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Things I wish I would have done differently in my project

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#41 of 153 OFFLINE   Anthony S.

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Posted September 22 2004 - 01:55 PM

This is indeed one of the best threads I have ever stumbled across! As fate would have it, I'm meeting with my builder tomorrow to begin some wiring and conduit work. He agreed to let me run conduit, wire for a phone/intercom system, cable for a security camera at the front door, and extra electrical outlets, including one in the corner of the HT for a powered sub and another on the ceiling for a future front projector.

I put my deposit down on this townhome in March, so I've had a lot of time to think about things and plan. I agree with everyone who says you CANNOT do enough planning. I have

1) drawn diagrams for everything. Can't stress this enough. Has made a huge difference in going forward with plans;

2) allowed builder's contractor to fleece me on the structured wiring, since I had no choice but to use them. Still glad I did it, though, because I have seen what it's like trying to run wiring in an existing home;

3) paid for extra RG6 and CAT5e runs to HT and master bedroom, the two major focal points. When I drew diagrams later, I found an immediate use for many of the "extra" runs;Posted Image

4) estabished a good relationship with everyone associated with my builder, especially the project manager, for obvious reasons;

5) priced out things so that I left money in the budget for new toys for the new house.

Things I didn't do that I might have if I had read this thread earlier:

1) Plan wiring for butt shakers under sofa (still might not be too late);

2) Run even more RG6 and CAT5e (as I noted above, almost all of the "extra runs" are now accounted for);

3) Done a better design of the lighting for the HT. I have recessed lighting that comes standard in the room, and I optioned for 4 sconces. I should be fine with this setup, but since I had time, and the builder's electrician willing to work with me, I should have researched different lighting options more.

All in all, I'm pleased with the plans. Time to implement them has arrived!

#42 of 153 OFFLINE   Rich X

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Posted March 31 2004 - 11:34 AM

I would have done a few things differently. 1) Designed in some sort of hush box for my projector. It's mounted on the ceiling and while not too loud, I sometimes find the fan noise distracting. 2) Run DVI cable to the projector. When I finally get around to doing this it is going to be real pain. 3) Run an additional interconnect and set of speaker wires through the wall to the back of the room. Someday I'd like to add a third sub and possibly mount bass shakers under the couches.

#43 of 153 OFFLINE   Jonas Pearson

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Posted January 27 2004 - 05:13 AM

Two things: 1. I would have moved a bit of ac pipe that cuts through about a foot of the upper rear corner of the room. I'm going to hide it but I wish that it wasn't there. But I would have needed a HVAC contractor to come in and my project was a contractor free zone - the only contractors that set foot in the 600 sq. ft. finished basement were the carpet installers. 2. I purposely didn't do it here (we are on a five year plan at this house and I couldn't justify the expense) but will do it on the next: Dri Core or some sort of subfloor on the slab.

#44 of 153 OFFLINE   BrianKR


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Posted July 30 2004 - 04:09 AM

Wish I would've purchased a decent digital camera to chart the progress/work along the way. I did not purchase a camera until after the room was completed. When I build my next HT I will take pictures from start to finish.

#45 of 153 OFFLINE   Travis_R


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Posted October 18 2004 - 11:12 PM

I am getting ready to embark on my HT, I have been planning on building one for almost 2 years now so I have had alot of time to plan things out, I am on a tight budget as I have to refurbish 2 bathrooms, a kitchen and paint all rooms in the house as well as replace all the flooring through out the house, its a great house but hard to explain what a basket case it is at this point, lets just say 30 year old carpet, avid tobacco pipe smoker lived in this house, KILLS PAINT IS MY FREIND!!!! Luckily I was a carpenter for 4 years, my father was a carpenter and general contractor for 20 years, my two best freinds are an Electrician and a Drywall finisher, I will be starting this project in a couple of weeks, keep up with it all in the HT construction forum, once I start I will keep it updated with pictures through out my construction on another note for anyone wanting to paint their screen on a wall as I will be doing, I would recommend using Metal Studs for that wall, the reasoning is that metal studs are always perfectly straight and true and they will never warp

#46 of 153 OFFLINE   Travis_R


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Posted November 18 2004 - 08:34 PM

I posted this in another thread but thought I would post it here too, I ran all my speaker wire in a 1/2 inch plastic flexible waterline called SIL-O-FLEX, that I found at LOWE'S in the plumbing dept, its about 8 dollars for 100 feet and fish tape goes through it wonderful, its so good that you could probably push speaker wire through it without fish tape but I havent tried yet, I ran this for all speaker locations including where I will eventually put Bass Shakers and even ran a line for a future rear Center channel, never know what the future holds :-) I used a Half inch hole saw in my cordless drill to make holes in the top of the outlet boxes, although the holes in the back of the outlet boxes will work too, but I found it put the box in a bit of a bind so I just ran them in the top, this wont effect any code as this is just speaker wire, I also bought some 1/2 inch tube brackets to attach these lines to the studs so the line wont back out of the boxes, I wrapped electrical tape around the line where the bracket goes to insure a tight fit, you can see the bracket in the first pic, the brackets were about 45 cents for a pack of 5..... here are some pics

Speaker Run 1



#47 of 153 OFFLINE   richard_v


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Posted January 22 2004 - 06:15 AM

Tested bass shakers mounted within my riser. One of three does not work!

#48 of 153 OFFLINE   Rich Sk

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Posted March 12 2004 - 07:38 PM

I have just about finished a basement with a family room with a 7.1 system installed. I am glad I: 1. Framed in a space in a wall and built a simple in-wall entertainment center (27 inches wide, floor to celing) to hide the components. Paid a cabinet shop to build a face frame for it, looks sharp, required minimal finish carpentry skills. 2. Kept the components in the wall cabinet and buried all cables going to the RPTV and speakers in the wall. 3. Brought home my components first and hooked everything up before I put the last piece of sheet rock up behind the TV and buried the wires for good. If I hadn't, I would have been one coax cable too short. I thought that I was going to be able to rely on the HD DirecTV receiver to decode everything for the TV, but it won't pass a marginal signal so I needed another coax from the attic antenna to use the DTV antenna input to watch some local OTA HD channels. I had the whole room taped, mudded, and primed with the exception of one piece along the floor where the cables were. If the components would have been out when all the sanding was going on, none of them would be in working condition now. Sanding makes a huge mess!!! 4. Installed an antenna in the attic. 5. Installed a little sound proofing. I have 24 inch deep floor trusses in the ceiling in my basement. To keep the theater experience from bothering people upstairs, I put bats of 16" deep fiberglass insulation in between the trusses throughout the basement. Doing research on this and other forums, it sounds like there are other more complicated ways to insulate, but considering the budget I worked under, the 16" fiberglass really does a good job keeping the sound from escaping upstairs. 6. Borrowed a variable speed rotozip to cut out the boxes in the sheetrock. I really wish I hadn't: 1. Framed the whole basement two years before we decided to finish it for good and hang sheet rock. I ended up tearing out about 2/3 of the studs because they had warped so bad. 2. Bought such a large TV. When the TV came home, the door jambs were not installed in the basement. We are building another house now, and I don't know if the damn TV will come out the basement now when we move. This is a great thread. Good idea. I could to on and on about this topic.

#49 of 153 OFFLINE   Torgny Nilsson

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Posted January 22 2004 - 04:46 PM

I hope to have my home theater finished by this weekend, but if I had to do it again I would: 1. Run 2" or larger conduit or, even if a bit expensive, run DVI and component cables before drywalling the room; 2. Reinforce the ceiling where I think I might mount a FP so I don't have to jury-rig it later or, get the FP first so I know for sure where it will go; 3. Cut a slot into the ceiling for a hidden pull-down screen so I don't have to either hang it from the ceiling or cut the slot later; I would also run an electrical outlet into the slot so I could upgrade to an electric screen (and run conduit from the component area to the screen for a future trigger cable); 4. Built a wooden subfloor on top of my slab concrete floor to get better bass; 5. Run audio wires for a back center speaker in case I ever wanted one; and 6. Thought harder about whether I want a sound permeable screen so I can place a center speaker behind it. The only screens that are sound permeable are expensive electric torsioned screens and fixed screens (also expensive if sound permeable). There are also some things I am very happy I did: 1. Run two sets of speaker wires through the walls for each of my front speakers, center speaker, surround speakers, and rear surround speakers. By running two sets of wires to each speaker, I can place one or more subs in the same positions and not lose any of the other speakers, or I could bi-wire the speakers if I ever felt that made a difference; 2. Install a pull down screen rather than a fixed screen. I can hide the screen away, making the room look like it can be used for something other than pure home theater and I can hang art on the wall, install a bookcase, etc. I can also close up the screen to prevent damage when not in use (but perhaps at the sacrifice of some surface tension); 3. Get a projector that can tolerate some ambient light. I don't like the idea of having to shut the room up like a tomb in order to view a film; 4. Get a 4x3 screen and projector rather than a 16x9. I DON'T lose much size at all when viewing widescreen material, and get a LOT more size when viewing 4x3 material such as old movies, etc., compared to someone with a 16x9 projector and screen; 5. Installed a dedicated electrical circuit to my components; 6. Installed dimmers for all lights; and 7. Installed solid core doors and insulated the room to block sound escaping to the rest of the house.

#50 of 153 OFFLINE   Torgny Nilsson

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Posted February 23 2004 - 01:02 PM

I also wish I had run my projector cable and power outlet and so that they could have both run under the drywall and down through the center of the ceiling mount. As it is, they are both offset about 1 foot from the mount, so I have ugly black cables dangling for that distance. I have yet to figure out how to hide them well.

#51 of 153 OFFLINE   Torgny Nilsson

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Posted November 18 2004 - 10:56 AM

My living room entertainment center is on wooden legs. I have to lift and move the whole darn thing (containing a TV, audio and video components, and about 400 CDs) in order to get to the back of any of my components. It is a real pain. For my new HT, I made sure my entertainment center was on wheels so I can easily swing it out to get to the back of my components. It is a breeze! Since my HT has a FP, I tried to think ahead and had a power outlet installed in the ceiling where I thought I'd end up mounting my FP. While I got the placement right, I did not think about surge protection. I have yet to find a good surge protector that is ceiling mounted. I have had to settle for a small, probably fairly useless, outlet mounted surge protector for my FP. If I was doing it again, I'd run a power line from the FP mount area to the equipment rack area so I could power my FP through the same surge protector/line conditioner I use for all my other audio and video equipment. (I am not sure how that would work though, a long extension cord run through the drywall sounds like a bad idea.) If I wanted to be even more future proof, I could also have run a power line and speaker wiring under my floor, so it comes out through the floor under my seating area in case I ever want to add Buttkickers.

#52 of 153 OFFLINE   Torgny Nilsson

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Posted January 28 2005 - 02:56 PM

I am still discovering new things I should have done differently: 1. I should have purchased a universal ceiling mount (such as that sold by Chief) for my projector. I just replaced my first projector and had to buy a new mount. If I had purchased a universal mount to begin with, I would have saved $150. 2. I should have run conduit big enough for a DVI cable and all the other cables I could conceive of running along the same conduit (which probably means I should have installed 3-4 inch wide conduit). My old projector did not have DVI, but my new one has it. No way I am ripping up 40 feet of drywall to run a DVI cable. I also would have thought about how expensive such long runs of cable are. 3. I should have installed a good in-wall power conditioner in my ceiling near my projector to provide power protection to my projector. 4. I should have decided on the projector before wiring for it. As it is, my power outlet is on the wrong side of the projector, so I have a couple feet of ugly power cord hanging from my ceiling. Or else I should have arranged it so that the power and cables came out through the ceiling mount. 5. I should have given more thought to how I would hook a computer up to my projector and audio system. 6. I should have installed more in-wall wires for speakers. I only ran in-wall wires for 6.1. I should have run wire for 7.1 (though I did run two sets of speaker wires to each speaker position so I could put my sub anywhere in the room or add another sub anywhere in the room) 7. I should have installed front wall accoustical treatments at the same time as I was drywalling and installing power and speaker outlets. 8. One thing I am still very happy I did: buy an open backed entertainment center on wheels. It has made it very simple to rewire, add or remove components, etc. I no longer groan when having to made any modifications.

#53 of 153 OFFLINE   Doug_M_Fraser



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Posted June 04 2004 - 06:19 PM

Not really a regret as the technology is still evolving, but I placed 2 speakers Left Rear and Right Rear next to each other (2 inches apart) behind the main seating area. This was done based on THXII recomendations. Look at the recent Widescreen Review Mag and there is a move to have speakers at different locations realtive to the THX standard. Doug

#54 of 153 OFFLINE   Paul_Stachniak



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Posted June 05 2004 - 08:13 PM

This is all cool stuff, as my family is looking to put in a HT in our new house sometime this year. I was wondering, if anyone who has gone with the option of a painting screen (with the proper coatings of course) regrets the choice when compared to actual projection screen?
DVD Collection | Video Game Collection | Live Gamertag: vicodinjunkie

#55 of 153 OFFLINE   andrew lewis

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Posted December 16 2004 - 11:20 PM

Only thing I need to do is put some dynamat on my big old picture windows. Watching anything w/ 1 of my dual 10" on gets annoying when the whole house shakes.Posted Image
YES I will sell you on a Hitachi, and YES I will sell you the warranty as well.

#56 of 153 OFFLINE   DennyH



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Posted September 07 2004 - 06:47 PM

I would have ordered my theater chairs much earlier. The room is completely finished and the chairs are still 3-4 weeks out. I didnt realize that it would take 8-10 weeks to get them shipped. BTW, ordered (6) Lane Hollywoods.
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#57 of 153 OFFLINE   Demetrius



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Posted March 23 2004 - 08:06 PM

I am designing a ht for my sister. This HT is a serious undertaking for me. I did attend the ISF/HAA seminar and am still moving forward although I am going to get as much help as possible. The HT will be on the second floor of a new structure (40'X 28'). I plan on creating an isolated theater double-wall (21'X 24') with a 2' area around the theater. The whole theater will be resting on isolation material between the theater and the blank flooring. There will be seating for eighteen across three levels. I plan on using a front projector housed in a box (isolated from the theater) in the ceiling. My goal is a noise floor of 15dB - 17dB, I may not acheive this goal but I want to maximize the dynamic range. I plan on a 9'6" - 10' wide screen. The air ducts will be a dedicated zone with large diameter duct/registers, with a "S" shape path from the AHU to the theater (about 40' of duct for each vent). I haven't decided on specific equipment but my budget for the electronics and speakers is ~$30K to $40K. The structure (not including the theater) and furnishings are my sisters responsibility. Any thoughts or comments are certainly encouraged and welcomed. Thanks, Demetrius P.S. I certainly don't want to get into this and make a mistake that will comprimise the quality in any way. P.S.S. I am considering using tactile transducers but am not convinced of the return of investment.
Demetrius Roberts

#58 of 153 OFFLINE   raymond caputo

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Posted June 10 2004 - 10:11 AM

i had floating wood shelves installed above my tv...the problem is that the shelves are not deep enough for me to get behind the equipment...if i have to add something or change anything around, i don't know what the hell i am going to do...it looks real nice, but not practical..

#59 of 153 OFFLINE   darron Z

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Posted January 26 2004 - 10:57 AM

im glad to hear everyone would rather have a wood floor than slab, helps me decide on what to do now that im getting ready to change my garage over to HT .

#60 of 153 OFFLINE   darron Z

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Posted February 14 2004 - 09:26 PM

i am building my theater room NOW , have pics would like to show , im a decent builder, not at putting pics on a webpage, could someone tell me the easiest way to get some pics on the site here? thanks.

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