Man vs Cinema Room


Novice Member
Hi all!

Brand new to the forum, although I've been reading for quite sime time now.

I've recently bought a new house and at the back of the garden there's a brick out-house that's got two rooms, I've always wanted to build a cinema room and so with signoff from the Mrs I can now start work on the bigger of the two!

This is probably the point to highlight the fact that I've grown up in a non-DIY family and as such phave embarrassingly little skills when it comes to making stuff… however this is a great time to learn and I'd rather make some mistakes on this rather than in the main house (this is possibly why the budget's been agreed by aforementioned other half).

I've been reading various posts, following people's cinema jobs and I must say that the standard is impeccably high. The purpose of this post is not to just show people how I'm doing but most likely shouting for somehelp as I inevitably make mistakes with the build and then AV setup.

Here are some pictures of the outhouse at the moment.


Internal left hand side (yes there is a patio window facing a fence...):

Main picture of the room (with old floor removed):

Another view (boiler and radiator will be removed):

Here are some high level diagrams of how I plan on constructing the room: (4.2m x 3.5m).

This is as is right now:

This is as I'm intending to build the soundproofed wall:

And finally this is how it's due to look at the end (ish), doesn't show lighting etc:

Would be good if anyone has some initial improvements feedback.

Now whilst I appreciate a great AV setup, I'm not a massive AV buff and I don't have tens of thousands to throw at this, so whilst I want toget some good quality kit I'm not looking to spend a fortune. As such, this is the sort of kit I'm looking to purchase when the room is ready:

  • Amp: Onkyo TXNR3009
  • Speakers: DALI 2x Zensor1 (pair), Zensor 5 (pair), Zensor Vokal & E12F
  • Projector: Epson EH-TW9000
  • How do the plans look, can anyone pick holes in them (please do!)
  • Does anyone have a good video/resource showing how to build stud walls, or does anyone have some advice I should be wary of before starting
  • Does anyone know where I can find good soundproofed internal doors?
  • Carpets. What's the best to get, is thicker the better?
As per other posts, I'll keep you updated with progress - as per the title, this really is Man v Cinema Room (although really it's Man vs DIY).

If you've got any initial comments, they're very welcome.

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Active Member

Good initial planning and you seem very well organised.

How are you going to heat/ cool the space, have you considered a self install AC unit that does both?

Check out PhilLfc thread and use the same construction idea for blocking up the window in his room for you patio doors.

My mate who built a music studio advised me to buy a solid wooden door, apply sound block onto the internal face of the door and stick on egg box type foam. This makes the door bullet proof let alone sound proof.

Not too sure about the construction of your rooms walls as it stands but you may get away with not framing out all the internal walls and just sticking sound block onto the original drywall. Save money and time.

If you are doing it on a budget check out the equipment for sale section on the forum. You will be able to pick up some good quality kit that has more than often been well looked after by AV enthusiasts.

Your floor looks solid stone so you may consider laying down a layer of floating floor insulation 50mm, then floor boards. The choice of underlay is important and cloud 9 11mm is a popular choice for thermal and sound proofing quality. The carpet is then your preference.

Hope some of this helps and will be following with interest.


Novice Member
@thebigmcp - thank you very much for your comments/response.

AC - I was looking at some portable/standalone AC units as I'm a little concerned with the work involved in installing one properly (although I could pay some to do this). Also, one concern was the impact this may have on the overall escape of sound to the outside world. It's something I certainly need to think more about in the initial stages. Another cnosideration is the noise they make and I'm presuming that properly fitted ones will be a lot better than the portable AC units.

Windows - I'll check out that thread, thanks.

Stud wall - Yes I'm not sure whether I'll need to build the additional wall or not, it would certainly be easier and cheaper without but I'm a little worried that if I don't do it and than am unhappy with the results I'll end up having to start again (as I won't really know how good it is until it's all completed). Also I think I'm going to have to soundproof the roof as well, so I think I'll need some kind of supporting structure in place (although I clearly need to look into in more detail).

Budget - I'll certainly check out the equipment for sale when I get a bit closer to finishing the build. I'll be asking for advice at the time as well and welcome people's thoughts.

Floor - It is solid stone. Thanks for information on floating floor insulation/underlay. I'll look into this in more detail.

Again, thanks for feedback, I'll update the thread reguarly.



I'll be sure to keep an eye on this one.

We've got a stand alone garage on the side of our property that I'm eyeing up for a similar project at some point.

Where are you thinking about storing you AV gear like the Amp mate? It's good to be thinking about your cable runs at this stage too.


Novice Member
Laudrup1 - thanks for the interest. I'll post a list of all my costs as I go through, might help when it comes to budgeting.

I'm aiming to have the AV gear hidden but not quite sure where yet, there will be space at the back (where the boiler currently is), or potentially for a cupboard along one of the walls. Ideally I'd like to actually bring the screen forward about 60cm and have a wood wall at the front which can have the av equipment, speakers etc built into - but my concern is that this will take too much out of the room size. I'll have a look this weekend and post my thoughts.

In terms of cabling... good point! I'll need to think about this soon, especially if i do build a stud wall as I'd like to have the cabling hidden within. I'll obviously need to decide where the AV kit is going to be placed prior to this as well. Ok, that bunch of decisions needs to move up the priority list!



Novice Member
I would urge either of you to contact building regs/control and ask if its acceptable to only have 1 entry/exit.

The reason I ask is I have an integral garage which I have asked my builder about getting converted and he has told me outright that I must have more than 1 exit (so either a window or door). This is of course really annoying and will be expensive to have a window put in only to cover it up again.

It might just be that the rules are different because its change of use (garage to living space) but its worth asking about it. Also you don't want to suddenly find out your house insurance is invalid because of such a conversion.

I have read on these forums of other people being OK with a wired fire alarm with only 1 exit but I cant remember what their circumstance is regarding if the room was integral to the house or separate (as yours is).

Just something else to think about !


Novice Member
Very interesting question, I'll look into this in detail and let you know what I find - I hope that one exit is enough with the appropriate fire alarms in place. How does this work with people that convert cellars, as I would naively assume they also only have one exit?

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
If you want to soundproof the walls, you will improve this by not attaching the stud to the walls - leave a 1 inch gap, otherwise sound will pass through the plasterboard/stud/wall as they are all in contact. Ideally you want a 1 inch air gap, 4x2 studs, rockwool insulation and two layers of plasterboard, then seal all edges with silicon to prevent any sound escape.

A heavy door as has been said is always better, but you need to ensure there are no gaps for sound to leak out of, so you can put a baton on the bottom of the door frame (matching the three that are on the sides and top) and have sealing foam on all four edges. There are other ways to do it but that's the cheapest. It can be a bit of a trip hazard though. Keyholes can leak sound so you might want to use a lock that isn't a hole.

I've just had some building work done in my house and I have a room with no windows and a single door into the hallway and that was fine with the building inspector. I would think a single door that goes straight outside should be OK.



Standard Member
If memory serves, building regs for escape routes are dictated by size of the space, not usage/change of usage... might be something you can look up online?

Would be interested in any stockists of decent doors for this purpose.

PS Good luck, and look forward to seeing the finished product on here in due course ;)


Novice Member
Ok an update on a few things.

The build
- The radiator and boiler are being removed this weekend
- Will get cracking with the window covers (thanks to the bigmcp for highlighting the PhilLfc thread).
- Will plan the AV cabinet, cabling and soundproofing and update plans

Plan to complete the above over the next two weeks. I'll update with progress.

Fire Exit
Ok, this has been an interesting one with lots of differing opinions. Having discussed with a planning expert I can confirm that for this building, basically judged by the size of the space, I do not HAVE to incorporate a fire exit. It would however be advisable to do so.

At the very least I'm going to ensure that there are fire extinguishers located in the room and that the door is fire proofed for up to 20 minutes. In addition, and this is possibly getting a little silly, there will probably be a fire axe stored should something go horribly wrong and exit is required via the filled in window. Over the top? Probably.

Cooling the room
Another interesting one. I do not really have the budget to install a fixed air conditioning unit (quotes are several thousand pounds). However I think I've worked out a solution - there is another room in the out building which is seperated by a cupboard in the middle (plus the exit door). I think I am going to put a good portable air con unit in the other room, and build simple ventillation from the unit into the cinema room (through the ceiling). I'll post some pictures along with mock up plans in a couple of days so I can get some feedback...

Costs so far - None (in fact slight profit from selling rads and boiler, but that doesnt count).

Thanks for comments, questions and help so far - appreciate it. :)

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
When I converted my loft to be a cinema room, I added a means of escape window, a rope ladder and a linked smoke alarm (connected to the one downstairs and it would set off the one in the loft if activated).

Although you may not need one, making provision for the window escape option is a good idea, especially as it's not going to cost much.



Active Member
I just purchased this KFR-32GW Air Conditioner Powered By Toshiba having researched Phil LfCs thread and all you have to do is mount inside and outside units then connect two pipes. Its called an easy self install system and including the mounting bracket cost me £420.

If I was you I would seriously consider this as it also provides heating and does not take up too much space compared to a portable unit.
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Novice Member
Hey Clello,

Yes there's been a little movement, but realistically waiting for January (had to spend the hard earned cash on decorating inside the house etc).

In last month:
- Radiators and boiler have been removed
- Cracks etc have been filled in
- Electricity supply from main house has been tested by electrician
- Carpenter (friend of a friend) has had a look at the plans and given some advice but ultimately given thumbs up.

Really excited about getting going on the build, but want to have the cash in a pot ready so once I start I can see it all the way through quickly rather than doing the project sporadically.

Updates in Jan 2013! Hope all have a great xmas :)


Novice Member
Hi all, right finally ready to kick this off and money is now in the aforementioned pot and ready to be spent! The build will begin in the next week, I'll post images and updates as progress is made.

I'm struggling to decide what projector to buy - I think I've landed on the JVC DLA-RS45 (also known as the JVC DLA-X30), which I can get for about £1,900, but close competition is the Panasonic PTA5000E and the Epson TW8100 (although I'd preferably like to keep the projects to below £2000). Any thoughts feel free to share!



Novice Member
Minor update - Sky dish and cabling being put up today (was easier than connecting to main house).

Also updating the schematics to confirm on electrical points, lighting etc ready for an electrician to do the bits where I'll clearly kill myself... Electrician due to come next week.


Novice Member
Right - FINALLY - The actual building work begins this weekend, I've booked some time off to get this started and have enlisted the help of a friend who's quite good at building stuff (unlike me).

I'll post pictures over the next two weeks of the build.

In addition the first of the kit has arrived, after much indecision I decided to go with the Epson 6100W. The price was excellent for the performance and whilst there are three of four projectors within £500 of each other that I liked it really came down to personal preference. Must say that the guys at Richer Sounds were absolutely excellent. It arrived yesterday and couldn't help but see it out of the box.

This is a picture straight out of the box, on an untreated wall, in the light and taken with an iPhone (not exactly going to show off it's capabilities!). But will be good to see how it improves as the room comes together.

More updates very shortly!
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