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post #1 of 50 Old 02-22-2018, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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The OCD Theater Build - MN

Hello all!

Long time lurker, recent first time poster. I’ve been planning this theater build for well over a year and have spent countless hours reading, searching, reading thousands of posts, searching some more, reading more, and then searching some more. After compiling an 8 page word document that covered all of my plans, ideas, questions to date and most of the answers I’ve found along with an Excel spreadsheet of the known costs it would involve I figured it was time to put my plan out there to solicit any and all ideas, criticisms, recommendations, advice, etc.

Backstory: My wife and I built our current house through a large builder and moved in April 2017. Theater plans started around Sept/Oct 2016 as soon as I got a rough look at the unfinished basement layout. Our current movie viewing setup is not ideal as the family room on the main floor is right below one of our young kids bedrooms, thus no loud noises and no earth shaking bass (lame). I’m by no means an audiophile, but I enjoy movies immensely and the noise that go with them. The wife recently gave me the green light to finish the entire basement, which naturally includes my theater .




Room dimensions
  • Framed (2x4 offset 1” from foundation) - 18’7”L x 12’10”W (front of room)/ 11’10”W back of room x 8’9”H to bottom of floor joists
  • Concrete foundation on 3 of the 4 walls
  • 4th wall shared with basement and stairwell
  • 10” riser for 2nd row



What the final product may look like (sans drywall)



Complication:
There are several HVAC ducts going through the planned space that cannot be moved since there are both supply and returns for the floor upstairs.





Planned solution - My current plan is to frame out a lowered ceiling using a combination of 2x4s and 2x4LDL (LDL I can run the whole length of the theater and they should be more true than regular 2x4s) as opposed to doing soffits. If I did 2 equal width soffits the distance between them would be approx. 6’10” which I think is too narrow for it to look good. This lowered ceiling would also afford me some flexibility for speaker/recessed lighting backer boxes, running wires, HVAC, etc into the space. Final ceiling heigh after clips/hat channel/DD will be about 7’10”.




Wall/Ceiling Soundproofing - Not looking for a totally silent room. I just want the option to shake some fillings loose without waking my kids 2 floors up.
  • Walls by concrete foundation will be 24”OC and decoulpled using IB-3/DC-04 clips attached to either the floor joists or the concrete walls. DDW/GG.
  • RSIC-V clips/hat channel/DDW/GG on ceiling and shared wall with stairwell
  • R-13 in the walls and R-19 in the existing joists. The joists are approx. 19” OC, which is an unusual size, but I can special order insulation that will fit.
  • door – solid core with automatic door bottom and gaskets around opening. May add additional mass depending on noise level.
  • Planning on 4 Atmos speaker locations and 11 4” recessed lights. Leaning towards enclosed back in-ceiling speakers. Should I still install backer boxes for enclosed speakers?


HVAC Soundproofing – this is one area that I could use some additional advice on for my specific space.
  • Wrap existing metal ductwork in duct wrap
  • New supply line into front right of the space will be a combination of insulated flex duct with possible duct muffler or DIY duct silencer. I would like some opinions on what would work best for the space.
  • Return line (either right or left back) – Living in MN it can get pretty cold and the basement is no exception. So I would like to have the option of having a return that could pull air from the bottom or top of the room. I’m currently planning on doing a return between the studs in the back room and a single return vent at the bottom. In the future if I find that the room gets uncomfortably warm I have the option of adding a vent at the top of the wall to remove the warm air. The back of this stud cavity will be first covered with drywall GG and then another layer of drywall (thinking ½” drywall to allow sufficient space for return air). In the ceiling I’m considering installing a flex duct/duct muffler combo.

Supply (without duct muffler drawn in):


Return (without duct muffler):




Current 5.1 Speakers (planning on adding 2 additional surround speakers and maybe Atmos):
Left/Right – Klipsch RF-52
Center - Klipsch RC-52
2 surround – Klipsch RS-10
Sub – Klipsch RW-12D
Future – 2 sub setup - either add 2nd sub or 2 new DIY subs to replace the one, powered by iNuke NU3000DP
Future – Atmos ceiling speakers – either 2 of 4. Debating on open or enclosed back speakers. Will backer boxes be overkill if I go with enclosed back speakers?


Equipment:
  • Receiver – 9 year old Yamaha RX-V663. Planning to upgrade towards end of project, need more research
  • Screen – planning on a 120” 16:9, brand undecided, may do DIY.
  • Projector – if I bought now I’d lean towards Epson 2150. I’m planning to wait until end of project for final decision to see what is available and pricing. Preferred throw distance between 12-15’, would consider project on back wall.
  • Rack – planning on putting an equipment rack in the unfinished utility room adjacent to the theater room to de-clutter the room as much as possible. Also open to the idea of having it in the back of the theater, but can’t really think of any benefits this would provide. Input welcome.


Electrical (High and Low Voltage)
  • Installing a 100amp sub-panel in the utility room to wire up dedicated circuits for the theater and the rest of the basement
  • Dedicated circuits: 20amp (or 2) for rack location, 15amp for projector, 15amp for theater outlets and 15amp for lighting.
  • Puddy pads on the back of all outlet boxes.
  • flex Conduit EVERYWHERE – going bigger than I think I need to on all lines.
  • Planning on running all LCR, front sub cables, HDMI, and a couple Cat6 lines through a bulk cable wall plate below the screen.
  • 14Ga speaker wire to 7 speaker surround locations and 4 future Atmos speaker locations
  • Current sub has a built in amp, but I plan on running cable to the front and also into the back right of the room for future sub locations. This is one area I haven’t received much yet. Not sure if I’ll go with RG6, speakon, or whatever alternatives. I plan on doing more research before I start the wiring, but any recommendations would be helpful.

Lighting
- 11 - 4” recessed lighting on 3 dimmers – 3 by screen, 6 for the middle of the room and 2 at the back.

tentative speaker/lighting layout




TL;DR
Most important current questions – some of these might seem a bit basic, but I’m on information overload with all the constant research. I more or less want confirmation on my plans or somebody to tell me why I’m an idiot.
  1. Input on the lowered ceiling? I’ve tried to look at it from every angle, but somebody might have a perspective that I missed.
  2. Also, with the lowered ceiling I am only planning on putting insulation in between the floor space. Would additional insulation be of benefit or would I be wasting money?
  3. HVAC – Would flex duct and a commercially available duct muffler be sufficient for sound proofing my supply and return or would the DIY route be better? This option appears viable and economical: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CTM0L6O...U3P31AR2&psc=1
  4. HVAC – I was originally thinking of putting the supply and return on opposite corners ( Supply in ceiling to the right of the screen and return by the door), but now I’m thinking of putting them both in the middle of the shorter walls. Any advantage to one of the other? Putting the return in the middle of the back wall would allow for more room for a duct muffler than what I currently have drawn above.
  5. Is there any benefit to using backer boxes for enclosed back in-ceiling speakers or is that overkill?
  6. Any other input, criticism, ideas, recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


Looking forward to all your responses!
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post #2 of 50 Old 02-22-2018, 01:23 PM
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#6 . How set in stone is the layout as far as storage, rack location and adding an additional door?
My $0.02
With the DDW/GG and clips, I would consider adding an additional communicating door. This would require moving the existing door that goes into the Unfinished storage area ... probably into the Rec Room if possible.
Move the rack so you can access it before you entire into the HT room. rack would be directly across from the storage. Makes it much easier to access and have the ability to see what's going on on-screen ...
elementary modification to you plan to convey the idea...
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HT1.0 | HT2.02
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post #3 of 50 Old 02-22-2018, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjaymz View Post
#6 . How set in stone is the layout as far as storage, rack location and adding an additional door?
My $0.02
With the DDW/GG and clips, I would consider adding an additional communicating door. This would require moving the existing door that goes into the Unfinished storage area ... probably into the Rec Room if possible.
Move the rack so you can access it before you entire into the HT room. rack would be directly across from the storage. Makes it much easier to access and have the ability to see what's going on on-screen ...
elementary modification to you plan to convey the idea...
While I do like that idea it is, unfortunately, unfeasible. That utility room has all our mechanicals on that long framed wall so it would involve some pretty serious HVAC modification to make it work.

Thanks for the idea though!
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post #4 of 50 Old 02-22-2018, 05:51 PM
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A ceiling height of 7’, 10” is workable, but higher is definitely better. Many people would argue for living with the soffits and getting more ceiling height in the center of the room.

Using engineered lumber is probably a good idea. As you pointed out, it is longer and straighter than any standard dimensional lumber that you can get. There may be other options for your clips. Take a look at the many options at http://www.pac-intl.com/products.html.

You could use something like the RSIC-1 EXT04 without adding any additional horizontal members.


Take a look at the RSIC-1 ADM Wood. They don’t appear long enough to do what you want, but you may be able to use standard RSIC-1 clips with long structural wood screws like the ones pictured below, perhaps in a longer version and simply screw them into the bottom of the existing josts.


Whatever you do to lower your ceiling, make sure that the structure that you build will support the weight of the ceiling.

Your studs are likely spaced at 19.2”. That allows for 5 studs for every 8’ section of drywall/OSB/plywood. Normal spacing of 16” is 6 studs for every 8’. 24” spacing is 4 studs for every 8’.

For additional sound isolation, don’t count on duct wrap doing a lot. What you really need is mass. That usually means drywall. Pound per pound, it is probably the cheapest building material you can get. I have a similar return duct that goes across the rear of my theater. It carries the return air for the entire house and it used to be quite loud. Now I have it covered with a layer of 3/4" OSB, 3 layers of 5/8” drywall, then an air gap of 1/4", then my isolated ceiling, which is 3/4" OSB, and a final layer of 5/8” drywall. All layers have Green Glue between them. It is extremely quiet.

One of your primary considerations for ventilation in a well sealed room is sufficient air circulation. Even in the winter, a well sealed home theater with a projector and more than a few people can get warm quickly. The air will also get stale and carbon dioxide will build up, making the room uncomfortable to be in.

Don’t even consider 1/2" drywall anywhere. Get 5/8” type X fire rated drywall. Most 1/2" these days is the lightweight “ultra-light” variety, which has a lot less mass. 5/8” type X is almost twice the weight of the 1/2" ultralight stuff. The extra 1/8” thickness is inconsequential for most practical purposes other than adding mass and fire protection.

If you are planning on sound isolation, backer boxes are an absolute necessity for in-wall or in-ceiling speakers. Not only would you be literally cutting large holes in your sound isolation, speakers without backer boxes radiate just as much sound out the back as they do out the front. The last thing that you want to do is blast all that sound INTO your walls!

Bigger conduit is almost always better. Speakers would be the only possible exception. It is unlikely that you would need anything bigger than around 1” for speakers, since you generally just need a 2 conductor wire with no special ends on it. I’d go with 12 gauge wire. It is heavier and should have a minimal cost difference. Use larger conduit for your sub, since you are considering speakon connectors or active subs. Since you are considering active subs, make sure to run power to your sub location.

Don’t forget about power to your projector location. Ideally, you would want it powered by a UPS where your equipment rack is. Search for “power bridge”.

Insulation in your ceiling is important, but it is only one part of a sound isolation plan. Adding 1 or 2 layers of drywall to the bottom of the subfloor, with Green Glue between, as shown in the examples below would provide a lot more benefit than extra insulation. The insulation really serves more to minimize resonances than it does to block sound.

http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/...proof-ceiling/

Flexible HVAC duct can go a long way to prevent sound from being transmitted from one end of a duct to the other, especially if it can go around a few gradual corners. It will also quiet the airflow. Don’t expect it to keep sound from getting into or out of the duct. Sound will go right through the inch or so of fiberglass.

For proper airflow, the supply and return ducts should be at opposite ends of the room. Intake at the front and return at the rear typically works best.
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post #5 of 50 Old 02-22-2018, 06:11 PM
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Your front row seats appear to be right in the middle of the room both length and width wise. That's one of the worst places you can be for acoustics.

I put almost no effort or expense into soundproofing my theater, just insulation, but as long as the doors are closed, you can't hear much on the floor above it aside from muted explosions. Just food for thought, as proper soundproofing can be very expensive, and if every weak link isn't addressed, results may be slightly disappointing.
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post #6 of 50 Old 02-22-2018, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveClement View Post
A ceiling height of 7’, 10” is workable, but higher is definitely better. Many people would argue for living with the soffits and getting more ceiling height in the center of the room.
Wow. First off thanks for the very thorough reply!

In regards to the ceiling height, this has been the one thing I've gone back and forth on the most. In the end I think I felt that lowering the whole ceiling would just be a cleaner, easier way rather than doing soffits, but now you have me questioning my conclusion again lol. If I did soffits, I think I would want to do one in the front and back of the theater as well which would definitely complicate drywall and finishing, but it would also allow me to do other things like lights in a trayed ceiling, which I like the look of. Cost wise I think it may be a wash (LDLs aren't cheap). If I do go this route I think I would still do the DD/GG on the flat portion and then attach the soffits to that already decoupled ceiling. Only obstacle that I would need to figure out is the soffit for the HVAC side will be about 36" wide. I'll need to figure out a way to support the drywall in the middle of that span.

I got my approved building permit back today so I was going to go and order all the framing lumber tomorrow. I think I'll hold off on the LDLs so I can model it in Sketchup to see what I want to do. I may let the WAF play a role in deciding as well .

What, if any, impact would this have on the acoustics of the room? I haven't been considering this avenue so I will have to do more research, but if you have any input I'd appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveClement View Post
If you are planning on sound isolation, backer boxes are an absolute necessity for in-wall or in-ceiling speakers. Not only would you be literally cutting large holes in your sound isolation, speakers without backer boxes radiate just as much sound out the back as they do out the front. The last thing that you want to do is blast all that sound INTO your walls!
Even if the speakers themselves have enclosed backs? I haven't been able to locate any definitive discussion about this in terms of how effective those enclosed backs are in terms of keeping sound out of the ceiling cavity. Even if they don't keep 100% of the sound out I would think the enclosed backed speakers would take any guesswork out of what size to make the backer box needs to be for acoustic reasons (not that it would be hard to figure out). Theoretically, and I may be totally wrong about this, but with these I could just make a backer box that fits the physical size of the speaker without worrying about volume and then move on.

as an example:
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post #7 of 50 Old 02-22-2018, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Your front row seats appear to be right in the middle of the room both length and width wise. That's one of the worst places you can be for acoustics.
That's good to know, I'd never come across that before. Although to be fair I've been mainly focusing on the sound proofing and construction aspects of the room.

The furniture layout in my drawings are definitely not set in stone. I just imported sample furniture the approximate size of my current furniture to get an idea of scale, layout, etc. The riser will be floating and will built once the room is almost complete to allow me to finalize the 1st row position.

I plan on doing a lot more research on acoustics and wall treatments (type, size, material, placement, etc,etc), but with that said do you have any specific info for the "ideal" position for the 1st (and the 2nd) rows for my particular room?
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post #8 of 50 Old 02-22-2018, 07:02 PM
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I doubt that there would be any real difference in acoustics between a lowered ceiling and soffits.

Speakers with enclosed backs will definitely keep more sound out than those with open backs. How much is debatable. They will most likely be made of relatively lightweight plastic, or possibly some type of stamped sheet metal. Which is likely to transmit more sound, two layers of 5/8" drywall with Green Glue in between (two layers at 2.2 lbs. per square foot is 4.4 lbs. per sf), or what essentially is a plastic or metal bucket? In-wall/in-ceiling speakers may be designed for many things, but keeping the sound envelope of the room intact is simply not one of them. The physics won't lie.
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post #9 of 50 Old 02-22-2018, 08:13 PM
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I'd look into a ceiling vibration hangar system. It could give you the drop you are after.


http://www.kineticsnoise.com/arch/is..._ceilings.html


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post #10 of 50 Old 02-23-2018, 01:44 AM
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Cool project. BTW, check the build in my signature as it's almost the exact same size as your room; it might give you some ideas. I had more headroom (10' ceilings) and no "jog" in the wall, but not much different other than that.

Some initial thoughts. I would try to put the viewing position of the front row about 10 feet from the screen or more (for acoustics and viewing angles). Also, I would probably steer clear of a curved row of seats (they take up a bunch more space and your space is at a premium). If the second row will not be recliners, I think your 10" riser will be enough (because they can be closer to the front row). Non reclining front row will help with sound, viewing angles, etc. from the back row, too. Could be a great choice and keep that row off the rear wall.

You could make that riser go all the way across and get one more seat in that back row if you want to. My first theater had an entrance at the back, but I didn't have room outside the theater to build up stairs/risers to be able to come in at riser height, so I made the door to the theater open out, and made a cut-out in the riser inside the theater with a step up to it. So, you open the door, step in to a small landing area (same level as outside the door), then take one step up, then another on to the riser. Hope that makes sense. Then the rear riser could go all the way across and if you move the seating all the way over to the right (and maybe forward an inch or two), you could likely get 3 seats across there.

Back to the riser, 10" is too high for a single step up (code requires about 8" or less, usually), so I would either lower the riser (if you can still get the angles you need...draw it out) or add a step up onto it. BTW, the step doesn't have to stick out from the riser, it can be embedded in the riser (again, see how I did my last theater steps as an example).

Use backer-boxes if you cut holes for speakers. Use backer boxes if you cut holes for lights.

On your question about insulation in your new ceiling...it's important to understand that the insulation is doing very little (next to nothing) keeping sounds in or out. What makes it important is damping sound that is inside the new boxes you're building (the space between your new drywall, and the floor/drywall on the other side of the ceiling/wall). You don't want big, empty spaces for sound to resonate, so fill empty spaces with any type of insulation; the fiberglass stuff just happens to be the cheapest. And it is very cheap...so I would just loosely fill any spaces you create building the ceiling. Also, the technique that DaveClement outlined above of using drywall with green glue in between existing joists is also something I did in my latest build (and it inspired my avatar) if you want to take a look at those posts in my thread, you'll get an idea of what that was like to do. I can't comment on the effectiveness since I did not do a comparison study (obviously since I didn't want to completely build my theater twice), but I was happy enough with the results.

In fact, I agree with basically everything DaveClement said in that post above...so do that stuff. I also used a power bridge in my last theater to save the bulb...worked like a champ.

+1 on your planned screen size (I used that size, also). I would not recommend DIY unless you just love doing it; I used an Elite Screens fixed frame screen, 120" 16x9, and it was fantastic (and very cheap at around $265 now). It was well built, the material was great, it went together nicely, looked fantastic, etc. I just don't think it's worth DIY anymore these days with companies like Elite Screens and Silver Ticket around.

Wiring is relatively cheap, so I would run at least coax and speaker cable to all possible future sub locations. The obvious spots to try first, like you said, for dual subs will be either front middle and rear middle, or front left and rear right.

I like the rack placement that you're thinking of. Keep it out of the room if you can (again, I've had a theater with the equipment closet in the room, and I've had it with the rack out of the room...the latter is preferable in my opinion). You don't need blinky lights and extra heat load in your theater. BTW, you could consider putting some shelves in the closet area to hold a game console and Disc player that exposes the front of those devices to the hallway...that way you don't even have to go into the equipment room to put a disc in. Could look pretty cool and be functional, too.

That's all I can think of right now...but like I said, looks like a great project. I'll be following the progress. Good luck!
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post #11 of 50 Old 02-23-2018, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by billwil View Post
Cool project. BTW, check the build in my signature as it's almost the exact same size as your room; it might give you some ideas. I had more headroom (10' ceilings) and no "jog" in the wall, but not much different other than that.
Thanks for the thorough response! Loving the help from this community .

Cool, I've started reading your thread this morning. I'll hopefully be able to read through the rest tonight. Final product looks awesome! My bar is definitely set a bit lower in terms of aesthetics lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwil View Post
Some initial thoughts. I would try to put the viewing position of the front row about 10 feet from the screen or more (for acoustics and viewing angles). Also, I would probably steer clear of a curved row of seats (they take up a bunch more space and your space is at a premium). If the second row will not be recliners, I think your 10" riser will be enough (because they can be closer to the front row). Non reclining front row will help with sound, viewing angles, etc. from the back row, too. Could be a great choice and keep that row off the rear wall.
That's approximately where I have the front row in my drawings, but will adjust once the room is done. The curved seat is just a placeholder, but I will likely use a straight couch. I think they are more "economically" priced as well. Thanks for the input!

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwil View Post
You could make that riser go all the way across and get one more seat in that back row if you want to. My first theater had an entrance at the back, but I didn't have room outside the theater to build up stairs/risers to be able to come in at riser height, so I made the door to the theater open out, and made a cut-out in the riser inside the theater with a step up to it. So, you open the door, step in to a small landing area (same level as outside the door), then take one step up, then another on to the riser. Hope that makes sense. Then the rear riser could go all the way across and if you move the seating all the way over to the right (and maybe forward an inch or two), you could likely get 3 seats across there.
I think the door will have to stay going in. Small WAF factor on that plus I think I like the look better. With the current width of the riser I could fit an existing 3 seater couch on there, but it would eliminate any side tables. We will rarely have more than a few people in the room at a time, but I like having options.

Quote:
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Back to the riser, 10" is too high for a single step up (code requires about 8" or less, usually), so I would either lower the riser (if you can still get the angles you need...draw it out) or add a step up onto it. BTW, the step doesn't have to stick out from the riser, it can be embedded in the riser (again, see how I did my last theater steps as an example).
The riser won't be built-in and will be built after all inspection so I'm not too concerned about the code . However, I was thinking about putting a small step at the back by the door.
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post #12 of 50 Old 02-23-2018, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I did some putzing in Skethup and drew up what the soffits could look like and I'm really starting to like this option. I think it will allow me the benefits of the lowered ceiling for wiring, HVAC, etc and will simultaneously correct the few issues I was going to have with the full lowered ceiling (backer box fitment/location, fireblocking, etc).

I will put the clips/hat channel/DD/GG on the ceiling before doing the front/back/right soffits, but the soffit around the HVAC will need to be done first since it will be needed for my framing inspection(s). I plan to use clips and hat channel to decouple the connection points of the soffit (see picture below). I like the soffit construction method @RedStripe88 used in his Salt Mine Theater (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-ded...l#post27667057) so that's the method I'm currently looking at, unless somebody can provide a better method.




With that said I do have one thing that I need to think through a bit and hopefully get some guidance. The soffit around the HVAC will have just under a 3ft span from the corner to the wall. Using 5/8 OSB to bridge the gap, I think I'd be pushing it to cover that distance without some sort of support in the middle, especially since I still have to hang DD off it (or maybe 1 layer if I can get away with it).


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post #13 of 50 Old 02-23-2018, 10:42 AM
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Bingo! Your soffit plan will work a lot better than a lower ceiling.

It is hard to tell from the diagram, but it looks like there is a fair amount of space between your metal duct and the vertical wall on the soffit. I'd keep that as close as possible. Every inch you save means two inches more of open ceiling area, assuming that you reduce the soffit on the other side to match.

The span under the ducts is too big. It will sag. If not right away, it will eventually. Make another ladder assembly like your vertical soffit wall and put it in the center of the span. You should be able to fit in between the flex ducts without any difficulty.

You may want to look into the structural properties of your the clip and channel running on the side of the soffit. The are used in that "sideways" orientation for walls, but the load is shared by lots of clips all along the wall. Your method has half the weight of the soffit supported on the "sideways" clips, which may not be as strong in that orientation. (If you have another support down the middle of the soffit, the load would be less.) The sound isolation properties might be different as well. The clips and channel are designed to be used with the wall surface in the same plane as the clips. (Ceiling surface and clips horizontal on the ceiling, wall surface and clips vertical on walls.) They may not work as designed with the ceiling surface horizontal and the clips vertical. I would give strong consideration to putting in blocking so that you could hang all of the ceiling clips horizontally or use something like the RSIC-1 EXT04 clips that I described earlier.
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post #14 of 50 Old 02-23-2018, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DaveClement View Post
Bingo! Your soffit plan will work a lot better than a lower ceiling.

It is hard to tell from the diagram, but it looks like there is a fair amount of space between your metal duct and the vertical wall on the soffit. I'd keep that as close as possible. Every inch you save means two inches more of open ceiling area, assuming that you reduce the soffit on the other side to match.
Yes, I will definitely be putting the soffit as close as possible to the duct. They're not pictured, but there is a gas line and a water line right next to the duct (unfortunately). I considered trying to move them, but I think it'd be more work/cost than it'd be worth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveClement View Post
The span under the ducts is too big. It will sag. If not right away, it will eventually. Make another ladder assembly like your vertical soffit wall and put it in the center of the span. You should be able to fit in between the flex ducts without any difficulty.
I sorta figured that would be the consensus. I haven't had time to poke around above the ducts, but I'm sure I could squeeze another soffit ladder in there. Just means more clips and hat channel .

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveClement View Post
You may want to look into the structural properties of your the clip and channel running on the side of the soffit. The are used in that "sideways" orientation for walls, but the load is shared by lots of clips all along the wall. Your method has half the weight of the soffit supported on the "sideways" clips, which may not be as strong in that orientation. (If you have another support down the middle of the soffit, the load would be less.) The sound isolation properties might be different as well. The clips and channel are designed to be used with the wall surface in the same plane as the clips. (Ceiling surface and clips horizontal on the ceiling, wall surface and clips vertical on walls.) They may not work as designed with the ceiling surface horizontal and the clips vertical. I would give strong consideration to putting in blocking so that you could hang all of the ceiling clips horizontally or use something like the RSIC-1 EXT04 clips that I described earlier.
I had thought about the downward load on that hat channel. I was planning to combat this by putting a clip on every stud (or every other since it's 16"OC) to add some additional strength.

As always, thanks for the input! I'm gaining a lot of clarity by bouncing ideas around .
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post #15 of 50 Old 02-23-2018, 02:42 PM
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You should build out the part between your soffits with some crown moulding and led strip accent lights.

Something like this. Would look really sharp.

https://blog.birddogdistributing.com...e-Theater3.jpg
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post #16 of 50 Old 02-27-2018, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Lumber Delivery!

Got a delivery today! All of the lumber to frame out the basement and theater was delivered (best $69 I've spent so far). Haven't gotten a good look at each stick, but hopefully they're all straight enough. We got a little over a foot of snow here in the past week so I had to snow blow a path down the side of the house to make hauling all this lumber a bit easier .






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post #17 of 50 Old 02-27-2018, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Very grateful for a walk-out basement on days like today. It took a little while and I was able to rope in a couple neighbors to help lug some wood, but it's finally all in the basement. Now I get to play the "shuffle all the crap we've accumulated" game to make room to frame each wall. Very excited to start seeing some progress after fussing over all the details on paper. Hoping to make a dent on the framing this week, but likely won't get huge swaths of time, mainly an hour or 2 each night. I also need to pick up a powder actuated nail gun to nail in the sill plates.



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post #18 of 50 Old 04-13-2018, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Basement and Theater Framing update

I haven't made as much progress as I was hoping to in the past month, but I have been making a slow march towards completing the framing. I ended up starting framing the rest of the basement before the theater, which wasn't ideal, but I do enjoy framing so it was fun.

One of my tool acquisitions for this project (I never let a project go to waste as an excuse to buy more tools! ) was a much needed portable stand for my miter saw. Previously I was using our sons' train table that has been collecting dust, but having to constantly bend down to make cuts was not ideal. Boy what a difference. Definitely could have used one of these last summer when I built our deck.





Picture from inside my future office. It'll be nice to be able to work down here away from all the noise of two young kids. Plus closer to the theater .


The large soffit that I had to build to cover up the basement HVAC. Due to a measuring error that ended up compounding itself over the entire length. About 2/3rds of those cross members had to come down and be re-sized. One of my few screw-ups on this build so far, but it definitely cost me a lot of time. It turned out well in the end though.



Partway through this build I pulled the trigger on my sound proofing order since I needed the IB-3s to start framing the theater walls. I contacted the nice people over at The SoundProofing Company and after a few emails with @Ted White and John I placed my order, which arrived a couple days later. They had the best prices that I could find and I would highly recommend them to anybody who is looking for sound proofing supplies.



Alas, I was finally able to start the framing on the decoupled theater walls. 24"OC, 1 inch away from the existing foundation and 1 inch below the floor joists above. Prior to framing I decided to Drylok the exposed concrete just to be on the safe side. I also used a sill gasket underneath the bottom plate of the walls. Not sure if that will provide much benefit, but it was cheap so why not.



I've only been able to get around to getting these two walls up for the theater. I'm hoping to make a lot more progress in the next week or two and hopefully wrap up all the framing so that I can move on to the electrical. With that said I do have one question about the IB-3s.

On the 2 walls that I have installed I have 4 IB-3s on the right one and 3 (currently) on the left one. I considered putting a 4th one on the left wall, but there is already one on the right wall close to the intersection. The two walls are nailed together via the studs. Would adding the 4th one be necessary or is there sufficient support with the one on the right wall? The current IB-3s are circled in red and the potential location for the additional clip is marked with the "?".

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post #19 of 50 Old 04-26-2018, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone have any input regarding the question at the end of my last post?
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post #20 of 50 Old 08-29-2018, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Framing/Electrical update

Long overdue update. Life has been hectic this summer, to say the least, with constant family obligations, an endless honey-do list and other projects that seem to take up all my time. Plus since I’m finishing the entire basement, of which the theater is a “small” part, I didn’t want to bore you with the construction of everything and keep this post to mainly theater related items.

With that said, over the last few months I have been able to make some good progress. I finished up the framing of the theater room including the decoupled soffit that hides all the existing HVAC in the room. I used the lightweight soffit method that I learned about on this forum using metal channel and 2x4s attached to hat channel. The side connection was a challenge, but I think the solution will work. There is also another soffit ladder mid span of the OSB (not in the pictures) to provide additional support. The soffit seems rock solid and I have no concerns that it will be able to support another layer of 5/8” drywall attached to the OSB.

Soffit construction:











Here is the completed soffit. You can also see some of the conduit and low voltage wiring:





I also completed the low and high voltage wiring for the room. There are 4 circuits going into the theater alone. 1 15 amp for the lighting, 1 15amp for the projector, 1 20amp for the theater outlets, and 1 20 amp for the AV rack that will be outside the room. The wiring wasn’t too bad, but running some of the conduit was a bit of a pain since most of it had to snake around the HVAC. Overall it wasn’t too bad and I think it will work just fine. Upon the suggestion of many posts on this forum all current wiring was placed outside of the conduit. I used a combination of 1” and ¾” to the surround and height speaker locations and I ran two 1-1/2 conduits to the front of the room for future runs.



Conduit “manifold” for the future rack location


Wires everywhere!


I found a server rack on Craigslist recently that came with a gigabit switch for only $75. It’s a bit big, but it should work for my purposes.





Main panel with the wired 100amp sub panel breaker. While I was in there I also added a whole house surge protector.


Finished sub panel wiring. I must admit this was one of my favorite parts of the project so far. I was able to really let my OCD go with lining up all the wires and making it look clean.




Lessons learned:
1) Cheap conduit that you buy online is cheap for a reason. It should do the trick, but it is really weak stuff. I can compress it with just a couple of fingers as opposed to the carlon stuff that I feel you could run over with a car. I bought the cheap 1” and 1-1/2” stuff off of amazon, but majorly underestimated how much I would need so I ended up just using the ¾” Carlon smurf tube that you can get at Home Depot for the remainder of the speaker locations. I ended up using 100’ of the 1” and 200’ of the ¾” and most of the 100’ roll of the 1-1/2”. In hindsight I should have just gone with the ¾” to all speaker locations. 1” is a bit overkill.
2) Drywalling/GG between floor joists SUUUUUUUCKS. This has been by far my least favorite part of the project. I actually broke up the task into about 6 or 8 different sessions because it’s tedious and annoying since none of the cavities seem to be perfectly straight. There was a lot of fine tuning, trimming, cutting to get pieces to fit. I’m glad I did it and I can already notice a difference from my kids stomping around over the theater room versus the living room. For the cost of materials it should be of great benefit.
3) Metal channel is SHARP. While I was running some wire in/through the soffit, I was a little careless with my hand and just grazing the channel resulted in a pretty deep gash down to the bone. On the plus side, it should leave a nice scar to remember the project by . Click below to see the gore:




Up Next:
I recently passed both my framing and rough-in Electrical inspections! Drywall is on order and I should be getting that hopefully next week sometime. Then the fun begins!

I am going to start getting some bids to have the mudding and taping done by someone else, but I plan on hanging all the drywall myself. I purchased a drywall lift from Northern Tool to help with the project.

I’ve also started to build the backer boxes for the in-ceiling speakers and should hopefully have those wrapped up soon.
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post #21 of 50 Old 08-29-2018, 02:11 PM
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Congrats on the progress, let us know when the viewing party is! There's a few of us in Chaska already @zorax2 and I are probably not far from you.

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post #22 of 50 Old 08-29-2018, 03:06 PM
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Lots of great info here thanks for sharing! I have a couple questions for you. first what do you mean in post #18 by this "Prior to framing I decided to Drylok the exposed concrete just to be on the safe side." In my upcoming build I have one wall that is half high cement and one that is 3/4 height. Where did you source your hat channel and the metal u channel you used in the soffits? I'm about as far north in the cities as you are south, up in Zimmerman.

Thanks!
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post #23 of 50 Old 08-29-2018, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkinneb View Post
Lots of great info here thanks for sharing! I have a couple questions for you. first what do you mean in post #18 by this "Prior to framing I decided to Drylok the exposed concrete just to be on the safe side." In my upcoming build I have one wall that is half high cement and one that is 3/4 height. Where did you source your hat channel and the metal u channel you used in the soffits? I'm about as far north in the cities as you are south, up in Zimmerman.

Thanks!
Drylok is a masonry water proofer. We have a walkout basement with drain tile so I'm not super worried about any moisture coming through the concrete, but it was cheap insurance "just in case" while everything was exposed. I purchased the Drylok Extreme at Home Depot (https://www.homedepot.com/p/DRYLOK-E...8615/202610896)

For the hat channel and metal "u" channel they actually have them both in stock at Menards. Hat Channel is 7/8" x 12' 25-Gauge Furring Channel, Menards SKU 1322282 and the metal "u" channel is ProTRAK® 1-5/8" x 10' 25-Gauge Interior Metal Track, Menards SKU 1324104.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I'm happy to share any of the research I've gathered over the last year+ of planning this .
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post #24 of 50 Old 08-29-2018, 06:34 PM
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If you'd like, stop by and check out my theater - it might give you some ideas as you move through your project. I don't think you have to worry much about subwoofage even with the kids' bedroom above it. I have dual PSA 3600s (4 - 18" drivers) with sound insulation in the ceiling in a much smaller room and unless cranked way up they really don't bother people above my theater. I've got a fully treated room with ATMOS. I also have a JVC projector that you should definitely consider. And, to stretch your budget, I know a couple of incredible dealers nearby that cater to home enthusiasts. I live in the Chevalle development near the Victoria Rec Center.


I didn't check out the whole thread but - have you considered a false wall to have all of your front speakers behind an AT screen?

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post #25 of 50 Old 08-30-2018, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
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For the hat channel and metal "u" channel they actually have them both in stock at Menards. Hat Channel is 7/8" x 12' 25-Gauge Furring Channel, Menards SKU 1322282 and the metal "u" channel is ProTRAK® 1-5/8" x 10' 25-Gauge Interior Metal Track, Menards SKU 1324104.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I'm happy to share any of the research I've gathered over the last year+ of planning this .
Thanks for the info!
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post #26 of 50 Old 08-30-2018, 08:30 AM
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If your theater isn't anointed in blood at least once it's not really a theater... I mean, how good could it really be?
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post #27 of 50 Old 08-30-2018, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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If your theater isn't anointed in blood at least once it's not really a theater... I mean, how good could it really be?
Haha, right?! The way I figure it I've now put blood and sweat into it...and I'll be crying tears of joy when the whole project is over.
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post #28 of 50 Old 08-31-2018, 04:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I didn't check out the whole thread but - have you considered a false wall to have all of your front speakers behind an AT screen?
I thought about it, but with the room being on the smaller size I didn't want to sacrifice that much of the room, at least not at the outset. I'm still toying around with viewing distances for my first and second rows. In the future I may consider building a false wall with a larger AT screen. Gotta leave myself room for future upgrades .
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post #29 of 50 Old 08-31-2018, 05:14 AM
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I thought about it, but with the room being on the smaller size I didn't want to sacrifice that much of the room, at least not at the outset. I'm still toying around with viewing distances for my first and second rows. In the future I may consider building a false wall with a larger AT screen. Gotta leave myself room for future upgrades .

As I looked closer, I can see your point given 2 rows of seating.


If you weren't aware, there is a large acoustic panel place here in Chaska that carries GOM (Guilford of Maine) acoustic fabric and a variety of acoustic insulation. Their manufacturing facility is next to that ugly wind tower (SheerWind - now bankrupt) near the water tower by the Chaska / Chan border.



API's location in Shoreview carries the full line of OC (Owen's Corning) acoustic insulation panels. You can do a lot of custom work on your own. I highly recommend the GOM fabric for color consistency as you add things. Otherwise, different vendors use their stock products and you end up with a bunch of shades of the same color. If not doing DIY, GIK does a nice job and offers and option of GIK panels.
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post #30 of 50 Old 10-31-2018, 09:30 PM
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