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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All -


I have been reading this board for a while and I am now trying to design a HT Room for my house. I have a couple of questions that I would like to ask now and I am sure some more design questions later.


First how does having a HT Room affect resale value of a house. Has anyone looked into this. Should I care?


Second my house is currently the standard beige/off white/tan type of color scheme which I really like. I understand that a HT room should be designed with mostly dark colors (grey celing, dark fabric walls etc...). For those of you that have done this, is teh radical interior change a big deal or have most of you simply carried over the design/color scheme from the rest of your house.


Thanks for you input.

Jeff
 

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This proposition probably fits under the same trade-offs between a dedicated Theatre and a multi-purpose room. One of the benefits of a dedicated Theatre is that it's usually separated from the rest of the house enough that decorating scheme does not have to match anything else.


In our case, the Theatre is in one end of the basement, but we also decided to have some fun in decorating the rest of the basement area (the Lounge) in a completely different theme than anywhere else in the house.


As far as resale value goes, I doubt anyone here will actually get their dollar's worth. And unless your house has a lot of other premium features, it's probably not going to have the same ROI (return on investment) as, say, a kitchen remodel.


But, I think you'll find that people here don't really care! I know I don't. We don't plan on moving for another 15-20 years, at least. And when it comes time to sell, it's possible that the Theatre may only tip the scales in our favor when compared to an otherwise similar house. That's OK. I will have enjoyed it.
 

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There's been alot of speculation on this and, I suspect, there will be more. In the end, it will be the whole house that sells, not the theater.


From personal experience, I recently sold my house in Atlanta. In our particular neighborhood (homes in the 5-8 years old range) homes were not selling very quickly. By and large, we were competing with several new home subdivisions.


We put the house on the market, at an asking price above anything ever asked in our neighborhood (y'all gotta try, right?). The house sold in six days for full asking pricing with no contingencies and two offers behind that one. In each case, the theater was a major negotiating point. No, they didn't want it out ... they were negotiating on just how much more they'd be willing to pay if I left my equipment behind.


Your results may vary. (On the other hand, I had, I am told, a very good designer. :) )
 

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From what I have been told I think you did :)
 

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So, Dennis, did they buy the equipment too??


I've wondered about this, and read other threads on it. I figure, if I can sell the equipment, then I can upgrade when I move...but I'm doubting I could get anyone to pay what it's worth.


At any rate, my biggest question is, how do you make sure the real estate agents represent the room properly, so the potential buyer knows what a great thing they're getting? I know you can tell your own agent, but what about when another agent shows the house?
 

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I posted a sign in the theater explaining the operations of the lights, features, acoustics (BIG DEAL was sound isolation work) and what was, and was not included in the listed price.


No. Didn't sell the equipment. When they realized the used value of the equipment and speakers (like an HD recorder) exceeded $75K I think they figured they could equipment the theater from circuit city for somewhat less.
 

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Oh Cain!!!!!!!!!!!!


Back to the original thread. My house to is standard beige/off white/tan type of color scheme upstairs. But the basement Lobby, Theater and an exercise room are very different. Mostly I get wide eyed WOWs!! and I did not go as far as many have.


Jim Mc

"The Stargate"

http://albums.photopoint.com/j/Album...&sp=1&vt=vpall
 

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The ROI that you will receive for you theater investment is an element of many factors. If your home is within a moderate (middle to upper middle class income) price range (which is difficult to identify because it is so regionally dependent), you can expect zero return on your investment. Why? Basically because the market for homes in this price range is generally not expecting, nor interested in a dedicated home theater. I sold my first house last year, sub $200,000 in Columbus, OH. Reasonably hot real estate market. Every person who visited the house (over 100 lookers) was absolutely floored by the movie theater. I did not include equipment in the price of the house. So, when the discussion inevitably turned to how much it would cost to buy my equipment so the new owner could enjoy the theater, they immediately backed away as I told them $12,000.


A theater room has zero value to a non-HT person, if they don't get the equipment with it as well. For most of us, the value of the equipment far exceeds the money we have put in to our theater construction (unless of course you are speaking about one deservedly famous "Titanic" movie theater, where the curtains probably cost more than my amplifiers ;-) And, most of us are unwillingly to part with all, or even any of our equipment when we are moving to a new home. I was smart enough to have thought ahead, and my theater construction was modular. So, the room worked very well for someone who wanted to just put an RPTV down there.


Don't forget, even if a non-HT person does agree to buy your gear, you might get roped in to several months of technical support (happened to a friend of mine).


In higher end new homes, there is almost an unwritten expectation of a theater or multi-media room being part of the home. For buyers who expect this type of amenity, you can expect a return on investment, and the numbers that I have heard range anywhere from 30% to 50% return. To give you a perspective, that means that your theoretical return on investment for a home movie theater is less than a full kitchen remodel (80% to 85%), but more than a deck or patio addition (25% to 30%).


In short, you can expect a return on investment for your theater if the market you are in has an interest in such an amenity. HT enthusiasts are a substantial minority in the market, even though we think everyone should be one (think of how low the prices on 3-chip DLPs would be if everyone started buying them). Don't build a theater with a return in mind, build what you love and enjoy it.
 

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Thanks, Dennis and Richard. I had kind of thought of the sign idea, wasn't sure if anyone would stop to read it.


Richard, I absolutely built my home theatre with purely my own selfish desires in mind...I was just thinking ahead, since I do plan to get a bigger house sometime (with a deeper basement!). I will have no qualms about taking the equipment and writing off the rest of it, because I enjoyed it in the meantime and that's all that matters. I've already figured that with my equipment closet in the back that can turn into a large walk-in closet, and the soundproofing, what couple with kids wouldn't love to turn that into their bedroom?? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow!!! Thanks for all the replies. My house is on a concrete slab and does not have a basement (or a second floor) which is why I asked about the interior stuff. I have decided not to worry about it :) I will try and make match the best I can. If you go to my web site I have posted my plans to date for the future HT Room. It is currently a totally unused space (supposed to be the front parlor and formal dining room). The part with the XXX's is currently open to the front hallway. Any suggestions on the layout would be welcome to.


Once again thanks!!

Jeff
 

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In our area, I have noticed that most of the new construction of homes in the 'Luxury' category are now including some kind of home theater or media room. That would be homes in the 300K price range and up ('starter' homes around here run about $130K, and a typical family home would be maybe $200K).


Some of these new homes come complete with electronics. We just looked a show home a while ago that had a Runco CRT and motorized screen in a small dedicated home theater with 2-tier seating, and this house was $275K complete.


So I think you're going to see these things getting more and more popular, and as they become more of a regular feature in a home, the value of having one will increase.


On the other hand, maybe they'll never be anything but a niche product, and in that case it can actually hurt the value of the house because it takes up floor space in an unusable way. Houses around here with swimming pools or hot tubs actually lose their value now, because very few people in Canada want a backyard pool or an 8-person hot tub. So they have to pay to have them filled in or have the tub removed. The same thing could happen with a theater - the buyer would just want to tear it out and replace it with a couple of bedrooms for kids or something.


If I were selling a house with a theater, I'd offer to sell with electronics, then I'd go out and buy a cheaper receiver and speakers, and maybe something like an LT-150 or a used CRT and replace the good stuff with it. You don't NEED to spend 20K on theater electronics, or even 12K. Minimal electronics for a sale shouldn't cost you more than 4K or so. Of course, if the prospective buyers demo your equipment, you have to make it clear to them that you'll replace it with something else.
 

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Interesting idea, Cain! Replace your good stuff with functional yet cheaper stuff, as long as you're clear on that with the buyer. I will have to keep that one in mind.
 

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Our house is also on a slab with no 2nd story. We were going to add an 18 x 24 addition to the rear. After talking with a builder, because we are planning on a new home in few years, we decided the money for the addition would be do better invested than in a theater room. We finally decided on turning the family room into the theater room. We ripped down the walls....rewired....reinsulated..etc. Our house like yours was done in neutral colors. Theater room colors? Maroon carpet, Indigo walls and black velvet curtains, accoustic panels..etc. Clashes with the rest of the house badly...The whole time we were doing it, my fiance just kept saying "I cant beleive we're doing this". Now, it both of our favorite room. She can't wait to show it off when her friends come over. My advice is do whats makes you happy. Resale value? I figure about a week to tear out the seating deck and paint the whole room back to "normal" colors.......
 

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Very interesting thread, Eq_. Maybe it’ll get started again.


I don’t know how things are in TX, but here in the Northeast, I’m seeing a lot more homes for sale that have “theater†or more usually “multi-media room†listed as an attraction. I don’t think you can get more money just because of the theater, but you can definitely get a return on the investment if it’s part of a finished basement. I know that doesn’t apply in your case, but if it’s not too radical, your addition could be valued as, well, an addition, I guess. As for finishes, I finished all areas in my basement [except the wine cellar] with Dover white walls, speckled beige/cream WTW carpet, and white lay-in acoustical tiles. The scheme was chosen to help brighten the downstairs area. The theater has double Quiet Zone insulation, weather-tight doors, and near-total ambient light control - otherwise it’s the same. It’s strictly my opinion, but the light-colored walls/ceiling/floors don’t bother at all when watching movies. I will be re-painting this winter, but not because the walls are white [I was experimenting with different colors for a home-made projection screen and now have patches of various shades of white and gray along the wall]. I will probably go to darker shade because I want a little variety, but I won’t be going flat black or battleship gray, nor will I be replacing the ceiling or carpet. My advice is to decorate in a scheme that suits your lifestyle and tastes, but choose carefully, because if you don’t like it when you’re done it could cost quite a bit to redo it. Sound like you’ve got a handle on it. Good luck.
 

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I have to agree that a home theater doesn't have to have dark walls. I have a living room/home theater with off-white walls, and I actually think the bright walls improve the black level in the projected image. The blacks on screen look blacker because your eye is comparing them to the white walls.


It helps to have a relatively high index screen like the Draper M2500 that I have. That keeps light from spilling out onto the walls.


Probably a good way to think of resale value is that the HT will be worth the value of a regular room, minus whatever it costs to convert it back to a regular room.


-Tom
 

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The best way to sell a home with a dedicated Home Theater room is to have an "Open House" and have some demo material playing while prospective buyers come through. That usually at least get's the husband sold. And when he's comparing your home to others he has seen, he will always be drawn back to the HT room! Works like a charm.;)
 

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I built my home theater knowing that I may build a new home in a year or two and would want to take the equipment with me.


I darkened the walls to an almond color instead of white. I built all of the important/expensive equipement into the room so they could easily be removed later on in case I don't sell it with the house. Liike mentioned earlier in this thread, I intend to replace the good stuff with less expensive equipment. A novice won't know the difference between a $3000 receiver and a $200 receiver.


All of my $70 PCS/Smartlinc X10 switches would be replaced with less expensive $12 x10 switches. I've already bought a less expensive ($20) remote control that can operate the x10 lights instead of having to give up my Pronto Pro with the home.


The stage is removable. The drop down screen can be pulled out of the custom soffit by removing about 10 screws. The projecter can be removed from the ceiling and replaced with a ceiling fan that was previously there.


Because it doubles as a living room, this was especially important.


I think the home theater can be a key selling point in a home when competing with other homes in the area such as the case of Dennis earlier in the thread. Or at least work as a bargaining chip or your trump card.


Even in my next home I plan to put 10 theater seats in a dedicated room - these will be removable. I'll leave them if the price is right.
 

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Theaters will not add value.


A re-done kitchen or added master suite adds value.


The theater would only add value if the right buyer has a serendipitous feeling while walking through your home. Emphasis on the right buyer!


Make sure the theater doesn't look like a do it yourself job or you'll probably repulse the perspective buyer and have him wondering if all else in the house is similarly constructed.


I can't imagine a CRT or a hushbox hanging from a ceiling exciting even the most curious of buyers, let alone his wife.


Jeff
 

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I would like to add in regards to the color issue....I think if you go with dark colored walls...also go with a similar ceiling. Lots are posting that they don't mind the white walls etc. I painted my walls dark. Carpet is also dark. Ceiling was left white to guarantee me a spot in bed not on the couch. The ceiling drives both of us nuts now and we are working on Dark Ceiling panels for the room. The white ceiling never bothered either of us when we had the theater in the living room (off white walls, and a light green carpet) but does now that everything else is dark.
 
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