Who needs a garage... Theater build log! - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 37 Old 12-01-2013, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I always wanted a home theater but unfortunately the house we purchased doesn’t have a basement nor does it have a bonus room that could be converted to one but it has two split garages, so I decided to convert one of them to a home theater. Now that I’m getting close to finishing the most important part of the project, i.e. throwing junk out of the garage and organizing the other one to store the rest of the stuff, it is time for me to start a thread and ask this awesome group of people for some advice.
Here is a plan to give you an idea of the space I’ve got:

331169

Here are the principles I’m going to follow during my project:

1)I don’t have a budget but I’m not going to go all out since none of the cost will be recouped if we decide to sell the house. I’ll try to do most of the work myself and sub-contract some tasks when needed.
2)Due to the limited room length I’m planning on going with one row. I’ll figure out what I’m going to use for seating later on.
3)I want a comfortable space (AC/heated) to enjoy the movies. Since I have attic above the garage I’m thinking about going with ducted mini-split system to reduce the noise and improve the appearance (i.e. no on wall unit).
4)Sound proofing is important. I don’t want to disturb my family and my neighbors.
I’m going to remove the existing drywall, add R-13 insulation and DW-GG-DW on all walls and ceiling (R-19 on ceiling). Since I have two window I’ll have to come up with some sort of window plugs that I can use to cover them and use decorative curtains to hide them.
5)I’m going to keep the garage door as is but I’m going to wall it off.
6)The garage has a sloped floor so I’m going to build a subfloor to even it off.
7)I want the biggest screen I can fit. I’m thinking about going with AT 137” 16:9 screen and use manual masking for 2.35:1 movies. Here is what I’m thinking:
331170
8)I’m going to house the equipment in hidden DIY rack under the screen.

I’m planning on doing the project in 5 sprints:

Sprint #1 – framing the wall and building sub-floor
Sprint #2 – electrical, speaker wire conduits, cooling/heating
Sprint #3 – DD/GG/DD, paint, sound treatments, screen wall
Sprint #4 – carpet, equipment installation
Sprint #5 – enjoy my new space

Now the questions for Sprint #1:

1)Since I’m keeping the existing garage door and building a wall behind it I was wondering what I should do to seal it off to prevent moisture from getting behind it. Would caulking the perimeter be enough or should I also attach something else on the inside (plastic sheet?). Should I leave a bit of space behind the wall and let it vent to the attic to help with the moisture control?
2)To build the subfloor I’m thinking about using 2x10 spaced every 24 inches on the center to build the floor joists. Since the floor is sloped I was going to attach 2x10 on each end and in the middle of 2x10 like poles cut under the angle matching the floor’s slope to keep the joists even.
Something like this:
331171
Does anybody see any issues with this approach?
3)Do I need to add a vapor barrier (overlapping plastic sheeting) or should I seal the floor with garage floor paint (something like this http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=16264-2174-940001&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=3467977&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=req&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1)?

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post #2 of 37 Old 12-02-2013, 01:55 AM
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I look forward to seeing how you tackle this project.

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post #3 of 37 Old 12-02-2013, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I'm the worst AVSer yet. I haven't started working on the room yet and I already purchased the project. Couldn't resist $550 rebate on Panasonic PT-AE8000U. Good choice?
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post #4 of 37 Old 12-02-2013, 12:14 PM
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Where'd you get that rebate?
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post #5 of 37 Old 12-02-2013, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amo76 View Post

I think I'm the worst AVSer yet. I haven't started working on the room yet and I already purchased the project. Couldn't resist $550 rebate on Panasonic PT-AE8000U. Good choice?

Absolutely a top choice.

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post #6 of 37 Old 12-02-2013, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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The rebate is available from all Authorized dealers. http://www.projectorpeople.com/SLIS/downloads/rebates/Panasonic/PANPTAE8000_holidayrebate_12022013.pdf
Purchased mine from Projector people, got them to price match B&H photovideo price.

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post #7 of 37 Old 12-02-2013, 07:08 PM
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Those rear outside seats are on top of their nearest surround speaker, and those speakers
will draw excessive attention to themselves.

Why not build a new side wall, so the window plug can be hinged and gasketted, and be flush with
the side wall?

A woven AT screen scatters light uncontrollably, in all directions. All those surfaces near the screen,
need to be dark.

Why not a back corner for the av rack, or better yet, outside the theater?

I expect you will need to rotate those 18" subs ninety degrees so they don't ripple the screen.
You also want the front speakers to be 6" off the screen, so they do not timbre shift. This
effect is gone at 6".
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post #8 of 37 Old 12-02-2013, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not planning on doing a second row. Those are chairs and they are just for reference to see whether I can fit anything in there.

It is extra work to build the side wall and I don't really want to lose this space in case I decide to put a corner couch in there.

I'm planning on painting the ceiling black and walls in a darker color (yet to be decide) so this should mitigate the issue.

I’m not going to go crazy with the equipment so I should have enough space behind the screen to house most of the stuff.

It is a good point about subs. I should be able to rotate them since I can move to screen wall out a bit if I need to. I was going to build them a bit shallow but I might have to reconsider this plan.

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post #9 of 37 Old 12-03-2013, 07:57 AM
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I doubt you'll be adding that corner couch once you see the room finished. You'll appreciate the
feeling of how spacious it will feel, since you have managed to hide most of the gear and resisted
loading the room with seating.

You don't need to go crazy with gear these days either, to get stellar results.

Have you considered the equipment rack and distracting equipment displays, being up front? Do you have
a plan to hide the electronics while they still are properly ventilated? And how will you protect your gear from
the large dual subs and vibration?

I see your plans as pretty knowledgeable and spot on, but with a few gotchas thrown in. I'm also a little leery
about those ports and 12" drivers of your mains (although I love the killer dollar performance ratio there...).
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post #10 of 37 Old 12-04-2013, 05:39 PM
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I know nothing about construction, but I recently read a thread where it was suggested to use 2x12 and shim level for the main support beams. Once that is done, you could use small lumber (i.e. 2x10) for the beams in between. The smaller beams would just ride above the unlevel garage floor. This might give you another idea on how to solve your floor problem.
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post #11 of 37 Old 12-04-2013, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
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The garage floor slope is around 0.5 deg. which gives me 2 inches of difference between the floor levels, it is going to be tough to shim it.

Here is my new sub-floor plan. Seems like this is the best way to go. I’ll have to cut each PT sleeper to match the floor slope (this is going to be “fun”). I have ~13 inches of difference between the garage floor and the house floor. Doing 2x4 + 2x8 + OSB gets me close to the house floor level. I’ll probably have to build a small step to even it out.
Subfloor_zps6bfd5fee.png

Here is my HVAC plan. Since I’m going to install ducted mini-split in the attic I will build 2 ducts. One will be in a column and the second one will be built into the soffit at the back of the room. Both column and soffit will be built within the room after DW&GG&DW and will get their own layer of DW&GG&DW.
HVACplan_zps0c9c9c1b.png

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post #12 of 37 Old 12-04-2013, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Mike, do you by a chance have a link to that thread?

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post #13 of 37 Old 12-04-2013, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Question: Since I have access to the attic above the garage, does it make sense to keep the existing DW on the ceiling and just install another layer with GG on top of it? I can add insulation from the attic. I'm trying to reduce the amount of waste I produce. Talking about demolition debris, how do you guys dispose of it. I called a couple of companies and got quotes between $400-$700 for a dumpster for 7days. I could probably drive it to the dump but since I don't have a truck I don't think I'll be able to fit a lot into my Subaru Outback. Unfortunately thebagster.com service is not available in my area.

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post #14 of 37 Old 12-05-2013, 10:46 AM
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There are great self-leveling concrete products now that you could use to level your floor. They pour on in liqid form, seek level (gravity), and harden flat. And they stick to the existing concrete, unlike some of the older products.
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post #15 of 37 Old 12-06-2013, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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While exploring various HVAC options and realizing how much work it is going to be I had a crazy idea. What if I’m approaching this project from the wrong angle? This is not a permanent addition to my home, I won’t be able to recoup most of the expenses if I sell. Why go all out if I can get 80-90% of performance for 20% cost and still have a comfortable place to enjoy movies?

Here is what I came up with:
Newlayout_zpsa937f917.png

No more AT screen. Instead I’m going to go with painted or regular projection screen. I’m not going to remove the existing dry-wall. I’ll use blow-in cellulose insulation to insulate the existing wall and attic and add the second layer of DW with GG. I’ll wall off the garage door. I’ll use ductless mini-split.

For the floor I’m thinking about going with just PT 2x4 sleepers 16” OC, foam insulation on top of sleepers (or between), layer of OSB and carpet tiles on top.

I might explore an option of using in-wall speakers (maybe Triad) and going with AT screen.

And if I decide to sell the house, I can always advertise this space either as gym, craft room or insulated/heated garage!

What do you guys think?

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post #16 of 37 Old 12-06-2013, 10:16 AM
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You could advertise the space as a media room.... and document that it could be returned to a garage state.
One resale home we toured, had the projector playing and a large comfy throw, a bottle of wine, and two glasses.
Well staged. smile.gif

You could still go AT screen while framing that front wall in three sections, so it'd be simple to remove
the garage door section while the wing walls would be static. The wing walls could be the av rack and a media
rack, and they could become closets if returned to a garage state.

The subs could be built into a low credenza style down low, or the lower portion of the closets could hide the subs.
All in wall speakers could be given a double walled/GG backer box, and a screwed in piece of plywood for speaker
mounting. A simple floor to ceiling fabric frame with speaker fabric, could hide the surrounds and add a little detailing.

Newlayoutb.jpg 167k .jpg file

If you framed the center section with 2x6" on 24" centers, and screw to the side wing walls, the drywall could be stripped
off and the whole 2x6 framing could be removed.
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post #17 of 37 Old 12-06-2013, 12:06 PM
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Congrats on your theater build, but I wanted to break in here because I disagree that when you say " you will not recoupe anything when you sell them home". I certainly believe a home theater adds tremendous value to home. When any guy home shopping with his wife see's a custom home theater, SOLD!!
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post #18 of 37 Old 12-06-2013, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Tedd, I really like your idea with AV and media racks incorporated into the front wall.

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post #19 of 37 Old 12-06-2013, 04:32 PM
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You can't have subwoofer ports or drivers firing onto the AT screen or it will ripple. The subs can be rotated to fire to the sides
to avoid this.

I would recommend you take a look at BigMouthinDC's build thread and see how he hid his av rack up front, so the displays are not a
distraction.
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post #20 of 37 Old 12-08-2013, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post

Congrats on your theater build, but I wanted to break in here because I disagree that when you say " you will not recoupe anything when you sell them home". I certainly believe a home theater adds tremendous value to home. When any guy home shopping with his wife see's a custom home theater, SOLD!!

Personally, I don't think a dedicated home theater adds any value to a house and will likely detract from the value or at least the number of people who want to buy the house. Here, though, the issue is that a garage bay is being used as a temporary home theater. This likely will not be up to code and will be a major detriment to selling a house. Who wants to buy a house, where you have to immediately tear out a home theater in order to use a garage?

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post #21 of 37 Old 12-08-2013, 09:17 PM
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Amo76: I do not have a link with addtional details, however, I do recall there was not a whole lot of detail anyway. It looks like you are progressing on some other ideas on how to deal with the floor. I did find a link showing sleepers being shimmed with cedar shims (you need to select step 2 in the link). How much of a floor difference is there over the 19 foot length?


http://www.diyadvice.com/diy/flooring/room-prep/sleeper-floor/
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post #22 of 37 Old 12-09-2013, 01:49 AM
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You might want to provision for different sub placement. I suspect other locations will deliver a smoother result. I'd at least wire up the mid points of the other 3 walls.

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post #23 of 37 Old 12-09-2013, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I made a big mistaked. I hooked-up the projected and set it up in my living room. Screen size 170", projecting on a beige wall.

Screen_zpsc43fd50c.jpg

It is going to be hard now to go back to my original plan of using 137" screen.

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post #24 of 37 Old 12-09-2013, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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@ctviggen: I agree with you. I'll probably have to tear it down and convert it back to a garage if I decide to sell. This is why I decided to change the plan and make it a somewhat budget build, but I don't want to compromise on comfort and sound proofing.

@Elill: I wire the heck out of it. Wires are cheap!

@Mike: The difference is ~2 inches. I won't be able to shim that much using cedar shims.

Since it is mostly going to be a media room I can live with an uneven floor, the questing is whether I'll be able to get a permit for something like that.

I scheduled a plan review meeting on Thursday to get the permit.

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post #25 of 37 Old 12-09-2013, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I think I have a solution to my sub-floor problem. Amdry 2.09 in. x 2 ft. x 4 ft. OSB Insulated R7 Subfloor Panel. You use flexible connectors to attach panels together which should help with the slope and I think might have a side effect of preventing a sub-woofer from vibrating the entire floor.
It is a bit pricy but I think it will work very well in my case and it should be easy to remove if I decide to conver the room back to the garage.

What do you guys think?

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post #26 of 37 Old 12-09-2013, 01:39 PM
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i think an ht can add value to some buyers - our recently sold home had on and they really liked the theater so we used that is a negotiation tool since they wanted all the av gear, seats and screen.....but that was an actual dedicated room. i think as a garage it would be a turn off as that is a different kind of space with different expectations. i have a 3 car garage and have other uses for it - storage, working out, and if need be a car :-) and if i had to do anything to make it into a garage i would not bother.
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post #27 of 37 Old 12-10-2013, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctviggen View Post

Personally, I don't think a dedicated home theater adds any value to a house and will likely detract from the value or at least the number of people who want to buy the house. Here, though, the issue is that a garage bay is being used as a temporary home theater. This likely will not be up to code and will be a major detriment to selling a house. Who wants to buy a house, where you have to immediately tear out a home theater in order to use a garage?

Depending on the price point of the house, a theater may or may not add any "financial" value but will CERTAINLY add re-sale value. We just sold our home (in 5 days) and the wife "bought" the just completed and totally renovated master bath and the guy "bought" the theater. I did end up selling them my screen (I was going to AT in the next house) and most of the room treatment. Did I recover all of what I had in it? Not even close.

And don't assume that using the garage as an home theater is necessarily a bad thing. The next homeowner may think it's a great use of space.
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post #28 of 37 Old 12-10-2013, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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If it is a dedicated spaces and it doesn't take away from the rest of the house I can certainly see it a bonus to some buyers. I'm not really concerned about resale at this point and most of the changes I'm planning are easily revertable.

I'm about to order AmDry panels from HomeDepot. Shipping is a b... - $150. Called a local distributor and waiting for them to get back to me before clicking Order now button.

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post #29 of 37 Old 12-13-2013, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Got my building permit approved yesterday. Costed me $440 - ouch. They also shot down my idea of using AmDry for floor. I have to build everything up to code and they require R-30 for floors and R-49 for attic (this is going to an interesting). I'm back to my original plan of using 2x12 floor-joists so that I can fit R-30 insulation in it.

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post #30 of 37 Old 12-13-2013, 12:47 PM
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Isn't R-30 a 2x10 insulation?

It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds.

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