the width of the remaining area, I thought it was more than adequate for the intended audience size. I hadn't put too much thought into the acoustics related to the hallway, but I'm hoping some acoustic panels will eliminate anything too bad. Is that realistic? I like the look of it too much to change now. Except to raise up the the front area by 8" or 16" to get that row up to a better viewing height.

Getting rid of the hallway to provide more space on the sides of the seats, getting them away from the walls, would be a much better use of space, IMO...

Jeff
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks again. The 52" length at partial recline is the full extension of the bottom outward. And no one in my family needs to be concerned about feet sticking over the end...wink.gif So I have no concerns about feet hitting the row in front.

Can acoustic treatments help some with the back row issue? At least for absorbing the nastier bass waves in the corners? Or a bass trap of some sort? The back speakers will be right over their heads, so that could get a little close for the action in some cases, but I can tone down the back channels if I need to. The side surrounds will be placed pretty well for the back, but again I can turn those down if necessary.

Now that I look at it again, I'll talk to the contractor about moving the back wall back another foot. We have the space available so I will pursue that. That would give us about 1.5-2' behind the rear row to the wall. Better than nothing, I think.
post #22 of 24
you need a 61/2 ft deep riser.

I think this shot is a simulation of 6 ft, I'm 5-11

post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Seats will be here next week, so I've got some time to figure out what will or won't work. We need to upgrade the house electrical with another line and that couldn't be scheduled for 2 weeks, so a blessing in disguise, maybe.

And I am the "tallest" of our family at 5'5", so your reality is different from mine. smile.gif
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
I did get them to move the wall back another foot so I can get the seats off the back wall. All the Sheetrock is up and it's ready for paint. The seats arrived on time and will be perfect in the room. We chose a slate Gray for the walls and ceiling. Carpet will be a mid-pile and the color is 'Napa Valley'. Still deciding on the mouldings and color for those so I'm looking for ideas. I would also like to put up crown moulding at the ceiling and not white. Would the Napa Valley color work for a crown?

I'm painting the screen tonight using my old friend's latest and greatest Silver Fire paint solution. Screen will be around 140" diagonal which in the case of this theater starts about 40" off the floor so the top is about 10' up! It will be massive and I can't wait to get the pj and all of the other new equipment here to set it up and start enjoying it.
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