Originally Posted by rabident
I went this route a couple years ago, similar situation. The minimum set of plans Erskine Group would build was their $6500 Signature plan. You pay upfront. They design the theater, pick finishing options for you, price it, and it's pretty much take it or leave it. With the house, I picked every single thing that went into it and was able to manage costs that way. But with the theater plans either Dennis or Steve picked almost everything and had no interest in adjusting trim level, room features, or finish quality to work out something I could afford.
Dennis told me to bid it locally. When I told him I would need final plans to do that he pulled my support hours making it very difficult for anyone else to use the plans. I don't know if that was intended to make me reconsider using Steve (and get his cut), or just done out of spite.
If you can have Steve build the room, that would be easiest. But, if you're over budget as it is, I wouldn't necessarily use that as a reason to spend more. When you're building, money is flying out the window and it's easy to lose perspective. I was willing to pay Steve up to $100k at the time to finish my room. That was after I had already finished drywall, electrical, and HVAC to their specs. They couldn't get the price down that low for me. If you're not going to have Steve do the room then you'll be left with just the plans
Nothing you say is true ^
I was not involved at all or even associated with EG at the time your had your problems so I can't speak to any of that, or do I want to do that.
But you have a few things totally wrong, so I would clarify.
First, You do not need a $6500 signature plan to have us build it. That is incorrect. Perhaps for your specific requirements or what you asked for, that is what you needed ?? IDK. But certainly you can have us build it, or design it, and not have to spend $6500 and get a signature plan.
The signature plan is very comprehensive and expansive. It provides for floor plan showing seating, including chair and seating specifications. This includes location/height for seating platform, and design information. Location and size of the screen is also included. With the signature plan you get full CAD drawings (front elevation view, rear elevation view, both side walls, and reflected ceiling plan). The signature plan includes like all plans a full acoustical analysis and treatment plan including specific recommendations for treatments and placement custom to the design space. Top, side and front details for screen wall/stage build out are also included. Speaker mounting specification and details are provided, including angles and instructions. The seating platform and location and dimensions for optimal sight lines are provided- with instructions. It includes an electrical plan, and a low voltage plan. You get framing details. You also get projector cabinet details and specific instructions and design plans. All millwork is included, and painstakingly planned and drawn and provided for. Some of that stuff doesn’t just look pretty, it’s custom designed for acoustical reasons too. Color and fabric specification are provided with the Signature plan. You also get a complete lighting design. HVAC and mechanicals plan is also included, with specifics for low noise and optimal performance. Light fixture plan is included with light fixture specifications. Honestly I could probably keep going… this is just the tip of the iceberg. That product is very expansive. Take a look at any of the signature plans Dennis has done, they are all in magazines all over the place and have won prestigious awards. In fact, our plans are the most award winning in the industry so I also highly disagree there is better places to get a plan. We are one of the lowest priced custom theater design firms in the country actually.
Unlike most design firms, we also do a lot of testing and measuring and validating continually. Most of our current ATMOS recommendation stem from having spent months in a manufacture test facility, learning what really works and what does not. - which BTW we’ve also designed and built MGF test rooms and demonstration rooms. It’s our rooms and designs that a lot of products get designed and tested inside.
The signature plan is awesome, it’s one of the best plans we offer and it’s basically all inclusive of everything and every detail you’d need to create a complete custom high performance theater system in your unique space. But, we also offer plans starting under $1000, and we will absolutely build a theater for a client without needing them to purchase a signature plan. In fact our builders like Steve know what they are doing, he doesn’t even need that level of detail because he’s built tons of theaters before and knows exactly what he is doing. You can choose a select package (cheaper) and have Steve build it. The truth is the more detailed plans are really for non experienced builders, or other builders (not ours) because they are the ones that need all the detail.
You know how long and hard it is to draw all that stuff out in a signature plan ? It’s crazy!
Plus like Dennis told you, complete plans are great for shopping around. Get a quote from us, and get a quote from a few local builders. Pick the one you want. There is no pressure to have us build anything. People choose us and our builders because they are confident in the results and see the value. If not, choose another builder. Our builder quotes are competitive if not cheaper, apples to apples.
Steve actually lives near the OP, so he’s even a local builder in this situation. No travel or lodging costs to travel 3000 miles
We can build some builds out of country, there is a cost involved with such things and it’s unavoidable. Being close makes it cheaper.
Our builder is a professional cabinet maker and general contractor, his quality of work is unmatched. Plus he builds a lot of the millwork and stuff off location, in his own shop. This allows the build to be much faster, much less mess in your house and time on location. This also offers a superior result, the finish is much nicer when it’s done in a professional setting and finishing shop, rather than on location where there is saw dust and drywall dust and dirt floating around in the air and construction going on. It does not smell up your home either. There is a reason why we do stuff a certain way, it works. Most other people you get a quote from might not even be able to read and understand the plans, let alone build it right. You get what you pay for, and with us you get the best results. Considering that, we are a better value than most other builders even if we are slightly more expensive. Our quotes include everything, turn key. There is no hidden costs or surprises, clients appreciate that. Steve quote might scare people because it includes everything on one sheet, but if you go and hire a drywaller, a carpet guy, a framer, a finish work guy, an electrician, a low voltage guy, an HVAC guy, and an installer to install your equipment trust me it’s going to cost easily as much, and you are likely to have issues along the way because most of those guys don’t have a clue about acoustics or what is required and why for building a high performance theater. You don’t have to babysit our builders, and they are faster. That’s a lot of value IMO.
You have it backwards, you want more details if you want someone else to build it. We don’t need them, we know what we are doing. The same can’t be said of your average for hire contactor. It’s buyer beware. You can’t even accurately shop your options without a detailed enough plan, you won’t even get apples to apples, and most contractors will leave out anything they don’t specifically include. Having a plan and asking for a quote for something very specific with details and instructions allows people to better shop around for builders, and also makes it easier to hold them accountable for results. A design plan doesn’t always cost $6500 either. That plan makes sense if you want a $100k theater, but we do theaters for half that, and have plans for half that to match too. We also have plans that are $30k or more, and we can do multi-million dollar theater builds just as easily as a basic $25k one. I don’t think it’s fair to characterize what you said as being accurate when it’s not accurate at all.
Again, I don’t really know much about you, or whatever dealings you’ve had. I don’t really care to argue about that either, I’d love to avoid that part actually. You are entitled to your opinion and I respect your right to have it as well. I just wanted to clear the air because you have a few things wrong and your representation of our services and prices is not accurate. I’m also not sure if Steve was offering hybrid build service at that time, that is something new. So that perhaps changes things too. Obviously a hybrid build were he does only the finishing touches or the key areas is going to be a lot cheaper than a full turn key build. It’s apples and oranges.