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New Theater underway (check it out)!

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
Okay, so its not just a theater -- its a house too.

But the important part (as you look at the foundation from the front), is the back right corner.

That's where a 16 x 20 theater room will be.

The 2nd to last picture shows the back part of the house (from the outside) where the theater room will be. Its a walkout basement, that's why you see a door there and a window.

The last picture shows inside the "basement" -- facing what will be the screen wall (118 inch screen). The room entrance will start about 3 feet in from that window cut-out. The interior side wall will run through about the middle of that concrete block on the floor (in the background on the right).

Doesn't look like 16 x 20, but I guess its deceiving with no walls up.

Hope sound doesn't travel through to that one neighbor behind the screen wall ; ) But we made friends with them when I was there to take the pictures.









http://ericbeth.home.comcast.net/newhouse.html
post #2 of 52
Looks good so far. I would recommend some wall treatments and a roof before installing the projector. Once the projector is installed no work seems to get done

Laters,
Jeff
post #3 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eq_shadimar View Post

Looks good so far. I would recommend some wall treatments and a roof before installing the projector. Once the projector is installed no work seems to get done

Laters,
Jeff

Well it will be a while till I can ceiling mount the projector -- or even legally be on the property. ; )
post #4 of 52
I see the footers for the dreaded basement posts. Make sure they aren't going to be in your room!!! Good luck with the construction. I am sure there are many headaches ahead of you, but it will be awesome when done!
post #5 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbgonzomd View Post

I see the footers for the dreaded basement posts. Make sure they aren't going to be in your room!!! Good luck with the construction. I am sure there are many headaches ahead of you, but it will be awesome when done!

The interior wall bisects those footers -- so one post will be in the room:

But the post is at about 14 feet (the width is 16 feet). And it is about 12 feet back (20 foot depth). So it won't really be in the way. I can still fit 10 feet of chairs in my 2nd row (probably 3 Berkline 090s). The front row will have no post effecting it -- it will be at 11 feet.

This drawing of plans for the basement shows the theater room ("media room") with the 10 inch riser and the post (you can see the mark for both posts -- which is where that footer is). The media room is on the upper left in this drawing, but its a mirror image of the actual house (so everything is reversed -- just flip the drawing over in your mind to match the photos):



Hopefully the headaches are the builders', not mine. I'm not doing this myself ; )
post #6 of 52
Ahhh, I remember seeing this plan before. Those headaches are contageous. First the builder gets one, then it seems to trickle down to the owner. Good luck.
post #7 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbgonzomd View Post

Ahhh, I remember seeing this plan before. Those headaches are contageous. First the builder gets one, then it seems to trickle down to the owner. Good luck.


Its nice to see the plans starting to take shape now. After months of planning.
post #8 of 52
Thread Starter 
Updated! First floor framing is now almost done. This picture (from the back of the house), shows the door to the walkout basement. The media room is to the left -- starting a few feet to the left of the basement window (it doesn't look like 20 feet from there to the left side of the house, but it should be). On Thanksgiving (when no workers are around, so I can trespass on my future property), I will go into the basement and take some inside pictures of the media room:

post #9 of 52
You are winning I just got the concrete poured and they are taking the casts off of them now, framing starts next week. The difference is ours is an addition, much easier to trespass but awful to wake up to. Best of luck!
post #10 of 52
Congrats and good luck. Keep us informed.
post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by caesar1 View Post

The media room is to the left -- starting a few feet to the left of the basement window (it doesn't look like 20 feet from there to the left side of the house, but it should be).[/IMG]

Those look like 3' concrete form panels (judging by the horizontal panels above and the 4x8 sheathing), so I see 21' plus a couple to the window and some change at the other end. So, 20 feet easily.

It's really annoying to me that the builders keep you off the property. I know there's liability and that legally it's the builder or developer's property, but they're building it for you! I told my builder that I'd be on the property whenever I pleased (as long as I wouldn't be in the way) and that if he didn't like it, he could build the house for someone else. I tried to go mostly in the evenings so I didn't annoy the contractors, but being there often saved several stupid (and potentially expensive to fix) mistakes.

The other reason they do it (I guess) is because of people like my neighbors. They changed stuff constantly during construction (mostly at their cost, I'd imagine). Let's move this wall this way a foot. Let's change this door. Let's...

Good luck and enjoy the experience. It was fun, but stressful. A couple of years later, I've forgotten most of the bad stuff and now live in a home I really enjoy... and am finally getting started on the HT!!!

SC
post #12 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecrabb View Post

Those look like 3' concrete form panels (judging by the horizontal panels above and the 4x8 sheathing), so I see 21' plus a couple to the window and some change at the other end. So, 20 feet easily.

It's really annoying to me that the builders keep you off the property. I know there's liability and that legally it's the builder or developer's property, but they're building it for you! I told my builder that I'd be on the property whenever I pleased (as long as I wouldn't be in the way) and that if he didn't like it, he could build the house for someone else. I tried to go mostly in the evenings so I didn't annoy the contractors, but being there often saved several stupid (and potentially expensive to fix) mistakes.

The other reason they do it (I guess) is because of people like my neighbors. They changed stuff constantly during construction (mostly at their cost, I'd imagine). Let's move this wall this way a foot. Let's change this door. Let's...

Good luck and enjoy the experience. It was fun, but stressful. A couple of years later, I've forgotten most of the bad stuff and now live in a home I really enjoy... and am finally getting started on the HT!!!

SC

That's good it is at least 21 feet. Because I was getting worried that 20 feet meant foundation wall to foundation wall -- and not dry wall to dry wall. I never really clarified that -- but I assume that's what is standard when you say you want a 16 x 20 foot room.

By the way, how many inches does the framing and dry wall take up?

The builder isn't really keeping me off, they just sent form letters to cover themselves for any liability (if I got hurt there). The workers there don't speak much English, so I'm not sure they would do anything. I just feel more comfortable when no one is around.

The builder does lock the doors at a certain point, so I wont' be able to get in after that.

We were already told by the builder that if we change anything after a certain date, there is a cost for a "change order" -- in addition to the cost of the change itself.
post #13 of 52
Thats what custom builders are for! I make changes all of the time - ok, not all the time, that would get old. If you have the right crew they enjoy the challenges. They still get paid and they aren't building the same house style over and over.
post #14 of 52
Congratulations on the project. I remember mine vividly even though it's been 8 years. Just curious, is the basement floor part of the concrete pour? It looks like a lot of gravels on the floor. Also I have never seen a full walk-out basement with only one window and a small door (compare to a French door). It's still early but make sure they haul all the construction material (especially gravels) away before they prepare the ground for sodding or seeding. They never bothered haul the unused gravel away from my yard, they just blend them into the ground. You will know when a certain part of grass can never grow to be healthy enough. Good luck.
post #15 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fore2002 View Post

Congratulations on the project. I remember mine vividly even though it's been 8 years. Just curious, is the basement floor part of the concrete pour? It looks like a lot of gravels on the floor. Also I have never seen a full walk-out basement with only one window and a small door (compare to a French door). It's still early but make sure they haul all the construction material (especially gravels) away before they prepare the ground for sodding or seeding. They never bothered haul the unused gravel away from my yard, they just blend them into the ground. You will know when a certain part of grass can never grow to be healthy enough. Good luck.

Not sure about the floor. I'll get a look at it tomorrow or over the weekend to see if they poured concrete over the gravel. When I took the picture of the gravel, they still hadn't completely finished everything I think.

There are 2 windows -- one is near the front right-side, so you can't see it from the back. We moved the windows around so the media room would be totally dark. You can see the window on the plans in this thread a few posts up (near the electrical panels in the storage area).

We asked for one door (not the double sliding doors, which were in fact standard), since we didn't like all that glass and access to the basement level from the outside. It felt less secure (even though it will be alarmed). Plus I was trying to eliminate light sources near the media room. But come to think of it, it may have been a mistake, since it will be harder to move stuff into the basement through one door. But its too late now (but you only have one exterior door for moving stuff in when there is no walk-out basement, so I guess its not too much of a loss).

I wonder if a double door would have fit with the window there anyway -- and still allow 20 feet for the media room?
post #16 of 52
Thread Starter 
New Update!

Media room/basement now has a roof. This picture (see below) is looking at the screen wall. Those dreaded poles will be bisected by the right-side wall of the media room. So only one post will be in the room. The 2nd set of poles (the closest in the picture) will be incorporated into the back wall of the media room. So they won't be seen at all.



Surprisingly, no framing or concrete floor yet in the basement. As you can see from this picture (of the front of the house), most of the 2nd floor framing is now complete:



I believe they pour the concrete after the house is under roof. Perhaps so it will set without weather effecting it as much?
post #17 of 52
Ah getting closer to mounting the projector I see Great progress so far!

Laters,
Jeff
post #18 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eq_shadimar View Post

Ah getting closer to mounting the projector I see Great progress so far!

Laters,
Jeff

And I'm debating between the AX100 from Panasonic or the Epson 810. Decisions decisions.
post #19 of 52
There are so many variables and they just don't get freaky about residential construction as in commercial. They can add a drying agent (less water, less freeze risk) to pour at lower temps. Plus, the crete has a lot of thermal mass, so that helps overnight. The crete also gives off heat of its own during curing (exothermic chemical reaction). So, unless it's extremely cold, it shouldn't be a problem. They can also use propane heaters to keep the space above freezing, which they may have done. Just make a note with the dates and low temps so if you did have a problem, you'll have a reference.

SC
post #20 of 52
Caesar, Just curious, Have you had a discussion with the builder about HVAC duct routes and plumbing? I can see some sub contractors coming in and really messing with that great space you have planned.
post #21 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

Caesar, Just curious, Have you had a discussion with the builder about HVAC duct routes and plumbing? I can see some sub contractors coming in and really messing with that great space you have planned.

We really didn't talk specifics with duct routes and plumbing. I know that there will be a trunk line for HVAC in the ceiling, which is why the drop ceiling will take the ceiling height down to 7' 8 inches. And we talked about overall HVAC, taking into account the finished portions of the basement, and decided to go with zoning via an "electronic damper" -- with just one unit.

So the basement and 1st floor will be controlled via one thermostat, and the 2nd floor will be controlled via a separate thermostat. All of which will be handled by one unit and an electronic damper.

I did make sure that the media room would have its own return.

I don't know anything about plumbing effecting that space.

What exactly should I be looking for and watching for as far as the subs messing with that space? I will have a pre-drywall walk-through in a couple of weeks, so I should be able to see everything in place then (all wiring and mechanicals).

What would/could they do to mess with that space?

Oh, and I just noticed this wording in the plans for the basement:

"Some variations to the framing including room sizes, duct chases and soffits are to be expected."

Uh oh. Is that what you are referring to? What is a duct chase? I know what a soffit is -- I think (sort of dry wall around duct work, making a box).

As long as any soffits are on the sides of the room I guess that will be okay. One down the middle of the room would be bad.

I have no idea what a duct chase is though.
post #22 of 52
You know that a drop ceiling is not a great idea in a home theater unless there is absolutely not other choice.
post #23 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by McCall View Post

You know that a drop ceiling is not a great idea in a home theater unless there is absolutely not other choice.

Yes, I didn't really have much of a choice. Although it seems common enough in basement home theaters. So it must not be horrible -- just not ideal.

The easy wiring access is good though.
post #24 of 52
It's hard to tell exactly where they will be running the main supply and return ducts. The will generally run perpendicular to the joists and hang below and run nearly the entire length of the house. All the take offs look like they can be tucked up in the floor joist cavities.

If you know where they will put the furnace than you can guess where the main trunks might run. I've looked at the floor plan and it's not clear but I took my best guess



top is where they will want it, bottom is where you want it. I don't know of the clearances available. and adding turns decreases efficiency. You might want to discuss this with the builder. Worst case is the need to drop the ceiling below the ducts in the theater which I guess you were planning all along.

The best solution is to have it on the perimeter of the room hid in a soffit that goes all around the room of aesthetics. Your metal beam and location of stairs if conspiring against you.
post #25 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

It's hard to tell exactly where they will be running the main supply and return ducts. The will generally run perpendicular to the joists and hang below and run nearly the entire length of the house. All the take offs look like they can be tucked up in the floor joist cavities.

If you know where they will put the furnace than you can guess where the main trunks might run. I've looked at the floor plan and it's not clear but I took my best guess



top is where they will want it, bottom is where you want it. I don't know of the clearances available. and adding turns decreases efficiency. You might want to discuss this with the builder. Worst case is the need to drop the ceiling below the ducts in the theater which I guess you were planning all along.

The best solution is to have it on the perimeter of the room hid in a soffit that goes all around the room of aesthetics. Your metal beam and location of stairs if conspiring against you.

I believe the furnace and other mechnicals will be in the storage area where the sump pump is (above where you have it).

I believe the main trunk will run through the theater room, but will be hidden by the drop ceiling. Because that's a 9 foot ceiling unfinished -- but it will be 7' 8 inches when done. And I think he mentioned the need to drop the ceiling below the duct work. He also mentioned that having 2 units for zoning HVAC (instead of one) would have caused another trunk to be run through the ceiling of the theater room, making it more difficult for recessed lighting, etc. Which is one reason I went with one unit and zoning.

Is there any reason that the main trunk can't run through the storage area behind the theater room as you show it -- even with the furnace where I think it will be? It will make for a longer run, probably increasing costs I guess?

Since I will have to have a drop ceiling no matter what (since that is what this builder does for finished basement space), is there anything really bad about the trunk line running above the drop ceiling in the media room? Will it vibrate or cause other noise? What are the downsides of this?

Note that insulation is supposed to be in the ceiling.
post #26 of 52
As long as you are prepared to give up the head room, the only problem now is how to prevent sound in the theater traveling through the rest of the house. Here were some thoughts on this topic.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=765388
Your zoning might help
post #27 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

As long as you are prepared to give up the head room, the only problem now is how to prevent sound in the theater traveling through the rest of the house. Here were some thoughts on this topic.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=765388
Your zoning might help

I wasn't happy about the head-room, as it has limited my projector options. I probably would have went DLP (Infocus IN76) -- but due to the placement issues with DLPs and a low ceiling, I am compelled to go with LCD (probably the Epson 810).

As far as sound, there will be insulation in the ceiling and walls, which I know isn't perfect, but should help some. Also, it is only 3 of us (my wife and son). Usually my wife is watching DVDs with me. So sound shouldn't be an issue, even if heard in other parts of the house.

Now we live in a townhouse (open stairs all the way up the house). My 2 year old sleeps blissfully while we watch DVDs at -12 from reference 2 floors below. It can only be much less noisy in this new house.
post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by caesar1 View Post

.......... Because that's a 9 foot ceiling unfinished -- but it will be 7' 8 inches when done......

Man, I'd hate to be paying for a 9' ceiling in the basement, only to end up having 7'8" after all is said and done....
post #29 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Willis View Post

Man, I'd hate to be paying for a 9' ceiling in the basement, only to end up having 7'8" after all is said and done....

Tell me about it ; ) But better than starting with 8 foot ceiling and going down to 6' 8.

At least all of the 1st floor and the master bedroom are 9' ceilings.
post #30 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecrabb View Post

Those look like 3' concrete form panels (judging by the horizontal panels above and the 4x8 sheathing), so I see 21' plus a couple to the window and some change at the other end. So, 20 feet easily.

It's really annoying to me that the builders keep you off the property. I know there's liability and that legally it's the builder or developer's property, but they're building it for you! I told my builder that I'd be on the property whenever I pleased (as long as I wouldn't be in the way) and that if he didn't like it, he could build the house for someone else. I tried to go mostly in the evenings so I didn't annoy the contractors, but being there often saved several stupid (and potentially expensive to fix) mistakes.

The other reason they do it (I guess) is because of people like my neighbors. They changed stuff constantly during construction (mostly at their cost, I'd imagine). Let's move this wall this way a foot. Let's change this door. Let's...

Good luck and enjoy the experience. It was fun, but stressful. A couple of years later, I've forgotten most of the bad stuff and now live in a home I really enjoy... and am finally getting started on the HT!!!

SC

Now that the framing is up, I actually measured from stud to stud. Works out to precisely as planned: 16 x 20
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