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Basement HT

 

Bronze Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Plainfield, IL USA

Post Number: 100
Registered: May-06
We moved into our new house a couple months ago. I started building a home theater room in the basement two weeks ago. I'm hoping to begin electrical work by the end of the month, and I will post more pictures as the room progresses. Here are some pictures:

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View from the front of the room, looking at the riser. I still need to screw plywood onto the top of the riser.

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View of the entrance into the home theater.

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View of the front of the room from the riser. The doorway to the right leads to the equipment/media closet.
 

New member
Username: Jrbay

Livonia Detroit area, Michigan USA

Post Number: 2
Registered: Feb-08
Hey Nathan,

Looks great. One suggestion if it isn't too late. Is it possible to put a door on the back side of the equipment/media closet? Makes hook up and "tweaking" so much more pleasant.
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 101
Registered: May-06
Great suggestion, Jim. It's not too late, so I'll give that some thought. However, given the position of my water heater and furnace and the layout of my basement, I'm not sure if that will be possible.
 

New member
Username: Jrbay

Livonia Detroit area, Michigan USA

Post Number: 5
Registered: Feb-08
You don't need too much room Nathan, in fact any room is better than flipping the components around all the time. A good light source is also a great big positive attribute! This assumes, that like me, you are not quite a set-it-and-forget-it kind of person or that components aren't swapped in and out as the finances allow.
 

Silver Member
Username: Huron

Post Number: 390
Registered: Mar-07
nathan, is the enterance in the front? and whats the riser for? did you do research before building? not to sound like an aasss, I wouldnt want you making any mistakes, unless you have done this before we could help to make a very cool system
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 102
Registered: May-06
The entrance is in the back, where the riser is. Given the position of my furnace and water heater, the entrance had to go on that side of the room. The riser allows the back row of seating to see the screen.

The optimal location of the riser was at the side of the room where the doorway is because the HVAC trunks and a steel I-beam hang down from the ceiling too close to the front of the room. You can see the red I-beam in the last picture above.

So, as you can see in the picture, there are two steps outside the entrance, so when you walk in, you are already standing on the riser.

I did lots of research and planning before starting this project, including line-of-sight calculations for all the seating positions, head room measurements, etc. What specific mistake is it that you think I've made?
 

Silver Member
Username: Huron

Post Number: 392
Registered: Mar-07
my mistake I was hoping I read it rong, I thaught it said veiw of front of room, but still location of door, were is the rear speakers going to go? door location should not interfer with speaker locations now or in the future, what size is the room? and having the equipment flush against the wall is very trick and as jim said a media closet with a door to gain acsess to the back things can get hot and a water heater cant help and can get noisy, is there any chance of relocation? what kind of projector, equipment, and speakers do you have in mind,
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 106
Registered: May-06
The back and surround speakers will be in-wall, probably Boston Acoustics. The back speakers will go on the back wall, and the surround speakers will be on the side, up high, between the first and second rows of seating. As for the rest, I'll use the Pioneer receiver and Boston Acoustics speakers I already own, at least for now. I'll be buying a 1080p projector when I'm all done, but I haven't settled on a model or brand yet.

The room is 12x20. Right now, I have all my equipment in a small entertainment stand in the family room, so I don't think fitting it into a 3.5'x6' closet is going to be a problem.

I don't see any reason why I'd need to relocate. My water heater doesn't make much noise. Does yours? I'm more concerned about the furnace, but I will insulate the interior wall, which should help a little.
 

Silver Member
Username: Huron

Post Number: 398
Registered: Mar-07
furnace could make noise and produce heat like the water heater but theres allways things that get in the way, it sounds like your thinking things threw and doing good, cant waite to see when its done, room demenions are good, love the steps on the riser,

I have a mits projector I love it very quiet and tough, the other day I additioned a $4000 mits projecting on a silverstar screen, very nice, mits and sharp are my top pics,

one thing before you install the speakers, I would hook them up and get a few people together, mark the walls were you think you want the serounds mark at ear level then 2 feet above that and in between, then take turns one sits and listens the others hold the speakers and move them in the selected areas, you will be suprised at were you thaught and were they sound the best,
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 107
Registered: May-06
Angelo,

Thanks for the suggestion regarding the speaker placement. That's a good idea.

It is a basement, so obviously compromises have to be made. The only other location that would've made sense would've left me with a 10' x 25' room, with a huge soffit on the side due to the location of our main sewage line (which also makes noise when a toilet flushes or a bathtub drains).

It's funny that you mention Mitsubishi. I was just looking at the HC4900. It seems that 1080p projectors have really come down in price, just in time for the completion of my project.
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 108
Registered: May-06
Here are a couple pictures of the completed riser. Soffits and electrical work next.

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Silver Member
Username: Huron

Post Number: 399
Registered: Mar-07
very nice, how about the carpet, what kind and color
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 109
Registered: May-06
Carpet is way down at the bottom of my list of things to do. I'm sure it will be gray or something neutral. I already bought enough 3/4" OSB to put down as a subfloor. I'll probably pay someone to install carpet, as I doubt I'd get very professional looking results on my own.
 

Silver Member
Username: Davidpa

Portland, Oregon US

Post Number: 526
Registered: Nov-05
Thats gonna be nice!
Since I install cpt for a living, and looking at your layout, be sure to get someone highly recommended. Those steps, and corners could pose a problem to an average installer. Ask for either pics of prior work, or references, very recent, and as far back as they can give you. Otherwise there is a big potential for trouble getting it done right.
Im looking forward to the final pics.
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 110
Registered: May-06
Thanks, David.

As a professional, I'm sure you'll have an answer for this. I was in Home Depot yesterday, and I noticed that they install carpet (if you buy the carpet there) for $199 ($159 for a room 30 sq. yd. or less). Would it be a bad idea to have Home Depot (or Lowe's, Menards, etc.) do the installation?
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 111
Registered: May-06
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Here's the main soffit that covers the HVAC supply/return trunks and an I-beam.

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Here's a small soffit at the front of the room that covers a small heating duct.

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This is where I added a supply duct for the room.

I've added a switch for the recessed lighting. Now I'm working on installing the recessed light fixtures.
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 112
Registered: May-06
I've completed the electrical work. Here are some pictures of a couple of the recessed fixtures.

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Here are a couple of pictures of the room as it is now. You can see the conduit runs for the receptacles. I think I'm ready for my pre-drywall inspection.

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Silver Member
Username: Huron

Post Number: 407
Registered: Mar-07
the recessed fixtures how many and are there going to be some in the front and some in the back? if so have the front separate control from the back, and both on dimmers, this way if you are having a party and need ambient light the projector will give off enought light for the front and the rear lights will take care of the rear,

I think it would be cool to have mini side lights close to the floor in the rear for the steps
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jrbay

Livonia Detroit area, Michigan USA

Post Number: 58
Registered: Feb-08
Wow Nathan,

Looks great!!! Is conduit code where you are or just what you wanted to do? Inspectors here in Michigan would be thinking you were hiding something if work was done this well!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 113
Registered: May-06
Thanks, Jim.

I live in Montgomery, IL, and I know conduit is required here. I think it might even be part of the state-wide electrical code for new construction, but I'm not sure of that.

I think there are good reasons for using conduit, but I found it pretty challenging making all those bends and fitting everything together. It's nice to have that part done. Hopefully the inspection goes well.
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 114
Registered: May-06
Angelo,

I have just two recessed fixtures in the back, over the seating area, and just one in the front. I don't need a lot of light in the front because no one will ever be up by the screen. All three lights will be on a single dimmer.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jrbay

Livonia Detroit area, Michigan USA

Post Number: 59
Registered: Feb-08
I hate to do this and I am no master electrician (I am an engineer however) but I am in the business of knowing this stuff and a constant learning curve is expected. I therefore did some checking and your village does not appear to have any code deviations from national standards. From their website:

* Building Codes used in Montgomery --

International Property Maintenance Code, 2006 Edition
International Residential Code, 2006 Edition
International Building Code, 2006 Edition
International Mechanical Code, 2006 Edition
National Electrical Code, 2005 Edition
State Plumbing Code

If this is true then the national standard does not require conduit (in a covered location such as a stud wall) and I would really appreciate you asking your inspector if you were correct in your assumption that conduit was required. If you are correct then that means that I REALLY need to call each building department of every city I work in. If I am correct, you still have done an extremely good job and the potential for you to fly through your inspection is very high!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 115
Registered: May-06
Here's the website for our village:

http://ci.montgomery.il.us/

Under "Village Departments", if you click on "Building", then you get to:

http://www.ci.montgomery.il.us/building.htm

If you click on "building permits and inspections"
in the first paragraph, you get to:

http://www.ci.montgomery.il.us/building1.htm

If you click on "basement finishes", you get:

http://www.ci.montgomery.il.us/Finish%20Basement%20%203-2007.htm

The third bullet item says:

"All electric to be in conduit."

I just do what I'm told :-)

Also, all the electrical work in my house is in conduit.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jrbay

Livonia Detroit area, Michigan USA

Post Number: 60
Registered: Feb-08
Well, as I suspected I will have to call all of the municipalities I work in because from that front page you can see where I came to my conclusion. I would think they would put something such as:

National Electrical Code, 2005 Edition (except as amended by...)

Thank you Nathan you are doing what you are told very well!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 116
Registered: May-06
I agree, they could've been more clear. Another confusing part was:

"All construction must be done by a contractor licensed to do work in the Village of Montgomery."

When I saw this, I figured my only options were to pay $20-30k for someone to finish my basement or to do the work myself without a permit. Neither of these options appealed to me.

I called the village to check on this, and they told me, "well, unless you do the work yourself."

Now, would you (or any other English-speaking person) conclude that I could do the work myself from the above statement? I think what they meant to say was, "*If* a contractor does the work, he must be licensed to do work in the Village of Montgomery."}
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jrbay

Livonia Detroit area, Michigan USA

Post Number: 61
Registered: Feb-08
What are they paying for their website by the word??? How hard could it be to add such language??? I am sure that if you asked them though they would have some excuse like having to define the home owner by a 10 page legal definition.

I am surprised they aren't making you become a licensed contractor there are so many ways that a creative community can tax their citizens!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Huron

Post Number: 415
Registered: Mar-07
nathan I still think night light next to the stairs would be nice so people dont trip, anyways I use to live in palatine and arlington heights
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 117
Registered: May-06
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Rough inspection complete. Woohoo!

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I extended the steps outside the door since the door will swing outward, and I don't want the door to swing out over the steps.

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I realized that placing the projector on a shelf at the back of the room would not give much headroom. I don't want people to have to worry about blocking the projector when they move around, so I ran some more conduit and installed another receptacle underneath the soffit in the middle of the room. On the left is a mud ring where I will attach a recessed low voltage wall plate to feed the video cables through. I also put in some blocking, so I can mount the projector in the center of the room.

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I put down some 3/4" OSB for a subfloor.


I just ordered about $230 worth of cables, wall plates, speaker cable, etc. from monoprice.com. After I run all the speaker/video cables, I'll put in some 3" mineral wool for sound insulation, and then I will be ready to start the drywall.
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 122
Registered: May-06
When I was through with the electrical work, I ordered some Roxul mineral wool insulation from a local building supply company. It took about three weeks or so to get the stuff, so my project was on hold for a while. Since my last post, I've installed the acoustic insulation (Roxul), hung drywall and started the drywall finishing. Here's a link to my website, so I don't have to post pictures in two places:

http://www.geocities.com/floyd_1977
 

Silver Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 966
Registered: Feb-07
Man, that is awesome. Just checked out your website.

Do you have previous experience doing this kind of work?
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 123
Registered: May-06
Thanks for the kind words, David.

No, this is my first time doing any of this stuff (framing, electrical, drywall, etc.), so I'm very pleased so far. The electrical stuff I actually find kind of fun, although working with conduit was a little trying.

I just painted the room, so my drywall inexperience is showing a little bit. Some of the joints need to be sanded down a bit and repainted. All in all, I think I could live with it, but I'm going to try to improve the trouble spots before I have carpet installed in a couple of weeks.

After that, all I have left to do is install the entrance and closet doors, do some finish carpentry for that window, and install trim. I'll be sure to post more pictures when I'm all done. Carpet is set for June 18th, and I have furniture arriving June 25th.
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 124
Registered: May-06
I've uploaded pictures of the finished room at:

http://www.geocities.com/floyd_1977

The newest pictures are at the bottom.
 

Silver Member
Username: Huron

Post Number: 434
Registered: Mar-07
wow every time I come back they change the site, nathen I looked at the pics and everything looks great, im sure everyone who sees it loves it, what speakers are you running,

if I bring the popcorn (hint) Upload
 

Silver Member
Username: Floyd_1977

Montgomery, IL USA

Post Number: 125
Registered: May-06
Hey angelo, if you're still here.
I haven't visited here in a while.

I have Boston acoustics speakers for the front soundstage: PV700 sub, VR910 center, and an older set of boston towers (I don't remember the model number offhand -- I bought them used).

The surround and back speakers are some generic in-walls that I got from monoprice.com.

Thanks for the compliments. I enjoyed putting it together. In a few months, maybe I'll get the ambition to start finishing the rest of the basement!
 

Silver Member
Username: Jrbay

Livonia [Detroit area], Michigan USA

Post Number: 469
Registered: Feb-08
Greetings again Nathan,

I think we forgot one major piece of advise for you regarding your basement!!! I believe we all would have been smarter to advise that you finish the living area down there prior to completion of the theater!!! I mean who in their right mind is going to want to work when the fabulous theater beckons you so???
 

Silver Member
Username: Westcott

League City, Texas

Post Number: 308
Registered: Oct-05
Looks good. I like the color and how clean the room looks. Enjoy!

Happy Holidays!!!!
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