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Home Theater – Part 8

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in DIY, Featured, Furniture, Home Theater | 0 comments

As we finished up the platform, I began thinking of other seating options besides the leather recliners.  I already have plans for a pub table in the front dormer which can be used for eating while watching a movie or game.  There is a good amount of room in front of the platform and I thought it might be nice to have something for kids to lounge on (and adults!)  I wanted something nice, not a regular beanbag chair.  I had seen these Lovesacs a few years ago in a mall, but had forgotten how expensive they are.

Lovesac Moviesac

I looked for cheaper knockoffs and decided to check Craigslist figuring that someone might not have room for one anymore.  As luck would have it, there was one listing nearby for a Moviesac for $175 (vs $800 new!).  It was pink, but I wasn’t concerned with that.  New covers aren’t cheap, but I could order one of those if my plans to dye it failed.

Lovesac Moviesac - Home Theater

Did I mention these things are huge???  I didn’t?  Well, it’s HUGE!  I can’t believe they make 2 larger than this.  It took me and the seller to wedge it into the back of my hatchback.  Getting it out of my car, into the house (it barely fit thru the door) and up the stairs was a workout.  It weighs about 50 pounds.

The dogs were pretty excited to see it although they weren’t sure how they were supposed to get on it.

Lovesac Moviesac - Home Theater

They think it’s the coolest dog bed ever!!  I can curl up in the middle of it – like a giant dog bed for people.  It’s awesome and super comfy.

Lovesac Moviesac - DIY Home Theater

I washed the cover and used Rit color remover to get rid of the pink.  I didn’t want it to affect the final color.

Lovesac Moviesac - DIY Home Theater

My plan was to dye it Rit Pearl Gray, but that made it look like denim.  I added some black to make it darker.  It ended up a really dark navy blue.  Not ideal, but at least it’s not pink anymore.  I’d like to order a new cover if I can get a decent deal on one.  This will do for now though.  The Kid loves it and now we have some extra space to lounge!

Lovesac Moviesac - DIY Home Theater

Home Theater – Part 7

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in DIY, Featured, Flooring, Home Theater | 0 comments

Progress continued once the trim and lights were installed on the platform.  We used 3/4″ plywood to create the floor, starting with the lower section and steps.

DIY Home Theater Platform

I added more trim to the edges to give it a finished look.  This trim is a smaller version of the window and door trim throughout our house.  We needed something at least a couple inches wide to hide the LED strips underneath.

DIY Home Theater Platform

I had to wait until the flooring was installed before I could attach the corner trim above the steps.

DIY Home Theater Platform

Then, more painting . . .

DIY Home Theater Platform

DIY Home Theater Platform

I had been contemplating for a while about what to use for flooring on the platform – carpet, laminate, vinyl?  It needed to be fairly light so as to not add unnecessary weight to the already heavy platform.  I had collected several samples of each and kept going back to vinyl planks.  I was just worried if it would be the right look.  I started revisiting all the stores to look at options and to see what they had in stock vs what would need to be ordered.  We were getting close to being ready to install something (and the recliners were already on order), so I wasn’t crazy about a 2 week wait for flooring to come in.

A trip to Lowe’s turned up a great find though – peel and stick vinyl planks on clearance for 95 cents a square foot!  The style is Antique Woodland Oak which has a lot of variation including some gray and black which I thought would go along with the room.  I went back later and bought 120 square feet of it in fear of it selling out if I waited.

DIY Home Theater Platform - Flooring

A concern I had about using vinyl was having a bunch of cut edges along the sides of the platform.  I decided that adding a “frame” would eliminate that problem and give it a more custom look.

DIY Home Theater Platform - Flooring

I started with the step on the far side.  If I had any initial installation issues, it would be less likely to be noticed over here.  I started by laying the “frame”, then filled in with additional planks.  It was super easy to cut by just scoring it with a knife, then snapping it along the line.  The hard part was getting the line scored straight.  (David and I both worked on the top riser so one of us could hold the plank and straight edge while the other cut, making it much easier.)

DIY Home Theater Platform - Flooring

That step went quickly and easily, so I moved on to the other step.  I made one mistake on this step, but it wasn’t a big deal to do over.  Then, I began on the lower platform, laying the frame along the edges first, then filling in.

DIY Home Theater Platform - Flooring

I probably used a few more planks than needed because I made a point of staggering the joints and using different lengths so that it would look like a real wood floor.  I used just under half of the planks I had bought and was sure the upper riser would need more.  I ran back to Lowe’s and picked up another 40 square feet so make sure we had enough.  I also wanted to have extras since it has probably been discontinued and in case we need to repair some planks down the road.

DIY Home Theater Platform - Flooring

I was really excited with how it turned out.  It looks really nice.  The planks have a wood grain texture and it looks pretty convincing for being peel and stick vinyl.  I will get better pictures with my camera once it is all finished.

DIY Home Theater Platform - Flooring

Once we were sure all the wiring was secure under the top riser, we laid the plywood down, added trim and painted it.

DIY Home Theater Platform - Flooring

The top riser went about the same as the bottom, although a bit easier and quicker with 2 people this time.  We used some weights to hold down a few seams where the plywood is uneven.

DIY Home Theater Platform - Flooring

All that’s missing now is the chairs (which still aren’t here – fingers crossed for this week).

I am thrilled with how the platform turned out.  This is one of those rare cases where it turned out better than I expected.  Perfect? – No, but it looks awesome.  The trim adds detail to make it look more “professional”, the lights increase safety in the dark and add some Wow factor and the “wood” flooring adds interest to the space.

While we wait on the chairs, we’ve also been working on getting the junk out of the room.  We will have a truck load to donate this week before the chairs get here.  I’m also working on some of the design details I’ve had planned – lighted movie posters, vinyl decals for the walls and a sign over the door.

To Be Continued . . .

Home Theater – Part 6

Posted by on Sep 25, 2015 in DIY, Featured, Flooring, Home Theater | 0 comments

Since my last post, we’ve been hard at work on the platform almost every day.  David added a 2×6 to the inside of the platform to mount the Buttkicker on.  This played a big role in the design of the platform as we want as much of the vibration to transfer to the seats as possible.

DIY Home Theater Platform - Buttkicker

It is plugged into a speaker wire that runs to an amplifier, connected to the subwoofer output on the a/v receiver.  We also added furniture feet to the bottom of the platform to lift it off the floor and minimize the amount of vibration lost that way – no pics of that 🙁

DIY Home Theater Platform - Buttkicker

Next, I began adding trim to give the platform a more finished look.  I debated on whether to put anything along the bottom since I figured the carpet would cover the plywood edge.  I finally decided to go for it and I’m glad I did.  I used a small board that looks like a “mini” baseboard.

DIY Home Theater Platform

I covered the corners with trim pieces to cover the gaps in the plywood.

DIY Home Theater Platform

Then, I got fancy.  I added some chair rail molding to the sides and back.  I decided to make it a little more difficult for myself and went with octagons instead of plain squares.

DIY Home Theater Platform

One on each side and three across the back.  It wasn’t necessary, but it adds a lot!

DIY Home Theater Platform

The whole thing was then painted with Behr Marquee Magnet to match the walls.

DIY Home Theater Platform

DIY Home Theater Platform

DIY Home Theater Platform

Once the paint was dry, David was able to run the LED strip lights we had ordered.

DIY Home Theater Platform - LED Lights

It took four 16.5′ strands to cover all the edges.

DIY Home Theater Platform - LED Lights

We did not connect them all to each other, so we had some issues getting them to all stay in sync.  We ended up using an IR repeater which is connected to each strand of lights.  The IR receiver will be mounted near the left side step, almost out of sight.  Once the plywood floor was attached, all this wiring would be inaccessible, so we needed to make sure everything was going to work.

DIY Home Theater Platform - LED Lights

To Be Continued . . .

Home Theater – Part 5

Posted by on Sep 14, 2015 in DIY, Featured, Furniture, Home Theater | 0 comments

Progress on the Home Theater stalled out for a few weeks as The Kid went back to school and we focused on other things.  We started back up last week with the final big project – the seating platform.   I had sketched out a design several months ago based on the recliners I expected us to order.

Theater Platform SketchThe row of 3 recliners is exactly 8′ wide.  (You can see where I lightly sketched the recliners in, including the far right one being reclined.)  I designed the platform to be 8’6″ wide including a 3″ overhang on all sides.  Since we planned to add a Buttkicker to the platform, the front seats need to be elevated as well.  The front row will be just over 4″ high.  The back row will be 16″ high with 8″ high steps on either side.  The front row will have just enough room in front of the seats to step up onto the platform.  The back row will have approximately 12″ in front of the seats when reclined, which will allow room for people to walk in front of them.  I also allowed for 6″ behind each row of seats for reclining although this was probably not needed.  This gives the entire platform a total length of 11′.

Once I had this drawn up, the Engineer (David) sketched out some blueprints on how to build it.

Theater Platform Sketch

It would basically be another floor on top of the existing floor.  One concern was the weight, so we sought to keep this down wherever possible.

DIY Home Theater Platform

He began buy purchasing several 2x4s and cutting them to size.  He assembled them using screws and straps.  Each section was then carried up to the bonus room.

DIY Home Theater Platform

DIY Home Theater Platform

He then began constructing the platform using more screws. You can see the step framed out of the right side.

DIY Home Theater Platform

Not quite ready for football yet . . .

DIY Home Theater Platform

DIY Home Theater Platform

After discussing various options, we decided to cover the sides of the platform with 1/4″ sanded plywood.  He also began running the electrical from the new wire we had ran to the middle of the floor.  We needed an outlet for the front row of power reclining seats as well as one for the back row.  We also planned to have rope lights under the edge of the platform, so those needed an outlet and a switch.

DIY Home Theater Platform

The picture below shows the location for the hidden rope lights outlet and it’s switch.

DIY Home Theater Platform

DIY Home Theater Platform

Here is the outlet and switch installed.

DIY Home Theater Platform

DIY Home Theater Platform

The next step is to add trim and paint the sides.  We need some trim to cover the plywood seams at the corners and I want to add some picture framing to the taller section, just to break it up a bit.  Then it will all be painted so we can install the rope lights.

DIY Home Theater Platform

The lights arrived this past weekend.  In leu of traditional rope lights, I went with LED strip lights.  There are 300 lights on each 16.5′ strip and I ordered 3 strips.  That should be enough to go around all the edges.  The lights can be changed to virtually any color and dimmed as well.  Their main purpose will be to make getting around in the dark easier, but they will hopefully add some “wow” factor too.

DIY Home Theater Platform - LED Strip LightsNext on the list will be to install the Buttkicker, then attach the top panels to the platform.  Right now, I am leaning towards covering it in a resilient flooring that mimics wood.

Romano Power Media Recliners

The chairs have been ordered and shipped, but we’re not sure exactly when they will get here.  I’m guessing not for at least another couple weeks.  We will have 2 rows of 3 for a total of 6 seats.

To Be Continued . . .

Home Theater – Part 4

Posted by on Aug 9, 2015 in DIY, Featured, Home Theater | 0 comments

A few more projects have completed in our new home theater.  Once the new curtains were hung, I realized it might be a good idea to have some lights near the back of the room for safety reasons.  I came across these Theater Night Lights and ordered 3.  They came in a brushed nickel finish which would have been ok, but I went ahead and spray painted the covers with Rustoleum Soft Black Iron so they would match everything else.

Theater Night Lights

Theater Night Lights

They look pretty neat because they shine on the floor just like lights in a real theater.  I put 3 at the back of the room near the staircase and bathroom.  We plan to put rope lights around the seating platform which will help with walking around the front of the room in the dark.

Theater Night Lights

Meanwhile, we went ahead and replaced all the recessed lights with LED bulbs (as we have done in most of the house).  That really improved the color and brightness in the bonus room.  Only downside was that there are 18 of them.  We also added dimmer switches to all the lights so we can adjust the brightness if needed.

Another unfinished area was the electronics cabinet we had built into the wall.  It still needed trimmed out and some sort of cover.

DIY Theater Electronics Cabinet

I used some plain 1/4″ x 1″ trim to finish off the hole in the wall.  I caulked the gaps, then painted it to match the wall color.  (Paint still needs to be touched up everywhere, but I am waiting until we are done moving stuff around.)

DIY Theater Electronics Cabinet

For the cover, I picked up a sheet of decorative aluminum from Lowes.

DIY Theater Electronics Cabinet

Reusing the trim from the window that is now hidden by the screen, I made a frame and stapled the aluminum sheet to the back.  I finally decided to paint the frame with the Soft Black Iron spray paint.  I thought the wall color would be too bland and the trim color would stand out too much.

DIY Theater Electronics Cabinet

The big question was how to hang the cover???  Hinges weren’t going to work because of the design.  My first idea was to use cabinet magnets so it would just snap on.  The cover proved to be too heavy, so that didn’t work.  (You can still see them attached at the top of the hole).  I went back to the store to look for other ideas and came home with keyhole fasteners.

DIY Theater Electronics Cabinet

I bought 4, but we are currently only using two.  Now the cover just slips onto 2 screws sticking out of the wall on either side of the cabinet hole.

DIY Theater Electronics Cabinet

You can still see through the metal some, but it looks a lot better than having it open or with plain glass.  We wanted something that would allow the heat built up from the electronics to escape.  And, yes, the remotes do work thru the metal!

DIY Theater Electronics Cabinet

DIY Theater Electronics Cabinet

DIY Theater Electronics Cabinet

Our new projector is 3D, but only came with 2 pairs of glasses.  Since we plan to have 6 seats, we were going to need more, but not for $130 a pair!  Some quick searching online turned up the info that Sony Playstation glasses will work with Sony Projectors.  I found a deal on Amazon for 4 pairs for $44.  Much better for something that will not be used a whole lot.  At least now we do have enough pairs for everyone when needed.

Theater 3D Glasses

Before you get overwhelmed by the awesomeness of our theater progress, I’ll give you a glimpse of the reality in the rest of the room. . .

More Work To Do

Yep, mismatched chairs and junk everywhere.  There is still a lot of work to do.  Next, we need to clean all the extra stuff out of there.  Most of it is boxes from our storage unit.  We can then start building the seating platform.  That will be a big project and most of the construction will have to take place in the bonus room since we won’t be able to carry it up the stairs.  We are getting closer!  At least for now, we can watch movies and use the room even if it isn’t 100% complete.

To Be Continued . . .