Riser Designs?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Mark Zimmer, Nov 19, 2001.

  1. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I'd like to put my 2nd row couch up a bit higher so that heads in the front row aren't a problem--currently they're both down on the floor. Any suggestions as to how high risers should be? How much space in front of the couch to include on the riser? Any design tips?

    Thanks
     
  2. ace peterson

    ace peterson Second Unit

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    I made a riser for my couch which sits behind two 'lazy boy' recliners. I made my riser using 2x6's for the frame and a 3/4" plywood sheet on top. Total heighth is about six & 1/2" including the carpet. I think the riser could be a little higher because if you are slouching in the couch, you can't see over the lazy boys. So I would make it from 2x8's instead.

    I couldn't use 2x8's because my theater has a soffit with some air ducts in it. If my riser was any higher I would hit my head on it. To solve the problem with the lazy boys, I just turned them a little so they aren't right in front of the couch. Rather they are off to the side a little bit.

    My platform is 4' wide (front to back) and it seems to be perfect for footroom. Length is like 6-7 feet. Whatever the length of my couch is plus some extra.

    Good luck!!
     
  3. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    I used 2x8's with 3/4" plywood then pad and carpet which puts mine at around 8". This seems fine but I can see where 10" could be a bit better for the rear row. We usually have the kids sitting on the front row but if an adult sits up there and sitting up right heads might be in the way a bit.

    Wes
     
  4. Daniel_M

    Daniel_M Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd be interested in finding out

    how the frames were constructed.

    How many cross pieces, how were they

    placed. I've got a Lazy Boy loveseat

    and it's fairly heavy.

    Dan
     
  5. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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  6. Daniel_M

    Daniel_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Wes, Thanks for the photo.

    Looks pretty straight forward.

    I think I'll pay Home Depot a visit

    this week.

    Nice looking Home Theater. I like

    that you painted the doors the same

    color as the wall. Mine are white

    and my wall color is dark green.

    I have two entrances and they kind of

    stick out. Maybe I'll buy a can of

    green paint when I pick up the

    lumber.

    Cheers,

    Dan.
     
  7. Tim Baldwin

    Tim Baldwin Stunt Coordinator

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    Before you arbitrarily pick a height, do some measuring. I put a dummy (box, stick, whatever) in the front row seat at head level. then stand in the back row position and squat down until you can just see the bottom of the screen. Measure this height. Then measure your eye height in your fav seating position in the furniture going in the back row. Difference in these measurements is the height of the riser required. Mine turned out to be 18 inches. Alternatively raising both the seat AND the TV 12 inches worked. You don't want to put in all this work and STILL have a big head in your way [​IMG]
     
  8. Brett Loomis

    Brett Loomis Stunt Coordinator

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    All- Audio Video Interiors addresses this exact topic in the most recent issue. The article is very easy to understand and has some diagrams that make it easy to calculate the necessary riser height(s).

    A $5.00 investment in the mag. may save you a a lot of work and frustration after the fact.

    Excellent article, Good luck

    Brett
     
  9. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    I agree that there is no one "correct" height for the risers that works for all situations. There are many variables (seating arrangement, height of screen off the floor, size of front row seat backs, lines of sight, room dimensions including ceiling height, location of the projector, if applicable, etc.) that contribute to the final dimensions of your second tier riser.

    In my case (also viewable on my HT web site) a height of a little under 5 inches, using 2x4's and 3/4" plywood + carpetting, did the trick for me.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Lee J. Buividas

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    Remember when putting wood on concrete use treated lumber. that is code in most places.

    Lee
     
  11. Lee J. Buividas

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    One other thing, use string to show the throw lines from projector to screen. This way you can then see if the seating with someone sitting will be in the picture. and also this shows you where you can walk or stand up without interfering with the picture. Did this to my own theater so I could fine tune where the seating goes and how high. In my case I moved my seating back a foot and that made a big difference when someone stands up from his or her seat they were not in the picture all this by setting up the throw lines with sting. Use colored string and it looks way cool and easier to see when you are experimenting.[​IMG]
    Lee
     
  12. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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  13. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Jay,
    To be sure use the tallest measurement for "head height" possible. If you don't you'll be telling all of your visitors to put the short people in the front row. [​IMG] Also be sure to purchase seating with low backs.
     
  14. Chad Anson

    Chad Anson Second Unit

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    For my riser, I'm using standard framing (16" oc), filling with insulation, then going with two layers of 3/4" plywood with a layer of 40lb roofing felt sandwiched in between -- with everything glued and screwed. I built my stairs this way and it is much more solid than a single layer of 3/4" ply. Some folks add another 1/2" layer in between the two 3/4" layers (with felt between each layer of ply). I couldn't tell much of difference and saved myself the time.
     

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