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Discussion Starter #1
Background
My wife and I are building a modest house in one of those cookie-cutter subdivisions with a massive builder, after shopping resales all over the Naperville/Aurora/Plainfield area. After moving to Chicago from Detroit metro 2 years back, sticker shock for both property values and property taxes hit us rather hard.

While the location we picked increases my commute time 100%, I really feel I’m getting a lot more house vs. the options in the resale market. I also get a brand new “clean slate” as it were, without worries about fixing anything upon moving in.

With that, hopefully we’ll be closing on the final build of this in early July.


That means that I’ll be using the moving truck for a few trips to Home Depot to start my project as soon as possible. I’ve been dreaming about having a true home theater since I was 16.

Here’s a basic idea of the basement room I’ll have, taken from another model with the same layout as mine. Luckily I was able to have the sump moved completely out of the room.


Immediately you’ll notice significant supply ductwork that the builder cannot do anything about. Darn!

I was able to snap a picture of the basement layout, but I could not get an actual copy from the builder. Strange. I circled the room I’ll be using in red.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This allowed me to play around with SketchUp and learn a bunch about it, and here’s a rough idea of what I have to work with – about 18x13.


Soffit(s) – unfortunately the supplies to the upstairs run down the left side of my room, making a 100” x 12” soffit a necessity. Good Lord, that’s a lot of intrusion, and would make a symmetrical soffit ridiculous, as shown. So I’m wrestling with either making a considerably smaller complimentary soffit of 12x12”, or have none at all.


I plan on utilizing standard stud framing about the 3 concrete walls, and staggered stud for the entrance wall. Double drywall and the standard soundproofing tricks I’ve learned about reading here for the last few years will be utilized. I want to complete it for functionality first before starting with major interior design implementation.

I have but a rough idea of what the design will entail; lots of cedar, and the Sherwin-Williams color Iron Ore. I’ve always loved cedar wood, and the iron is more a nod toward what large majority of the remainder of the basement will entail – a gym focused on strength and powerlifting. That is where the idea to call it the CedarIron Cinema came from.

Finally, I do realize this will become a major time sink. However, the sense of urgency is high in getting the functionality of the room completed before December. Why December? I’ve noticed a remarkable trend with many of these builds; infants being born. Looks like we’ll be in that same boat!

For now, the clock is ticking until close. Cannot get here soon enough!
 

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What's your seating requirement? You could rotate the theater 180 and have a single row of 4 that would have very good audio imaging. Then you could use the duct soffit as a detail of your stage.

It'll defnitely work the way you have it laid out, but it makes the ductwork a PITA. What's your ceiling height?

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I had not considered the 180 degree rotation, but I will now, thank you!

Ceiling height is standard ~8', but we are both very short people. :)

@deewan's setup is one of my inspirations, given his room is very similar in size. I'd like a twin loveseat setup for the main, and a decent bar with stools/chairs behind. We both enjoy eating while watching our shows, and then retiring to the comfortable main seats will be a treat.

I also like the ATS setup idea. My eyes are in the DIYSG's Fusion 8s for LCR, and probably a twin Stonehenge for the LFE I've only been able to dream about. I've lived in apartments, condos, or townhouses all my adult life, so the audio for this will be the biggest thing I'm looking forward to.
 

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Great looking plans. I am honored that my theater is serving as some inspiration for your room. I am subscribed and looking forward to following along with your build!

BTW - I was in the Naperville/Aurora area yesterday and today helping out with some HT gear suggestions and selling some gear. Just got home.
 

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+1 for Tim's suggestion of rotating the room ninety degrees.

Do you have your speakers? If not, then I'd look into a shallow baffle wall
for the front wall. I'd eat up about 8" of room depth but allow for a DIY
acoustically transparent screen.


My "go to" design for a room like yours is the HVAC gets framed in and
becomes a design detail. An AT screen disguises some of the HVAC depth.
Fabric walls all around, can hide in wall surround speakers and acoustical
treatments. The sump pump could be hidden by putting the seating on a shallow
riser, and the riser could have some flex to it, for tactile feedback. A gasketed hatch
would provide sump pump access. The lower piping would need to be rebuilt.


The av rack could go right outside the entry door, and you also could build in a
substantial IB sub in that side wall depth by the furnace.


I also am a fan of giving the "black cave" treatment to smaller rooms, and then bringing
some WOW factor by zoned lighting with a lighting controller, and soffiting. My latest
project is a digital movie poster light box (using a 42" hdtv) for outside the room. All to
add some bling to a performance driven "cave".
bling to a performance driven "cave"
 

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What's your seating requirement? You could rotate the theater 180 and have a single row of 4 that would have very good audio imaging. Then you could use the duct soffit as a detail of your stage.

It'll defnitely work the way you have it laid out, but it makes the ductwork a PITA. What's your ceiling height?

Tim
If you did rotate the room, less the baffle wall you'd have ~13 feet of depth.

If you wanted a bar behind a single row of seats your viewing distance would be 9' at most, which would put your screen width (not diagonal) at about 108".

If you're good with that I would plot the viewing angle in sketchup and see if it meets the recommended angle.

Did you have an absolute minimum size screen? Are you planning 16:9 or 2.35:1?

Tim
 

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You could explore some higher design options that could turn the room's
flaws into strengths. Such as that deep front soffit could be acoustically
treated to deal with first reflections off the ceiling.


(And being a D-Box owner, dealing with the sump pump, would mean
embedding the D-Box platform in the riser, if that were my space.)


That depth created by the furnace could be put to work in many ways. And
with the luxury of room width means you could pull the end wall off the basement
wall and then embed DIY subs in the deeper wall depth.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks all. Nothing is in stone yet as I'm not even moved into the place yet.

The sump is in another room; builders were nice enough to omit it entirely from my room per my request.

I have yet to purchase anything as far as equipment, save for my Yammy receiver which may be upgraded later, and a Crown XLS1500. I have no absolute size requirements yet for the screen. I do have my eyes on the Fusion 8's, and would love to support Erich with this labor of love, but again nothing is set in stone.

The very first thing I'm doing will be adding double drywall/Green Glue in between the floor joists. The model home basement I posted above did not have nails poking through the subfloor, so I'm really hoping mine won't either. I'll also be adding Dynamat or something of the like to the sheet metal portions of the duct before the creation of the soffit.

You guys have my head spinning now thinking about the options. :) Love it!
 

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Nice to have the sump pump elsewhere. :)


The front most HAVC could be rebuilt to a wider/shallower profile and
the soffting become a two step affair. Something I did in my narrow room,
to get symmetrical soffits. You also might be able to reroute that front
HVAC over the entry, through the rear soffit, and up into the joist cavity.


So maybe there's nothing the builder will do for you, but that's doesn't mean
nothing can be done...


If the single row, rotated room has merit for you, then you might want to check out:
http://www.artinstall.ru/en/


I also like this room as a single row option, less the light colored side walls. No side soffits but
still has some lighting pop to add to a performance driven style of room.


You might also want to research "backer boxes" for any recessed lighting in the 10" joist area.
 

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When do you close on the house. I hope we can meet at my GTG meet. I can tell you all the mistakes I made lol. Your room is pretty close to the size of mine which is narrow in the front like mine maybe you can see what would work by seeing it in person. What subs have you thought of for your room.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We have an official closing date of June 25th now; today we stopped at the build and introduced ourselves to our new neighbors. Pretty excited!

For subs I'm leaning toward a duo of Stonehenge enclosures with either SI-18s or UM-18s. I may also experiment with various little 8s I have built up a collection of over the years.

Sadly as I mentioned in the GTG thread, I'll be heading out of town for the weekend right after we close. I'd like to be able to at least drop off some building supplies at the house before we depart, but it could be a challenge. Also difficult as I don't own a truck!

Immediately after we move in I'll get to enjoy my current 7.1 setup so much more on the main floor. Reason being is we'll no longer be sharing walls with neighbors (townhome), and I've never really been able to apply some liberal force the the volume knob. That still won't prevent me from working on my dedicated room, however.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I had my pre-drywall meeting today. I have to say I'm a bit perturbed.


This is my actual basement room; think I got royally screwed with this duct.


72" inches from the wall to the front edge of the far duct. My gosh!


At least I'm able to confirm one good thing about my floorboards:


So at this point it does kinda bode toward rotating my initial plan 90 degrees. I'm sure gonna have fun building soffits for this one. Would I be looking for a short-throw projector then?
 

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Looks like that portion of the duct is only serving two returns (supplies?). You could drop those two lines below the joists, elbow over towards the furnace and connect closer (or on the other side) of the furnace.

Good thing is that it's all round pipe; you can probably pick up all the pieces you need from HD or Lowes.

You'll be soffiting that all anyway (I assume).

Then just whack off that piece of the trunk.

Tim
 

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Like Tim says, that section of ductwork can be reworked. The end cap could be carefully removed, and then reinstalled
when you cut back that trunk.
 

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For duct work call T.R miller out here in plainfield he can make any piece for you they have a sheet metal fab shop that one guy works in the rest are techs and installers. I went through them for my basement for the third furnace. They are reasonable in prices to.
 

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This is my actual basement room; think I got royally screwed with this duct.

been there man - feel your pain - I am going to end up spending as much to move ducts as I am to build my theater.

For duct work call T.R miller out here in plainfield he can make any piece for you they have a sheet metal fab shop that one guy works in the rest are techs and installers. I went through them for my basement for the third furnace. They are reasonable in prices to.
will they drive out to NWI? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just bought some of this B-Stock for pretty much half price! One of those sorta impulse buys, but sorta not as I've been eyeing it for months as a deadener for the duct.


Granted it's another item I'll have to move once we close, but at the price I cannot complain.

Thanks @eng-399, I'll give those guys a call once things get settled!

While I still have another 7 weeks or so, I can continue to dream and learn. The Theater for Hobbits build caught my eye a while back and intrigues me. Perhaps I won't use the entire space for the theater, and have more basement for other man-cave things. Hmmm... The accountant in me also likes the idea of lower build costs, which would leave more for meathead and/or gearhead toys in the future.
 

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been there man - feel your pain - I am going to end up spending as much to move ducts as I am to build my theater.



will they drive out to NWI? :)
I'm sure they will I'll grab there phone number and pm you later with it . Mike
 
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