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Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Home Theater > Home Theater Construction

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Old 10-15-2012, 02:58 PM   #1
toddly6666 toddly6666 is offline
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Default Has anyone ever renovated a low-ceiling basement into a home theater?

You know those houses with basements that are really cold, storage-looking dungeon-looking, mega-low ceilings (where you can't even stand up straight) with a boiler, washing machines, a bike and boxes of crap?

Has anyone here ever renovated them into a pleasant-looking man cave/home theater-type room? And is it even recommended or worth it?
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:03 PM   #2
ZIPPO ZIPPO is offline
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http://www.deseretnews.com/article/7...ce.html?pg=all

http://www.electronichouse.com/slide...egory/5411/831

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1250767/ca...oor-be-lowered
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:59 PM   #3
toddly6666 toddly6666 is offline
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thanks, but these articles are about digging up the floor to make the ceiling higher (which is expensive and may not work if the house foundation prevents it). I'm curious if anyone has every created a home theater/man cave from a low-ceiling basement (sort of looking like something out of the half floor in Being John Malkovich!
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:31 PM   #4
jcdennis jcdennis is offline
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I don't know if mine is as low as you're thinking... but my ceiling height is only 81" in my home theater.....
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:57 PM   #5
toddly6666 toddly6666 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcdennis View Post
I don't know if mine is as low as you're thinking... but my ceiling height is only 81" in my home theater.....
unless you are a basketball player, I guess you can fully stand up in there. Is it in your basement? And if so, was it renovated from dungeon to man cave?
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:07 PM   #6
jcdennis jcdennis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddly6666 View Post
unless you are a basketball player, I guess you can fully stand up in there. Is it in your basement? And if so, was it renovated from dungeon to man cave?
I can stand fine in the majority of the room, but I mounted my projector on the ceiling, and have a step up for my second row of seating.

The folks who get sent to the second row have to watch their heads (at least all the guys I know, and a couple of the girls....).

LOL - it was a bit of a dungeon honestly. But in some ways that made it better. More or less a perfect rectangle for a theater, no windows, and a blank canvas. I was able to wire in my lighting (on the walls) and hide my speaker wires (for 7.1) to make it a little cleaner.

The only real negative I'm finding, is that it's made me pay a little more attention to a projectors lense shift. I have to have the projector mounted within the screen frame, there's not an option to raise it higher or drop it lower than the screen.

Last edited by jcdennis; 10-16-2012 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:05 AM   #7
BNWaddict BNWaddict is offline
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I am in the process of doing this now, its coming along but gosh is it a long process. Sealing the concrete walls was a BI%#@!!

As you can see in the progressive pics, it was a nasty mess when i bought the house. My fiancÚ and I didn't even like going down there. I still want to paint the walls a real dark blue, and once i get my black diamond projector screen, i am going to put velvet behind it on the entire wall. Oh and obviously i need to put in the drop ceiling. Which will drop the height about 6 inches, but still walkable.

My fiancÚ says its "dungeon to delight" haha, it has a good ring to it.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:08 AM   #8
BNWaddict BNWaddict is offline
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And since the pics were taken, i ran the 35 ft HDMI cable through the rafters to the projector. No more hdmi cable running up the middle of the carpet.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:24 PM   #9
FREYMAX 3D FREYMAX 3D is offline
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I have a 600 sq. ft. dedicated projection theater room in my basement, but I don't think it's as low a ceiling as I think you are asking about - the drop ceiling is 78" off the floor in the back part of the room, and 76" in the front part, where the screen is - and the home's steel support beam, enclosed in a wood "box", is running across the ceiling between the screen and the projector, so there is less than 6' clearance under the beam for the light path from the projector... the projector is mounted 5'8" off the floor, just behind my second row seating, so people are constantly hitting their heads on it getting in and out of their seats... But, I was still able to successfully mount and use a 120" projection screen on the wall.

When I moved into the house 5 1/2 years ago, the basement was already finished with the drop ceiling, wood panel walls, and wall to wall carpeting - But, the basement flooded during Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011, and I had to reconstruct the entire theater room. I only got one to two inches of water over the entire the basement, but that was enough to ruin all the carpeting, the baseboards, and most of the wood panel walls, which just buckled up. all the door frames swelled up from the water so none of the doors could be closed. I had to scrape 4 layers of peeling paint off the concrete floor under the ruined carpet, replaced the carpeting with commercial VCT tiles, tear the paneling and baseboards off the walls and replace them, install new baseboard heaters, four new electrical circuits from the panel box at the opposite end of the house, and a lot of new lighting. Turned out pretty nice though, I really love how it looks now!

I host regularly scheduled Monthly Movie Nights on the first Thursday and Saturday nights of each month for family and friends, so I maintain a website for my home theater, where they can all check what movie will be playing and when:

http://freytheater.com

On the home page are photos of the current theater layout, but just under the "Now Playing" section is a link in big text to 60+ photos of the flood and basement reconstruction I did after "Flood Lee"... I have more photos to add, the thread is not quite up to date - I just finally completely finished the theater room only last weekend!
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Old 12-31-2015, 03:48 PM   #10
Holland Home Theater Holland Home Theater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FREYMAX 3D View Post
I have a 600 sq. ft. dedicated projection theater room in my basement, but I don't think it's as low a ceiling as I think you are asking about - the drop ceiling is 78" off the floor in the back part of the room, and 76" in the front part, where the screen is - and the home's steel support beam, enclosed in a wood "box", is running across the ceiling between the screen and the projector, so there is less than 6' clearance under the beam for the light path from the projector... the projector is mounted 5'8" off the floor, just behind my second row seating, so people are constantly hitting their heads on it getting in and out of their seats... But, I was still able to successfully mount and use a 120" projection screen on the wall.

When I moved into the house 5 1/2 years ago, the basement was already finished with the drop ceiling, wood panel walls, and wall to wall carpeting - But, the basement flooded during Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011, and I had to reconstruct the entire theater room. I only got one to two inches of water over the entire the basement, but that was enough to ruin all the carpeting, the baseboards, and most of the wood panel walls, which just buckled up. all the door frames swelled up from the water so none of the doors could be closed. I had to scrape 4 layers of peeling paint off the concrete floor under the ruined carpet, replaced the carpeting with commercial VCT tiles, tear the paneling and baseboards off the walls and replace them, install new baseboard heaters, four new electrical circuits from the panel box at the opposite end of the house, and a lot of new lighting. Turned out pretty nice though, I really love how it looks now!

I host regularly scheduled Monthly Movie Nights on the first Thursday and Saturday nights of each month for family and friends, so I maintain a website for my home theater, where they can all check what movie will be playing and when:

http://freytheater.com

On the home page are photos of the current theater layout, but just under the "Now Playing" section is a link in big text to 60+ photos of the flood and basement reconstruction I did after "Flood Lee"... I have more photos to add, the thread is not quite up to date - I just finally completely finished the theater room only last weekend!


Nice setup!! Pretty cool website for it too
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:52 PM   #11
Tedd Tedd is offline
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I've been in one home theater that had a 7' height, and a section of floor underpinned. The "riser" was at the original floor level.

The lower section had radiant heat, that used the gas water heater and a tiny heat exchanger. Pretty impressive.

There's lots of low ceiling rooms locally, ranging from 6'9" and on up.

I have 7'1" of height and five soffits at 80", including one over the screen, that hides an S curve of HVAC. The room is only 9'5" wide, but I have a motorized horizontal masking system with a 54x96" AT screen up front.

Just one pair of seats. I had the luxury of some length for a single row of seats, so I gave the AT was built 59" inches to get my JTR T8's in front of an alcove bit out of the foundation (as well as hide the S curve HVAC). That depth gets used up by a couple of large subs up front.

If ever there was a product for the space challenged (room depth excluded...), it has to be a DIY AT screen! And if you keep the seating to one row, low soffits or ceiling height isn't much of an issue.
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Old 02-08-2016, 04:45 PM   #12
Tedd Tedd is offline
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So exactly how tall is this bit of dungeon?

Ever give thought to a single row seating layout and maybe recess the projector into the back wall in a hush box, and utilise a DIY AT screen to maximise the screen size?
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:27 PM   #13
Dieu Dieu is offline
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Hi, I'm adding a garage to my house and i have the option to get a room below. But it will be 7'1'' tall. The room will be 11'x 24'.

I a bit shy of mounting the projector to the ceiling because it will be at the reach of everyb..DON'T TOUCH THIS YOU SON..#%#% ;-)

Seriously, I got the idea of building a fixed furniture between the two front seat (Lazyboy kind) and put the projector inside so it will be at the bottom of the screen.

EDIT: what about a short throw and a rear projections? So many choices...

Any toughts?
Thanks

Last edited by Dieu; 03-16-2016 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:05 PM   #14
Tedd Tedd is offline
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If the throw works, why not put the projector in a hush box in the back wall?

Short throw projectors work well, as the projector typically ends up over the front row
seats.
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Old 03-26-2016, 04:11 PM   #15
sonic_debauchery sonic_debauchery is offline
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I have....My ceiling is 78 inches from the floor. I use a jvc projector with great zoom and lens shift, which are key. My theater is 11.5 wide by 27 feet long. Perfect rectangle. The sound is great, walls fully insulated all the way around.
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Old 03-27-2016, 02:07 PM   #16
deltatauhobbit deltatauhobbit is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonic_debauchery View Post
I have....My ceiling is 78 inches from the floor. I use a jvc projector with great zoom and lens shift, which are key. My theater is 11.5 wide by 27 feet long. Perfect rectangle. The sound is great, walls fully insulated all the way around.
Bit of an old topic, I wonder if he ever did anything.

My finished floor to bottom of joists height is 6'-8" (80") and I haven't had any issues. I'm only 5'-5" though. There is some duct work throughout the basement but even after boxing that stuff out, I still can sneak under without ducking, other people no so much haha.

If we're talking under 6'-0", I can see how that would feel cramped, I've taken tours of old colonial houses and plenty of them are around that height. Doable but your projection screen would pretty much be floor to ceiling depending on the screen a person is going with.

I went with a short throw projector based on my room needs and where I figured would be the best spot to put it.
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Old 03-31-2022, 03:41 PM   #17
superpacman superpacman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ViktorWA View Post
I welcome everyone. At the moment I am renovating my house, I have noticed that a lot of dampness passes through the foundation. Now I want to make waterproofing. Perhaps you have had such an experience, what can you advise for this?
I recently noticed this happen in one part of my basement, and I was confused. It made me understand the need for them Dricore subfloor panels.

https://dricore.com/products/dricore-subfloor/

Has worked wonderfully so far, but I didn't have a huge issue with it on a regular.
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Old 05-26-2022, 06:26 PM   #18
Barry_NJ Barry_NJ is offline
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When home shopping, first place I visit is the basement, sniff test usually tells all
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