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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After a LONG break in the project - it's finally underway.

The goal here is to keep the install simple. :rofl:

Finishing the lower level of an attached town home with 5 rooms - The theater, a full bar, a living area (pool table?) and bedroom and bath.

The theater room is fully an interior room with no windows. One side is a shared wall with my neighbor, but these are well build homes with soundproofing designed into the structure. It's very quiet and I never hear my neighbors, although I suspect they hear a subwoofer every now and then. The remaining walls are either interior walls or foundation walls.

Completely soundproofing the room is not a huge priority. I want to keep the build simple but effective. Good light control, clean install, good electronics, and good bang for the buck are my objectives.

Here's the blank slate - a shot of the future screen wall:

 

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Discussion Starter #2
A couple more views of the theater room and a couple of challenges.

The ceiling height is 9' to the joists but the original install of the HVAC ducts used up a lot of space. These ducts need to be tightened up and rearranged to maximize ceiling height. Easy to do and effective alteration to the room, it made a huge difference in the feel of the ceiling height. Planning a 6 sided tray ceiling aligned with the screen wall.

The existing HVAC unit is in a closet area adjacent to the theater. This will have to be properly vented and enclosed to minimize sound intrusion into the room.

Another not so simple alteration.... the entire house is sprinkler protected. The original install of sprinkler heads in the basement did not place the heads at the proper height for finished ceilings. The sprinkler heads will have to be moved.





And here's a shot of the bar area.

 

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Looks to be an excellent build, gotta subscribe to this thread.

If your sharing a common wall with your neighbor then you might want to consider something like the Auralex SubDude to place your subs on to keep the subs vibration from disturbing your neighbors.
Even if there is plenty of sound isolation in the walls vibrations can still transfer easily through the floors and walls.

Have fun.
 

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My furnace is next to my theater room also. Big nuisance. I'm sure you'll sound proof those walls well. Drywall on both sides of the wall stuffed with Roxul will do a pretty good job. ⅝" drywall will also add some fire protection although you've probably already got that covered with your sprinkler system (which is pretty cool I might add).

The big thing will be the door to the HVAC room from your theater. Then considering if you seal it up tight you might not have enough combustion air. You pointed out venting. You could still seal up the room and then vent it from the outside to provide combustion air. I found this calculator -> http://www.houseofcraig.net/combustion_air_calc.html <- online to give the space needed for combustion air.

If you or other readers are unfamiliar, a gas burning appliance needs oxygen to ignite the gas. If it can't get it from the space it's in (ie: a sealed room) it could get it from the exhaust vent which would cause exhaust gas to enter your home. Of which carbon monoxide is deadly.

If your furnace is a high efficiency condensing model that gets it's combustion air from outside already (most newer ones are) you could upgrade your water heater to a high efficiency condensing model (direct vent). That would eliminate the need for it to draw combustion air from your home's air. Venting to that room would only then be for cooling if needed.
 

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Thanks for sharing the build pics. Very much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the comments on venting the hvac. That's been a critical concern from the beginning. An hvac contractor and the building inspector have both looked at it and calculated that a 12" hi and low vent will allow sufficient combustion air. I may have to concede a little noise but we may be able to arrange the vent into an adjacent space and not open to the theater.

Brings up another safety point. For our basement theaters a Carbon monoxide alarm is a simple and inexpesive piece of equipment that should be in the theater room.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Getting caught up to real time pretty quick so here's some more progress pics.

Ceiling framing completed, flat ceiling in the bar area:



Opened the wall between the bar and the hall:





The coil of orange Carlon conduit is in the back side of the component closet. That conduit will run from the component rack to projector. The component closet will give me easy access to the back of the electronics and a central point to bring all my in wall wires.

And last one... soffits in the theater room are in - and the HVAC ducts nice and tight. I was really suprised at how much ceiling height was preserved. The framers did an awesome job.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here are some specs on the room and a layout. It is an odd shaped room so I'm having to make the best of it.

Approx 18' x 19' x 9' ceilings with a a fairly large tray ceiling. Concrete slab floor. I cut my plans down to just 4 seats - to maintain a decent viewing distance. I could palce a small pub table with a couple bar stools behind the theater seats if I feel the need to add a couple more seating locations. As it stands seating is approx 12' from seating postion to the screen and the projector mount is 14' to the screen. Planning on a
106" screen and an Epson 8350 projector.

7.1 sound with the .1 part actually being dual Epik Legend subwoofers. I'm prewiring an alternate location for the subwoofers to build in some flexibility on placement.

 

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Ahh... combustion air. The bane of my existence. There are several problems with bringing combustion air directly into the home, particularly for us in the Deep South. The humidity here in GA is a problem waiting to happen. Direct-vented appliances are a good option for new construction but not cost effective as a replacement if your equipment is fairly new.

The original builder did not provide cumbustion ducts to the mech room since, while the basement was still unfinished, the equipment is located in what the Code calls an "Unconfined Space". This means the air volume in the area that communicates directly with the furnace and water heater (i.e., the whole basement) is sufficiently large that the equipment can burn safely. To be more exact, per the International Codes, you have at least 50 cubic feet of volume per 1000 Btu/hr input rating of both appliances combined. Once you enclose the room you have a problem unless you add duct which communicate directly with outdoors or with an adjacent Unconfined Space. If it is possible to provide permanent openings on the back wall of the mech room, to the adjacent space (assuming it is large enough to be an Unconfined Space, I'd recommend you go that route rather than ducting to the outdoors. The sizing requirements differ depending on what method you choose. I'll check the code tomorrow at the office and confirm.

Can you confirm the input ratings of the water heater and the furnace? maybe a couple pictures of the mechancial closet?

Regards,
sga2
 

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If you are going to get combustion air from within the house (which I recommend if the adjacent room is large enough to be an Unconfined Space), our code (International Residental Code) requires combustion air openings as follows:
  • Total aggregate volume of all spaces which are connected to the mech room via the combustion openings, but which are not separated by doors, must be not less than 50 cubic feet per 1000 Bth/hr total appliance INPUT rating.
  • One opening within 12" of the top of the room.
  • A second opening within 12" of the floor.
  • Each opening shall provide 1 square inch free area for every 1000 Btu/hr (1 MBH = 1000 Btu/hr) total appliance INPUT rating. Since you will be covering with grilles to finish the appearance, you need to assume the grille has only 75% free area if metal (or 25% if wood). In other words, metal grilles are sized 1 square inch per 750 Btu/hr and wood 1 square inch per 250 Btu/hr.

Also, Direct Vent applicances need not be considered since the combustion air is already ducted directly from the unit to the outside. Your water heater is not direct vent, but your furnace might be (I can't see enough of your furnace in the photos to tell).

Regards,
sga2
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Excellent - thank you for that amount of detail. Great information

The back wall of the mech room is adjacent to unconfined space. It's an alcove in the hall which is completely open to the rest of the unconfined space in the basement. Approximately 1100 sq ft of unconfined space

The water heater has a load of 40000 btu/hr. I'm not sure yet on the furnace. Trying to find that. What is planned are 2 - 12" return ducts - one high at the ceiling and one low at the floor that will connect the mech room to the unconfined space. During hvac rough inspection the inspector was good with that arrangement.

Sound like finding a high flow register would be a good idea too to maximize air flow

Thanks again for taking the time to run through that info. As always Home Theater Shack team provides a wealth of knowledge. Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Prewire list:

In the theater room:
7.1 speakers - 12 gauge inwall wire from Monoprice
Using RG6 coax for the inwall runs to the subwoofers. 2 locations on the screen wall, one alternate location along the back of the room
Aux in-wall HDMI connector for plugging in a laptop or other device
One in wall USB connector under the screen for connecting PS3 camera
2 1/8" miniplug extension wires for conencting IR repeaters to the AV rack.
4 zones of dimmable lighting (screen wall wash, room light, sconces and rope light trim in tray ceiling)

In the AV rack.
2 RG6 coax home runs to the NID
6 Cat5e home runs to the NID (TV via Uverse)
2" conduit to the projector for current and future cabling
2 HDMI runs to projector
HDMI Splitter for sending video to bar and living area
HDMI over Cat5e to the living area
HDMI to the bar TV
Zone 2 speaker outs to the bar, with in wall volume control
Zone 2 RCA audio in from the bar TV

One of my goals was to be able to output the same image to the projector, the bar TV and the living room TV. Sort of a lobby effect where if you get up, program will be on the next room. As long as the HDMI splitter does it's job then that should be covered. I don't need to send multichannel audio outside the theater room.

Becuase I like to load up my thread with pictures.... here's a couple more

Speaker and sub prewires


Recessed lights for front wall wash lighting
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Updating some progress:

Conduit prewire from projector to AV closet, justa straight shot back to the closet and easy termination to a low voltage box pass thu in the ceiling. I used 2" carlon, easily fits 2 HDMI cables with plenty of room.



Front wall connection for mains, center, subs, and ir repeater and USB port



More prewire bundles coming back to the AV closet. I'm using wall plates to terminate the inwall runs from the speaksers and subs, I used a pass thru in the ceiling for the HDMI runs.



Big fun :sn:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Moving right along... The theater room walls were insulated for a small level of sound protection. I'm mostly trying to knock down some of the sound coming from the the mechanical room. This will eventually be closed with door and the venting out into the area outside the theater. Its not going to be 100% soundproofed but it will be ok I hope.

All of the interior walls in the the theater were insulted and for the rest of the space - all the exterior walls we insulated and brought up to new building codes. All of the ceilings throughout the space are insulated which should help on sound transmission to the main level.

I added two Speakercraft 8" enclosures in the bar area. These are sealed insulated in ceiling boxes that are designed to reduce sound transmission to the level above and to improve bass response for the in ceiling speaker. Using Speakercraft CSR-8 in the bar area.

Screen wall with insulation:


AVR Rack and mechanical room wall with insulation:


And for the first time.... WALLS !
 

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Next.. taping and mudding. That part was, by far, my least favorite phase.

Looks like it is coming along very well. I hope you're enjoying it.

Regards,
sga2
 

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Discussion Starter #19
More progress -

Taping and mudding was completed, the sheetrock crew did a really nice job. A few touch ups to go but over all it turned out great. A big dust storm of a job but now that's complete. Trim carpentry work completed and walls are primed and ready for paint. It's moving fast now.

The opening for the AV rack was slightly undersized - required a little rework and now it's cased opening. I like it much better as a cased opening rather than the sheetrock opening. The rest of the lower level finish is moving along as well.

Taped and mudded screen wall and a few other areas:





 
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