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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before I start, let me just state the typical "long time lurker that has gained invaluable information from this forum, yada yada". Although I haven't been an active poster (before now), I've spent countless hours reading, and look forward to (hopefully) having some constructive content to add.


Now with that said, my wife and I just closed on a lot, and are in the beginning stages of design with our architect. We're really trying to be socially responsible with this house, which means we're shooting for a max of 2,500 square feet, and nearly every room in the house will need to server multiple purposes. The only exception we're making to that rule is the dedicated theater, which will be used approximately 50/50 for movies and TV.


In our last house we had a room that was originally intended for use as a spare bedroom, but was converted for use as a modest dedicated theater. Since we have the chance to design everything about this house to optimize theater performance, I want to make sure we take advantage of as many design and construction ideas as possible.


So far in the (many) hours of reading I've done, most of the build threads I've seen have dealt with conversion or delayed build-out of a space that was preexisting, and while they cover every step of the process, I've yet to read anything that has to do with a ground up build. There are a few exceptions to that ( this one , and this one specifically]), but it seems like both of those individuals lost interest in maintaining their threads here.


I'm specifically interested in whether it's worthwhile to look at using an alternative construction method, such as ICF, for the area that will house the theater. In the other threads I've read people are either using a stick built room, a basement with formed concrete walls, or a combination of both. Would we benefit from a sound isolation and/or quality standpoint by ensuring the walls of the theater are solid ICF or concrete over stick?


Obviously we're early on in the process, and I do plan on consulting an expert like Dennis or bpape once we get a little further along in the process. In the meantime though I'm curious if there is any input on this.


Here's what we know so far:
  • Theater room will likely be in the neighborhood of 16'x20' (I would like it to be slightly larger, but our square footage goal doesn't allow for that).
  • Use will be roughly 50/50 movies & TV for our family and a few friends.
  • Target for seating is two rows of three, although we may look at two love seats for the rear row to increase seating capacity to seven.
  • Theater will be located in walkout basement along with garage, mudroom and mechanical (for HVAC, Network and A/V).


We're really excited to have the opportunity to design a space from the ground up specifically for use as a theater, and I want to make sure we maximize its potential by building as much into the "core" as possible.


Ultimately this thread will transition into a build log, covering the process from design to completion for anyone else that finds themselves in the same spot, but we're not planning on breaking ground until April at the earliest, so for now it will be heavily focused on the planning stage.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by skicrave /forum/post/19636331



Ultimately this thread will transition into a build log, covering the process from design to completion for anyone else that finds themselves in the same spot, but we're not planning on breaking ground until April at the earliest, so for now it will be heavily focused on the planning stage.

That means now is exactly the time to hire someone like Dennis to guide you through the design work. It's going to take a few months to pull the plans together. I'd start now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for stopping by Michael, and for your feedback. I've read your thread a couple of times, as it's very similar in dimensions to the room we will most likely end up with.


I will be contacting Dennis to get the ball rolling as soon as possible, but we need another week or so with our architect to nail down how the project will be oriented on the site, which will ultimately dictate exactly what our dimensions are. I don't want to make more work for Dennis by changing things in the middle, so I want to get that firmed up first.


My big question is where or not we should do anything atypical from a construction process simply because it will perform better for theater use. We still haven't ruled out ICF from an efficiency and integrity standpoint, but if I knew they provided a much better starting point for the theater than 2x4 or 2x6 I would make sure we use them.


If ultimately it doesn't matter what the outside envelope of the building is because the theater walls will be decoupled, then we'll more than likely just do a traditionally build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the response Dennis. I'm going to contact you privately to see if we can set something up for exploration to get the ball rolling, even though we don't have all of the specifics of the house finalized yet.
 
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