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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have recently purchased a town home with my fiancee and I plan on turning about 1/3 of the unfinished basement into a dedicated theater room with the help of this forum. Yesterday the wife-to-be voiced her first concerns about the pending project. Her issue was with resale value of the home. I told her that if anything, it would add to the value of the home, but if not, I could easily gut the room and the new owners (4-7 years down the line) would use this space for much needed storage. I also plan on finishing the other third of the basement to be used as a family room (laminate bamboo flooring, Masonite wainscoting, can lighting...) We will make settlement in July and both of us would probably not both move in until March, so this gives me plenty of time to do work down there with out us having to feel like we are living in a construction zone. Does anyone have experience with either buying or selling a home with a dedicated theater area in it? Thanks for your help,

Mike
 

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A lot of times what it comes down to is that if you aren't taking up "otherwise usable space", then it's not a detriment. (bedroom, dining room, living room, etc.) If the house offers up all the usual room selections AND the HT to boot, it may be a draw for some, but for others it'll just be another room.


Just don't fool yourself into thinking you're going to vastly increase the value of your home with the addition of an HT. Any value increase you'd see would most likely be equivalent to whatever you'd see for finishing any other part of your basement.


Personally we had a multi-purpose media area in our basement in our last house, and when the prospective buyers saw that, it sealed the deal. If she's concerned with resale, consider going a multi-purpose route rather than a dedicated room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Basebent bob: Thnaks for the links. As usual with the info in this forum, I am learning a lot!.


Mr. Squid: Currently the basement is unfinished. I was planning on putting down pergo or some other similar product then placing carpet over it. I may go the riser route for the stadium seating look (I currently have one where I live). I would like to do a stage area with a recessed screen with access to the equipment hidden behind one of the sides of the procenum (sp?) and access to the home electrical pannel behind the other. I was planning on documenting the build on this web page for kicks. If I do a riser and a stage, it will be made with the intent to fully remove it to make better use of the space for potential future buyers who are not as into/are not willing to pay a little extra for the dedicated room.


Thanks for the imput so far

Mike
 

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what mrquid said ;)


it's a "temporary" living space and townhouse so if money is an issue (it usually is) i would scale down plans on a dedicated theater (stage, sconces, pillars, etc). A multi-purpose media area would be a smarter investment of time and dollars. Most townhouse buyers are younger and don't want a dedicated theater.... it's not their lifestyle.


But ultimately a smart "basement" layout, regardless of your use, will improve resale (assuming the rest of the TH is in good shape). Just try to make a floor plan with good flow and good use of space. That is the most crucial part of the value you could add.


good luck.
 

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Multi purpose media rooms generally improve resale value. They are the best of both worlds.
 

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If you are worried about resale value, then design a multipurpose media room. Don't spend too much on acoustic treatments or other things you would use in a dedicated home theater. Always keep in mind people may just want to use it for a family room.


Don't build a stage. Don't put in curtains, columns, or other things that make the room specialed for home theater use. You can can do things that won't show like use double-drywall or extra insulation inside the walls.


If you make the room really dark that makes it unattractive for most people. If there are windows, don't permamently cover them. Instead use some type of removable panels, shutters, shades, curtains, etc. to cover the windows.


Don't expect to increase the value of your house by the full cost of your materials and labor. Not many people share the home theater passion.
 

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I'm with settopguy, just make sure the room isn't too specialized, or make sure you can convert it to a general space later on with minimal cost.


In general, finished basement sq feet is worth about 1/2 per sq foot than it's upstairs value. So if the going rate per sq foot in your area is $100, than adding a 300sq foot room to the basement should raise the value of your house by 300 X ($100X50%) or $15000.


I finished 650 of basement on my house and sold the house at 2 years old for about $20000-$25000 more than I paid for it. When it comes to the theatre specifics, it more boils down to buyer appeal. Personally, I'd finish the whole basement for the resale value improvements (which is what I did in my house forementioned).
 

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There are a lot of references to threads that posed the question "How much did you spend on your home theater?" I've searched and haven't been able to find any of those polls/discussions. - Can someone point me to any of those threads?
 

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I made mine in a townhouse..and I am pleased with it. I kinda used it as a practice room and did the best I could with it. When I sell I plan on pretty much gutting it..although my screen will have to stay cuz I don't think I will be able to carry it around the corner at my stairs. It could be fairly easily converted into a bedroom, but since there are no windows or anything it can't legally, so it'll probably have to act as a storage room.


I don't expect this to increase my property value. but I really don't think it will hurt either.
 

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Expect little in return and probably some decline in value.


If you are worried about resale as it is impacted by a dedicated theater....I would stay away. Taking up valuable square footage for such a frivolous purpose will turn off the majority of buyers. This hobby is not for everyone and many have different wants or needs for a basement.


If you have to have one, build it so it is easy to break down prior to sale of the home.


If you are worried about it now, you probably are not going to stay in the townhouse long. If you are planning on staying over a few years then go for it! If you really want to save a buck, then don't get married! :)


My impressions of a dedicated theater are that it detracts from value or at best causes no degradation in value. Particularly, if the house is small and the theater is taking up valuable space, a potential extra bedroom, office, etc..However, it may add value if you have a glut of space and it doesn't look like a 'Do it Yourself' job...


I have a professionally designed, built, treated, decorated, and equipped theater. It is not taking away from valuable space in the house but feel that it adds little value to my house (despite a large budget). Except little in return but do not forget about the intrinsic value....a dedicated theater is certainly more fun than a carpeted basement.
 

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Jeff and a few others make an excellent point.


This is exactly why 4 out of 5 basement projects I've done have an open media room plan as opposed to a closed dedicated HT; asuming they even have anything like this at all. As soon as you start to talk about the dedicated room; most people get the chills since even they aren't sure they like dedicating 300 sq ft to a room just for movies a few times a week. Then when they think resale on top of this, they get outright cold feet (and rightfully so). You have to have space and money to burn (or an addiction :) before the math starts to make sense.


The open plan media room with invisible equipment is the king of resale. First, it has massive wow-factor when automated. When not in use as a 'theater', it doens't even look like one. If the owners do not even want the theater capability, you can take the equipment with you and they can use it for something else wth zero modification.


Like said above, it is the absolute best of both worlds. If you are really concerned about resale value this is the way to go.


- Rhino
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I want to thank everyone for their advice. I have decided to scrap the all out DE inspired design and make it into a "media room" with a brubor carpet and oak wainscotting. I have yet to deside on the color of the walls however. I will forgo the stage and make my riser removable. I am planning on using a grafik eye system with 3 or 4 lighting modes. When we move I could clear all of my equipment and the screen so the future owners could do with the room what they choose.

I will probably start a thread detailing my construction of the space on here for you all to see.

Thanks again

Mike
 

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I tried for the best of both worlds. I have a pair of solid core 36" doors linking my dedicated room to an open space living area with a fireplace etc. When I am entertaining, I can open the doors creating a single large area. This is not ideal for soundproofing but it is a pretty good compromise. I just like the light control and sound benefits of having a dedicated room. My basement development was 900 sq. ft. so I also had room for a bedroom, bathroom and living area so my 250 sq. ft. theater did not steal from the other functions of the basement. Personally, every person who has ever been to my house has been very impressed and several of my neighbours and friends are currently building their basements with dedicated rooms after seeing my fairly modest setup. I can't imagine that it will detract from re-sale in my area where almost everyone has at least a monstrous RPTV to find a home for.
 

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I just put my townhouse on the market. The realtor was assessing my place and I warned him about the basement. As he was going down the stairs he said not to worry as he'd seen it all before. That was when I turned on the rope lights running down the stairs. He said, "I've never seen THAT before!"


Once he rounded the corner and saw my 'lobby area' and theater he was speechless. He turned to me and shook my hand. He then sat in my theater room and asked if I coupld play a bit of a movie. He loved it.


He told me to try to always have a movie running when people are looking at the place. Although he doesn't think it will get me any extra money for the townhouse, it certainly is a selling feature.


I will be sad to say goodbye to my theater. I'm sure I will make a bigger and better one once we find a house, but I'm a bit disappointed I didn't have a lot of time to enjoy the first one.
 

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I installed a dedicated home theater in my last house in an unfinished section of the basement. It sold my house. Three buyers got in a bidding war and I sold the house for more than I was asking. I think you hurt resale value when you convert normal living space (like a bedroom or family room), but think you're much safer in an unfinished basement.
 

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I converted my basement with a dedicated theater and billiards room. Its becoming very popular in the area I live (north Atlanta). The house has only been on the market 3 weeks, and is advertised with the option of keeping the theater (listing price), or a reduced price if I pack the equipment up (riser/inwalls stay). We received two offers yesterday which we will probably turn down (terms), however both offers expressly wanted the theater included. In fact, I have received about a dozen phone calls from realtors asking who built my theater and what's the number. They are a little suprised when I tell them all work was done by yours truly.


At minimum, the theater should help sell my home as it differentiates it from others in this price range.


Ben
 

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it depends on many factors, the are you live in (value of the property and surrounding houses), the house (size/# rooms), what kind of theatre (theemed or not/ dedicated or not).....
 
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