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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor  /t/855958/what-id-do-differently-next-time/720#post_22441578


Yes, absolutely on the projector. They should be labeled "Keep Refrigerated"
...

Audio / video components don't change as radically, and certainly speakers don't - so don't be afraid to pick one up if a deal presents itself. But a normal "sale" price at a big box, well, it'll be on sale again...

The other well known issue about having the projector on-hand long before completion is that once that box is opened and an image projected on a bare wall - all progress on the theater can come to a complete halt!


Jeff


Even with audio components it can still be relevant for compatibility reasons (Not speakers of course). For example, you may buy a solid 2D projector today, 6 months later when you're actually ready to hang it, you may have been able to afford a good 3D projector instead and consequently would need a 3D blu-ray player, etc. for it. Though these days, most are all 3D ready so it's probably not a concern as it was even just a year ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #742
DO NOT buy equipment until you have the room design and acoustic design completed! Until that time you won't have a clue as to what the engineering specifications the speakers will need to meet. Rather like buying an engine for a boat before you design the boat. It could look like a real bargin until you find out the engine is the wrong size/type.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine  /t/855958/what-id-do-differently-next-time/720#post_22442802


DO NOT buy equipment until you have the room design and acoustic design completed! Until that time you won't have a clue as to what the engineering specifications the speakers will need to meet. Rather like buying an engine for a boat before you design the boat. It could look like a real bargin until you find out the engine is the wrong size/type.

Unless you are carrying over equipment because you have too or like something you currently have.



No I see the point here completely. I wish that I could afford to do something like that because it is very sound advice, plus, there are advances in technology all of the time. Why not wait until the space is done and treated to see what is the right equipment, and then you are also buying "fresh" product too and not something that can sit around getting old...
 

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My room has been designed and contractors will hopefully start construction next month. I recently bought speakers, subs, amps, chairs, buttkickers and screen. All of these were ordered from online companies that only sell direct. I'm glad I ordered these at this stage because it allowed me to resolve issues with my orders now rather than sitting around with a completed room while waiting for equipment glitches to be addressed. Some equipment like AVR/Preamp, projectors have shorter lifecycles so I will delay buying those until I near completion of the room.
 

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I would hire somebody to rip out the 20 year old carpet in my basement or wear a high end respirator rather than doing it myself. Twenty years is an awfully long time for crap to accumulate in carpet. The day after I took up the carpet I developed asthma and was bed-ridden for another three days. The affliction has plagued me ever since. The doctors called it allergy-induced asthma. It sucks; be careful.
 
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Uh...2, 4 years?...I've been planning my theatre since 1991 when we bought our 1907 home. I don't like to rush into things...apparently.


Needless to say it has gone through a "few" changes. I could list the huge mistakes that I didn't make because the addition, for many reasons, didn't get built until two years ago. But what's the point, people can only take so much laughter.


By this time I had come across this site (much food for thought!!!), talked to many idiots in the business (many ideas to stay away from), talked to many salesmen in the business (unfortunately short-sighted with only one thing in mind), some in the business with interesting ideas and lucked into an honest(!) service guy that made some great recommendations. Sadly, Robert's business, All-In-One Electronics in Toronto didn't survive the recession and the trend to disposable equipment, but I still have his email address. When I was forced to consider buying a new Theatre Receiver, Rob said that even the best receivers are designed to self-destruct due to internal cooling issues and recommended splitting it into components. He said to dump as much money as "available" into the power amp(s), because that fundamental technology will "never" change, and treat the Pre-amp as a disposable item. When I expressed my frustration in getting sound advice (sorry) on speaker placement, he gave me the name of a friend who used to design audiophile speakers. Mark is going to design/I'm going to build speakers for the room and tune them in place. I like a little R&D.


With all the comments about bad experiences with contractors, I'm embarrassed to admit that I am a GC...so, I'm doing "it" to myself. So far, I have a concrete box. Three walls are ICF (insulated concrete forms) filled with 8" thick poured concrete and the fourth is the old 2' thick stone foundation wall. A suggestion from my ICF supplier was to use a corrugated steel pan and a poured concrete slab for the floor above. There is 6" of concrete poured over an 8" pan for a total floor thickness of 14". There will be isolation clips on the underside for a drop ceiling and my flooring guy suggested a 5 mm rubber isolation mat glued to the top side with 3/4 plywood glued to it, plus 3/4 hardwood. The hardwood is nailed to the plywood but the nails don't penetrate to the rubber. The room was designed as big as possible given the other rooms required and city bylaws on over-all size. I ended up with 16' x 26', and being able to say "keep digging" ended up with a clear 9' ceiling stepping down to a clear 11' at the screen end. The 6" poured floor is isolated from the walls and has radiant floor heating. There will be a dedicated ventilation/A/C. There are three rows of seating planned with 12" risers.


The kitchen above, also part of the addition, has had to be the priority (since I do most of the cooking, this project has turned out to be something of a win/win endeavor), so the theater is currently my carpentry shop. Sometimes, I just sit in there and dream...of more money to finish!


The finished room will be a combination theatre and music listening room with two dedicated sound systems. One advantage of the delays, is that when you aren't looking, you stumbled across some amazing finds. A friend, knowing I was into audio asked If I knew how his friend could dispose of an unwanted stereo inherited from his father...I now have a barely used 1990 vintage 270 w Macintosh component stereo with XRT 23 speakers and all the trimmings. The one I drooled over when I bought a new, more modest, stereo in 1990! That's the music system. There was also a new Bryston Amp on e-bay located in Texas. It was bought by a dealer when the Canadian dollar was $0.70 US and I bought when the Canadian dollar was $1.05 US.


I've read some of the problems people have Q's about. If I might offer some suggestions:


For those of you with forced air systems, try decoupling the metal ducts from the furnace with a neoprene sleeve (available from an HVAC supplier) before the pipe gets to the room, that should eliminate vibrations from the furnace. The last four feet before the vent opening should be lined with sound insulation (comes ready-lined from the HVAC supplier) and should have at least one 90 degree turn (sound travels in straight lines until it gets reflected, hence he lining). Same deal for the air return (yes, you need one). The space under the door should be minimal if not sealed to keep the sound "out".


There has been much talk here about finding the blackest black for walls. W. Eugene Smith, a famous photojournalist, from a by-gone era, suggested that the best background colour for viewing photographs was a Zone V ("5") grey. This is a mid-tone flat grey. He would insist that the walls of the galleries exhibiting his work were painted this grey. In fact, he even patented a paint with the proper pigment blend. The theory was that the neutral grey was restful on the eyes and allowed the viewer to focus on the B&W photograph without the distraction and contrast of a glaring white, dead black or coloured wall. The sheen level would be "flat". The shinier sheen levels of the paint is what is giving the problems with glare and reflection. I was planning on "starting" with this finish around the screen and see where it takes me for a colour scheme.


I started reading at the beginning of this thread about wiring in a UPS for the projector. I was thinking,"the LED units don't need the cool down period in case of a power failure." Then I noticed the date, 2005. At the rate I'm going, it might even be affordable by the time I need one.


Great site guys! Thank you!
 
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Waited for AppleTv / iPhone/ iPad / AirPlay devices and iRule.............pretty much
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by just jim  /t/855958/what-id-do-differently-next-time/720#post_22524915


so, I'm doing "it" to myself. So far, I have a concrete box. Three walls are ICF (insulated concrete forms) filled with 8" thick poured concrete and the fourth is the old 2' thick stone foundation wall. A suggestion from my ICF supplier was to use a corrugated steel pan and a poured concrete slab for the floor above. There is 6" of concrete poured over an 8" pan for a total floor thickness of 14". There will be isolation clips on the underside for a drop ceiling and my flooring guy suggested a 5 mm rubber isolation mat glued to the top side with 3/4 plywood glued to it, plus 3/4 hardwood. The hardwood is nailed to the plywood but the nails don't penetrate to the rubber. The room was designed as big as possible given the other rooms required and city bylaws on over-all size. I ended up with 16' x 26', and being able to say "keep digging" ended up with a clear 9' ceiling stepping down to a clear 11' at the screen end. The 6" poured floor is isolated from the walls and has radiant floor heating. There will be a dedicated ventilation/A/C. There are three rows of seating planned with 12" risers.

just jim,

Thanks for contributing! Your description of this space suggests it would make an excellent build thread with some photos, hint-hint
 

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Now that I'm pretty much done with the framing, soundproofing and soon to be drywall - my "WIDDNT" would be to hire someone else to do it all! I'm getting too old for all this manual labor and it's not getting done fast enough for my wife.
I'm hoping this is my last theater for a while, which means if I do move and need a 3rd one, I'll definitely be too old for DIY.
 

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The contractor has done it again! Here's some advice from our perspective.


In the Contractor's defense...yes, we are out there to make money. BUT, if the contractor is serious about building his business and not wanting to spend a high percentage of his time selling himself to get a job, he WILL have the customer's best interest at heart. His jobs should be sold by his reputation. Very few people are happy when they get the bill. Usually, the sticker shock dissipates once the client moves back in and realizes that, "that widget is exactly where it should be and everything works. AND, their friends are impressed!" And with a little grim, they realize that they don't have horror stories to share at parties about what the they found after the contractor left or what they should have done. When you go to medical specialist, you go to the best one that you can afford. Wait. I'm in Canada, so the best one costs the same as the novice...nothing. My advice is to ask to see previous jobs done by the contractor and talk to the home owners about the good and the bad. And make sure the contractor has experience in the specific type of work you need done, or have experts who are. Talk to the building inspector about his experience with that contractor. They know who is good and who needs to be watched.


The market is full of wood butchers and scoundrels. I'm sure Toronto is no different from any other settlement, where anybody with a hammer and lack of other employment fancies them self a contractor.


If you are doing new construction it is much easier to establish a ballpark price than if you are building into an existing structure, especially if work has been done there before. Building booms are the worst time to have any work done because you often have to settle for an untried contractor without a pedigree. This is when the opportunists get work because you can't find any body else. The good guys are generally the ones still working when the market is slow.


I too work strictly on a T&M basis as the GC or project manager. But, "most" of my sub-trades will be on the job on a "fixed price" basis or a fee schedule. Prices will vary depending on actual site conditions. Fair is fair. How can a contractor be expected to cover the cost for repairs to structure compromised and hidden by previous contractors or "home handymen" (Do It to Your self-ers)! I've been in the business for 30 years and still I can't believe some of the things I find! Try, 5 joists in a row that don't make it to the other end because of multiple holes cut for pipes in the previous 2 or 3 bathroom renos!!!


Ask the GC or contractor how he selects the subs for your job. This is a trick question. If the Contractor has been around, he won't be putting jobs out to tender, he will have a group that he works with. Not necessarily trades in his employment, as this adds to overhead that you will be paying a premium for. Personally, I believe that an independent sub understands that his reputation is only as good as his last job and will want to build his business with the contractor. As a "sub" instead of an "employee" he knows that he is more easily replaced if he doesn't perform to the contractor's "expectations". Also, and very important, is that he must be a team player. Sometimes he has to take the second or third best/easiest route, for example running wire, when he knows that a pipe has to go in a specific area. He knows that he won't be on the next job if he complicates things for others. But it is the contractor that sets the tone (ie. if corner cutting is tolerated). Three-way communication is imperative. The subs need to know expectations and critical details before they proceed with work in each area, they need to tell the contractor immediately if they encounter a problem and possibly most importantly, the client should be comfortable discussing even the most minute detail that they are not completely happy with, with the contractor whether in the drawings or finished work. Never mind the hair dresser, only the contractor actually knows for sure! A fresh set of eyes and an open discussion usually comes up with solutions for what had been compromises. Experienced trades are always happy to get some of the lime light when they can propose a fix that they may have seen before or come up with in your specific situation. Never underestimate a trade that takes pride in his work!!! You will be pleasantly surprised. I take pride in finding them, keeping them and having them on site.


Conversely, ask the contractor how long his trades have been with him. Subs won't work for a contractor that is constantly having problem, doesn't treat them with the respect that a quality trade deserves and has issues with money.


Understand that the GC should be working for YOU, but he must also protect his sub trades. If changes are made, the trade must still get paid for the work done. If the change was made by the homeowner...


Ask how the contractor deals with change orders. I don't bill for changes, only for work done and restocking fees, if charged by the supplier, which is rare, since they want my business. Obviously my time is covered discussing the change, but I don't see the logic in charging for an item if it was changed before any work was done on it. I do custom work and therefore expect things to change as the job progresses. Very few homeowners have the insight or "mental imaging" capability to understand or "see" what is on the drawings. Sadly, this includes too many architects, engineers and designers. In their defense, (aren't I diplomatic?) they are not on the renovation site on a daily basis, if at all, after the project starts, and have made many assumptions in preparing their drawings. The contractor should be there and can address problems as they are exposed. He is often in the best position to propose solutions, present them to the homeowner and or designer given his knowledge of existing site conditions. This is what you are paying for.


As far as the fear of T&M becoming, "Take your time and material". The work site should be a happy place. As the homeowner, find things to compliment workers on. It will put a smile on their face and let them know that you are appreciating what they are doing. If they are not doing something right, take it up with the contractor to deal with. Discuss concerns and problems before they become big and expensive. "Expensive" translates into stress on everybody and causes voices to get raised and other bad stuff. If you have made a mistake, own up to it! We already know who's mistake it is. The difference will be how everybody eagerly contributes to fix it. For you! Honesty is a two way street. Work on a happy site will not slow down, because every body wants to work for someone that acknowledges and appreciates them. If work appears to be slowing, step back and make sure that there isn't some issue being dealt with or that your impatience to get your place back isn't clouding your perception. Having renovation/construction work done on your home is ranked as one of the most stressful events in your life. Right up there with having a baby, moving and not having money. Breath!
 
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I've also decided I don't have a third DIY build in me, so at my age I will be hiring out most of the construction work. Now that I'm retired, I can spend as much time as it takes to supervise the contractors to make sure it gets done right. I'll still do the signal wiring and electronic installation myself. Also, this time I will go to a higher level of professional planning help -- Erskine Group's "Signature" level design package.
 

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I am hoping I have one more build in me (I'm old enough to remember things like the Mercury & Gemini space programs).

Hopefully I will still "FEEL" young enough to carry out a DIY 2nd theater build, when we go with an empty-nester home in a few years.

(although I must concede - I hired out he drywall work for HT #1)
 

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I should have signed up for a credit card that did flight miles, or some other rewards program, and made all purchases for the theater (and the home remodel) with that card. It didn't occur to me until very late in the project, and I could basically fly to Saturn on any major airline at this point if I had done that... ;-)
 

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More room behind the screen wall. Not much else as I really planned it out for months and months. And that was about 7 years ago!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland  /t/855958/what-id-do-differently-next-time/700_100#post_22577579


More room behind the screen wall. Not much else as I really planned it out for months and months. And that was about 7 years ago!

How much did you leave and how much do you recommend?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMike  /t/855958/what-id-do-differently-next-time/750#post_22576994


I should have signed up for a credit card that did flight miles, or some other rewards program, and made all purchases for the theater (and the home remodel) with that card. It didn't occur to me until very late in the project, and I could basically fly to Saturn on any major airline at this point if I had done that... ;-)


.....yeah, but think about the baggage fees, they would have killed you.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMike  /t/855958/what-id-do-differently-next-time/750#post_22576994


I should have signed up for a credit card that did flight miles, or some other rewards program, and made all purchases for the theater (and the home remodel) with that card. It didn't occur to me until very late in the project, and I could basically fly to Saturn on any major airline at this point if I had done that... ;-)
I have a Sony card and basically am getting the new HW50ES for free!
 

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Well theater is not quite done, but wife scheduled a basement/theater open house/Christmas party for the neighborhood.


Rushing to get everything done. Went to mount speakers with just hours to party time.

Speaker wires shrunk???!!!????


I swear I pulled the wires for the mains to above my head, but now they barely reached the mains 2' from the floor.

Worse yet, I had very little to spare for the surrounds. One surround was short 2 inches and I had to move it over to get the wire to reach. No time to find wire and splice in an extension.


Lesson learned Leave way more speaker wire at each end of the install than you think you need. I was cheap and trying to run it all 7 channels off of one 250' roll.



On the plus side: The un-calibrated, untreated (fabric walls up) sounded great at first listen as the first track was Master and Commander from the Blu-ray demo disks on this forum. I think I got hit by splintering wood as the cannon balls ripped through the ship.



P.S. The water heater sprung a leak that morning too. Setting back all of the setup activities 3 hours.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbgonzomd  /t/855958/what-id-do-differently-next-time#post_10702123


I would buy a second tape measure. One for within the theater, the other for where the saws are. I could of cut a month off my project if I didn 't have to walk back and forth between locations looking for the tape measure.



(And, yes, I know they have a handy clip to attach it to your pants/belt, but this requires forethought prior to moving between rooms...and I have none.)

This made me laugh because I am having the exact same problem!
 
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