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Cellar Conversion - Home Cinema

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by superdon, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. superdon

    superdon
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    Hi,

    Recently moved into a new house and we are just about to have the cellar tanked, drylined, insulated etc. The reason we are doing this, is mainly because there is nothing else to do to the house to "improve" it and add value. We cannot extend.

    We have been trying to decide exactly what to do with the room once its habitable, but our best idea is to have a small bar and home cinema.

    The room is fairly small (about 4m x 4m). Do you think we would be able to set up a projector and screen in this size room. Would it be worth it?

    Any input would be appreciated, along with anything we should consider with regards to the builders work.

    Cheers!
     
  2. inzaman

    inzaman
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    Yes it will be worth it imo, my cellar is a similar size to your and i am going to be going through the same pains over the next couple of months.

    Depending on projector, if you look at the throw ratios, you should get between a 6ft and 7ft wide screen for a throw of about 10ft. The bass from the sub might be quite boomy in a smallish room especially with a low height but i would have thought it could be controlled.

    As regards to builders ensure that you plan the electrics out, i am in the process of doing this, i.e plug point in the ceiling for pj etc. and any ventilation requirements as well.
     
  3. superdon

    superdon
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    Right. Ventilation will be sorted, but good tip on the power points. I'll have to have a think on that one.

    Any recommendations on a good projector/screen for that size room and what sort of cost are we looking at?
     
  4. SCOTT_SCOTLAND

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    I've just finished a loft conversion and, yes, the first thing to think of is your electrics, not only a power point for projector but remember and run your leads from pj to dvd/amp before doing any plastering.

    Also bar, i've got one, just got a kitchen worktop from BQ, they come in 2 lengths 4ft and 6ft, i think.

    Best of luck to you and remember, its all worth it in the end......

    Oh, check Ebay for taps for your bar, they may not work but they look good
     
  5. superdon

    superdon
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    Cheers Scott - sounds good. I'll get the exact measurements of the room in a few mins and then you can all give me some more advice! :)
     
  6. superdon

    superdon
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    Right. Its going to actually be about 350cm x 340cm when completed. Not too much headroom either. Once the new floors in, and the ceiling done it will be about 180cm.

    Any further ideas?
     
  7. inzaman

    inzaman
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    For projector i have a Z2 and that can throw a 7ft wide image from about 10ft. The general rule of thumb is that you want to be sitting about 1.5 screen width away so 7ft wide should just fit nicely.

    For powerpoints i just did a drawing of the cellar, roughly, and have put what power points i want where so the electrician knows once he arrives.

    Also light switches and spot lights i.e number of spot lights and how many switches to control them. Also light for the steps into the cellar and a switch at the top and bottom so you can turn it off once in the cinema room.

    Radiator points and where your equipment/screen will be in relation to these, and the furniture that you want down there. Very important to measure the width of the steps to ensure the sette will fit down because if they are anything like my steps they are only about 70cm wide.
     
  8. superdon

    superdon
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    Cheers again.

    Any ideas on a good, but cheap screen? I want something that can be put away when its not in use.

    Also, what about a ceiling bracket for the projector. Are these particualr to the projector bought, or are they universal? I would need something pretty "slimline" I would expect so I can mount the projector fairly tight to the ceiling.
     
  9. inzaman

    inzaman
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    For projector mount if you do a few searches there are people who have made their own, i am in the same boat as i want one that is very snug to the ceiling and will probably end up making my own.
     
  10. superdon

    superdon
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  11. superdon

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  12. inzaman

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    In that price range the X1 is getting all the praise although i havent seen one for myself. With it being DLP you should really demo first to make sure you do not suffer from rainbows.
     
  13. superdon

    superdon
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    Yeah, its difficult getting out for demos for various reasons. Perhaps one of the LCD's would be a better bet?

    I thought I saw something about an online "test" for the rainbow effect? Am I making that up?
     
  14. cinesom

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    Dont forget room acoustics! It's what everyone forgets and to do it properly get in touch with this guy:
    www.greatsoundingrooms.biz
    It will not cost the earth and turns a reasonable sounding room into an emotional experience
     
  15. SCOTT_SCOTLAND

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    The Screen, I made my own one for about £25 (inc blackout material) ok, its fixed into position but nothing a nice pair of curtains would'nt hide....
    Worth thinking about rather than splashing out on an expensive retractable one.
     
  16. superdon

    superdon
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    Inzaman, can I ask if you are getting a builder/damp company to do the work on your cellar? If so, have you had any quotes yet and what kind of systems are they suggesting to use?

    The reason I ask is, we had a builder come in a few weeks back with a really good quote which we were going to go with. We needed some work doing to some of the joists and got a damp specialist in to look at these before the builder started. While the damp company was here doing the joists, they suggested I get some other quotes for different systems. I have just had a second company come in.

    The first builder was going to use a Sika tanking system (esentially cleaning then painting the walls to tank it), and then insulation, plasterboard and plaster. The second company are quoting for a membrane system with the plasterboard etc... The second companys ball park quote was nearly two times that of the first! :eek:

    The second firm were very professional and knew how to sell their product well. Its got me concerned now that the Sika system and the first company wont be any good!

    Any thoughts?!? :confused:
     
  17. moviemike

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    I'm having the paint-tanking, three coats of ruberoid, the sharp sand and cement render followed by plastering and on one of the walls studpartitionning, plasterboard and then plaster.

    I've known a few people to have had this done and it seems to be fine the only damp I've known people to suffer has been due to poor ventilation resulting in condensation NOT because damp has come through the damp proofing.
     
  18. superdon

    superdon
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    Hi Mike. Just replied to your PM :)
     
  19. Docta teef

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    Im 2 weeks into a 2/3 room conversion the room had already been done with a paint and plasterboard system but be aware that although this will prevent water coming through it will gradually breakdown. The only sure way is with a studded plastic membrame that actually allows the water through the brickwork, this then drains via trenches in the floor to either a drain or a sump and pump and out of the house. It aint the cheepest option but i bet its the only way you ll get a 20-30 year guarantee on it.
     
  20. superdon

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    Docta, can I ask if you are using a company to do the work for you. And, if so, can I be cheeky and ask approximately how much you are paying.

    The firm that came round today would use the Newton membrane system (20 yr guarantee) ut as I say the cost is going to be double. The total cost of the conversion of the room (approx 12 ft x 12ft) and the stairs would be around 6k to include a window where the coal chute is.

    To me 6K still sounds reasonable, but after the great quote of 3.5k for the Sika system I am now totally undecided. If we opt for the Netwon system, it will be a few more months before we can go ahead!

    Thanks for the input, much appreciated.
     
  21. inzaman

    inzaman
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    Superdon i am having the sika system, my cellar isnt really that damp with the main cause being where the floor and wall meet. This will be lined and relaid.

    I was thinking about the plastic membrane method and if my cellar was really bad with water then i would go that way, but as stated mine is relatively dry so i am going with the sika system. The quotes i had were pretty much the same as yours and i really think that the plastic membrane system would be overkill for my requirements and at £3k more it is a big difference.
     
  22. superdon

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    Just worried about having expensive equipment down there!

    Spoke to a number of companies today that offer both systems and most of them said that the Sika type systems, while pretty good, are only a temporary solution that will last 10 years at the very max. The membrane system should last at least 20+ years if done correctly.

    The other worry is that my mother is an estate agent and she has said that some mortgage valuation reports are badly effected if a poor cellar conversion is completed and therefore this puts off a lot of potential buyers. This is more of a long term though for when we eventually sell up.

    The way it has been explained to me does make sense. Cellars are always going to be damp. The Sika system is tanking the cellar to block the moisture from entering the room, but the moisture has to go somewhere and eventually the Sika treatment will break down and allow moisture back in. Whereas, the membrane system isnt really blocking the moisture it is controlling it and taking the moisture away from the cellar.

    Oh well. I'll continue to debate it in my mind!
     
  23. digisocialist

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    I too am in the planning phase of my cellar conversion. I would appreciate any comments on what I am proposing and how to maximize my available space with the appropriate technology.

    1 - The Room.
    Please see the attached image (sketch). The cellar is already converted for habitable use i.e. dry lined etc. Dimensions are approx 13ft(L)x10ft(W)6.5ft(H). Looking at the sketch (top right hand corner) this is an open stairwell. Leading down from the kitchen and subject to light pollution; due to the shape and size of that space it does not seem practical to seal it off with a door..any suggestions? Along the top side of the room you will note two alcoves, the 1st houses a sofa for illustrative purposes, the second houses a large cabinet.
    Next the back wall. Note the wood window seat all round the room, this is approx 1ft deep and is approx 2.5ft high from floor - I can't remove this as it is part of the structural fabric. This minimizes viewing space as the back wall is reduced to approx 4ft high from the seat to ceiling. I do have approx 7ft of available width on this wall to take an image. This means I'm looking at a screen to sit in this available space.
    You will note that I have illustrated the projector 'off-centre' on the entrance wall. This is because there is only approx 2ft of available ceiling at that point before the stairwell begins. I could mount the projector centrally on the entrance wall itself but this may become an issue for people accessing the room.
    The round circle in the centre of the room btw is a stone well I am having taken to floor level and a glass floor installed with halogen up lighters down the well. Lighting will be controlled.

    2 - Technology
    Still very much looking but as a reference point the following is in plan.
    HTPC - Custom built. See http://htpcnews.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=5748&hl= for my considerations on this.
    Projector - InFocus SP4805 or Sanyo PLV-Z2 or Hitachi PJ-TX100
    AV Receiver - Cambridge Audio Azur 540 or Denon AVR-1804
    Speakers - B&W's DM303/LCR3/ASW300 or Mission m30's or JBL
    Screen - To be determined

    Note: I'm not going the whole hog and having a professional installation. I'm doing a best fit job for my current needs but wish to purchase equipment that I can build on in the future. Therefore I am constrained by some factors such as where available power is (note the grey blocks on the sketch) and thus where I can position equipment and how far I might need to run interconnects.

    Any advice on how I am approaching this, the room, technology, any suggestions would be welcomed.

    Thanks
     

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  24. superdon

    superdon
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    Sounds good. The well sounds like a really nice feature. Having had more time to consider this while we wait for furter quotes from builders, I am now starting to up my budget for the projector. Starting to think hard about the Sanyo PLV-Z2.
     
  25. digisocialist

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    Yes. LCD wasn't in the equation for me but recent reviews of the z2 and XT100 have got me thinking.

    You need to consider everything for your cellar conversion. Furnishing alone really bumps up the budget. Mine splits as follows:

    Building work approx £1200
    Decoration (carpet, paint, etc) approx £400
    Furnishings (Chairs, Beanbags etc) £600
    Technology (HTPC, AV, Speakers, Projector etc) £3,500
    Total £5,700 (and I'm sure ther'll be hidden costs!)

    PS - You quoted on a recent post that 'cellars are always going to be damp'. Well mine isn't. In fact, it's drier than my sitting room! I live in a Grade II listed cottage and my sitting room floor is yorkshire stone beneath the carpet and is not entirely damp proofed... that coupled with porous rock around my windows makes for damp all round if its not managed.
     
  26. moviemike

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    Sounds great!

    I'm doing a cellar conversion too - 4x5 meter room.

    B&W inwall speakers
    Screenplay 4800 (Model down from yours)
    Sub (TBC)
    Beamax screen (200cm)

    Had planned to by the Pioneer DV575A and Denon 2105 however a demo of a NAD amp and DVD sounded good, and I'm about to listen to the Cambridge Audio Azur 540 amp and receiver - what did you think of the Cambridge equipment?

    Biulders have already started on the damp proofing (ruberoid solutution between layers of sand and cement render followed by stud-partioned plasterboard walls.

    Building work approx £4800
    Decoration (carpet, paint, etc) approx £600
    Furnishings (sofas, Beanbags etc) £1000
    Technology (screen, amp, dvd, speakers, projector, mount, speaker cables etc) £2700
    Total £8,900

    Like you I'm sure there'll be hidden costs (this budget already includes an extra £1200 for 'unforeseen building works')
     
  27. superdon

    superdon
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    Any chance of any photos on how its going?
     
  28. moviemike

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    Here are the before pics...
     

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  29. moviemike

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    And here it is as of yesterday... floor has been dug down for new damp proof membrane and wall has been partially removed (waiting for the electricity board to move the electrics before getting rid of the rest). Doesn't look like much at the moment but there's still 4 weeks left of the build.
     

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  30. superdon

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    Thanks for the pics, keep us updated!

    We are still in the process of getting a few more quotes and then making a decision. Hopefully, shouldnt be too much longer before we can have it started.
     

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