I built out, and have been tweaking and improving, my mixed-use HT for about 10 years now. It is currently a mixed-use room, but I'm starting the planning process to converting it to a dedicated home theater. I was particularly inspired by the Rob Hahn theater
, though I know I don't have the budget or space to reach those heights. But philosophically I'm hoping to take a similar approach.
I was originally thinking my budget would be about $100k for the whole thing, but after running the general idea by Keith Yates Design, they told me that construction alone would probably run about that. Adding in new gear and upgrades, I'm guessing that the whole project could run to $200k. (And if that's the case, I may postpone by 1 year until I see how certain projects I'm working on pan out.) I'm starting discussions with 2 other companies in the area to get a better sense of what it would take. My thinking is that I'd rather postpone the kickoff of the project and eventually do it right than cut lots of corners.
Here is the current layout:
The parts of the plan I feel most comfortable saying I'll be doing are:
1. Remove the fireplace and bookshelves from the nothern wall
2. Replace the load bearing pillar with a steel beam
3. Remove the desk/filing cabinet from the southern/western walls
4. Replace the sliding glass door and window from the western wall with drywall (Note: My wife really wants to keep the windows on the street/east side, so I told her I'd do that.)
5. Put in a wall + door to close off the hallway leading from the AV cabinet to the garage (though not sure where exactly that should go since the walls on the south side of the room don't all line up.
6. Replace the door leading to the stairs with a soundproof door
7. Put in Atmos speakers (not sure how many) and go from 5 channels to 11 (not counting Atmos)
8. Wall/room treatments throughout (not sure what I'll need where yet)
9. Put in 100% light blocking motorized blinds/shades in front of the windows on the eastern wall
10. Painting, new carpet, etc.
11. New/upgrade equipment as necessary
The things I'd like to do but still need to research more are:
1. Rotate the theater 180-degrees. Put in a baffle wall along the west wall and mount LCR channels in there with an acoustically transparent screen. (Or should I mount it on the northern wall?)
2. Create a floating room so I can isolate it sonically from the rest of the house. Concerned that I don't have the ceiling height for that though.
3. Replace the ceiling vents with some other heating system (really not sure if that's going to be possible)
4. Possibly do 4-way masking on the screen, but I'm not sure the screen will be big enough for that to make sense. It will more likely be a 2.35:1 screen with fixed height.
Some other info about the house:
1. It's a split level home on a hill, so the floor on the east side of the house is below ground level while the floor on the west side is at ground level.
2. Floor underneath the carpet is concrete.
FWIW, my current gear is a Bryston SP3 pre-amp, Outlaw amp, Paradigm Signature v2 for my 5 channels (S8s for LR, C5 for center, and a pair of ADP3s for the surrounds), 2 JTR Captivator 1400 subwoofers, motorized Stewart Firehawk 120" screen, JVC RS1 projector (ancient, I know!), Oppo BDP-103D, and a few other things. I think I'll need to sell off and replace everything except maybe the Cap 1400s. It's not shown in the diagram, but one of the subs is just to the left of the seating and the other is on the west side of the room under the desk. That's what gave me the best results when I did the sub crawl.
In case the diagram is hard to visualize, here are some actual pics of the room as it exists now. Excuse for the mess.
Facing east from behind the seats. Screen is up:
Facing east from behind the seats. Screen down:
Facing southeast and the hallway leading to the garage:
Closeup of hallway leading to the garage:
So what does everyone think? Any major things I should be thinking about that I'm not already? Anything I'm planning on doing that won't really give me that much bang for the buck?