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Extreme Makeover-Home Theater Edition Construction Thread

post #1 of 526
Thread Starter 
After reading a dizzying amount of information on this forum I finally decided that I had to have a dedicated home theater in my house. I figured that if I used the ugliest room in the house my wife wouldn't mind a little dust. As I formulated the plans the WAF went very high so I tore into the room on a mission to create our Theater.
Here are some specs:
Room size: 13X20X7.5ft
Seating: Two Rows of 4, second one on a riser. Commercial theater style seats
Equipment: TBD, mostly using what I already have to put the money into the room.

False screen wall with an AT screen and all speakers mounted behind the wall/screen.

2.37 AR screen approx. 42"X100"

GPowers and many others have inspired me to come up with a hybrid design to use frames in my theater so I will have all my walls covered by material.

I hope you enjoy this project as much as I will!

And now... Move that bus!

Here is the room before: (note - these are the previous owners furnishings)


As you can see this room is very deserving of a makeover.

The ceiling coming down - no obstructions for drywalling the ceiling - whew!

Behind the closet doors there is a water meter and a gas meter. I will have to build a new wall about 22 inches from the existing block wall to hide this. I will have to devise a creative way to access both of these while still maintaining a clean look in the theater.

You can see where I taped off the floor to get a visual idea of where I would like things to be. The two meters will fit nicely between the two columns on the left side.

Here is a shot of the closet removed and the exposed block down the left side

All the block is exposed. One spot that showed some water was caused by a downspout overflowing. The problem is fixed but the outlet doesn't look so good. It is removed in the first picture, but here is a close up.




Crew foreman inspecting the worksite


More on it's way...
post #2 of 526
Thread Starter 
I was able to get a little more done this weekend. The cove that used to be the bar needs to come out and a regular wall put in it's place.

Start of wall removal


Paneling down, now for the drywall and studs


Wall gone - exposing the chaos that is my workshop


New wall in place. Looking from workshop towards theater


Finally a step towards building something new instead of just demolition.
post #3 of 526
Nice progress! Good to see you're doing a Scope screen and even AT. Fantastic
post #4 of 526
Thread Starter 
Thanks Tukkis, I blame you guys in the 2.35 forum...
post #5 of 526
Quote:


Thanks Tukkis, I blame you guys in the 2.35 forum...

Hehe. You'll love having that shape screen. There's no going back. Plus you're doing it with AT material so even more realistic. Now you really have a cinema screen and not a giant tv.
post #6 of 526
Thread Starter 
While working in the theater last night I realized I have not made plans to accomodate a cold air return. There is an air duct in the ceiling which will provide Heat and A/C but I have a feeling that once I get this room closed up it will need the air flow of a return as well.
The good news is there are cold air return ducts overhead that I can tap into. I have seen this before and think that it is a recognized method.

Can I just elbow into a cold air return and run a box between the joists?
Should the opening be high or low on the wall based on the ceiling location of the hot/cold vent?
Will this method cause extreme amounts of sound to travel through the ducts to other areas of the house? I am not doing double drywall, or anything fancy for isolation, but being able to hear into the theater plain as day doesn't sound good to me.

Thanks,
Judson
post #7 of 526
Thread Starter 
I talked to my Father in law today who is an HVAC guy. He thought I could elbow right out of the return above that wall and use the wall cavity for the cold air return. He suggested putting the vent about 8-10" above the floor since the intake is on the ceiling.
post #8 of 526
Thread Starter 
I finally have a real room. Sort of... At least now I have 4 walls. I spent a good portion of the weekend manipulating the existing structure to get the back wall in place.
I had to trim off the drywall, add a few nailer boards for the existing drywall, and add a section for the new wall to nail to.

Drywall trimmed. I love the laser level


Here is the 2X4 added for the new wall to nail to


Now for the other side of the wall. I had to remove the drywall and paneling to see if I had to add something to nail the other end of the wall to


The carpet on the steps needs to be removed so I can trim the stair tread flush with the wall. One down, millions of staples to go




Carpet removed, treads trimmed, wall built and in place. I have a few more fasteners to add and the remainder of the door to frame out but I say it qualifies as a wall. The theater is officially enclosed.
You can see the existing make-shift theater in the background


The stairs aren't square (big surprise) so there is a larger gap at the base of the steps then there is at the top. I will deal with that another day.



That's it for now!
post #9 of 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by judsonp View Post

After reading a dizzying amount of information on this forum I finally decided that I had to have a dedicated home theater in my house. I figured that if I used the ugliest room in the house my wife wouldn't mind a little dust. As I formulated the plans the WAF went very high so I tore into the room on a mission to create our Theater.
Here are some specs:
Room size: 13X20X7.5ft
Seating: Two Rows of 4, second one on a riser. Commercial theater style seats
Equipment: TBD, mostly using what I already have to put the money into the room.

False screen wall with an AT screen and all speakers mounted behind the wall/screen.

2.37 AR screen approx. 42" X 100"
More on it's way...

Looks great Judson! My dimensions are almost exactly what you have.
You have taken the first steps, that's the hardest ones, huh?

My screen is also 2:37 "Cinema-ratio" 42" x100" sounds about right to me, too

BTW, I am going to be using that new-fangled SMX AT screen I have seen on these forums. It looked very promising.
Best wishes, I look forward to watching your progress.

Tom
Chinaclipper
post #10 of 526
Thread Starter 
Thanks Tom, I have been watching your thread as well. Your theater is really taking shape! You are right, it is hard to get started. It is so easy to get caught up in the never-ending-planning loop.
I hear great things about the SMX screen material and I would have gone that direction too but I had already picked up Dazian Coated Celtic Cloth. I will give that a try first and upgrade to the SMX if the results are undesireable.
post #11 of 526
Thread Starter 
After much debate I finally decided to order the Lutron Spacer System to control the lighting in my theater. I will have 3 zones: 6-5" cans in the seating area, 2-3" cans in the "snack" area, and 3-3" cans over the screen. I got rocker dimmers with IR and a 5 scene master controller. It is pretty simple stuff but I don't anticipate doing anything more complicated than this. Switches and wall plate are black to match my trim.

post #12 of 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by judsonp View Post

After much debate I finally decided to order the Lutron Spacer System to control the lighting in my theater. I will have 3 zones: 6-5" cans in the seating area, 2-3" cans in the "snack" area, and 3-3" cans over the screen. I got rocker dimmers with IR and a 5 scene master controller. It is pretty simple stuff but I don't anticipate doing anything more complicated than this. Switches and wall plate are black to match my trim.


Looks like you have your work cut out for you. Hey i just wanted to mention about the spacer you are looking to use. If you want to control all areas seperatly via remote control then rememember the IR remote will turn all off on dim etc. If you want true control of independant zones then the grfik eye would be a better choice.

Woolfman
post #13 of 526
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by woolfman View Post

Looks like you have your work cut out for you. Hey i just wanted to mention about the spacer you are looking to use. If you want to control all areas seperatly via remote control then rememember the IR remote will turn all off on dim etc. If you want true control of independant zones then the grfik eye would be a better choice.

Woolfman

Yes, this really is just a weekend project. However, it is the next gazillion weekends...

I read most of the Grafik Eye thread and I kept coming to the conclusion that the Spacer system was kind of a Grafik Eye lite at a fraction of the cost. Really my goal is to be able to remember the zones programming and change scenes remotely.

Push button for movie theme lighting (zone 1 off, zone 2 10%, zone 3 off)
Push button for sports theme lighting (zone 1 off, zone 2 50%, zone 3 30%)
Push button for all on
Push button for all off

If this isn't what the spacer will do then it will be back to the drawing board.
post #14 of 526
Dude, it looks good so far. I think you should reuse the wood panelling within the theater. It would make a wickedly awesome retro 70's theater Instead of a star ceiling you could get a disco ball. As for acoustics, I am not so sure how wood paneling will perform.
post #15 of 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by judsonp View Post

If this isn't what the spacer will do then it will be back to the drawing board.

I looked at similar simple options for my theater lighting and ended up with the Grafik Eye 2404. I have a Harmony Remote 880 ( assuming I can program it appropriately), so I didn't spend the money for the remote, but my 4 zone 2404 unit can be found for $300-$350. With the spacer system I looked at, I was going to spend $200+. I figured since I was putting so much into the theater, I would just spend the extra $100 and do the Grafik Eye.

I am very happy with it thus far. I have wired up two zones for testing and it is not a difficult wiring job. Now I need to wire up my rope lighting on my stairs and my screen lights and I will be done. I just rationalized that it is something I couldn't change easily in the future if I didn't like the spacer system.
post #16 of 526
Awesome so far. I love these home theater build threads. Keep us updated!
post #17 of 526
Thread Starter 
Gonzo,

I guess I could call it the Swanky theater or something. That would be groovy! I think your right the paneling would not be too good. How about if I covered all the walls in crushed velvet...
post #18 of 526
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedArt View Post

I looked at similar simple options for my theater lighting and ended up with the Grafik Eye 2404. I have a Harmony Remote 880 ( assuming I can program it appropriately), so I didn't spend the money for the remote, but my 4 zone 2404 unit can be found for $300-$350. With the spacer system I looked at, I was going to spend $200+. I figured since I was putting so much into the theater, I would just spend the extra $100 and do the Grafik Eye.

I am very happy with it thus far. I have wired up two zones for testing and it is not a difficult wiring job. Now I need to wire up my rope lighting on my stairs and my screen lights and I will be done. I just rationalized that it is something I couldn't change easily in the future if I didn't like the spacer system.


RedArt,

I already ordered the spacer stuff so I will at least give it a try. If it doesn't work as I hope I will probably end up ordering a GE too. 2000 Series.
post #19 of 526
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by danhal View Post

Awesome so far. I love these home theater build threads. Keep us updated!

Thanks Dan, it has been really "fun" so far. Check back I intend to document the whole thing!

Judson
post #20 of 526
Thread Starter 
Yesterday was a big day! My Dad came over to help with the framing and we ended up finishing 95% of the walls. I have a couple odds and ends to finish but not much more than a few hours.

We finished the left side first as it had the most work to do. Right inside the door is a cove that will be a snack bar/storage area, to the right of that will be a column then a false panel to access the gas and water meter. Still have to figure out how to finish that out. There will be more framing on the upper part of that opening. To the right of that will be another column. It is about 5.5 feet between the columns.



The front wall is done too. I still have to build something to cover the window that would be removeable if I ever needed access. You can see the tape lines for the stage on the floor.


Here is another shot from the front wall looking back at the snack bar and the entrance.


And one last shot showing the left walls distance from the block.


Next comes the addition of an air return, lighting and electrical, and then drywall.
post #21 of 526
judsonp,

I notice that some of your walls have a double top plate. Did you attach one top plate to the ceiling, build the wall on the floor, then raise it and attach in place? Is that easier/ faster than cutting individual studs to length and fastening them one at a time?

I'm curious what method you used.

Thanks,
Scott
post #22 of 526
What you have done so far looks really good. That room definately screamed 1970's. What did you do with the Pabst Blue Ribbon sign??? :-) The good thing is that paneling is quite easy to tear down. However, the firring strips are a whole other problem.
post #23 of 526
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottS View Post

judsonp,

I notice that some of your walls have a double top plate. Did you attach one top plate to the ceiling, build the wall on the floor, then raise it and attach in place? Is that easier/ faster than cutting individual studs to length and fastening them one at a time?

I'm curious what method you used.

Thanks,
Scott

Scott,

Good catch, yes that is exactly what we did. I can't stand to toe nail and you can't build the wall the correct height and be able to stand it up because the floor joists above would be in the way. It uses a couple extra studs but it also allowed us to set the distance from the concrete block before we even raised the wall. Once the top plate was secured all we had to do was plumb the bottom and attach to the floor.

Judson
post #24 of 526
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioBob View Post

What you have done so far looks really good. That room definately screamed 1970's. What did you do with the Pabst Blue Ribbon sign??? :-) The good thing is that paneling is quite easy to tear down. However, the firring strips are a whole other problem.

Bob,

Thanks for the complement, so far I am really having fun. Unfortunately that picture was taken before we bought the house so the previous owners took all that stuff with them. I am thinking of putting those sconces back up though...

Your right, the paneling came right down, but the furring strips and the styrofoam was a royal pain in the a**.

Judson
post #25 of 526
Thread Starter 
Well things are moving pretty slow with the construction but I have had a little time to sneak off to the big box stores for some supplies. I also have been scouring the web for deals on electrical products.

I got 6 of my can lights installed. I decided on 3 zones:

Zone 1 - 6 Halo H5ICAT 5" cans (general seating)
Zone 2 - 3 Halo H36TAT 3" cans (screen wash)
Zone 3 - 2 Halo H36TAT 3" cans (snack bar cove)

I ended up getting all my cans from North Shore Lighting online. Great service, excellent prices, and only one state away so shipping is quick.

Zone 1 cans are up, zones 2 and 3 are in the mail.


These are so easy to install. I think I did all six in about 15 minutes.

I also picked up all of my boxes - a variety of Carlon low and high voltage.

Since I have Boston VR965 speakers with subs built in I need power behind the stage so I got 2 Leviton surge protector outlets to plug them into.


Hopefully will have some time this weekend to get rolling on the wiring...
post #26 of 526
Well great job so far, I'm really looking forward to seeing how this turns out, as almost every aspect so far is very similar to what my room will be(should start construction sometime soon, God willing)

I'll be doing a 2.37 AT screen on a false wall in a 12'6" by 19'6" by 8' room with two rows of 4 commercial style theater seating and a riser.

How are you going about the CIH? Lens, zoom? If lens, which one?

What type of screen will you be using?

Have you had any luck finding commercial style theater seats?
post #27 of 526
Quote:


Zone 1 - 6 Halo H5ICAT 5" cans (general seating)
Zone 2 - 3 Halo H36TAT 3" cans (screen wash)
Zone 3 - 2 Halo H36TAT 3" cans (snack bar cove)

Anything in particular that drew you to these cans? I need to start to figure that out soon. I'll check that site for prices, too. . .

Looking good, too!
post #28 of 526
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heney View Post

Well great job so far, I'm really looking forward to seeing how this turns out, as almost every aspect so far is very similar to what my room will be(should start construction sometime soon, God willing)

I'll be doing a 2.37 AT screen on a false wall in a 12'6" by 19'6" by 8' room with two rows of 4 commercial style theater seating and a riser.

How are you going about the CIH? Lens, zoom? If lens, which one?

What type of screen will you be using?

Have you had any luck finding commercial style theater seats?

Heney,

Everything starts going really fast once you jump in. I was the same way as you and stayed in the planning phase for a long time. I wanted to be sure I had everything ironed out before go time.

Regarding the CIH I plan to make my own lense once the room is done. If I can't pull that off I will probably look at a Panamorph. Since I only have an IF4805 I don't want to spend too much on a lense. Also, I am using a Home theater PC running Media Center and Theatertek so I have lots of options for scaling.

I bought Dazian Coated Celtic Cloth for my screen. Should be a good start. I also hear really good things about the SMX screen material.

As far as commercial style seats, yes, I found exactly what I was looking for HERE. Lots to choose from and chairs for every budget.

Good luck and be sure to have fun!
post #29 of 526
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_pilgrim View Post

Anything in particular that drew you to these cans? I need to start to figure that out soon. I'll check that site for prices, too. . .

Looking good, too!

Dave,

I liked how easy they were to install. The Halo website had lots of documentation with good pictures and diagrams. They had a wide variety of sizes and styles and I also liked the trims that they had available. Not to mention that they were very reasonably priced.


Judson
post #30 of 526
Great progress on yet another Cinemascope theater! Love seeing all these 2.35(7) theaters pop up. Keep the pictures rolling.

Laters,
Jeff
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