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Construction Thread: The Black Hole

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hi all,



After lurking this forum for years and sometimes posting, we decided last year to start construction of our garage based HT. Thanks to Steve for encouriging me to start Yet Another Home Theater Construction Thread...

Since here in Europe our garages aren't that big as they are in the US, i don't have a lot of space to work with.
Below, you can see the garage how it once was...


The design process can be viewed in full on my site. What it's going to look like however (if all goes well) you can see in a short video by clicking this link.

As a screen image i used a still that was made from the intro generously provided by AVS member Reaper!


Pre-construction started somewhere in march 2005 IIRC. The first thing i did was build a seperation wall inside our garage:


Next, a water line had to be rerouted to the front of the garage, and from there to the garden:


A seperate electrical group was made just for the HT:


The yellow PVC pipe will be used to get the TV-signal (coax) and the ethernet-cable to the equipment closet:


The hose reel that was inside our garage had to be moved outside aswell:


With that, everything was ready to start construction of the HT itself.
post #2 of 52
Thread Starter 
With the concrete floor not being completely flat, i put in felt tiles. Not only do they even out the concrete, they should also provide some thermal and accoustic isolation. The wooden floor on top of the felt is detached from the side walls.


A pic of the finished wooden floor:


After that, fiber wool was put up against the walls:


All around the room:


OSB plates are used to cover up the fiber wool. They are the inner walls of the HT (to be covered with drywall):




The house wall also treated with fiber glass, with a panel to allow access to the water supply for our water tank:


The house wall covered as well:


Back of the HT, where all cables are coming into the HT from inside the house:
1 x Cat5e (network)
2 x COAX (1 x TV, 1 x Satellite)
2 x Power (1 x Dedicated HT, 1 x Main house power):
post #3 of 52
Thread Starter 
Ceiling beams are fastened to the OSB walls only:


The ceiling is stuffed with fiber wool, and the HT ceiling is covered up with wood:


We filled up the ceiling with 1 layer of fiber wool, more layers to follow:
post #4 of 52
Den,

Pictures look great. I know it's cold there now (and hard to stay motivated) but keep up the work and continue to move forward !!!

I know it's early in the game but have you decided on screen size yet? Are you planning a DIY screen or pre-made model?
post #5 of 52
Thread Starter 
Thanks Steve,

Well, seeing your thread should keep me going for some time to come .

Re Screen Size: the room is 2.8 meters wide, so i could do a 2.0 - 2.10 meter wide screen in (with room for the speakers on both sides). I do have to keep seating distance in mind though. Distance from screen to middle seat is about 2.7 meters, which would give a calculated max. screen width of 1.8 meters, i think...

As for DIY or pre-made: I think due to cost i'll start our with a DIY, but in time who knows what can happen...
post #6 of 52
Hi DenW -I dont see any studs in your pictures. How are you attaching the insulation to the wall. How are you attaching the OSB to the insulation?
post #7 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hi Exipnos,

The insulation was glued with a dots of glue to the wall to keep it in place.
The OSB was put up against the insulation, and acts as one big stud for the drywall.
post #8 of 52
OK so the insulation is keept in place with the glue. How did you attach the OSB to the insulation then?
post #9 of 52
Thread Starter 
The OSB is not attached to the insulation, but just pressed up against it. There is no hard physical connection between the wall to which the insulation is glued and the OSB wall. The insulation is "locked in" between the 2 walls.
post #10 of 52
Thread Starter 
Ceiling construction is finished.



Now, ready to start drywall...
post #11 of 52
Den,

Wow -- that must have been a neck-breaking task. Did you get some help from a friend? Looks great!
post #12 of 52
Thread Starter 
Steve,

Thanks!
Yup, fortunately my dad helped me out with the ceiling. The ceiling plates were quite large (2.5 x 1.25 meters) so we had to cut them up into smaller pieces. On top of that, there are three layers of fiber wool between the HT ceiling and the garage ceiling, which were a pain to get in. In all, it took us about 8 hrs in total for the ceiling...

I started drywall on the rear HT wall as you can see here:


To all here:
I mentioned that i'm ready to start putting up drywall, but the other thing i need to do is finish closing up the 2 doors. The entrance door to the HT can only be done when drywall is finished for that wall (because of the hinge system).
The other door however (the one you can see in the pic above, leading out to the garden) still needs to be insulated, sealed etc. etc.
There are 2 techniques i can use to do this:
1) Only use the existing door and make a "box" on that door that fits exactly in the opening.
2) Make a second door of OSB, filling up the space in between them with fiber wool.

I'm inclined to go for the second option. Can anyone offer any suggestion on which technique is better?
post #13 of 52
Den,

Just curious (and sorry if you answered this before), but why did you plan to put up the plywood then the drywall on ceiling? Could you have just attached the drywall to the ceiling joists saved a step (and some $$)?
post #14 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hi Steve,

Yes, i could have attached the drywall directly to the ceiling joists. But building it that way would have meant that i would have to build the structure of the entire inside of the HT before doing the drywall, and (although i know that is what most here are doing) that was not what i had in mind. The design goal was to have an empty and "square" room, and build the HT inside the empty room. This way, the room could be used for other purposes in the future (when the house is sold or who knows what may come up).
Drywall is not the ideal material to fasten an inner construction to, so i chose to have wood beneath all the drywall, making it much easier and sturdier to build something inside.
Hope this explanation makes sense.

As far as cost is concerned, the ceiling wood only costs about 5 euro's per plate, so 20 euro's for the entire ceiling. The ceiling wood is not that thick but relatively dense.
To put them up was more work than i expected however...
post #15 of 52
Thread Starter 
Friday the 14th, 2006: drywalling has started...





post #16 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quick update on progress:

Did some work on the outer door:




And the entrance door:




And mudding drywall is almost finished:
post #17 of 52
Thread Starter 
Here's a top-down view of the interior with measurements in centimeters:


And one in inches:
post #18 of 52
Den,

3 platforms/risers? Are you still planning to make them movable or will they be stationary now?

BTW -- what is that green wire coming out of the wall? That looks like some heavy duty stuff.
post #19 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hey Steve,

Well, Riser 1 is the smallest one, and the only one that does not need to be movable. The other 2: yep, that's still the plan. No real idea yet on how to realize that, i wish i could borrow your thinking chair for a couple of hours..

The green wire is the main power coming from the house, and is needed to light part of the HT when the HT is not in use. There is a light switch near the entrance door that turns on the light in the garage, and it will also turn on a light behind the entrance door so we won't have to power on the HT when we just need to make a quick run to the garage.
The way our house is built is that electrical main power (220, not 110) is put directly into the poured concrete and into the walls. This thick wire carries 220, neutral and ground, and also has a metal shield protecting the cabling inside. It's basically the same type of wire as what we use when running electrical outside, with an extra color coating.

It's really great to see your HT coming along so nicely, by the way! You (and several others here at AVS) are doing a terrific job, much better than i can do at the moment...
post #20 of 52
Den,
Nice job so far. I'm always impressed with what people are able to do with garage HTs. BTW, I like the name: "The Black Hole" Good luck with the rest of the build.
post #21 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for taking the time to chime in. Glad you like the name.
Hope you'll visit again in the future.
post #22 of 52
Den,

Looking great so far! I will EVENTUALLY be building a theatre that's almost exactly the same size as yours. Most here seem to have a much wider space then what's available to me (about 9') so it's great to see someone making it work!

I'm looking forward to see how yours will turn out!

p_og
post #23 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hi P_Og,

Welcome to the forum, and i'm honored that your first post is in my thread..

Thanks for the heads up! Very much appreciated.
Due to space limitations i inevitably have had to cut corners on some issues, which is why my build process is different from most HT builds you'll see here (i.e. no staggered studs, no double drywall etc.). Be prepared and not afraid to make those decisions.
So far however, the result is quite good: there is a whole lot less sound coming in to the HT than before (even with unfinished doors and no weather striping).

"Eventually" sounds like a distant future but if you do start to build, I and i'm sure others would like to see your progress too. Until then, visit this forum often, read as much as you can, do searches on subjects and ask questions. There is much to learn here.
post #24 of 52
Hey,
I've just started planning something like this myself like P_Og, again in a garage. Though as its my dads garage, it will also have a car in it so I have some careful planning to do to make it fit.

Good luck with yours, looks good in the space already. Are you within the UK, DenW?

Nick
post #25 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hey Corpse,

Would love to know why you chose that name...

Thanks for your comments.
I had to do the same thing: my wife's car needed to fit in the front part of the garage, and it does. She has about 3 inches to spare when parking...

No, i'm not in the UK, i'm in the south-eastern part of the Netherlands.
post #26 of 52
Thread Starter 
Another update:

Finished drywalling the entrance door:


Started building the equipment rack:


Close-up of the metal rails embedded into the studs:
post #27 of 52
Thread Starter 
Yesterday i got a call from my brother. The local cinema where he lives is selling their theater seats. At first, i thought i'd pass on them since i have seats and everything is calculated around their dimensions, but after talking to my wife about it we're going to go and take a look at them...
post #28 of 52
Quote:


Hi P_Og,

Welcome to the forum, and i'm honored that your first post is in my thread..

Thanks for the heads up! Very much appreciated.
Due to space limitations i inevitably have had to cut corners on some issues, which is why my build process is different from most HT builds you'll see here (i.e. no staggered studs, no double drywall etc.). Be prepared and not afraid to make those decisions.
So far however, the result is quite good: there is a whole lot less sound coming in to the HT than before (even with unfinished doors and no weather striping).

"Eventually" sounds like a distant future but if you do start to build, I and i'm sure others would like to see your progress too. Until then, visit this forum often, read as much as you can, do searches on subjects and ask questions. There is much to learn here.

Hi Den,
Thanks for the warm welcome! I have already learned lots from being here and I'm sure I'll have some to teach by the time I start my theatre...eventually
Good luck with the theatre chairs! I hope it works out for you!
p_og
post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DenW View Post

Yesterday i got a call from my brother. The local cinema where he lives is selling their theater seats. At first, i thought i'd pass on them since i have seats and everything is calculated around their dimensions, but after talking to my wife about it we're going to go and take a look at them...

Make sure you take pics of the seating. Maybe they will be more comfortable than the ones you already have. Buy (2) of them for the front MONEY seats
post #30 of 52
Thread Starter 
P_Og,

You're welcome!

& Steve,

Well, the seats were OK i guess, but worn down and far too big for my room. It would mean a complete redesign of my risers (not that bad) and even less space to walk in (very bad!). With the seating i have now, the seat springs upright when you stand up, and the chairs we looked at were just big chairs, no moving seats. Both my wife and I feel that for a true theater experience, the current seats are better. However, they will take more work to make them presentable. Re-upholstering them is going to be the biggest problem, but hey.. i wanted a hobby project...

I have 10 seats now, but only 8 wil fit in the room. I'll keep the other 2 for spare parts, i think. The middle row of seating will be the best spot, as the front row may be a bit too close to the screen for some people.
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