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"Hallway" Theater - Page 3

post #61 of 80
Thread Starter 
So I went to the regional building district yesterday to pull permits for the basement finish. What a pain in the ass. They are only open 5 1/2 hours a day, 30 minutes across town. Anyway, I got kind of a shock talking to the "Mechanical" representative. It was kind of funny; I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering, and I'm guessing this guy did not. I had to help him with his math a few times. But anyway, he informed me that I need to supply combustion air to my furnace now that I am taking 208 square feet out of the combustion air volume. He showed me several options, but the best one is going to be-

I need to run a duct from outside to the furnace to supply combustion air, since my basement will not be large enough to provide combustion air for both the furnace and the water heater. If I had not installed any doors in the room, I would have been fine. He wanted me to undercut my doors, I told him no way was that possible.

So he helped me with my HVAC plan. Here's what is going to be required to pass the Mechanical inspection:
1) Means of providing more combustion air to the furnace. This could either be a duct from the outside to the furnace, or an 18x18 transfer grille in my stairway.
2) Return air somewhere in the basement, hopefully close to the theater room walls.
3) Method of air transfer from the theater room to the return air space. This can be accomplished however I want to do it. Dead vent or similar would suffice.

He did say that intake air into the theater room is not required in any way, although I am free to do so if I wish. Said the window completely fills that requirement; although for about 4 months out of the year, that wouldn't be useful at all.

Besides that they didn't have any issues with my plans and quickly approved all the other aspects. I have 179 days to schedule my first inspection, and framing is of course 95% finished.

Side note: It's funny how so many people said they would help me work on my basement, but when I actually start the project, they aren't really interested anymore. Out of everyone, I think my neighbor and my friend that lives 120 miles away are going to be the only ones to help.

Budget Update:
+$309.75 Permits and Inspection fees
+170.20 6 Gallons of Valspar Signature Eggshell paint

[current projection is over budget tongue.gif ]
Edited by djkest - 6/13/13 at 7:07am
post #62 of 80
Regardless, you absolutely want to have a return air supply in the theater. Yeah, the dead vent is useful when you have no other choice; but, when you have the choice, return air in the room.
post #63 of 80
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Regardless, you absolutely want to have a return air supply in the theater. Yeah, the dead vent is useful when you have no other choice; but, when you have the choice, return air in the room.

Thank you for your input, it is much appreciated.

I am really worried about "tying in" the room into the return air system, there are several return air vents on the floor above that would cause a large amount of flanking noise, bypassing most of my soundproofing measures. I suppose I could build a small soffit and make a muffler or something.


Here's the plan. I am going to put a return in the room as suggested. I am going to use 6" flex duct and put it in a closed off soffit in the adjacent room and I'm going to stuff it with lots of insulation and seal it up with DD + GG. That way I can attempt to control the noise while actually having a return in the room as I should.

As far as ducting some cool air into the room, not sure if I am going to do that or not. I could run the furnace blower but that would blow through the whole house. I will be venting equipment heat up and out of the room.
Edited by djkest - 6/14/13 at 11:39am
post #64 of 80
Thread Starter 
Okay, stuff is happening.

First, we picked out our paint colors, purchased and mixed paint. Valspar Signature.
Next, we have looked at carpet and are close to selecting what we want. We are getting a multi-color twist carpet. Nylon vs. Polyester?

Nylon- more durable, more expensive, $3.50-4.50 / sqft
Polyester- softer, cheaper, less durable $3.00-3.50/ sqft

HVAC- funny thing we have going on. The HVAC guy I used before has pretty much refused to do the job. He won't return my calls anymore. Maybe it's because I gave him a "B" rating on Angie's list. I called another HVAC guy and they didn't return my call either. SO I have decided to do the job myself.

I spent a couple hours last Friday inside my 19" wide ceiling joists cutting 6 x 10" holes in the top of my supply. The first one was with tin snips and was a huge pain, since I have broad shoulders and they don't fit inside the joist so well. The second one I used a spiral bit on my Dremel tool to cut it out. It was fast, but messy and the bit likes to wander. So now I have the 2 supplies tapped and the hard part is over. The biggest pain is going to be the return. I still don’t' know where I am going to do the return. Doing the HVAC myself is going to save some big money I was counting on spending, so that is good.

I am going to do joist mufflers for the supplies and probably for the return as well. I just need to figure out what I'm doing for the return. I am thinking a single 8" return, inside a joist muffler, coming into the room from the adjacent room.

My budget also got much bigger. This thread is totally living up to its name.

New Budget: $7500 (up from $5000)
However this now includes THEATER SEATING which my wife and I actually agreed upon. This should allow me to also purchase a screen and / or build some rear speakers.

We are getting Seatcraft Catalina, 4 seats, center loveseat with stainless steel inserts. It's 10' 2" wide so it will take up a lot of the space and make the room feel cozy. They are space saving recliners which my wife really likes, so they can be close to the back wall. That will leave us about 4’ on either side for the subwoofers, extra chairs, etc.

Also measured out the screen area a little more, looks like the 92" screen will fit, 100" might be doable, but tight. The issue is that the front wall has to fit the screen, the tower speakers, and the equipment rack all in a 12’ wide space. Still thinking we’ll go with the Elite 92” fixed screen with 3” black velvet covered frame.
Over the weekend we went to my cousin’s house that has a 100” DIY pull-down screen and an older Optoma PJ. Apparently it doesn’t work very well, he wouldn’t really show it off to anyone. Buy once, cry once?
Edited by djkest - 7/17/13 at 7:23am
post #65 of 80
Originally Posted by djkest View Post

I am really worried about "tying in" the room into the return air system, there are several return air vents on the floor above that would cause a large amount of flanking noise, bypassing most of my soundproofing measures. I suppose I could build a small soffit and make a muffler or something.

I couldn't get over the fear of this becoming a major soundproofing weakness for me as I simply don't have the space for dead vents. I'm just going to rely on 3 windows and an exterior door for ventilation. Heat will come from baseboard heaters in winter months (ugly I know) when the heat from people and equipment in the room are insufficient. Luckily, it sounds like you've got some space for the dead vents.

Nice seating choice. Always liked the 2 tone look.
post #66 of 80
Thread Starter 
Well, it's been a month, and finally I have enough for a real honest to goodness UPDATE.

Stack of Backer Boxes:

Individual Box. These things weigh at least 15 lbs. Have all the required green glue / sealant in them and 1.5" wide plywood "nailers".

This is the removeable back for the AV cabinet. It's made of 3 layers of 3/4" Plywood, with 1 layer of green glue. It nests inside the cabinet and should form a nice seal once I get it finished.

And here is the AV cabinet. Notice the large 2" plywood nailer.

I built an overkill base for it that raises it up about 11" off the floor. It can hold the cabinet into position to mate with the drywall, without touching any of the existing framing.

It's made of 3 layers of interlocking 7/16 OSB, with 1 layer of green glue. It originally had a back on it, until I jigsawed/flush trimmed the back off, leaving 0.4" of the back still on it all the way around. The back and front are especially smooth since I used a flush trim bit everywhere to even things up.

You can see that I can get the cabinet very close to the corner without touching the existing framing. I also had to remove one of the vertical pieces and install a horizontal piece on the wall to make some room. The cabinet internally is 20" wide and 28" tall (20" deep), will have adjustable 1/2" shelves, and have a powered exhaust duct on the top to remove hot air.

Edited by djkest - 8/10/13 at 12:34pm
post #67 of 80
Thread Starter 
And here's more. I've also been slowly working on the supplies and I finally have one finished! Tell me what you think.

Each joist muffler has 2 layers of "heavy" 5/8" fireblock drywall with 2 layers of green glue. 2 layers on the top, 2 layers on the sides, and 2 layers on the end. I also sealed all the joints and seams with Silenseal Acoustic Sealant.

Here's the completed one. I broke down and purchased a specialty zip tie tool ($32) to attach the flex duct. I have a 5-step procedure for hooking these up, and I am confident that my method is as good or better than what any pro would use. Of course, between the tool, the flex duct, the duct sealant, the special piercing screws, the zip ties, etc, I don't think I saved much money.

Supply uses a 6" takeoff. Cutting this was a pain, as was securing and sealing it. I used a 90 degree takeoff with a flange, and then screwed and sealed it to the supply duct. Note that the drywall layer extends about 32" on the ceiling all the way to the rigid ducting.

I made a "baffle" of 2 layers of OSB to sort of "contain" the flex duct within the joist muffler. There are some obvious flanking issues here, but I do feel this is better than nothing. I cut an 8 5/8" hole with my router out of it and snaked the flex duct through, without compressing it.

Hooked up to the register on the other end. I am going to have to make a 5/8" drywall "collar" to bring this down to the ceiling

So obviously, the next step is to finish the 2nd supply line and then figure out how I am going to stuff these joists with insulation, being able to keep it all in without compressing it. After I get that done I can install my complete drywall furring channel ceiling, and then do electrical...

And last but not least, here's a photo with a mock-up of a 100" Elite Screens fixed screen. This gives me enough room for my flanking tower speakers (barely), the AV cabinet, and the door. I may end up moving the screen up 2" or so, but otherwise this is very close to where it may end up. I measured this all out and did it with masking tape so it's within +/- 0.5" actual.

It makes the screen look small, but by comparison, I currently watch a 46" TV from 10.5'. In the theater, it would be 100" screen from 10.5'; more than double the size, or quadruple the screen area. Something tells me that will feel big enough. For reference that door frame next to it is 80" high internally.
Edited by djkest - 8/10/13 at 12:58pm
post #68 of 80
Originally Posted by djkest View Post

Individual Box. These things weigh at least 15 lbs. Have all the required green glue / sealant in them and 1.5" wide plywood "nailers".

15 lbs! NICE. I guess that is cement board on the inside then?

Boxes are up next for me, and this post has given me some motivation. Off to plan out my plywood purchase and rip instructions for a Home Depot trip! Thanks smile.gif
post #69 of 80
Thread Starter 
Yeah, it's 1/4" Hardibacker. Which is a pain to cut, that was the worst part for me. Apparently you can use a tile saw and that is faster by far. I have a pnuematic 18 ga brad nailer, so putting the OSB boxes together was really easy, esp. having a table saw to make the cuts. I actually used the green glue to hold the cement board in, and it's supported at the edges with the other pieces. When I wire up the can lights, I'll just have to drill a hole big enough to get 2 strands of 14/2 in/out on the side.
post #70 of 80

djkest, how were the catalinas?

I'm thinking on buying the same set, a row of 4 or 2 of 2, power recline.

I prefer something on microfiber because they are softer than leather and doesn't get cold on the winter.

And the catalinas look great.

Edited by tonatiuh - 10/15/13 at 1:42pm
post #71 of 80
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by tonatiuh View Post

djkest, how were the catalinas?
I'm thinking on buying the same set, a row of 4 or 2 of 2, power recline.
I prefer something on microfiber because they are softer than leather and doesn't get cold on the winter.
And the catalinas look great.

Those are pretty much the exact reasons I want them. But we don't have them yet, I am waiting to order them when I have the theater finished. At my current pace, that will be in ... 5 years.
But I should start working on it more this weekend. Hard to find motivation.. ugh.

Mini-update since I am already posting here: I have started the process of modifying the existing electrical in the basement. I had to install (well, move basically) a new lightswitch on the other side of the theater that will light up the unfinished part of the basement. I am still trying to figure out what every existing wire is DOING in the basement. I need to call an electrician to drop a sub-panel into the basement, I need to clean and reorganize, etc. Lots of work to be done, little or no motivation. I blame football season. tongue.gif Well that and my son has now started on the "terrible twos". I have a bunch of small tasks that need to be done before I can start wiring up the actual theater room electrical.

Oh, and a deadline is looming. I have a couple months before I need to schedule my first inspection or else my whole permit process is thrown into jeopardy. I really only have a little bit of work to do to get the framing inspection done and approved, so I should probably focus on getting those tasks complete before I get too deep into the electrical business.
post #72 of 80


oh, I hope the project can make it to the end and you and your family can enjoy it. Unfinished home work can be haunting because you see them every day an say "Oh men, I don't know when..". But when you finish, the feeling is great. Now, I have a unfinished project I put laminated floor on the tv room and looks great, so I decide to put it on every room, living room, dinning room and the main corridor in the Easter week but I missed most of the baseboard and don´t know when I'm gonna have time to finish it and is depressing to see the uneven ends...



But, on less unhappy things, as I did not get any bad review about the catalinas, I place my order last saturday on 4seating. Catalina brown/brown power recliner, 2 rows of 2, so I can put it on a 4 seat row for movies (we have 2 children) or a 'V' or 'L' configuration in case of just hanging out with guests, since my tv room is a casual/informal living room also (about 12x15'). And I have a extra cupholder! 

By the way, I ordered with 4 tray tables and was told that it need a special reinforced cupholders: $15 extra each. So, 6 x 15 = $90 extra dollars ($180 total on 6 cupholders).


I will comment when the seats arrive...

post #73 of 80
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I would appreciate the update.

I succeeded in re-routing the existing basement lights to a new switch. I also pulled some old wiring and installed some new stuff. I installed the 2nd heating run, so that is done. I need to pay an electrician to drop a sub-panel into the basement and then I can get serious about wiring lights and outlets in the theater. My wife would really appreciate lights in the theater room.

I have a looming deadline. I have about 8 weeks until I need to have an inspection completed or else lose my building permit. You have to have an inspection every 6 months to keep it current. So I need to quit screwing around and finish the framing completely so I can get it inspected. I wish I had multiple things done so I could get them all inspected in one day. Oh well. All I really need to do is add a couple more pieces for the hat-channel clips and then figure out what they want for fire-blocking.

I would appreciate an update about your Catalinas once you get them. Even pics.
post #74 of 80

I have the Catalina seats already!

I posted a 'review' of them in another thread in this site:


Seatcraft Catalina Seats


post #75 of 80
Thread Starter 
Back in action. Framer is coming tomorrow to rough-in some framing for the basement Sub-panel.

Electrician is coming in the next week to install sub panel. My requirements for the sub-panel-
50 Amps (@240V), 8 circuit capacity.

2 circuits for the Theater Room
2 circuits for future bathroom

the current electrical in the basement was ran through holes drilled in the wood framing from the garage panel.
They did run some ~1" blue smurf tube, hard to see but it does go into the main panel. The tax man came to my house demanding to know how much finished SQFT I have added to my home. I proudly told them 0.

Wife also authorized the use of our entire tax returns this year to get the basement project done sooner, as we are really needing some additional useful space in our house. So that SHOULD help accelerate getting it done. I am debating where to spend it- eletrician? Drywall guys?

I think I might pay to have the drywall mudded and taped and then textured and sealed. That seems like money well spent. And I am definately paying to get the drywall delivered.

$95 To get a small foating wall installed for the subpanel (work complete)
$755 is the Estimate to get an 8-bay 50amp panel installed in the basement. I am going with that guy.

He also gave me some interesting advice for some different problems I was having- thanks electrician guy!
Edited by djkest - 1/21/14 at 7:44am
post #76 of 80
Thread Starter 
First off, I don't think I ever posted these.

I used a color grab from Valspar and used them to paint the "3D" MS paint mockup of the room. We already have these paints, but we didn't buy carpet yet. I also grabbed an image of the elite screen and stuck that in there.

Side view:

New Electrical Plan:
Got rid of the 3-way in the theater, it was pointless. Some other minor tweaks.
Edited by djkest - 2/6/14 at 9:19pm
post #77 of 80
Thread Starter 
So $750 later and my electrical is started in earnest.
I paid the framer guy to throw this up. He knocked it out pretty fast and he does a great job.

The "Jedi Master Electrician" threw up this panel and ran the wires and did the hookups to the main panel. Luckily for us, there was some smurf tube already run from the main panel to the basement, unused. He also fixed and hooked up some outlets that I wired up in the Garage when I was drywalling it. I ran wire for an extra 20 amp circuit in the garage for table saws or whatever- it works out great because the original electrician wired up the basement outlets and the garage outlets (and garage door opener) on the same 15 amp circuit.

Blah blah blah, pics:

It's a floating wall, yes. The Sub-panel is 40 amps@ 240 volts or 80 amps at 120 volts. Should be plenty.

I installed a motion sensor switch for a new light at the bottom of the stairs. This is genius. It comes on when I get halfway down the stairs, and shuts off after 5 minutes of inactivity. Works perfectly and prevents a lot of headaches trying to tie in to the existing 3-way switch in the staircase. I installed this in a new 2-gang box along with my re-routed 3-way wiring.

Speaking of wiring, does anyone see a problem with this? It's a lot of electrical stuff in one area...
The box facing in will be replaced with a 2-gang box to control lights in the theater.
Besides worrying about flanking paths, I don't THINK it violates code. It's really the best place for that switch to go.
Edited by djkest - 2/6/14 at 9:17pm
post #78 of 80
Thread Starter 
The drywall / furring channel was screwed together to form 18' sections and installed into the clips (which is really fun!)

Putting the clips up was the "hard part". Using a chalk line was genius, because the channels all lined up perfectly without any troubles. I left about 1/4" gap between the side walls and the channel.


This shows the channels and both of my DIY heat runs- I am pretty proud of these, but they weren't so much fun to do.

Lastly, code requires putting 5/8" Fire code drywall underneath the staircase. When I put the first piece up, it sounded like a hollow drum. So I packed the voids with fiberglass insulation, and that deadened the sound much better.

What's next? I can get my framing inspection done at any time now. I can start running wire and hooking up electrical outlets now that I have all the locations finalized. Running wire for the outlets is going to be much more complicated than it should be because the exterior load-bearing wall has closely spaced studs that won't allow for my drill or my impact to fit in between, unless I drill them at really extreme angles- which seems crazy to do.

The electrician told me that when drilling holes for electrical they need to be lined up, but I'm guessing that is just so pulling the wires is fast and easy.

I have also set a deadline- a not very ambitious one IMO. I want to have the theater completely done and functional by Thanksgiving this year, so I can watch Thanksgiving football games with the family over.
Edited by djkest - 2/7/14 at 5:55am
post #79 of 80
Looking good. ARFCOM approval. biggrin.gif
post #80 of 80
Thread Starter 

I am still working on it. Doing some various smaller things but I did complete insulation, started on electrical, and got my HVAC rough inspection passed. The inspector gave me some great tips on how to pass my final inpection WRT mechanical. Guy was really smart and was also open to my soundproofing ideas. On a side note, MOST HVAC professionals seem to really dislike any methods that deviate from their preferred comfort zone for any reason, even if it meets code. Soundproofing, they could care less about.

I am still kicking around ideas for where I am going to locate the return in my theater room. Inspector gave some suggestions, including locating the return as far away from the supplies as I am able to.

Mechanical Rough-in inspection: passed
Electrical Rough-in and Framing Rough-in: Needed before drywall.

I am also having a hard time finding an IR dimmer that works with LED lights. The Lutron Unit that I had was for halogen or incandescent. With 6 bulbs, it may work OK, or it may not. But we are talking about a 45-55 Watt Load, instead of a 320-360 Watt Load for the Halogens. These are the bulbs that I am currently looking at.

I need to snap some pics, and get some advice on my ceiling light placement. It's a little tricky because of all the HVAC runs that pretty much take over the joist bays in 4 of the joists. I know the 4" Par 20 lights aren't super impressive, I started with those based on some recommendations I had seen here. I don't think completely even spacing is an option for us right now.

I am most likely getting This Projector

The Budget is now $8,000 , which includes increased costs for the Electrical Subpanel I had done.
Edited by djkest - 3/7/14 at 11:35am
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