Home Theater Basement Remodel
Turning a finished basement into casual entertaining space with a featured home theater. The owners of this Chester, N.J., home had always planned on upgrading their basement.
| REMODELER: BDS Remodeling Services LLC, Chester, N.J.
PROJECT LOCATION: Chester, N.J.
AGE OF HOME: 4 years
SCOPE OF WORK: Turning a finished basement into casual entertaining space with a featured home theater
The owners of this Chester, N.J., home had always planned on upgrading their basement, so when the home was built by BDS Group's new home division a year-and-a-half prior, the team included a high level of finishing. Metal studs and dry-locking the walls during framing reduced moisture issues, and sealing the space's concrete slabs with a polyurethane, foil-backed insulation became an additional barrier to outside elements — steps that eased workflow for the upgrade.
The homeowners decided to finish their 2,800-square-foot space with a bar area for entertaining and dancing; a casual sitting area; an exercise room; a full bathroom; and a home theater.
|The theater has many of the "must-have" characteristics of theater rooms: stadium-style seating, recessed can lighting and a raised, 100-inch screen.
Photos courtesy of BDS Group
"Any time we build new homes, we always recommend that the homeowner consider whether or not they'd want a finished basement while we're in the construction phase. This way, we eliminate some of the columns, which are usually the biggest challenge in doing basement projects," says BDS Group Founder and President Barry Salmon. He also notes his crews had roughed in ejector plumbing for the wet bar and bathroom below the slab, and the foundation was designed with 15 courses to allow for 8-foot ceilings.
During the rough-in phase of the project, BDS brought in a specialty contractor, Advance Media Systems, to help create a home theater and also run in-wall speakers throughout the basement. The theater was especially important to the client, as it would not only serve as the crown jewel of the basement, but it would also distribute high-definition video signals to the plasma television in the bar area as well as to the television in the exercise room.
And while regular fiberglass insulation was sufficient to isolate the theater's sounds from the rest of the home, the homeowner also wanted the option of customizing the sound between the theater and the sitting area outside the bar.
"We had to take into account that he wanted to be able to watch sporting events while listening to music, so the different source materials needed to both work together but also be separate when he wanted them to be," says Advance Media Systems co-owner Colleen Mizerek. The homeowner controls the system via a wireless remote.
"The stage in the front of the theater houses the subwoofer, and all the speakers are mounted on the walls to give the space a clean look," she says. "The front speakers fire through an acoustically transparent screen so there is no signal loss, which is similar to a traditional movie theater. And stadium seat risers were also fitted with tactile transducers, which enhance the low frequency effects of the audio track."
When the finishes are taken into consideration, Salmon considers the theater to be mid-level, with between $10,000 to $20,000 being spent on electronics.