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Floor Plan Design Help (1 Viewer)

Jeffreybomb

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Dec 7, 2010
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Jeff
I've been lurking for a loooong time and I've finally got a basement large enough to make what I think could be a really cool home theater.

That being said, I've searched Google recently and I can't seem to find a straightforward answer. Who can I consult to help me lay out a floor plan that I can present to the local municipality? I have a general idea of what I want to do, but I'd also like to make sure I'm doing everything correctly. I would assume I'd talk to an architect, but I'm not sure if there's a specific kind or whatever.

Thanks in advance!
 

RobertR

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 19, 1998
Messages
10,665
With respect to a city permit, there is no specific kind of architect for a home theater. Some people hire a consultant to help design the acoustics. Sketch out your idea (I laid out my room in Autocad) and present it to an architect or engineer.
 

Bobofbone

Second Unit
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Jan 24, 2010
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East Tennessee
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Bob
One of the best places for ideas on floor plans is on this site. if you go to the projects section, the top stickies include "what I would have done differently". AV Forum is also a good site. Both have lots of build threads that show other peoples home theaters from planning to completion. An internet search can also lead to web pages on small room acoustics, screens, projection systems and just about anything else you can imagine.

I had a couple of conversations about codes. My wife was very skeptical about what I had in mind. Her biggest concern was about having that section of the house torn up and how long she would have to put up with piles of dry wall equipment lying around, and buckets of paint. So, she talked with the builder who put up our house. I had also specified a number of things during construction to get the space ready, that were already done. I drew up a detailed set of specifications, and an equipment list that was pretty complete. We had two changes, suggested by the guys doing the work, that made sense to me, and didn't really change anything cost wise. Once we got started, two guys from his company, working part time took an empty space to completion. I had all the materials available before starting construction. I talked about codes with the guy that owned the construction company. He knew that we had the area wired during construction, and the only additional wiring would be for pot lights in soffits and the and strictly speaking, there wasn't anything that required inspection. The whole area had been inspected and passed during construction, and finishing the room wasn't going to change anything. He also said that the building inspector was a political appointee, and had probably never seen double drywall hung on hat channel with sound isolators, and would probably balk at the idea, to put it politely. He suggested avoiding the inspector.

The second conversation I had was even more entertaining. One of the guys at the course i attended out of state was building an addition on to his home, from scratch. He was doing all the work. Handy with tools, I guess. I asked him about codes and inspections. He hadn't bothered. He was familiar with codes, and said he was within them but didn't bother with the formalities. I asked if having no building permit and inspection could result in a denied insurance claim if he had a problem like a fire. He told me that was highly unlikely. It turned out he was a claims inspector for a fairly large insurance company, and he said that wasn't something they ever checked on. That may have been his company. Believe what you want on that one.

I'd suggest you check with your local building office about what requires a permit and inspections, how much can be done after or without one and proceed from there.

I have talked with a couple of companies that designed and constructed home theaters. One was a long time ago, in Nashville, and I don't know if they are still around. The second is in Chattanooga. The first time I talked to them was at a builders show, and they were pushing home alarm and control systems. They left me with a negative impression after I told them we had already contracted with another local company. I found out they sold Paradigm speakers, and later bought most of my speaker system through them They had a show room with a home theater, and were fairly knowledgeable at the time. This was a few years later.

Sketch out your space and Ideas and put them up on a thread in the "Home Theater Projects" section here. You might find the responses useful.
 
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Jeffreybomb

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Messages
61
Real Name
Jeff
Thanks for the replies, folks. They were quite insightful.

If a permit is necessary, I'd like to err on the side of caution and pull one. Of the permits I've pulled in the past, they're not expensive. I think getting the design done is probably what's going to be somewhat pricey.

I have a general idea of what I'd like to have done. I'm looking forward to finding others' ideas and designs throughout the site.

Much appreciated!
 

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