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BritInVA Construction Thread - Page 2

post #31 of 1328
Ashburnite here as well!

I just started a sperate thread w/ contruction pics yesterday.

I've had similar experiences with the Loudoun county offices: wanted a sketch on their form, quick, and generally helpful. I've called the office a few time with specific questions and they've been gernerally helpful as well.

The real test will come at inspection time... perhaps next week for me.
post #32 of 1328
we had our final inspection yesterday (Loudoun County) and all passed: electrical; mechanical & framing. he looked at some of the Ht modifications, miles of wiring and wacky conduit and scratched his head but for the most part he was pretty easy going.

They did question my installation of a thermostatically controlled whisper vent/exhaust fan over my HT equipment rack. since the rack resides in the utility (furnace) room he was concerned about a direct vent to the outside. it was discussed for a while and decided it was OK. I'm not sure why it was an issue since many of the new homes here have fresh air vent into the furnance room. The homes are becoming so "tight" you need more fresh air for combustion.

good luck guys.

post #33 of 1328

You say the rack resides in the utility room. His concern was probably that the exhaust fan could (if strong enough and the utility room has poor ventalation) suck the CO out of the water heater and the furnace vent stacks and create a kill zone.

If you ever go in the utility room and feel sleepy don't lay down.

Tom: I'm 50/50 for Saturday at this point. and You?

post #34 of 1328
Brit: Food for thought: Most people complain about their theaters getting too hot. not sure why you are trying so hard to keep it in.
post #35 of 1328
Probably another wasted Saturday running errands instead of building, so I'm more like 99/1. Should have the wife in tow, if that gets you out of the house any easier!

post #36 of 1328
Thread Starter 
Big - Good point, and as Tom mentioned the stuff is likely to rip when I start pulling it down. So probably not worth the effort.

Hope to see ya Saturday.
post #37 of 1328
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post


You say the rack resides in the utility room. His concern was probably that the exhaust fan could (if strong enough and the utility room has poor ventalation) suck the CO out of the water heater and the furnace vent stacks and create a kill zone.

If you ever go in the utility room and feel sleepy don't lay down.

Tom: I'm 50/50 for Saturday at this point. and You?



I think you're right. I was talking with my HVAC guy before the inspection and he was suggesting we add enough fresh air vents to the utility room to alleviate that potential problem.

post #38 of 1328

Rovkville MD here. Not exactly a 9 iron away but definitely driving distance even with the notorious DC traffic.

I am planning to convert part of my unfinished basement to a HT and need a lot of help. The room will be 14 by 19. There are 2 weight bearing posts in the area but shouldn't be a show stopper. One is 1 foot from one of the long wall and 12 feet from the screen. The other one is 3 feet from the back wall (16 from the screen) and 6 feet from the same long wall. The ceiling is 8 3/4' concrete to joists. The room basically will have a stage, 2 3-seaters, a riser. Will have a seperate room/closet for the equipments. Here are the questions:

1- Speaker placement for 7.1 and 5.1
2- Soundproof insulation options, wall & ceiling
3- Wall finish options
4- screen size, ratio
5- seat placement
6- projector postion
7- concrete treatment (seal, dricore, ...etc)

I will stop at 7 for now but anything above and beyond are more than welcome. I don't mind spending extra 2,3 K (on top of, say, 5k, just the room, not the equipments) to make the room look better/sound/perform better but that's about all I can commit now.

I am a true HT novice and an okay DIYer. I would like to start framing the room in the next week or two and take all suggestions into consideration.

Thanks a lot.

post #39 of 1328
Lookin real good!
post #40 of 1328
A little off topic:

Does anyone have roughly 30 feet (4'x30') of Linacoustic?

Thanks and sorry for the interruption.
post #41 of 1328
Thread Starter 
Ok - Demolition has Started.

Removed all existing drywall and insulation from the walls.

And busted the floor up where I need to reroute the shower drain.

That's going be it for this weekend - gotta go into DC with family to see the Cherry Blossom.

Studwork starts next weekend
post #42 of 1328
Thread Starter 
After reading pinkfreud55 thread on Air Circulation I've been looking at my HVAC situation tonight. As with most badly planned HVAC systems it seems my return goes from the furnace in the basement through the centre of the house with one return vent on Basement level, first floor and second floor. Which my be OK when rooms are not sealed and most doors left open.

A major rework or split of HVAC is not an option!

For obvious reasons, HT room is purposely a sealed environment. I have worked out a possible route, I can take an 8" flexible duct from the furnace through an existing soffit into the HT room.

Some pictures.

Does anyone know if there are codes that restrict where I tie into the HVAC return and how I route the duct?

Thanks in advance.
post #43 of 1328
Brit -

I don't know what the codes are, but from some of the pictures I've seen, they can't be too hard how the lines are run.

Looking good so far! Tear down that fast must have been a back breaker!

post #44 of 1328


If you go to HD and look at their "code check" series of spiral bound plastic coated books they have one for mechanical and it would give you some ideas about universal codes. Just read don't bother buying.

I do know there is a limitation on how close a return air supply vent can be to the furnace and I think it's 10 ft. If it's in another room it doesn't matter.

From your pictures it doesn't look like the air supply will be much of an issue. I would tie into the top of the duct inside that soffit and bring the flex duct between the joists to the outside perimeter of the room.

From my discussion with a HVAC guy, for basements in this area it's preferred to leave the supplies up high and the returns as close to the floor as possible. If you can put them at opposite ends/sides of the room that is recommended.

There are some ways to mitigate the sound coming/going via the duct work by choice of duct work. The flex sold at HD is not the best for sound control it has a plastic inner sleave. They make a version that has an inner sleave that is acoustically transparent and allows the sound to be absorbed by the insulation. I didn't use but it's available. I've seen it on some web page.

Also you are going to want to have some 90 degree bends.

You can also get in-line duct mufflers

You can also build a DIY serpentine box to contain sound
post #45 of 1328
Thread Starter 
BIG - Thanks for Tip on the book.....I'll go and thumb thru one.

The duct in the existing soffit is a feed so cannot tie into that - but there looks like room to run a flexi duct. Looks like my only connection point is at furnace - will be at least a 30' run.

As for placement I'm looking at connecting into the existing 'feeder' ducts within the room that already feed to upper rooms. There will be 2 registers between the screen and the seating area and another over by the bar (all in soffits with bends). For the return I think I can bring that down to floor level within the side wall of the new Bath.
post #46 of 1328

Just a head up.

Air volume in a HVAC is a lot different than Electricity more like water. You have to keep things in balance.

Fluid mechanics determines the volume of flow.

Think of the main supply trunk as an area of uniform constant pressure. the size of the holes (and to a lesser extent the resistance along the duct) determines the volume of air that will enter the duct. If you split an existing branch to feed an existing and a new vent you will cut the volume in half at each outlet.

It's better to tie your new room back to main trunk. Lets say the main trunk services 10 ducts. Adding 2 new will cut the volume at any one existing duct by 20% (swag). A lot better than 50%.

I was able to reach up betweent joists and tap onto the top of my main supply trunk (in your existing soffit)
post #47 of 1328
Thread Starter 
BIG - Yeah, read that in my basement finishing book.

My problem is that accessibility to the main supply trunk is difficult. I have a stairs that block access to most of it. I may be able to at least tap into it once.

The thing on my side is that I currently have 2 x 8" ducts that feed one room each - and these rooms are a formal dinning room and a formal sitting room. Both of which don't get used much so I'm keeping fingers crossed that if thats my only option things will work out OK.

Thanks for your input - appreciated.
post #48 of 1328
If you can tap in at least one joist bay you could put more than one tap in that location and then move laterally inside a soffit in the theater. That is if you are building a soffit otherwise never mind. You could put an oversize tap and branch it in the theater as well.
post #49 of 1328
Thread Starter 
BIG - Looks like I have a place I can access to tap into the feeder trunk......so my amended plan is to take 1 new 8" duct into the room and supply to registers behind the seating area.

For the return I have 2 options.
1) tap into the main return within the furnace room and then snake an 8" duct though the ceiling, or
2) just outside the HT room the central return duct resides behind the wall. As this wall and the walls in the HT room are not 'structural. do you (or anyone else) know if I can route the return duct within the wall horizontally about 6ft? If this is possible I can then route the return under the stage and put a return register along the front.
post #50 of 1328
I don't see why not. It goes horizontally at ceiling level for the rest of the house from you picture. It's horizontal in my house.

Some thing to be aware of. If you are like me I like my Subs. If you are concerned about the LFE noise going to the rest of the house I'd do a couple of things.

Keep the return vents away from the subs. Maybe somebody can model your room and tell you where along the front wall would be best.

Think about strategies that can tame the sound entering the return air system in the HT. Mufflers, Serpentine boxes, choice of duct material etc.

Just another thing to bounce off you. You are talking about supply in the rear and returns in the front. I've read that people are most comfortable the other way around. (cold draft on the back of the neck thing). Have you thought about orienting your theater the other way?
post #51 of 1328
Thread Starter 
BIG - Yes, thinking now best not to have the vents near the Subs.....so new plan

- New 8" duct from the main trunk supplying 2 registers between seating area and screen.

- New 8" return, linking into main return in furnace room, thru the soffit in the Rec Room and into the HT Room. I'll then take the return down to floor level within the wall (I can also incorpate a retun in the HT closet.

Thanks for all your help.
post #52 of 1328
I didn't intend for you to jump that fast. You may want to post a new thread with the title.

"where to put return vents in stage to minimize sound leakage?"

That should bring out all the acoustical gurus.
post #53 of 1328
Thread Starter 
BIG - My brain hurts as it is - I've only just recovered from the Sound Proofing thread
post #54 of 1328
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping to start Framing this weekend. My HT will need soffits to hide HVAC duct.

I want to incorporate a rope light for mood lighting plus a starfield ceiling. Torn between a design like CharlesB which I believe uses painted Drywall and a Crown molding, or like Chinadog that uses a bevelled soffit covered in GOM.

Both look Great!

Drywall + Crown looks quite straight forward, but I like the idea of the bevelled soffit.

Downside with the bevelled is if I paint it I will need a good finish on drywall and with all the corners/joins thats going to be a chore. But if I use GOM it does not need to be perfect.

This is a diagram of construction I'm thinking of:

Appreciate any critique on this design.
post #55 of 1328
Are you using wood paneling on all wall surfaces except the soffit?

On the soffit, how do you plan to attach the GoM to the drywall? Typically GoM is applied over firring frames, ideally over Linacoustic.
post #56 of 1328
Thread Starter 
Clarence - My plan is within the main HT area to use wood panelling with fabric/accoustic centers (like CharlesB).....and possibly all wood paneling in the rear bar area.

My primary goals are Sound Proofing and Asthetics before Accoustics. I'll do what I can within my appox $12k Budget (approx $6k build and $6k Equip).

If I use GOM (or some other fabric) I realize I'll need to use firring frames - but have not done enough investigation on what accoustic material to use. Linacoustic is an option - but not sure on price, where to get and whether it fits my budget.

[EDIT] Just saw 'BIGS' post with the JM link. What is the name of the Accoustic product. Could not find Linacoustic listed [/EDIT]
post #57 of 1328
Thread Starter 
BIG - Thanks, 1 roll may be enough to to my panels and soffits. I'll have to do some calculations!
post #58 of 1328
A couple of comments. Clarence is correct, you need to figure out how to staple the GOM to something in the corner. You can always cover it with crown, but you can't staple it to the drywall. My design was to include Linacoustic under the soffits, so I needed the furring there anyway. Turns out after talked to bpape, that I didn't need the Linacoustic, so my GOM covers 1" of empty space, although you'd never know it.

Also, you need an area to staple the GOM to on the other end (where the rope light is). I used 1x6s inside my trey to staple onto, but even so, it was sort of difficult to get the staple gun up there. You have a tight spot there for getting the staple gun in. It looks like the slanted side is pretty large. Mine is only about 6 inches. You might be able to go a little smaller and give yourself a little more room to play with. Also, that gives you more of an uplight on the corners of the ceiling. By having the rope light so close to the ceiling in a tight spot, you'll have less effect, but that may be the look you want.

Are you planning on building panels (ala Sandman) for the starfield or do you have access from above?

post #59 of 1328
Thread Starter 
Chinadog - Thanks.

I guess if I do go the GOM route on soffits I can use liquid nails to glue some thin firring strips to all edges and the pop in a few 2" finishing nails for additional strength. Was thinking too that the area for rope light was tight so the slanted edge can be shorter to give me some additional rooms (can't really drop the soffit as only have 7' 9" to the I-beam).

For Starfield ceiling I'm looking at making panels (no access above). I have Sandman's directions - only thing not clear on is how to fix to the ceiling. I'll drop Sandman a note.

I'm going to be using the Linacoustic in the panels, and if I go with GOM on soffits was going to use there also - what was the reason bpape gave for not doing the soffits?

[Side note] Weird how BIG's post from last night is showing as posted this morning. Think AVS had some issues with their servers last night. [EDIT] Now its gone [/EDIT]
post #60 of 1328
Thread Starter 
BIG - can you repost where you got the Linaccoustic from in Manassas - aftrer the AVS database work it disappeared.
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