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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

LINKS TO PROGRESS:

 

HOME THEATER PROGRESS
 

 

HOMEBREW BAR AND GAME ROOM PROGRESS
 

THEATER LAYOUT:

 



 

 

CURRENT THEATER STATUS:

 



 

 



 

 

 

 



 

 



 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CURRENT HOMEBREW BAR AND GAMEROOM STATUS:

 



 

 



 

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

After hanging out reading AVS for the past several years and discussing various topics from AV equipment to home automation, I decided to finally start building out a dedicated area in my basement. I thought this would be a great place to document my design decisions, progress and end results.


The basement is currently unfinished, but contains a lot of "stuff" that will need to be cleared out. After lots of thought, the main areas of the basement will be the following:

 
  1. Storage Area - As I mentioned, we have lots of stuff. We have been working to purge a lot of the items we don't use, but we still need a storage area to organize the clutter.
  2. Pinball Shop - I collect and restore pinball machines and old arcade games (non video). One of the biggest issues I have right now is that I don't have a dedicated area to organize my parts and work on projects.
  3. Bar Area - I have been brewing my own beer for years. My plan is to have a bar area where my friends can gather to watch TV, chat and enjoy a homebrew.
  4. Main Entertainment Area - The core of the basement will be the entertainment area. It will contain a complete audio video system to enjoy both video and music. In addition, this area will have many pinball machines, a couple of older electromechanical arcade games as well as a 14 foot long coin operated bowling alley.

While I have done lots of research, measuring and designing, I don't have a final plan yet. I am comfortable with the layout I have come up with, but still need to finalize several details within the rooms.


Below is a sketch I have made showing the general layout. While I am planning to move forward with the room layout, nothing within the rooms is finalized. Any comments/criticism is welcome. I would love to hear your opinions throughout the entire process.



 

----------------------

 

A friend has given me a kick in the pants to stop talking about this project (I have been discussing it with him for years) and get started. As a Christmas gift, he has offered to help frame the walls for the pin shop and storage area. I decided to accept his offer and get started. This will allow me to get organized and clear out the general areas.


Before I get too far, I have several items I am researching for my design (opinions definitely welcome). I will be digging through the AVS archives to try to help me with my choices.

 
  1. Electrical - I know what is required to power the pinball machines (number of outlets, circuits and locations). I have also already installed a sub panel in my wiring closet to accommodate all AV equipment. I want to make sure I don't miss any outlets for things such as the projector, in the seating riser, etc.
  2. Lighting - This is going to be tricky for me. I am trying to find the right balance of lighting for different activities. I need lighting that can be dimmed for movie viewing, but can be turned up for general TV watching (football games, etc.), but also will not cause reflection off of the playfield glass on my games. All of this needs to be balanced with visual appeal as well as sound proofing (concerned about cans in the ceiling).
  3. Sound Proofing - Lots of questions here. This is very important to me and my wife because there are many times that my kids will have there friends in the basement playing games, or I will be watching a movie while others are upstairs doing other activities. I have many questions regarding this topic.
  4. Video Devices - I know that I want to have multiple TVs in the bar area (how many?). I also want to have a projector for viewing movies and sporting events with several people. I am not sure about the screen size. Also, I had originally envisioned having a motorized screen that could be raised to reveal a large LCD/LED TV for general viewing and gaming. Now I am not sure if this is the best way to go.
  5. General Design - Lots of decisions to be made around flooring types, seating types, paint colors, wall coverings, etc.


I am trying to document as much as possible by collecting photos of ideas we like. I am also keeping a list of questions as well as tips. I am trying to draw the detailed design on the computer. I am currently using Autodesk Homestyler ( http://www.homestyler.com/home ), but it is pretty limited. Does anyone have any suggestions of a better software package (the cheaper the better
).


I am worried that if I start asking too many general questions in my build thread that they will get lost. I plan to ask general questions in the appropriate forums and post decisions here. Of course, I will probably still post some questions seeking opinions in this thread as well.
 

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Nick

If you want a multi-purpose room then I would stay away from permanent "theater" seating in the middle of the viewing area - they are about as much of a useless space hog as a pool table.


Our room is only 17ftX21Ft. Our projection screen is on one wall - it is a pull down with 120in diagonal image - plenty big for us for a true Theater in the Home visual experience. Our projector is a simple shelf mount 17 ft. across the room which is over our bar along with our rear surround speakers. Bar has five large and very comfy bar chairs - we have other more temporary seating that can be brought in if needed but most times five seats is enough for watching a movie PLUS the bar chairs can be moved around the area as needed by us/family/guests.


The above leaves a very open area - we have seven decent pins, a coin op foosball and two stand up Cougar dart machines. We also have one old baseball arcade machine - a ShortStop - and a bar top video game. All of the games fit along the walls which allows the center of the room to remain open giving the effect of a room that is much larger than it actually is and we can comfortably entertain around 30 people before the space begins to feel full or crowded.


There is plenty of wall space for memorbilia, pictures, posters and a number of commercial beer neons and a couple of custom neon signs we had made.


We have a mid-sized surround 5:1 for movie soundtracks but augmented via a mixer by our much more powerful 2 channel stereo when party music is playing.


Anywho, this is the current configuration that works perfectly for us which is commercial bar/tavern theme with theater capability when needed and my main point/suggestion is keep the space fluid without space hogging permanent theater seating - I'm in my early 60s but still prefer and well padded bar chair to some padded recliner - I haven't turned into my Grandfather yet
)

GoodLuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks imjay. I was glad to see your post. My original thought was to put a nice big comfy couch in front of the screen where the theater seats are in my drawing. This would free up more of the center of the room. The other option is to have only one row of theater seats without the riser. The issue with this is that I can probably only fit 3 theater seats wide to keep enough space on the sides.


The bar behind the seating area would provide some extra space for watching a game or some other event. Plus, there is currently a pole supporting a metal beam in the center of the room right where the bar is. I was thinking of splitting it into two poles (one on either side of the bar) and making it more decorative with the bar between the poles.


I'm still playing around with the layout, but the pins will definitely be a major priority for the basement, so I would lose some seats before losing a couple of pins
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We are going to frame the storage area and workshop tomorrow, so I had a couple of things I wanted to get done before these walls went up.


Of course, with my basement being full of "stuff", I need to clean up and get rid of a lot of junk we have been storing for years. That piece went well. I was worried that the trash collectors were going to look at my piles and keep going, but they took it all.


One of the biggest challenges during this project is going to be moving my pinball machines around so I can work. I have about 14 machines in the basement right now, plus a 14 foot coin operated bowling alley. I moved them all into one section of the basement for now, but I am going to have to consider sticking most, if not all, in storage for a while. I just hate moving them up and down the stairs.






The other thing I wanted to deal with was moving a duct that was right in the middle of the ceiling. There was no easy way to conceal it and I didn't want to lose that much height. I decided to re-route it on the other side of the main trunk so that it will end up behind the main trunk and in the storage room. In the end, I added one elbow, but reduced the length by about 3 feet. This shouldn't be an issue since the damper was closed most of the way. I will just open it a bit more and it should be fine.


Here is where the duct was originally located. it ran across the joists half way across the ceiling.





I removed the duct from just above the beam and relocated the existing elbow.






I then ran the duct to the end of the trunk and added a new elbow to turn it towards the original connecting point.








Now the ceiling is wide open


 

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Wow...That is some collection of pin machines you have. I'll have to remember to keep you in mind when it comes time to research to put one in my game room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Javatime,


Let me know. I can help you out if you decide to look for one and can maybe even help you find one local to you. A couple of these will be leaving, but a couple more will probably be moving in. I haven't decided what the final count is going to be. Part of that will be determined by space when the room is complete. I don't want it to be cluttered or packed, so I may need to eliminate a couple.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGiovas /forum/post/19719086


A friend has given me a kick in the pants to stop talking about this project (I have been discussing it with him for years) and get started. As a Christmas gift, he has offered to help frame the walls for the pin shop and storage area. I decided to accept his offer and get started. This will allow me to get organized and clear out the general areas.


Before I get too far, I have several items I am researching for my design (opinions definitely welcome). I will be digging through the AVS archives to try to help me with my choices.

  1. Electrical - I know what is required to power the pinball machines (number of outlets, circuits and locations). I have also already installed a sub panel in my wiring closet to accommodate all AV equipment. I want to make sure I don't miss any outlets for things such as the projector, in the seating riser, etc.
  2. Lighting - This is going to be tricky for me. I am trying to find the right balance of lighting for different activities. I need lighting that can be dimmed for movie viewing, but can be turned up for general TV watching (football games, etc.), but also will not cause reflection off of the playfield glass on my games. All of this needs to be balanced with visual appeal as well as sound proofing (concerned about cans in the ceiling).
  3. Sound Proofing - Lots of questions here. This is very important to me and my wife because there are many times that my kids will have there friends in the basement playing games, or I will be watching a movie while others are upstairs doing other activities. I have many questions regarding this topic.
  4. Video Devices - I know that I want to have multiple TVs in the bar area (how many?). I also want to have a projector for viewing movies and sporting events with several people. I am not sure about the screen size. Also, I had originally envisioned having a motorized screen that could be raised to reveal a large LCD/LED TV for general viewing and gaming. Now I am not sure if this is the best way to go.
  5. General Design - Lots of decisions to be made around flooring types, seating types, paint colors, wall coverings, etc.


I am trying to document as much as possible by collecting photos of ideas we like. I am also keeping a list of questions as well as tips. I am trying to draw the detailed design on the computer. I am currently using Autodesk Homestyler ( http://www.homestyler.com/home ), but it is pretty limited. Does anyone have any suggestions of a better software package (the cheaper the better
).


I am worried that if I start asking too many general questions in my build thread that they will get lost. I plan to ask general questions in the appropriate forums and post decisions here. Of course, I will probably still post some questions seeking opinions in this thread as well.

"Does anyone have any suggestions of a better software package (the cheaper the better)."


Check out Billybar's thread below. I think he used a freeware site called floorplanner and his graphics look great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Had a busy day today, but accomplished a lot. Started at 8:00am with everything laid out and ready to go.






Got started right away. Things were moving at a fast pace. Didn't really have time to stop to take pictures during the process, but we were done by 3:00. We actually got more framed than originally planned and only had two boards left.










Before I can complete the framing on the remaining walls, I need to fix a couple of cracks in the concrete walls. They don't leak, but I don't want to take any chances. I am looking into epoxy injection. Once that is done, I will finish the framing.


In the mean time, I want to start electrical/lighting in the workshop and storage areas. the sooner those are done, the sooner I can finish organizing my stuff (and get rid of the rest
).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't have anything exciting to report, but I thought I would post the good along with the bad. After framing up the freestanding walls on Thursday, and looking at the large amount of work I have ahead of me, I quickly realized that there is simply no way I can do it with all of the stuff I have in the basement. I decided that before I can move forward I need to do a major clean up.


While this is the part of the work that I probably like the least, it is still necessary. I worked all day yesterday and most of today. I filled all of our trash cans and still had a few extra filled bags to set out this week. I also re-organized and cleaned a lot of the items in the basement and storage room. I even made my first trip of the year to donate items to the Salvation Army. While it isn't complete yet, it feels much better seeing this progress.


If you look at the photos of my pinball machines in a previous post, you can't even see from one side of the basement to the other. It was packed. Now at least you can walk around
.





My kids can't wait to get there air hockey table back.





To help organize things, I found a great rack to store some of my brewing equipment in the storage area. Previously, a lot of the boxes sat on the floor stacked in a corner. This works much better.





One compromise I did make for the time being is to leave a few pinball machines up for the kids to play. We have a large Superbowl party every year with 30-35 people and there are always a handful of kids who look forward to playing pinball. I figured there is plenty to keep me busy between now and then, so they will stay up for at least that long.





At least I was able to do some research on AVS during my breaks
. Of course all that did was remind me how many decisions i have ahead of me.


Some of the research I am continuing to focus on while I continue to prepare the basement:

  1. Basement wall cracks - I spoke to a contractor friend who has a company that does all of his crack repairs for him. It sounds like the price is reasonable and they guarantee their work for life. I hope to get their number from him tomorrow.
  2. Basic sound proofing techniques - I am looking through all of the information on AVS trying to balance budget vs return. After reading about other members success paying a consultant to help with this portion of the design, I am even considering that as an option.
    1. Still looking flexible ducts such as the Casco ducts. Trying to determine cost.
    2. Looking into cost of other isolation hardware such as isolation clips.
    3. Very interested in the idea of using two layers of drywall and Green Glue. Trying to determine cost and amount required.

Tomorrow is my first day back to work after being off since December 17th. Hopefully I can stay focused and not surf AVS too much.
 

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Not sure if you have to, and some of the experts can chime in, but shouldn't you be using pressure treated wood for the wood touching the floor? Again, and hopefully someone else will chime in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumavguy /forum/post/19760395


Not sure if you have to, and some of the experts can chime in, but shouldn't you be using pressure treated wood for the wood touching the floor? Again, and hopefully someone else will chime in.

Yes, it is required and I did use pressure treated wood on the bottom plate.
 

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Hi Nick,


good job with your basement!!!


could you tell me which software you are using to create your basement layout??


Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by genexxa /forum/post/19760739


Hi Nick,


good job with your basement!!!


could you tell me which software you are using to create your basement layout??


Thank you!

I used Homestyler to do the drawing in the first post ( http://www.homestyler.com/designer ). It is good for general layout and design, but it is somewhat limited. I am looking at other software to create a more detailed drawing, but I don't want to spend a bunch of money on software.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A quick update on the basement wall crack repair - The company I called came out and gave me a quote. The price came in 3x higher than originally anticipated. They said that due to demand they increased their prices as of the first of the year. I had talked to a couple of other companies last year, and their prices were even higher.


All three companies were using the same process, and after doing some research, it looks like I can buy a kit to do it myself. There are a couple of videos on you tube showing the process. It appears to be well within my skills.


I am looking at this site (and a couple of similar sites) to purchase the kits: http://www.bestmaterials.com/detail.aspx?ID=17322


The kits are $100 for up to 10 feet. I would need 3 kits. $300 is much more digestible than $1400 - $1700. The cracks currently do not leak, but I don't want to take any chances after the basement is finished.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGiovas /forum/post/19760412


Yes, it is required and I did use pressure treated wood on the bottom plate.

I just went back and looked at your photos and noticed that. Sorry about that. That is an impressive collection you have there. Do you have any MAME cabinets as well? Does your wife share the same hobby as you?


Good luck on the rest of the build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks Sumavguy. I don't have any MAME cabinets, but I have considered building one. I actually loaded everything on a computer to try it out. It just hasn't been a priority.


While my pinball machines range from the early '60s through current machines, when it comes to non pinball games, I prefer non video games. I have the coin operated bowling alley, a '60s electromechanical helicopter flying game and an Ambush electromechanical machine gun game from the mid '70s. If I dedicated the entire space to only games, I would be in big trouble
.


Unfortunately, my wife is not into pinball. With that said, she definitely supports my love of the hobby. I'm hoping that once the basement is finished, she may play a little more often. My two sons on the other hand love to play pinball (along with all of their friends who are frequently stopping by to play).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
After doing a little more research, I ended up ordering my crack repair kits directly from the manufacturer ( www.cmemanufacturing.com ). They ended up costing me $98 each (bought 3 kits) including shipping. They had a great video showing the entire process, so I don't think I will have any issues repairing the cracks.




I have a total of 4 cracks to repair, but 2 of them are less than half the length of the wall, so 3 kits should cover all 4 cracks with no problems. I am hoping I have some time to seal the cracks this weekend. Then it is back to framing.





I also noticed that some of the joints on the HVAC duct work were not real tight. I could literally feel air blowing out. I decided to use some metallic tape I had to seal all of the seams. I will probably go ahead and seal all of the joints I can easily get to. I figure there is no reason to condition the dead space in the walls and ceiling.

 

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NGiovas;19761954 My two sons on the other hand love to play pinball (along with all of their friends who are frequently stopping by to play).[/QUOTE said:
I really can't wait to see the end product!!


Also if you need any funding, I'd make those coin operated machines functional and maybe up it to 50 cents per game
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumavguy /forum/post/19781915


Also if you need any funding, I'd make those coin operated machines functional and maybe up it to 50 cents per game

I would if I thought I could get away with it
. I already warned my sons not to get any ideas about charging their friends as a money making scheme. When I was a kid my neighbor had a shuffle bowler. My older sisters and my neighbors would tell me you had to pay to play. I didn't know any better, so I would drop in a dime each time I played a game. I always wondered where they got the money for the ice cream man.
 
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