Fannon Family Theater Room

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Chad F, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. Chad F

    Chad F Auditioning

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    Ok, there wasn't much interest, but I thought I'd log my progression of my home theater anyway...I'm hoping to get input from more experienced people as I go.

    Room: I have a 15'W x 18' L attic space. It can also have up to 15' ceiling in the center. The room is on the 2nd floor of my house (along with my kids bedrooms).It sits above the master bedroom/bathroom. So it has to be soundproof to a point. At this point the room is completely unfinished. I will have pictures up soon.

    Equipment owned: I only have 1 item that will be used and that is my receiver. It is the Onkyo TX-DS989.

    Budget: $25,000. Hopefully don't have to spend it all, but that is the amount I can go up to. This will account for everything, including construction, equipment, & decor.

    I am hoping that as i document my room, letting the forum know what is going on, that i may avoid mistakes that could be made. I will try to post information as it happens.
     
  2. Chad F

    Chad F Auditioning

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    I have several things going on with the theater room as of now.

    1) My wife and I, and a few friends, are trying to come up with a name for theater. Not really that important, but fun to do.

    2) Trying to decide on a projector. Its between the Sony vpl-hs51 and the Panasonic A700U.

    3) What screen size to go with. 106" or 120". It will be a wide screen. Or do i use the wall and paint the surface on my wall.

    4) Got my first estimate on the build out of the room. Very disappointed. I got the first one from the guy that built my house - very talented and top notch. I consider him the high end estimate. I knew it was very high end when he left a message on my answering machine telling me not to freak because it was so high. He left it in the mail for me and it was $44,000. Needless to say that is WAY out of my budget. He said we can work on it and make some cuts. His estimate was for a Theo Kalomirakis type room.

    Getting a 2nd estimate, which should be a low end estimate this week. Will also make my decision on speakers and projector by next week.
     
  3. Bryce_H

    Bryce_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Have you consider doing the work yourself. I'm finishing my basement and contracting out only segments of it (plumbing, HVAC, and drywall) The rest I'm doing myself. I have had a great time doing it and I get to do everything exactly the way I want it done. The room is 16*23. It will be a 7.1 wired system (only have 5.1 speakers now), front projection, 106" 16*9 screen, 8 la-z-boy recliners, and a built-in component cabinet in the back. Total cost will be around $10,000 (I already have all the equipment).
     
  4. Michael Whitney

    Michael Whitney Stunt Coordinator

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    I would spend some time shopping out quotes. Case in point is my recent kitchen remodel.
    Got quotes for both electrical and plumbing. Mainly hookup only, not much new work needed.

    Electrical - Quote from company that already was replacing switches and plugs in house $3200.00 job rate, got a local friend of family, certified electrician, did job on hourly basis + materials, cost me $450.00

    Plumbing - Got name of company from local newspaper, came over, wrote up quote for $1600.00 job rate, got other quotes on hourly basis + materials, wound up hiring 2 Plumbers for 80.00 per hour for both + materials, cost $425.00 total.

    Morale of story is to shop quotes aggressively. I think per hour is way to go for simpler tasks. Granted this experience is more simplified then a full theatre buildout, but I am sure with a decent plan, and acting as your own general contractor, anyone should be able to save money.
     
  5. Michael Whitney

    Michael Whitney Stunt Coordinator

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    Also to bad we are all over the country and world. We could have build sessions at different locations (houses) each weekend to help each other out. Kind of like a combination of Habitat for Humanity and an Amish Barn Raising. Just a thought.
     
  6. jim rich

    jim rich Auditioning

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    Dear Michael, I have read Home theater for dummies, and have done a fair amount of remodeling. I have in mind what I want to do in a home theater - so where do I get, "but I am sure with a decent plan," Any source of a plan? Home theater for dummies did not help.

    I have seen and like the "Theo Kalomirakis" theater. But, I do not know where to get a plan. thanks, jim rich
     
  7. Michael Whitney

    Michael Whitney Stunt Coordinator

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    TK Theatres are some of the best out there. I didnt mean a literal "plan", but merely breaking down the steps in a logical order for Subcontracted workers to be able to work quickly and cheaply, without much redo's.

    I do like this theatre site for a decent breakout of the steps he took.

    http://www.devotionsbyerik.com/E-Cinema.htm

    Didnt want to hijack thread. Just stressing fact of getting bids and trying for hourly bid quotes when possible.
     
  8. Chad F

    Chad F Auditioning

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    Bryce,
    I would love to be able to do the work myself, as I think it would be rewarding and lots of fun. Unfortunatley, I have absolutely no experience using ANY tools and wouldn't know where to start. I want it done right.

    I am considering contracting each piece of work out to different people. I can tell what steps need to be done in order.

    first, I have an air unit that needs to be moved into another adjacant storage room (luckily no walls between the two, so easily done).
    Second is the flooring, need to know how thick the floor should be!
    Third is a support beam that needs to be cut out and will be attached in the new ceiling.

    What do you guys think, should i be my own contractor....i guess i will wait until i get a couple more quotes from other contractors.

    I should have initial pictures of my room up by tomorrow night.

    Michael, thanks for that link....should come in handy.
     
  9. Bryce_H

    Bryce_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Chad,
    When I started I had minimal experience, but am pretty handy with tools. I bought several books to help guide me along. Which I recommend you buy even if you are not going to do the work yourself. When I get home tonight, I will do another post with the books I felt where helpful. Also feel free to PM me with any specific questions. I hope to get pictures up soon. Good luck.
     
  10. jim rich

    jim rich Auditioning

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    Thanks, Michael, I already have that site bookmarked and printed out a hard copy of it. I didn't want to miss anything and was wondering if there were plans, thanks again, jim rich
     
  11. Michael Whitney

    Michael Whitney Stunt Coordinator

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    To answer Jim's question.

    Not a lot of specifics plans are around on the web. Typically, everyones spaces/budget/skill level are different. One book I can recommend is "Home Theatre Design" by Krissy Rushing. It gives more of a theoretical approach to theatre design. Essentially an overview. Sometimes on this site, you can get a diagram of someones theatre that may help give you a headstart on designing your own given what others have done, wired, struggled with.
     
  12. Chad F

    Chad F Auditioning

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    I bought the "Home Theater Design" book. I have found it very helpful.

    I talked to a 2nd contractor today and he is going to try to come over and look at what i have tonight or tomorrow.
     
  13. jim rich

    jim rich Auditioning

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    Thanks Michael and Chad, I will try to find both books. I want to measure twice and cut once (i.e. not make any mistakes in planning.) thanks again jim rich
     
  14. gabeG

    gabeG Auditioning

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    Chad and Jim, I am the managing partner reponsible for system design for an A/V company in Canada. From my experience, most people with a little or no experience can contract their own projects assuming ONLY that they have the time available.

    Experience with handtools, materials etc is certainly nice to have but can also hinder, given that every now and then bad habits or techniques will effect the outcome of the project.

    In another direction, some design companies will work with a homeowner and provide a detailed design, with materials and equipment list, drawings etc as part of the package. This kind of package generally is quite inexpensive and obviously takes the guesswork out of the equation. It helps in getting accurate quotes from the various contractors. There is detail for a contractor to work with in preparing the budget(s) and generally the project will proceed with less problems.

    Given your budget, I think you can have quite the system, especially given that you are starting with the 989!

    Let me know how things go. Sorry to have been so long winded!

    Gabe
     
  15. Bryce_H

    Bryce_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Chad,
    Here are the books on construction that I have found most helpful. I have rough inspections next week, so we will see how they paid off.

    Black & Decker - Finishing Basements and Attics (mostly ideas)

    Ortho's All About - Basements, Attics, and Bonus Rooms (mostly ideas)

    Taunton's Build like a Pro - Remodeling a Basement (my bible so far)

    Also bought a couple of books on wiring which have been good for the wiring diagrams.

    Good luck.
     
  16. jim rich

    jim rich Auditioning

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    thanks to Gabe and Bryce, I am assuming that the book Michael and Chad were talking about is the same book. thanks again, jim rich
     
  17. Chad F

    Chad F Auditioning

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    Guys,

    I posted 4 pictures of my unfiinished space here:

    Unfortunatly I can't post a URL cause i haven't posted 15 times. Crazy. so if you go to the HT gallery, my rooms pictures are under Fannon Family Theater.

    As soon as i get back from vacation, i am going to have the air unit moved into an adjacent storage room. When this has been done, I will start with the flooring and the framing.

    I will post again when I get back in town.
     
  18. Chad F

    Chad F Auditioning

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    Made my first equipment purchase today.

    I bought the Panasonic 700u projector, a universal mount, and an extended warranty (don't like the 1 yr. warranty they give, needs to be 2 or 3).

    I have an AC guy coming over first of next week to move my unit to the adjacent storage room.

    I also have some guys coming over to put down the floor. I have questions about how I should go about soundproofing the floor. I read the E-Cinema construction site that he used 90lb roofing material. Are there any suggestions for soundproofing? Especially ones that don't cost a fortune.
     
  19. jim rich

    jim rich Auditioning

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    Chad, why a projector instead of a plasma? I was thinking plasma, should i change my way of thinking? thanks, jim
     
  20. Chad F

    Chad F Auditioning

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    Jim, I have read a lot of negative things about plasmas. If I were buying a regular TV, it would be a DLP.

    But as it is, I have a good room to put a dedicated theater with 106" screen....can't get that in a plasma.
     

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