Planning Ahead for Dedicated Home Theatre

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark J Graham, Sep 4, 2001.

  1. Mark J Graham

    Mark J Graham Auditioning

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    Well, here goes my first post. [​IMG]
    I am currently beginning to build my first house. Due to cost considerations, I am not building my Home Theater in my new house, but have a LARGE unfinished basement set aside for building my Home Theater. This will let me build it myself at a slower pace (as in pay as I go. [​IMG] ).
    So for my question. What considerations should I make in preparing this space for a home theater, that can't be changed later?
    One big concern of mine is the ceiling height. Currently the plans call for an 8' ceiling in the basement. At an additional cost, I can go for a 9' ceiling in the basement.
    Since I am interested in doing a front projection system in my future Home Theater, ceiling height is something I am concerned with. (Possible lowering of screen or hanging projector from ceiling or any other options I haven't even thought of). I'm sure 8' is doable, but are there things I won't be able to do with an 8' ceiling that I can with 9'.
    I will have to make a final decision on most of the structural stuff in the next couple weeks and am starting to have a panic attack. [​IMG]
    Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
    And thanks for your great forum.
    You guys are the best.
    Mark Graham
     
  2. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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  3. Randy dela Fuente

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    Mark,
    If you're serious about a dedicated room, I'd spring for the extra cost now. You won't be able to go back and fix this if you're not happy with the 8 footer!
    I'd love to have a couple of extra feet in my room height. I'm sure you won't regret it.
    You can check out the link to my theatre construction to see what I've done so far.
    Welcome to the forum!
    Good luck!
    ------------------
    Randy
    http://sportraits.com/htwebsite/theatrefs.html
     
  4. Dave Gates

    Dave Gates Agent

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    I agree with Bill and Randy.
    Definitely go with the 9’ ceiling in the basement. My father in-law and my brother in-law, both built houses around the same time a couple of years ago. My father in-law went with the 9’ ceiling, while my brother in-law went with the 8’ ceiling. Now my bro in-law regrets his decision every time he goes into his basement.
    The height of the basement ceiling is one thing you will NOT be able to change later on, with out extreme costs. Lay down the extra cash now, you wont regret it.
    Also watch out for those low beams and support posts that Bill mentioned.
    Good luck!
    Dave
     
  5. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Joseph DeMartino
    Give some thought to the electrical service in the basement. This is something that could be added later, but it will probably be cheaper to have it taken care of during construction. I live in Florida, where basements pretty much don't exist, so I had to plan my HT for the living room. Because I wasn't entirely sure which wall the equipment was going to go on (or if I'd change my mind at some point) I had extra electrical outlets put on two walls, and made sure they were on a breaker of their own, isolated from the kitchen, refrigerator and other things in the open plan living/dining/kitchen area. I also did the same thing with one wall in the master bedroom, in case I upgrade my primary equipment and decided to put a mini-HT in there. (Right now I don't even have a TV set in the bedroom. [​IMG])
    I don't have a front-projection system, but I wanted to make sure that I had the option, so I had an extra ceiling fan outlet installed. The way things are set-up now I can remove (or move) the existing fan to the other outlet if I add a projector later, or connect the projector to the unused outlet if I were ever to reverse the room layout. I may never use any of this, but it didn't cost much to during construction, and I have the option now, without having to pay big bucks to an electrician later. (Nor am I paying interest on any of this, since I paid for all these small alterations in cash as I ordered them, before the final paperwork was drawn-up for the closing.)
    I also pre-wired both the living and bedroom with 14-gauge in-wall approved copper speaker wire before the dry-wall went up. So I was set to have a pair of rear speakers on either wall of either room before I moved in. (Of course, this was before the bastards came out with ES and EX. [​IMG])
    The speaker wire itself probably won't be an issue for you during initial construction of the unfinished basement, but you might think about placement of phone jacks and cable TV jacks - especially if you have or are thinking about a satellite system. (Somebody help me out here, because I forget. There is a grade of coxial cable that is recommended for satellite that is better - and more expensive - than that used for cable. What's it called?)
    Whatever it is called, think about using it if the buider is providing the inside cable wiring. If you want to be able to send the satellite signal to a second room it will be well worth it. Obviously you want a phone jack somewhere near where the satellite reciever will (or might) go. I also used the conduit provided for the phone and cable runs for the speaker wire and for running a cat-5 network cable between the master bedroom and the guest bedroom, which serves as my home office. Again, this isn't something I'm using yet, but when the time comes I'll be able to work from a laptop in the bedroom and access my DSL connection, laser printer, CD-ROM burner and color printer from the bedroom.
    Mostly little stuff, but all things that are easier to do while the house is going up than they would be later, and they'll give you the maximum flexibility when you're ready to start building that home theater.
    Regards,
    Joe
     

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