Bonus room... let's make this work - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 14 Old 11-04-12, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Bonus room... let's make this work

I'll try to keep this short so no one will glaze over, but let me first provide some back story so you all know where I'm coming from.

About 3.5 years ago I built my first home. Did a ton of work myself, all in the name of making a buck. We sold the home this past Spring and have been in a rental since. Our goals for the family were to build something more budget friendly so my wife could go part-time and stay at home more with the kid and take a few years off once we start having more. So, we settled on a plan with 3150sqft in a wonderful area (right down the street from my previous home). We went through about 3 iterations of the plans and we just kept knocking things out because our budget couldn't swing it. I negotiated a deal with the Mrs... I won't build an illustrious HT room if I can still build a 3rd car garage to double as a workshop. Deal.

This meant my 22x26x9ft upstairs master mancave was shot dead. The plans went from 2 bonus rooms to one over the garage area which would just be our hangout spot. Craft room for the wife and daughter and speaker test room for me.

Well, now that I've had some time to think about it, I've decided that I'm going to make this a movie room anyway. But on a seriously scaled down budget. This means no doubling up of sheetrock with constrained layers, no crazy $5000 spent on pre/pro+amplifier and no theater-based speaker design (I had already began drawing plans for probably one of the craziest things any HT DIY'r had attempted in regards to speaker design) and may very not be using my (6) Acoustic Elegance IB15's.

The room itself is spec'd at about 16ft wide, 26ft deep. I have attached the PDF from the plans shown below.
There is a 5ft kneewall that puts me losing about 3feet of width on each side based on the 12/12 pitch. That leaves me with 10 feet of bare wall at the front of the room when you walk through the door. Add/remove a bit for thickness of materials but this is a ballpark number.
There is a window here but will be covered up at least when in HT mode. For all intents and purposes, this will be a blacked out room.

So, to recap, usable space for this room is about 10ft wide, 26ft deep, 8ft ceiling for this room when the kneewall is factored in (assuming my math is correct).

Usage will probably be closer to minimal at the beginning. As the little one gets older and we grow the family, we'll likely start using it more and more but I don't expect us to be running upstairs to watch Disney's Tangled every night.

What I'm looking to do is:
  • Have a projector driven HT setup. 3D isn't of concern. I do want excellent PQ.
  • Speakers are always up in the air. I go through speakers like socks.
  • Room wired for 7 channels of audio but only be using 5 channels
  • Multiple locations for staggered subwoofers should IB not be feasible. I initially wanted to use my AE IB15's IB in the wall but there's no way to put them in front. The only place they could go is in the side. So, I may wind up scrapping that idea altogether, depending on how things work out.
  • Likely a single AVR to handle everything. I don't expect to spend a lot on separates. Not unless we happen to build this thing for a lot less than we expect it to cost.
  • Nothing extravagant as far as media interfacing; no HTPC.
  • There's a closet in the back of the room I can use for media and A/V storage. I'm okay with keeping it all up front if it cuts down on complexity
  • I do plan to add room treatment as necessary

As cool as it would be to do, there are no longer plans to do automated lighting or have movie props all around. No real plans for risers ATM (but I may build one before the carpet guys show up ). This really is a much more simplistic HT build than most are doing it seems but it allows us to keep with our family plans (ie: my wife gets to stay part-time and be with the kid(s) more).

I'm not really particular on anything just yet. I'm really more or less open to suggestions and ideas based on what the floorplan looks like to you guys. Are there any issues you foresee? This isn't my first horse and pony show but there's no reason for me not to take advantage of the vast wealth of knowledge here.


Last edited by Erin H; 11-04-12 at 02:36 PM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-04-12, 04:50 PM
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I hear you on the simple HT room. Would love a top of the line room but I decide to scale back mine so the kids play area can get upgraded. My room is wired for 9.3, DD with no GG and insulation. The rest is normal. Keep us posted.
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-04-12, 05:16 PM
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Re: Bonus room... let's make this work

Pity about the knee walls!..however, you can still have a nice set up within those dimensions..The 10' width is about the same as my room..
Since you have such good length (which could easily fit two rows of seating) you could have quite a large screen..particularly if you use a scope screen..

My recommendations would be to build a screen wall about 3' out from the front wall..Fit an AT screen to the screenwall and place all your speakers behind the screen..
Otherwise you'll be limited to a much smaller screen, so that you don't have any boundary issues with your L&R speakers..
The screen wall would allow you to have quite a wide screen (approx. 8'6" wide..depending on seating location) and your speakers would be "kid safe"

Also one of those closed off spaces at the back of the room could be used to house your equipment..
Other than all sounds OK..

Home Theatre...the never ending story!
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-04-12, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Good idea on the false wall. I had actually considered doing that so I could go with vertical center. It was the inly way i could achieve the full dolby baffle wall build. Also allows me to still go IB (I'd have to do the math but this should suffice). I kind of forgot about that altogether when we scrapped the large bonus room. Thanks for the reminder.

Ill talk with the builder about this. My only issue may be the WAF.
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-04-12, 07:47 PM
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Re: Bonus room... let's make this work

I've got a 108" widescreen pull-down you can have for free, if you want it.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-04-12, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Al, what's up!

Ill definitely keep that in mind. Thanks for the offer!
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-04-12, 10:29 PM
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Nice plans. I like Prof's suggestion of the screen wall. My room doesn't have the depth, but I'd sure try harder next time to incorporate one. Better bass control, more flexibility. And it would help cover up the window. Looking forward to seeing how things progress.
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-05-12, 03:48 AM
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Re: Bonus room... let's make this work

Sounds like you will have a nice hangout HT room. Maybe wrap around couch etc. to make it more family freindly for now... then down the line a dedicated HT. If you spin it right maybe the Wifey will take to the idea more...make it easier putting a little money into it. Play room by day, theater by night.
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-05-12, 10:36 AM
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Re: Bonus room... let's make this work

Completely with Prof on the screen wall - and I think the WAF factor would be OK since you are able to hide all the speakers - less for you guys to have to worry about keeping the kids away from when you are up there.

With that much length, I would consider running sub connection points in all 4 corners of the room (passive and powered) - if you do not have the ability to go IB, you would still be able to locate 4 subs if you wanted.

As you are just starting a family, I would also think about doing just one row of seating - and then doing beanbags in front of it. There was another build thread where someone found some great beanbags for his HT and the kids loved them.

I also like the idea of putting all gear in the rear of the room - if you do the AT screen, I personally think you should keep the screen wall area as clear as possible to allow you to focus on the picture.

And, I love new builds - following along! Take lots of pics!
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-05-12, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, more questions then.

When you guys say false wall, are you talking about a new wall from drywall and the whole nine that I can cut up and place a screen on? Or are you simply talking about a framed up wall with cloth stretched over it to hide components (speakers) behind it? The latter wouldn't permit an IB type install but would be extremely easy. The former would require me to put a door on it to access the area behind. I don't see adding a door in to the sidewall for access to this area without issues from the city.

Any links to what you have in mind? I'm not scared to give the contractor a call but if I can show him pictures of what I have in mind it might make it easier.

I can probably do either of these methods once I move in but it'd be a whole lot easier to build the room up in advance for something like this. Especially if Sheetrock is involved.

It's kind of funny... A couple mints ago I was certain I was going to build a baffle wall. Scrapped that. Now I'm researching it again.
This is a good example of what I had been considering. And I may actually be able to do this, but I'd likely have to hinge a "door" on one side for access. Thoughts?
And here I go again... Completely overshooting initial intentions. Ugh...


Last edited by Erin H; 11-05-12 at 10:15 PM.
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