Question Moving: Room feasibility?

Fish Face

Novice Member
Hi all,

Fair warning: this got quite lengthy. Thanks in advance if you have the patience to read it all!

I'm moving house and priority #1 is of course the room where the projector will go. I have one possibility which should be pretty standard: a decent size, rectangular living room, modern construction so plasterboard on studs. Shouldn't be a problem. But the other is very unusual: an attic room with exposed wooden beams and no vertical walls is going to make installation a challenge.

Here's a photo from the ad:


I need to go back and measure everything accurately, but the horizontal main beams there are about 2m off the floor and 2.9m wide on their bottom sides. There is about 3.5m between them, and hence that is also the approximate width of the dormer, which is about 1.85m high. If shoving a sofa back into the eaves I reckon you'd be about a metre back, horizontally, from the ends of those main beams. I have a BenQ W1070 projector and am not looking to change that at the moment - so no real lens shift. I don't have a screen so I can buy one according to requirements - I would be looking to get one 2.5m wide or larger.
I would like to be able to seat six people facing the screen in a single row, preferably in two sofas, since I have those two sofas already. Whether one will fit against the banisters on the left of the above image (without blocking the stairs) is a question I'll hopefully be answering on my next viewing. Ideally I'd be mounting the projector inverted for the usual reasons - avoiding knocks etc. I am 99% sure I can place the projector on the floor on the left of the photo and put up a free-standing screen in the dormer on the right.

Now, in terms of fixing things to other things: I don't want, if I can possibly avoid it, to permanently alter any of the beams. So no nailing, screwing, glueing, etc to them. (Apart from anything else it risks the local conservation office being Unfriendly to me, since the building is listed) But strapping things to them is a possibility. Note that in addition to access all around the two main horizontal beams, if you follow the rafters to which they are attached upward, the pair of horizontal beams perpendicular to and above the two main ones are standing proud of the white panels, so again something could perhaps be tied or strapped to them.

If anyone has any idea how those panels are put up - or how to find out non-destructively while on a viewing(!) that would be very helpful. The place was converted in the 1980s, so I *assume* they are plasterboard. (The owners don't know any details about the conversion it seems so I can't find out from them) But from the photos they don't appear to be fixed to the back of the rafters - if they are, the rafters are extremely thin. Is there a chance there will be studs or battens behind the panels that I can get to through the panels, screw something to, and use that to affix a projector mount and screen? Is there any way of working this out without stabbing through the plaster? If not, are there any options that don't involve a projector falling on someone's head? ;) My thinking is that the ideal set-up, if it's physically possible, is to have sofas on the left, projector somehow fixed above there, projecting across to either a pull-down or free-standing screen that roughly spans the dormer. I'm assuming since the ceiling of the dormer is flat and shows no beams that there will be joists above there to fix something to if necessary - but with height being so limited there that might not be ideal. I wouldn't want a projector in that ceiling as I am 1.83m tall and would not want to hit my noggin on it when looking out of the window!

Thanks for reading all this. If you can answer any of the above, provide any suggestions I haven't thought of, encouragements, or make the usual warnings to avoid listed buildings like the coronavirus, I'm eager to hear them!

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