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Basement Ceiling Woes - Design Help Needed!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I would like to convert my basement into a dedicated home theater but am struggling with the ceiling.
The room is 12’ 8” x 24” with a max ceiling height if 8’7”.
I was contemplating building soffits but unfortunately I have 2 boxed in sections.
One is for a beam and the other is for the HVAC ducts.
I have attached a pic of the room and also a crude drawing.
I was thinking of putting in soffits down the side and across the screen wall, with a fiber optic star ceiling in both sections of the ceiling, and just paint the beam box black. But I am not sure how the ceiling would look broken up by the beam.

By the way the existing ceiling will be gutted in favor of drywall.
Any ideas on a ceiling design that would incorporate or hide the beam...the design does not necessarily have to incorporate a star ceiling.

Thanks


post #2 of 15
You could flip the room end for end and either build a new screen wall, or use an acoustically transparent screen.

razz.jpg 107k .jpg file

The boxed beam could hide some screen washing lighting.
Edited by Tedd - 10/13/13 at 10:10am
post #3 of 15




Get the Erskine group to design it for you.

Just a FYI you should cut a hole and shine a light in the boxed in areas, contractors can and do waste a lot of space.



before


after




Edited by BIGmouthinDC - 10/13/13 at 10:55am
post #4 of 15
You could build beams in the seating area and recess the spot lighting. Then do crown moulding to box the beams and the center portions could be acoustically transparent
with ceiling treatments in behind.

The underside of the soffit and the area between the soffit and the beam could also be treated for first reflections off the ceiling.

razz b.jpg 103k .jpg file

How many seats are you looking to have?

What size of screen are you after?
Edited by Tedd - 10/13/13 at 4:19pm
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Tedd,
Thanks for the input!
I cannot flip the room due to a existing bathroom that I would cut off access to.
I do like the idea of using beams and this would still work with the screen on the end of the room in my original drawing.
Thanks again!
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
BIGmouthinDC,
Thanks for the pictures and drawing...I am assuming these are based on flipping the room, which I cannot do being that I will cut off access to a bathroom on that end of the room

As far as having the Erskine group design it for me...that's probably not going to happen....at some point one needs to cost justify paying for a set of plans for a project that is a want and not a need.

Unfortunately the beam was added to the house 1 year after we moved in due to the builder miscalculating the span of the floor joists. Had I know 11 years ago that I was going to want a home theater in the basement I would have made them add duplicate floor joists, (which was an option floated by the structural engineer) instead of adding a second beam, (the original beam is in the HVAC box in).

Oh well...you know what they say about hindsight!!

Thanks again!
post #7 of 15
Spaceman's ceiling is another design possibility.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1202525/spaceman-theater-build

If that ceiling is coming down, then is sistering the floor joists still an option available to you?

A low riser, with an island riser the size of the back row seating plus footrest area, might help with the ceiling height.
You also want to watch carefully where a projector ends up, for headroom and how that boxed beam works with the
it's throw distance and mounting height.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post

Spaceman's ceiling is another design possibility.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1202525/spaceman-theater-build

If that ceiling is coming down, then is sistering the floor joists still an option available to you?

A low riser, with an island riser the size of the back row seating plus footrest area, might help with the ceiling height.
You also want to watch carefully where a projector ends up, for headroom and how that boxed beam works with the
it's throw distance and mounting height.

Tedd,
Spaceman's is a possibility, however he had up to 10 feet in height to pull it off...I only have 8' 7" max.

I guess I could still sister the floor joists.....11 years ago, the structural engineer said that sistering the LP I-joists would be a viable option instead of installing the beam.......but being that I would have to pay for that option today....I'm not so sure that the juice would be worth the squeeze!
post #9 of 15
RAZZ589 plan.jpg 562k .jpg file

With in wall speakers, a passage to the rear room could be hidden in plain sight, with a front fabric wall.

I had one juice/squeeze situation with my room. Redid the HVAC sheet metal to a wider/less tall profile and sistered three joists to tuck a short cold air return
up into the joist cavity. Wasn't until the drywall went back up that I realised, it was money very well spent. smile.gif

Up to that point, I felt it was a big leap of faith I was taking.
post #10 of 15
Another thought is the front wall being built as a baffle wall setup.

Procella speakers/subs would be impressive, and not waste much of the space's footprint.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks Tedd for all the good ideas.

I am thinking about your idea of flipping the room but not sure how a door would work with the screen should someone need to use the bathroom during a movie.
post #12 of 15
Not just my idea. Big suggested it too, and it makes good sense audio performance-wise (and for a little more headroom).

Front door or rear door, there's going to be some light spill with a washroom break and this will be a distraction. Perhaps an intermission is an answer?

You could also dedicate a zone of a lighting controller to some illuminating a pathway to the bathroom, and minimise the distraction.
post #13 of 15
give us a measured drawing (overhead view) and some pictures of the room. Until then we would just keep throwing out ideas that might not work.
Edited by BIGmouthinDC - 10/14/13 at 7:14pm
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
It has been a few weks since my last post, but after some thought and suggestions from BIG and Tedd I am contemplating flipping the room.
Attached are two floor plans of the room
The first shows the room in it's current configuration with the screen wall depicted in the front of the room by the stairs/landing.
The second shows a proposed floor plan if the room were flipped.
While I think the flipped room plan makes more sense for a theater and would work pretty good with Big's idea of having a stepped ceiling (see post #3 above) I have a few questions that hopefully someone can shed some light on:

By flipping the room and building a screen wall::

1. Would I be violating the residential building code by not having an egress window/door leading to the outside from the main theater area? I guess what I am asking is does the new wall require me to have an egress in just the theater portion?

2. Being that the furnace room would now act as a hallway between the front and back of the room, would code require me to have automatic door closer's on both sides for carbon monoxide?

Anything else I am missing code wise or any thoughts as to why or why not to flip the room?

Thanks




Floor Plan Below with Room Flipped

post #15 of 15
[1. Would I be violating the residential building code by not having an egress window/door leading to the outside from the main theater area? I guess what I am asking is does the new wall require me to have an egress in just the theater portion?

2. Being that the furnace room would now act as a hallway between the front and back of the room, would code require me to have automatic door closer's on both sides for carbon monoxide?


1. if your code requires living space to have an egress then yes it would be a code violation. From a personal point of view i would always want where my family was to be a safe environment with an alternate escape route

2. I am not following the carbon monoxide for home furnaces line of thought. maybe you are you are thinking of garages and car exhaust fumes with the automatic door closers. In the Norhtern Va area which has really strict codes for homes there are no requirements for the automatic closers on furnace rooms.
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