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Discussion Starter #1
This has been six years in the making. Finally been given the go ahead to convert our two car garage into a HT. The plan is to convert about 5/8 of the garage and utilize the room as a dedicated HT coupled with a desk where I can work in the day (in peace I may add!). This will be an opportunity to have a room dedicated to watching movies in the evening and working in the day, utilizing both the HT's lighting and audio system to make for a nice, calm working environment.

This is my "office" today:



My existing media room (AKA the living room):



The garage space where the HT is going. This is about 18.5' x 12.5' currently:



And this is the HT plan:



So the plan is basically to build a room within a room with decoupled walls, double drywall and green glue. Hopefully there will be enough space for a 2nd row of two seats, or small love seat, and a desk where I'll be able to do some work.

Pic taken at Home Depot earlier today where I hand picked the lumber (poor girl on her hands and knees counting all the 2x4s). All 3 of those carts were mine.



Framing starts Monday and I'll post more pics then.

Cheers.
 

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Looks like a nice project. Looking forward to following the progress.

Bryan
 

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If they're surround speakers on the side walls as shown in the plan, then they are far to forward..
They need to be back near the sides of the front seats..
Also I would move the rear speakers a bit closer together..

I'll be following your build with interest..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have a question regarding a room within a room plan: We are framing the walls today with the intention that the ceiling joists are 1/4" from the existing ceiling, however we just found that the ceiling is not level and in one part about 1 ft of the new ceiling joist is actually touching the existing ceiling. Is this going to be a major problem as far as vibration or sound proofing for low frequencies?

Cheers.
 

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This is very very similar to my first garage build that I truly enjoyed. I would go even farther back with the surrounds if you ever plan to have anyone sitting in those rear seats, otherwise they will end up overpowering the fronts for those listeners. It is a difficult compromise, but what I found was a couple of rear corner surrounds was all I needed in my first room, which was 11.5' x 19.5'. I think I still have some of the old pics where I still had the speaker box connectors in the side walls after moving them back to the corners.

I would be worried about vibrating noises between the new and old ceiling where they touch unless they are wedged against each other pretty tight. It also would not hurt for your ceiling to not be completely level... it could have a slight slope from one end to the other if that would help keep the old from touching the new.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Hey guys - actually those are sconces not speakers, sorry the plan is not clear in that regard. I was however planning on 4 rear speakers, two mounted between both rows and two on the rear wall. Not sure yet but I plan on wiring for both. And Sonnie, yep your garage HT is what inspired me to do this in the first place :)

Today we are hopefully finishing the framing. Still to do are the ceiling joists, the equipment rack and the entrance way including door. Then onto the riser and maybe electrical on the weekend. Our plan is to start drywall early next week.

Framing almost done:



New A/C mini split system. We plan on installing this ourselves with the help of my neighbor who's an A/C guy. I bribed him with beer and an invite to watch the first football game of the season in the HT. Anyone heard of Haier before? Got good reviews and I managed to pick one up for $600 plus tax.



Toys! These just came by Fed-Ex a few minutes ago and I can't wait to install them. The keypad is SO small but yet so beautifull!





Has anyone got the same Insteon dimmer and keypads set up in their HT? I'd love to hear any tips on how to set it up. Have looked at the manual and it looks like Multi-Linking is the right way to go. I'm planning on putting a bank of 4 dimmers right outside the entrance so as to not penetrate my DD/GC walls of the HT then mount just the keypad controller inside the room on the other side of the door. There will also be one dimmer near the main garage door leading to the house which will control a sconce or light I'm planning on putting above the HT entrance door. This light needs to operate in two modes: 1) 100% brightness when turned on using the switch on the wall then 2) dimmed whenever one of the movie scenes is in use. The idea here is that during a movie if someone leaves the room then the entrance way is slightly illuminated but not enough to throw light into the room.

More pics to come..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Completed framing the main room today. Here's a pic of my buddy drenched in sweat. It is in the 80s here in South Florida and so this garage starts acting like an oven by midday.



Tomorrow we are framing the riser and the entrance way. I am not sure if my riser height is correct. I was planning on an 8" riser but may now go with 10" as the riser calc (www.theater-calc.com) recommends 9 7/8".

I'm having a very hard time finding slim step lights can anyone recommend a cheap source for these?

Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This is the area we're framing today. This will be the entrance/walkway from the house and will separate the HT from the garage. We're planning on putting in a nice laminate floor which will be raised up so it will be level with the door from the house. Notice how uneven the garage floor is? That might be a challenge..



To stay on schedule we need to finish the framing for this, the A/V rack and the riser by end of today then electrical with A/C installation tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yesterday we got the riser completed. The only thing left is to create a smaller riser to the left that will be about 4" height so will be level with the entrance door. We also got the entrance built and door framed along with the a/v rack. So all in all we are about 98% done with framing. We are planning on hitting up Lowes around lunch time to pick up all the electrical stuff and lighting. This afternoon we will be installing the mini AC unit then Sunday electrical and then drywall early next week.



Does anyone have any suggestions for rack ventilation? We're going to be building a complete enclosure that will be recessed into the 2nd half of the garage but we're not planning on putting any access door on the back. To the right of the rack is a cavity that we're going to use to feed all the cables coming from the ceiling. The cavity will also house all the power strips and transformers etc. This will have an access panel at the rear from the garage. Here's the thing: How well does this need to be ventilated? Should I be considering putting a couple of silent fans in the cavity and have them blow into the rack? What about an exhaust, do I need one? Should I let the air blow back into the room?

 

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Have a 'vent panel' at the bottom of the rack and another at the top. These are nothing more than simple plates with slots cut into them. Use a couple of low speed, low noise computer fans up top to push air out of the top plate and the natrural draw from the bottom and convection will take care of the rest.

Make sure that there is a reasonable amount of space behind the equipment to allow good air flow vertically.

Bryan
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey Bryan - can you tell me where the vent panel would go on top/bottom? Would they go horizontal or vertical, like on the side right wall where it meets the cavity?

Cheers.
 

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Think of having a rack mount type of system. The very bottom plate across the bottom horizontally and the very top plate horizontally would just be slotted panels. They'll only need to be maybe 2U-3U high each most likely.

Bryan
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Bryan, that helped a lot.

Today was spent either at Lowes or discussing electrical with the electrician, so not much really achieved. We did however test out the Insteon dimmers and keypad, which was kinda cool. Tomorrow we hope to get some wiring done and A/C will now be installed Sunday.. hopefully.

Our target goal to complete the HT is April 22nd which is when Avatar on Blu Ray is released as I'm dying to see it in Blu Ray at home. Even though it's not 3D it should still be a pretty good demo disc and one to premier the HT with.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey guys -

I'm about to start wiring today and just wanted to check a couple of things first. I know that it's no problem running speaker wire (for passive speakers) and electrical in the same stud hole but what about the subwoofer cable? My existing sub has both low level inputs (RCA) and high level inputs (speaker wire) so I plan on running both just in case a future amp purchase does not have a dedicated subwoofer output (I'm assuming most do). For the RCA type I plan on running cat 5/6 rather than a really long RCA cable. To confirm this should NOT be run near the electrical cable, correct?

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The sub cable is low level and should be kept away from electrical lines. In general, I'm not sure where ANY local code will allow more than 1 wire per hole - much less a mix of 110V and non-110V

Bryan
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Bryan. We ended up running the cables seperate to be sure. I opted for a 25' RCA cable for the sub woofer and this won't get installed until tomorrow or Wed due to delivery. Hopefully we'll be drywalling later that day. My plasterer is due to come Thursday so hopefully we'll stay on schedule. Over the weekend we got nearly all the electrical done and the only thing remaining is the power for the PJ.

I am trying to visualize a color scheme for the room and right now am leaning towards black ceiling, dark blue walls (almost the color of the HTS forums background page actually!) with either greyish or black trim and a very dark carpet. I have to remind myself I need to work in this room too so have to be careful picking colors that will make for a good work environment. Any tips/suggestions on this most welcome.

Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Made a fair bit of progress today. We got all electrical completed including the Insteon system. The bank of 3 Insteon dimmers were a pain to fit into the 3-gang box but we got there in the end. Tomorrow we hope to get the A/C installed which means fixing the compressor to the concrete slab behind my house and running the copper pipe to the inside unit. Apart from that drywall is Wednesday - can't wait to get to that stage!



Temporary black plate on the keypad, I have a nice brushed metal one for the final install.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
So I seem to have hit a brick wall with the Insteon devices and the way I have wired them. I have a Keypadlinc controller and 5 dimmer switches in the following configuration:

Keypadlinc - main load for sconces.
Dimmer 1 - Light in entrance.
Dimmer 2 - Rope light.
Dimmer 3 - Screen lights.
Dimmer 4 - Track lights.
Dimmer 5 - Riser lights.

The issue seems to be that you can't dim the main load (Main on the Insteon Keypad) from another scene, without that is purchasing the additional Powerlinc module so as to program via software. In other words, you can't tap-link the switches to control the main source (sconces). Since the sconces are used in every scene and at different levels I now have to move the load to the sconces onto either another dimmer or join two of the other lights to free up a dimmer switch. Alternatively I may have to move the entrance light onto a standard switch outside the Insteon network in order to free up a dimmer that way. Confused? I am! I think I've made this way too complicated than it needs to be! :doh:
 

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Does anyone have any suggestions for rack ventilation? We're going to be building a complete enclosure that will be recessed into the 2nd half of the garage but we're not planning on putting any access door on the back.
I really think you will appreciate having access to the rack from the rear.

Great job so far!! This is a blast to watch someone else do all the work!! :R

Matt
 
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