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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I absolutely love these home theaters I see on this page but I can't figure out how you guys can afford to do these!! Maybe it's where I live (Main Line, near Philly), with the outrageous prices for real estate ($400K for a town home), but only the SUPER rich in my area have home theaters coming close to the levels I see on these pages.


What are your secrets for budgeting for such amazing HT? Is the cost of living low in your area? Or is everybody on this board really, really well off?
 

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Plan A: Sell first born child.


Plan B: Sell husband.


Plan C: Realize I have no spawn as of yet. Realize no one would take my husband, even if I paid them. Ultimately decide to do a little at a time, and save/spend wisely.
 

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My whole HT (including chairs, projector, etc.) cost about $20k. The price of a middle of the road new car. I did all the work except mudding/taping and carpet myself. If I'd gone cheaper on the chairs/projector, I could have done it for $15k.


It also took two years, so the expense was spread out a bit (although most of it was in the second year).


If you are living paycheck to paycheck, you can't afford a nice home theater. If you can afford a new car every few years, however, you can afford an HT. It's all choices.


Now, if you are not handy and need somebody else to do it for you, the price will go up quickly...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmeyer /forum/post/15563373


My whole HT (including chairs, projector, etc.) cost about $20k. The price of a middle of the road new car. I did all the work except mudding/taping and carpet myself. If I'd gone cheaper on the chairs/projector, I could have done it for $15k.


It also took two years, so the expense was spread out a bit (although most of it was in the second year).


If you are living paycheck to paycheck, you can't afford a nice home theater. If you can afford a new car every few years, however, you can afford an HT. It's all choices.


Now, if you are not handy and need somebody else to do it for you, the price will go up quickly...

Not handy in the slightest, so I am having my cousin do the work. $10K cash for studding, electrical, and drywall. Having a kid in daycare at $1200 a month is making this project difficult!


I think I may have to take darkpixie's advice and sell my son. Hope my wife doesn't mind.....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericthemidget /forum/post/15563416


I think I may have to take darkpixie's advice and sell my son. Hope my wife doesn't mind.....


Just tell her that you sent him to boarding school. I'm sure in a few years she'll forget all about him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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Originally Posted by darkpixie08 /forum/post/15563461


Just tell her that you sent him to boarding school. I'm sure in a few years she'll forget all about him.

The scary part is that we will be sending him to boarding school when he enters middle school. Can't wait for that bill!
 

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It's called DYI/free labor. The super rich pay someone else to do the work for them. I can try to do it on my own for 1/4 of the cost. We pay as we go, so it's going to take 3 years to complete. Finishing the rest of the basement has not helped speed the project along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathan /forum/post/15563497


It's called DYI/free labor. The super rich pay someone else to do the work for them. I can try to do it on my own for 1/4 of the cost. We pay as we go, so it's going to take 3 years to complete. Finishing the rest of the basement has not helped speed the project along.

I couldn't deal with a 3 year timetable. Taking a month total to do 500 square feet seems excessive to me (including paint and carpet)
 

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I used extra equity from the sale of my last house to finance my basement finish-out (all-in for about $30k for the entire basement). For the theater, let's see, I'll have to extrapolate from the entire project's costs:


Framing: $300

Drywall: $1500 (subbed out)

Electric: $1000

Paint: $100

Doors: $300

Trim: $100

Carpet: $1000

A/V Wires: $500

Projector: $2500

A/V Equip: $500

Speakers: $3000

Seating: $2500

Misc. $500


So that's... $13,800, give or take. This was DIY with the help of friends and family. Really, mine's very basic by this forum's standards.
 

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I had a spare 13 X 20 room, so the building of it wasn't extensive. Had to build the riser, add some electrical, build a half-wall, build equipment rack/DVD storage, carpet, paint, etc.


Total cost to create the room was only about $5000 (all DIY, with no prior experience), but then I added about $15,000 in equipment/seating/etc. for a total of about $20,000.


We had about $15,000 extra from when we bought our new house 4 years ago (had been saving for 5 years), so instead of adding it to the down payment, we saved it for the theater build.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sands_at_Pier147 /forum/post/15563675


We're just spending money left and right on the credit cards. I consider it my own personal stimulus package for the economy of SE Michigan. At least when I am flat broke and barely keeping up with the payments I'll have a nice home theater to sit in and pout.

Ditto here in MI
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericthemidget /forum/post/15563307


Or is everybody on this board really, really well off?

I think you will find a huge variance on this forum. Yes, some folks are obviously well off and $100K+ towards the home theater budget is no big deal. Others make do with very modest budgets and a diy approach.


I would assume that the folks with the nicer theaters tend to post more pics than the guy/gal with a used PJ from eBay propped up on an old shelf and projecting onto a painted wall with a 1970 lazyboy recliner for seating. And it's entirely possible that the later person enjoys their room as much as the former.



I'm someone is the middle. Fortunate that the house I moved into 10 years ago had a finished basement. I have spent $20K or so on equipment, seating, improvements, etc. Every year I make some upgrades as needs change, budget allows and time dictates.


Like the Master Card commercial...Friday night watching a movie together with my daughter? Priceless.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericthemidget /forum/post/15563520


I couldn't deal with a 3 year timetable. Taking a month total to do 500 square feet seems excessive to me (including paint and carpet)

I understand. For me the journey is almost as much fun as the final prize. Forgot to mention, I figure all in I'll have spent around 50k to do the theater and basement. I had to promise the wife no-debt would be created to get it done.
 

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Well we had a whole basement development with a games room for the kids, a theater, Gym and Bathroom to budget for ... started researching here a couple years ago ... bought 2 projectors, 2 screens, 8 Coaster Studio chairs, Axiom 7.1, Monoprice cables ... that was a little over a year ago
- wish I had waited on the HD 80 but I had the cash handy at the time so we got it all and stored it in the garage ... I did setup the games room projector & screen for the kids temporarily so they would have somewhere to play all the video games ( Wii, PS2, PS3, XBox 360, Game Cube etc ) got busy at work and had to put off the actual construction till just recently ... drywall comes tomorrow



All in it will probably come in around 30K for about 1000 sq ft developed


That is spread over 2 years so not too hard on the bank acct
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScruffyHT /forum/post/15566796


Well we had a whole basement development with a games room for the kids, a theater, Gym and Bathroom to budget for ... started researching here a couple years ago ... bought 2 projectors, 2 screens, 8 Coaster Studio chairs, Axiom 7.1, Monoprice cables ... that was a little over a year ago
- wish I had waited on the HD 80 but I had the cash handy at the time so we got it all and stored it in the garage ... I did setup the games room projector & screen for the kids temporarily so they would have somewhere to play all the video games ( Wii, PS2, PS3, XBox 360, Game Cube etc ) got busy at work and had to put off the actual construction till just recently ... drywall comes tomorrow



All in it will probably come in around 30K for about 1000 sq ft developed


That is spread over 2 years so not too hard on the bank acct

That's what I mean. $30K extra over two years for me is not possible. With child care, student loans, and normal bills, and my wife and I making well into the six figures, we just can't seem to do it.


It has to come down to cost of living in your area. A $3600 mortgage per month just makes it hard to live in this area (at 5%!).
 

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If I did " just " the theater it would have been half that ... so just prioritize what you want first


There is a guy on here that did his whole theater including seating, projector, screen, speakers etc for under 5K ... that might be a thread to look at



If soundproofing is important spend the cash on that now cause that is harder to retrofit later on ... the equipment can and will be upgraded as you go as upgradeitis sets in



You CAN build a decent theater on a smaller budget
 

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For someone who is just getting started on a dedicated HT I was wondering what the budget were for some of the nicer looking HTs on this forum.


It would be nice to see budget with picture of what was built with that budget.


Also excluding electronic equipment (i.e. projector, speakers & receivers) what is the more expensive options?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonyHome /forum/post/15567718


For someone who is just getting started on a dedicated HT I was wondering what the budget were for some of the nicer looking HTs on this forum.


It would be nice to see budget with picture of what was built with that budget.


Also excluding electronic equipment (i.e. projector, speakers & receivers) what is the more expensive options?

Gifts for the wife...



Seating can really eat your budget, as well as lighting.
 

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Doing everything myself so far has saved major money.


The problem with that is that I end up spending it on equipment (or future equipment).


so...uh...I don't want to think about it.
 
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