Monday, March 5, 2012

Basements (9 of 9): Theater Design - Comedy/Tragedy

One of the funnest parts of basement finish is designing for theater space.  The weekend warrior would simply install a large screen TV on one wall with killer surround sound.  Then, when the wife is trying to sleep while the Superbowl is playing, he realizes there is probably a better solution.  Proper planning and design will make for better domestic relations.

The first step is to try to place the theater in a remote corner of the basement, preferably without sleeping quarters above.  More detail is needed with theaters because everyone loves the explosive scenes in movies, but no one enjoys it when the volume is set at 1.  By providing insulation in all cavities in every wall and ceiling much of the sound will be muffled, and for most this is adequate.  However, if you want the belt with your suspenders, then you need vibration dampers as well as insulation.  This is most simply done by providing resilient channels secured perpendicular to the main framing.  The gypsum board is fastened to the channels strips, without letting the screws touch the framing, or all is in vain.  This allows the walls and ceiling to vibrate slightly without transferring to the solid structure.   There are more advanced methods of sound control, but for most residential applications this method is easy and the most cost effective – thereby helping to foster a harmonious relationship.

Through the past several posts you have learned that through proper planning and construction detailing you can make use of that basement, which is only used now to store your Christmas decorations.  With growing families and a shrinking economy it is necessary now, more than ever, to make every square foot of your home count.  With innovative design and planning you can come home to a daily vacation.  Contact us to find out the best ways to make use of your space.

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