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I'm planning on having my basement professionally finished. In my basement will be an office, a spare bedroom, possibly a bathroom, and a large living space that will have a bar a play area and a HT. I have most of the equipment, I just need a projector and maybe a new pre/pro with HDMI switching.


My question is where do I start? Does anybody have any articles to recommend?

Here is a list of questions I would like to have answered:

1. What kind of insulation should I use? I'm looking for something sound absorbing (I think?). My basement is below ground in Michigan.


2. If I'm mounting a projector to the ceiling, I will need a power outlet installed up there. How to a figure out where to put up the mount before the basment is even finished.


3. I need to know what's the best option for wiring my speakers? I'm guessing I will have to run in wall wiring.


Any advice would be appreciated!
 

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I just started my project two weeks ago, and have been researching on this site for a couple of years. The best way to learn, is take the time and search these forums. Read all the build threads. The nice thing about the forums versus articles is that you will get a great deal of differing opinons. You just have to determine what sounds best for you and your situation.


There is an amazing amount of experience and eduction right here... (not me the forums)
 

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As Mike mentioned, your best bet is to read. I read threads in this forum for 6 months before I even started drawing my plans.
 

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Start reading. I did my basement last year. Had little time to do what I did but pulled it off. No room for a real full blown HT with pj and all. But it came out nice just the same.


And think long and hard about where you place outlets, any cat5 and coax outlets. Go down there with a pad of paper and think. And ask allot of what ifs to yourself. Think about what will make your room easier to use or any future tech that you may want to add.


And your electrical panel, they had to replace mine with a bigger cabinet. And think about whole house surge protection too. I had it installed this past summer, as a lightning strike took out my whole house generator and some other items.


When I did our basement I also added a 12 zone whole house audio system (htd.com), as we had the basement open and were able to run all of the cat5 and speaker cables to the upstairs easily. I had the contractor build a dedicated network audio room to hold all of my audio and network gear. We went through 6,000 feet of cat5e throughout the house and another 1500 feet of speaker cable.


You might want to think of running cat5 and or coax throughout the house seeing as all will be open. Me and my son in law did all of the work running the cable to the upstairs. It really was not that difficult, and it is nice having hard wired network capabilities in every room upstairs and downstairs along with sound in every room. But definitely not a one man job. We worked a few hours a day and had it pretty much wrapped up in under two weeks. That is running all of the cable and installing 12 room controllers and 18 speakers inside and 6 outside. I am still tinkering around with it all, as it is relaxing in a way.


We found all of the tools we needed at Lowes and and here, http://www.techtoolsupply.com/


These guys are over in Plymouth, close to Haggerty road. Great guys to work with and worth a look at in regards to your HT project if you are close by. They were the only guys I could find locally for supplies that had low pricing and in stock items. I could buy what I needed on their website and send the wife by after work to make the pick up.


Well, good luck with your project, I hope you get the answers you are looking for. Allot of good guys here with more knowledge than I will ever have regarding this stuff.


Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by james138 /forum/post/15586082


1. What kind of insulation should I use? I'm looking for something sound absorbing (I think?). My basement is below ground in Michigan.


2. If I'm mounting a projector to the ceiling, I will need a power outlet installed up there. How to a figure out where to put up the mount before the basement is even finished.


3. I need to know what's the best option for wiring my speakers? I'm guessing I will have to run in wall wiring.

There isn't an insulation made that will contain the sound produced in a home theater. Use the cheap pink fluffy fiberglass insulation it will help mitigate you being able to hear conversations in the basement upstairs. If you plan on watching an action movie while the kids or the wife are trying to sleep you need to do some research on soundproofing and a good place too start is reading the articles at www.soundproofingcompany.com .


In preparation for a projector you need to provide additional blocking in the ceiling, an electrical outlet, and at a minimum a run of HDMI cable for the video signal. Best practice is to run two conduits one for electrical and one for the signal that can later be modified as needed to the final destination once you pick your projector. In other words if your projector is likely to be somewhere between 12 and 18 ft you run the conduit to all locations along that path. later you can cut holes in the ceiling reach up and cut the conduits as required and bring the various wires and cables to the desired location. The holes that you cut get filled with old work electrical boxes and covered with the outlet and a bulk cable cover plate. For a quick estimate of the correct distance you can got to ProjectorPeople see the link at the top of this page. For each projector they have an interactive calculator of mounting distance and image size. It is different for each projector.


Yes speaker wire is best run in the walls after framing and before drywall. In fact all your theater wiring should occur after framing and before drywall including the conduits for the projector.
 

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"specialty" insulation marketed for sound absorption in addition to R value can get real expensive. i recently finished about 1,000 sq. ft. of basement and ended up using standard pink insulation, but the real thick stuff, in the ceiling bays before the drywall went up -- R30C. anything else for me was cost prohibitive (as was 2 layers of drywall with those brackets to decouple). btw, it's a lot of fun hanging insulation above your head---now i know why my carpenter said he'd charge me 2 arms and a leg if i had him do it. not sure how helpful wii be in an accoustical sense (though can't hurt), but primary interest was being able to play loud downstairs while kids are sleeping upstairs.


when running the speaker wire after framing and before drywall, take your time and consider the different possibilities. maybe run a couple of wire runs for where the sub might end up. there's lots of stuff to learn as you go, including how to (er, not to) notch, bore holes through, etc. the floor joists above you as you run your wire. running conduit is def a great option (though in the end was too expensive and too much of a pain for me). make sure you have any fridges, appliances, etc. on dedicated circuits. lights on dimmers need to be on their own circuit too (keep your audio stuff separate)
 
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