Building a Home Theater, Step 4: Construction Begins

I bought the house, I tore down and stripped everything out of the old basement, and I’ve dealt with the plumbing issues. Now, finally, it’s time to start building something. Construction has begun in earnest on my new home theater. For perhaps the first time, I actually feel like this thing is coming together.

Here are some of the highlights of this process.

First, the new walls were framed.

My home theater installer pre-wired the framing for my speaker locations.

For the purposes of trying to soundproof the space (both from sounds of the rest of the house coming in, and sounds from the home theater going out), the drywall will be decoupled from the studs with a clip and hat channel system.

The projector will be mounted on the ceiling here. (Furring channels were also installed below the ceiling joists after this photo was taken.)

Do you remember those low-hanging pipes I had in large soffits on both sides of the room?

At great effort and expense, I had my plumber clear them all out of the room. They’ve all been moved to the laundry room on the other side of the wall.

Inside the home theater, the ceilings are clear. This should reclaim some of my much-needed headroom.

The other significant headroom issue I had was this heavy support beam right in front of the room entrance. I had to duck under it just to get into the room.

To correct that, my contractor has done a couple of ingenious things. He moved the location of the entrance entirely and walled off the original door. Then he moved a section of the beam up into the joists on hangers.

I can walk into the room without ducking!

Insulation was installed.

Then, finally, drywall was put up and plastered.

To add mass and damping properties for sound isolation, both the walls and ceiling are comprised of two layers of drywall with Green Glue in between.

That’s where I stand so far, but there’s still a lot more to do, including installing the lighting, acoustical sealant and painting the room. Right now, this pace is a horrible echo chamber, so I’ll need some acoustical treatments as well to reduce reflections. Then comes the equipment installation and decorating.

It’s a huge project, but I’ve been pretty amazed at how quickly it’s moving. More to come!


  1. William Henley

    I think the most ingenius thing was to move the entryway. Surprised none of us thought of it. Takes care of the headroom issue, you don’t have to mess with the structual integrety by moving the support beam, and it’s probably a relatively low cost solution. It’s nice to finally see the drywall up too.

    • I can see it now. Josh’s reviews will go something like this: “The movie really stunk, but I watched it in my awesome renovated theater room. So, it didn’t really suck after all.”

      • William Henley

        We should make him do the Enterprise review. “Really realistic here, watching a show about caves in the cave!”

  2. Erich

    Love the choices of materials, soundproofing methods, etc. Obviously your home theater installer knows what they’re doing! I can only imagine how much echo there would be with just smooth drywall, that certainly draws attention to the importance of accoustical treatments. Carpet alone will make a big difference, and your heavy curtains will result in both a nice appearance and help balance reflective vs absorption surfaces.

    I have seen some people purposely leave a gap between the wall and ceiling to decouple the walls from the ceiling to further isolate the upstairs. Did you go this way as well? If so, was it difficult for the installers to maintain a fairly even gap with the imperfect height of the ceiling around the room, to fill with accoustical caulking?

  3. August J Lehe

    I would go stark-raving mad and have stars projected on the ceiling. Yeah, listen to me and you will go nuts, Josh!

  4. Larry Jackson

    That theater room is looking solid. The one thing I would use is LED dimmable lighting. Forgive me if I sound rude.


  5. Larry Jackson

    It just came to my attention that the room is already dry walled. I should realize that lighting is individual taste. As well as the others I eagerly await the completion pics.