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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Long time lurker, first time poster. FINALLY building a dedicated theater room. I've had an Elite Screens EZFrame 120" CineGray screen since 2012. Originally had it setup in the living room of my old house with an Epson 8350. Moved into a new house in 2017, put the screen in my unfinished basement with the intent of building a theater down there.

* EDITED 3/26/21 to update equipment list *

2020 HT Build Budget:

$20,000 (This ended up getting cut to about $8,000)

2021 HT Build Budget:
$25,000?

Equipment (owned):
Optoma UHD50 (Purchased in 2018)
Yamaha CX-A5200 Aventage 11.2 Channel Preamplifier (Purchased in 2020)
Yamaha MX-A5200 Aventage 11 Channel Amplifier (Purchased in 2020)
Yamaha RS-V3800 7.1 Receiver (Purchased in 2006)
Yamaha NS-777 x3 (Front L/R Purchased in 2006 + Center purchased in 2021)
Yamaha NS-444 (Center, Purchased in 2006)
Yamaha NS-333 x6 (Surrounds and Rears, Purchased in 2006 + Front Wides purchased in 2021)
Yamaha NS-IW560C x6 (Ceiling, 4 purchased in 2020, 2 more in 2021)
SVS PC-4000 x2 (Subwoofers, Purchased in 2020)
Xbox One X
Row of 6 |00|00|00| Seatcraft Diamante seats with soundshakers. (Purchased in 2020)
Stewart Filmscreen 160" Balon Borderless StudioTek 130Perf G4 (Purchased in 2021)
JVC DLA-NX9 (Purchased in 2021)
Full Marty's with Eminence NSW6021-6 21" Tour Grade Subwoofer Drivers x4 (Purchased in 2021)
Behringer NX6000 Amplifier x2 (Purchased in 2021)

Equipment (planned):
150" Elite Screens Aeon AcousticPro OR 180" Stewart Filmscreen Balon Borderless StudioTek (100 or 130, not sure on gain) Perf (Depending on what is left in budget after construction)
More Seatcraft Diamante seats to create 3 rows of 5 |OO|O|OO| (Existing row of 6 will be reduced to 5, 2nd row likely to be added in 2021, 3rd row in 2022?)
Optoma UHD65LV or JVC-DLA-NX9 (Having a hard time justifying cost of the JVC, probably going to be at least 2022 before I upgrade the projector, so this may change)
More subwoofers! (TBD)


Space:
28'10"L x 23'4"W x 9'2"H
3 Walls are cement.
There is a 4" wide beam across the ceiling that is 15' from the left side of the room and 8' from the right side of the room.
There is an 8'3" long section on the left wall that is 22" narrower.
The front wall has a 5'4" wide section that is 2'3" longer.

I plan to do IB1 clips and DD+GG for the ceiling and entrance wall. For the cement walls I figure normal framing should be fine as there's nothing but dirt on the other side of them. Mineral wool insulation all around.

Screen wall will be a false wall 3' in front of the cement wall. I plan to cover it in OC703 wrapped in triple black velvet. Thinking about doing that 4' out from the screen wall on the ceiling and maybe a 1' tall stage covered in it as well.

2" Thick acoustic panels as needed, still trying to figure out how many and what size(s). Bass traps in corners.

Here's the temporary setup with my old 120" screen, just 7.1 right now:
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Here's the area I'll be building in:
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Here's (not completely accurate) blueprints I found in my home office:
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Here's a drawing of the plan I've come up with so far:
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Here's a 3D Render of what I've come up with so far:
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This is with 180" screen mocked up. Bottom edge of screen is 16" from the floor. Top edge of screen is 3.75" from the ceiling.
Riser height is 16". Front row viewing distance is about 15' 6" and 2nd row viewing distance is about 22' 6", with some flexibility to move the 2nd row a little closer or farther.

This will be a mix of DIY and having a contractor build for me. I was supposed to have a contractor start in June, but between COVID and a hail storm, nobody is available to start until September at the earliest. As you can see I need to finish clearing out the space first anyway. I've already gotten rid of a lot of stuff and moved a bunch out to the garage too.

I'm trying to put together materials cost now, and waiting on a labor quote, so I can figure out how much construction is going to eat into this years budget for this project. I still need to figure out lighting and HVAC. Originally I wanted to do a tray ceiling with can lights around the outside and LED light strips around the inner border of the recess. Now I'm thinking about ditching the can lights to avoid having to build extra boxes around them for sound control. I have some ideas for using LED light strips in crown molding, around the screen, and around the acoustic panels that I may go with instead. HVAC I'm at a complete loss on right now. :(

Open to suggestions/feedback on this. Can't wait to get it done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I zoomed my projector out where it's currently mounted, which produced a 160" image. Current viewing distance with the temporary setup is 12'. Wife liked that screen size and viewing distance, so new plan...

160" screen with bottom edge 27" from floor. 3 rows of seats. 1st riser is 12", 2nd riser is 24".
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Problem I have here is the riser height for the 3rd row puts the ceiling at just a hair under 7', so I'm worried that doing that would mean not passing an inspection.

I had the rows spaced for a 6" gap when seats are fully reclined, and 34" when they're upright. That gave me a riser height calculation of 11.8" which I rounded up to 12" and just doubled for the 3rd row riser. Not sure if that's the right approach?

I can come up with 3 options to maintain a 7' minimum ceiling height for the back row. Which would you do?

1. Low profile RSIC-1 clips instead of the IB1 (increases building cost by about $800)
2. Move rows 2 inches closer together (4" gap when fully reclined, 32" when upright)
3. Move screen 1" higher (leaves only 1 3/8" between top edge of screen and ceiling)

Options 2 and 3 both put riser height calc around 11.5", double that for a 23" 3rd row riser. Ceiling would now just be slightly over 7' for 3rd row.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
About $10k in unexpected well repairs have just cut this year's theater building budget in half. :(
Between that and storm damage in the area keeping all the local contractors busy, I'm leaning towards going full DIY now. I've estimated about $5k in materials needed so far, which is about half my remaining budget. :confused:
 

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Sorry to hear about that. It happens to all of us from time to time. I just spent 10 months out of work and close to or over 100k on renovations and a addition so i am not sure if i am going to be able to even get started on mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry to hear about that. It happens to all of us from time to time. I just spent 10 months out of work and close to or over 100k on renovations and a addition so i am not sure if i am going to be able to even get started on mine.
Yikes! Hope you're back to work now.

I'm trying to figure out how to do this in phases now. This "temporary" setup I've had in the unfinished basement has been there for almost 3 years now. The riser platforms can definitely wait, as I wasn't planning on buying the extra seating until next year anyway. I feel like just getting the walls up would be a big improvement.

On the other hand, Home Depot just sent me an 18 month 0% financing offer good through the end of the month. I can get about 90% of the materials I need there, plus they give me a 10% Military Discount. That helps stretch the budget a bit.
 

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I actually just went back to work this week. You know it was not to bad financially. With all the stimulus money and the extra 600$ a week i was still bringing in as much as i would have before. I also built a new deck and a lot of other eork around the house and got to spend a lot of time with my 6 yr old son in the last 10 months. So as much as it sucked to be laid off it has been a great experience and i could not have done everything that I have if i was working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Spent $5,430.73 and several hours of my time at Home Depot this weekend. My patience and kindness at the store paid off. I came in with a 6 page printout of my cart from their online store and asked for help since many of the items showed not available online, and they only give the military discount in store. They first told me they could only give me the discount on in-stock items, and I'd have to pay full price for anything that had to be ordered. After waiting a few hours (with a computer problem partly to blame), they not only hooked me up with a discount on the portion of my list that had to be ordered, but hooked me up with 24 months no interest on the entire purchase! All that on top of 30% off bulk pricing on most of the building supplies too.

Shown here is what I could fit in my truck to bring home, plus a table saw that's hiding behind the insulation. All the lumber, drywall, another 22 bags of insulation, a drywall lift, carpet, and solid core doors will be delivered. This should be about 90% of what I need to build the theater.
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I also got the space cleared out and almost ready to begin construction. The shelves are more work to dismantle than I thought. I was hoping after unscrewing the top and middle shelf from the wall, I could just move it to the other side of the basement. Turns out the 2x4's for the bottom shelf are also screwed into the wall, and the only way to get at those screws is to take the entire thing apart. Slow going because my wife wants me to re-assemble it on the other side of the basement, so I can't just rip it out. I've got the plywood for the top shelf all removed, so that's a start at least.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Looking forward to this build. Did you decide what you're going to do to maintain the ceiling height?

More importantly, do you have a good playlist, audiobooks and podcasts lined up for the build? :)
Going for option 2, building the risers at 11.5" and 23". Keeping Option 3 as a backup if I don't like that.

Amazon Music Unlimited has me covered. ;)

Builds going to be great, nice ride too 😊
Thanks! She really hauls, we fit 9 of those big insulation bags in the back of that van. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Worst case if you build your risers, and still need a bit more height, you can always put a BOSS platform under the seats, even after your build is done. :)
That's a great idea! I hadn't thought about just increasing the height of the seats independent of the platform. I chose the Sound Shaker option when I ordered the Seatcraft Diamente seats that we have right now (which will be the front row), just to try it out. The family really likes them. Since I wasn't planning on ordering 2nd and 3rd row seats until spring of 2021, plenty of time to factor BOSS into the design. I may just do that instead of the Sound Shakers for those rows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Had a drywaller stop by the other day to look at things... Showed him printouts from soundproofingcompany.com for what I wanted done. Told him about the IB1 clips and the green glue that I had on order... He went on about how he didn't think 5/8" was necessary (wanted to just do 1/2"), and how he used to do resilient channel for commercial jobs (hotels), etc. He called and spoke to my wife today and gave her a $7,200 quote! Also tried to tell her we need to use more expensive clips than the IB1's I ordered, and they wouldn't use the 4x12 drywall I already bought from Home Depot that is scheduled to be delivered on Saturday. Wants to use 4.5x12, which is what I actually wanted, but couldn't find. So $7,200 to have drywall delivered to the basement by his supplier, then have him and his crew hang, tape, and mud.

No thanks! Definitely pushes me to DIY. I had a drywall lift arrive today, along with the IB1 clips, green glue, and carpet tiles. Lumber, drywall, and the rest of the insulation is scheduled to be delivered on Saturday. Saving myself almost $6,000 on the drywall alone if I do it myself.
 

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Thanks! She really hauls, we fit 9 of those big insulation bags in the back of that van. ;)
I was going to ask about these. I have a ford ranger and ordered 17 bags of safe and sound. Not sure I’m going to get all of them in one trip based on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I was going to ask about these. I have a ford ranger and ordered 17 bags of safe and sound. Not sure I’m going to get all of them in one trip based on this.
I really underestimated the size of them. I had to make 2 trips to get 15. I took 6 in the 6' bed of my Dodge Ram 1500, and had to tie them down with a cargo net. I also had a table saw, hat channel, and 3 x 4.5 gal jugs of drywall mud. Filled the van with the other 9 bags. I think you can get a pallet with 16 on it. If the pallet would fit in the back of your Ranger, you could probably do it in 1 trip as long as the pallet was wrapped.
 

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I was going to ask about these. I have a ford ranger and ordered 17 bags of safe and sound. Not sure I’m going to get all of them in one trip based on this.
Well if you do I want to see the picture cause you will have gotten really creative LOL

FWIW I think I got 7 in the box and two in the back seat of my Canyon but I'm 22 miles of hwy from HD so didn't get too carried away.
 

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Had a drywaller stop by the other day to look at things... Showed him printouts from soundproofingcompany.com for what I wanted done. Told him about the IB1 clips and the green glue that I had on order... He went on about how he didn't think 5/8" was necessary (wanted to just do 1/2"), and how he used to do resilient channel for commercial jobs (hotels), etc. He called and spoke to my wife today and gave her a $7,200 quote! Also tried to tell her we need to use more expensive clips than the IB1's I ordered, and they wouldn't use the 4x12 drywall I already bought from Home Depot that is scheduled to be delivered on Saturday. Wants to use 4.5x12, which is what I actually wanted, but couldn't find. So $7,200 to have drywall delivered to the basement by his supplier, then have him and his crew hang, tape, and mud.

No thanks! Definitely pushes me to DIY. I had a drywall lift arrive today, along with the IB1 clips, green glue, and carpet tiles. Lumber, drywall, and the rest of the insulation is scheduled to be delivered on Saturday. Saving myself almost $6,000 on the drywall alone if I do it myself.
if you have the time and patience you will get a better hob out of it. I went the same route. This way you know the clips and screws used are the right length, installed correctly, etc. I bet money that the 1/2” he wanted to use was the lightweight stuff that is always used, but not what you want for a home theater where mass is desired.
I did however hang everything, but had a guy come knock out the mud and taping one evening. That is something that is an art, and I didn’t want to tackle that.
Good luck and ask if you have any questions.

PS if you don’t have a Sheetrock screwgun, it is worth the investment, or borrowing/renting. Just like the lift, it will pay off.
 
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