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Shermer Theater (Boxes are Everywhere...Theater in Thinking Step)

post #1 of 422
Thread Starter 
All,

This place is amazing. You guys are really talented, dedicated and sometimes a little intimidating smile.gif

looking for tips to read up on, think about etc.

I'm not a DIY guy (would need to hire someone for carpentry) and I also tend to buy things at the budget end of the scale instead of the top end. I certainly have appreciation for what I have seen - just don't have the stomach to spend that much.

I wrote a whole long post and deleted it smile.gif Looking to hear others thoughts before I launch into my own...
post #2 of 422
Get an Ipad, a subscription to Netflix, and a set of earphones, Then don't look back. If you catch the contagious disease prevalent in this forum in 10 years you will look back and wonder where all the money went.
Edited by BIGmouthinDC - 4/7/13 at 4:41pm
post #3 of 422
Thread Starter 
I
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

Get an Ipad, a subscription to Netflix, and a set of earphones, Then don't look back. If you catch the contagious disease prevalent in this forum in 10 years you will look back and wonder where all the money went.
I expected at least one comment like that. I don't mind spending a little bit of money but I am also not buying a $25k projector.
post #4 of 422
I seem to lose a lot of posts myself, on AVS, using my phone. Open another browser page, come back, and it's gone.

I suggest spending your free time taking notes from build threads, and saving (labelled) pics; note where you got the pic.

Don't buy any equipment until you need it , or it's time to install it. Tech changes rapidly.

Keep your eye on Craigslist and eBay if you're interested in used/budget equipment.

Almost every question you will have can be answered with a search and some time. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time, but people like to discuss and help others, so it works well.

It's not uncommon to take a few years to complete, so be patient.

Welcome to an enjoyable and expensive hobby.

The more planning you do up front, the better, but don't hesitate to change things during the build.
post #5 of 422
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

I seem to lose a lot of posts myself, on AVS, using my phone. Open another browser page, come back, and it's gone.

I actually deleted it on purpose because I knew it was going to get me in trouble with people like mr bigmouth above. smile.gif
post #6 of 422
Start with creating the room, resist the urge to spend hours researching Projectors, Speakers and other required toys. Step one is to survey the proposed room and determine what needs to be done. Develop a sketch and post here for comment.
post #7 of 422
Thread Starter 
Thanks big!! Best guess is that I will have a 14 x 22 completely virgin space in the basement but still waiting for official numbers from builder. I am really really really early in this process. The house won't even be built until October at the earliest. I know I will spend much of 2014 building this.
post #8 of 422
Are you still in the planning of the house stage?

NOW is the time to talk to the builder about the location of the mechanicals, the duct runs, the plumbing, the type of floor joists, etc. Will there be support poles in the middle of the room? NOW is the time to talk about upgrading to a steel beam to remove (or at least repostion) support poles. I'd also install a sub panel in the basement and as much conduit throughout the house as you can get for running furture wiring throughout the house. And I'd pay for a 9' foot basement ceiling height. Then have them leave the rest of the basement unfinsihed so that you have clean slate to work from.

Getting the room right is probably 75% of the battle. Do the things NOW that are really hard/expensive to go back and (re)do.
post #9 of 422
Yes, as Logan said, NOW is the best time to talk about the basic but important stuffs. When I built my house (see my build thread), I spent a lot of time on this pre-building phase. Here's a few thing I did or I would recommended.

Run at least 1 conduit from the basement or your central equipment location to the attic so you could easily run any cable to the 2nd floor in the future.

Have at least 1-2 dedicated 20amp circuit for your future HT location. 1 for the equipment, 1 for the sub(s). For me, I also ran another 20amp circuit to the garage too (you don't want to trip the breaker every time you are running some power tool).

At least 2 Cat5e/6, 1 RG6 to every room in the house. Bedroom, family room, gym room, etc.

Good luck. smile.gif
post #10 of 422
Thread Starter 
thanks these are the tips I am looking for - the builder builds STRICTLY to their plans and does not allow changes - it's how they keep costs down. So basically in october I will have a completely virgin 14x22x8 space to start from. Then I will have to hire someone and come in and do the ductwork, the wiring, framing, etc.

So I won't be able to really affect any of that until October at the earliest. My first step is to get the best most precise measurements of the basement space so that I know how big my "sandbox" is.
post #11 of 422
WOW, the housing market must be pretty good where you are. I thought they were called change orders. You can pay someone NOW (i.e, the builder) or someone LATER (hang aroundwhile it's being built and talk to the subs!) to come in and redo it. Business must be pretty good if the builders can turn down extra work and cash!

You do what you gotta do. It's not like the vast majority of us haven't had to undo a lot of stuff first. Just seems to me thath the time to do it is NOW.

I sometimes wonder if these archtects/builders actually walk around their homes once they're built, or go back and ask the buyers about things. It always looks good on paper but just doesn't work in real life. For instance....who's brilliant idea was/is the current trend of putting the big window in the master bathroom right over the tub? It LOOKS gorgeous when you walk in, BUT you have to step over and into the tub to open the window or the shade. In my house, the front door hits the newel post of the stairs. Even ONE more inch would have made a difference. My electric panel is on the opposite side of the room of all the other mechanicals. If the house was fliiped, it would be in the same room.
post #12 of 422
Thread Starter 
to be fair they are building houses for roughly 2/3'ds of what their competitors are charging so I don't really mind their "take it or leave it" approach.
post #13 of 422
Thread Starter 
Basement floor plan. Ignore where it says crawl. That will be full basement.

8632159001_f74335e46d.jpg
post #14 of 422
Thread Starter 
update : found out depth will be 7' 9"
post #15 of 422
Thread Starter 
I've been staring at pictures of incredibly beautiful finished theaters for 3 days now and I'm trying to figure out how to get there.

I confess my brain works only in structured ordered lists so I'm trying to put together a mental list of how this is all going to work. I'm starting high level because I don't know any better. More or less in order based on pics I have seen (?)

- Floor Plan (my theater will be long and narrow (12-13 by 20+, see above) so I have a basic idea for love seat in front (wife's request), 3-4 seats behind and snack bar across the back)

== Structural ==
- Electrical (including increased electrical service?) - NO idea. $100 for wire alone?
- Recessed Lighting (not thinking of soffits at this point) - not real sure on cost, I see the bracket for $20 per at HD but seems like there is more to it? $25 x $6 = $150? $200? no clue.
- HDMI/speaker cables (monoprice, dirt cheap, not an issue) $100
- Do I bother running ethernet? To where? $100?
- Lumber/Drywall to frame room ($500 in materials, $7,000 installed by professionals - source)
100+100+100+200+500 = $1,000 materials / $10,000 with labor? seems like I ought to be able to find a guy who will do it cheaper...

== Fixtures ==
- Risers (no idea here, I assume it's all lumber so reasonably cheap?) $200?
- Snack Bar $200?
- Door(s?) ($600-ish? source)
- Ceiling Panels? (basement 7' 9" ceiling) (these look awesome and expensive, stucco ceiling tiles in black 336 sq ft / 8 sq ft per tile = 42 tiles x $18.00 per (sold in tens) = $800 ish source
200+200+600+800 = $1,600 materials / ? with labor

== Decor ==
- Paint 4 gallons of primer ($100?) and 2 gallons of paint ($100?) ought to do it estimating roughly 600sq feet to paint, costs are rough rounding up calcs
- Floorboards (didn't actually see these in any pictures?) $5 a foot x 76 feet = $380 parts alone source
- Carpet $2000-$2500 (talked to wife, she says $1k tops) source
100+100+400+1000 = $1,600 materials / labor on floorboards?

== Finishes ==
- Wall Treatments (numerous ways to go here - I saw a $3,700 package here or maybe $1000 using these
- Sconces $100-ish per on Google, figure 4? 6? $600
+1000+600 = $1,600 materials / seems like we could self install all that...

== Furniture
- Couches/Chairs $2,000 - $4,000 (maybe super nice chairs and/or second row is a phase 2?) forgot where I saw the link for the 4-wide home theater couch...it was like $1,800 except they only had it in black
$2,000

== Tech ==
(looks like all of this starts at $2k and goes into silly land from there)
Projector
Screen (Paint?)
Speakers (5.1? 7.1? behind screen? obviously not if paint screen on wall)
Amp
Media Sources (PC, BR, DVR, etc)
$2,500 Materials / Tech

Labor seems fuzzy at best so just the materials :

$1,000 Structural
$1,600 Fixtures
$1,600 Decor
$1,600 Finishes
$2,000 Furniture
$2,500 Tech
$10,300 First Draft Rough Guess?


I can already see where this is going to break across multiple phase - the acoustical treatments on the walls especially. Not saying I won't get it but will have to phase that over time.
post #16 of 422
there is a real world accounting of the funds spent in the Bacon Race build thread
post #17 of 422
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

there is a real world accounting of the funds spent in the Bacon Race build thread

that's exactly what I am looking for thank you so much!
post #18 of 422
Thread Starter 
His totals excluding tech gear is $11,300 vs my $7,800 but I can see that he went more extravagant in several places where I am planning to cut corners at least for this first build (carpet, furniture).

Thread link for future reference. link

BTW, side note, I dropped the $10,000 estimate on my wife last night and she didn't say much to me for the rest of the night. Guess it needs to bake a while smile.gif Thing is I owe her a new van so my timeline might get rearranged due to that...
post #19 of 422
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post #20 of 422
Good Luck JRock, Nice to see another Indiana build shaping up! RT where are you? help the man!! smile.gif
Edited by vikgrao - 4/10/13 at 10:19am
post #21 of 422
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vikgrao View Post

Good Luck JRock, Nice to see another Indiana build shaping up! RT where are you? help the man!! smile.gif

I'm up by Chicago in Schererville. Looking at building a house in the same school district.
post #22 of 422
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

there is a real world accounting of the funds spent in the Bacon Race build thread

hey big, is lumber for framing the walls so cheap that it doesn't warrant it's own line?

also the drywall seems expensive based on my math I would have to drywall 944 sq feet or so and at HD's $9.27 a sheet that works out to $273

Also looks like he used 5/8's instead of 1/2" thickness - why?

Thanks for being so active on the forums big - your experience and knowledge is invaluable to everyone.
post #23 of 422
It may have been wrapped into one of many HD/Lowes trips and not specifically broken out.

He did a double layer of 5/8" drywall for sound proofing the room. There is also waste when drywalling. Are you drywalling the ceiling? The ceiling will need to be 5/8" if you plan to. If you don't care about controlling sound in or out of the room you can use 1/2" on the walls vs. the 5/8".

Good luck on your build and be sure to post plenty of pics. smile.gif
post #24 of 422
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vanice View Post

It may have been wrapped into one of many HD/Lowes trips and not specifically broken out.

He did a double layer of 5/8" drywall for sound proofing the room. There is also waste when drywalling. Are you drywalling the ceiling? The ceiling will need to be 5/8" if you plan to. If you don't care about controlling sound in or out of the room you can use 1/2" on the walls vs. the 5/8".

Good luck on your build and be sure to post plenty of pics. smile.gif

ah - the double layer makes perfect sense - I missed that detail.

as of now we haven't even come to terms with the builder so I'm still in the learning / exploring phase but it will happen, potentially is some very ugly steps (more on that later smile.gif )
post #25 of 422
Thread Starter 
pardon me while I use this space as a diary

sconce that I like

link
post #26 of 422
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vanice View Post

It may have been wrapped into one of many HD/Lowes trips and not specifically broken out.

He did a double layer of 5/8" drywall for sound proofing the room. There is also waste when drywalling. Are you drywalling the ceiling? The ceiling will need to be 5/8" if you plan to. If you don't care about controlling sound in or out of the room you can use 1/2" on the walls vs. the 5/8".

Good luck on your build and be sure to post plenty of pics. smile.gif

in my case I'm not going to be so concerned with the rest of the basement hearing what's going on in the theater but I would really like it if my wife and I watching a movie on Friday night in the basement didn't wake up the kids on the second floor - is that a legitimate concern and if so is double drywall layer the best way to prevent that?

Seems like a lot of acoustical treatments to "eat up" the sound would also be helpful there.
post #27 of 422
What about distance to neighbours? It might leak more sound to the surroundings than you think, so if you have them close by - do plan on upping the sound isolation. I'm currently tearing everything down to redo from scratch just because of that.
post #28 of 422
Thread Starter 
Excellent point. Thanks. We will be building on typically small suburban lots so yes that could be a big issue. So on ceiling is drywall better or sound tiles? Both?

I feel like my philosophy is changing the more I read. The tech part can evolve over time... More newer better on tech seems way easier to establish than fundamental changes in the room itself. So things like double drywall have to happen first. Wires and mountings for lights, speakers, where the equipment room will be, that all seems like it has to be figured out first. Conversely I feel like things like soffits, sconces, screen vs painted wall - those things can be changed in a later phase.

Also can someone educate me on the role of insulation and where all does it go?

Last thing, are there templates that people have created with sketchup? I found myself intimidated by the program at first launch with just a blank template.
Edited by JRock3x8 - 4/11/13 at 4:48am
post #29 of 422
Quote:
What about distance to neighbours? It might leak more sound to the surroundings than you think, so if you have them close by - do plan on upping the sound isolation.

+1

I'm in a single family house that is 16' from neighbors and my son could hear my audio tests at the fence line (8' from the house) BEFORE I insulated and double drywalled. Now, not so much.

And since on one else has pointed you here, I think it's time for you start reading up on sound proofing here:http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/soundproofing101/

Ted and John will not steer you wrong.
post #30 of 422
Thread Starter 
ok well that just became a priority smile.gif I don't want the neighbors to necessarily even know that I have a home theater.

how on earth did people ever pull projects like this off before internet communities like this?!?
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