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Owner thread for Erskine designed plans - Page 4

post #91 of 117
I have an Erskine Signature plan, and am now in the process of integrating that into the working drawings for a major remodel. I am finding that the designers and mechanical and electrical consulting engineers are having difficulty understanding what is needed, even after they have had phone conversations with Dennis. This points out that, unless you want to DIY or spend the money to have Erskine turnkey the room, you will need to be intimately and continuously involved in both the design and the constructions processes to ensure that they get it right.
post #92 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimpleTheater View Post

You will find out that budget equipment in a properly designed room will surpass exotic equipment in an untreated room.

+1
post #93 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBon View Post

I have an Erskine Signature plan, and am now in the process of integrating that into the working drawings for a major remodel. I am finding that the designers and mechanical and electrical consulting engineers are having difficulty understanding what is needed, even after they have had phone conversations with Dennis. This points out that, unless you want to DIY or spend the money to have Erskine turnkey the room, you will need to be intimately and continuously involved in both the design and the constructions processes to ensure that they get it right.

That's a good point for anyone considering the higher end plans. The plans aren't blueprints. A lot of what is offered in the Signature plan vs the lower tier plans is just additional technical requirements for the room. The design work to meet those technical requirements is redirected back to the client. The expectation is the client will find and hire competent designers in their respective fields for the specifics.

Here is an old post from Dennis that sums things up. The example focuses on HVAC, but the methodology is fairly consistent throughout the Signature Design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

I doubt the mufflers will help. The issue is the "high velocity" which creates turbulence which creates noise. About all you can do is decrease the velocity by using larger ducts and larger diffusors OR more (meaning lots more) small ones.

Now to my soap box ....

I have a potential client that is very focused on specifying duct size, diffusor size, etc. Here's how it works when you're dealing with other trades (such as HVAC contractors). If your objective is to have a duct of size "x", then specify "x" if that's what is important to you. I'd suggest, that duct size is of no importance to you in an acoustic application. What is important is noise levels, etc. So if the noise level of the air leaving a diffusor is important to you then specify (as an example), the Noise Rating (or Noise Criteria) shall be not more than 21 when measured .5 meter from any diffusor.

Another example ... are you concerned that the HVAC will provide 18,000 BTU's of cooling. I'd suggest that's not what you're really interested in. Here's a better way: "The system shall maintain 70 degrees with an outside temperature range from -30 degrees to 110 degrees, humidity shall not be less than 25% nor greater than 35%...."

Let me explain one (not all) of the reasons for this. If you tell your HVAC contractor that he must meet a given temperature, humidity and NR, then if you don't get that, it is his problem to fix, at his expense, at his potential loss of license. On the other hand, if you tell him you want 10" dia. ducts, and he gives you 10" dia ducts but the air noise is outrageous and the room will get no cooler than 85, it's your problem, not his.

Think about it.
post #94 of 117
Dennis' advice is correct, until you realize that its almost impossible to find a contractor willing to sign themselves up to be on the hook for those goals (well, maybe once you are in the $100K project range the situation is different).

As an example, I find that the HVAC in my bungalow house is not very well balanced between main floor and basement - specifically the basement in the summer is like a meat locker (16C) when the upstairs is at the proper setting (23C).

I have talked to a dozen contractors to ask them to quote me what it would cost to simply correct this so the two floors are roughly the same (less than 2 degrees difference). I can't find *anyone* willing to generate that kind of results-oriented quote. They will all say don't worry about it, it'll work well - but faced with hard design requirements they all walk away.

Now, making sure your AC isn't freezing cold in 50% of your home - that is a pretty universal design goal! I would suggest that the pool of residential (as opposed to commercial) HVAC contractors that have *any*idea what a Noise Rating of 21 from the supplies is, or how to measure that, or even have the tools to do so, is dramatically smaller still....
Edited by kromkamp - 4/15/13 at 8:52am
post #95 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

Dennis' advice is correct, until you realize that its almost impossible to find a contractor willing to sign themselves up to be on the hook for those goals (well, maybe once you are in the $100K project range the situation is different).

As an example, I find that the HVAC in my bungalow house is not very well balanced between main floor and basement - specifically the basement in the summer is like a meat locker (16C) when the upstairs is at the proper setting (23C).

I have talked to a dozen contractors to ask them to quote me what it would cost to simply correct this so the two floors are roughly the same (less than 2 degrees difference). I can't find *anyone* willing to generate that kind of results-oriented quote. They will all say don't worry about it, it'll work well - but faced with hard design requirements they all walk away.

Now, making sure your AC isn't freezing cold in 50% of your home - that is a pretty universal design goal! I would suggest that the pool of residential (as opposed to commercial) HVAC contractors that have *any*idea what a Noise Rating of 21 from the supplies is, or how to measure that, or even have the tools to do so, is dramatically smaller still....

I'm going to have a major uphill battle convincing my HVAC installer that a zone system isn't a mistake, forget having them commit to NC/NR 21.
post #96 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnedator View Post

I'm going to have a major uphill battle convincing my HVAC installer that a zone system isn't a mistake, forget having them commit to NC/NR 21.

Is a mistake, or is not a mistake?
post #97 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

Is a mistake, or is not a mistake?

They will think, based on what I've heard from others building a house and what we've been told when trying to get one here at work, that putting in a zone system in will create more problems than it addresses. That the dampers will constantly fail and there will be all kinds of problems.
post #98 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnedator View Post

They will think, based on what I've heard from others building a house and what we've been told when trying to get one here at work, that putting in a zone system in will create more problems than it addresses. That the dampers will constantly fail and there will be all kinds of problems.
Might be time to look for a different HVAC contractor...
post #99 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by GWCR View Post

Might be time to look for a different HVAC contractor...

Welcome to rural America. Problem is they are far and away the best In the area. My other option is to get someone from 90 minutes or further away, which will be a service nightmare.


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2
post #100 of 117
Quote:
They will think, based on what I've heard from others building a house and what we've been told when trying to get one here at work, that putting in a zone system in will create more problems than it addresses. That the dampers will constantly fail and there will be all kinds of problems.

Translation: "We don't know how to do a zoned system, we have never done a zoned system, and we use cheap (not inexpensive) parts in our installations. Have a nice day."
post #101 of 117
It took me four contractors before I found one that knew how to put in a separate zone system. The first two didn't even bid on the job, the third wanted four times more than what I paid the HVAC company that did the job. Be patient and be persistent, it'll work its way out.

Bud
post #102 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Translation: "We don't know how to do a zoned system, we have never done a zoned system, and we use cheap (not inexpensive) parts in our installations. Have a nice day."

Yea, pretty much. A friend of mine had a zoned system put in here about 25 years ago, but he had to force the issue. Now, 25 years later, the local HVAC companies still resist them.
post #103 of 117
Wow. I couldn't convince our HVAC contractor NOT to use a zoned system. The jury is still out as to whether or not ill like it though
post #104 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

Wow. I couldn't convince our HVAC contractor NOT to use a zoned system. The jury is still out as to whether or not ill like it though

Yea, well your LA is clearly more sophisticated than my LA (lower Arkansas -- ok, actually I'm in NA.)
post #105 of 117
Thank you all for your thoughts on EG services. I've decided to take the leap. Dennis asked for a budget target up front. Whether I stick to it or not depends:rolleyes:
post #106 of 117
I have a media room (with all the pre-wiring done for projector, speaker etc) in my new house and I'd like to know the "ballpark" for getting the design plan built by a Erskine contractor - I mean is it 5K, 10K, 20K or 100K?

Just want to know if it's worth a call to Erkine group or not (once I know the ballpark). I'm a DIY'er to some extent but I can't build risers, walls or put up sheetrock etc.
post #107 of 117
A lot hinges on the size of the room, the equipment you select and the interior aesthetics and performance. His crews are top-notch professionals who are well-versed in all of the non-standard details required to build a high-performance residential home theater.

I'd give them a call to discuss the particulars of the project you have in mind. Their number is 970-557-4440 and ask to speak with Shawn Byrne.
post #108 of 117
I'd agree on giving them a call. I had a lot of similar questions about my basement theater plans, and quickly got to a point of realizing that "it depends" was coming up a lot. smile.gif Had a few folks recommend working with Dennis and company, and so far it's been very helpful. There's a lot of back and forth (as my design interacts with some excavation plans, which keep changing as I try to finalize reasonable pricing and scope), and they've been very flexible and available to help answer questions.

To your specific question, I think "it depends" again... I'm aiming for a build of about $40-50k after excavation work is done, and have communicated that to Dennis. So far it seems as though we're in that ballpark, but it's early days and I also have to keep reminding myself to keep an eye on scope creep on the project. Dennis has also been helpful here, especially as I explore options for larger screens (which then hits a variety of interconnected issues to consider around price, throw, angles, excavation depth, etc.)
post #109 of 117
I'd give them a call. My plan is to get the Media Room ready from a build perspective i.e. paint, carpet, acoustic panels and other stuff etc and then do the phase 2 (buying equipment and installation). I know what I want from the equipment side so I know the budget but I'm totally clueless as to how much the "build" costs.
post #110 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBon View Post

I have an Erskine Signature plan, and am now in the process of integrating that into the working drawings for a major remodel. I am finding that the designers and mechanical and electrical consulting engineers are having difficulty understanding what is needed, even after they have had phone conversations with Dennis. This points out that, unless you want to DIY or spend the money to have Erskine turnkey the room, you will need to be intimately and continuously involved in both the design and the constructions processes to ensure that they get it right.

This statement is so true!

I allowed the subs to block my theater for channels and they screwed the pooch! Took three weeks to tear out and re-do blocking and framing...........put me three weeks behind schedule which was stressful due to home being part of a "Tour of Homes" show. At that point, I told the GC to leave the room alone and I'd do the rest.

Happy with soundproofing results, but I have one small issue..........the GC had the sub put in the bottom threshold of my Zero seals and he cut the neoprene bottom stop too short.............now I have to order the neo stop and re-do it myself.
post #111 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

Wow. I couldn't convince our HVAC contractor NOT to use a zoned system. The jury is still out as to whether or not ill like it though

Take the leap of faith! Granted, having a dual HVAC system were one is dedicated to the theater is ideal.........but going to a zoned HVAC system is not the end of the world. I have 4 zones, one dedicated to the theater.........with careful planning and using dead vent concepts, you'll be happy in the end.

I was really worried about having my dual hot water tanks, hot water recirc system, furnace, air condition units all surrounding the perimeter of my theater..........but taking the extra precautions has eliminated by worries. My room is absolutely dead silent when the doors are shut..............it's eerily quiet I might add. smile.gif
post #112 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublewing11 View Post

Take the leap of faith! Granted, having a dual HVAC system were one is dedicated to the theater is ideal.........but going to a zoned HVAC system is not the end of the world. I have 4 zones, one dedicated to the theater.........with careful planning and using dead vent concepts, you'll be happy in the end.

I was really worried about having my dual hot water tanks, hot water recirc system, furnace, air condition units all surrounding the perimeter of my theater..........but taking the extra precautions has eliminated by worries. My room is absolutely dead silent when the doors are shut..............it's eerily quiet I might add. smile.gif

We've been in the house a year now, and if I had it to do over again, I'd probably go with separate units. I like a zoned system for the theater, but for our particular house design I'm not sure it's ideal. With our open floor plan, our 5 ton unit struggles to keep up when it's extremely hot outside. This is only a problem when using the programmable thermostats. The directions would have you believe that you should set the things 6 degrees or so higher when you're away, and let the unit cool things back off before you get home. If it's in the mid 90's or so outside, our unit has trouble recovering. Not only that, but it also drives our cooling bill UP.

I think the systems have a lot of potential to work well, but I'm not sure there's enough data for all the various home geometries. For a home with very distinct areas that are blocked off from one another, it makes sense. But as homes move more to open floor plans, it becomes more difficult to get it to work. Just my 0.02.
post #113 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

We've been in the house a year now, and if I had it to do over again, I'd probably go with separate units. I like a zoned system for the theater, but for our particular house design I'm not sure it's ideal. With our open floor plan, our 5 ton unit struggles to keep up when it's extremely hot outside. This is only a problem when using the programmable thermostats. The directions would have you believe that you should set the things 6 degrees or so higher when you're away, and let the unit cool things back off before you get home. If it's in the mid 90's or so outside, our unit has trouble recovering. Not only that, but it also drives our cooling bill UP.

I think the systems have a lot of potential to work well, but I'm not sure there's enough data for all the various home geometries. For a home with very distinct areas that are blocked off from one another, it makes sense. But as homes move more to open floor plans, it becomes more difficult to get it to work. Just my 0.02.

Never thought about the struggles of cooling in the South.................with high humidity any system would be taxed if not spec-ed correctly. Since I'm from the Pacific Northwest.......cooling is not really an issue. The daily routine.......early morning open windows........close at 11 AM.......air conditioning kicks on around 3 PM until 10 PM......and that is on a very hot day ie. in the 90's!

Our house plan is very much open, granted I've only been living in our home since last Sunday..................yet our air conditioner has only kicked on a few times in the last week and that was due to cooling only one zone in the house. Must be those beautiful 80 degree days in Oregon! wink.gif

Zoning made sense for our home............we ended up with 4 zones in a 3000 sq ft one level home................and due to Bonneville Dam along with other hydroelectric power stations being close by........electricity is CHEAP- thanks to Californians subsidizing our electric power pricing! biggrin.gif

We'll soon see how the electric bill goes..............I don't expect much due to how the house was insulated.
post #114 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smuggymba View Post

I have a media room (with all the pre-wiring done for projector, speaker etc) in my new house and I'd like to know the "ballpark" for getting the design plan built by a Erskine contractor - I mean is it 5K, 10K, 20K or 100K?

It's something to consider after you've completed your exotic car collection.
post #115 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabident View Post

It's something to consider after you've completed your exotic car collection.

Is that a sarcastic comment or do you mean not everybody can afford custom made home theaters even if it costs 5K?
post #116 of 117
Thread Starter 
It's really expensive to have them build it.
post #117 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabident View Post

It's really expensive to have them build it.

I understand, hence the question of ballpark to make a decision.
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