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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So for the last 2 months, the wife and I have been on a quest to find a new home home for our growing family. We have been through ~ 25 homes and between suitable school district, privacy, lot size, distance to schools, noise and so forth, we have found one new construction that seems to meet most requirements. Since my number one priority with the new home is a new HT in the basement, many fair candidates have been eliminated by having too narrow, too low, finished and so forth basements. I was getting ready to through in the towel and start the building process when this object popped up. Now I have come across better basements, at least two of the homes in our price range allowed for a 29'x16'x9' setup, but unfortunately they did not meet enough of the other criteria:mad:


So yesterday we went back to check out the house again and I measured the basement. When I got home a put it in Visio (apologies for my limited visio experience) and you can see the result here:

http://members.cox.net/andersa/ht-design/basement3.jpg


The area in red is from memory - I only measured the area that I was interested in for the Theater, so the Theater, Office and Guest Room have correct measurements. The ceiling is 8'-10" (from the concrete floor to the joists) and is completely unfinished. All rooms are my design. A limiting factor with the basement is the rough-in for the bsmt bathroom - its location means that there can't be a hallway from the stairs to the other areas of the basement through there, it must be through the Theater. Consequently, the Theater ends up with 5(!) doors (it's a walk-out bsmt).

The pic. includes my current JM Lab speakers and Target rack. Currently it's all in a 7 shelf high stack, but I'm thinking it splitting it into 2 racks in order to allow it to be placed below the front screen. I have no plans for cabinets/fake walls etc.


My main concerns with this basement are the following:


1. The number of doors will limit the amount of acoustic treatment and speaker placement => compromised sound

2. Theater must allow through traffic to guest room and office, i.e. it could mean some "navigation" around couches, ottomans and so forth.

3. The narrowness of the room vs. the length gives it an "airplane"/"bus" feeling.

4. Plugging in the numbers into the Guide to Home theater spreadsheet gives alarming results, which make sense given that the width is close to a multiple of the length, the only thing that "helped" significantly was to reduce the width to ~ 150", but that's a foot narrower than the space allows and would only elevate 2. I don't mind moving the wall between the Theater and Guest room, as long as I can fit the two couches in there.

5. The front row looks pretty crowded (everything is drawn to scale) and it appears it could be challenging to fit a sub or two in the future. The JM Labs are the Electra 920 and are fairly full range, but I may want to add subs sooner or later.


So any recommendations from the experts here? Should I "suck-it up" and be glad I can at least get this much theater and a happy wife that gets a house that meet most of her criteria or should I push a head, wait and see some more what comes out on the market, i.e. a home that allows for 29"x16"x9", or start the building process (which I have little interest in doing, plus we are a little crammed in existing home and building takes at least 8-10 months in this area at the moment - after you find a lot...)?
 

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I'm going to put in a few thoughts and, as anyone here ,they represent my bias. It looks like you have another door under the stairs . Put the guest room at the other end and use the other access to the theater. The office could have a portion for components etc to get them out of the theater space itself. I would personally never have the access to the guest room through the theater but to the office would be OK if it is your office .This reversal of the layout would also make the guest room have the walkout not the theater.

I can't read your numbers but if it says 26'4 that's plenty what is the width again?


Art
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Art,


thanks for the reply.

Apologies for the small numbers, I have reposted the picture with larger numbers. The length says 26'4 and the width is ~ 13 1/2 foot. That is with the "north" exterior wall already being finished, so I should only loose another 1/2 foot or so from finishing the other side.

It makes sense indeed to swap the GR with the theater. While at the site, I was concerned with a small concrete "wall", 11" deep and 7" wide that sticks out where the existing picture shows the corner of the Guest Room and the right storage room. The basement is poured concrete, no cinder blocks. The electric panel is also on the right wall in the GR. I have about 27' between the right exterior wall (GR) to the walk out sliding doors, so I should be able to get at least a length of 25' if I reverse it. I'll play with a reversed layout in Visio.


/Anders
 

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I see it as very workable...


Why not rework the corridor areas? And put a hallway on the lowest wall of your diagram. Open up the storage area at the double doors into a lobby and rework the bathroom plumbing to the stair wall. Relocate the guest room door to under the stairs at the back and add a new door to the office. Frame in the furnance room and the the second storage area will become a seasonal closet/storage. Leaves you with the double doors only in the theater room. (You mention roughed-in bathroom and I am wondering if the rest is only roughed in.) The new longish hall could even feature movie posters. You lose storage space but gain a better floorplan. Or you could skip the lobby area and rebuild the storage room across the front wall if storage is important.


I'd also consider a slightly smaller screen to make the seating positions work better.


The dimensions did catch my eye. The width being almost half the length. Personally, I'd try to give up some of the length as opposed to the width. The height is great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Tedd.

the house is new construction, so the basement is completely unfinished. I drew the bathroom where the rough-in pipes are sticking up. I agree re-locating them and the bathroom to a corner allowing for a corridor through that space would be ideal. What was the builder thinking???

But taking a jackhammer to a new concrete slab in order to re-route the pipes feels, well, a little creepy. But it's a route I'm willing to investigate further.


/Anders
 

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Anders - don't be afraid of a little demolition - your end result is all you need to be concerned with!


Get your theater space free of pipes and HVAC ducts. Do it now - much easier than waiting. In addition, it will make your theater construction easier AND cheaper.


I agree with Art. Why not put the guest room where you have the theater and make it a convertible lobby/quest room?


Here's what I'm getting at: how often do you need the guest room? You could put a murphy style bed what you have as your current screen wall. That would allow you to enter from the stairs into the lobby, not direct into the theater. then re-orient the theater the other direction, so you enter from the lobby into the back.


Good luck with your project!


Randy
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well,




no one tried to talk me out of buying the house, so we went a head and bought it today!

Thanks everyone for support and suggestions. Greatly appreciated!

By April we should be in the house and I bet I'll be back with more questions.

Thanks again,


/Anders
 
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