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New Home Build- Dedicated Media Room Questions

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Gents (and Ladies),

I have to admit, it has been a long time since I lurked this forum as I have been through several moves in the last few years. We have decided to buy a new house that has a dedicated media room. Unfortunately, I have been out of the loop so much so that I don't know exactly where to start in order to get where I want to be. I'll be doing a lot of research to help myself, but with the time crunch, I need to just flat out ask for answers that I know have already been answered many times over dealing with the construction of the room.



Attached is a crude layout of the room that I am working with. There are three exterior walls with one of those walls that opens onto a veranda through french doors. The fourth wall, an interior wall, adjoins a closet for a room that won't be used much and not as a bedroom. There is a media closet that will make up the rest of the wall. The house is a one story (attic space above this room).

My builder has little experience with this type of work and wanted to just put cellulose insulation in the walls.

The first few questions that I have deal with soundproofing the room.

Is there any special kind of soundproofing that needs to be done for the exterior walls? These walls are brick on the exterior and don't have any windows, just the french doors mentioned above. Does the brick supply enough mass to keep the sound from escaping and bothering the neighbors or those outside?

As far as the interior wall, I have talked the builder into doing a staggered stud wall (2"x6" base, staggered 2"x4"s). I plan on convincing them to use Green Glue with double sheetrock along the walls that butt up against the adjoining room. He mentioned blowing cellulose insulation in the staggered stud cavity for soundproofing.

Should the sheetrock along the exterior walls be treated the same as the interior wall or just the one layer normally hung? If it isn't treated the same, does it change the sound characteristics?

Should I go with Quietrock instead?

Is the cellulose insulation a good sub for the Green Glue with double sheetrock? If not, and the Green Glue is used, do I need the cellulose insulation still? I have read where the regular pink fiberglass rolls are just as good in the staggered stud wall with Green Glue walls.

In regards to the ceiling, I really doubt I can convince the builder to go with a way of decoupling the drywall from the beams. Would double drywall with Green Glue keep the sound from going through the attic and bothering others in the house?

I really appreciate help with this especially considering I know most of this has been answered before. If others are interested, I'll update this thread throughout the build with pictures, questions, and results.

Thanks.
Craig
post #2 of 16
You need to build a sound containment bunker. That means all 4 walls and the ceiling. The fact that they are are exterior brick walls dosen't mean anything relative to keeping the rest of the house quiet.
Double layer of 5/8 firecode drywall (none of that light stuff) with GG is better than A single layer of Quietrock. Quietrock is better than regular drywall
Do the ceiling

Other items, you need a beefy door, doubles suck and will leak sound.
You need to have a HVAC plan to minimize sound traveling from the theater to the rest of the house.
The room needs a dedicated HVAC return in the room (not outside in hallway) and over-sized supplies
all holes cut in the drywall bunker for outlets, switches, lights etc turn your bunker into swiss cheese. Consider backer boxes and putty pads.
post #3 of 16
It's either going the route that BIG has laid out, or just do some minimal things, like adding insulation to the interior wall and upgrading to a solid core door, and forgetting about the rest of the stuff.

You're not going to bother anyone outside the house unless you've got some very extreme conditions. But doing double-stud-walls on one side isn't going to be a good use of money. The sound will simply go up through the ceiling and the floor to the rest of the house.

And BIG is 100% right about that double-door on the exterior - I assume those will have glass in them, too. That's the last door you'd want in a theater - for both sound getting out, but more importantly, noise getting in.

Also, read about "flanking" in the articles at thesoundproofingcompany.com, or search and read any number of threads here about it. Take a look at Spaceman's theater thread - he did a remodel in a typical Houston construction home and did minor soundproofing steps, he can tell you what to expect in terms of exterior / interior noise levels.

Jeff
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

You need to build a sound containment bunker. That means all 4 walls and the ceiling. The fact that they are are exterior brick walls dosen't mean anything relative to keeping the rest of the house quiet.

Will staggered studs on the exteriors work or would they need something different done?
Quote:
Do the ceiling

How would one isolate the ceiling without doing clips and such? Is all for naught if the ceiling is double drywalled/green glued but the screwed into the rafters above which are attached to the wall framing? I'm afraid I couldn't convince the builder to figure out how to do the ceiling the right way if we went to clips. Admittedly, this one I am lost on since most of the items I have read about deals more with two story homes where one is trying to keep sound from going through from top to bottom and vice versa.
Quote:
Other items, you need a beefy door, doubles suck and will leak sound.

Yep. Unfortunately, I think I am stuck with this.
Quote:
You need to have a HVAC plan to minimize sound traveling from the theater to the rest of the house.
The room needs a dedicated HVAC return in the room (not outside in hallway) and over-sized supplies
all holes cut in the drywall bunker for outlets, switches, lights etc turn your bunker into swiss cheese. Consider backer boxes and putty pads.

That is my next big look is the HVAC stuff along with how to seal the cutouts from leaking noise.

Is soundproofing an all or nothing? What I mean from this, is it a waste to do everything else but still have the french patio doors in the back? Or is it, every little bit helps?

Thanks for the input.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Jeff, thanks for the help. I'll look those items up.
post #6 of 16
Do not use the cellulose insulation. Pink fluffy fiberglass is what you want even if you DD GG the walls and ceiling.
post #7 of 16
subscribe, similar issues

a little tank, I love Love LOVE your avatar.
post #8 of 16
You don't need staggered studs on the exterior walls, As for all or nothing, If you can do everything now except the doors, do it. You can always change/modify the doors down the line but ripping out all the walls is another level of commitment.
post #9 of 16
delete
Edited by JRock3x8 - 4/11/13 at 8:28am
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigoober View Post

Is soundproofing an all or nothing? What I mean from this, is it a waste to do everything else but still have the french patio doors in the back? Or is it, every little bit helps?

My yes "do it" comment was in response to your comment. nothing to do with location.

On the ceiling, if you aren't prepared to rip it out after moving in have your builder do the best he is willing to do now. If that means double layer of DW +GG screwed directly to the insulated ceiling joists do it. It will be better than a single layer.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigoober View Post

These walls are brick on the exterior and don't have any windows, just the french doors mentioned above. Craig

This can help reduce the noise coming in and out of your French doors....it that is an issue. Pull the trim and fill the door jam with insulation/non expanding foam too.
NOT soundproof but better than without. There might be cheaper options than this link....they were just the first google hit.

http://www.soundproofwindows.com/soundproofing_panels.html
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
BIG, thanks again for the advice. Would you recommend building the room as is and then attaching clips and channels onto the original drywall or is does this lead to the triple leaf effect I have read about? Since I am considering having the builder just build a box of a room, is there a way to have build a new ceiling over the existing one?

alittletank, thanks for the backup on the insulation.

jautor, looked over your theater build last night. WOW! Great job. I don't see myself getting that much out of my room. Thanks for the link to the soundproofing website. Great info.

bossman, fortunately, sound coming out of the french doors shouldn't be much of an issue as it faces the other side of my house (U-shaped patio) which is about 20-25 feet away. I am more worried about how the doors will affect the sound within the room which I know won't be the best case. I'm hoping that curtains of some type will diminish the problem.

New question.

The room is designed with a tray ceiling. I am hoping to put in some type of lighting within the tray around the room along with columns along the wall for speakers and wiring.

Any advice on whether I should just tell the builder to box out the room and leave the tray out for now?

I know that this would allow me to run wires, lighting, and frame it the way I want it after move-in so I see the benefits. This will also allow me to DD+GG the whole room and then build the columns and tray with single drywall thus allowing fewer "big" holes in the DD+GG.

A picture is attached of the model home version of this room.


post #13 of 16
You might just ask the builder to leave this room unfinished, so that you can properly design and build the theater after you take possession. This is not uncommon for the Houston market. Add enough HVAC to serve the room eventually, and drop an extra electrical circuit or two, and come back later...
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Jeff, I'm not sure of what the lender will think of a unfinished room, but I think I will just have the builder DD+GG four walls and the ceiling. That will let me go back in a add columns and whatever ceiling I want and give me the option to run lighting and wires as I need to finish the room out. This way I can cut down on the number of holes that I have to punch into the sound-proofed main parts.

Loved reading through your build. Great job!
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigoober View Post

Jeff, I'm not sure of what the lender will think of a unfinished room, but I think I will just have the builder DD+GG four walls and the ceiling.

Lender shouldn't care. Mine didn't even ask - a high percentage of the custom homes in my neighborhood (spec or otherwise) included "unfinished" rooms intended for media/game/misc. More a question of getting the builder to do it, as it's something they'd likely have to come back and finish if your sale fell through.

That said, if you have them DD+GG the whole room, have enough wiring/conduit and power delivered to the room, you'll be in pretty good shape.
Quote:
That will let me go back in a add columns and whatever ceiling I want and give me the option to run lighting and wires as I need to finish the room out. This way I can cut down on the number of holes that I have to punch into the sound-proofed main parts.

Loved reading through your build. Great job!

Thanks - you've obviously absorbed the parts about what I would do differently had I known better - putting the columns inside the DD+GG shell instead of penetrating it...


Jeff
post #16 of 16
Quietrock has a product called 545 THX that works great in media rooms. I can help you get a good deal on these.
http://quietrock.com/documentation-n/quietrock-product-datasheets/quietrock-545-datasheet

Rob
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