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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After years of lurking on the forums, lots of thinking, building a house, a couple of false starts and a year-old abandoned thread later I'm starting my official build thread....again.

Background Info/Touchy Feely Stuff

I don't remember when I stumbled across AVS, but suffice to say it was years ago...Ever since then, I've wanted a theater of my own. I've spent many hours browsing through the different build threads seeing what everyone else has done and planning my own build. We built our current house two years ago in lovely central Illinois. Ok, it's not lovely, but that's where I am..... Anyhow, my wife got the new house on the condition that I had a room of my own to build my dream. So it begins...

The Room

The room is a basement theater. The house was built with this in mind, so there are no windows in the theater and an equipment room attached to the theater. The main room is approximately 16'x23', the equipment room is approximately 12'x11'.


The Plan

In a nutshell, here's the plan for the room:
  • Full-on soundproofing. That means double drywall, green glue, RSIC, soundproofed doors, HVAC silencing, etc. In other words, a giant pain in the ass...
  • AT screen. Probably 12' wide or so. 2.40 CIH setup. Speakers behind the screen and backlit all pretty-like.
  • Masking system. I'm determined to come up with a reasonable DIY masking system using some kind of microcontroller solution - think Arduino. Been playing around with one and in theory I don't think this will be too difficult. In theory.
  • One row of 4 seats. Berkline power recline or something similar. It's just my wife with no little ones in the plans, so not much need for more seating.
  • Bar seating behind the recliners. Figured it'd be nice to have a place to put food/drinks or have additional seating should we have some friends over.
  • CRT projection to start. May upgrade to digital down the road.
  • 7.2 sound. Klipsch stuff.
  • GrafikEye controlling the lighting. The 6 zone one.
  • Bryan Pape has been retained for accoustics. Actually he was retained over a year ago, but I'm slow...
  • 100% DIY where possible. I love doing this stuff and hate paying someone to do something I can do myself.
  • Finish date of sometime in the next few years. Again, I'm slow...
  • Budget. Not sure here. Cheap. I figure I'll be in $15k-$20k when the room is all finished. We'll see.


Here is a rough SketchUp drawing of the current plan. Pretty rough...



Here are a few pics from over a year ago, before I did any framing. I had set up a DIY Wilsonart laminate screen and some masking as soon as the house was finished. Yes, I know this is frowned upon. Bite me. I watched movies and sporting events in my ghetto theater for over a year using this setup.




 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Over the next couple days I'll update this thread with posts and pictures to bring everything up to date with the current status of the room...


If I've learned anything over the last year or so since actually starting my build, it's that I'll never let my wife talk me into soundproofing a theater again should we ever embark on that journey sometime.


The original plan was to just build out a theater room with little regard for soundproofing. When we moved in, I set up the ghetto theater with a smaller blackout cloth screen and some and older 5.1 HTIB setup. Noise levels weren't great, especially with the room being completely open but it wasn't bad....Then I got my current Klipsch setup.
Seeing as how the master suite is directly above the theater room, the wife decided this was unacceptable - so sound proofing became a necessity....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One thing I think will cause a lot of questions is my choice of CRT projection. Yeah, CRT projectors are aging dinosaurs...I know there aren't many guys that use them anymore. But you absolutely can't beat the value they provide - assuming you put in the time to properly set one up.


The first iteration of my theater will use CRT projection - an NEC XG-135 to be specific. It's half as old as I am, weighs more than half as much as I do, but damn it puts out a nice picture.


I've currently got six CRT machines cluttering my basement right now, which I've obtained for a grand total of $500 or so.


Now the XG's aren't the cream of the crop as far as CRT's go, but it'll do for now. I've considered searching for a nice 9" model and would consider paying for one. But I am a realist as well - these haven't been popular for years and they're not coming back anytime soon....I will upgrade to digital when the time comes. But until then, I'm going to use the hell out of my CRT....
 

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Welcome back!


I will be watching with interest. I must admit I am curious about the CRT setup and know there are several here with them, but as you stated they are the exception rather than the rule. Good luck and most of all (to keep the hecklers at bay) post pics of your progress or lack of progress, photos keep us all happy!


Regards,


RTROSE
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, RT....


I must admit I've been back and forth on the CRT vs. digital thing a few hundred times. I picked my first one up quite a few years ago when they were still pretty common, and digitals weren't nearly what they are now. Kind of got bit by a bug at that time.


I've got 6 of them now, 4 I think are working....With more or less new tubes on the machine I plan to use, I'm hoping to keep it running for a few more years at least. I don't plan on upgrading CRT's at all, but I suppose I would if the opportunity presented itself.


I do plan to make accomidations for a digital while I'm building the room - so I'm planning a space in the back-wall soffit for one. I'll have ventilation, cabling and power bridge ready to go for when I do make the switch.
 

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That is a really good looking space you have to work with - no pipes or ducts to work around (that I can see). Your plan looks good, too. What's your ceiling height - 9'?


Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks. Yeah, 9' ceilings. Well worth the extra expense when building. I think it was a $3k option, so it was kind of a no-brainer.... No pipes or duct work either - I was adamant about keeping stuff out of that room where possible, or running it up in the joists.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This theater has two doors - a 32" on the right-front of the theater leading to the equipment/wiring room and an entry door on the back wall. When we built the house, soundproofing was not in mind so we had the builder install your basic set of double doors.




Well that wasn't going to work now that we're soundproofing the room....So out go the double doors replaced by a single 36" solid core door. Quite a heavy beast! The original plan was to find a nice maple door in the same style and stain it, but what I found were doors ranging from $800-$2000....That was a bit out of budget. So I settled for a paintable door of the same style - for $100! The 32" door inside the theater is the same style.




I'm pleased to say that both doors, while a pain to install, went in perfectly the first time. I ordered just the slabs without the jambs, but in retrospect, I probably wouldn't do the same thing again....
 

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FlyingCheese. Hmmm, must be an interesting story behind that name... I thought all the cheese names were up here in WI.



I like your room size (especially the 9' ceilings), but I'm curious why you decided to go with a bar in a dedicated room, instead of a 2nd row of comfy recliners?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We decided to go with a bar because the primary users of the room will just be my wife and I - we don't have any kids. For me it's hard to justify spending another $2k for a second row of seating when it'll go unused over 90% of the time. Also, because we're doing a false wall with an AT screen, we're losing 3' of length to the room - a second row of seating would be pretty difficult to squeeze in considering the entry door is on the back wall. The room was originally 4' longer, but I ended up giving that space back to the family room on the other side before it was framed up...


As for the name, I am originally from Wisconsin - Milwaukee to be exact. A life-long Cheesehead here! GO PACK GO. I'm also a licensed pilot, so the cheese literally flies in my case....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How have you guys estimated your drywall needs?
  • How much overage should I built into my estimated needs?
  • For those that have done DD/GG, how did you lay out the panels? Horizontally first, then vertically? Does it matter?
  • Is there a point of diminishing returns when it comes to panel size vs. price?


I estimate I need about 3900 sqft of drywall at a minimum to do two layers. I called a local supply house and was quoted $12.48/sheet for 5/8" 12'x4' sheets plus a $1.00/sheet fee for delivery to the basement. I'll gladly pay that - no way in hell I'm walking 100 sheets of drywall down to my basement...
 

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So there is a WI tie to your name - long live cheeseheads! And the Pack!


Makes sense for your seating, I was just curious. I plan to start with just 2 front seats for my wife and I, and will add a second row in the future. On your AT screen wall, 3' may be too much, unless you have monster speakers. Most guys go 24" - 30" to minimize the space required. Every inch counts...


For drywall, I just calculated total sq. ft. & divided by the sq. ft. in one sheet, then added 5% for cuts/waste. I came out almost exact, didn't have a full sheet left. I did the first layer horizontal & the second vertical, but I don't think it matters. I went with 4x8 sheets from Menards, as I did all the work myself and didn't want to try to handle 4x12 sheets. Also bought a drywall lift off eslay to make hanging much easier.


Good move on having them delivered! I watched as 2 guys unloaded and carried mine into the basement - money well spent!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingCheese /forum/post/19533740


How have you guys estimated your drywall needs?
  • How much overage should I built into my estimated needs?
  • For those that have done DD/GG, how did you lay out the panels? Horizontally first, then vertically? Does it matter?
  • Is there a point of diminishing returns when it comes to panel size vs. price?


I estimate I need about 3900 sqft of drywall at a minimum to do two layers. I called a local supply house and was quoted $12.48/sheet for 5/8" 12'x4' sheets plus a $1.00/sheet fee for delivery to the basement. I'll gladly pay that - no way in hell I'm walking 100 sheets of drywall down to my basement...

A dollar a sheet "placed" seems to pretty much the standard as that is what I payed. Like you I thought it was money well spent and would pay for it again in a heart beat. No way was I going to have to do that all on my own.


Good luck!


Regards,


RTROSE
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Can anyone tell me why the big price difference between a construction products supplier and the big box stores like Menard's and Lowe's?
  • Menards - $7.88/sheet for 5/8" 12'x4' sheets. $2.50/sheet placement fee and $50 delivery charge.
  • Specialty supplier - $12.48/sheet for 5/8" 12'x4' sheets. $1.00/sheet placement fee and free delivery.


This is completely opposite from what I was expecting. In fact, Menard's ends up being cheaper for my needs even with the higher per sheet placement fee. And, 15% off that price this weekend only...


So what gives? Is Menard's stocking that crappy Chinese drywall or something?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Drywall ordered, coming tomorrow weather permitting....


I'm not really ready for it, but it was on sale at Menard's and I wanted it here before I take some time off around Christmas.


Anyone had any luck with a drywall lift off Ebay? Looks like they can be had for $135 with free shipping. That's cheaper than the local Harbor Freight. Figured I'd pick one up and throw it on Craigslist when I'm finished.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingCheese /forum/post/19557274


Anyone had any luck with a drywall lift off Ebay?

Many guys on here buy them on eslay, then sell them for about the same price. Mine was 150 shipped, well worth it. They work great for not only the ceiling, but the upper wall sheets also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
With a four-day weekend because of the Thanksgiving Holiday, I figured I'd get loads and loads accomplished with the theater. Hahahahahaha.....


I did get drywall ordered. But, Mrs. FlyingCheese was none too happy to hear that said pile of drywall would be laying in the middle of the basement floor until such time as I got around to hanging it. She seemed OK with it once I explained it was either that or she helps me carry 70 sheets of 12' drywall down the stairs. Oh, and her parking spot in the garage will be our of order until we get that done.....She seemed OK with it after my logic was bestowed upon her.


In other news, I did kind of clean up the wiring closet a bit. If you can call it that.




Also picked up a copy of GT5 to fool around with. Most impressive on a 12' screen....Not bad for a 15 year old projector!! The real image looks much better than the picture turned out...my point-and-shoot picture skills suck.

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got my drywall the other day. 70 sheets of 12' 5/8", all hand-carried to the basement by some very thrilled delivery guys.....It was cold and damp on delivery day and these two guys WERE NOT HAPPY when I told them where the drywall was to end up....70 trips later....


Drywall was $6.70/sheet after 15% discount Menard's had last weekend. $2.50/sheet placement fee brought the total to $9.20/sheet. Still over $4/sheet less than some of the local supply houses.



Also ordered a drywall lift from Amazon.com - $150 with free shipping (love Amazon Prime...). Should be here tomorrow...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Spent the last day and a half hanging my RSIC-1's and furring channel on the ceiling. I sure didn't think it would take as long as it did, or be as big of a pain in the ass as it was. I'm a few clips and pieces of channel short of finishing - time to drop some more cash...


 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Also, looking for some ideas on how to hang a CRT projector using DCO4's or some other kind of 'soundproof' method. Really drawing a blank on this one...
 
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