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7,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
[edit 2-26-2014: thread titled changed, was Revision 2014: Mike R(mtbdudex) 2.35 Scope 130", 11.3 Audio DIY Home Theatre/Basement Thread"]
Ed Flower named my theater "The Envelope" ... I like it, never had a name before
[edit 1-23-2014: thread title changed, was "Ver 2.0 update: Mike R(mtbdudex) 2.35 Scope 130", 11.3 Audio DIY Home Theatre/Basement Thread"]
This to reflect updates to be done in CY14, based upon this thread, http://www.avsforum.com/t/1508987/what-are-your-new-years-a-v-resolutions/60#post_24154446
Real time 2014 calendar "punch list" post here, http://www.avsforum.com/t/1501211/u...creen-speaker-wire-interference#post_23985834

[edit 9-5-2010: thread title changed, was "Mike R DIY Home Theatre/Basement Thread (4yr proj done in 2008!)", but took 2 more years....]
I've been so busy lately there has been no time to make an "official" DIY thread for my walkout basement/HT project, however due to me getting a nasty case of carpal tunnel (more on that later) and the doctor injected both wrists with steroids so they heal, I've been "off the basement project" for the past two weeks, can "re-start" work on it this upcoming weekend (2/9).

Therefore, this is the official start of my basement/HT DIY project AVS forum thread!
(I've had some specific posts here and there over the past few months, they will be consolidated here)

Cost re-cap in this post, approx $30,000 USD total

We built our loghome and move in May-2002, here it is, front and back showing walkout view:


The plan was always to "someday" finish the basement, we had rough image of the basement put onto the original BluePrints, along with some of the floor drain plumbing for the bath was roughed in and capped at initial construction phase back in Aug-2001.

We have 3 kids; 6, 4, and 2, and a 85lb Black Lab named "Jedi". So Life has been very busy and very good, we are blessed with good healthy children.

Basement/HT DIY Project top level image:
We'd like to carry the loghome theme into the basement, and also include bright/bold colors in the rooms to harmonize with our 1 acre wildflower front yard, we have 2.12 acres total.
I'll try to have some log home feel inside the Home Theatre, yet realize the color scheme will need to be done based upon lighting dynamics as the main driver.

Here is basement layout, almost 1,300 sq feet includes:
-Full 9' high ceiling
-Craft room for my wife (11' x 12')
-Full 3rd bath
-4th Bedroom (12' x 14', nice for company)
-Huge walk in closet under the stairs
-Big openplay/rec room for kids/family activities (15' x 30'), includes refrig/sink/microwave area for snacks, lots of storage space for kids "stuff"
-Home Cinema room (14'6" x 18'6" ), I hate the usage of Man Cave for it, and Home Cinema is appropriate since I'm going 2.35:1 screen instead of 16:9 screen
-Utility room where the GeoThermal heat pump is and all mechanicals is isolated from the main basement area as shown in the layout.

Walkout layout has French doors for easy access/movement of stuff (that is west wall), while the craft room has 2 windows and the bedroom has 1 window, short wall is north facing.

I can control/manage the lighting pretty well in the home Cinema room, since it has no windows.

HT Layout(edit 2013, added 11.3 set-up ):

HT pictures (updated 2016 with my astrophotography acoustic treatments art covers)
Screen shot:

Rear shot:


Basement layout:

This has been a 3+ year project for me, I only work on it Dec thru March, and even then just weekends, sometimes just 3-4 hours/weekend due to yound kids and busy schedule/etc.
Overall plan is I do everything except drywall.
The 4 year Timeline:
(this was never planned as a 4 year project, initial thought was two years, but life got busy)
-Dec 2004 thru March 2005: Plan & design, changed the stairs going into the basement from a "L" layout to a "U" layout, frame all the walls, tighten log wall rod spring system
-Dec 2005 thru March 2006; Bath copper plumbing, re-do shower drain (add P-trap)/partial HVAC runs (I ran both hot and cold air supply for each room reciric)
-Dec 2006 thru March 2007; Finish HVAC, foil sealed ALL seams on HVAC runs, built home theatre seat riser section, re-tighten log wall rod spring system, sealed bond areas
-Nov 2007; I installed new H20 softener system (gave up on my EcoSmarte system that had it's own thread in the S&V "Just Chat" section a few months back, EcoSmarte Whole Home H20 issue) and a RO system
-Dec 2007 thru Now (Feb 2008); Plan and did all Electrical (almost 2,000 feet of 14/2, 14/3, and 12/3 romex), ran 500 feet of 14/4 speaker wire for Home Cinema room + Zone 2 and Zone 3 speakers in rec room and Craft room, cables/Cat5 wire for Frt Proj/subwoofer ran, decide to add sink to rec room, cut concete floor and plumb for drain and supply, contracted drywall was started on 12/27/07 and they just finished Friday 1/18/08. We are just painting rooms now, I'm hooking up electrical sw/circuits.
-Jan 2008 thru Aug 2008; IB 4 x 15" line array subwoofer http://www.avsforum.com/t/1149303/usul-4-x-ae-ib15-line-array-ib-sub-mike-r-ht#post_16508390

Added timeline items:

-Dec 2010 thru June 2011 Acoustic treatments http://www.avsforum.com/t/1312693/d...of-hang-able-acoustic-panels-not-fixed-frames
-Dec 2012 thru March 2013 11.3 Audio http://www.avsforum.com/t/1435778/m...ht-room-via-audysseydsx-dolbypl-iiz-dts-neo-x
-Dec 2012 thru April 2013 added 2 subwoofers http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446659/g...-line-array-both-via-diy-sound-group-flatpack

My big picture is done by end of March/early April 2008, lots to do still:
-Paint all rooms
-Install 6 doors + 1 bi-fold door (pre-stain same as main home interior stain)
-Wood trim all doors/windows (pre-stain same as main home interior stain)
-connect all outlets/switches, connect the 10 new circuits (Home Runs!)
-install all elect fixtures/lighting
-Full concrete shower floor
-tile shower and bath floor, install shower glass, install plumbing fixtures
-install all cabinets/sink/toilet
-install drop ceiling over rec room (all other rooms have drywall ceiling, however so many mechanical runs are in rec room ceiling made sense to do drop ceiling there)
-Flooring; Cork in craft room and possible also big rec room, tile in bath, carpet in all other rooms
-Do my IB subwoofer install work (seperate thread I had on that)
-Then, install all my Home Cinema Gear (I'd doing that last as motivator to finish all the other stuff);

Equipment List:
Bought already:
Front Projector: Sony VPL-VW60,
Anamorphic lens: Panamorph Model UH380 Universal Anamorphic Lens (just bought B-stock!)
A/V: Denon AVR-4308CI
Speakers: 7.1 spkrs Paradigm Frt Monitor Series 9, Center CC-390, 4 Rear/back surrounds ADP-390.
(speakers/A/V and PJ bought from local shop in SE Michigan, http://www.avioinc.com/index.php )
Panamax M5300-PM for clean power.
Not bought yet:
Screen: 125"/tbd diag cinemawide screen
I've not bought a DVD of HiDef optical unit just yet, waiting for some more shakeout in the HD vs Blu wars to further drive prices down.

Here is Home Cinema front wall image:

Holy cow, after I typed the above realize still lots of work left, yet I can see the light coming closer to the end of the long-long 3+ year tunnel.
One nice thing, since I've been doing this in yearly phases everything was paid and installed ongoing, so I'm not in debt from the construction phase.
Plus, I've seen the Frt Proj technology change so much, going from 720p to 1080p with fantistic picture image and decent price points, and the HDMI spec has finally settled down, so all my A/V equipment is full 1.3 compliant.

I'll do a quick pictorial re-cap of the project over the next few days, and then I'll have some Q's for the AVS regulars, also hopefully others can gain some experience/insight into their own future projects from that.

60 Posts
WOW you better get bookin

75 Posts
That is a beautiful home! How energy efficient is it? My favorite is where the "Future Workout Room" got crossed off and now it is a "Future Rec Room"

7,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I've come to realize there is always someone with more budget/time/expertiese as you, so when you do a project it really is so important to upfront make clear your budget, goals, and expectations.
This way, when you are "done" (are we ever done?) with the project you can measure it from that viewpoint.

It IS possible to finish projects over multiple years, again, you have to set and know your expectations.
For us, family came first over the project, so very part time, 3-5 hours/weekend, Dec-March. April-Nov mostly outside/etc doing family things.
Started the project with 1 child (daughter, born 2002), and in 2004 2nd came (son), then 2006 3rd child came (son), more reasons - good reasons - not able to put time into basement.
Yea, I did get really-really tired of the question "hows your basement project going?" from family/friends.
Hopefully come April I can finally show everyone.

Here is a brief re-cap of year one of this part-time 4 year project:
-Dec 2004 thru March 2005: Plan & design, changed the stairs going into the basement from a "L" layout to a "U" layout, frame all the walls, tighten log wall rod spring system

Before: Big/open 1,300 sq feet basement

Have a plan, transfer that plan to the concrete via snapping chalk lines, confirm plan to reality.
We modified the plans a few times based on chalk lines and just talking things thru.
a) initially the HT room went E-W instead of N-S like it is (our home faces East), but because it was next to the Utility room I was concerned with HVAC equipment noise, so changed it as shown. That also made me change the downstairs from a "L" to a "U", which meant the very first thing I did before putting up walls was actually tear down walls and built stairs. Also, added the 45deg corner on the craft room for better walk flow into the bathroom/bedroom. That also will make it easier for bedroom furniture movement, plus when the drywallers put the 12 foot sheets in the bedroom that allowed for them.

Measure twice, cut one. Even then occasional FuPau happenes. No problem, almost every piece of wood was used, very little scrap.
Plus, my kids were able to "play builder" with all the small wood pieces I kept and entertain themselfs while I worked.

Changing stairs from "L" to "U":
Before, "L": After, "U"

I built all my walls "in place", i.e., put the top and bottom plates on first then the individual studs.
Others build a wall on its side and lift into place.
I used wood studs instead of the newer steel studs, just felt more comfortable with them, my friend used the steel studs and loved them, no warping.
I used std 2 x 4 wall construction for most of the walls, the Home Theatre inside 2 walls I used 2 x 6 top/bottom plated and then staggered 2 x 4's for more sound isolation. The outside walls are Michigan Superior Concrete walls.
More on that in year 4.

That is Year1 very briefly, cut lots of wood, love the Paslode framing gun, nice to have my dad over at times for that 2nd hand, when nobody was around I learned other techniques (temp nail, clamps, etc).
I loved this phase, OJT and very visual to see progress as studs went up.
Nice to have a simple $40 laser also for long straight run check.

Next post will re-cap Year2.

7,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Originally Posted by Mudcon /forum/post/13036704

WOW you better get bookin

Dude, I'm trying, I'm tryin!!

Really, now that drywall is up/etc we are in the home stretch.

Just me as DIY'er, so by saving $$$ (put the labor savings into equipment/gear) takes just a tad longer.....

7,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Originally Posted by Chademt85 /forum/post/13037269

That is a beautiful home! How energy efficient is it? My favorite is where the "Future Workout Room" got crossed off and now it is a "Future Rec Room"

Thx for kind words, we upgraded the log walls to the 10" round, I believe on the inspection report they were equivalent of R-22 or R-23 "stick walls", plus you get the log thermal mass effect. Ceiling we upgraded to something over R-40, I forget exact. We are very pleased with the energy efficiency of the log home and the closed loop geothermal system, see here GeoThermal Analysis for a chart that shows year-by-year analysis. We paid $10k extra for the geothermal system, however it has already paid itself off in under 6 years.

Just FYI, my next "green" project for this home in 5 years will be some solar/wind/battery system.

7,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Brief re-cap of Year2 (Dec2005 - Mar2006)
-Dec 2005 thru March 2006; Bath copper plumbing, re-do shower drain (add P-trap)/partial HVAC runs (I ran both hot and cold air supply for each room reciric)

I've never really sweated copper pipes before, etc. So, did a lot of reading, planning, made a 3D sketch (by hand) of the new Hot/cold supply routing. Made a BOM, added 10%, did a Home Depot run, ended up using about 87 feet of copper piping, at least 70+ fittings (90 deg, 45 deg, etc). I got pretty good a sweating the copper. Use H20 air hammers everywhere so no noise issue, maybe a little overkill but only $12/each.

My DIY plumbers Secret:
Pressurize the system with air and test for leaks before sweating final hot/cold joints.
I used a simple $4 1/2" faucet w/compression joints that has a schrader valve on it, would attach that to the pipe supply, pump it to 40-50 psi, take soapy water, brush it on the joints I sweated, and hopefully no bubbles (no leaks).
Of the 70+ joints I sweated found 1 leak, quickly re-sweated it. This took 15 extra minutes but gave me, a DIY plumber a sense of confidence.
This picture shows the temp faucet (has compression fittings) at the old/new pipe junction.

Future toliet supply:

Future sink supply:

Future shower supply:

In a log home difficult to rech vent pipes, so air intake vent are used (and approved by code in Livingston county, Mich). However, I was concered that my builder did not take that into account for the shower drain, venting, so I realized I needed to "cut the concrete" to vent that drain. In doing so, I also found out he (the plumber) did not install a p-trap beneath the shower drain, w/o that septic gas would have seeped into the shower, stinky. Therefore I fixed that and added piping for air intake.
Before showing shower drain wrongly done by original plumber w/o p-trap.

I added p-trap and routed for air vent.

Year3 (Dec2006 - Mar 2007) re-cap next post

7,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Year3 brief re-cap Dec 2006 thru March 2007(time goes by so quickly)

-HVAC supply/return runs each room

-foil sealed ALL seams on HVAC runs, including existing HVAC,

-built home theatre seat riser section (gave HT room some image to theatre now)

-sealed bond areas around total perimeter of home (8-10 cans of foam sealant)

-re-tighten log wall rod spring system

This picture shows the current log home tightenting system, effective from 2003 models, mine is similiar but the spring is on the bottom (in basement) and requires tightening 2-3 times over a 5 year period while the logs settle.

( Heritage Log Home system Heritage Log Home system)

The close loop GeoThermal system was properly sized for the additional basement load when I built the home.

As a matter of fact, we even had in floor heating in our original home plan, but took it out during building because we went over budget.

I put traditional supply vents on the bottom and return vents on the top in each room for air circulation.

Yes, I do realize that looking at HVAC vents is kinda boring
for an AVS topic, but you never know, others are in their process and this might help them imagine some method for their project. I do look at others in process stuff to gather my ideas.

I always balanced same supply/return for each room, and further put "closeable" grilles on each so I could balance each room.

Decision time:

At one time I did consider putting a zoned system in, would have costed me $2k for all the duct dampers/bypass/etc, but our house is pretty balanced from the original contractor, even with big open loft in summer if it's 70 on 1st floor only 73 in 2nd floor, still liveable and decent, so I decided to save the $2k. My friend did not have his HVAC unit sized to include his basement, so when he did his adding the zone made it possible for him to keep the same HVAC unit.

Just a few picts:

Return vents in 4th bedroom

Bathroom view of craft room return vent

Bathroom room supply duct, view from craft room:

Home theatre riser, egg crate similiar to other risers, built in-place so put lower sheet of drywall in 1st:

(there is a 1/4" gap to the drywall so no vibration transmission, I put soft DAP there, it will be covered by carpet)

Next post, Year4 Dec 2007 - present.

This is where all the planning/design/work starts to come together and the light at the end of the tunnel is getting very close now.

Should also not be as "boring".......

7,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
This post will re-cap Year4 Nov 2007 thru Feb 2008, bringing this DIY thread up to date "real time".

First, I'd like to dedicate this whole project to my wife and family.
They put up with Dad being "gone" downstairs a lot.
Here's 2 of my helpers, their sister has been into "webkinz" so much lately, but she's helped downstairs also.

-Nov 2007; I had installed a new H20 softener system and a Reverse Osmosis system.
Kept the Whole home carbon filter in the new set-up, water tastes decent all faucets, however I can notice the "improved" taste of RO H20 vs the carbon filtered water.
Lesson Learned:
As a DIY'er I should have installed my own Reverse Osmosis system and saved some $$$, it was so easy for them to install it. I had the unit put in the basement ceiling to save undersink space. Once they installed it, I actually totally re-installed it more compactly so my drop ceiling would not have to protrude around it.
So others, if you have very basic plumbing skilly install your own RO system.

I gave up on my EcoSmarte system that had it's own thread in the S&V "Just Chat" section a few months back, EcoSmarte Whole Home H20 issue
Here is our whole home H20 system (we are on well water), those A/V/Phone wires/panel was moved higher that day, so looks messy.

[updated info on EcoSmarte Ch11 10-4-2010]
ell there you have it, I just read this info:
ECOsmarte Emerges From CH. 11

It was confirmed on June 3, 2010 that ECOsmarte will emerge from CH. 11 bankruptcy one year after filing for court protection from a lost profits binding arbitration award in 2008.

The order was signed by Minnesota bankruptcy judge Robert Kressel based on a plan that pays out all creditors by July 18, 2010. ECOsmarte CEO Larry Couture indicated the CH. 11 process itself was largely responsible for the successful reorganization.

“ECOsmarte itself became a company focused on financial objectives quarterly as opposed to a business preoccupied with eliminating chlorine and chloride discharges,” said Couture.

During reorganization sales of its non-chemical pool system have recovered to 90% of the record June 2008 levels and sales on non-salt whole house purifiers have ris
en to new record levels as a result of a few key water treatment dealers and rising consumer awareness of health and environmental water issues, according to Couture.

“Our core business, people and balance sheet have never been stronger and I want to thank the dozens of customers that purchased whole house water systems and the dealers that nearly unanimously stuck with us during this last year,” said Couture.

Posted on June 8, 2010 11:21 AM
be careful dealing with this company.....

-Plan and did all Electrical (almost 2,000 feet of 14/2, 14/3, and 12/3 romex),
-Electrical planning and layout:
Tapped into 3 existing circuits and added 10 new circuits:

Overview schematic of wiring:

Home runs at main panel waiting to be connected:
After working so hard on the wiring phase, I understand the term "home run", felt for each circuit to run that final length.
I have (2) 200 Amp supply panels, my home is 100% electric, no gas/oil.
One panel is dedicated to the GeoThermal unit and the H20, while this one is the main home supply panel.

I really respect tradespeople who do this for a living.

-ran 500 feet of 14/4 speaker wire for Home Cinema room + Zone 2 and Zone 3 speakers in rec room and Craft room.
Empty spool of 500 ft 14/4 wire in A/V closet after many long nights.
The A/V closet had "back doors" for easy access from the rec room side, no need for any sliding system.

Speaker wires kept 2 feet from high current wires, crossed at 90deg when needed. Tied and secured for no rattles, used 100 zip ties, quite handy.
All holes sealed.

Equal length runs for rear surrounds bundled above door header in random circular pattern.

This is a good sumamry of my electrical stuff, I posted this in a recent thread (Feb 17, 2011) What size subpanel do you have in your theater?
Originally Posted by mtbdudex
My multi-year project has (2) small sub panels next to the home main 200A box.
(I have a seperate 200A box for the GeoThermal/Hot H20 on a seperate meter for lower rates, far LH 200A box. That middle box is a transfer switch for outside generator to completely feed the 200A box on right)

Box on top is fed by 60A double breaker in the main 200A box, it feeds the majority of the basement (non HT) stuff.

There is a 2nd box (no pict) below that box feeds some basement circuits and the HT lighting circuits, I also used 2 slots in the 200A main to feed ground isolated circuits for the IB sub seperately and the other A/V gear.

I did not have enough space next to the 200A box for a 100A box, so instead used 2 smaller boxes.

I started out by totally understanding my current 200A box circuit layout.
Traced/confired each circuit. Since I built my home I wish I had my electrician stuff for this, did not ask for it back in 2002.

Listed my new basement/HT circuit needs

Refer to code book (from Dec-2007):

Did circuit load analysis to confirm within existing 200A box capacity

Figured out where to put each circuit:

Made a circuit layout for wiring the "home runs" from the boxes to their branches in the various rooms.
(I did this 3 times before settling on this plan, a full size copy of this was used for the actual wiring and confirmation along each branch complete, with a checklist to make sure everything done correctly to plan.)

Therefore it's hard to say "what is the right size".
It totally depends on your "current" needs, now and in the future.
(get it, "current"

for ref here is the excel file I used.
Note: Please check your local code for circuit load analysis.

CircuitAnalysisAVS_upload.zip 8.84765625k . file


7,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
(continued Year4 recap bringing this post into realtime)

-cables/Cat5 wire for Frt Proj. Put 3 2 x 10 boards in ceiling for flexibility mounting projector to screen distance.

-Infinite Baffle subwoofer project underway IB project
That project is underway now.

-decide to add sink to rec room, cut concete floor and plumb for drain and supply,
-contracted drywall was started on 12/27/07 and they just finished Friday 1/18/08. 96 sheets of 10, 12, and 14 foot drywall.
Actually pretty neat watching them unload the drywall into the walkout basement via the french doors.

My son like watching them also.

-We are just painting rooms now, that brings us up to date!

4,217 Posts
It is always so funny to condense months and months of blood, sweat, tears, late nights, and a lot of $$$ into a dozen or so posts.

Great work. How about some updated pics?

7,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Quote: Originally Posted by Johnsteph10

It is always so funny to condense months and months of blood, sweat, tears, late nights, and a lot of $$$ into a dozen or so posts.

Great work. How about some updated pics?

Yea, what I love is the guys who keep track of their HD/Lowes trips, that is something I should have done. I do keep the receipts, someday I'll add up everything, or maybe not.

Some more progress:
My wife felt our hallway from the stairs to the open play room needed something, so she came up with this diamond pattern for painting.
Of course I had to do some layout work, he is my 2 year old helper getting in on the action:

This $40 laser I bought from HomeDepot 6 years ago has come in handy so many times, it has this push pin feature for sticking onto drywall and shooting straight line at any angle, really neat, it does not fall off.
Check it out at the ceiling pointing down at an angle.

We wanted our various rooms in the basement bright and feeling "outdoors-inside", so my wife picked these playful colors, says "we are a family, come play and live here."

Our son's helping out:

Craft room:

Bath Room:
(I have some shower/floor tile work to do shortly, I kinda like doing tile work, guess I'm just a..DIY'er

4th Bedroom:

7,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Update status thru 3-6-08:

Hanging doors in the basement rooms.
My wife helped getting the door sorta set, then with clamps I was able to finish the rest myself, not really hard at all.

Had to shim the drywall somewhat on one wall due to warp boards, so you can see I went flush to the main side of the door frame and will need to rip some trim/filler boards for this gap.

Bought cork floor for the craft room, expect to install possible this weekend 3/8.

The un-painted white portion here will be our "kids mural" wall, we will paint some outside scene with the kids help.
I've seen this in other basements and it looks neat.

Un-expected expense:
My GeoThermal system crapped out friday evening 2/29, the closed loop pumps/flow center went bad, so I had to sink $1.5k for that
Will delay my HT purchases, rats

(still need Blu-ray, OTA separate tuner, IB subwoofer speakers/amp)

Here's a GeoThermal heap pump not working like it should, even after I cleaned the filter AND took off the return boot to totally clean the evap coil shown still not worked.
Turned out my flow center was the culprit, bad pump, I replaced the whole unit. Of course this happens on year 6 of a 5 year warranty, so 100% my cost.

Flow center just before replacement, 1 of 2 pumps bad, but install labor is so much more than capital I just replaced the whole unit.

added info here from a thread I made, http://www.avsforum.com/t/1008160/3-night-project-hvac-vibration-diy-isolation#post_13391633

In finishing my basement / HT I've noticed (or become more aware) of HVAC vibration being transfered from my GeoThermal system (in the basement utility room) to the wood floor above.
This acted quite nicely to make sound "noise".
I decided to try and minimize that for my future HT experience and also just daily lower HVAC noise level in the home.

Also goal was get done in 3 weekday nights, 9-11:30pm while kids sleeping, only time it seems to get stuff done sometimes.
(I want the weekend to continue working on the "real" project, the basement/HT itself.)

The closed loop liquid Heat pump when operational vibrates - it's a pump, it is on isolation pads, still some vibration gets thru into the sheetmetal housing, which gets transfered via hanging straps.
There also is a heat exchanger located in the HVAC unit, that is for Hot Water, (you can see the copper pipes which carry that H20 to the two 50 gal hot water storage tanks) that also "absorbed" vibrations and was a major cause of noise.

This pict shows GeoThermal system with Hot water exchange system, the heat pump inside is the culprit that vibrates, causing noise isolation "challenges". You can see the straps that transmitted vibrations to wood floor for ductwork, also shows copper pipe from heat exchanger portion that trasmitted vibrations.

Talking to my work NVH friends, they suggested using these rubber isolator mounts/bushing for the straps.
We (automotive OE) use them to isolate vibration from entering the vehicle cabin for various parts. I was "given" 20 samples to see if they'd work.
(this is called a "G-job"

Retrofit the straps was mostly easy:
remove straps (I did 2 @ a time), flatten the 90 deg bend, drill 5/8 hole (rubber bushing grip dia) with makeshift jig in drill press to keep strap from twisting, final clean new 5/8 hole flash, install rubber bushing and mtg piece, make new 90 deg bend for mounting.
When you attach the retroffited strap to the joist, the metal mtg piece is hard mounted, while the rubber bushing floats/absorbs and reduces vibration transmission.

I do have a steam humidifer that weighs a few lbs, so being concerned the ductwork would sag I rigged up a temp support to hold that while I removed/retroffited/replaced the 9 support straps

Retroffited straps back in place:

Yes! I could feel vibrations in the straps, but when you felt the metal mtg bushing/screw that attached to the joists NO perceptual vibration.

Still, vibartions were partly there from the copper line transmitting vibrations and heard in the home, so I decided to re-route the copper plumbing and switch to PEX. That copper pipe was in the walk space of the utility room also, so hopefully by re-routing the pipe I could eliminate that noise source and also gain some walk space.
This was first time I've used PEX, gosh why use copper anymore?
So simple.
The re-routing worked great, and the vibrations at the re-attach point were almost non-existint.

I felt good at this quick DIY nightime project results.

Not sure if this will help the general AVS group, since I'm guessing the vibration issue is a GeoThermal heat pump "negative" tradeoff that traditional gas/forced air HVAC units may not have.

5,003 Posts
Enjoyed the photos with the kids and wife. I wouldn't know how to build a theater in a room without kids! Hanging on my arms when trying to hammer, hiding tools....all in a days work.

Looking forward to the final room.


151 Posts
Wheres the updated Pics!

7,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Wow, summer is here and gone, now fall and like Winter in Michigan...

Scott - I did not bail on the theater, we've been using it even though it's still 90% complete! Like many others, kids/vacations/etc.

We are having the big MSU vs Penn State party this weekend in there,
Go Green Go White.

Powerbridge April-2008 http://www.avsforum.com/t/1333755/power-bridge-or-no-power-bridge#post_20411618

On my "to do" list:
-finish 2.35:1 curved screen (Thanksgiving Sat/Sunday project)
-re-do my rear riser, make it into a broadband bass absorber (between Thanksgiving and xmas)
-Make a small stage in front (I've gone back/forth on this, I like the feeling it impacts on a HT) (between Thanksgiving and xmas)
-Carpet install (over xmas -new years break)
-Front/side hang on wall acoustic treatments (Jan 2009)
-Possible rear corner bass traps (Jan 2009), after room acoustic measurements

Basement progress picts:
Kids rec/play room, they love it.


Over Christmas I'll be installing sink cabinet here with microwave cabinet above.
On the RH side those doors are the backside of my HT A/V closet:

Wife's craft room, she can do "stuff" here with the kids nearby in their play zone:

A Mini-project for the HT in process now, I'm turning a 12" w x 34"h x 24" l base cabinet into a 12" w x 24"h x24" l dual cupholder with drawer/storage:

I enjoy reading many other posts here, this avs forum is great for collaborative efforts.

7,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)

1,838 Posts
Wow!!! Mike you are A true DIYer
Its the best feeling when you know that you made it yourself + you know its done right

Keeping in mined that there are very few people that are talented enough to accomplish what you have done with your home, I am truly amazed....

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