Homegrown Accents Stand Out in This Home Theater

Floyd Otto used cherry trees from his surrounding property for a room he could truly call his own.

We know a lot of homeowners who make home theater a real priority. In fact, they just won’t buy or build a place that doesn’t have a dedicated sweet spot for that potential showpiece. However, Floyd Otto opted to hold off — for about nine years, to be exact. Needless to say, it was worth the wait.

When it came time to add a theater room into his home in Ravenna, Ohio, he wanted to make something he could truly call his own. To make his room a real standout, Floyd cut and hauled cherry trees from the six acres he calls his backyard.

The end result includes gorgeous hand-milled cherry wood throughout the home’s 1,000-square-foot basement space. That includes the home theater, which measures about 13-by-23 feet. The rest of the level has a living room, a bar area and an exercise spot. There’s also another 300 square feet of unfinished space for HVAC and storage needs.

“Anywhere you see wood in the theater, it’s the cherry from off my property. The columns, crown molding, wood for the stage; basically, everything you can see,” Floyd says. “In the bar, it’s the actual bar top, the accent trim on the bar panels, door casing and the crown molding.”

The process may seem like something only a lumberjack would love, but Floyd says it wasn’t all that bad. He spent a day or two taking down three trees and cutting them into 10-foot sections. Then, he used an ATV to haul the logs out into an open area on the property. From there, Floyd hired a guy with a portable band-saw mill to come out to his house to cut the logs into flat boards and planks. Once that was ready, Floyd had a separate millwork company dry and mill the wood. Floyd then took over once again, sanding, staining and adding polyurethane.

Overall, the wood took a few weeks, but was well worth the time. The home theater has a warm feeling and a gorgeous color palette. With all of the work put into the wood, Floyd didn’t want even one piece go to waste. Anything that was left over was used to construct a bar, which is right next to the theater.

While a lot of people would look at the wood as this room’s most daunting task, Floyd says there were other issues that were much more vexing. Even with a degree in electronics engineering technology, the room had challenges for him — ones that Floyd says he could have avoided if he had planned for that room from the get-go.

One issue was sound isolation. Even though the theater room was going into the basement, it was also directly below the master bedroom. To keep the peace in the house, he needed to keep the noise in the room. Floyd installed a hat channel and isolation clips on the ceiling, staggered the stud walls, and doubled the 0.62-inch drywall with Green Glue in between. He also put superchunk bass traps in all four corners and insulation in the walls and ceiling. Then, he filled all of the holes with putty pads. “Once you know what to do, it’s just a matter of incorporating that particular construction technique,” he says.

However, Floyd’s most hated challenge of the entire install was tweaking the existing duct work to accommodate the room. He also needed to wire eight additional circuits off a subpanel he had installed. Floyd took the time to research his options, as well as ask for help on the AVS Forum. Planning and exploring those options also helped to cut down on expenses. In the end, the entire basement cost about $25,000, with $15K of that designated for the theater. Floyd is happy with the end result — although he wished he had more space for extra subwoofers. Then, again, that would involve more of that dreaded duct work. For now, though, he considers the room to be complete.

“I’m running out of ideas, thankfully,” Floyd says. “I am very happy with both the video and audio experience in the room.”

For a better peek at the woodwork and everything else in this space, check out our slideshow for “Homegrown Accents Stand Out in This Home Theater.”

Equipment List
Axiom M22 Front Speakers
Axiom QS8 Surround Speakers
Axiom VP150 Center Channel Speaker
Berkline Power Recliners
Logitech Harmony 900 Remote
Lutron GRAFIK Eye 4-zone Lighting Controller
Onkyo TX-NR809 7.2-channel Receiver
Panasonic PT-AE4000 LCD Projector
Rotel 2-channel Amplifier
Seymour Center Stage XD 120-inch 2.35:1 Screen
Sony Blu-ray Player
SVS PB12-NSD Subwoofer
Rope Lighting
Step Lighting

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