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My DIY Home Theater with pics (On the cheap)

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by ems101, Feb 22, 2020.

  1. ems101

    ems101 Auditioning

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    I've been planning a dedicated Home Theater for years. I knew what I wanted it to look like but had no idea how to get it done. Enter research on Google and Pinterest! My somewhat simple home theater project morphed into a 3 year project with a whole bunch of cool gadgets and unique aspects that made it mine.

    Follow along with the pictures and captions with my long and sometimes VERY frustrating journey to the end result which I am really happy with. It all started with a pretty simple vision. I wanted a dedicated home theater room. With a projector, surround sound system and a retractable screen that when up, would reveal my DVD and Bluray collection. When the screen would be down, the library would be hidden making for a cleaner look to the theater. That's it, simple right???

    Here is where It all got complicated... I went out and spent $3,500 on a projector and screen. $2,500 on a Bose surround sound system. Set it up and enjoyed it like that for a while. I started researching how to build my front wall to house the media library and screen. The internet is a great source of inspiration but also gives a guy like me WAY too many ideas!

    Fast forward 3 years. I've got 2 kids and just bought a house that has a great spot for my home theater! Great! But now, money is tighter and I have more important things to spend on. So more research... Finally, I get the go ahead and a modest budget of $3,000 to get my theater done the way I want it. The room is 12' wide by 31' long. ALL mine! ceiling is low at 76" but who cares!

    Here is what I've done with the space. With a lot of help from my dad and brother (both electricians), my girlfriend and even my kids.

    Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments (good or bad)
     
  2. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Audiophile
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    Hi Al,

    Looks like the image is missing. Please repost it when you get a chance, I'd love to see!
     
  3. ems101

    ems101 Auditioning

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    Here are very simple mock ups of what the space looked like prior to the project and what my simple plan was with it The large room had low headspace and I wanted there to be some sort of stadium seating so that was going to be an issue. I decided to take down the wall at the back of the room (taking into account the screen is the front). That allowed me much needed 8' ceilings for the concession stand/media space and it would allow me to have a stand up bar.
    before. after.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. ems101

    ems101 Auditioning

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    Here is where things get interesting. I've always wanted a secret room. I thought it would be a great idea to put in a secret door to the home theatre. So we built that first seeing as I have 2 kids and I wanted to be able to keep them out of the room while construction was ongoing. Also, not being able to work on this 24/7 I knew it would take time to finish. Here are some progress pictures of the door. The little black box in the center of the door is a thumbprint scanner that opens the latch for the door. Just because, why not?!

    Door frame.JPG
    Door almost done.JPG
    IMG_3985.JPG
     
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  5. ems101

    ems101 Auditioning

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    Now that the door was done I could start the actual room. I wanted my man cave to actually look like a cave. Ok more of a mine so I designed what I wanted and started looking at how to make the effect I wanted the cheapest way possible. Here is the room with only drywall done and a few of the "beams" up on the sides. My original idea was to buy actual barn beams but the cost would have been crazy (approx. $800) for what I wanted. I decided to go with simple pine planks that I would distress make into boxes and stain to resemble beams (more pictures of that later)

    IMG_4518.JPG IMG_2083.JPG
     
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  6. ems101

    ems101 Auditioning

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    Next was building the front wall that would house the screen and my DVD and Bluray collection. Simple 2x4's sufficed as nothing was structural. I needed a header to hide the screen when it was retracted. Also wanted to keep a rustic feel to the shelving to keep with the cave theme. I also framed out the spaces for my center channel and front towers in the wall

    front wall.JPG

    front wall 2.JPG
     
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  7. ems101

    ems101 Auditioning

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    Pictures of the posts I custom made with cheap knotty pine boards. I then stained them and added industrial lights to complete the look

    post raw.JPG

    post stained.JPG

    postlight.JPG
     
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  8. ems101

    ems101 Auditioning

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    The 6 posts and 3 beams cost approx $80 total and provided my kids a lot of fun bashing and throwing things on the boards to "weather" them. A win in my books! They still talk about how they helped build the movie room and point out the beams. I liked the look of it so much that I decided to continue to look on the front wall. I also added LED strips behind the wall to provide light when choosing a movie.

    front wall board.JPG

    screenled.JPG

    front finished.JPG
     
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  9. ems101

    ems101 Auditioning

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    More pictures of my progress coming soon. Any comments are welcome
     
  10. filper

    filper Agent

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    Impressive. Very creative use of materials. Cool theme idea. I think you are having fun ! I look forward to more pictures as you progress.

    I can appreciate how much work went into the 'door' to your secret room.
     
  11. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Great project, great pictures.

    And a family project to boot! :thumbsup:

    Thanks for sharing Al. I love the distressed wood and the industrial lighting fixtures.

    I don't know if you'd be interested in a sign for your theater...but my wife and I recently went to a place called "Board & Brush" (they have locations across the US & Canada). They walk you through the process of distressing wood, picking colors and creating stencils to make your own rustic sign. It was a fun experience! And it might fit right in to your motif.
     
  12. ems101

    ems101 Auditioning

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    Thanks for the info Mike, I already have one but always looking for new cool stuff to add to the movie room
     
  13. ems101

    ems101 Auditioning

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    Once the front was done I needed to figure out what I wanted to finish the side walls. In retrospect, this was a bad idea. I like the look of it and wouldn't change it, but the amount of work was stupid! In total, I spent approx 90 hrs carving and painting the foam to make it look like rock. Im no professional but here is how it ended looking. Also, those boards are crazy expensive ($20-50/board) at the store. I was able to find a roofer that was getting rid of stuff he had taken off a roof. I didn't care that they were banged up as I was carving them anyway. Got all I needed for $30! Saved approx. $600-700 in total... ok, probably wouldn't have happened for that price.

    foam no boards.JPG foam unstained 2.JPG foam over stained wood.JPG foam right not finished.JPG foam half painted.JPG foam full wall.JPG foam finised stained.JPG
     
  14. ems101

    ems101 Auditioning

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    Once the walls were done, I simply painted the floor (carpet was not in budget). also did the same to the joists on the ceiling. Could not finish it due to height of ceiling and I still wanted access to kitchen plumbing. I built the risers and installed the seats.

    I finished the concession stand in the old closet. And added my audio equipment and finished the bar top with a solid piece of natural wood.

    The NHL playoffs were getting close and that was my deadline. I wanted to watch the playoffs in the movie room.

    riser bones.JPG theater seats.JPG concession stand not finished.JPG concession stand no shelves.JPG bar top and ropes.JPG
     
  15. ems101

    ems101 Auditioning

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    Added the final touches. bud red light.JPG man cave sign.JPG
     
  16. ems101

    ems101 Auditioning

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    Went from this old room room before.JPG
     
  17. ems101

    ems101 Auditioning

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    To the finished product. Just in time for the playoffs!

    finished room.JPG finished hockey.JPG
     
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  18. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
     
  19. Bobofbone

    Bobofbone Second Unit

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    Very nice. Don't worry about the unfinished ceiling. With the lights low, you can't tell. My shop has an unfinished ceiling. It adds character. So does yours.
     

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