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Advice / ideas on potential garage to PJ room

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
Hi guys,

I wonder if I can draw from anyone’s knowledge and creative ideas please? I’m currently mulling over the idea of using my integral double garage as a PJ cinema room and not sure on what can and can’t be done and am also after some inspirational ideas. The garage is 5 x 5.14 m max and fully integral with the house and our main bedroom is above and as such has an insulated and plastered ceiling. The floor is level with the drive and is concrete, the walls are normal exposed brick / block type walls, I think double thickness externally. The garage currently has two separate up and over electric doors which really eat into the space and have big motors above with a single central track each. The garage has an existing external door at the rear corner and I’d like to put in an internal door to the hallway to make it easily accessible from the house.

A few ideas of thoughts we’ve had so far and really not sure what is doable or best, do we :-

1. Technically / building regs wise leave it as a garage, disable and remove the electric motors, stud, insulate and board in front of the garage doors so it looks the same from outside but we loose only the smallest amount of space, the new internal door is put in as a fire door, we insulate and line all the walls, insulate the floor and lay a new sub floor but ensure the floor remains 100mm lower than the house.

2. Legally convert it to a room, not fussed about windows, but is it best / required to put them in instead of the garage doors, then block the windows out with blinds for watching movies? Put an internal door in, raise the floor to the same height as the house, insulate and line all walls and floor etc. Would this make better financial specs and add better value to the house?

3. Change the garage doors for roller doors, sacrifice a small part of the room, say 1m and leave as a small thin storage space at the front, convert the rest in line with 1 or 2 above?

Many ideas greatly appreciated, on what I can and can’t do or maybe just some ideas I haven’t even thought of? Are there things I must or mustn’t do for fire exits, venting or heating? I don’t want to spend loads, but a few grand on materials and I can do the work mainly myself as really enjoy practicing and stretching my diy skills. Ideally the room would have black everything for best contrast, which I appreciate maybe best done in a way that can be reversed later if sold either back to a garage or a normal room etc.

Few pics which may or may not help visualise below.

8F286452-2EFD-431A-8339-642116E3624A.jpeg
7FB26995-FE6C-4B44-B23A-0D7CC727CC69.jpeg
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
I wonder if I can draw from anyone’s knowledge and creative ideas please? I’m currently mulling over the idea of using my integral double garage as a PJ cinema room and not sure on what can and can’t be done and am also after some inspirational ideas. The garage is 5 x 5.14 m max and fully integral with the house and our main bedroom is above and as such has an insulated and plastered ceiling.
Great space, would be excellent as a cinema room. I personally prefer integrated rooms, as opposed to cinemas in an outbuilding.

A few ideas of thoughts we’ve had so far and really not sure what is doable or best, do we :-

1. Technically / building regs wise leave it as a garage, disable and remove the electric motors, stud, insulate and board in front of the garage doors so it looks the same from outside but we loose only the smallest amount of space, the new internal door is put in as a fire door, we insulate and line all the walls, insulate the floor and lay a new sub floor but ensure the floor remains 100mm lower than the house.

2. Legally convert it to a room, not fussed about windows, but is it best / required to put them in instead of the garage doors, then block the windows out with blinds for watching movies? Put an internal door in, raise the floor to the same height as the house, insulate and line all walls and floor etc. Would this make better financial specs and add better value to the house?
How long are you likely to keep the house? For resale purposes, I assume it would be better as either proper living accommodation, or as a garage (depends on location and the rest of the house etc). Knowing this will help decide any permanent changes you make (eg, the floor). I'd concentrate on these points first, and then work out the best way forward.

3. Change the garage doors for roller doors, sacrifice a small part of the room, say 1m and leave as a small thin storage space at the front
Do you need the storage space?

I don’t want to spend loads, but a few grand on materials and I can do the work mainly myself as really enjoy practicing and stretching my diy skills.
I'm in the same position (without the word 'enjoy'). I don't want to spend too much, but it's inevitably going to be quite expensive for all the gear.

Ideally the room would have black everything for best contrast
Consider having everything behind the viewing position a bit lighter (like a brown, or dark blue etc). You won't see it when watching a film, but it'll make the room less oppressive when you walk in etc.
 

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
Great space, would be excellent as a cinema room. I personally prefer integrated rooms, as opposed to cinemas in an outbuilding.

How long are you likely to keep the house? For resale purposes, I assume it would be better as either proper living accommodation, or as a garage (depends on location and the rest of the house etc). Knowing this will help decide any permanent changes you make (eg, the floor). I'd concentrate on these points first, and then work out the best way forward.

Do you need the storage space?

I'm in the same position (without the word 'enjoy'). I don't want to spend too much, but it's inevitably going to be quite expensive for all the gear.

Consider having everything behind the viewing position a bit lighter (like a brown, or dark blue etc). You won't see it when watching a film, but it'll make the room less oppressive when you walk in etc.
Thanks for the response. I figure it will get used more if integrated instead of an outbuilding. The garage currently is rammed full of stuff, some I'm sure I could ditch but bikes, camping gear and bench / chop saws will all need a home. My idea is get a big shed / of some kind, have a clear out and then the garage is fare game.
Not sure we're moving anytime soon, things may change with schools etc, but don't want to do anything that will detract from selling it when we do. Not sure if an officially converted garage or a cinema that can be converted back to garage is better. We have two lounges (well lounge and kids dumping room), idea is to remove projector from main lounge to make it look more like a formal lounge, then make the kids room into a snug for the TV viewing, leaving the PJ to go somewhere. We can also park 4 cars at a squeeze on the drive so will never put cars in the garage, some others have already converted them to offices or an added bathroom.
I'm guessing if we left the floor low as a garage, insulate and board it, but make sure it's still 100mm lower than the house (if possible), then put a partition against the inside of the existing garage doors, then if we move we can always pull the partition against the garage doors down later, leaving just a lined garage.
Will lighter further back not reflect back onto the screen, one of my minor money saving ideas to help (a bit) fund, is sell my React 3.0 tab tension screen and in the new location have a fixed acoustic transparent screen.
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the response. I figure it will get used more if integrated instead of an outbuilding. The garage currently is rammed full of stuff, some I'm sure I could ditch but bikes, camping gear and bench / chop saws will all need a home. My idea is get a big shed / of some kind, have a clear out and then the garage is fare game.
Sounds good.

Not sure we're moving anytime soon, things may change with schools etc, but don't want to do anything that will detract from selling it when we do. Not sure if an officially converted garage or a cinema that can be converted back to garage is better.
If it was worth more as a garage, I'd want to either convert it back myself before putting on the market, or assure the potential new owners I'd do it for them after exchange if they wanted. If it was worth more as living accommodation, I'd bear that in mind when making the cinema, such that I could convert it to living accommodation (not a cinema) before selling. While it's not difficult for potential buyers to imagine a garage, when the garage doors are already there, it's not so easy for them to imagine usable living accommodation, when the room is a cinema.

We have two lounges (well lounge and kids dumping room), idea is to remove projector from main lounge to make it look more like a formal lounge, then make the kids room into a snug for the TV viewing, leaving the PJ to go somewhere. We can also park 4 cars at a squeeze on the drive so will never put cars in the garage, some others have already converted them to offices or an added bathroom.
Sounds good. If in doubt I'd ask an estate agent (I wouldn't bother mentioning a cinema to them, I'd just say you'll be moving in a couple of years, and wondered if the house would sell better with a garage or extra living accommodation.

Will lighter further back not reflect back onto the screen
Not noticeably if it's a dark colour (you're not going to be painting it white), because it'll still be dark at the front (with proper light absorbing material around the screen). A bat cave (all black) is of course an option, but the good examples on here that I can remember don't have completely black rooms. Of course it's extremely important how it looks when the film starts, but you want to feel good before the film too, so personally I'd choose some nice opulence over complete darkness. And if done well, I don't think you'd notice the difference between black or dark colour at the back.

one of my minor money saving ideas to help (a bit) fund, is sell my React 3.0 tab tension screen and in the new location have a fixed acoustic transparent screen.
All advice I can find seems to be to go for a fixed AT screen, so I'm with you there.
 

Bagapeas

Standard Member
That's a great space and looks very similar to our integral double garage which we had converted. While it's primarily used as a cinema / music room we went down the route of having it converted into a proper room with windows so that we had the flexibility of extra living space. We thought about what space was valuable to us since we're not planning on moving again.

I'm not at all handy and so had local builders do the conversion for us. I made a short thread at the time, which is here which has a few before and after photos : The Folly - Double garage conversion. We've made a few changes to furniture and equipment since then.

I'm really happy with how it turned out and it's in constant use.
 

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
That's a great space and looks very similar to our integral double garage which we had converted. While it's primarily used as a cinema / music room we went down the route of having it converted into a proper room with windows so that we had the flexibility of extra living space. We thought about what space was valuable to us since we're not planning on moving again.

I'm not at all handy and so had local builders do the conversion for us. I made a short thread at the time, which is here which has a few before and after photos : The Folly - Double garage conversion. We've made a few changes to furniture and equipment since then.

I'm really happy with how it turned out and it's in constant use.
Thanks for this info, looks to have some great similarities, was it easy to decide between fully converting or leaving as a suedo garage or were you always going to convert?
 

Bagapeas

Standard Member
We’d had different ideas when we moved in as we always planned to convert. I’d thought about keeping the garage doors or remodelling the house more given the opportunity, but settled on this being more of a living room.

I’d been wanting a home cinema and eventually my wife agreed to make it more of a dedicated room on the proviso it was still “lounge like” so that it could still be multi purpose.

mostly we use it for tv, movies and games but it’s nice having the windows as I use it a lot to sit and listen to music again
 

DrH

Active Member
Something you should consider is how you get out if there’s a fire in that room or the house. I am not sure of the regulations but I would expect that you would need to be able to escape from the room if there is a fire in the room.

i converted a single garage and went down the window route as it just feels like another room then
 

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
Something you should consider is how you get out if there’s a fire in that room or the house. I am not sure of the regulations but I would expect that you would need to be able to escape from the room if there is a fire in the room.

i converted a single garage and went down the window route as it just feels like another room then
Yes good call, there’s already a door on the right to the outside, I also want to cut an internal door on the left, so between the garage and the hall, would that be sufficient?
I’m leaning to not converting, so it will technically still be classed as a garage and can be converted back later if wanted. It’ll hopefully be cheaper, although I will have 2 exits. Think that means the floor must be lower than the house floor, but I’ll still insulate it and the walls and ceiling etc..
 

john01707

Active Member
Hi guys,

I wonder if I can draw from anyone’s knowledge and creative ideas please? I’m currently mulling over the idea of using my integral double garage as a PJ cinema room and not sure on what can and can’t be done and am also after some inspirational ideas. The garage is 5 x 5.14 m max and fully integral with the house and our main bedroom is above and as such has an insulated and plastered ceiling. The floor is level with the drive and is concrete, the walls are normal exposed brick / block type walls, I think double thickness externally. The garage currently has two separate up and over electric doors which really eat into the space and have big motors above with a single central track each. The garage has an existing external door at the rear corner and I’d like to put in an internal door to the hallway to make it easily accessible from the house.

A few ideas of thoughts we’ve had so far and really not sure what is doable or best, do we :-

1. Technically / building regs wise leave it as a garage, disable and remove the electric motors, stud, insulate and board in front of the garage doors so it looks the same from outside but we loose only the smallest amount of space, the new internal door is put in as a fire door, we insulate and line all the walls, insulate the floor and lay a new sub floor but ensure the floor remains 100mm lower than the house.

2. Legally convert it to a room, not fussed about windows, but is it best / required to put them in instead of the garage doors, then block the windows out with blinds for watching movies? Put an internal door in, raise the floor to the same height as the house, insulate and line all walls and floor etc. Would this make better financial specs and add better value to the house?

3. Change the garage doors for roller doors, sacrifice a small part of the room, say 1m and leave as a small thin storage space at the front, convert the rest in line with 1 or 2 above?

Many ideas greatly appreciated, on what I can and can’t do or maybe just some ideas I haven’t even thought of? Are there things I must or mustn’t do for fire exits, venting or heating? I don’t want to spend loads, but a few grand on materials and I can do the work mainly myself as really enjoy practicing and stretching my diy skills. Ideally the room would have black everything for best contrast, which I appreciate maybe best done in a way that can be reversed later if sold either back to a garage or a normal room etc.

Few pics which may or may not help visualise below.

View attachment 1246693View attachment 1246694
Hi there, yours is an almost identical set up as mine. I replaced the up an over doors with roller shutters and left a couple of feet to store the "stuff" in. I had the external walls cavity insulated and built a 10" thick wall across to form the room as req. after studding the whole thing out i then filled the space between with "kingspan" then clad in two thickness's of 18mm soundblock plasterboard.
I then lifted the floor up 100mm and filled that with kingspan also then clad in two layers of 18mm ply. I already had an external door into the room so that was fine but i added another door into the reveal to give a double door entry, this also aids the soundproofing. After running all the wiring i then clad the ceiling in two layers of 12mm sound block and finished the interior to suit. Dont waist your time with windows as the darker the better for contrast and security. I fitted an industrial steel door to the exterior for security also which is the only way into the room, it was money well spent.
 

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
Hi there, yours is an almost identical set up as mine. I replaced the up an over doors with roller shutters and left a couple of feet to store the "stuff" in. I had the external walls cavity insulated and built a 10" thick wall across to form the room as req. after studding the whole thing out i then filled the space between with "kingspan" then clad in two thickness's of 18mm soundblock plasterboard.
I then lifted the floor up 100mm and filled that with kingspan also then clad in two layers of 18mm ply. I already had an external door into the room so that was fine but i added another door into the reveal to give a double door entry, this also aids the soundproofing. After running all the wiring i then clad the ceiling in two layers of 12mm sound block and finished the interior to suit. Dont waist your time with windows as the darker the better for contrast and security. I fitted an industrial steel door to the exterior for security also which is the only way into the room, it was money well spent.
Thanks I'm thinking along the same lines. CLS Stud filled with something soundproof and insulating. From looking on here some recommend Rockwool, say 50mm, then clad with some kind of sound blocking plasterboard, like your soundblock or I've seen at Wickes (I get a discount )'Knauf Sound Panel', which may be similar stuff. What I'm not sure about then is do I then stick or hang black velvet in front of that of do I need to as well as soundproof the room, also look to sound treat the room? So maybe hang some kind of sound treatment panels covered in black velvet?
With your did you go for conversion to a room, hence being able to raise the floor or did you leave it as a garage. Either way I'm leaning towards your idea of no windows and 2 exits, but then not sure if I need to heat and or ventilate somehow?!?! The AV kit will be easy, but all this construction stuff is new to me, although quite exciting to investigate and find out about.... :eek:
 

john01707

Active Member
"Knauf" sound block is the same product. if you can stick and screw the first layer on then just stick the second to that. i have just face filled the plasterboard with easy sand, its a dry linning filler then painted it in a medium grey. the ceiling and projection screen wall should be matt black. then the first 4 feet back from the projection wall i have black velvet covered panels floor to ceiling, this all aids the contrast. I raised the floor to give insulation from the concrete.
I have also installed a full HVAC system that heats and cools the room. this is a Mitsubishi "zen" unit which has the traditional aircon unit outside and a black one inside . these come as an on wall like mine or what they call a cassette version thats built into the ceiling, this was money well spent as the temperature can be kept constant. And fresh air introduced into the room. then to finish a black carpet, black cinema seating, no fancy led trim as all i want to see is the screen!
 

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
Thanks again, that’s great to know. So does the sound block stuff do any sound treatment or does it just do what it says on the tin and if I want some sound treatment I can add that on top after?
 

john01707

Active Member
I personally have not added anything else on top of it. Two layers of 18mm sound block is very dense, much more than normal plasterboard. and its seriously heavy. no matter what you do you will have some sound/vibration transferance as you are connected to the house, especially if you play it as loud as i like to but an understanding partner helps!!
 

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
Thanks again, not so concerned about sound escaping as am confident if I follow the kind of thing you did I should be on a good path. It’s more a question as to if I should try and control in room sound reflections now rather than later. Is that like a clap test and if it echos or not etc. My thoughts are I’d rather do it now and just once if I should be doing it rather than find later I should have done something different. I’ve read that it’s much better to sound treat the room rather than solve issues with room eq later in the amp, also if the room is more sound inert it may open up my choice of AVR/AVP. I have Dirac now and like some things it does but also know it sucks some of the life or the sound, so if the room needs less eq, the amp has less work to do, maybe I can even ignore eq and open up the choice of amps to non Dirac amps.
 

john01707

Active Member
understood, i'm not a fan of lumps of foam stuck all over the walls. personally in my little theatre its pretty "dead" anyway and to be honest in a rectangular room with soft furnishings etc things should'nt be to bad. ive run the Anthem arc and left it at that, to me it sounds awesome. to be honest i've just changed my sub and hav'nt re done the Arc and its fine. I have the speakers set up very selfishly for my listening position as mk speakers are very directional and i'm happy. you should go down the atmos route as you have the chance to do the ceiling instal now, i have a 7.1.4 set up.
 

john01707

Active Member
Looking at you drawing i was wondering why you wanted two doors into the room. is it that you want to gain access through the house! personally i would stick to the original existing door, make it a double door entry with the steel door on the outside. Not having access from the house directly makes me fell like i can actually get away from it all in my own space!! (my wife understands that now) it took many years.
 

adam-burnley

Distinguished Member
There are quite a few great Garage conversion threads on here, so a wealth a valuable information and advice to take on board. I certainly found it extremely useful when embarking on mine.

As has already been mentioned, building reg and planning permission depends on a what your intentions are. If you want to formerly change the use, i.e replacing the garage doors with a wall or window, then you will certainly need to involve a building inspector. Planning permission seems to vary by council. I didn't need it for mine, but others on here did.

I'm also on a newish estate that has strict covenants, such as no hedges, vans parked on driveways, satellite dishes etc., but nobody enforces them so people have broken them. I did ask a solicitor friend once, and he said you'd need to take somebody to civil court if you wanted to formerly complain about somebody breaching a covenant condition!

Anyway, what you do at the front is up to you (and any requirements as mentioned above). I put a window in as felt it would have looked odd with just a bricked up wall. Didn't have the space to keep a storage space, so no point putting a roller door in. I did speak to a few estate agents, and they all said a converted room would add more value than keeping the garage.

In terms of the build and soundproofing, I went down the decoupled route as much as possible, so stud frame away from the brick stuffed with Rock wool, resilient channel, dual Soundbloc plasterboard with Green Glue in between. That was for all walls and ceiling. Floor was raised to the rest of the house using the floating floor method, and a new door was put in to the hallway. Needed an RSJ for that.

Room was plastered and painted black, but in hindsight I wouldn't have bothered plastering, but would have fitted black velvet material to all surfaces to remove light reflections from the screen all together. I would have got the self adhesive stuff to make installation easier as well.

In regards to treatments, I have so far installed some broadband bass traps, but have not yet put up the acoustic panels. I bought two and planned to make the rest, using the leftover rock wool.

Have a look through my build thread (link in sig) for more info.
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
Room was plastered and painted black, but in hindsight I wouldn't have bothered plastering, but would have fitted black velvet material to all surfaces to remove light reflections from the screen all together. I would have got the self adhesive stuff to make installation easier as well.
Sounds like a good idea. Have you got a link to the sort of material you're talking about, and what would you attach the material to? Thanks
 

Seriously Ltd

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Of you require any info about converting the garage don’t hesitate to contact us. We have carried out many of these conversions/cinema rooms.
If the door from the garage opens into the hallway then then fine re fire regs. If not then an escape exit is required from the converted garage.
[email protected]
 

john01707

Active Member
Sounds like a good idea. Have you got a link to the sort of material you're talking about, and what would you attach the material to? Thanks
A few years ago we built the two presentation studios for the american network NBC at the olympic stadium, For the sound insulation in both the control rooms and the stage walls they insisted on panels made from recycled denim. this both worked very well and does not itch like the fibreglass. After the denim panels were framed a decorative material was stretched over and fixed to the walls. worked well, but a bit dearer than rockwool.
 

Seriously Ltd

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
We also use a denim based sound insulation product that is injected under high pressure to fill voids and cavities for sound proofing as an alternative to Rockwool.
 

john01707

Active Member
We also use a denim based sound insulation product that is injected under high pressure to fill voids and cavities for sound proofing as an alternative to Rockwool.
Just to go off topic a bit,Its so funny i used to live very very close to your place and still go to a cafe just round the corner! i really didnt know your location. i will call in now.
 

Seriously Ltd

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Just to go off topic a bit,Its so funny i used to live very very close to your place and still go to a cafe just round the corner! i really didnt know your location. i will call in now.
You are absolutely welcome. Would love you to pop over. Just let me know in advance as we are not always there as showroom by appointment but I’m 10 min away. The Tudour?
 

john01707

Active Member
Ahh the tudour, yes indeed.
 

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