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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My new house has about 1700 sq. ft. of partially framed, unfinished basement and with winter around the corner (and reading this forum for years), I'm giving serious thought to putting in a home theater.


I'm not even into the planning phase at this point, if that gives you any idea of how early this is. However, I've got my eye on a room that would be ideal as it's 17.5' long by 11.5' wide by 8.5' ceiling height - all unfinished. Kind of small, admittedly, but I don't think its wise with regards to resale to take either of the two larger spaces for a dedicated theater room - though I may have to consider that if these dimensions aren't favorable.


So with a space this small, I'm looking for any links to threads with guys who've done theaters in this size so I can get a feel for what it would feel like finished. Is it too cramped? What screen sizes they're using, etc...


I'd also like to do 120-130" screen because I've never said "Man, if only this screen we're smaller" but I've never had a projector so I'm unsure if its even possible with the throw length I'd be looking at.


Other than that, my wishlist would consist of 5 Berkline or similar seats in some configuration with the back row on a riser, an AT screen on a false wall so I can get the screen size I want and move the speakers behind the screen, and maybe a bar top behind the third row but that might be pushing it.


Thanks for the assistance, in advance. I know I have much to learn but I felt this was an acceptable time to ask questions around basic "30K foot" ideas so I hope you don't mind.
 

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I'm no expert by any stretch, I'm just starting my first home theater room. But the room is a little small, especially for the screen size you are mentioning.


My room is 13.5' x 19.5' and I'm trying to squeeze 2 rows of seats in, which is problematic, the back row might have to be regular movie theater style seats (the door to my room is at the back of the room), with my front rows viewing distance being 12' away from the screen. After trying out a few different screen sizes, 110" is our absolute max. I wanted to go bigger to start with, but it causes my wife and I eye strain. We're probably going to go with a 106" screen. I've found that the screen width times 1.5 rule of thumb for how far to have the first rows viewing distance to be a good rule of thumb. So with a 110" screen, thats about 96" width, or 8 feet times 1.5 is 12 feet. And this is pushing it for us, which is why the slight step down to 106".


If you are only going to have one row of seats and can sit slightly further back you could do the 120-130" screen. But your dimension of 11.5' wide, you would have to do an AT screen (acoustically transparent), meaning you make the screen out 2-3' from the wall and put the speakers behind the screen, meaning you lose 2-3' in your room as well.


My advice, read as much as possible about everything before you start planning. I have had to replan about 50 times as I learn about things.
 

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Working backwards if you want Berklines on a back row riser that requires a minimum of 6 1/2 ft of room depth. That leaves 11 ft for the screen and first row seating, No room for a false wall AT design, the screen must go on the wall. You could go with in-walls behind the screen.


Having the back row against the back wall pretty much sucks for 7.1


One vote for a bigger space
 

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two votes for a bigger space, It seems like your heart is in the right place but the space ain't the right place
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC
Working backwards if you want Berklines on a back row riser that requires a minimum of 6 1/2 ft of room depth. That leaves 11 ft for the screen and first row seating, No room for a false wall AT design, the screen must go on the wall. You could go with in-walls behind the screen.


Having the back row against the back wall pretty much sucks for 7.1


One vote for a bigger space
Man, I really want this size to work because the room is perfect in every way EXCEPT the width. Two of the walls are exterior concrete so I'd only have to decouple the other two walls and the ceiling... most affordable path to sound proofing as the only other space I'd consider only has one exterior wall and sits directly under the living room.


I brought my work projector into the smaller room we're talking about over the weekend to get an idea of screen size and seating distance and at 100" the image seemed perfectly sized for sitting about eight feet back from the screen. Seems like this seating distance thing is somewhat subjective? What if I drop my screen size to 110" and go with two rows of two chairs. I saw a couple narrow Berkline models (086? 088? Can't remember exactly) yesterday that would save me some space on the width.


And to whoever asked about my name, I've had the name since 2005 and chose it for no other reason than it literally seemed like every other name was taken... and that was six years ago! I have no idea what you are talking about and if my name has since been adopted for a vulgar use, it wasn't my intention and since I don't post here that often (mostly just read) I don't care to change it. Make me a recommendation!
 

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You can work with that size room.... just pick appropriately sized furniture. The devil is in the details. I strongly suggest a CAD layout of the room and start layering in all the pieces. I spent a year planning mine (10.5 w x 19.5 l x 8 h) and I was able to get seating for 9 and could not be happier. Would I have liked a bigger room - of course, but this one turned out even better than I expected. The point is, you can make almost any space work as long as you work through the details, i.e., screen size, seating distances, ventilation, light control, etc. Don't start with a screen size - let the layout of the room determine what will work. JMHO
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by budk
You can work with that size room.... just pick appropriately sized furniture. The devil is in the details. I strongly suggest a CAD layout of the room and start layering in all the pieces. I spent a year planning mine (10.5 w x 19.5 l x 8 h) and I was able to get seating for 9 and could not be happier. Would I have liked a bigger room - of course, but this one turned out even better than I expected. The point is, you can make almost any space work as long as you work through the details, i.e., screen size, seating distances, ventilation, light control, etc. Don't start with a screen size - let the layout of the room determine what will work. JMHO
Wow. This is almost EXACTLY what I have envisioned in my room. After years of seeing every theater imaginable I stumbled upon this guy's theater and was hooked on the fabric walls and black screen wall.


EDIT: The image was blowing out the forum, so here's a link instead.
http://carltonbale.com/wp-content/up...ar_bright1.jpg


I'm going to read your theater thread now and may hit you up in PM with some questions, if you don't mind. My hope has been renewed!
 

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No problem, glad to help. I do not have an extensive thread for my build, but I read everything that I could on here for years. A lot of ideas I had at first got changed either because they had to or because I found something different the more I read and layed out my design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by budk /forum/post/20858145


No problem, glad to help. I do not have an extensive thread for my build, but I read everything that I could on here for years. A lot of ideas I had at first got changed either because they had to or because I found something different the more I read and layed out my design.

I really appreciate it. After looking at your thread and half of the long "fabric frames" thread, I do have a couple questions right off the bat.


1. Did you finish the drywall behind the fabric frames? Seems like you could save a bundle by just mudding it and moving on. Plus, if you ever needed to cut the drywall later for access, no biggie. Which leads me to the next question...


2. What is the consensus on the easiest/cost effective way to mount the frames. Seems like back in '04, liquid nails was the way and then a few other methods have been tried (track, velcro, frameless, etc). I'd like to be able to pull a panel off one at a time if possible (for cleaning, access, whatever).


3. Did you build the frames? Seems like a lot of places sell them starting around $60/panel. I haven't done the math but if you factor in your time spent building (and cleaning up afterwards!) it may be worth just buying them already built, especially with a small theater. I'm not the type that enjoys framing and drywall so the quicker I can get to the carpet and fabric wall part, the quicker I can get to the tech/gear part which I really enjoy.


Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Your theater is gorgeous and I like that you took pride in doing it as cost-effectively as possible.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinky Pinky /forum/post/20849577


I've got my eye on a room that would be ideal as it's 17.5' long by 11.5' wide by 8.5' ceiling height.


So with a space this small, I'm looking for any links to threads with guys who've done theaters in this size so I can get a feel for what it would feel like finished. Is it too cramped? What screen sizes they're using, etc...

My room is 17 x 11.5 x 8. 2 rows, 6 seats that partially recline. It sounds great.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinky Pinky /forum/post/20858358


I really appreciate it. After looking at your thread and half of the long "fabric frames" thread, I do have a couple questions right off the bat.


1. Did you finish the drywall behind the fabric frames? Seems like you could save a bundle by just mudding it and moving on. Plus, if you ever needed to cut the drywall later for access, no biggie. Which leads me to the next question...


2. What is the consensus on the easiest/cost effective way to mount the frames. Seems like back in '04, liquid nails was the way and then a few other methods have been tried (track, velcro, frameless, etc). I'd like to be able to pull a panel off one at a time if possible (for cleaning, access, whatever).


3. Did you build the frames? Seems like a lot of places sell them starting around $60/panel. I haven't done the math but if you factor in your time spent building (and cleaning up afterwards!) it may be worth just buying them already built, especially with a small theater. I'm not the type that enjoys framing and drywall so the quicker I can get to the carpet and fabric wall part, the quicker I can get to the tech/gear part which I really enjoy.


Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Your theater is gorgeous and I like that you took pride in doing it as cost-effectively as possible.

1. I did double 5/8" drywall with seems that did not overlap. The first layer of drywall, I chaulked the seams. On the second layer, I taped and mudded, one or two layers but it was by no means a "finish" job. Just enough to seal the joints and get it to hold paint. Of course, the ceiling not only got a correct tape and mud job, but I also skim coated the entire ceiling so that the flat paint would be even and not show any of the joints. I highly recommend doing all your mud work at the same time and rent a vacuum/disc sander made for the job. I built a bedroom, bath, office, family room, closet and did all the sanding by hand. I learned my lesson when I did the theater and I would never do a significant amount of mud work again without renting a porter-cable drywall sander.


2. I used the french cleat method and I cut the mating part of the cleat right into my frame. So, the cleat takes the weight and then I used velcro pieces at the bottom of the frame to hold them tight against the wall. This way, I can take them off easily if I need to.


My wife and I built every frame, 64 of them and each frame was made up of 8 individual pieces plus 1 extra piece for half of the french cleat. It's all in the look you want. I wanted mine to look very custom and no room is perfectly square. I built the frames at nomimal dimensions but before I covered them, I mounted them on the wall so that I could see where adjustments needed to be made. Then I used a jointer to fit the frames so that there was a fairly even gap between them. Take a 1/16" off here and 1/8" off there... etc. Of course, when I started covering them, I would cover one at a time and rehang it (here is where the french cleats come in handy) to see if I needed to adjust the size of the adjacent frames. The fabric added more to the size of the frames than I expected so I had more jointing to do than I thought... but it worked out great. Btw - I bought the jointer used on Craigslist and I just sold it this week for more than I paid for it. Win - Win.
 
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