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 Custom Home Theater  
Successful Projects Start with a Good Plan.

The homeowner used Microsoft Visio on their home computer to create these plans.

The homeowner and myself talked in detail about their desires for the project.

I also went to the local home supplies store and shopped with them.

During construction there were a couple of small changes but a good contractor is ready for anything.

Empty Basement is the Perfect Place for a Home Theater.

I first check for any sign of past or present water leakage. If found this must be taken care of before construction can start. Often water in a basement (especially in newly-built homes) is caused by dirt settling around the foundation outside. The rainwater pools against the foundation and seeps inside.

Basement construction means you've got to plan around the I Beams and duct work.

Tiered Seating & Special Venting for Projector.

The black "cold air return" flexi-duct allows hot air to be pulled away from above the projector system. This is a clever (and cheap) way to keep the projector from over-heating and helps ensure a long life for the bulb.

This picture also shows a lot of the framing involved in the tiered seating. The floor is made from two layers of three quarter inch oriented strand board.

The step in tiers was designed to accommodate the pre-existing steps, therefore no error in code would be made by uneven steps. I shimmed the double top plates of both short walls in the tiers for a perfect level.

Low & High-Voltage Wiring to the Equip Rack.

The wiring for the home theater's 7.1 (yes, the homeowner's HT receiver is 7.1, not 5.1) sound channels come together inside the custom equipment rack I built in.

The HDMI and RGB video cables run from here, through the I beam, and out to the ceiling-mounted projector.

We finished off with dedicated 120v power and phone/Ethernet/DirecTV cabling. Note the high voltage and low voltage is kept separate. Where the two kinds of voltage cross we keep it at 90-degree angles to minimize interference.

Duct Work Can Be a Challenge.

When the house was built the duct work had two lines coming off a few feet from the end. You can see the rectangular patch I put in after I moved the runs to the end.

The homeowner didn't want to lose more height in the middle of the ceiling. Moving the runs let us keep them in the soffit.

And here's something funny: what kind of tape do you use to seal a duct? Duct tape? NOPE! It'll dry out and leak after a year or so. You have to use special aluminum tape.

The Hallway Connects the Rec Room & Theater.

This picture shows the different tiers of floors to step the seating up and forms the hall to the recreation room.

These two rooms were the focus of phase two of construction for this homeowner.

I used a special painting technique on the walls to get the effect shown.

I also used the rounded corners for entire project to match the existing house.

Real Theater Seats in the Home.

This type of seating really makes it a home theater.

There is a large selection of options for theater seats. I strongly recommend them for your home theater.

The home owner liked the "rocking" ones he saw at the Q Cinema in Omaha. We were able to get these exact ones on the web. There were 40 or 50 colors to choose from.

Everyone gets a private seat and beverage holder.
 

Curved Opening Between Rec Room & Theater.

The homeowner wanted the option to watch movies and have fun in the new rec room at the same time.

This opening not only serves as a portal to theater room but it was made into a food and beverage shelf as well.

I positioned the pass-through opening to shade the screen from the light coming in from the walkout sliding glass door. Even with bright sunlight outside you can still see the picture.

Half-Wall Between Seat Rows.

This picture shows the careful placement of these half walls. The theater seats called for six inches of clearance behind the top of each seat to allow for  rocking.

The height of the wall's finished surface was kept at an inch and a half above the seat tops. This happened to be a comfortable height to eat and drink from.

 

Built-In Equipment Shelves.

All the fancy electronics needed a nice little nook to set in.

I custom-built these pocketed shelves out of double-thickness MDF to hold some heavy equipment.

The entire pocket was lined with the laminate used on the top of the half wall and pass-through, except for the back, which was painted flat black to hide the equipment wires.
 

Built-In Cubby for Remotes.

This picture shows the half-wall right in front of the master chair.

There is another set of custom shelves for all the various remotes. Also the lighting controls were placed here as well as in the hall.

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03/10/2012 10:33 PM
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