The home theater in the basement of this Monroe, NJ, residence was not quite what the homeowner had originally envisioned. When the client talked to system designer and installer Allwired Technologies and heard that the plans were nearing a $100,000 job, he realized it was a bit over budget—$55,000 over. He ended up with a pretty good plan B theater, though.
Not only was Allwired on a tight budget to stay under $45,000, it was on a tight schedule, too: The couple, which had recently relocated from Canada, had twins on the way.
“Even though they were having the babies, he also wanted an ultimate bachelor pad in the basement,” says Bob Smith of Allwired. “The basement is 100 percent his, and I think he’s proud of getting a competitive home theater without blowing the bank on it.” Smith adds that the homeowner enjoys letting Allwired use the theater as a showcase for other potential clients who are seeking to remodel their basements at a similar price range.
A 123-inch Stewart Firehawk screen and Optoma high-definition DLP projector provide the video, while recessed and hidden Boston Acoustics speakers and Sunfire subwoofers let the sound flow. Recessed behind a two-piece custom grille, left, center and right speakers and two subs were laid across the area below the Firehawk screen, allowing for some extra depth to the theater display wall.
Smith says the homeowner pored over magazines searching for ideas for the room’s appearance and ended up with a look that incorporated his own tastes, especially when it came to choosing the carpet, seating and wall color. Seating for 11 was provided by Beech, and Allwired installed a dry bar behind the second row of theater seating in front of a last-row set of bar stools.
When dad wants some time to himself or wants to invite a few buddies over to hang out after the babies are asleep, he can head into the theater—or one of the basement’s other attractions that make it a great getaway, like the billiards table, full wet bar, arcade games and workout room. When he wants to show movies to a group, it begins with a true cinema feel. A touchpanel setting for INTRO dims the lights and cues a secondary DVD player, whose only job is to run a “Welcome to Our Theater” on-screen introduction.
Acoustic treatment features Green Glue soundproofing material sandwiched between two layers of 5/8-inch Sheetrock, spray foam insulation behind the wall, a solid-core raised-panel door and rerouted HVAC ductwork. That way, when mom is feeding the babies in the kitchen directly above dad’s home theater, he can crank the volume to room-shaking levels and not worry about the twins falling out of their high chairs.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.