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Horton Home Theater begins!!

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
First and foremost, let me thank all the folks here at AVS who have already built or are in the process of building their theaters. You guys are constantly inspiring me by showing what can be done with a little elbow grease and large piles of cash.
Here's a little bit of history.... We moved into our house that we had built 9 months ago. I had planned on starting the HT immediately, but you know how that goes. Blinds, drapes, new furniture, and an ever increasing list of things we needed kept getting in the way. There was also the minor issue of having to undergo in vitro fertilization for us to conceive. As you may know, this ended up costing us a small fortune plus one of my kidneys on the black market. We began that process last week and are about to do the first round this coming week. Anyway, now that that is paid for, I have check writing privileges once again, so construction is now underway!!
The theater will occupy part of the livable space in our basement. The rest is a 2 car garage, under the stairs storage, laundry room, full bath that is already finished, and a small office that I will be doing the same time as the theater. The finished HT will be 13x20x8. I plan on doing 2 rows of 3 seats on a riser, stage, proscenium, 7 speakers and multiple subs. All wiring and ducting will be in soffits and columns to minimize breaches in the main walls and ceilings.
So far, I'm finished with the framing and my father-in-law (a retired electrician) is coming Tuesday to help me start electrical rough-in. After that, it's insulation and 2 layers of 5/8" sheetrock with GG between. I'll post a few pics later today, but so far there's not much to see. The framing is nothing fancy, just good old 2x4's mostly. Anyway, I'm finally underway, so wish me luck!
post #2 of 69
Thread Starter 
Oh, I was also going to try to keep a running total for anyone who cares. So far, for wood, screws and nails..... $457.92. Pics to come.
post #3 of 69
Thread Starter 
Well, our computer died a few days ago and I just got the new one set up. Also, still haven't bought new batteries for the digital camera, so no pics yet. Anyway, framing is finished and my father-in-law came yesterday to help me get a list of things I'll need to do the electrical. Got everything figured up and checked some prices and I soon discovered that copper is very expensive these days. The one wire that I'll need to feed the sub panel is about 130 bucks alone. Also had to go back to Lowes to get more screws before I finished the framing. To anyone building a theater.......get about 3 times as many screws and nails as you think you'll need. One thing I've noticed about folks on here is we tend to overbuild everything. Overbuilding = more screws and nails. Also had to get another tape measure as I left my other one on the trunk of my car and took off for work with it still laying there. If anyone is in the Hayden, Alabama area and finds a 30' Fat Max on the side of the road, just keep it. Consider it my gift to the cause. More updates to come as electrical gets underway starting Saturday August 12. Pics to come at some point when I remember to get batteries.
post #4 of 69
Wow. You've got a lot of stuff going on over the last year.

Good luck on your build.

Bryan
post #5 of 69
Looking foward to the pics. Keep us informed
post #6 of 69
Eddy: As I was told when I started-welcome to the obsession!

Wow! You are finding out how expensive this is already, huh? I had a contractor friend tell my wife "whatever he tells you its gonna cost, double it;whatever time he tells you it will take to finish, triple it!!"

Hehehe He has been pretty close to accurate so far!

I guess that's part of the fun-learning and getting more and more deeper. It seems like the more I read and do, the less I know and forget.
Sounds almost like life, huh???

I just finished my framing about a week ago, and now I am "dewiring" the place, getting ready to rewire.
Again, welcome and get off the new computer and start building!
China
post #7 of 69
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys. Yeah, it's been a busy year. All the work on the HT so far has seemed like relaxation compared to our normal hustle and bustle. Did have some unexpected good news on the electrical, and this is so abnormal as things ususally go the other way for me. The existing unfinished area that the HT and office will occupy already had 2 circuits ran for it. My builder knew what I was planning with the room, so I guess he figured he had me covered as far as power needs went. Not quite enough, but it was a nice thought. He's a good guy. Anyway, we'll be using one circuit for the office lights and outlets and the other for the HT lights. On the sub panel we're going to put 4 20 amp circuits for all the equipment. 2 for the main equipment rack and 2 for the subs. We figured it would be cheaper and easier given the price of wire to run one time to feed the sub panel and branch off of there instead of running 4 looong runs from the main panel for the additional circuits. We'll see how it goes.
post #8 of 69
Eddie,

Good luck with your project. I know we are both fans of ascend speakers, and I am sure you will be using them in your room too

I will be watching your thread for the progress.

Take care,

Brandon
post #9 of 69
Thread Starter 
Yep, Brandon, Ascends it will be. I'm still not sure whether I'll upgrade to the SE's or keep what I have. Guess it depends on available funds when the theater is ready. The bass will definately be getting a makeover, though.
post #10 of 69
Eddie,

I just ordered my 7.0 setup from ascend(James) this week. I went with the 340se center with 6 - 170se's for the remaining all B-stock too. Why spend the extra money on finish when they will be behind fabric anyway

They should ship out sometime in the next 2 weeks or so. Its a heck of a deal for a surround setup around $1k. Anyway, back to work on the theater!


Later,

Brandon
post #11 of 69
Thread Starter 
This may sound crazy, but does anyone have a "checklist" of some sorts for HT wiring. I'm afraid I may forget to put in the outlets in the riser or forget to run CAT5e for my IR repeater when I actually start pulling wire this weekend.
post #12 of 69
Thread Starter 
The search tool really IS your friend. Found this thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ight=checklist Anyone got anything else?
post #13 of 69
You certainly have been busy...I look forward to seeing your progress come to life.


Robert
post #14 of 69
Thread Starter 
Went to Lowe's yesterday to get what I needed for the electrical rough in. Did also get batteries, but I've been so busy I haven't loaded the pics on the computer yet. Will try to do that today. Anyway, plans are to do the sub panel with 4 20 amp circuits to cover the subs and equipment rack. Two duplex outlets on each of the 2 circuits for the subs and 4 duplex outlets on each of the 2 circuits for the equipment rack. Lighting and other convenience outlets to be handled by one of the existing circuits in the room. Office lights and outlets to be covered by the other existing circuit. Now, I have to decide exactly where columns will go, how far out soffit will come, exact dimensions of the stage and riser, etc. I have it pretty much nailed down, but I need to be sure before I start installing boxes and pulling wire. Every time I think I'm done with something, it opens up a whole new can of worms. Guess that's part of the fun though, right? I'm planning on an outlet hidden in the stage for rope lights, two outets in the ceiling, one for PJ one for rope lights, an outlet in the riser for rope lights and possibly more for power reclining chairs. I may as well wire the riser for recline, Buttkickers, and game consoles even if I'm not sure if I'll do all that. After that comes all the speaker cable, signal wires, etc. I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Keep an eye on me, folks.
post #15 of 69
Thread Starter 
At work right now, but did get some wire pulled yesterday and plan to do more today. Pics are sitting in the camera, but it appears the entire universe is conspiring against me to get them posted. First, my terrible memory and not getting batteries was the culprit, then time constraints, now the phone company has been out in the neighborhood doing their thing and our phone isn't working anymore. We called yesterday to report it and were told it would be repaired by TUESDAY!! So, no DSL at the house until then. They're coming, though, as I know we all need pics here. They really are coming. I swear.
post #16 of 69
Thread Starter 
Here's my list of high and low voltage cable plans. Tell me if you see anything that needs adding, removing, or modifying.

High Voltage:

Wire from main breaker panel to sub-panel.
1 20A circuit from sub-panel to front wall feeding 1 duplex outlet for subs
1 20A circuit from sub-panel to front wall feeding 1 duplex outlet for subs
1 20A circuit from sub-panel to equipment rack location feeding 4 duplex outlets for equipment and 1 duplex outlet in ceiling for projector
1 20A circuit from sub-panel to equipment rack location feeding 4 duplex outlets for equipment and 4 duplex outlets in riser for chairs
Relocate existing circuit to feed office lights and 6 duplex outlets
Run off existing circuit to feed sconces, can lights, 1 duplex outlet in ceiling for tray ropelights, 1 duplex outlet in riser for rope lights, and 1 duplex outlet in stage for rope lights


Low Voltage:

Satellite feed to equipment rack location
Cat5e to office and to equipment rack location for phone (DSL) and Tivo
Cat5e from stage area to equipment rack location for IR repeater
Cat5e from projector location to equipment rack location for IR repeater
Cat5e from office to riser for DSL hookup
HDMI from equipment rack to projector
DVI-D from equipment rack to projector
Component Video from equipment rack to projector
2 runs of RG-59 from equipment rack to stage area for subs
Speaker wire from equipment rack to all 7 speakers
Speaker wire from equipment rack to riser for Buttkickers
Game console hookups from equipment rack to riser
VGA from riser to projector for computer hookup
post #17 of 69
Thread Starter 
Finally, some pics. These are framing and the electrical work I've managed to get done so far. The first one shows the front wall, second is of the dedicated circuits that will handle the subs, third is the back wall and office space.





post #18 of 69
Thread Starter 
Here are two more. First is from the office looking into the bathroom and at the sub-panel that will handle the circuits for the equipment, second is a pic showing one of two circuits that will be in the equipment rack location. It's the yellow romex dangling in the pic. The red one is just my trusty drop light.



post #19 of 69
Eddie,

To get the pics in your post all I do is place this [img] in front of the http of your pic and this [/img] at the end. I use Yahoo's flicr for my pics and go under each photos properties and copy & past the link into the post and do the following listed above.


I was new to this as of last week Hope this works for you.

The room is slowly taking shape, back to it!


Brandon
post #20 of 69
Thread Starter 
Ahhh, thanks. Been posting here for a while, but have never posted a pic until today.
post #21 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quick question....what size can lights are you guys using for general lighting purposes? I'm going with three 3" cans with eyeball lenses for over the screen and sconces on the walls, but I don't know what the best size for cans in the ceiling is. Don't want to get something too big or small that will look goofy.
post #22 of 69
Thread Starter 
Got a small update this morning and have realized that I hate pulling wire and doing electrical. It's somewhat tedious and seems like nothing is getting done, but that may be just the way I work. No sense outpacing the budget. Anyway, here goes.

Outlets, anyone? I've got a stack of monoblocks, sat box, receiver, 2 DVD players, universal player, PlayStation, etc., and I don't like power strips. Every outlet and seam in the theater will be sealed with acoustic caulk and all walls and ceilings including the theater and office will be 2 layers of drywall and GG, so I hope I'm not giving up any performance for convenience. Anyway, that's the idea for powering the equipment rack.


First injury. Drill slipped while screwing down an outlet box. I think I'll survive.


Lastly, this is what living in the sticks will get you. This photo doesn't come close to doing justice to the size of this thing when it was crawling around. I have a spider phobia like you wouldn't believe. Think I used about half a can of bug spray on it.


That's it for now. Back to work.
post #23 of 69
Couldn't you have guided it outside? Spiders are beneficial in keeping the insect population in check.
The pain that poor thing must have gone through. Boy, you have problems!!














I'm kidding my man! Nice build so far!


post #24 of 69
Thread Starter 
It's weird, but any other creature that found its way in the house would just get scooped up and tossed out the back door. Spiders, on the other hand, cause me to lose all rational thought and I go into them with guns blazing. My mom has the same phobia, so I just blame her.
post #25 of 69
Eddie,

Ah! A fellow arachniphobe!

I really got the shivers just looking at that thing! Although I know that spiders are good for (insert your own reason here), I really hate the dang things. If the dang things would just stay OUTSIDE and not surprise me!!!!

I leave all spider-killing duties to my fiance. I just know that they can jump and it'll give me freakin' heart attack to have them land on me. So.....I stay at least 10 feet away while she's doing the "great white hunter" thing.

BTW.....sorry for the hijack I'll be moving into my newly completed house in about 4 weeks and have a room already picked out for my theater. All I have to do is get the "little woman" to agree! OK....back to work....full speed ahead!

Chuck
post #26 of 69
Good idea on the Spider...that thing could have stole one of your speakers.....HUGE!!
post #27 of 69
You probably shouldnt know the statistic about the average number of spiders a person swallows during sleep in a lifetime. I forget where I hear that one, but it cracked me up.
post #28 of 69
David,

Thanks for that!

PM me your home phone number so I can call you at 3AM after I wake from a nightmare, screaming my lungs out!

Chuck
post #29 of 69
Hey man, things are looking up. Glad you finally got started on your project.
If you need any help holla. If you start looking at pj's and screens talk to Eric first.
Look forward to seeing you soon.

Mike
post #30 of 69
Since so many are already joking with you:
I presume the first movie you're going to watch is Arachniphobia
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