Build Your Own Home Theater Without Hiring the Pros
Imagine this: you walk into a large room, take a look around, and all you see is a giant movie screen, huge, comfortable chairs to relax in, swanky light fixtures on the walls and path track lighting under your feet. You wander down the hallway to find your perfect seat – not too far from the screen, but not too close to it, either. The smell of fresh popcorn fills the room as you sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
Now imagine this: all of this is right in your own home. Now it can be easier, and more affordable, than ever to build and enjoy your very own home theater, and there’s no need to even hire the professionals.
So, want to turn your home into a personal theater for your own private enjoyment that feels just like the real thing? Here’s how.
Choose A Location
The first, and most obvious, step in building a home theater is to choose a room in your home that would work well for this type of application. Try to choose a room that has plenty of space and no real function outside of being an extra room. If the room is already well-insulated, you may even be able to get away without having to sound-proof it. If not, this will be your next step.
When choosing a room that’s appropriate for a home theater, remember that you’re going to want to keep a good distance between the screen itself and the projection device. The bottom line is – choose a room with plenty of space to spare if you want the true theater experience.
Sound-Proof the Room
Sound-proofing a room can be a more difficult task than it sounds. Luckily, you have a few options that will allow you to avoid tearing down and re-insulating your walls entirely. First, thicker walls will mean that less sound will be able to travel through them. Try a product like Green Glue, which is lathered onto existing walls and acts like a caulk. It’s also known for taking sound energy and throwing it back as heat energy, so it’s cost-efficient as well as earth-friendly. All you have to do is add another layer of sheetrock or even some decorative paneling on top of the glue, but keep in mind that the glue can take up to 30 days to fully dry. Your sound-proofing will be complete once the glue is dry.
You could also try this method:
Your other option is to simply install several acoustic panels across your existing walls. While you might not get quite as thorough a sound-proofing effect, this approach can still be very effective in keeping the noise in the room. Make sure you have a sturdy wall or can find a stud to use to install the acoustic panels, as they do tend to be rather heavy.
Say the only room in your home that is currently unused is one on the second floor of your home. Of course the basement would be the ideal place for a home theater, but homes don’t always lend themselves to that. So the next best thing is simply to cover the windows with heavy curtains or a specialty product that will block out all of the light coming through into your theater.
The best option out there for a temporary solution to blacking out your windows is Blackout EZ Window Covers. This is a window cover product that doesn’t require any tools to install and will completely block out any and all light without ruining any of your existing window treatments. It’s an easy velcro technology that makes it convenient to remove, as well, should you ever want to return the theater to a normal room of your house.
Install the Hardware
While it would of course be nice to have a high-tech surround sound system installed in your new home theater, the in-depth work of installing the wiring beneath the walls can cost you quite a bit of time and money. The simple solution is to just install speakers in strategic locations throughout the room. Invest in a high-quality sound system that’s easy to install and doesn’t require too much heavy wiring.
You’ll also want to put a good chunk of money towards purchasing an HD projector unit with a large screen. Hang the screen on one wall of the room, and install a hanging projector from the ceiling at the opposite end of the room. The higher the quality of your projector, the more likely you are to feel as though you are actually in a theater.
If you want to go all out on your home theater, decorate using some sleek wall lighting sconces that remind you of the ones that you see in the real theater. You could also consider placing some rope lighting around the bottoms of the walls of the room for added mood lighting and to guide your theater guests to their seats in the dark.
Buy the Furniture
Last but not least, one of the best parts of going to the movie theater is the big reclining chairs that let you relax and watch your show without another care in the world. Shop around to find some large chairs that lean all the way back and that you sink into when you sit in them. If you find the right furniture, your family and friends will never want to leave your new home theater!