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Hey everyone, not sure if this is the right place but I hope so. I'm 23 y/o and my wife and I just bought our first house. We both love movies, and with would love to turn a large portion of our unfinished basement into a full-blown theater room, with an attached game room maybe. The problem is, I have no idea where to even begin. I've worked in the computer field for well over 5 years now, but theater systems are a whole new thing to me. I feel confident that I can do the installation myself (apart from the drywall and whatnot) because I've ran networking cables through walls for years - I assume there aren't many differences?


The area we have to work with is (roughly) 20' x 40'. Here are a couple of pictures:





My list of wants is:
  • Minimum six seats
  • Projector (3D?)
  • 90" screen+


I guess my question right now is, where do I begin? What should I figure out first? I would put our budget at about $10,000 for everything - is it possible?
 

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blank canvases are great to work with! draw your floor layout on paper first or use an online tool..don't have links handy, but i know they're out there..hard to tell from your pics (to me anyway) where ur thinking of building...door and windows could pose problem along with support poles...I would suggest as far away from steps as possible so people aren't coming to basement and walking thru theater area to get to another place in the basement. I've been working on mine for a couple of years since i'm doing alot of the work myself (except drywall)..i took time between stages just to make sure i had though everything out b4 drywall.. Good luck!
 

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Take a peek around the forum. Look at some other basement builds. Above all, don't rush yourself. The basement isn't going anywhere. Plan,plan,plan before you execute. There are so many elements to bring together it takes careful planning and execution. Just a partial list: HVAC, electrical, audio wiring, video wiring, data wiring, lighting, sound isolation, room treatments, bass traps,speaker placement, projector placement, calculating the correct screen size and placement, building the riser to the correct height, sheetrock, paint, trim, carpet, blah, blah, blah, blah. well, you see where I'm going here. I wish I was in your shoes. It sounds like fun!
 

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Welcome to the madness. My suggestion would be to look around at some of the builds here on the forum and read, read, read. I would visit BigMouthinDC's, BrittinVA, RPHDrew, thlogan, cuzed, IUSteves, IndyGregs, hanes, Jamis, and CJ's build threads just to name a few. If you lurk in the forum long enough you will see a lot of the players I just mentioned. Ask lots of questions, as others stated plan, plan, plan. Draw up a floor plan or two (heck use pencil and paper if you can't find a drawing program you like) post them here and we will give you plenty of suggestions.


As for running wires yes the AV side of things is very much like what you have been doing. The electrical not so much. I had a licensed electrician help me, I did the grunt work, but he made all the connections. I hired out out drywall and like I said had help with the electrical. I also did spray foam so I hired that out as well. Lots to learn, but you can do it. I pretty much had a blank slate as well, but I would have done things much differently had I built the house. Blank slate is the way to go for sure.


Good luck and we'll be watching!


Regards,


RTROSE
 

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I am in the process of rebuilding my basement and am turning it into a Media/Game room. My thread is listed someplace.


The first thing to think about is budget, and what can you do on your own, get help for.


Plumbing (it looks like you have the rough ins for a bathroom down there)

Electrical (high voltage)

Low voltage cabling (do you want to add anything upstairs, now is a good time to start thinking about those things before you put up a ceiling

Framing (can you do that, do you have the tools to do it?)



You said you can't do drywall, which is fine, it takes a skilled craftsman to do it well, and the good news is that they are so fast at it that it isn't usually too expensive and if you find a quality crew, the work is very nice.


If this is your first home, I would suggest starting with a few contractors to get bids to do what you can't, if that means everything except installing the projector, screen, and running speaker wires, that is fine. If you happen to live in the Chicago area, I have a family member that is a handyman, and the person that did most of my project (you can find the build thread somewhere)
 
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