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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, after viewing one build log after another here on AVS and dreaming of my own dedicated theater, I finally decided to pull the trigger earlier this year when we decided to go into a major house remodel. With the support of everything else we wanted to do with the home, I had enough justification to include a dedicated HT room off of the first level.


First off, if you've seen the name "Reel Time" in another thread ( http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1251515 ), you're correct. That's the thread that started with the project in March of this year (2010). I realized two things: 1) I didn't use a very good title as most folks have missed the build altogether and 2) I had too much in there about the entire remodel project (basement, new garage, second story of the new addition, family room remodel, etc.).


So, now nine months later, I've decided to stop posting in the old thread in start this one dedicated to items about the HT itself. There will be some info and pics about the addition build. But, only as it applies to the HT. I've got a lot to pass along, and I'll do that over the next couple of days.


Okay, so onto the HT build. I hope you enjoy and learn as I have by others' examples here on AVS. Please feel free to chime in with anything, good or bad. It's all okay as long as it's constructive!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Actually, there were multiple sparks involved to get this whole thing started.


1) We've been waiting on pulling the trigger on a HT for years because we wanted a dedicated room on the first floor level which necessited an addition. However, we could justify to ourselves the addition just for the sake of the HT.


2) In January, 2010, our HVAC system went up. It was always a poor setup and undersized and positioned badly. So the new HVAC system would be best if split into two systems.


3) We've always talked about having additional storage and a bathroom off of two of our bedrooms instead of a single shared bathroom.


4) So with all these house requirements put together, along with feeling we could help some contractors during the down economy while getting good prices, we had our justification to proceed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
With a go ahead on the addition and a dedicated theater room off of our family room, I set off exploring all the HT builds I could read here on AVS. That's when I found CalBear's 16' wide theater build. When I kept reading how he was able to pull off what so many felt was impossible, I knew I could realize my design dreams.


I'm not a videophile or audiophile by any means. I have great respect for those that can discern minute characteristics to justify high priced equipment. I've had my share of luxury vehicles that I have thoroughly enjoyed because of the driving experience they afforded. So, I understand how some can spend a lot of money on high end equipment. I just don't want to in the HT.


For me, the HT is simple. I love watching movies and I want the true theater experience at my home. I also want to do this with equipment that gets me the most bang for the buck. When I first read what type of projector and screen I would need for a 14' wide scope screen, I thought my design goals were dashed. Then I found CalBear's thread, and I knew it could be done. Then I sat down and designed the addition and the basic design goals for the HT:
  • Soundproof as possible - especially given it would be off of our family room
  • Large as we could get it - squeezing it into a inside corner behind the home, we had our exterior dimensions of 30'x20'
  • Total Light Control - in fact, no windows at all
  • Large Scope Screen - with the exterior dimensions set and factoring soundproofing and front columns, I could get real close to 14' wide
  • Stadium Seating - a curved recliner unit on the first and second levels with a countertop bar with seating behind it on the third level - 12" riser for each level
  • Center Speaker behind the screen - initial design contemplated an acoutically transparent screen to do this - stay tuned for how this changed.
  • A/V Closet - to store all the components for the HT, as well as the family room on the other side and equipment for the rest of the house
  • Lutron Grafik Eye - install and control adequate and appropriate lighting zones to be operated through scenes
  • Starfield - A large starfield to cover the majority of the seating area


That was the main design goals and we came up with the following basic plan for the HT room as part of the addition, and off we started!

TOP DOWN VIEW



SIDE ELEVATION




3/24/10 - THE DIG BEGINS!





 

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Sounds like my kind of HT. Looking forward to how it progresses.
 

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Looking forward to the build! Our rooms are very similar. I'm 32'x17.5x9 and have things layed out close to your elevation drawing, including the 14' scope screen. What is your ceiling height? I couldn't tell from the drawings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by tony123
Looking forward to the build! Our rooms are very similar. I'm 32'x17.5x9 and have things layed out close to your elevation drawing, including the 14' scope screen. What is your ceiling height? I couldn't tell from the drawings.
Width - Outside dimensions of the addition are 30x20. Once you factor in the 2x6 exterior wall on one side, a 2x4 wall on the other, then clips, channel, and double 5/8" drywall, the finished interior width is 18'2".


Length - There's actually a 2' bump out in the front of the HT, behind the screen. This was put there when I was going to do a AT screen and have speakers behind. I still will use that depth with the front subwoofers to go below and behind the screen. Finished length of the room is about 28', although the back wall will have cabinetry and columns.


Height - Back level is 9', middle riser is 10', and front (screen) area is 11'


What kind of screen and pj are you utilizing with the 14' scope and how do you like the results?


Are you using an A-lens?
 

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Nice ceiling heights! Your room volume is within a few hundred cf of mine too. What are your plans for audio? If you have any yet?


I'm using the Panasonic AE4000 on a DIY screen built from the SeymourXD AT material. It doesn't meet minimum standards, but I'm pleased with the performance. I'm not using an Anomorphic Lens. I have a buddy with the same projector and he has a lens. I haven't seen his yet, but am anxious to see what, if any, improvements there are.
 

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This looks like its going to be a good thread too subscribe to...looking forward to future progress and updates myself...Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The HT sits on top of a new garage. The risers for the HT are actually built off of the garage blockwork. The first level sits right on the block, the middle level joists sit 1' above the block and the rear level joists sit 2' off of the block.


This is actually a lot easier to do than building from a single level and then building risers on top. Plus, the main reason to do it this way is that it provides much needed headroom in the garage.





 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·



 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
With the garage completed, the joists went down for the HT.


The two foot bump out at the screen end of the HT required a bit more work for the cantilever.




HT floor joists then attached directly into the existing exterior wall of the house. Beam and bracing then installed below to support to code as hangers alone would not be nearly enough.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here's a shot of the flooring of the HT from the right, rear corner where the A/V closet will be.




And a shot from the front, left corner looking back at the existing house. One of our three dogs (Maggie) had to get in the photoshoot. Two windows on the rear wall are part of the family room. The one on the left (in the photo) will be a doorway to a closet for the family room. The one on the right will be the entrance to the HT.


The area in the middle without the house wrap is where the bump out used to be along with our former fireplace. The fireplace for the family room will be replaced since the old one had a direct vent out the back and wasn't very good anyways. New one will have to have a top vent that will go out the back of the house through the floor joists above the HT.


Wall on the left is the back of our existing garage with a laundry room where the window is. The window will unfortunately have to go.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
While the construction progressed, I started working on the computer to put together some basic renderings of the HT. Not really sure of the color scheme or overall theme. Just trying to get the basic elements in for now.









 

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This is looking nice. I have to say some it is very similar to what I did on my addition.
My bookcase door took a lot of time and effort to plan. They are fun to have when you are done though.
 

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I'm wrestling with projector placement, and like your solution of a large soffit cutting over the bar.


I notice all the green leaves on the trees in your photos. Is this current? or, are you catching us up to present?


I'm curious about the decision to make the risers an integral part of the addition. It seems it would lock that space into being a theater for any future owner? What are the advantages of it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony123 /forum/post/19580907


I'm wrestling with projector placement, and like your solution of a large soffit cutting over the bar.

Thanks. It also helps to define the rear area of the theater I think and provides a place to hold the projector, install lighting for the bar, and hold the components for the star field ceiling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony123 /forum/post/19580907


I notice all the green leaves on the trees in your photos. Is this current? or, are you catching us up to present?

Yes I am. The dig started in March. Currently, the addition project is 98% completed sans HT. Drywall was just hung in the HT, except for the front wall. I'm getting there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony123 /forum/post/19580907


I'm curious about the decision to make the risers an integral part of the addition. It seems it would lock that space into being a theater for any future owner? What are the advantages of it?

Good question; and yes, I did consider this. First, I don't see myself ever leaving, but there's always a chance. Should the next owner not want the theater, they simply would create "reverse" risers to fill in the area to bring everything to 9' or just the front portion to have 9' in the rear and a large 10' lowered area in the front. So even if I did everything at 11' and then built risers, they'd still have to tear out carpet, trim, etc. to make it work.


Big issue with building the risers into the flooring is that it allowed better height in the garage below. If the whole HT was 11' with risers, the garage height would be 8' the whole way through. As it is now with the garage door, I can't pull in anything tall like my Tundra pickup. Cars are okay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
With the flooring completed, the exterior walls go up. Rear wall is in three sections, one for each level. 9', 10', and 11' heights.




Here you can get a better idea of how the addition integrates with the rest of the house and see the garage below.




Outside view of back wall of the theater. Windows on same level of existing house shown are part of our family room.

 

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I accept your answer.
That makes alot of sense. Particularly the need for higher ceilings in the garage. Well thought out.


Now I see the dates on your photos. duh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
While I would have liked the extra inches, we had to put up a 2x4 wall on the right side of the theater to support the floor joists for the second level above. It will provide an extra break for the existing house for soundproofing however.






With all of the other walls up and the second floor joists set, the front (screen) wall and bump-out for speakers are built.




Then it gets a little dark with the subfloor going down on the second floor.

 
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