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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,


I previously built a theater in my old house that was nice and took up most of the basement. Fast forward to today and I have a new house with a lot more space. The problem is, Im not sure what to do with the rest of the basement. It is not a huge basement, but could problably add about 700-800 square feet if finished.


I have come up with different layouts for the theater, but what is stopping me is what I would use the rest of the basemtn for. I figure what the rest of the basement will kind of dictate the final layout of the theater. So if I may ask, what did everyone do?


Oh, one more thing, the wife really does not care what I do to the basement so she is not much help/hinderence...



Thanks for reading
 

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I have a "Man Cave Office". A flat panel connected through the wall to the theater equipment stack, a sound system and speakers, my computer and space to work on my photography/printmaking/art projects.


I also have a dedicated workshop with all my wood working tools. In there is a 4x8 foot work table that doubles as table saw out-feed table. Then a wall covered with pegboard for tools , and a high counter top with storage underneath.
 

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I would say that it most matters what you like to do, such as hobbies. Big like's woodworking, for instance. You could make extra storage, a work out room, game area, etc. But you should start with what you want to DO in the space... then that will guide you to what the space will end up being formed up as.
 

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Bars are popular basement projects, especially if you want a billiards room. In Illinois, a passive wine cellar could work, depending on the layout of the foundation.


Like everyone else said, though, a basement is a great opportunity to make a dedicated space for something you love to do but don't have the room for elsewhere in the house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone.

BigMouth I have read your theater thread and it is impressive!


I want to create a lounge/bar/maybe game area in the rest of the basement, but not sure if I have enough room I guess.


I'm trying to include pictures, but I'm having trouble. Once I figure it out, I'll post them to give perspective.
 

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After reading the posted suggestions I would suggest you make a list of things you Need vs things you Want.


One suggestion was an office - An Office?? Do you need a place to do work?? LOL an office just doesn't sound like much fun. I get my work done primarily with a laptop, printer and internet connection.


Once you are positive you have perfect plan for projector, screen, sound and seating then I would look for complimentary fun accessories but FUN is a subjective and personal opinion thing.


We have the screen, Pj plus big TV in viewing side of our area. The other part of the area is a good sized bar, bar chairs that can see the screens, four of the best classic pinball games known to man, foosball table and coin op dart machine.


All arranged so we can have Tavern dim levels of lighting on in the bar game area - mostly game lights and a beer neon or two leaving the viewing screens in semi-darkness.


Anywho, I guess gym/exercise could be another option if you are one of those indoor health/exercise people.


You could build a "Theater lobby" with concession counter, popcorn machine, posters, funny expensive lights and etc. - that sounds nicely cosmetic but not a whole bunch of fun once the novelty wears off.


Okay - I'll quit rambling - do something fun with the space - serious space is often the most wasted space of all!!!
 

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I would make sure to have a bathroom and some sort of small kitchen at a minimum. That way you don't have to run upstairs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Alrighty! Got the picture thing down (Thanks ScruffyHT!for the link)


Ok, this a picture of where I want the theater to be. It is the largest area in the basement (19 x 24 but I would most likely build the wall even with support beam making room (15.5 x 24 ish)




In this picture I'm standing in the corner of where the theater would be looking back towards the stairs. I'm thinking this could be a lounge/game/bar area (About 13 x 17)




And this is the other side of the stairs which is a smallish area about 15 x 11




Not sure what I want to do with the small area. I know I want the theater, just not sure what to do or what can be possible with the rest of the space.


Do the pictures help? Thanks again everyone...
 

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With the smaller side why not put the air hockey table in there? Then you could put a wall on the back side of it, with a door going to the utility room, and mount a TV with all of the wires going to the other side where the other components will be for the theater room.


On the other side you could put the bar, and have an island that backs up the the last row of sets in the theater room.


In the theater room you can put all of the components inside the wall, as well as some of the speakers, you are going to build along the beam.


Just my 2 cents
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
With the smaller side why not put the air hockey table in there? Then you could put a wall on the back side of it, with a door going to the utility room, and mount a TV with all of the wires going to the other side where the other components will be for the theater room.


On the other side you could put the bar, and have an island that backs up the the last row of sets in the theater room.


In the theater room you can put all of the components inside the wall, as well as some of the speakers, you are going to build along the beam.

Moving the air hockey table sounds good. I was thinking of walling off the utility room and the small storage area we have as well (With access to them of course!) I especiallly like your thinking of wiring a/v to a flat panel from the theater room.


If I understand your idea, I would have an open layout having the theater visible from the bar area correct? If so, that brings me to the dedicated or not question. ..Also how big are bar areas typically?


imjay, I really like your thinking! To be honest, we all do not need a theater or any of this stuff besides maybe some boring stuff like storage area but I get what you are saying. I would like to have people hang out in the basement for more than watching a movie when we have guests over. I'm just not convinced I have the room.
 

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Yes the screen would be visible from the bar area. I don't know how big a bar should be but I think you have enough room, and if you do put in a bar you should put it against the concrete wall. That way as soon as you walk down the stairs and turn left it's the first thing you see.


I think it would be cool to make the illusion of the two rooms being separated by putting a small arch in the top corner where the wall and ceiling meet at the end of the bar area. Or you could even make a wall that comes out about a foot that goes up to the small arch to give it more of an illusion of two separate rooms.


Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have google sketchup and have a couple of drawings as well as a general layout of the basement. Anyone know how to get them from my pc to this thread?


I think it would helpful and I can try different mockups and get feedback if I can.
 

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Get a photobucket account. See link in my sig.


EDIT - Never mind - you mean how to get out of Sketchup. There is an "export" function (under the "File" menu), export as 2d and it will save the current view as a jpg. Then send to Flickr like you did above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks dc_pilgrim!


Here is a drawing of the basement and my current idea




What do you guys think?
 

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Well, there's the main screen seating area:



The game/bar area- I think we have the same air hockey table! (construction of bar shelves since completed):



The gym/dance studio (with adjacent bathroom and storage closet):



And "The Lab", my space for tinkering with stuff (and attached utility closet):



Click HERE for more pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Very nice scaesare! That is the same air hockey table too (gotta love Costco!).


Is your bar/game area right next to your theater?
 

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Costco... it's a love/hate thang... :)


Yeah, here's a pic that gives you some perspective of the room... it's taken from the front-left corner of the room (when looking at screen):




I really should take some pictures of everything completed...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have two layouts I have come up with for the basement:


Layout 1 - Its the same design I orignially posted that has a storage/equipment room behind the theater.




Layout 2 - I extended the theater wall all the way to the back of the basement eliminating the storage/equip area. Basically turning the theater 90 degrees to the right.




I gain a larger lounge area which could make the basement space seem larger if I closed the theater off. THe downside is I would have a second tier of seating that would have a lower ceiling as there is a beam and main HVAC lines towards the back of the that basement wall. Also, the screen wall would cover a window. I'd post a picture, but the wife has the camera right now.
 
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