Philbo's Tiny Home Cinema (and equally tiny budget!) - advice needed please!


Active Member
Hello everyone!

Well, I have been a long time admirer of these forums and been absolutely glued to the screen keeping up to date with some of the fantastic quality inspiring builds on here.

I have always wanted a little home cinema and have just bought my first house with the wife. Unfortunately, we don’t have any spare bedrooms for such a thing, and the living room is totally the wrong shape.

There is however, a small (and I mean small) brick built building in the garden that I will be commandeering for a potential mancave. It has a small sloped corrugated roof (which is probably asbestos and I would like to remove) but is currently plasterboarded on the inside and has electrics in there.

The dimensions of the room currently are 7.3ft (W) x 9.3ft (L) x 230 (H) (I told you it was small)

What I want to know is (being completely new to projectors) do you reckon I can get a decent enough size screen in this small a space? I could of course go for a large flatscreen, but would love to go down the projector route if possible.

I don’t have a huge budget for projectors so am going to say about £600 max.
Looking for 1080p and 3D capabilities. The models I have been looking at so far are the Optoma HD131Xe and the BenQ W1070. Any ideas on a suitable model around this budget? Do you think I will need to go short throw?

The plan will be:

  • Gut the room of the plasterboard that is currently in there as it is damp.
    Check electrics are suitable for purpose.
  • Fill in a window at the back of the room (which will become the screen wall) which is unused and joins onto a utility room.
  • Damp proof the walls/floor with membrane, fit new stud partition and insulation and board with soundboard.
  • Fit new downlighters.
  • Paint walls (dark colour to be decided) and fit new carpet.
  • Make a custom projector screen and fit to wall
  • Mount projector at the back of the room on either a shelf or ceiling mount.
  • Fit 5.1 Surround sound system.
  • Stick in a comfy two seater sofa.
  • Work out a way of ventilating/cooling the room.
I won't be chasing cables in, but will use painted surface trunking after as the room is so small.

Kit to go in:

  • Projector (don’t know which one yet!)
  • Xbox One
  • Onkyo HT-S3305 5.1 Surround sound system (cheap and cheerful, but well featured and sounds good. I have had this in my current living room for the last couple of years, but have replaced with an LG soundbar and wireless sub for new living room as it’s the wrong shape for 5.1).
Here a couple of quick Sketchup plans showing the space (or lack of) I will have:

I must add that I won't be starting this straight away as there are the more pressing (wife friendly) matters of the bathroom and bedroom to be decorated....Maybe I will post some photos of those if anyone is interested!

Thanks for reading!
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Standard Member
plans sound good will look forward to progress

are you studing all walls if you are you could put all cables in that


Active Member
plans sound good will look forward to progress

are you studing all walls if you are you could put all cables in that

Hi Lockhes,

Yep I plan to stud all the walls and redo the ceiling, I might run the HDMI for the projector in the ceiling but I think that as it is so small a space and will be very dark, I will just run d-line trunking along the skirting for the speaker cables. Might change my mind when I am doing it though!

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