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Brick shed or Spare room best?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by dekoded, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. dekoded

    dekoded
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    Hi all, I am planning on making a dedicated listening/movie/gaming room but I only have two options.
    Neither are ideal as they would both be a bit small, but I have to work with what I've got!
    The only spare room that I am 'allowed' to use is about 7ft 6" x 10ft and is upstairs and the brick shed in the garden could be made 7ft 6" x 12ft, I know these are probably way too small in acoustic terms but I feel that what I lack in size I can make up for in quality (where have I heard that before?).
    Anyway which space does everybody think would be best? my main concern is soundproofability (mmm new word?) as the no.1 reason for this new room is so that I can listen to music and watch films at a decent volume even quite late at night.
    At the moment I am thinking that the brick shed would be best as I will be able to deal with the room isolation problem easier as it has a concrete floor and is not connected to the house.
    what do you all think?
     
  2. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    Interesting. I understand you wish to minimise noise pollution by moving out to the shed, but I think long term this may become a real inconvenience, unless it's literally on the door step or something (and warm!). I also understand you want to push the envelope of science and break the sound barrier in your room, but realistically how loud can one go in the space you have? In real terms if the latter is within lawful limits then I would be inclined to stay indoors (personal prefference).

    Incidentally, I don't know how loud you intend to go but The Noise Act 1996 includes capabilities to cover night-time noise nuisances and offences as well as the powers to remove noise making technology (e.g. your hi-fi system). :eek: Though actually finding out what the permitted levels of noise are I think is a science in itself.. I think it's about 35db within certian technical definitions, including intervals of time frame between points of excess and margin but in practice is likely to be set by a) your neighbours tolerance & b) in a worst case scenario, your EHO coming round with a funny device. I digress....

    Both rooms you have should be adequate. Also consider floor space once furniture is in... that will reduce space but absorb sound. Go for bean bags and maximise both comfort and space!!
     
  3. gaz

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    go for the shed then your missus can't disturb you part way through a film lol.
    even if its part way down your garden is still closer than the ODEON
    mine is in a detached garage and it measures 12.5' ish x 6' ish and ive got seating for seven :D
     
  4. Ted White

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    Johnnie,

    I'm afraid I'd vote for the upstairs room as well. Of course I have snow to contend with...

    You can take some effort to help isolate the sound within that room. What sort of layout do you have?

    Ted White
     
  5. dekoded

    dekoded
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    thanks for the replys, here are my room layouts:
    the first is my spare room in the house and the second is the shed which has got two doors one of which could be bricked up along with the window and a partition wall shown as a dotted line which could be removed.
     

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  6. dekoded

    dekoded
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    Also as to those who were thoughtful enough to be concerned about me having to trek down my garden then don't worry because the shed is just outside my backdoor.
    The spare room has one external wall (on the right) a party wall (at the top) and an internal wall (on the left) which seperates the room from a spare bedroom :rolleyes: luckily this is still a brick and plaster wall!
    The reason I thought of using the shed is that I only need one doorway and I don't need any natural light which means less apertures to seal. The brick shed also has some kind of stone/concrete slab roof which I'm sure is better than a tiled one.
    I wasn't thinking of any extreme volume, just enough to watch films and listen to music at a decent (loudish) level.
    My main concern in using the spare room is the bass noise will travel badly, I tried playing some bass heavy music through my logitech computer speakers/sub, closed the door and walked around the house, it's amazing that even moving a couple of feet had such an effect on the noise, I can see why trying to control the bass in particular will be very tricky.
     
  7. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    Johnnie - sounds like you've almost made your mind up on the shed. It does look like a good room size and as you say if it is relatively close to the house it won't be a major inconvenience.. it's all relative. I live on top of a Yorkshire moor and my gardens sheds are across a road, which in winter is like an expedition!

    Go for the shed, make it insulated, warm & cosy and put a very good lock on the door so that equipment is kept safe. The Plus side also is that you can call it your own literally and go for unilateral decisions on decor et al - no wife interference ;)

    As it is a seperate building you may also wish to charge for admission :) obviously not to watch movies, that would be against copyright law, but to say sample your popcorn!
     
  8. dekoded

    dekoded
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    Yes maybe I have talked myself into the shed, damn that means more work, a new cheap shed for all the junk out of the brick shed and I'm not really able to get going on the project until the spring....still, charging for snacks mmmm sounds good.
    I suppose my main worry is doing a half arsed job on the spare room and never being able to do exactly what I want to it and still having problems with noise levels in the house.
     
  9. dekoded

    dekoded
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    I think my biggest problem apart from the soundproofing will be providing adequate ventilation without letting all the noise escape! has anyone got some top-tips :confused:
     
  10. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    Johnnie - these things seriously take time. I started to talk about my cellar well over a year ago (not on these forums) and only started in anger around July. W're nearing X-Mas and I'll have just about got it to final fix and painted. Can't get furniture or carpet until the new year and the AV kit will come drip fed to me as the finance director (my wife) allows me my monthly budget for it! I would go with what you truly know to be the best decision. Don't compromise to get in hastily, you may regret it in te long run. Take your time and do things how you really want them.

    If it's of any help I wrote a Project Brief before embarking on mine. Whilst it is specific to my cinema room and considers many features which were particular to what I needed to do, I found it a useful excercise in rationalising my own understanding of what I was doing and it served as a really good refference point, especially when out in Hi-Fi shops. Do a search on the forums for Home Entertainment Project Brief against my username and you'll find it - if not and you care to look at it let me know and I'll PM it to you.

    As a project manager I can't emphasise enough the importance of planning in everything! This project was new to me and even with a degree of discipline I found all sorts along the way which I hadn't accounted for at the outset, this is just a massive learning experience.

    You're right about the shed, you need extra storage to create new storage...it's always the way, unless you're ruthless and chuck everything out! You could always use the spare room as storage whilst you crack on with the shed to release budget earlier but you'll have to brush up on your powers of pursasion and sell it to the wife. ;)

    Can you not provide ventilation via vent bricks around the shed base? I don't imagine this would be major structural work. Alernatively, put in a skylight (Velux?) and hang a blind infront of it (of course...more money).
     
  11. Ted White

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    Johnnie,

    How critical is the sound isolation for you? Do you have a subwoofer(s) and neighbors to contend with?

    Ted White
     
  12. dekoded

    dekoded
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    Hi, well yes and yes, although not a big sub and I'm on good terms with my neighbours, at the moment anyway :laugh:
    I'm thinking of using my AE AEGO P5 surround setup which isn't particuarly powerful but could probably provide enough bass to be a nuisance.
    Surely if a allow air in I am also going to allow sound out?, what about air bricks in the wall but with a flap or panel that could be closed over from the inside when the room is in use?
     
  13. Ted White

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    Well, depending on the heat generation in there, you can probably get by with a single fan blowing air in there, with a passive (no fan) return exhausting the air out.

    Do you have flexible duct over there? It comes in various widths, and 6" is perfect. It is a flexible plastic, wire-reinforced pipe with about an inch of fiberglass wrapped around it. A plastic sleeve covers the whole assembly.

    This material, if bent into a few serpentine curves, can prevent a lot of sound from escaping or entering. This will stop mid-range and upper frequencies, but bass is the reall enemy. To stop bass you have to take additional measures.

    Ted
     
  14. Jamiroquai78

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    Definately the shed Johnnie,

    If your wife is anything like mine if its in the house :eek: she still owns it!!! :eek:

    Mine is being built in a detached garage and will end up around 12 x 8, I have bricked off the front 4 foot and made a storeroom for all my tools which seems to work ok.

    Being someone who didnt I definately agree with the planning comments. I have come across niggley things all the way through just because I am picking it up as I go.

    Latest example being my component leads are 1/2 metre to short :blush:

    Don't get me wrong mine is coming along fine, however I could have saved some serious time with a decent project plan.

    The top dozen threads in this forum has a lot of builds in progress (mine included ;) )and has invaluable information ( i could not have done mine without it)
     
  15. gaz

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    hey jonnie why don't you use 4" waste pipe for your vent and put a screw cap on the end to close it off that will add another "odd thing to do with plumbing to your list" lol...........

    no seriously, what i did with mine in my garage is built a false wall on the inside of the garage with a door in it when i leave the cinema i leave the inner door open a lock the outer door and voila ventilation there is enough air in there to keep me going all the way through the film..........
     
  16. dekoded

    dekoded
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    Yet more great replys chaps :thumbsup:
    Well at least I've got plenty to think about!, after having had a better look at the shed I'm not sure if the dividing wall is structural or not.
    The small section of the shed is approx 3ft x 7ft wide and the larger part is approx 10ft x 7ft, so I really need to remove the wall to use the all the space I can.
    I'm tempted to get a builder to have a look at it and see what it might cost to remove the wall and use the bricks to block up the window and one of the doorways and then I should be able to complete the rest of the work by myself.

    As for the internal framework, has anybody tried using wood from pallets to keep the cost down?

    I shall try and create a better plan of what I'm hoping to achieve and post it asap. ;)
     
  17. dekoded

    dekoded
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    Here are some images or as they say 'artists impressions' of the sort of thing I'm hoping to achieve.
    I would have liked to have six chairs, but to be honest they probably wouldn't all get used and it would be too cramped in there.
     

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