Picture House #3

Official home cinema of the AV Forums

Phase 2 : Construction

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This view of the garage as seen from the house.

 

This view of the garage as seen from the bottom of the garden.

It was intended from the start to use the detached garage in our newly purchased house as a home cinema. It was to be a compromise as I ideally wanted the home cinema attached to the house in some way. Otherwise there's an often cold and/or wet trek down the garden to the external home cinema. Plus there are the issues of heating up a detached building and organising it's security.

But compromise is the path to a contented life, so work has started 3/2/04.

The internal dimensions are 19 feet long, 9.5 feet wide at the narrow end (where the big door is), 11 feet wide at the window end and 8 feet high. The fact that the garage tapers is fortunate since this will improve acoustics. The wall with the big door in it will need bricking up, and the screen will be located there. The floor requires an insulating layer and then a new layer of concrete. We decided to locate the projector on the floor and so a trench has been made in the concrete to supply it with cabling. The roof is partially raftered but required a trap door and more rafters to complete the ceiling.

The first work was the reinforcing of the bowing roof with installation of several large wooden beams set into new breeze blocks. Once the roof was made 100% safe, the work could start on the rafters. I employed PMK Building and Joinery based in Lilleshall, Shropshire 01952 604250. He has recently completed work on my Dad's new sky light to a high standard, and there's nothing better than a personal recommendation. Proprietor Phil employed my father's cousin Vin to do much of the building work. Phil must be in his late 50s and Vin is over 70. Both of them worked with the strength and speed of men half their age. Their experience meant the work was completed speedily and to a high standard.

5/2/04. Here Dad and Electrician Gilbert are looking at the main electricity feed into the building. The floor has been covered with insulation in readiness for concreting.

Since we will need access to the loft space a hole has been cut in the centre of the ceiling.

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6/2/04. Here the new concrete floor is being laid. The original floor had quite a camber so while there are 4 inches of concrete in the middle, there are up to 6 or more at the very edges.

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Dad's cousin Vin is laying the floor. We're lucky with the weather.

Many key ideas for the Picture House #3 have come from Zebra's Rob Sinden. Rob is somewhat of an expert and he designed the lighting, the cabling schedule and the locations of the speakers, the curtains and the slope of the roof near the screen.

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Work continues with the removal of the big door and bricking up of the doorway. There's a breeze block inner wall and standard bricked outer wall.

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Speaker and interconnect cables are supplied by Chord. A 100 meter drum of Chord Carnival speaker cable will supply the 7 speakers, all of which will travel from behind the equipment (located low down on one side of the room) up behind the plasterboard into the loft space. From here they travel across the floor of the loft space and then back down the wall to the point at which they will pop out of the plasterboard.

We don't know what the ideal location of the subwoofer will be so 4 Chord phono to phono LFE cables are used - one to each corner of the room.

Mains cables are arranged to provide a total of 8 double power points. And lighting cables are arranged to feed the 14 lights grouped into 4 circuits. At this point a light was installed in the loft space and a switch located right next to the access hole.

That leaves the electric screen control which will be located near the Lutron lighting control.

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Tuesday 16th Feb the battons go up.

One mistake made here was that the rafters sloping down from the centre of the ceiling to the front wall needed to be changed. We need access to the inside of the bulkhead from above for installation of the screen and speakers. So the rafters had to have the ends cut away and additional support added to make them secure.

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Wednesday 17th Feb the new window goes in and the external wall made good.

The old extractor fan was removed and the hole to the bottom left of the window filled in.

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Thursday 19th Feb the plasterboard goes up.

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A couple of photos here showing the bulkhead. The side facing the audience is angled down so that the in-wall speakers will point downwards appropriately.

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Friday 20th Feb and the plasterboardng and skimming of the ceiling and walls continues.

This photo shows the front of the room.

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This photo shows the rear of the room. Note the 4 white Chord speaker cables protruding from the side and rear walls.

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23rd Feb the old door and frame are removed and the new door frame installed. Note the black rubber seal at the bottom to ensure a snug fit.

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Solid wooden door

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24th Feb the skimming is finished and the skirting board fixed. Also the hatchway into the loftspace is completed.

This photo shows the right-hand side of the room with the doorway. The fusebox can be seen near the top of the door. Just below that is the cable for the wall light. Below that are the boxes for the Lutron control panel and the electric screen switch.

The DVD player, amplifier etc will be located near the door and the 7 Chord speaker cables (white) and 4 LFE cables (blue) come out of the wall at this point.

On the wall past the door are the cable for the right surround speaker and above that the cables for the alarm keypad and the wall light.

From the door frame you can see a single cable for the door sensor for the alarm.

Bill for the building work and materials.

  • reinforcing of the roof
  • installation of additioanal rafters with bulkhead
  • fitting of loft access hole and removable hatch
  • laying of concrete floor and wooden boxed channel for the projector cabling
  • bricking up of the large garage door and the extractor fan hole
  • battoning (with insulation), plasterboarding and skimming of the walls and ceiling
  • fitting of new door frame and door
  • fitting of new double glazed UPVC window
  • all materials for above
£5,700
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This shows the back of the room. You can see the 4 white speaker cables, the 2 blue LFE cables and the grey cables for lighting and power sockets.

In the top right-hand corner you can see the alarm sensor cable.

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The front of the room. You can see the 2 blue LFE cables. The speaker cables for the front 3 speakers are in the roofspace and will connect to the in-wall speakers in the bulkhead.

A heater is left on over night to gently help the plaster set.

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And that's where we are as of 24/2/04.

« Phase 1 : Planning | Phase 3 : Decoration and fittings »

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