The Basement Home Theater Jim Built in the House that Jim Built Page 2


Once the walls were framed, we ran all the high-voltage lines and installed outlets, walls switches and in-ceiling can lights between the ceiling joists and the frames for the soffits. Once the electrical was completed, I ran audiophile-grade 12-gauge in-wall speaker wire for all seven of my speakers, plus RG6 to a wall plate near where the two subwoofers would be located. Sparkill, N.Y.-based Hudson Valley Home Media, the local custom installer who had wired the upstairs rooms, came in and did some of the pre-wire, such as running all the low-voltage wires from the central demark in the old basement and installing the HDMI and control wires that run from the equipment rack to the projector locations.

With the wiring complete I started insulating the walls using standard kraft-faced fiberglass insulation rated for use in a basement. In the next photo, you have a good view of the soffits, the wires running up near the ceiling for the projector, and the rear in-wall speaker wires poking through the insulation. I also insulated the new HVAC/equipment room, where you can see the studio gear racks I installed.

You'll have to read the magazine article to get all the details of my screw-ups, but once they were rectified I called in the drywallers to sheetrock the ceiling and walls. As the room neared its finish, though, you finally get a sense of what it will look like, and I felt my hard work had started to really pay off. I was also happy with the way the HVAC/equipment room was going to look, and for the first time in my years as a reviewer, I would have complete, unhindered access to the rear of all my gear - no more reaching behind components with a dental mirror to connect and disconnect wires!

Once the drywall was done, I added the finishing touches: painting, adding an acoustic-tile ceiling that looks like a tin roof over the main theater area, carpeting, wood floors, home-theater-seating and a small recording audio area in the rear of the room. My gear includes a 1080p front projector and 106-inch fixed screen, and a 7.2-channel Martin Logan electrostatic speaker system powered by Krell and B&K amplification. Signal sources include a high-def LG hybrid Blu-ray/HD DVD player and a DirecTV HD DVR.

All I can say is, I couldn't be happier with the way the room turned out. While it's hardly on the scale of most of the projects I profile for the magazine, I can honestly say that for me, home-theater envy is now a thing of the past.

Come back to this site soon to see Jim's finished room.