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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!

Been a while since I posted here. I finished my last theater at the end of 2011, and then had to move out of the house so I didn't get to enjoy it enough. Almost four years have passed since I moved out and I recently bought a house that has the space to build another theater.

We've been living here for about six months and got a lot of other projects out of the way so I decided it was time to start the theater. I'll try to keep my posts organized as this is the second time I do this. :)

I definitely have some questions for the experts, so I hope to be able to rope them in here when the time comes. But for now, I'll lay out some of the basics.

Room dimensions: 19' x 13' x 8'
Speaker configuration - Dolby Atmos 7.2.4
Equipment so far:
  • Front speakers - Paradigm Studio 100 v5
  • Rear and side speakers - Paradigm Studio ADP-590 v5
  • Subwoofers: 2 x Velodyne Optimum 10
Equipment to decide on:
  • AV Receiver / Amp(s)
  • Ceiling Atmos speakers (x4)
  • Projector (would like 4K 3D) -- who knows maybe they will exist in a year or so?
  • Screen -- maybe Carada 120"?

Here's a very preliminary design I've done for the room in SketchUp. The wall covering have to be refined. My last theater had fabric panels covering every inch of drywall. I'm thinking of leaving some strips of drywall exposed and having fabric panels with some kind of visible frames around them this time. Still have to hammer that out.

The hole in the side wall is for the equipment rack. I'll draw that in better at some point.


I'm going to try to post lots of pics, just because I know how much fun I have following other people's threads when there are lots of pics, so I'll do the same. :)

Leaving the next post blank for completed theater pics (in two years?).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here are the pics from day 1:


The space before the destruction/construction starts.


The space from the back (screen wall)


From just inside the theater space


A bit of destruction started. The duct closest to the camera has to be relocated. It will be in the soffit at the back of the room.


Closer view of the ducts. The one of the left will stay inside the soffit that surrounds the room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Day 3 was more destruction:


A surprise I found in the ceiling... I'll have some electrical to redo... There was no cover on that junction box.


The ceiling completely ripped out and the pile of garbage loaded in trailer headed for recycling.


A view of the ceiling without drywall or furring strips.


A view from the screen wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Day 4 was ripping out all the drywall on the walls.

I'm ripping everything out because I will be doing crazy sound proofing so that the sound doesn't travel to the rest of the house. I did this in my last theater and it worked beautifully.


No more walls from the back of the theater.


A view of the lack of walls from the screen wall/front of theater.

Coming up will be the construction of the back wall (2x6 plates with staggered 2x4 studs -- unless that's not the best way to sound isolate now?). And we have some duct work to get done -- I'll hire an HVAC guy for that, and there's some plumbing to relocate.
 

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Looking forward to see your progress. You did a great job on your last theater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cool, well, I'll try to keep this interesting. :)

It'll start to get more interesting in a couple weeks... but I'm going to post as I go along, otherwise, it takes forever at the end.

We ripped out the floor today. I'm going to leave the subfloor which is basically 5/8" plywood and a furring strip lying on its side. I don't think it'll have a negative impact to sound and it does keep the floor warmer.


View from the back


View from the front

The HVAC guy came to visit today. Took measurements, ordered the part to make the 90-degree piece to re-route the square duct to the back of the room in the soffit. To fit all of the round ducts branching off from that one, we need to move some plumbing around. Plumber is coming tomorrow. I'm hoping that besides the carpet installers, that'll be the only outside work I need to hire. The rest I'll do myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here's something you don't see everyday...

I made a trip to the material recycling facility (the dump) with the drywall from the walls and some of the ripped up floor today. The fun part is that as part of my theater project, I installed a hitch on my Tesla Model S -- which isn't exactly sanctioned by Tesla, but it works extremely well and the car has so much power you can't even tell the trailer is there:



Installing the hitch wasn't exactly a walk in the park... had to take off the rear bumper and a lot of the under-body panels... but turned out beautifully.

So I have the plumber coming on Tuesday and the HVAC coming on Wednesday, so next weekend we'll build the back wall and really get this party started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Over the past few days I got a few things done (and had a few things done).

I rewired the lights in the basement which were wired very badly (using one of the junction boxes I mentioned upthread). I instead did a proper daisy-chain on the lights that will remain in the playroom and added one new one while I was at it.

I also removed the lights that were unique to the theater space. I was able to trace the electrical wire all the way back to the electrical panel, so I ripped it out completely and didn't have to bury it in the ceiling -- I'd much rather it that way.

Also the plumber came to move around the pipes that would have been in the way of the HVAC that needed relocating. I made a new access panel hole for the sprinkler system flush out valve.

Finally, the HVAC guy came yesterday and spent FIVE HOURS turning the duct 90-degrees and reconnecting all the feeds. Took longer than I had hoped and cost more than I had hoped, but as I said, that's really the only thing I'm going to contract out besides the carpet.

Here are some pics of how the room is looking now:


A shot of the duct that's been turned 90-degrees and will now fit into the soffit at the back of the room.


All of the connections that had to be made to the relocated duct. (Will be a pain to install Roxul in there)


The access panel hole I made and the new sprinkler system flush out valve.


Another shot of the relocated duct and the slot to the right where the new wall will fit.

I'm planning on starting the wall tonight and hopefully getting one layer of 5/8" drywall on the outside part of the wall (by this weekend) to close off the room while construction is underway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So I did a bunch of "cleanup" today:

- Took away some coax wires and fishing lines that were in the ceiling that weren't necessary anymore.
- Removed some furring strips that wouldn't be need
- Relocated some electrical that was no longer necessary
- Removed screws and nails left over from destruction

And... we built the wall. :)

I found some acoustic rubber tiles at the local hardware store which we cut into strips and put underneath the bottom plate of the 2x6 staggered-stud wall. It's a basic staggered-stud wall with an opening prepared for a 30"x78" acoustic door. We did 78" because right next to that door is another door which is 78" so we wanted it to be equal. If I change my mind and want to go 80", it's really just a matter of unscrewing the top plate of the door.

Here are some pictures taken in not-so-great light:


View from the front wall


Another view from the other front corner


Front outside the room -- the other 78" door is visible here. It leads under the stairs that's why it's not high.


A straight on shot from the adjacent playroom.

Tomorrow, I'll be attaching the wall with this kind of clip:


And we'll install the first layer of 5/8" drywall on the outside of the wall just to keep the construction zone from the functional part of the house.

Having the wall up helps to see the space of the theater. It's smaller than my last one, but it'll be good. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So it looks like we didn't get much done on Sunday but it wasn't a non-productive day by any means.

First of all, we had to transport the 8 sheets of 5/8" drywall which is friggin' heavy. I'd forgotten that from the last time. My girlfriend and I did the heavy lifting (three times: load onto cart at hardware store, load into trailer, unload from trailer into basement).

Then we anchored the wall to the floor joists using clips and some wood spacers to get the clips to the right height/position.

Finally, we did most of one layer of drywall on the outside of the wall:



So we need to finish this wall -- we'll do the plastering ourselves then the second layer of drywall once the door frame is installed. We ordered the door yesterday so we should have it soon. I forgot, but the plastering is something else I am going to contract out. I'm just not good enough at it.

Then I have to break down part of the right wall which will shrink a closet in the adjoining bedroom to make room for the equipment rack and wiring.

I'm taking a week off next week so I hope to get a lot done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So a week has come and gone. We got quite a bit done in the theater, including some back-end stuff so it's not really visible...

We knocked down the wall between the theater and the adjoining room. Here's a quick floor plan I drew at roomsketcher.com (very cool and easy!):


We knocked down the green wall and pushed it to where the red is (stealing space from the room's closet).


That's what it looked like when we took out the wall and the floor.


The new wall I built


The wall installed with drywall

Then we finished the first and second layers of 5/8" drywall on the outside of the new big wall:


First layer done and basic plastering just for noise


Second layer done (notice it's installed rotated 90-degrees) and professionally plastered -- the only thing I refuse to do. :)


The playroom ready for some sanding. :)

Today we ran a ton of low voltage wiring into the equipment space. There's still a few left to go -- the 2 RG6s to the subwoofers and a couple others.


Some of the LV wiring

We also ran an HVAC return to a duct leading to the furnace. It will suck air out of the (eventually sealed) cavity between those two 2x4s and there will be a grill at the base of the wall.



I also patched up the space in the floors where the old mini-walls were (in preparation for carpeting).



We also ran 6 15-amp 120V circuits to power:

1. Subwoofers
2. Projector
3/4. Equipment closet (x2)
5. Lighting
6. The new wall outlets and the outlets for reclining theater seating and various around the room

I had a ton of space in a second 200amp panel I had installed when I moved here (to be able to charge the Tesla and my girlfriend's Soul EV).

So that's pretty much our week. There are a few other things here and there, but that about sums it up.

We have to finalize our design before moving any further because we need to know where to run all the lighting circuits... Will post what we come up with when it's ready!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Not the most exciting post -- I've been working all week and with kids around it's hard to get things done. So we're focusing on getting the main basement finished before we tackle the theater, so we finished the closet, painted it nicely -- looks as good as new:




And Michele has been painting the basement all week.

The ceiling is completely done and one coat of color is on the walls. It looks great:




She'll finish the second coat of color and the moldings and we'll put the basement back together.

Then we can get back to the theater! :)

---

OK I promise not to upload portrait oriented photos anymore. Why don't they work? When I view them as just images (straight URL) they work great. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Question(s).

I want to sound-insulate the HVAC in and out. The out looks like this:



The air will be drawn up from a grill at the bottom of those two studs. I'm assuming I could line the cavity with something to stop sound from escaping out the top duct? What is the best material to use?

Also, the HVAC in looks like this:



I can easily replace that duct with whatever I want. What's the best practice now to put a sound insulated duct?

Thanks!
 

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I believe there's 2 standard options


1. Is to either make a double drywalled w/ gg duct muffler to fit inbetween the joists with minimum 6-8 feet of flex duct sandwiched inside pink fluffy inside the muffler. You would essentially make a long rectangular framed box with the flex tube inside running down the middle snaking in an S shape as you can then you stuff the rest of the inside lightly with pink fluffy. The sound waves will enter the duct muffler in the theater, pass through the flex duct and be absorbed by the loose insulation in the long run of muffler/lose energy from the DD/GG. There's also commercial duct muffler options you can just buy and slap in the joist space that do the same thing but are expensive

2. Drop the HVAC through your DD+GG shell into flex tubing inside a soffit built after the fact inside your drywalled room that runs for about 8 feet inside the soffit. The duct portion of the soffit is sealed on both ends and encased in DD+GG and stuffed with pink fluffy

I've included some kinda crappy pictures of the ones I put in my theater before I buttoned them up with drywall. I did them by gluing/screwing a 2x3 on the celing on the outer edge of the soffit, screwing long 13.5" (soffit height) strips of osb on the outside of them then screwing a 2x2 on the bottom end of the OSB 1 1/4 inch up (allowing for future double drywall thickness so that it didn't stick out from below). Then I put another 2x2 on the wall side at the same height as the one on the OSB so that I could just screw the drywall underneath the soffit to the wooden frame


Not sure if this is an option to you.

I also had some massive feed ducts for the whole house that stuck into the theater that I boxed aruond so I put duct wrap on them (kinda like dynamat but cheap stuff I found locally) to help deaden the sound, not sure if it paid off in the long run but it was pretty cheap. I can listen to movies at reference level and put my ear to the floor register in my bedroom 2 floors up and MAYBE hear a faint bit of gunfire/screaming. Comparing before I could stand by the feeds into the theater area (before I started construction) and talk into them and my wife could hear me clearly and reply to me in a normal tone 2 floors up. I was honestly SHOCKED how well it worked lol. I have 2 feeds and 1 return in my theater and I would spend the day and $100 materials of drywall/wood/gg/blood/sweat/tears to do it again
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi @sm,

Thanks for the reply!

I think I'll go with option 2. It would be easy for me to stretch the HVAC across the room and drop it into the soffit on the left side. From there I'll add some flexi-duct and pink stuff and we should be good. Oh wait, I'd need to DD+GG the soffit too? Ew... that's a lot of work. I'm wondering if maybe the expensive duct muffler would be cheaper than the two/three hours it would take to DD+GG the soffit.

Thanks though for the options, I'll consider them all!

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here's our second try at the design of the theater:

http://comforttheater.robertcotran.com/images/misc/gray-red-design.jpg

What you don't see is that the black 24" stripe under the right surround speaker is where the equipment rack will be. It might be visible -- not sure yet.

Also the gray and red are acoustic panels, the charcoal color is the color of the wall underneath. We're thinking of having the gray panels raised a bit and LED strips around the perimeter. Not sure how to draw that in Sketchup -- I don't think Sketchup can do lighting can it?

Anyway, that's what's happening now.

The basement is all painted! I'll post some pics soon.

Rob
 

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Looking Good

Hey,

Just ran through your posts. Your project is coming along nicely.

Thank you for sharing.

I look forward to seeing how it continues to go and how it finishes.
 
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