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The Fog Valley Cinema

post #1 of 370
Thread Starter 



So it begins. A little background is in order. This is my second house but my first HT room since the old home was too small and the money wasn't there for such things. I have always appreciated good audio and picture quality so when we closed on the new house I claimed most of the unfinished basement as "The Man Cave". After some prodding the wife finally agreed to allow the process of finishing off the basement to begin. I have done 95% of the work alone and are really only planning on farming out the drywall, carpet and tile install to the pro's. I get a kick out of remodeling so it's been something I enjoy since I was young.

The name "Fog Valley Cinema" comes from the local climate. We live in the hilly area of Southeastern PA about 980 feet in the air. For some reason or another it is foggy here A LOT. Once you come off the hill the fog disappears. There is a golf course right behind us that you can barely see some days because of the fog.

The basement is somewhere in the area of 1500+ square feet total. We finished off about 1300 square feet of it. When we moved in it was just poured concrete walls with a stairwell off to one side. There are 4 full windows and a double door to the outside (makes getting materials in rather easy ). Most of it is below grade and thus it keeps itself at around 55 - 65 degrees most of the year. The house was new construction but a spec home. By the time we saw it 98% of it was already completed.

We plan on putting in a home theater, sitting area for coffee/chatting (this we call our Starbucks), a dry kitchen area, 3 closets, a powder room, an area for unfinished storage, a window seat, a small area for our "outside cafe"/pub table, and finally a dedicated room for the wife to do her sewing/quilting in. This little room got me some comfy pillows and a pair of kick ass heavy velvet HT curtains.

Due to WAF I was not allowed to completely close off the HT. She says it would pinch off the basement too much and to a degree she is right. So it is open on two sides to the rest of the basement. This made sound proofing less of an issue for me, although I am considering putting in some acoustical treatments in some key spots.

Light control is reasonable since most of the windows will not come into play for the HT. My wife made some roman style curtains for the windows in the exterior door since these shine directly onto the screen.

The progress will seem quick here but I have been nipping away at the theater since March of 2007. As of today (01/17/2010) the theater is nearly complete. Just have some additional decorating to do and to finish off a ledge in the sewing room that you will see below. There is always some little project to work on down here though. I'm still seriously considering making one of the closet doors into a ticket booth.


UPDATED.... Theater Equipment List (as of 01-10-2014):
* Samsung BP-UP5000 Combo BluRay/HD DVD Player
* Philips DVP-5982 Standard Def DVD player (for intros)
* Belkin PureAV PF60 Power Station
* Berklines 45004's for a curved 4 and 3 configuration, motorized and with mini butt kickers installed
* Butt Kicker Amps (2)
* Carada 110" BW Criterion Screen with 1.4 gain.
* Carada 110" Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
* Lutron RadioRA lighting control system for entire basement
* Onkyo TX-SR805 AV Receiver with Onkyo DS-A2X iPod dock
* SVS 20-39 PCi Sub
* Axiom Speakers: M60's, VP150 center, QS8's (in a 7.1 set-up)
* Epson Pro Cinema 1080 UB
* Direct TV H21-100 HD receiver
* Nintendo Wii (with a nicely placed, i.e. hidden, sensor bar)
* Philips Pronto TSU-9400 Universal Remote
* Buffalo IR distribution system
* Cables from Monoprice (custom length sub cable from Blue Jeans Cable)
* Custom Marquee Letters from Sign-A-Rama. Marquee platform built by me.

* iVIEW 3500 STB DTV convertor box

* Antennas Direct C2-V-CJM ClearStream 2-V Long Range UHF/VHF Indoor/Outdoor DTV Antenna with 20-Inch Mount

* Channel Master 3414 4 Outputs Distribution Amplifier

Enjoy the pics and feel free to chime in. That's what forums are for.


Basement as it looked when we moved in.


Different shot


Behind the stairs


Exterior enterance


Tools starting to gather


The nook back there will become the kitchen area


This will eventually become the screen wall


Framing begins

Continued Below...


Edited by Driving_Hamster - 1/10/14 at 5:53pm
post #2 of 370
Thread Starter 

About 1/2 way done framing


Here you can see some of what will become the cut-ins


Got the wife ripping some boards


Almost ready for electrical


Forming the stage


This will become the sewing room


This will be the pub area


The window seat is in. Just needs sanded, painted, handles installed, lined with cedar and the base trim installed.


A riser is born. 11 feet wide, 7 feet deep, about 9 inches high.


Riser insullated. The black wires sticking out of the back and side are for LED's that will light the edges of the riser so people can safely step on/off in the dark.

Continued Below...
post #3 of 370
Thread Starter 

Back of riser. two layers 3/4" OSB on top. Edges will be capped with oak stair treads. Carpet in the center. There is an 120v outlet and a LV outlet in the center of the top of the riser.


Home runs to AV cabinet


Screen wall insulated. Outlet seen for future carada masking system. The black columns on either side are stuffed with insulation and will be covered in GOM. Hopefully this will help as bass traps. The AV cabinet will have a smoke colored (anti-glare) glass door.


Lutron RadioRA lighting system to be controlled by wall master control and Phillips Pronto TSU9400 remote.

Continued Below...
post #4 of 370
Thread Starter 

Lots of drywall. 53 sheets, some as long as 16 feet!


Making some dust!


Arches drywalled


These columns (as well as the 3 support colums) will be stoned later on.


Screen wall with drywall. What you can't see from this pic is that there is a nook just in front of the screen that wil house some lights and curtains for the screen.


The kitchen area


Columns insulated so they don't vibrate.


I haven't liked the way this ceiling in the theater has looked from the second that I built it. The new plan here is to create a new false soffit/ceiling on the left side (see red lines). This will stop shy of the center the same distance as the right side does. Then the plan is to create a shallow arch between the two sides that runs along the length of the ceiling. Ultimatly I would like to light up the arch with a fiberoptic star field and have someone paint a cloudy sky inside the arch. The whole goal here is to create a key point in the theater out of the worst eye sore. The projector will be ceiling mounted in the peak of the arch, about 14 feet back from the screen.

Plan for a 110" Carada Bw screen (already here), Seven 45004 berklines (4 back, 3 front. Comin first week of Jan!) with power recline and mini buttkickers. I am thinking about an Onkyo SR805 receiver. I am awaiting my samsung BP5000 dual format player hopefully in Jan. Still deciding on a PJ and speakers. I also have a Belkin power management piece to help with surges, etc. Lighting will be controlled via a RadioRA system by lutron.

So that is it so far. Lots of lumbar, 320 feet of ENT conduit for AV cabling, roughly 1200 feet of romex, a little blood, lots of sweat, and lots of loud music I am hoping to have all of it completed sometime in late winter or this spring. Just as long as the finances hold out!
post #5 of 370
Looks like a great project. Always fun to see how people carve up their basements. Keep up the good work, looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Judson
post #6 of 370
Hamster

Awesome space to work with. I wonder why they decided to put the water heater there and not with the furnace. When did you start your project?
post #7 of 370
Thread Starter 
I started framing in the beginning of March 2007. I did some preplanning for a couple of months before that however. I took some lengthy time off in the summer to address the huge list of outdoor projects.

I wondered about the water heater myself. I had asked my contractor friend to look at it and see if it was feasable to move it over to where the furnace is (some 65-70 feet away). He said that they probably put it there because that was the shortest run to most of the upstairs bathroom. Only the kitchen and master bath are on the side of the house with the furnace. So we decided to leave it there. I am looking into putting some kind of pan or retention device around the base of the heater so when it does eventually go it won't flood out that section of carpet.

As can be expected things have been modified as I went along. Crusing these forums has added to the list of things that I now plan on doing. As an example I am going to be putting up a Marquee on my main theater wall similar to what BigMouthinDC and others have done. That just looks too cool not to do.

In this county we have a thing called "Parade of Homes" which is a showcase of homes from various builders. Basically a competition between builders for homes in different price ranges. There were two homes that had HT in them this year. At the one the representing real estate agent was so proud of the theater thinking it was the coolest thing since pneumatic nail guns. It was a nightmare with white walls, no conduit for future wire pulls and poor lighting. I think I broke his heart when I told him that who ever designed that theater needs to do some more research.
post #8 of 370
My guess is that there is no floor drain near the furnace, and there is one near the water heater. That saves them a few dollars when they don't have to run the sewer under the floor. Most of these things are based on saving a few dollars or a little time.
post #9 of 370
Thread Starter 
Actualy the sump pump is right next to the furnace! This only added to my confusion since I think the floor slopes towards my H2O heater. Well it does near the hot water heater at least. My builder does build a nice house but it has it's quirks as you can see.
post #10 of 370
Very nice. I must say you keep your work site very neat. Are you doing all the work yourself (and with your wife obviously from the picture)?
post #11 of 370
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbgonzomd View Post

Very nice. I must say you keep your work site very neat. Are you doing all the work yourself (and with your wife obviously from the picture)?


It does have it's messy times but I try and clean it up for the pics. My Dad helped me a little with some framing and my wife helped me build the window seat. Everything else (except drywall and carpet to come) was done by me. I can do some pretty nice drywall work but this much of it would take me months. Sometimes it just pays to have someone else get involved.
post #12 of 370
Quote:


(Picture intensive, sorry for you 56k'rs still out there)

And that's just how we like it Looking forward to following your thread.

PS: Get your wife some work shoes or something. My feet ache just thinking about the accidents I could have in flip flops.
post #13 of 370
Looks like a great build. I'm jealous that you can get your wife to rip a board. Seeing the name of your theater I had a flash back to living in the San Francisco Area. One of my favorite places was the Fog City Diner:

post #14 of 370
That is a really nice space you have to work with. Looks like you're well on your way. Keep up the pics!

Bryan
post #15 of 370
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdspga View Post

And that's just how we like it Looking forward to following your thread.

PS: Get your wife some work shoes or something. My feet ache just thinking about the accidents I could have in flip flops.


I thought about this too. Seems like an OSHA nightmare! I used to work in flip flops too until my roto-zip came apart and gouged my big toe .

On a brighter note I picked up this all metal "film reel" from Bed Bath and Beyond the other day. It was up on the wall with the art. Not too cheap but well worth picking up when they have the huge % off framed art sales. Should look nice hanging on the theater wall.



The drywall guys are off the rest of the week. Should return on Monday and finish hanging the sheets and applying the corner bead.
post #16 of 370
Thread Starter 
Drywall guys made a surpirse visit Friday morning. They were able to get the columns covered and start the corner bead/taping/mudding process.



Should be finishing off the plumbing early this coming week and get some insulation and drywall on this wall in the powder room.


Also waiting for 2 sign lettering companies to get back to me with quotes for my Marquee letters. I am considering going with either a brushed metal look or a brushed copper look. Not sure which one yet.
post #17 of 370
wow awesome ! I'm truly jealous... someday I too would LOVE to embark on such a mission....

I can't believe you got the wife down there ripping boards ! what a woman !

good luck with the project !
post #18 of 370
fascinating!!
post #19 of 370
Always nice to see another HT in Southeastern PA. What town are you in?
post #20 of 370
Thread Starter 
I am in Fleetwood, about 10 miles outside Reading, PA. I've noticed at least 3 others on AVS from my local area. Nice to know others in the area have the "fever" .
post #21 of 370
Thread Starter 
Drywall elves continue to apply corner bead and mud. The Theater/Basement is starting to take less imagination to see what it will look like!

Did some accessory shopping. Picked up these re-usable plastic popcorn buckets from Target at the cost of $1.00 a piece. Not to shabby


Columns skim coated. Mudding continues


The two smaller cut in arches on the side wall were also drywalled today.

Also went shopping for our basement bathroom vanity. We have a conservative home for the most part so the wife wanted something "different" that will catch your eye. She has been looking at this vanity for about 6 months. Found a good sale this past weekend on the vanity so we thought why not. Not looking forward to putting this in since it weighs close to 240 lbs!

The rough-in valve for the wall mounted faucet should be here tomorrow. Should get that installed soon so they can finish the drywall in the basement bathroom.

Progress, slow, but progress nonetheless.
post #22 of 370
Very nice space you have there (read jealous).....you got a floor plan to help visualize?

Wish my wife could handle a power tool - I could let her do the mundane task around the house and leave me to finish the HT.

Cheers,
Mark
post #23 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Driving_Hamster View Post

Did some accessory shopping. Picked up these re-usable plastic popcorn buckets from Target at the cost of $1.00 a piece. Not to shabby


I have the same at my house. Don't miss the opportunity to pick up the matching companion TUB. Here is one source.

http://www.lillianvernon.com/catalog....jsp?pdId=2435
post #24 of 370
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritInVA View Post

Very nice space you have there (read jealous).....you got a floor plan to help visualize?

Wish my wife could handle a power tool - I could let her do the mundane task around the house and leave me to finish the HT.

Cheers,
Mark

I don't have a digitize floor plan but I probably should. It mostly exist as a future vision in my head . The basic shape it a rectangle with the stairs coming down into the basement shifted towards the furnace end.

Thanks for the link Big. I do like that big tub!
post #25 of 370
Sweet Vanity, very nice.

The space looks great so far, good progress. Makes me wish I hired out the sheetrock and compound part of the work, so I could be further along but I like to punish myself and try to save a buck or two in the process.

I was just looking at that metal film reel at BBB last night, I first noticed the basic one they had which look more like a film reel but I thought it looked kind of gimicky. Then I noticed the one you bought above and thought to myself "that one is nice". Good choice.
post #26 of 370
i dig the popcorn bags. nice find. later.
post #27 of 370
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oman321 View Post

Sweet Vanity, very nice.

The space looks great so far, good progress. Makes me wish I hired out the sheetrock and compound part of the work, so I could be further along but I like to punish myself and try to save a buck or two in the process.

I was just looking at that metal film reel at BBB last night, I first noticed the basic one they had which look more like a film reel but I thought it looked kind of gimicky. Then I noticed the one you bought above and thought to myself "that one is nice". Good choice.

I am a real gung-ho kind of DIY'er but I have to say, farming out the drywall hanging/taping/mudding was a smart move. They have been going at it for days down there. It would take me months to get that accomplished. I plan on doing some minor drywall work on the ceiling when I get it modified but not the whole basement. If I was retired and my daughter was grown up, maybe. But not in my current situation.

I agree that the smaller BBB film real was kind of gimickie. I had it in the cart until I passed by the registers and saw the big one on the framed art wall. It big and seems to be well made (all metal). When they have the % off framed art sales I really do suggest picking one up. Just save the little black rubber grommet that is attached to the back because it will allow you to mount it on the wall without it rocking.


Hopefully the vanity will come in the next couple of weeks. Can't wait to see this thing.
post #28 of 370
Looks nice. I was starting to be embarrassed about how fast you were moving until you noted that you have been working on this since March 2007. Still, you are doing the whole basement at once. I spent almost three years working on the 1000 SFT basement before spending another year on the theater. It’s 1250 SFT of finished space in a 1600 SFT basement but your progress is certainly much faster. Perhaps you don’t have kids…
post #29 of 370
Thread Starter 
Well I do have a child which certainly does slow down the basement progress. I do however also have a lot of vacation time which helps compensate.

She is one of the reasons I am doing the theater. Would like for her to be able to have movie parties in a couple of years when she is old enough.
post #30 of 370
Very cute! I can guareentee many a kid movie night. All of her friends will definately want to come over.

Here are my two girls, Nancy & Mary, with our latest "kid".

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