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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Nokomis Theater (was Blue Room Theater)

** This first post of the thread will be kept up to date. I moved the contents from the original first post post down to the second one.

Last Updated: 11/13/2019

This theater is (will be) named the Nokomis Theater instead of the Blue Room Theater. We live in south Minneapolis near Lake Nokomis... on Nokomis Ave. There actually used to be a real Nokomis Theater in south Minneapolis, but it's long since gone — so I'm taking the name. :)

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Current Status: Working toward being able to double drywall the room.

What major work has been accomplished so far?
  • plans drawn up and permits pulled
  • double stud framing complete (all walls decoupled from house)
  • DD and GG installed between all joists above the theater space
  • re-routing of lots of existing home infrastructure (gas, electric, hvac, water) to make way for theater infrastructure
  • all theater HVAC ducts, silencers in joists, and connections to home HVAC are complete (10" supply with one of each 6", 7", and 8" returns)
  • all electrical rough-in, including soundproof backer boxes on all outlets/switches and connections to main panel are done
  • all low voltage rough-in is complete (from AV closet to: house DMARC, projector, speakers, etc)
  • built atmos backer boxes and installed in joists
What work is left to compete before I can drywall?
  • install RSIC clips and hat channel for ceiling
  • finish off a bunch of small details like fire blocking code requirements
  • acquire and install 2 theater doors (communicating setup)
  • city rough-in inspections for mechanical, electrical, and framing
  • insulation
Projected completion: Late summer 2020

I am able to consistently invest about 35-40 hours per month into this project. I'm about 350 hours in, and I'm guessing I am probably another 40-80 hours of work from half way, but I honestly have no idea. I've never done this before, so it's hard to know. I'm not in a race, and for me this whole plan/design/engineer/build part of the project is hugely enjoyable.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
EDIT: Some of the original plans changed dramatically after the info below as posted, but I haven't gone back to update it all. I chose to flip the room orientation 180°

This is my first dedicated home theater build. We closed on our new construction home in May 2018, and it had an unfinished basement where I could finally build a theater!

I am doing all (or nearly all) of the work myself. The builder was great and constructed us a quality home, but I really wanted a project to work on, and I want it done "right". We have no kids, so having time-sucking hobbies and projects are okay in our house. I'm pretty handy and have done some decent sized projects in the past, but this is the most ambitious and largest in scale.

We've been planning it since February 2018, when we first got the blueprints to the house. I've been reading for months here on AVS, including the master sound proofing thread and countless build threads from beginning to end, as well as other building and audio related sites. The bulk of what is incorporated into this plan was learned here. I feel pretty well armed with info and ideas, and I think I have a pretty solid plan in place. However, I'm still learning as I go, and I am by no means any sort of expert. If you have suggestions or see me making a mistake, please speak up. :)

Here are some initial general goals we had for the theater:
  • stop as much sound as possible from entering and escaping the theater
  • acoustically treated for good response
  • high quality fit/finish like the rest of our home, and in the same taste/style so it "fits"
  • balance budget with time (the more we spend the longer it'll take)
  • the biggest screen we can fit (55" high CIH)
  • high quality 4k projector
  • 7.4.4 sound
Sound Proofing

My main goal of the soundproofing is to block out noise. We live in south Minneapolis, which is notorious for airplane noise. About 50% of the days of each month have little to no airplane noise, but the other half do, and the bigger jets can rumble the house a little. I'm hoping to cut out as much of that as possible. The other goal of course is keeping sound in...

Our house is a modern open floor plan. The main floor is one big open space, other than a 1/2 bath and a small study. We love it, but sound goes everywhere. Even the stairwells are open with no doors. As such, use of the TV and stereo on the main floor dominates the living space, and travels up to the bedroom with ease. We also want to be able to crank it without disturbing neighbors (we normally watch at -10 to -5 dB). We are on a 40’ wide city lot, so our walls are only about 15’ from one house and 10’ from the other. We also want to be able to escape individually to the space to play video games or other loud and annoying activities without bugging each other. The theater is in the basement, which will help with transmitting sound to the neighbors, but that’s only half the battle. Here is the plan:

Walls:
  • SPC Solution 3 — Double Stud Walls
  • Single stud wall set 1/2” or so away from the foundation, double stud walls for interior walls
  • Double 5/8” drywall and green glue throughout (and on both sides of interior walls)
  • All walls decoupled from ceiling joists with RSIC-DC04
  • Soundproof all penetrations through drywall shell 100% with backer boxes.
Ceiling:
  • SPC Solution 3 – Soundproof Ceiling
  • Planning to recess the clips with blocking to save a bit of ceiling height
  • Ceiling is a perfectly flat 8’ 1-1/2” high with an open web truss above. Should finish to about 7' 10 1/2" after clip/channel and DD.
  • will probably have to make a few extra provisions for flanking noise due to open web truss
  • No can lights to limit penetration
  • backer boxes for Atmos speakers
  • baffle/muffler setup for HVAC penetrations
Door(s):
  • communicating door setup (double doors) from the lobby to the hallway
Equipment & Gear

Below is the currently planned gear list for the big items. I already have the Denon, but will need to buy/build the rest. Since the speakers will be completely hidden and the visual quality of the finish doesn’t matter, I’m going to save some money (at the expense of time) by building them all myself (15 total). I'm assuming this will be a giant time suck near the end of the project. :)

  • AV Receiver - Denon AVR-X4300H (11 channels plus 2 independent sub outputs)
  • Projector - JVC 4K Projector (not settled on exact model just yet, maybe NX7)
  • Screen - Seymour AV Center Stage XD 144" diagonal 2.4:1 - CIH at 55" tall
  • Masking - my own DIY automated screen masking
  • Inputs - Apple TV 4k, PS4 Pro, Tivo, and a Plex Media Server full of stuff
  • Speakers - Front stage: 3 DIYSG Elusive 1099’s
  • Speakers - Surrounds, Rear, Atmos: DIYSG Volt 6’s
  • Subwoofers - 4 Dayton Ultimax 18” in sealed flatpack enclosures
  • Amp for Subs - 2 iNuke 6000's
  • Automation and IOT - Home Assistant tied into Apple’s HomeKit to start
  • AV Rack - not sorted out yet
Lighting

I’m planning on doing recessed RGB LED strip lighting in a very small soffit along with several small can style lights aiming down on the walls from the same small soffit. There will also be lighting for all of the steps. This should be plenty of lighting to negate the need for can lights in the main room. I’m sure I’ll come up with some additional accent lighting ideas as I work through the project.

I'll keep this thread updated as I work, but don't be surprised if there are some longer quiet periods when life gets busy. Aside from the initial 2 week push, this will be a side project for me to chip away at.
 

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Very well planned out.. It looks like you have done some homework. Good job.



Only a couple of things I see that you may want to re-consider, in no particular order.


  • Double check to see if you are going to have enough room between your first and second row if these are reclining home theater seating. I think @BIGmouthinDC recommends a minimum of 6-1/2' distance, otherwise feet from the second row will hit the head of the first row occupants.
  • I would consider rotating the rack in it's location 90 degrees, so you can see the screen and be able to control the equipment simultaneously, otherwise you are walking around the pillar allot.
  • The Workshop right next door is an awesome location. I would install that wall last, as you will want to be able to move large, long, materials from the workshop into the room easily Those corners might make it difficult.
  • Double check angels of speakers to MLP per Dolby spec's
Otherwise it looks like you have done allot of reading and thought coming up with renderings as well.



Looking forward seeing your progress. Sub'd.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Double check to see if you are going to have enough room between your first and second row if these are reclining home theater seating. I think @BIGmouthinDC recommends a minimum of 6-1/2' distance, otherwise feet from the second row will hit the head of the first row occupants.
Yeah, that's a good question. I've seen Big's comment's on that. The second row riser is 6' deep. Based on the seating I'm looking at, I calculated that there should be enough room to recline both rows fully, but you won't be able to walk between row 1 and 2 when both are reclined. I'm okay with that trade off since row 2 won't be used a ton. Providing enough room to walk through fully reclined wouldn't leave enough room for the back bar.

I would consider rotating the rack in it's location 90 degrees, so you can see the screen and be able to control the equipment simultaneously, otherwise you are walking around the pillar allot.
I've gone back and forth on that. I felt in it's current orientation we'd be less likely to hear any fans, but you bring up a really good point. In this sketch there isn't quite enough room for sideways, but in reality the lobby will be about 1' wider than this sketchup drawing (toward the shop), so I could widen the gear closet and move it to the side you suggest. Now I'm going to noodle on this more — thanks!

The Workshop right next door is an awesome location. I would install that wall last, as you will want to be able to move large, long, materials from the workshop into the room easily Those corners might make it difficult.

I was planning on sheetrocking the walls in between the shop and theater last, but I'm definitely framing it all in the next two weeks.

Double check angels of speakers to MLP per Dolby spec's
I did a lot of reading on this, especially as it relates to the side surround channels. The side channels are a tiny bit in front of each row, and I found a lot of opinions and evidence that with 7.2.4 that this can actually sound better, especially if you are running redundant side channels for each row like I am. For the second row I plan on adding a second amp off the surround pre-out to run the second row side channels and then doing level matching. If it doesn't work as well as I hope, I can just pick the column that sounds better, and then repurpose the extra 2 Volt 10's in my workshop for music on a second zone.

Looking forward seeing your progress. Sub'd.
Thanks! Me too ;)
 

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Wow. This is great. I’m in the pre-planning phase of our upcoming basement HT room also. Unfortunately, our basement won’t be as open as yours. The steps come down pretty much in the center and we’ll have some first floor support posts to plan around ( don’t know the feasibility of moving them ).
So, I’m really interested in your progress and any adjustments you have to make along the way. Great job on the sketch up pics too. I wish I knew how to do that.
Keep us posted and thank you for sharing.
TK
 

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What width/model seats are you using in your design? If you end up with 12' width there are some nice narrower theater seating options out there that would leave you room to center the seats, especially if you went with in-wall surrounds. I didn't have any trouble using a row of 3 of Roman's Fusion Lagoon seats in a 12' room.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I pulled out the ceiling drywall today, and I'm really happy I got a sheetrock joist. :)

I have 2 HVAC ducts running over the theater. The main rectangle feeder and the round one that comes off it and runs the length of the theater up to the screen wall. The round duct goes to a small study that I'm not very worried about, but the main one feeds the living room and dining room. I'd like to minimize noise transfer here. I still have to sort out how to treat them, or if I should change them, so I'm open to suggestions.

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What width/model seats are you using in your design? If you end up with 12' width there are some nice narrower theater seating options out there that would leave you room to center the seats, especially if you went with in-wall surrounds. I didn't have any trouble using a row of 3 of Roman's Fusion Lagoon seats in a 12' room.
Thanks for the tip on the seats. I hadn't looked at those, and they are a bit narrower than other ones on my list. I don't want to do in wall speakers, and the columns eat up about 6" on each side, so I don't know if I'll center them. However, they would at least pull the far left seat a bit further from the speaker.
 

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you can reduce the ability of the sheet metal ducts to pick up and propagate sound by applying self adhesive damped mass. This is a technique that is well utilized by the guys who like to deaden road noise in cars.

DynaMat extreme is one product there are many imitators. Some cheaper.

You don't need 100% coverage but the more the better the results. After a bunch of that is in place you can wrap insulation around the ducts.

You can also replace the metal with alternatives, duct board or insulated flex duct. You can also retrofit the ducts with Linacoustic duct liner.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Big, of the three methods you mentioned, which one do you think is most effective, and would you treat both HVAC lines the same way? Thanks!
 

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Looks like a fun build. I would be a little worried about the 6' depth riser. Even with space saving chairs, if you ever have tall people sitting in that 2nd row their feet will hang over the recliner. I did quite a bit of meausuring and 6'5" is really the minimum, ideally I think a 7' depth riser is more approrpriate.

It may not matter to you as much and you can just put the taller people in the front row, but you could look at just having 2 rows vs three and that would give you more room to work with. Just a thought.

The other thing to consider is for your riser and ceiling height. I ended up building one riser that was 6" tall before pad/carpet and another mini riser that my 2nd row seats sat on that was 4" before pad/carpet. I think it ended up being just under 11" when all was said and done and gave me back some headroom and is perfect for my screen size in the 2nd row (my 127" 2.35"1 screen was mounted 31" off the floor. Here is a pic:


My other receommendation is to wait to buy your projector. I bought my JVC late last year after the new models were announced and started shipping. By buying the current year model I was able to get a brand new unit at closeout price of 50% off from an authorized dealer. PM me for dealer details if you would like and I would be happy to share :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Looks like a fun build. I would be a little worried about the 6' depth riser. Even with space saving chairs, if you ever have tall people sitting in that 2nd row their feet will hang over the recliner. I did quite a bit of meausuring and 6'5" is really the minimum, ideally I think a 7' depth riser is more approrpriate.

It may not matter to you as much and you can just put the taller people in the front row, but you could look at just having 2 rows vs three and that would give you more room to work with. Just a thought.

The other thing to consider is for your riser and ceiling height. I ended up building one riser that was 6" tall before pad/carpet and another mini riser that my 2nd row seats sat on that was 4" before pad/carpet. I think it ended up being just under 11" when all was said and done and gave me back some headroom and is perfect for my screen size in the 2nd row (my 127" 2.35"1 screen was mounted 31" off the floor.
Thanks a lot for the the riser info. Between that and sirjaymz earlier comment, I'm going update my plans for a better second row. Any more depth and it does eat up too much of that back row, but it'd get used so infrequently I'll just remove it. That'll save me money anyway. With the back row out of the way, I'll just go a full 7' deep.

My other receommendation is to wait to buy your projector. I bought my JVC late last year after the new models were announced and started shipping. By buying the current year model I was able to get a brand new unit at closeout price of 50% off from an authorized dealer. PM me for dealer details if you would like and I would be happy to share :)
Yeah, the projector and the seating will be the last things I buy, and I'll hit you up for dealer details when the time comes. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Today was mostly a "prep" day. I finished removing the last couple of ceiling drywall panels, unloaded and hauled 130 2x4's down into my basement (the sucky part of a basement theater). I also cleaned up and organized my work space and moved a bunch of stuff I knew would get in my way. I can't start framing until my new air compressor shows up.

Anticipating keeping myself busy next week, I ordered 5 gallons of green glue. That's how much it should take to do the first layer on the subfloor above the ceiling. The subfloor process in the theater will take 26 sheets of 5/8" fire rated drywall to the tune of $260. On top of that will be $500 worth of green glue. That puts the subfloor portion of the ceiling soundproofing at over $760 on it's own. Ouch. I know I have to do it though, with the open web truss joists, the first floor acts like a drum. I need all the help I can get.

Tomorrow I'm going to start dealing with the stairs. I will have a 2x4 wall with 5/8" DGD on the theater side, and I also want the same sandwich on the outside wall to maximize sound reduction. I hate to pull out the stair carpet, trim, and drywall the builder just finished a few months ago, but I have to if I want it done right. The single layer of 1/2" drywall won't cut it. I also plan on drywalling inside wall under the stairs with DGD.

stair1.jpg

I'm also thinking I should run acoustic caulk along the crack where the drywall meets the stairs after I install the new drywall.

stair2.jpg

Also, I was doing some math and I think when this is done there will be over 9,000 pounds of drywall for this thing. Wow! :eek:

My soundproofed drywall estimate:
  • 13 sheets x2 in ceiling on subfloor
  • 12 sheets x2 for ceiling
  • 9 sheets x2 outside room
  • 30 sheets x2 inside room
Total = 128 sheets of drywall at 71 lbs a piece

That's 9088 pounds... not counting backer boxes for atmos or HVAC baffle treatments. That also means I'll need 6 of the 5 gallon buckets of green glue.

And I have to carry it all down there. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Tomorrow I'm going to start dealing with the stairs. I will have a 2x4 wall with 5/8" DGD on the theater side, and I also want the same sandwich on the outside wall to maximize sound reduction. I hate to pull out the stair carpet, trim, and drywall the builder just finished a few months ago, but I have to if I want it done right. The single layer of 1/2" drywall won't cut it. I also plan on drywalling inside wall under the stairs with DGD.
I thought about this idea this morning after looking closer at everything. The stairs have 1/2" wide baseboard trim on them that cannot be removed without removing the carpet, and the carpet will get ruined if I pull it. I realized that adding another sheet of 1/2" drywall over the existing 1/2" drywall in the stairs would bring it flush with the base board trim. Then I could add another 5/8" with GG over that and the baseboard trim, covering it all up. I could just put new trim on the outside of the last layer to finish it. It would save a ton of work, and the cost is a bit less since I wouldn't have to have the stairway carpet replaced. So it'll be 1/2" + 1/2" + GG + 5/8", which should be even a little thicker than I was planning. Maybe GG in-between the 1/2" also? So that's my new plan... and that also means I don't have to deal with it for quite a while. :)
 

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With the stair way wall open you can apply damped mass to the back side of the the stairwell wall. Basically green glue and drywall. Cut strips and screw into position, be careful of the screw length and you only need a few to hold the drywall into position until the GG cures. We did this on the Beast Unleashed project. we added two layers of 5/8 to the back of the existing 1/2.
 

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Big, of the three methods you mentioned, which one do you think is most effective, and would you treat both HVAC lines the same way? Thanks!
I think I would consider replacing the round duct with an insulated flex duct. UNLESS you are already concerned about the study getting enough cool air. Flex duct offers more resistance and will reduce the airflow a bit.

The big square trunk I would slap on some self adhesive sound deadening panels and surround with insulation, the best solution would be to take it down and have it lined with Linacoustic but that may be too pricey. Lining would be in addition to the damped mass and surrounding with insulation.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I think I would consider replacing the round duct with an insulated flex duct. UNLESS you are already concerned about the study getting enough cool air. Flex duct offers more resistance and will reduce the airflow a bit.

The big square trunk I would slap on some self adhesive sound deadening panels and surround with insulation, the best solution would be to take it down and have it lined with Linacoustic but that may be too pricey. Lining would be in addition to the damped mass and surrounding with insulation.
The whole ceiling will get stuffed with insulation, including around all of the duct work. I think your suggestion of replacing the round duct with flex duct sounds like a good plan, and I have no ventilation concerns with the study since it has french doors open to the main living space 24x7. Damping the big trunk with adhesive deadening panels is easy enough, but I'll have to think about lining it. I'm not sure how I'd go about that. I'm trying to find a good local HVAC guy for helping me sort out what needs to happen to get 6-10 exchanges per hour in the room, so when I get one lined up I'll ask him how much lining it would be. I'm assuming lining all 4 interior walls of the square truck would also reduce air flow some, but I think that trunk is pretty big for it's current duty. I'm sure it's intended to serve HVAC to the downstairs family room, gym, and 4th bedroom that the builder had in his plans. Thanks for the tips Big!

I spent the morning sealing up a bunch of cracks in the stairs with OSI Quad Max silicone. Also, my new air compressor finally showed up after lunch, so I got the first wall up — even if it's a small one. It's just held in place with a nail on each side because I need to get some insulation and back-side sheetrock in a few spots that will be inaccessible once it's permanently mounted. This wall is faced 2x4's to save me 4" of room width (combined the opposite wall). I picked the straightest 2x4s out of my pile for these two walls. All theater framing will be spaced 24 on center.

first_wall.jpg

To get through the 3.5" width of the faced 2x4 base plate, I'll use 1/4" x 5" Tapcon screws to get deep enough into the concrete floor, combined construction adhesive. The top will be mounted with the RSIC-DC04 in the pic below, through the 1/2" plywood into the stud. The theater wall is spaced 1/2" away from the wall behind it, so the plywood lines up the top of the wall for the clip.

first_clip.jpg

I'm expecting to make quite a bit of framing progress tomorrow now that I have all the stuff I need.
 

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I moved the stairwell wall I made out of the way and sealed up the gaps along the stairwell. Next week I'll drywall the rest of the inside of the stairs with DGD layers. My first 5 gallon bucket of green glue showed up today, so once the area under the stairs is drywalled and sealed, I'll apply a layer of 5/8 drywall and GG to the back side of the stair riser area based on Big's suggestion. Once all that's done, I can finally get that wall in place permanently.

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I did manage to get a few sections of other walls up. I got the whole back wall and corner of the theater framed. I also made sure to stuff insulation back in the corner before the framing boxed it out.

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Blocking for the the RSIC-DC04 brackets has been pretty easy with the trusses.

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Here is my plan for the windows. I'm going to run 1/2" plywood up to about 1/2" from the window framing. Then I'll do DGD over the plywood to finish around it the window, but it won't touch the window frame. I'll stop the drywall it just shy of the window lip, and then seal the gap, so the inside will be finished. I'm pretty sure I'm drywalling right over the back corner window anyway, but I wanted to leave the option open for a plug or access panel. I plan to not drywall over the lobby one for sure. Once all the trim is done, I'm thinking of making a hinged plug for the lobby window that will be will blend in when closed.

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I'm taking the weekend off and going to the cabin, so I won't get back to work on the theater until Monday.
 

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I'm always the one raining on parades but I have mentioned this in a number of other threads. The standards for emergency egress in finished basements has evolved over the years and local jurisdictions have changed as they see fit. It used to be if you had a bedroom in the basement it had to have a window of sufficient size, no more than 44 inches off the floor leading to window well with a ladder. Or, a door in a walkout basement. The standards have evolved and now my county requires an exit if you finish any portion of the basement, doesn't have to be a bedroom. I saw one addtional window in your pictures and it is hard to say how high off the floor the sill sits. While you might not be doing this project with a permit and inspections, if it is not up to code, it may come back to bite you when you get ready to sell.

the window in your future workshop, that sill looks over 44 inches but not sure. They can cut your foundation and put in a new window if it is over 44.

 

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I'm always the one raining on parades but I have mentioned this in a number of other threads. The standards for emergency egress in finished basements has evolved over the years and local jurisdictions have changed as they see fit. It used to be if you had a bedroom in the basement it had to have a window of sufficient size, no more than 44 inches off the floor leading to window well with a ladder. Or, a door in a walkout basement. The standards have evolved and now my county requires an exit if you finish any portion of the basement, doesn't have to be a bedroom. I saw one addtional window in your pictures and it is hard to say how high off the floor the sill sits. While you might not be doing this project with a permit and inspections, if it is not up to code, it may come back to bite you when you get ready to sell.

the window in your future workshop, that sill looks over 44 inches but not sure. They can cut your foundation and put in a new window if it is over 44.
Thanks for the heads up on that. Luckily the house is fully up to code as they just finished building it a coupe of months ago. It's 40" high and has a ladder. It does look higher in the photo you referenced. I think the iPhone distortion makes it look that way. On the builders plans the workshop was supposed to be a bedroom.

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