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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Believe it or not, under budget, and on schedule!

http://my.core.com/~gavilan - more pictures to come!


After more than three years of research, I've finally proven that it can be done! I wanted the theater to be "Complete" first which Is why I skimped on the electronics for now. The room has been built using principles I learned from this forum... Double Walls, Double Drywall, heavily insulated, caulked, sealed and styled to look like the theaters here.


Needles to say, everyone who has seen it is completely wowed.... Except for myself, cause I know where al the mistakes are,and I know all the things that it could still be.


Many many thanks to everyone who contribute on this forum. I hope that I can pay you all back (2 cents at a time) :D


Here is the price breakdown:


Room:

Studs - 200$

Double Drywall 1/2 and 5/8 all around - 300$

Stage and Riser - 150$

MDF Proscenium, soffit, and columns - 80$

Electrical - 100$

Insulation - 300$

Carpet - 250$

Staples/Nails/Screws/Tape/Mud - 60$

Ceiling Tiles for walls - 200$

Fabric Covering - 200$ (Speaker fabric and Burlap)

Lighting - 90$

Speaker Wire - 50$

RG6 - 30$

Labor - 0$ Did eveything myself :cool:

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Room total: 2010$


Electronics:

Video Only Projector: 50$ @Garage Sale (sucks but works!)

5.1 Pioneer Receiver - 150$ @Ubid

DIY D'Apollito LCR Speakers + Dipole surronds - 200$

Apex DVD Player - 150$

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Electronics Total: 550$


Furniture:

3 "Pleather" Swivel Recliners avg 80$ Each (Best Buy/Circuit City) 240$

Couch for the back row (not yet purchased) 500$

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Furniture Total: 740$


Complete and working theater total: 3300$


*Prices are approximated and rounded on the high side


- Is it the absoulte best quality... No

- Does it compare to the average AVS theater... On some points,i'dlike to think so

- Does it provide the full dedicated HT Experience .... You Bet!

- Does it beat the crap out of my neighbor's 5000$ Bose and Sony RPTV Setup? You Bet! ;)


Am I happy..... Oh Yeah!



Now on to the upgrades!!! :)
 

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I love to see DIYers that have realistic budgets, my room should cost under $4k and thats with a $2544 Sharp m20x DLP in there... I'm doing everything myself and on the cheap.. My room is smaller however, 12x10 full size but due to the rooms arangement the seeting/viewing area will be in 8x10 area about two foot around the edge for walkway, seating five..


LOOKS GREAT!
 

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Great job! Looks great, and under budget too, wish I could say the same!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by pcdoctor
Impressive!

What do you plan to do for seating?

It looks really nice.

You go you diyer!
It's in the original post:


Furniture:

3 "Pleather" Swivel Recliners avg 80$ Each (Best Buy/Circuit City) 240$

Couch for the back row (not yet purchased) 500$

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Furniture Total: 740$
 

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Sounds like you are in my budget neck of the woods, though I had the advantage/disadvantage of remodeling an already completed room.

Looks great though, and you can feel more satisfaction from having done it yourself. I like the clean minimalist look, and the soffit lighting looks great.


I am still stuck in seating design myself, aka fitting 2 rows of seats into 2 feet of seating space.


That project was $50 at a yard sale? Where do you go to yard sales, Beverly Hills?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jlmclemore
John,


Nice theater. What is your room dimensions?


John
It's in the original post:

10X15 Theater Under $3500 - Complete! ... for now =)
 

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I think we have the makings of a new category, "Home theaters for under $5000". I'm just starting on a 14x16 foot basement theater. Seeing the results achieved here I'm confident keeping a project simple and cheap can still yeild impressive results.





Andy
 

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I'm all about the HT for under $5k category.


John (and all the other DIY-ers), I think your best choice, and the most telling number of all is the $0 for labor. That's the route I'm going (and have gone with all the other improvements that I've made in my house) and, man, when I stop to think of what I've saved, I'm blown away. Your costs could have been easily twice what they were if you had gone the professional route. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather spend the money on electronics than drywall :)


Congrats, enjoy your new theater.


-Viking
 

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I'm truly impressed with the cost efficiency of this project!


I'm inspired and would like to use my X-mas bonus to convert/update my existing living room area to more of a HT 'feel'.


A new HD RPTV, crown moulding w/indirect rope lighting, seating & new paint are on the list so far!


Thanks for showing what can be done on a 'working' man's budget! Mine happens to be $3000.


Sonicflood
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the kind words..... I think the key to the low price is the small size of the theater. The electronics and some of the building materials, I actually already had, so when I built this thing, I really spent under 2,000. But for fairnes, I included the price of those too.


Empirebuilder, The projector was from a guy who inherited it from his dad's friend, and had no idea how to use it ;) Just my luck I guess.


Viking, I think labor would have been around 3 Grand easy. And yes I will be upgrading the electronics. I thought it would be easier to justify upgrades when there is something tangible already..


PC Doctor, the seats are going to be those swivel recliners that look like office chairs from Circuit City and home depot, Plus a couch (possibly DIY) in the back.


Sonic.. 10X15, it started as 11X16, but with the drywall, studs and treatments, I lost a foot all around.
 

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Great room. I was really glad to see so many posts from people who are also building sub $5000 rooms. My own 11x19 room is in the final planning stages. I hope to start construction after Christmas.



I was wondering if you could tell us what you did for ceiling and lighting?


thanks


--Frank
 

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Building a home theater "on time and under budget" is not possible. You simply did not spec out the job properly. You absolutely must spend more than you thought and take longer than you thought to be considered a true HT afficiando.


Now get back in there and spend some more time and money!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Steve.. Good one! Actually, it really isnt complete as far as I am concerned, but it is completely working, and presentable...


Frank,

I double drywalled the ceiling as well 5/8 + 1/2. I did not go with the floating ceiling route, because it was too much work for what I percieve is the benefit, and I will lose at least another inch of ceiling height. The lightins is a combination of wall sconces, and rope light placed on the tray ceiling in the soffit.


The page has been updated, with construction pictures, and better views of the all black proscenium.. http://my.core.com/~gavilan
 

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SonicFlood,

"crown moulding w/indirect rope lighting, seating & new paint are on the list so far! "


These additions I feel will take your home theater viewing to a whole new level! Having the screen and electronics is key, but having a fully decorated dedicated home theater I think adds a great deal to the viewing experience. I have the same equipment I had at the beginning, but painting and addition of lighting effects gives a much better atmosphere and mood for movies.
 

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John-


OUTSTANDING! This should be an example for others without deep pockets to refer to.


One question- Any idea of how many actual hours of labor you devoted to the project (I know that's kinda hard to keep track of), just curious for your best guesstimate.


Thanks, Bruce
 

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Exactly what the other people have said - GREAT, OUTSTANDING etc.


This is truly inspirational. I have been planning for a basement HT for months now, between reading this forum and getting books from the library I was sort of getting around to actually putting the AutoCAD drawings put into effect.


This post, your effort have given me a much needed kick in the a.. - and to see that's not going to kill me dollar wise is even better.


I realise there can be a lot more money spent on a basement HT, however I want to use this as an opportunity to learn how to do a large number of things (framing, drywalling, mudding, rough electrical, planning) which leads to an actual question:


Have you done anything like this before, or was it all research on AVS and then just a dive into the deepend?


Thanks for the post (and the inspiration), Brett
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Bruce,

Lets see, I spent about 3 hours every weeknight, and about 8 hours each Saturdays and Sundays.. so that's 31 hours a week (Give or take a couple). I took a week off working on it during that time, so from October to the third week of November minus one week, that's six weeks of 31 hours each.... totaling 186 hours. Ive noticed that working on week nights even for just a few hours makes a world of difference. If you relied only on weekends, you will never get done in the time you want, cause that's the time when the wife wants to do things, and when friends and family invite you over or come over... and you end up not being able to finish anything at all. The other factor here is the small size of the room... less walls and surfaces to deal with. But a small room has it's disadvantages too. In my case, this is the only room that I can spare for a dedicated HT without hurting the property's value.


Brett,

As a matter of fact, I did do work like this before. I finished two basements before, which is where I gathered up all the tools. The only real skill that you need to be good at when finishing any room is mudding, which I still suck at. All the other things you need to do like framing, electrical is really just patience and research. You just have to be careful with your measurements, and make sure that you build up to code.


Don't take any shortcuts with the framing. That's the part where if you did a poor job, everything else will suck, like insulation not fitting, drywall not lined up to the studs for the screws.. mudding being more difficult because of misaligned Sheetrock... Of course the fact that we cover everything with fabric really helps hide the bad mudding job.


Also, the right tools are very important. I suggest to invest in the tools, because you will be able to use them in other projects in the future. Get a Framing and Brad Nailer! It turns a job that you despise into something you want to do (I hate hammering!). Also get a table saw, and if you can a miter saw. If you can only get one saw, get the table saw. Think of the expense as paying for labor. I incurred those expenses before working on the theater, so I did not include them in the price :)
 

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John:


A few Q's about the seating:

  1. How much were the chairs that you purchased from Best Buy and or Circuit City?
  2. Can they be purchased outright, without a RPTV purchase?
  3. Is there a brand name on them?
  4. Is one of better quality/comfort than the other? Circuit City or Best Buy version?[/list=1]


    Thanks in advance for your reply!


    Sonicflood
 
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