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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, guys. I've been red eyed and w/o sleep for the last couple of days reading through about 15 million pages of the AVS forum..


Still don't know much, but more than I did two days ago.


I'm in the position right now of adding on to our house. This started out as a nice 1,500 square foot garage.


It evolved into a garage, with a 2,000 square foot basement. (and of course what good is a basement w/o a tunnel connecting it to my house) you get the picture.


Anyway, I have the opportunity to plan and build my theater room from scratch.


The room size I'm planning on right now is 18 x 28 x 9 (could be 20 x 28 if I see a reason to do it) The room will be completely encased by concrete, so I know this will pose some accoustical challenges..


What some things that you all wish you could of or should have done from the beginning but didn't.


I'm also looking for cost ranges..


After the box is done, I'm planning on spending about 50k on room construction and AV equipment. Where would this fall in the "quality" catagory.


Thanks for the help....
 

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If you are doing some of your own work, 50k is a really nice budget to play with. Obviously the more you spend of labor, the less money you get to spend on hard goods.


If you have the time, just continue reading and you'll eventually get a real good sense what 15-25K buys you in terms of room design.
 

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I've never built a theater before (yet) but from all the reading I see on here, you can do a damn decent theater for 50k. The concrete won't be a problem acoustically either since there is LOTS you can do with room treatments and building materials - specifically in the form of Green Glue between double drywall, RSIC clips and stagger-studded walls for building materials and Linacoustic and bass traps for in-room treatments.


The construction materials keep sound out/in and the in-room treatments make the sound in the room sound as it is supposed to.


I'm probably the furthest from an expert on this forum but it should give you a good place to start.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by utah997 /forum/post/0


It evolved into a garage, with a 2,000 square foot basement. (and of course what good is a basement w/o a tunnel connecting it to my house) you get the picture.


Anyway, I have the opportunity to plan and build my theater room from scratch.


The room size I'm planning on right now is 18 x 28 x 9 (could be 20 x 28 if I see a reason to do it) The room will be completely encased by concrete, so I know this will pose some accoustical challenges..

Actually, I don't get the picture
It sounds like you have a detached garage with a 2000 square foot basement under the garage (not the house) connected to the house via a tunnel? Correct? If so - that's great, you can forget about most sound transmission issues (just heavy doors with good seals on each end of the tunnel).


Please elaborate on your exact layout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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Originally Posted by usualsuspects /forum/post/0


Actually, I don't get the picture
It sounds like you have a detached garage with a 2000 square foot basement under the garage (not the house) connected to the house via a tunnel? Correct? If so - that's great, you can forget about most sound transmission issues (just heavy doors with good seals on each end of the tunnel).


Please elaborate on your exact layout.

You got it. The actual basement of the garage (Theater area) will be underground under the driveway. Just checked the plans, we have it set up to be 19 x 28 x 9 H


If I can figure out how to post the .pdf file I can show you the plans.


One of the main questions I have is, for the seating. I was hoping to get three rows of five nice sized berkline seats in there. So all of the obvious questions, how high should each of the 3 risers be for the seating? Should I dig down in the theater area to make it 10 or 11 feet walls instead of 9 like the rest of the basement?

 

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If I had the option of a higher ceiling than 9 feet I would try hard to make the ceiling higher, up to about 12 feet, beyond 12 is not worth much to me. I have a 9 foot ceiling in my theater, and I already have plans for my next house that includes a much larger theater with a higher ceiling. Also, I would fight for every foot of width I could get. It is very nice to have 3 foot+ walkways on either side of seating - so there goes 6 feet (or more). Some people put as many seats as they can cram into their theaters, I put the largest, most comfortable seating I could find into mine, but that eats up width quickly. As to the riser height - I would worry about that one later - risers are quick and easy to make, the rest of the layout and construction issues are much more important at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by usualsuspects /forum/post/0


If I had the option of a higher ceiling than 9 feet I would try hard to make the ceiling higher, up to about 12 feet, beyond 12 is not worth much to me. I have a 9 foot ceiling in my theater, and I already have plans for my next house that includes a much larger theater with a higher ceiling. Also, I would fight for every foot of width I could get. It is very nice to have 3 foot+ walkways on either side of seating - so there goes 6 feet (or more). Some people put as many seats as they can cram into their theaters, I put the largest, most comfortable seating I could find into mine, but that eats up width quickly. As to the riser height - I would worry about that one later - risers are quick and easy to make, the rest of the layout and construction issues are much more important at this point.

So, basically don't worry about pouring the risers out of cement when we do the basement? Just do down to end up with 12 ft walls, and build the risers after the fact?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by utah997 /forum/post/0


So, basically don't worry about pouring the risers out of cement when we do the basement? Just do down to end up with 12 ft walls, and build the risers after the fact?

Exactly. I would not make the risers out of concrete. You are going to want (I assume) some step lighting, perhaps some electrical outlets in the floor, misc other things that having a poured concrete floor is going to make very difficult/expensive/inflexible. A framed riser/floor makes it easy to run those wires across the room that you did not plan for
The major questions I see on this room are: what/where are your entrance(s)? where is your equipment - in room or adjoining/outside the room? Have you thought about HVAC issues? I'm still not clear if this is a standalone room (a hollow concrete cuboid) or if it is part of a larger cavity, and if it is what is the layout of the room in relation to the rest of the space. What do you plan on for a front wall? Acoustically transparent screen? If so that will eat at least two feet off the room length.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by utah997 /forum/post/0


So, basically don't worry about pouring the risers out of cement when we do the basement? Just do down to end up with 12 ft walls, and build the risers after the fact?

You have a good budget, I'd consider hiring an HT Designer to work with you on the plan. I think that money and time would be very well spent.


I wouldn't pour the risers out of concrete, but it would provide a great base for your speakers and subs! Take some of the cost savings here and use that for yoru designer.


We did 12 foot walls in our basement, and we love it. One thing to note is that this is a pretty costly upgrade. It isn't the same cost ratio as going from 8 to 9 feet tall. At 12 feet tall, and with the load of the garage above, you will need thicker walls all the way around, so you are paying for a pretty good volume increase in concrete. Also, you will likely lose 4 inches for the floor, so your ceiling height will be 11'6".
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good info thanks guys.


So basically, if you are going to do a 12 foot wall. Just pour the floor flat, and build up the aisle ramps, risers.. basically the entire floor would be framed and built to spec right?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by utah997 /forum/post/0


So basically, if you are going to do a 12 foot wall. Just pour the floor flat, and build up the aisle ramps, risers.. basically the entire floor would be framed and built to spec right?

That is what I would do - a flat concrete floor + wooden framed floor and risers. I predict that you will regret it if you do poured concrete risers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just called the planner. He is submitting plans to engineering today. We made the change. The rest of the basement will have 9 foot walls, the theater room will have 14 foot. After floor and risers are built, we should end up with around 11 or 12 foot celings.


Thanks again for the advice guys. I'll try and find a way to post the plans here somehow. They are in .pdf
 
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