Home Theater Help [Text]
How great would it be to watch next year’s LSU football games in your own home theater? That might not be quite as expensive as it sounds.
The fact is, you can convert any room into a home theater—even a small one.
Here are 10 tips for creating your perfect home theater in a less-than-perfect room in your house:
- Buy a TV or screen whose size doesn’t overwhelm the room. Bigger isn’t necessarily better. Figure out where you will feel most comfortable sitting in your new home theater. THX offers this formula: measure the inches between that seat and the wall where you’ll hang your flat-screen TV, and multiply that by 0.84. The answer will tell you the largest screen you should buy. Divide the distance by three to determine the minimum size.
2. Plan a budget. Decide how much you can afford to spend on your home theater. Like any remodeling project, you can go with the basic Chevrolet model or the super-luxurious Rolls Royce. Start with the basics: a good TV and sound system, and then add more bells and whistles as you can afford them.
3. Consider building your theater in the garage. Most garages are a good size, but are full of junk. Clean yours out and make it into a useful room. Make sure to talk to you contractor about proper insulation and how to convert the garage into an indoor space.
4. Pay special attention to lighting. Light from lamps can create on-screen glare and make colors on the screen look faded. Strategically add lighting that you can control with dimmers and a remote on-off switch. Install a few long-lasting LEDs around the perimeter of the floor to serve as a guide for those who need to excuse themselves mid-movie without disrupting everyone else by flicking on the overhead lights.
5. A windowless room is best for a home theater. Cover windows with lined curtains or solar shades designed to block almost 100 percent of sunlight from entering the room. A tip: Camouflage the blackout shades by layering softer, decorative drapes or blinds over top. Hang your TV on the wall opposite the windows.
6. Sound is next on the upgrade list. Add surround sound to your TV by placing three or more speakers around the room for a movie-theater experience. Or, simply lay sound-absorbing carpet in your home theater, and caulk around windows, doors, electrical outlets and other openings in the room’s walls to keep the sound in.
7. Hide all wires and distractions. Building or buying cabinets that fit the TV or projection screen you already have is a smarter way to furnish a home theater than to try to force your equipment into spaces that weren’t designed for it. It’s also smart ask your contractor to securely anchor your heavy screen to a stud in the wall so it won’t fall and break—or land on a little one who’s sitting a bit too close.8. Make your room feel like a real theater. You can do this by building up the floor so you can place comfy recliners on two or three different levels. That way, the people sitting up front won’t block the view of those sitting behind them.
9. Consider adding on. If you have the budget for it, consider adding a room onto your house for your home theater. That way, you can choose the size and dimensions you want, and you can have sound-proofing insulation and up-to-date wiring installed in the walls at the time of construction.
10. Protect your expensive equipment. Lightning and electrical surges can cancel movie night for good. Invest in whole-house lightning protection—in the form of lightning rods on your roof— and whole-house surge protection, which is more reliable than protecting each component piece by piece with strip-style surge protectors.
Jeb Breithaupt, B. Arch., MBA, has been president of JEB Design/Build in Shreveport since 1983. You can contact him at 318-865-4914 or by visiting www.jebdesignbuild.com.
Want more information? To get your free report, “11 Remodeling Mistakes Cost You Thousands,” Call Mari at 318-865-4914 or email email@example.com .