Looks like I can finally look forward to a real home theater

jayn_j

jayn_j

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As many know, I am moving up to Milwaukee. I thought I was going to rent, but after looking the situation over, I found I could qualify for a VA loan. I put an offer in on a nice 2000 sq foot ranch on 1/3 acre. The offer was accepted and we did the home inspection today, so it looks like I will soon have a place I can make my own. Yay.

The important part. It comes with a 17' x 28' finished basement rec room. (see picture)
I can easily divide this space in half with a wall running down where the post and hvac divides the space. The wall to the right is perfect for a screen.

So now the planning starts. I'll add to this thread as it develops, and I welcome suggestions as we go.
 

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jayn_j

jayn_j

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Well, I may have run into a snag that will affect design.

I talked to an insurance agent up there, and when he put the policy together, he added a rider for "sewer backup". He told me that the area has overhead power wires and a fairly high ground water level. In the spring, it is not uncommon to get a 3-5" rainstorm and the high winds will cause the power to go out. Then the basements flood a bit.

Note from the pictures that the floors are tile and that the electrical outlets are 3 feet off the floor. :(

I don't think it is a deal breaker for putting something down there, but I would be foolish if I didn't plan for potential flooding. Here is what I am thinking

1. A new subfloor with drainage under the theater portion.
2. An additional 4" riser for the major seating area. Front row seats can be easily moved recliners.
3. Equipment in high mounted racks with storage for hardier stuff underneath
4. Most important is to purchase a backup generator so the sump pump can keep working.
5. When my parents lived on the river, they had a plug they could insert into the floor drain to prevent sewer backflow. Need to look into that.

We have talked about autoswitching circuits through a generator in the past, so the generator comes on automatically. What kind of money are we talking about for that peace of mind?

I may very well be overreacting here. There were no signs of water damage in the house, and I looked in corners that probably wouldn't have been cleaned up - like the chimney cleanout and behind the furnace. Still, it seems best to plan ahead. Thoughts?

edit: Another option is to add a battery backup auxilliary pump. Here is one example I found: http://www.radonseal.com/pumps/battery-sump-pumps.htm
 
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jayn_j

jayn_j

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OK, I've had a chance to move in and settle down a bit. I have the theater pieced together, although it is far from finished.

The basement is not really wet, but there are issues. We have had a couple of big storms here in the last two weeks, and it turns out that one of the windows did not have a cover. This allowed water in and soaked a rug on the other side of the finished room.

I have decided that water can be an issue, so I am looking at area rugs, moveable furniture and no permanent walls. This also allows me to open up the space for parties and close it in when I want sound and light control.

I am still projecting against the wall. I can easily get a 120" screen, and may be able to stretch it to 130". seating is about 12 feet back. There are a couple of memory foam beanbags the kids can bring in for now. Obviously the projector eventually goes ceiling mount, and some (most) of the furniture gets replaced.

However, I am at a point where I can enjoy it and slowly make improvements. The rug was necessary to soften the sound, and a light insulating curtain on the right side wall is next.

Pictures follow:
 
jayn_j

jayn_j

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Here are some pictures of the theater as it currently sits. Have to figure out disposal on the old Toshiba 56" projector. The surrounds need better mounting. Definitely need a curtain.
 

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jayn_j

jayn_j

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Looking better, in my HT I have my JBL's for front speakers, size does matter for sound imho...

No doubt. Those are Klipsch KG-5s as the mains, and Klipsch throughout, except for the sub. I really like these for clarity in a HT environment and have slowly built this system.

The sub is a massive 12" Velodyne with a 2kW amp. Absolutely wonderful for action films. We watched Sum of All Fears last night and the nuke explosion and carrier attack were spectacular.

I think I am mostly set up on equipment now, although I would like to find a deal on some rear surrounds and go full 7.1. I will be putting most of my effort into getting the room correct for awhile.

Current plans include: paint the walls a semi-dark gray with maroon accents. Hang the curtain (dark red, light and sound absorbing) along the right side. Cover the windows and hide with curtains. Hang my posters. Hang the projector. Build cabinets for media and equipment storage. Better furniture.

I think I am looking at about a $6k budget spread over 3 years to get it right.
 
jayn_j

jayn_j

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Work has been taking up all my time lately, but I have managed to do a few things with the theater. I finally got a chance to take a few pictures. I tried to get some screen images, bu they came out lousy, so I'll leave those alone for now and try again in a few days.

Anyway, I have the new Elite 120" fixed screen mounted. I am very pleased with the image it is projecting, and it looks very impressive on the wall.

I also got curtains mounted to divide the theater and the casual portion of the basement. That's the chunk with the exercise equipment, xbox, wii and guitars/keyboard/drum set.

I chose the curtains for two reasons. First, there is the basement flooding potential, so I wanted something that would clean and be easy to move out of the way. Second, the curtain arrangement allows me to open up the room to have people over for sports or other events. It also allows the space to be used for casual conversation.

So, here is where it is at. I still have a long way to go, but it is moving.
 

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