24-year dream finally Realised - Integral Double Garage Conversion

pmarb

Active Member
Buying my first Toshiba Prologic TV in 1994 got me hooked on Home Cinema and since then I've always wanted a dedicated cinema room. Roll on 24 years and I finally get my dream after moving into a new home in 2015 and able to convert the integral double garage.

Huge thanks go to Dan and his team (Derek and Steve) at BathCi - Home Cinema Systems Bath - who have done an outstanding job in making this an amazing room which I use every single night. I would certainly recommend Dan for anyone wishing to do a similar project. His team also networked the whole house.

Other companies involved were -

Cruze Carpentry and Building Services
Franklin Air Conditioning
Business Electrical Ltd
Fabritrak UK
Bristol Carpets
DFS Sofas

All of them did superb work

All the work was done January through to March 2017, and the final install of the four Auro-3D top speakers was done a few weeks ago.

Building Control were involved at the start, midway and then at the end.

As far as AV kit goes -

94" WS Screen Research tab tensioned motorised projection screen
Epson EH-TW93000 projector
LG 55" OLED TV LG55E6V
Marantz 8805 processor
Three NAD 977 7-channel power amps
Monitor Audio Gold speakers (two GS60's/GS centre/four GSFX's) and ten CT265-IDC ceiling speakers (six in the pelmet surround and four in the ceiling)
Four Velodyne HGS18 subwoofers
Zappiti mini-4K hdr media player
LG 4K disc player
Pioneer N-70 music server
PS4 Pro
Three Sony DVP-CX777S 400-disc DVD multiplayers linked to Escient media server and Lumagen Radiance 3D video processor
Buttkicker amp and four LFE buttkickers
URC MRX-10 control system
Power Inspired AG1500 AC mains regenerator
Amazon Echo

I'll start with a before and after pictures (just taken with my iPhone) - happy to detail more on aspects of the build if anyone wants to know anything in particular (e.g. built with resilient bars, acoustic plasterboard and loads of celotex and rockwool, ventilation etc)

Cheers

Tony
 

Attachments

Last edited:

chrisgeary

Member
That is awesome. Love it.
 

DJMSKI

Standard Member
Looks great. I'm in the early stages of doing the same. Getting quotes from installers, builders etc and doing PLENTY of research online.
Any advice or findings you have on boarding out / sound proofing / wiring etc would be very much appreciated.
Also, what were the issues with blocking up the garage doors? Did you need building regs, planning permission, drawings? Is it completely window and door free now?
I have an architect coming round tomorrow night to discuss the garage conversion along with other works in the property.
It seems like a bit of a mine field to be honest. I'm not sure if Cinema rooms are classed as habitable rooms or not either.
Sorry for all the questions. I will no doubt have more if you don't mind...
Many thanks,
David
 

pmarb

Active Member
Hi David,

The first hurdle I had was that there was a restrictive covenant in place by the original builder stating that garages on the estate could not be converted, so I had to get permission of the estate management company and the building company that there were no objections to the conversion - this meant that I had to leave the garage doors intact so the exterior view would not be altered and that the room could be converted back to a garage if required.

Once I had these permissions I then applied for planning permission and building control with the quote from Bath CI and a description on how the conversion would take place.

Planning gave an eight week public consultation period and after no objections from my neighbours deemed that the conversion was a change of use only so I was refunded my application fee. Building control agreed with inspector visits before during and after.

The inspector stipulated I had to have smoke alarms in the 3 adjoining rooms i.e the converted garage, utility room (which has the back door) and a heat alarm in the kitchen all linked into the mains smoke alarm system already installed. This was sufficient so that the garage remained windowless.

As the room remains closed for most of the day there must be suitable ventilation so I've incorporated an extract system pulling air in from the hallway and extracting via 2 ports one in the room itself ( opposite rear corner) and one in the fuse board / dvd players room - the extract fan is a 24/7 silent mains inline fan.

The brick pillar between the garage doors meant there is 250mm space for Celotex insulation/soundproofing and DPM and then the walls/ceiling are double layer acoustic plasterboard hung off resilient bars, neoprene between the joins etc and more Celotex insulation. As the two exterior side walls are cavity walls the inspector wanted 200mm thickness insulation on the walls however managed to get him to agree on 100mm to keep the size of the room as big as possible and I was having heat/cool AC installed.

The floor is made such that it is level with the entry door so plenty of space for Celotex insulation/DPM
 

pmarb

Active Member
The original garage ceiling was pulled down and insulation removed and replaced with rockwool and again double layer acoustic plasterboard.

The original fuse board had to be moved so it was changed to a newer one and a separate ring for the cinema room - Business Electrical Ltd took care of all the electrics and lighting - project managed by Bath CI.

As I say I've been into home cinema for 24 years so I planned the layout of the room myself after many years on this forum , how many electrical sockets , where they go, how many subwoofer coax outlets, ethernet cabling, cabling for buttkickers, headphone cable, design of the sofa riser etc etc

From my experience I would say I'm pleased I worked with a company who knew about home cinema rather than just a building company who does conversions - I did get a quote from a company who mainly did loft conversions and it became apparent that they knew very little about soundproofing products and correct installation

Happy to answer any more questions you have :)

Cheers

Tony
 

CableGuy

Active Member
Looks great! As a fellow garage-converter, it makes a lot of sense to utilise the space for a home cinema. Cars are happy outside... ;)
 

pmarb

Active Member
That's right Cableguy - the building inspector did want reassurance that there was enough driveway space for 3 cars as there are no onstreet parking areas on the estate
 

Thug

Moderator
Looks great.
Where did you get your 'this cinema features...' picture from?
 

pmarb

Active Member
Hi Thug, there is a guy on ebay that sells them - not sure whether he still has the offer on of 5 signs for £65 delivered, so I put four signs together in a frame from Amazon,cheers, Tony
 

DJMSKI

Standard Member
Thanks for your detailed reply Tony.
Why did you decide on two layers or acoustic board and does it make that much of a difference to hang them? The reason I ask is that we live in a detached house with no real close neighbours that would feel or hear anything. Myself and my wife will normally watch everything together - she's ace!
So I don't want to go too overboard with soundproofing if it's not necessary.

I'm thinking of battening out the room and adding acoustic rock wool, one layer of acoustic plasterboard and then one layer of regular plasterboard. The regular plasterboard will be used so I can get my wallpaper to stick to it better. I've heard that it's harder to decorate acoustic board but again I've never tried myself. I want to tape and fill any gaps and then paper directly over the top without the need of plastering. I think this should be fine considering the room will be a dedicated cinema room with dark colours. I will then hang acoustic panels and speakers where necessary.

You ventilation idea sounds like a good plan. Did you just use one fan to extract and then create a small opening the other end? If so, does it leak much sound? I also intend to fit AC for both heat and cooling purposes.

My floor already has DPM and my walls are cavity. Do you think I will need to add insulation as well or will the acoustic rock wool be sufficient?
Why did you pull down your original ceiling and replace everything? Was that a building regs thing?

My garage is lower than my house so I'm hoping I can step down into it in order to save height space. Not sure if building regs will scupper this.

Was your building company a proper home cinema installer then? I'm not sure how to search online for a building company that has experience with cinemas/sound proofing.

Thanks once again for your reply:)
 

pmarb

Active Member
Hi again David,

To prevent sound leakage the room is essentially a room within a room design so the walls and ceiling are hung on resilient bars attached to the ceilingjoists/battoned walls hence the ceiling coming down - the insulation needed to be replaced with acoustic rockwool (as the main bedroom is above the garage) and it made it alot easier to run cables and note where all the noggins were - take lots of pictures!. The meeting of walls floor and ceilings are lined with neoprene and green glue so that none are touching each other to reduce sound transference as much as possible.

The loss of 100mm height to make the floor level with the rest of the house was worth it so you get good floor insulation - for me stepping down into the room would still feel like a garage, The baton frame for the floor was on neoprene strips

The carpenter had worked worth the installer before so had knowledge of how to build such a room, same with electrical company who had worked with the installer before.

The gap in between walls and the wall baton frame was filled with Celotex as I was allowed the reduced 100mm thickness by the building inspector.

Yes just one inline fan -TD Silent Ecowatt series and separate speed controller , the inlet ducting from the hallway to the room is s-shaped to prevent sound leakage - and enters the room inside the pelmet then 2 runs of ducting connecting the two outlet ports to the fan then a short run of ducting (again s-shaped) through the wall to outside - it's suprising how much air it pulls through the room - I only have the fan on 4/10 on the speed controller. The fan is behind the rear panel in the small cupboard so cannot be heard.

I'll have to look at the invoices again as you say it may have been one layer of acoustic plasterboard and one layer of ordinary plasterboard - I know this outer layer was blue coloured - also the acoustic board was a special type I remember.


I've attached some pics

cheers

Tony
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Anthony1981

Standard Member
The lighting looks fantastic and the room is superb! Can I ask how much sound leaks out of the room when playing a movie a decent listening levels? Is it noticible on the driveway?
 

pmarb

Active Member
Hi Anthony1981 - the lower bass still carries of course and I would say at a relatively loud volume the sound heard on the driveway is damped akin to a good double-glazed window. At medium to low volumes you cannot hear anything on the driveway.

cheers

Tony
 

DJMSKI

Standard Member
Thanks Tony.

I had a visit from an architect last night so he's gone away to work out costs etc.
We're considering having a single garage added to the end of the house which will replace our double garage/home cinema conversion. He will take care of all the drawings, planning and building regs for the garage build, garage conversion and other works around the property. I want to do it right so when we come to sell it's not a problem. Especially because I want to remove all windows and doors in the cinema and potential buyers will no doubt want to see the correct signed paperwork. This is not our forever home and we may even move in the next couple/few years.

I'm still in two minds whether to add some windows just incase people in the future want to turn it into a regular lounge. Obviously the windows will just get blocked up from the inside and insulated as necessary although I am concerned they will become a weak point. It could be that we just decide to do what suits us and let the new owners sort it our themselves later on. Hopefully they would want to keep the cinema anyway...

Our house is detached with just myself and my wife living there. Do you think it's really necessary to 'hang' everything or could I just build it like a traditional room but still use acoustic materials?
I found out that I will need to add floor insulation so that means losing just over 100mm in ceiling height. At least it will match up to the inside I guess.
What's the neoprene for that goes under the floor batons? Is that a building regs thing?

Do you have any photos of your inline fan setup? Just trying to understand how it looks and works?Is your fan kept out of the way in order to reduce noise and then has flexible ducting going to and from it?

Do you mind sharing any costs with me to give me a rough idea what to expect in certain areas? I completely understand if you would rather not.

I'm still considering covering the walls in fabric but I don't know anything about it and I'm not sure if it requires a specialist or whether I can do this myself. Anyone have any advice?
The money I would save on plastering and decorating would go towards it. Maybe the costs would be similar?

Really appreciate your responses.

David
 

pmarb

Active Member
Hi again David,

Although detached I'm on an estate so had to have soundproofing installed so I do not cause a disturbance to my neighbours. If you neighbours are some distance away then I guess your only concern is the thermal insulation aspect of the room.

If anyone else is interested the ceiling / walls were covered with Isowave soundproof board and then acoustic plasterboard on top.

The walls and ceiling are painted with Dulux flat matt anthracite grey and jet black

The fabric acoustic walls and ceiling panels were installed by a commercial contractor so was an expense I admit (£3.5k) but as it was only going to be done the once and I wanted a professional fit I thought it was worth it and am very happy with the results. I know Dan at Bath CI offers this service himself now so I imagine would be cheaper.

The acoustic foam/neoprene strips are there for acoustic dampening

The fan is in the position its in so it could be accessed if needs be (the back panel of the cupboard is just screwed in place - the ducting is the foil coated insulated type. I don't have pictures of it in situ - I can draw a diagram if that would help?

cheers
Tony
 

Nayfne

Distinguished Member
Fab looking room, congratulations, that 24 years was certainly worth the wait!
 

Member 812357

Novice Member
Hello everyone! For what it's worth the two layers of board in Tony's cinema consist of a specialist soundproofing board as the first layer and then acoustic plasterboard on top. Acoustic plasterboard in its own right offers only minimal attenuation, the large proportion of the sound proofing is in the isolation (resilient bar), the specialist board (as its has a backing that isolates it further from the resilient bar) and finally the mass of all of the boards and plaster added together. The science in a nutshell is that regardless of the material it will propagate sound if its all solidly fixed together. You need to let the wall surface move and vibrate without that then making the other side of the wall vibrate. That's how the sound gets 'absorbed'. Also the heavier the floating wall the more energy it takes to get it vibrating in the first place. I hope that helps!
 

Anthony1981

Standard Member
Hi Anthony1981 - the lower bass still carries of course and I would say at a relatively loud volume the sound heard on the driveway is damped akin to a good double-glazed window. At medium to low volumes you cannot hear anything on the driveway.

cheers

Tony
Cheers Tony
 

Thug

Moderator
Thanks Tony.

I had a visit from an architect last night so he's gone away to work out costs etc.
We're considering having a single garage added to the end of the house which will replace our double garage/home cinema conversion. He will take care of all the drawings, planning and building regs for the garage build, garage conversion and other works around the property. I want to do it right so when we come to sell it's not a problem. Especially because I want to remove all windows and doors in the cinema and potential buyers will no doubt want to see the correct signed paperwork. This is not our forever home and we may even move in the next couple/few years.

I'm still in two minds whether to add some windows just incase people in the future want to turn it into a regular lounge. Obviously the windows will just get blocked up from the inside and insulated as necessary although I am concerned they will become a weak point. It could be that we just decide to do what suits us and let the new owners sort it our themselves later on. Hopefully they would want to keep the cinema anyway...


David
I might be wrong, but due to it being a habitable room (not a garage) i'm sure building regs may say that you have to have a window or a means of escape should there be a fire and the door is blocked.
 

pmarb

Active Member
Thug - it depends on what fire prevention is already installed, distance to final exit, etc - the Inspector that performed my visits was happy with the existing solid internal garage door, the final exit (back door) was 2m from this, and then the requirement for the extra installation of the 3 new smoke/heat detectors in the adjacent rooms linked to the mains smoke alarm system.
I was worried that he might insist on a window being fitted but this was not the case.

cheers

Tony
 

Member 812357

Novice Member
I'm only repeating what I have been told, but I think so long as the nearest exit is not via another habitable room you're OK. In this case the back door is just via a corridor/utility area from the cinema. So if that's true it may have been something to do with it too.
 

wozrokka666

Active Member
Fantastic looking, a very impressive project. It looks amazing, and I bet the sound is too. You must be very pleased! Thanks for sharing!
 

Similar threads

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: New TVs, Samsung Q800T Soundbar review, IFA latest, Movie and AV News, B+W Brad Pitt

Trending threads

Latest News

Sky comedy panel shows back to film new series
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Polk launches MagniFi 2 soundbar
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Samsung pulls out of IFA 2020?
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 28th June 2020
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
LG Soundbar UK prices and availability for 2020 confirmed
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom