October 09, 2009
| by Lisa Montgomery
After the owners’ two sump pumps failed, a heavy rainfall deposited several inches of standing water throughout their finished basement. Both the carpeting and the Sheetrock were ruined, according to One Sound Choice, a custom electronics design and installation firm in Pompton Plains, N.J.
The owners had contacted One Sound Choice, originally, just to restore the room. It’s only one of the company’s specialties, which also includes the design and installation of audio and video system, outdoor entertainment systems and solar systems. After discovering that the company also did audio and video design, they decided to go a step further and turn a portion of the basement into a dedicated theater.
“Since we were already gutting the place, it was the perfect opportunity to do something different, like put in a theater,” says One Sound Choice president Ryan Herd.
The biggest obstacle would be the owners’ project deadline. They wanted the space ready in time for their daughter’s birthday, which meant the team had just one month to complete the extensive project.
“Our first priority was getting rid of the mold that had grown behind the walls,” Herd says. That meant ripping out the walls and replacing them with new mold-resistant Sheetrock and insulation. The new walls were raised a couple of inches off the floor, so in the unlikely event that the room floods again, only the baseboards and carpeting will get wet.
One Sound Choice also called in a plumber to replace the two faulty sump pumps and to place both on a battery backup. As a last measure of precaution, they installed a water sensor by both pumps. Tied to a Control4 home control system, the sensors can signal the system to deliver an email, phone call or text message to the owners whenever they detect water on the floor.
After completely reconstructing the water-damaged space, the One Sound Choice team went to work on the installation of the A/V and the finishes. Quick decision-making was critical to an on-time completion. Of course, as with any extensive renovation, there were unexpected changes along the way. However, even those went without a hitch, says Herd, due largely to the fact that the homeowners had made themselves so accessible to his design and installation team. Impromptu meetings between the owners and One Sound Choice netted the homeowners a third tier of seating, fabric-covered columns that matched the walls, and an awesome curved CinemaScope screen.
As tight as the timeline was, One Sound Choice wasn’t about to take the easy, cookie-cutter way out. They incorporated several unique features into the space, giving it a completely custom look and fee. For example, a laptop computer was integrated into the equipment rack so that the family can stream their favorite Bollywood movies to the big screen. Whenever someone presses the doorbell, the Control4 system signals the lights to ramp up and down to notify the family of visitors at the front door. One Sound Choice even used the Control4 system to provide an existing media room upstairs with access to all of the home theater components (see list below) downstairs.
As for the future, One Sound Choice made sure to leave plenty of space between the screen and first row of seats for the addition of a dance floor. “We even mounted an outlet on the ceiling so they could plug in a strobe light,” says Herd.
Click here to view additional photos of this home theater.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.