July 31, 2019 at 11:46 pm #9189
This was from when I designed my Home Theater. I thought it might be useful to some of you guys. I’ll start slowly moving everything over here. This was originally posted on AVS forum.
Goal:– While a member of AVS, I have seem some immaculate dedicated Home Theaters. I have always been enamored with the elegance and dedication that some members can put into their theaters. Also, I have been amazed at the allotted budgets some have for a dedicated home theater. As for me, I am a new home owner and realize that although, I would love to have a $50,000 dedicated Home Theater, it really isn’t in the cards. So I am attempting to show that one can have a dedicated Home Theater, tat you can enjoy for a modest budget.
Budget: – $5000. This includes all cabling, carpet, projector, seating, and material.
Equipment: There are a few pieces of equipment I already have, which will not be going into the budget. This includes a modest receiver: Pioneer Elite VSX – 50. For Speakers I have 2 Klipsch F3 tower speakers, C3 center and two S3 Surrounds, along with a Cadence CSX-12 subwoofer. One Bonded Leather Love Seat and ottoman.
Room: For this build, I am taking an already existing room in the basement and converting it to a dedicated Home Theater. The room is 10’6″ wide, 25′ long and about 7’2″ high. The room was already insulated, but no other soundproofing will be done at this time, to conserve costs. The finished room will consist of 3 rows of seating. Two rows will be for couches and one will be a counter behind the couches.
Equipment Needed: Here is a list of the Equipment needed along with the costs associated with the material.
BenQ w1070 – $700
Peerless PRGUNV – $97
120″ AT Jamestown Screen – $560
50′ Media Bridge Ultra Series HDMI: $25
250′ Monoprice 12ga In-wall Speaker Wire – $85
50′ Monoprice CL2 Rated Subwoofer Cable – $10
50′ IR cable extender – $15
Misc Wall Plates: $20
Black Outlets and Covers: $50
Insteon Dimmer Switches: $115
Misc Building Supplies (for false wall, stage, riser, insulation, speaker cloth, etc): $500
Carpet, pad and installation: $700
6 pair of Estar 3D Glasses – $240
100′ of r30 Insulation: $40
Currently I sit at around $3430 for the grand total. This will allow others flexibility if they do not have some of the equipment I already possess. I hope in the end I have a theater I am proud of, while inspiring others to start building their own theater off their modest budget. 😀
July 31, 2019 at 11:51 pm #9190
July 31, 2019 at 11:54 pm #9191
The walls came down. Then we had to do a test fit. A special thanks to my friends Nate, who is taking a break after all our hard work.
It looks like everything will fit, as I was expecting. The Theater will consist of these two rows and a bar/counter behind the second couch. The bar will be an unusual height, so it looks like I will have to custom build some bar stools.
Budget Tip: Do a test fit, before you build it all. You will save yourself a lot of time and money finding out it will or will not fit, before you build it. Also, don’t forget about were the projector will be sitting. You don’t want that in your eye sight.
July 31, 2019 at 11:57 pm #9192
Here were the first sketches I did. Unfortunately, I could not find two couches that fit the way I wanted to on the top riser, so the plan has changed a little. I ended up pushing all the seating to the right hand side of the room. This allowed an alley down the left for people to get to their seats. I still like this design better, but it won’t work in my setup. Maybe someone else can use it
Also, I noticed that the doorway placement, although would work, seemed a little tight. Therefore, I went ahead and moved it to the very back of the room. The door has to open inwards, due to hallway limitations.. This means I lost a little of the back of the room counter space. But don’t worry, I still have room for a mini-fridge!
Obviously my design has changed a little.
August 1, 2019 at 5:07 am #9193
August 1, 2019 at 3:08 pm #9195
August 1, 2019 at 3:13 pm #9196
I got my Speaker wire in and sub cable! What to do next? Install it of course! I installed the front 3 speaker wires and sub, but running it through the wall. Luckily I have a big gap between the two walls, due to the steel support beam being straddled by the two walls. THis made running the wires a cinch. After wards, I tested the speaker placement. I move the rear speakers 3 times before I decided on a final placement.
I still have to permanently hook up the rear speakers. For now, I just hooked up some old Monster CL3 rated 16 ga wire to them. This is due to the fact, that the right rear speaker wire will be going through the 12″ riser once that is built. Since it is not built, there is no speaker wire ran.
Enough talk, let the testing begin! 😀
August 1, 2019 at 3:15 pm #9197
I was able to run a few wires today. Unfortunately, I needed some electrical wiring for the projector. I ended up running to Home Depot to get some. I decided on 100′ of 12-2 wiring (yellow). I am running not only the projector, but also 3 more outlets that will hook up a mini fridge, my receiver and all other electronic devices. I figured I might at well run the 12-2 now, as it gives me plenty of room to upgrade to stand alone amps later down the road.
While at Home Depot, I also decided on my color scheme. I plan to paint all the trim and ceiling in Behr Broadway (the same paint you see the wall behind the screen painted). The top of the wall will be painted a dark grey, Behr Intellectual. All paint will be the Behr Ultra Plus, which includes the primer. I’ve also been playing with the idea of putting up some wood paneling and faux columns. Of course, I have a plan that will keep costs down. I’m thinking the color stain will be Rustoleum cabernet. Here’s a mini mock up of what I am thinking. If it works, I’ll let you all know my secret to make it look nice, while staying within budget.
*The colors are not an exact match
What do you think?
*colors stayed the same, but not the wood.
August 1, 2019 at 3:16 pm #9198I was lucky/unlucky all at once. Lucky, my room was already partially finished with brand new insulation. It really does dramatically cut the sound transmission tot he upstairs. THe only thing that really travels is the bass, but even that is fairly minimal (that may have more to do with my 1 sub). But I’m also unlucky, in the sense that I’ll never have as good of soundproofing as you.
I did not have the furniture, but I was able to find a dual reclining real leather couch on craigslist. The thing was in great shape and I feel I got it for a steal…$350! I still am on the hunt for another one. I thought about theater recliners, but passed for a few reasons. First, they are very expensive and second with only 10’6″ wide, I was very limited to the amount of space I could reasonable fit them. It honestly was going to be a little cozy with theater seating. Another idea I had, which I think would be great for someone on a budget and with kids, is to do some XL Cozy Sacs. They are relatively inexpensive, comfortable and save ceiling space, if that is an issue.
Budget Tip: Check Craigslist and think of alternative seating for your theater room. You can always add Theater Recliners later, if that is what you really want, but isn’t in the budget. I got my reclining couch for $350. This was originally a $1200 couch. I’ll take that savings any day!
August 1, 2019 at 3:19 pm #9199Posted by: @123toid
I’m not sure if I did. The theater has been finished for quite a few years now 😀 But it’s a good thought for if/when I build another one or anyone else does.
Or, if you are refurnishing your current one.
There are actually 3 sizes that are good for home theatres, where you have a long narrow room … A Couch which is 60-70 inches, love seats which run 40 to 50 inches and the chair-and-a-half which runs 36 to 44 inches wide.
Of course there’s always plan B … set the system up on the long wall. I know it’s audiophile heresy to even suggest it but I’ve done it a couple of times with very nice results. Instead of rows of seating, you end up with the seating in a half circle around the screen which can be quite nice for a multi-purpose room.
This is a computer mock-up of the layout I’ve used a couple of times in “small spaces” apartments or basements…
August 1, 2019 at 3:19 pm #9200
Good news. I went to Home Depot today to buy some R19 insulation for my riser. Unfortunately, they sold their entire lot in the morning. Instead of going home disappointed, I thought I would try my luck at Lowes. I picked up some stain I wanted to try on a few test samples of wood and went to look at their insulation. I was amazed, as all of it was on clearance. Unfortunately, they too were sold out of R19, which is what most use for their riser. I could have gone R13, but would need more insulation, so I didn’t really want to do that. Low and behold I saw R30 attic insulation being clearanced out for $13 a roll! That was a huge discount so I went ahead an picked up 3 rolls (31.25 sqft a roll). Now I have a dilemma.
I am using r30 for my riser, even though most use either r13 or r19. I will lay one strip down. The r30 insulation is about 9 1/2 inches tall. So if I just lay one strip down, it will leave about 1 1/2 inches of space.
Budget Tip: Check local stores for clearance material you can use, Don’t just go to the one supplier for all your material. If you are on a budget, it helps to shop around
August 1, 2019 at 3:20 pm #9201
I’ve been working on drywalling a few areas and moving outlets. So far, I have moved a light switch that was previously in the wall I took down. I’ve also wired an outlet for the projector ran an HDMI and an IR extension cable (which will be used with my older than dirt Harmony 1000 remote).
I’m hoping to start painting sometime this week, if not this weekend. In the meantime I though I would share some pretty awesome deals I’ve found. All of these deals are shared, so you can later find something like it if you are also on a budget.
1. I got some speaker grill fabric from Joann Fabrics. They ran a sale for $6.99 per yard. Their speaker cloth is 60 inches wide for every yard. That means by getting 4 yards (12′ x 5′ for $28), I got all the fabric needed for my false wall. I plan to wrap the false wall in it. Similar to the minimalist false wall BigmouthinDC built.
2. I believe in banana plugs. I currently have enough plugs for 3.5 full sets of speakers (so a total of 7 pairs of plugs). I got these Monster Cable banana plugs various times at Best Buy or on sale. But, I really like to have all my plugs the same. So after searching for Monster, they ran $20 a pair and I needed 2 pair ($40). I really didn’t want to spend $40, so I was looking for a cheaper alternative that others could also use. That’s when I came across these. They are $28 for 12 paris! That means you can hook up a 6.1 speaker system with just this one pack. Assuming, you go straight to the receiver to your speakers. The best thing, they are made exactly like the Monster Cable, but at a fraction of the price!
3. Wall plates, are not the most expensive, but they can add price to your theater, with just having to get more banana plugs and cabling to accomodate them. That’s when I found these covers. I bought 2 of them. I hooked one up by my front speakers and ran the speaker wire as well as the sub cable. The second one, I hung from the ceiling to allow the cables going to the projector. It is a very nice wall plate and the best thing about it, is it comes with a cut out template as well as the wings that secure it to the drywall.
The second cover I got to put behind the receiver. I would have used the kind I previously used, but there really wasn’t enough room in it. So instead I bought this. This thing is great! It has enough room to run a thick HDMI cable, 7 in-wall CL2 12ga speaker wires, a CL2 rated subwoofer cable, an IR extension cable, CL2 rated RG6 cable and could still fit some more The only thing you need to keep in mind with this is you need to buy a low voltage bracket for is to screw into ($1.38 at HD).
There probably are cheaper wall plates, but these are really nice and I highly recommend them!
4. Camel! If you are building a theater on a budget get to know Camel Camel Camel. It is a web browser extension that will keep track of price from Amazon. It can also e-mail you whenever a specific product you want gets to a price you designate (This can even be from 3rd parties). It is very useful to help save some money. I recently was able to get the Peerless PRGUNV mount for under $97 (that includes tax).
August 1, 2019 at 3:22 pm #9202
August 1, 2019 at 3:23 pm #9203
I almost forgot to tell you guys how i ran my speaker wire on a budget. A long time ago, my father gave me a nylon wire-running kit that spooled within itself. When I went to use it, it stayed in a tight spiral making it virtually useless. Knowing I’m on a budget I went to Amazon looking for a Fiberglass Wire Running kit. I found one by cen-tech, which at the time was $25! I really wasn’t sure I wanted to spend that, so I decided to check Harbor Freight and Tools.
Can you believe they had the exact same kit, same manufacturer and everything for $10! SO when you need some tools, especially if they are not something you will use very often, do not forget about stores like Harbor Freight and Tool.
Budget Tip: Check stores like Harbor Freight and tools for cheaper alternatives for tools you will only use once.
August 1, 2019 at 3:24 pm #9204
Since I finished painting the inside of the Theater the other day, I thought it would be a good idea to paint the smoke detector and the pot lights. Luckily I already had the lights and the smoke detector. I took down all the pot lights, and the smoke detector. I wiped them down and took apart the smoke detector. The smoke detector just pulled apart. Once I pulled it apart, I took off the clear lenses on the smoke detector. On the smoke detector, I also covered the PCB board with electrical take then painters tape.
Once all the prep was finished, I bought 1 can of High Heat Black Matte Spray Paint ($4) at Home Depot. Then coated everything lightly with a coat of spray paint. Once it dried, I did another quick touch up of everything I missed (edges mainly). Keep in mind, if you are spray painting for pot lights, you need the high heat spray paint.
So for $4, I was able to paint my lights and smoke detector. Here is a final shot. I hope this helps. Let me know what you think?
Budget Tip: Budget Tip: See if there is any High Heat Spray paint in the color you are using on your pot lights. You can save a lot of money, instead of buying custom paint covers. I did all of my ceiling accessories and ventilation for $4
August 1, 2019 at 3:28 pm #9205
I ordered my caret today. I can’t tell you how long it took to find the right carpet. I checked a few discount stores, Home Depot, Carpet One and Lowes. Finding carpet in my price range, wasn’t a problem. Every store had carpet that fit my price range. Unfortunately, not all of them had a Dark color in the price range. Here is what I found.
Discount Carpet store – black – $1.15 sqft, $99 install, pad $0.89 sqft.
Home Depot – None in my price range for the color I was looking for
Carpet One – black – $1.59 sqft, $300 install, pad $1.25 sqft
Lowes – black – $1.18 sqft, $97 install, pad $0.68 sqft
Lowes was the cheapest of all, but very close to the discount store. Interestingly enough, the discount carpet was builders grade, had no warranty and honestly didn’t feel very good. On the other hand, Lowes was cheaper, the carpet felt nice and the price was right in line with what I wanted to pay. As a bonus, it came with a 10 year warranty and 20 year stain warranty. So I ended up picking up my carpet from Lowes. Typically I do most of my shopping at Home Depot, but Lowes really has a lot of dark carpet that works great in Theater Rooms. If you are on a budget, check them out.
On a side note, Carpet One had very nice carpet. If you are planning to install it your own, I would get a sample from them and compare it to Lowes. If you like it, it might be worth it to get. But after you include Carpet One’s install price and padding, it ended up being almost twice the price.
Time Frame – 3 to 4 weeks for it to be installed. I guess I better build the riser before the guy comes and measures!
August 1, 2019 at 3:35 pm #9206
Today I started construction on my riser. Unfortunately I ran out of screws and the store is now closed. Looks like I’ll be making a run to HD tomorrow, so I can finish.
Budget Tip: I was able to use 2×12 around the outside with 2×6 joists. I was originally going to use either 2×12 or 2×10. Luckily, I was able to talk so my friend who was a contractor who suggested I don’t go over 2×6 – anything else would be a waste of money. I still have to create some support in the center of each 2×6, and create 2 steps, but so far I am very proud of it.
August 1, 2019 at 3:40 pm #9207
that is a good idea. It wasn’t going to work in this room. As I needed and acoustically transparent screen, so I really didn’t have the space for it. But, assuming your projector has a small throw rate, and you wouldn’t be sitting too close, you could easily do what you are saying. I did this in a friends basement when I set it up for him.
Believe it or not, we have a ton of seating in there. In the end there are 9 “seats.” But it is easy to bring in more seating if necessary. Heck at Super Bowl parties, it isn’t unusual for us to have 20 in that room 😆
August 1, 2019 at 3:48 pm #9208
When working with the Plan B (long wall) setup I generally avoid projectors and point the client to a really big television set instead. This is of course, as you pointed out, is because that there just isn’t room for anything else. It doesn’t cost any more than a projector but it works nicely in small spaces.
August 1, 2019 at 5:29 pm #9209
Today I worked on the Riser a little more. I built the steps out of left over 2×6’s. I also put the subfloor over the riser. Unfortunately I did not get to finish it as I ran out of Liquid Nails. If you notice I added a 1 inch overhang under the top step. I’ll do the same to the bottom step. I plan to add 2 quarter nose to it, so it’ll make a bullnose. I hope you guys like it.
Budget Tip – Make sure you measure out the space you need to cover with wood. For example, I needed 63″ cuts on all my 2×6’s. So I bought 12 foot long 2×6’s in order to get 2 pieces out of every piece of wood. I have a car, so 12 foot pieces weren’t going to fit. Therefore, I had HD cut the wood for me.
Also, by making my measurements before I left for HD, I was able to only buy 2 pieces of subfloor. I carefully measured it out and cut the wood cut again, so I could maximize each cut. It really helps, when you plan it out first.
Finally, you never want to put wood directly on concrete. So you can see that I put down a moisture barrier and some sound absorption material. In this case, I used some cork underlayment that the previous seller left in the house. So check to see if you have any materials at home that can be substituted for purchased material.
August 1, 2019 at 5:32 pm #9210lionelcMember
Might sound a bit strange to some, but that actually looks like a lot of fun. I wish I had a dedicated home theater room instead of my living room. I have to balance my over the top, whatever it takes, function over form attitude with my wife’s “Not Gonna Happen” stance.
She wins most of the time, but doesn’t stop me from trying.
But I can at least follow along and try to learn from your build out.
August 2, 2019 at 5:01 am #9215
Haha, I know exactly what you mean. I was a little lucky. We bought our house as a short sale. So not only did we get a good deal on it, but it was also deemed unlivable. The bank gave us 45 days to make it the upstairs livable. SO I made a deal right there with my wife, that if I could complete the entire upstairs task in 45 days that I could build a theater room in the basement. She happily agreed. However, once I completed the upstairs (in 30 days I might add), her tune changed. She started wavering on the deal. But this time, she saw it my way and I eventually got my theater room. but I was still on a strict budget hence the tips. But honestly for the budget I had, I thought it came out pretty nice.
August 2, 2019 at 5:05 am #9216
I was able to work a little more on the theater today. I was able to test fit the couches. Once I test fit it, I went ahead and used liquid nails on all the wood and screwed it into the wood. I used a lot of screws as I am hoping to eliminate any future creaks that may occur.
When I built the stairs I did a waterfall effect. You’ll notice that I let the subfloor overhang by 1 inch and then attached a second 1 inch piece underneath it. I used liquid nails to secure it and some screws.
Budget Tip: When buying adhesives like liquid nails or caulk buy the 28 oz. vs the 10 oz. The 10 oz. of liquid nails is around $3.34 while the 28 oz is only $4.56. You will need multiple bottles of even the 28 oz, so save your money in advance.
August 2, 2019 at 5:07 am #9217
The carpet Installer called today. It looks like they will be ready to install on Saturday the 28th (2015). That’s a full 2 weeks ahead of what I thought. Yikes! I guess I better finish the room, so they can install the carpet.
I really like the insteon switches. They really are awesome! I highly recommend them. For the second part of my build, I’ll add a hub, so I can control my lighting with iRule, my tablet and my phone (never happened…yet).
August 2, 2019 at 5:09 am #9218
Boy have I been busy. Ever since I found out the carpet was going to be installed on Saturday I have been working nonstop to finish the room. Let me tell you what I did.
1. I hooked up 3 new electrical outlets designed just for the theater equipment (receiver, HTPC, router, etc) to a new breaker
2. I built a wall, within a wall.
3. I built a doorway.
4. I insulated the walls and drywalled them.
Typically this would have been done before I painted the first time. So why did I wait until now? At first I was told the carpet would be installed in 1 run, so all the furniture had to be out. Since the furniture was pretty awkward to get through the doorway, I was going to leave it open to bring the furniture in and then close it up. It seems they have now decided to run 3 pieces of carpet. Now I can put the couches on 1 side of the room and move them during the installation. Thus, I can close up the room with the furniture inside. Yay!
Budget Tip: If you have to do any drywall pick up a set of these Drywall Screw Setters. These set the depth so you screw in the screws to the perfect depth every time. This can save you money in the long run, especially if you occasionally rip through the drywall. This will prevent that, while hopefully preventing you needing to buy additional pieces of drywall due to mistakes. Or trying to fix seems due to these same mistakes.
August 2, 2019 at 5:10 am #9219
August 2, 2019 at 5:11 am #9220
Calibration settings for the projector given to me by another memeberyou are going to love this projector especially given the cost. the link below was given to me by another member and its the calibration settings I used. really happy with it.
August 2, 2019 at 5:12 am #9221
I really tried to fight the urge, but I decided to compromise and heed your advice. Instead of hooking it up in the permanent location, I just hooked it up on the bar/counter I built. The picture was much bigger, as it was set up much further away and was rather trapezoid (due to me tilting it funny). I must say, I was very pleased with the results! The blacks were really good out of the box, but I am going to assume that was due to me projecting it on a black wall Truthfully, I know that this projector will not have great blacks.
I have now boxed it back up Saturday the carpet will be installed. I will take the rest of the day to build the false wall, hang the projector and the screen.
August 2, 2019 at 5:16 am #9222
Last night I built the bar/counter and today I was able to install it. Let me tell you how I built it. First, I framed out a half wall to the height I needed (9 inches higher than the seat of the bar stools). In this case I needed it to be 45 inches, so I cut my studs at 42 inches and put a stud at the top and bottom to get me my 45. After that was finished I insulated it, so that it would not become a resonating chamber.
The top is the interesting and budget part of this build. I took some scrap 2×4’s and cut them to 9 inches and cut another 2×4 the length of the bar. I then screwed all the 2×4’s (9in) into the top of the bar, then screwed them into the other long 2.×4. This gives me a very sturdy top.
But you can do 3 things from here.
1. You can leave the top 2×4’s as is.
2. You can paint them or stain them (if your going to stain them you should get cedar 2×4’s)
3. You can use the 2×4’s as a base and cover them with a sort of skin (ie: stainless steel, Oak, etc).
So the bar right now cost me around $30 to build in 2×4’s and scrap. I plan to take option 3 and wrap the 2×4’s. In particular, I plan to get some 1/4″ Red Oak plywood. This can be stained. If done right, it will look and feel like a solid piece of red oak. Meaning to most it’ll have the appearance of a solid block of red oak for a fraction of the cost!
Budget tip: Look for scrap material you can use for other parts of your project. Build as much from cheap 2×4’s as you can and see if you wrap your finished project. You will save money and it will look great!
Here’s a few pictures of the bar and the setup. Once it is finished, you will see the wrap for it.
P.S. I Finished painting! Yay!!!
August 2, 2019 at 10:36 pm #9227
August 2, 2019 at 10:39 pm #9228
August 2, 2019 at 10:41 pm #9229
Front Stage Construction begins! I wen ahead and took off all the speaker grills of my speakers. I then created the false wall. I ended up building 4 frames. The first frame was a mini wall that stood 23″ tall. The next 2 stood on each side and were about 7″ wide. The last frame was two 2×4’s that span the whole way across the top. I painted the 2×4’s with black spray paint and then wrapped them in black speaker grill cloth. It makes everything acoustically transparent and looks nice.
Budget Tip: When building a false wall you don’t need much. Just a few 2×4’s paints black and some speaker grill cloth. The whole wall cost less than $50 and that includes the speaker grill cloth. Just make some basic frames and cover the cloths. Once the wall is anchored you do not have to worry about anything.
August 2, 2019 at 10:48 pm #9230
Here is the big reveal of the front stage! These are pictures of the Jamestown screen installed and the entire false wall up. Now that the screen is up, you cannot see anything behind the screen or the speaker grill fabric.
P.S. I put a screenshot of us playing Need for Speed Most wanted from Steam. It is not a perfect representation of the picture quality, but it gives you and idea.
August 5, 2019 at 2:52 pm #9258
Let me see if I can explain it. Unfortunately I did not take a lot of pictures, as I had help who were in a hurry to get finished I went ahead and built it in sketchup. I hope this helps.
There are 4 pieces to the false wall.
1. The bottom frame – is framed just like a wall (except for the whole 16″ for each stud. My wall is approximately 124″ across. Therefore, I took one 124″ 2×4 on the top and one the bottom. In between I put 4 – 2×4’s (20″ tall) on either side of the wall and on either side of the subwoofer.
2. The Top Frame – The top frame is once again 2 – 124″ 2×4’s. This time they are just screwed together with 3 inch screws. There are also smaller 2×4’s each screwed up into the the sx4’s above it. This just gave me enough room to hang the french cleat on. The french cleat is what supports the screen. One half is mounter to the screen with the other half mounted on the 2×4.
3. The left and Right side pieces – The left and right side pieces have two of the same length boards on either side supporting the top frame with 2 smaller 2×4’s screwed into the sides to keep the board equal distance apart from each other.
4. How the fit together. The top frame is friction fit, meaning you need to rubber mallet hit it in. This keeps it from falling over. In addition, you can run a screw into the drywall at the top if you want. Both side pieces are screwed into the top frame and the bottom frame as well as the wall they are joining (ie either side wall). This just makes sure the wall does not fall forwards. You do not have to hit a stud.
Before I assembled the boards, I painted them all black and wrapped them in speaker grill cloth. Then I screwed them together. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
August 5, 2019 at 2:59 pm #9259
I didn’t get a lot of time to work on the Theater today, but got a chance to do some trim work today. I originally planned to put some wood in between some faux columns. I ended up scraping the wood idea. It is a great idea, but I felt continuing the speaker grill cloth would look nice.
So I stapled some speaker grill cloth to the half of the wall I already painted black. You may notice what looks like the cloth has been stretched. You can’t see that in person, but either way it will be covered by some 3.5″ MDF on the top and bottom painted with the same Behr Broadway black paint I’ve been using elsewhere. I also spray painted the Hvac vent cover high heat black. I plan to run a roller over it with the same Behr Broadway when I paint the trim work. This way the vent will match the trim perfectly.
Budget Tip: When trying to add the finishing touches to your room look for cheap alternatives that will look high end when you finished. In this case, use MDF baseboards instead of pine. And look to see if you can add a cheap boarder. I plan on using this black speaker grill cloth. For about $50, I can do the entire room. By then end, I hope it has a higher end feel at a fraction of the cost.
August 5, 2019 at 3:08 pm #9260
I ran into a couple of problems. First, we had bad snowstorms. Getting new material from getting new materials was out of the question. Luckily, the snow has passed and I was able to get the material. Although, this brought apart my second problem.
I went to Home Depot to get my original planned 1/4″ Oak Plywood. While at HD, I noticed a lot of the wood was damaged, but after sometime looking I finally found 1 piece I thought was suitable. Now I do not have a table saw (at the time I originally wrote this), so I planned to use HD. Here in lies the problem…it was broken! Since this was unplanned, I went home to think of alternatives and measure. I knew the counter currently was 1.5″ thick and 17″ wide. After some deliberation, I came up with the idea of using 1 inch thick pine boards. This meant I could use 1×10 (actual 3/4 by 9.5) a 1×8 (actual 3/4 by 7.5) and two 1×3 ((for trim)actual 3/4 by 2.5)) and they would fit perfectly! The best part is it came out to be $3 cheaper ($27)! Here are some dry fit pictures with the hole cut in the top to run wires. I ended up using my Kreg Jig to join the pieces together.
August 5, 2019 at 3:10 pm #9261
Here are some more pics of it assembled. I went ahead and used Liquid Nails to glue it to the bar, I then added a few Finish nails to keep it in place. I did the same with the trim pieces. You may notice that at first there were some gaps where the wood would not go flush. I went ahead and added some wood putty to fill in the cracks. It now looks like a solid piece of wood. I plan to sand it a little once the putty has dried and then stain it.
August 5, 2019 at 3:13 pm #9262
I ended up applying 3 coats of Dark Walnut Minwax Stain to my pine wood. The poly is still drying, I ended up having to do 3 coats of that as well. Here are some pictures as it is drying. I also was able to hook up the underside of the bar. Instead of drywalling it, I decided to save space and use 1/4 inch plywood ($13 a sheet) that I painted black and then wrapped in speaker grill cloth. I still have to finish the trim around it, but I really like it. Underneath the bar I ran an outlet, usb hub and a conduit to run wires through the bar. Here’s a few pictures.
Note: The pictures make the speaker grill cloth look odd. In real like, it just looks like a nice black sheen. Also the poly is reflecting lights off of it making pictures hard to get accurately.
August 5, 2019 at 7:36 pm #9269
August 5, 2019 at 7:39 pm #9270
Now that the bar is complete, I have moved on to the bar stools. Now the bar stools are tricky. First you need to know the height of your counter to make sure you get the right bar stools. Typical bar stools come in the range of 24 or 30″. Anything over that is pretty custom, although they do make a 36″. Here in lies the problem. First you do not want to build your theater room around the max height of the bar stools. If you do, you probably will not be able to fit them behind a riser. Second, the cost of 36″ or custom bar stools are extraordinary (around $250 on up for each stool). So instead of spending $1,000 on bar stools I spent $50 for all four. I simply followed these directions from DIY Pete and made them the custom height I needed. In my case it ended up being 34″ or 4″ taller than his diagram called for.
Also, he gave some typical placements of boards. I would measure what feels good for you. I have a few bar stools in my kitchen and like the placement at the bottom for my feet. I simply measured the distance from the top of the seat down to the foot rest and made these the same length. Now they fit my feet well.
How did I do it? I just used 16 2×4’s some leftover paint and stain. Here is the first one complete:
I am thinking of shrinking them by 1 inch width in order to make the seats fit a little better without any overhang. Although I haven’t decided how that would change the stability of the stool. I also haven’t decided exactly how I plan to finish them. I am thinking of painting them completely black except for the seats and the top cross beams. Those I’ll stain to match the bar.
Budget Tip: Instead of buying expensive custom bar stools – make you own. These were made from common 2×4 (around $3 a board) which cost me about $12 a stool. That means I spent under $50 for 4 bar stools! That is a steal. If you want, you can change the plans, by using a high quality cedar 2×4 and even stain them. Check out DIY Pete for the instructions. Also, before you cut the boards make sure to maximize each boards length. Write down on a piece of paper all your measurements and add them up to around 95″ (assuming 8ft – 96″ board). Do not make the mistake and measure out 96″ of cuts. Your last cut will be short. Remember the saw takes off a few millimeters each cut.
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