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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello-


I'm in Northern VA near DC, and am going to embark (for the second time) on getting my basement theater finished.


I have the gerneral design largely done. I'll do all the A/V work myself, and am capable of doing some of the construction, however I need a consultant for some things, such as: how to handle closing off some windows, making sure construction methods are up to code, pulling permits, etc...


There are a number of "Basement Finishers" folks that advertise around here, but rather than picking blindly I thought I'd fish here for any recommendations.


Thanks.
 

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As I'm sure you know, there's a big difference between a basement finisher ($$) and a theater designer ($$$$).


I decided to go with a basement finisher. I did all the AV myself. Based on your post it sounds like you could do the same. You may want to check resources in the Chevy Chase area now that the moratorium has gone into effect:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...081002155.html


My electric was done by KT Electric in Gaithersburg:

http://ktelectricinc.com/about.htm
 

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Hey nice to see another nova resident on here.


I am doing mine all myself with some consultation from some of the pros. I guess I am too stubborn to pay a pro to do it all. I want the satisfaction of hammering some nails... LOL


There is a pro design place in manassas and I can't quite remember the name of it. Just do a search for home theater and Manassas on superpages.com and I am sure you will find it.
 

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yes you are right it is audio buys. I know they do design and custom installs. As for the quality of their work I can not say for sure.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulb3rd
Hey nice to see another nova resident on here.
There are lots of good HT enthusiasts in the area.


Make sure you keep an eye on this forum too:
Is there a DC area home theater club?


I've met about 60-70 local HT forum members in the last couple of years.


Good luck finding a local designer/contractor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the responses... I guess I am really after somebody who is more of a quality basement finisher that might understand a few of the nuances of having projection/surround systems as part of the overall room design, rather then a dedicated theatre designer. I'm not going for ultra high-end.


I need somebody to help go over the design, do _some_ of the work, let me bounce questions off of, etc...


I appreciate the responses. Other then the Audio Buys folks (who sound more like dedicated theatre people), are there any pother specific recommendations anybody has?


For what it's worth, I'm in Ashburn between Leesburg and Sterling.
 

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Steve,


NoVa here too, Fairfax. Just a note of caution; I beleive Audio Buys will do the design, and possibly the installation of the electronics, but they are going out source ALL the rest (plumbing, electrical, framing, etc). They will be a GC (general contractor). and you'll get hammered on the price.


If you want to bounce ideas then this forum is an excellent spot. Additionally, lots of folks here have either done the work themselves or, if not, probably have a contact for someone who can. Be your own GC.


When I went looking for someone to hang my DW I called quite a number of contractors. All said that they either do the "whole" job (plumbing, framing, elec, etc) or none of it. You see, the "basement finishers" - or any such outfit, need a Start Date and End Date so they can effectively manage their schedules and crews. It will be a struggle to find a team that will, say, do the framing for you, then wait until you do the plumbing, then come back and do the electrical, wait for you to do the insulation....... - you get the idea.


Post here or drop me a note - happy to help.


Dan
 

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Steve,


I live in Springfielde, so welcome another from a fellow NOVA'er!


Ok, the above posts are right on. Most contractors want ALL the work. Just a sin of the business you have to deal with.


But, being a guy who did home refinishing to pay for college, I can fairly say that internal wall framing isn't that bad. If you have ANY questions & you want to bounce them off of me, please feel free to PM me. Once I get into my new home (new old, just fixing it up now while living with the folks), I will be able to even come possibly give you some tips & such.


Good luck & keep us posted!


Bill Criss
 

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Brunswick, MD here.

Good luck finding someone that won’t want your left nut in this neck of the woods.

Picked my equipment up at audio buys.

They have a web site where you can check out some of their work but they sub it all out

Except the equipment install.

Nothing on their web site impressed me.

Good deals on equipment though.
 

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Yeah I havent been able to find anyone that will design/install w/o purchasing the equipment from them. I can see the point in that, but at the same time they stick it to you price wise so it doesnt make much sense to buy from them. Personally Im in the same dilemma...I have a contractor buddy finishing my basement and Ive gotten several proposals for design/equip/install in the HT, but could probably save a couple K doing the install myself, but w/o the certainty that it is done correctly....anyone have a viewpoint on this this? I figure piece of mind is worth a good amount when you are talking about high end products like Dwin, Triad, Denon, etc...
 

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We've done several jobs in the DC area; but, that's rather beside the point.


A true design company will design the room without expectation of selling and installing the equipment ... you'll pay for the designs and some will be pleased that you'll continue the relationship purchasing gear and additional services.


By and large, firms that insist upon selling/installing the equipment are not truly design firms and the resultant audio/video quality can vary very widely.


That being said; however, firms that do provide true design services will provide designs which should not leave you guessing about what goes where nor what kind of wire needs to be run from point a to point b. So if you're comfortable with your building/installation skills, find a firm specializing in design (none in the DC/VA/MD area) and get a set of plans you can work from.
 

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I am in the far reaches of the DC area... Martinsburg WV. I used Dennis as my designer. I am a DIY kind of guy and loved working with him to finalize a set of blueprints that I can work from that itemizes exactly what goes where and have the phone / e-mail support to continue to ask questions critical to my build. Dennis is not the only one on the block that offers these services but he is the one I trusted my money and build out with.


I wish I could dump more time into making the blue prints a reality. It has been over a year and I am just now to the electrical!!!!! Damn business travel (and lazy).


It is quite nice being able to pull out the plans and the measuring tape and know exactly where to drill holes for the sconce electrical feed etc!!!


To answer your other concern. A good basement builder / finisher should be able to work with the plans that Dennis delivers. I am betting that holds true for others offering this service but Dennis is the only one I can vouch for having seen the results of the collaboration. I would caution you to show the contractor of choice the plans and be very upfront that this is EXACTLY what you are paying him to deliver and will accept NO deviations with out running them by Dennis for his nod of approval. If you pay to have the best you can get, you had better be delivered the best you can get!!!!


Good luck.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Martin
I wish I could dump more time into making the blue prints a reality. It has been over a year and I am just now to the electrical!!!!! Damn business travel (and lazy).
Sure... business travel... that's the excuse? ;)


scaesare, I'd suggest you take Eric's route, as you'll be assured of getting a solid design that you can spend plenty of time turning into a reality. Then, like how Eric will, invite over the neighborhood and have a grand opening party! :D
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mntneer
Sure... business travel... that's the excuse? ;)


scaesare, I'd suggest you take Eric's route, as you'll be assured of getting a solid design that you can spend plenty of time turning into a reality. Then, like how Eric will, invite over the neighborhood and have a grand opening party! :D


Your invited Trip... Everyone that hanges drywall and deals with Green Glue between will have a special place in my heart and theater... ;)


Slow going. Was in Cinci early this week and will be in LIttle Rock and Ft. Myers next. This is getting old!!!!



I highly recommend working with someone that know what they are talking about. I have had a previous HT room and loved how it looked, most did. I am picky and HATED how it sounded in all but a two of the 6 seats. I have very high hopes for this room. I have never heard anything but praise for Dennis, his designes, and his support thorugh out the process.


I would advise that you e-mail or PM him to get an idea of what is offered and at what price point. I am aware that he offers a wide range of services at a WIDE range of prices. I am not a DE employee and do not keep up with his pricing. Best place to go is the source. I am sure he (or any of the others that perform this type of service) will get right back to you.


I do a bunch of business in Atlanta and am eager to get by his shop / show room one of these days soon. It would be great to meet the man in person.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Martin
Your invited Trip... Everyone that hanges drywall and deals with Green Glue between will have a special place in my heart and theater... ;)


Slow going. Was in Cinci early this week and will be in LIttle Rock and Ft. Myers next. This is getting old!!!!
I have visions of Clark Griswald after cutting down his X-mas tree, sticky hands. ;)


Did you find an electrician you like?


And here I thought having to the UK for the week of the 4th of July was bad, can't imagine having to travel that much.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mntneer
can't imagine having to travel that much.
Ahhh but this is how I support my lavish lifestyle :rolleyes: .....


Clark G. has nothing on me when it comes to Green Glue!!! No electrician yet, started the work myself and will have someone com in and check my work (probably make some corrections) and tie things together in a new sub pannel. Time will tell.


I am on track to grand opening in late 2008 (I hope) :eek:
 
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