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Hi everyone,

I'm in the middle of re-finishing my basement after our home was water damaged last year. The basement was partially finished previously, many walls finished with drywall but no ceiling. I'm prepping the basement for full drywall finishing-walls and ceilings (relocated plumbing and electrical from below joists, added HVAC supply and return ducts, plumbed and framed in a full bathroom, installed foam-board at exterior walls, can lights, ran low-voltage lines upstairs and downstairs, ran conduit for future electrical, etc.). It has been a HUGE project that I've worked on nearly every weekend for ~6 months.

Where I need some help is that I framed off a 16' wide by 21' long (8.5' tall) area in the corner of the basement where I want to install a dedicated home theater. It will have a 48" double-door along the 21' wall at the front near the screen. Right now I've been using this area to hold my tools and building supplies, but I'm very close to being ready to install drywall throughout the rest of the basement (hired out!). My fiancée would really like us to have the drywall in the future theater room done at the same time because she doesn't want to deal with the dust upstairs and in the newly finished basement again. It would also be much cheaper to add this room now than to do it separately in the future, I'm sure. At this point the room is only framed at the two walls that partition it from the rest of the basement (other two walls are concrete exterior), so I was only planning to drywall the outsides of those two walls for now.

I've been reading AVSforum for years and done some theater research but I guess it isn't really clear to me how much work is done pre-drywall vs. post-drywall. I'm looking to build a pretty standard theater with soffits all around, some noise reduction efforts, etc. Does all the wiring go up in the soffits except the wall outlets? It seems like I would need to have a full plan, knowing where sconce lights would go, have the switch boxes roughed in with all 110V wires ran to proper locations, etc. Seems like a bad idea to rush this at the last minute, any thoughts??

Thanks!

Josh
 

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The room is pretty simple don't over think it. Obviously you need all your electrical done. You also should run all your speaker wire while the walls are open. I would run multiple places for subwoofer since you may find that the sub sounds better in a different spot than you originally thought. If you are going with a PJ run an electrical and HDMI to it's location. The accoustical treatements will be done after drywall. One thing I did to help contain noise from adjacent rooms is I put OSB on the walls prior to drywall. This worked really well. The only sound transmission I have (minus subwoofer) comes through the door itself.
 

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Seems like a bad idea to rush this at the last minute, any thoughts??
You already know the answer this is just confirmation to trust your instincts. How the drywall is installed is part of the soundproofing effort are you prepared to work with your drywall guy on this, you need to do some pre-wiring even if you do plan on using soffits to hide wires. You need to make sure you have installed dedicated HVAC supplies and returns for the room with sound attenuating duct work.

Step one is a plan for the theater room.
 

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Considerations:
  • Cheap fiberglass (fluffy) insulation can go in all the walls and ceiling for the theater space to help cut down on resonance issues and add a tiny bit of soundproofing
  • If you want soundproofing, you'll want to seal the room as much as possible (maybe consider not installing outlets in the walls directly, but running in-the-room electrical in the soffits/columns, as well as lights, etc).
  • HVAC considerations for a sealed room (returns, etc.) are much easier to handle before drywall, of course
  • Keep in mind that doing electrical in soffits/columns may require a second inspection (since if you don't put outlets in the walls, it won't meet code until they've inspected the new wiring and outlets in the soffits and columns).
  • May want to pick out the door you will use in the theater before drywall (so you can make sure the rough-in is spot on). Door considerations include solid core, seals, threshold, etc. This could be an exterior (could have seals and threshold already) or interior (in this case you will need to add seals/threshold), and make sure the door isn't already too short (too big a a gap at the bottom...you may need to cut off part of the framing at the bottom before installing).

Other than that, I can't think of anything else off the top of my head.
 
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