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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
***EDIT 1/11/2014

Some newer photos taken with Canon T3i. Still learning the camera but these are better than the previous set.

Picture from doorway entering Theater.


Entering the Theater with lights on


Similar photo with less light


Similar photo a bit over exposed so you can see everything a bit clearer - but colors are off.


From just behind second row seating.


From directly in front of center of screen facing seats. In the back right you can see the fabric door I built to conceal the A/V rack.


Angled shot from the front.



Well, had to leave the last theater behind because we moved for a job. I was in Connecticut and now I'm in North Carolina. We have been in the new house for a little over a year (and boy do I miss the theater!). Unfortunately, it is difficult to find houses with basements so we did our best to find a house with a room that could be transformed. The house we bought has a bonus room above the garage, and although not ideal, I could envision a theater.

Over the year there have been other projects that had priority over the theater, but I am finally at the point where I have started the build and thought I'd share it on this forum. I plan on indexing the progress with quick links within the thread (if I can figure out how). So here we go...

*** Reserved for final photos

Index

A) Plans/Drawings with measurements
B) Electrical/Wiring Layout
C) Removing Carpet
D) Wiring, Moving HVAC Vents, Installing Can Lights
E) Drywall Patching and Painting
F) Stage Build
G) Riser Build
H) Window "Plug"
I) Carpet Selection/Install and here
J) Crown Molding/Rope lighting
K) Front wall Treatment/Bass Traps
L) False Wall Build
M) Column build and install
N) Rack Closet/Rack Build
O) Screen Build
P) Screen Wall Fabric Frame Install
Q) Baseboard and trim install
R) Seating
S) Wall Panel, Decoration, Popcorn/Candy Stand
T) Rear Speaker Upgrade
U) HTPC (final) - Link to build thread in my signature
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
A) Plans/ Drawings with Measurements

Here are the "final" plans. Of course, these are always subject to change ;).

A Brief Description:
The theater will be above the garage with slanted ceilings. The last photos are before pictures of the room to give an idea of what it look(ed) like. There will be a false wall for the screen. The screen will be AT with a 2.35 aspect ratio. Also will have a 7.2 or 9.2 speaker set-up and 4 bass shakers. There will be 2 rows of seating, second row on a riser. The wall will have columns that house the surround speakers and there will be panels for sound treatment.

Basic Room Design:



And the before Photos...




On to the theater design photos:


 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
B) Electrical/Wiring Layout

Brief Description:

There are/will be 4 circuits of electrical wiring:
2 X 20 amp - one dedicated for AV closet, one for lighting
2 X 15 amp - each will power half of the outlets



Measurements for the can lights


Here is calculated power consumption (thus far):


Diagram of the Audio/video wiring for the room. This was from an earlier design where the seating was centered. I have changed that but the placement of the wiring hasn't changed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
C) Carpet Removal

Brief Description:
I will be putting a new carpet in the room - a darker color. Before starting any tear out or build, I decided to remove the old carpet.

Removal of the baseboard


Cut the carpet in sections for easier removal down the stairs.



Room with no carpet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
D) Electrical Wiring/Moving HVAC Vents/Audio Video Wire runs

Brief Description:
Based on the plan, the fron HVAC outlet vent was in the way so I had to move it back a couple feet. Also, the Ceiling Fan had to be removed and the existing Can lights. Along with that, all the wiring was removed and rewired.

Here's the front vent being moved. I had to cut out a much larger hole than i was expecting.



Ceiling Fan and electrical box was Removed.


Existing light switch was removed and cut out a large section for wiring additional zones of lighting.


Since there was only one circuit run to the room originally, I had to run additional circuits from the box (in the garage). Fore this I had a friend (electrician) help with the runs. We had to go up a level which made the wiring a bit more tricky.



From the Garage, the electrical wire was run up to an adjacent (unfinished)area upstars. A portion of the floor was removed and the wiring was snaked through the floor and up to a couple junction boxes.



From the junction boxes, the wiring was run into the room. Here is the area where the light switches will be - you can see the extra 12-2 wiring for three lighting zones.


Additional wiring was run through the ceiling - there is a tight crawl space which I got up into above the room - which is dark, hot, and loaded with unfaced insulation. Not the funnest part of the build!! Heres a photo of the wiring coming out of holes where the the can lights will be.


Throughout this process I also ran speaker wire and HDMI to the appropriate locations on the walls and ceiling. Electrical and HDMI to the future projector location was run from where the AV closet will be. I will be running power from the closet to the projector through a power bridge.

Once all the wiring running was complete, the sheet rock was repaired where it was needed and the can lights installed.


 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
E) Drywall patching, priming, and painting

Brief Description:
Next steps were to patch the drywall (mudding and Sanding) where needed.





The color scheme so far:

Ceiling is the mouse ears black and walls are the chipolte paste

Primed all walls and ceiling first.





Installed the can Light Trim then painted ceiling mouse ears black




Connected the power, installed temporary light switches and painted the walls chipolte paste.


 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
F) Stage Build

Brief Description:
Two tier curved stage that is 6" and 12 " tall. Here is the sketch with measurements:


Materials:
(2) 4'X8'X3/4" OSB
(8) 2" X 12" X 10'
(1) 4'X8'X1/8" Hardwood plywood
(2) boxes of 2 1/2" screws
Roofing felt
(3) old work 1 gang electrical boxes


Process/Progress:
Stage was built to be free floating so (2) 2"X12"X10' were cut in equal lengths to match the width of the room (slightly shorter ~1/2" total). Each joist was cut to length X 2 (according to the sketch plan) and the notched to account for the step. (see above photo.)

30 lb roofing felt was laid on the floor to cover stage area.


Followed the plans, measured, framed, and secured all pieces.



Cut the hardwood plywood to height and length, doubled up and secured to the front for the top and bottom step.


Added the angle pieces near the walls.


Cut holes in the joists to run the speaker wire, added insulation, and ran the speaker wire.


Added OSB top. For this I laid the OSB down, traced the outline of the curve from underneath, then used a compass set to 2" and retraced to add 2" overhang. Cut trace with a hand held jigsaw, then secured to the joists.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
G) Riser Build

Brief Description:
The total height of 12". There will be/is an outlet on the front, back, top, and electric run to the step for a step light. There is also speaker wire run to the back and front of the riser for the eventual buttkickers/bass shakers.

Here is the sketch with measurements. One step on the front left of the riser.


Materials:
(6) 2"X12"X10'
(2) 2"X12"X8'
(3) 4'X8'X3/4" OSB
Roofing Felt
2 boxes of 2 1/2" screws
(6) single gang old work electrical boxes
14-2 electrical wire

Process/Progress
Cut all 2"X12" to appropriate lengths according to the plan, cut out spaces for electrical boxes, and pre-drilled holes for the electrical and speaker wire runs. Laid out the roofing felt, framed and secured all the wood joists. The Riser is floating and was kept ~1/4 inch off the wall.



Laid insulation in between all joists, ran electrical wire and the speaker wires.


Measured, cut OSB, precut outlet box openings, and installed OSB top. Left a 2" overhang on all sides. Same with the step. Installed all electrical boxes.



A picture from doorway behind riser facing stage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
H) Window "Plug"

Brief Description:
The front of the Room (behind the screen) is a double window. I need something that is WAF - meaning that it has to look like "normal" windows from the outside and, if necessary, accessible without having to rip down sheet rock etc. (plus there is a code issue with "perminantely" covering these windows with sheet rock). The entire size of the double window (including top and side moldings) is 63" wide by 66" tall (to this inside of the window sill).

So this is what I came up with:

Materials:
(4) 1"X4"X8' primed finger joint boards
(1) 4' X 8' X 1/2" sheet Styrofoam insulation
Crazy Glue
Caulk
Finishing nails
Black Paint and White paint
Velcro

Progress/Process

Here is a picture of the window from the side that gives a good idea of the window sill. There is to be no ripping out of the molding or the sill! so I had to plan around it. The idea was to frame around the window and attach the styrofoam insulation onto the frame with velcro. This would allow for the molding, window sill, and blinds to remain - thus keeping the window in tact and looking like a regular window from the outside - with access if needed from the inside.

Here's side view of molding and sill.


I decided to frame around the window with 1" X 4" finger joint board. The sides and top boards are outside the moldings and the bottom board sits on the inside of the window sill, but the entire frame sticks out further than the sill or moldings.



Next up was creating the styrofoam cover. The 4' X 8' sheet was cut into 3 sections - one large piece and two smaller so as to meet the dimensions of the frame.


The pieces were glued together with crazy glue then "joints" were caulked when the glue set.


When the caulk was dry, one side was painted white (outside facing) and one side (inside facing) was painted black.



Velcro was applied to the edge of the finger joint frame and to the edge of the styrofoam panel.


Then the panel was attached to the frame.



Two more shots from further back.



Some Notes: I wasn't sure how sturdy the styrofoam panel would be, especially the joints where it was glued together. Surprisingly once the glue and caulk set and paint dried, it was very sturdy. This method blocks about 95% of the light as some still seeps through the Velcro. I am not worried however because I will be covering the back wall with Linacoustic (or something similar) which will block all the remaining seepage of light. I will either paint the bottom of the window sill black or the linacoustic will cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow! That's coming along nicely!

You didn't mention doing anything specific for soundproofing. Is it pretty good as is or a non-issue for you?
Hi Thanks. No soundproofing planned. The room is above the garage with only one common wall with the rest of the house. We'll see, but its only my wife and I in the house so not too worried about disturbing others ;)

There will be sound treatments throughout the theater though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am still in the process of getting pricing on carpet and install. The process is taking longer than expected mostly because I am waiting for pricing to come back. Wasn't happy with the first bids so I am waiting on a second and third. Anyway, the front runners for carpet (and fabric for panels) are below. Your opinions welcome.

These are not in any particular order of preference:









There may be more as I go through this ....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
1) added crown molding with lighting
2) Carpet install

This reply will be dedicated to the crown install and a separate reply for the carpet.

So while waiting for the carpet, I got the itch to do something else... and of course I started searching this site looking at several theater builds. Then I get the bright idea that "Hey I want some ambient crown lighting to hit on the slanted ceiling walls that are controlled by a light switch." The other advantage is that I can now build the columns right up to the crown without having to deal with the angled ceiling.

So - although not in my initial plans, I decided to do just that. To do so I had to tap off one of the electrical runs, and so I added another circuit to the existing 20 amp that is dedicated to lighting. This was fairly easy and I am way below the max amp usage.

The approach was a combo of a couple threads (and unfortunately at this point I can't remember which ones -sorry). Anyway, I have a switch that controls two outlets that I put in. The outlets will be behind the screen wall, and the rope lighting for the crown plugs into the outlets. Once the screen wall is up, the wiring will be hidden.

To follow the previous posts here we go ...

Materials:
(6) 1"X2#X8' furring strips
(6) 1"X4"X8' primed FJP boards
48' crown molding (cut into 12' lengths)
(2) 25' rope lighting - cut to size as needed
75' 12-2 Electrical wire
(6) brackets
(3) Old work single gang box
(2) outlets
(1) light switch (temporary)
(2) black outlet covers
Black paint - mouse ears
Chipolte Paste Paint

Total Cost (minus paint and nails) = $200

Process:

Here is a picture of a small model - actually, I ripped the 1"X2" into 1"X1" (3/4"X1" actual).


Here are the all the boards painted:
1"X1"


1"X4" FJP


Crown


Attached the furring strip to the wall. At first was using screws, but they were starting to split the wood, so I reverted to finishing nails.


Attached the 1"X4" to the bottom of the furring strips with finishing nails. I also used 6 small brackets for additional support.


Added the rope lighting on top with included mounts.


Attached crown molding to the edge of the 1"X4" boards.


I touched up the holes with wood putty and painted.
Broader picture of the finished product:


With the lights dimmer:


With lights off:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
This to me is a huge milestone in the progress. I can now focus on the screen wall, columns, sound treatment, and AV closet.

Not much to talk about for the carpet, but here is some info.

Carpet amount - 498 sq. ft. - There is a decent size piece left over.
Stainmaster Fort Valley
Pattern: 5458
color: 95688 Nightfall
Cost - $2000 including pad and install
The install took the better part of a day. Installer arrived at 8 am sharp and was finished walking out the door at ~ 3:30 pm. Just one guy - he usually has a helper but he was sick. Anyway on to the photos.






finished product:


 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Over this past weekend, I concentrated on the front wall. Two goals were to build bass trap s and treat the front wall for sound.

Materials:
144 sq ft. 2" OC703
2.5” Fine Thread Drywall Screws (1 box)
Speaker Grill Cloth Black Yard 70" Wide (From Parts Express)
Grip-Rite Round Plastic-Cap
1”X2.25" furring strips (cut from 1"X4" FJP board)
3/8" Staples
1/4" Hardboard 4'X8'
1"X2" furring strips

Total Cost = approx. $250

Process:
Cut 1"X2.25" furring strips, painted them black, and attached to the ceiling, stage floor, and side walls to frame in the OC703. This is what I stapled the cloth to.

Built 2 bass trap frames using 1X2 furring strips and the 1/4" hardboard cut into triangles. Painted the outer frame black.



Cut the OC703 into triangles - 8 per sheet


Installed the traps into the corners and also installed the OC703 on the front wall. I used the Grip-Rite Round Plastic-Cap to attach the OC703 to the wall. I removed the nails and added the 2.5" fine thread drywall screws.




Finally, attached fabric (speaker cloth) to furring strips with 3/8" staples (utilizing a pneumatic staple gun) and pulled taut.




I am in the process of building the screen wall. I should have that finished by this weekend and will post updates.
 

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Looks like its coming along really well! I like the lighting effect with the rope lights behind the moulding below the angled ceiling, it must look really cool in a dark room. That's very similar to what I was thinking about for the front wall acoustic treatment and I'd love to know if the result is what you were looking for.
 
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