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Home Remodel Spotlight: Adding a Home Theater

Adding a Home Theater

Nothing increases the value of your home or enhances your family’s entertainment experience like the addition of a home theater. Previously associated as a luxury amenity only available in the homes of film company executives, today’s home theaters are a popular option for any homeowner with a room to spare and a subscription to an online streaming service. If you are thinking about bringing the movie theater experience into your home, here are some ideas to think about and contact your local home remodeling contractor to consult on what goes into completing your new remodel project.  

Determine your home theater space 

Home theaters can be a great option for an unfinished basement or attic, but can also be achieved in smaller spaces, such as an extra bedroom. The main dimensional requirement is to have enough room for your desired amount of seating. If two rows of theater-style seating will accommodate your family and friends for a movie night, you may only need a space of approximately 10 x 16 feet. As you consider where you would like to install your home theater, create a list of your ideal specifications and compare it with the opportunities and limitations of the space you have available. If it seems you don’t have a room that is suitable, another option is to construct an addition on your home for your theater, and this option comes with the benefit of designing and creating the space specifically for that purpose.  

Remodeling the room 

One of the most important considerations when it comes to adding a home theater is to mind the acoustics. The theater experience is not just about a large screen, it’s also about big sound, and you’ll need to use specific materials to achieve it. The ideal material for the ceiling and walls is zero-sound drywall, which is engineered to control absorption, diffusion, and reflection of sound. This means your movie-going activities won’t disturb your neighbors, and their barking dog won’t disrupt your film. And because zero-sound drywall does all the soundproofing for you, you can paint or decorate your theater with any additional materials you desire. The type of flooring you choose is also pivotal, as hard surfaces like hardwood, tile, and concrete will distort the acoustics. Carpet is best and has ratings for sound dampening, so look for carpet that is geared toward soundproofing rooms.  

Geek out 

A home theater is a blank canvas for your technological creativity. There are the options of a projector or a flat screen, a wide array of sound systems, and myriad home automation systems to integrate your lighting scheme and give you total control from a remote or phone app. Sleek, minimalist lighting is best suited for home theaters, and there are several styles to choose from, such as dimmable recessed lighting or wall sconces, and additional lighting details like LED or fiber optic lighting strips in the floor and task lamps next to seating. It is to your benefit to work with an electrician or general contractor for all electrical installations, as they can guarantee the installation meets all building and safety codes. 

Creating a Schedule for your Next Home Remodel

Home Remodeling Contractors in San Francisco CA

Home remodel projects, whether you are adding another level to your home or simply adding a small bump-out, can alter your typical routine and disrupt the normal order of your home until they are finally wrapped up. The end result is always worth it, but it can be a relief when you get your newly remodeled home to yourself again. But how long before you can enjoy the fruits of your labor? Putting together a schedule for your next project can help you get an idea of what to expect and is an essential tool for evaluating if the remodel is on time and on budget.

Plan it out

The first step in your home remodel should be a thorough and well-researched planning process, which you can anticipate taking around one month. This portion of your project includes articulating your vision, budgeting, and yes, creating a timeline. At this point, it is also a good idea to acquire any permits or wiring or plumbing schematics you may need to begin your remodel.

This phase of your project can also be helped along with the expertise of a home remodeling contractor or general contractor in your area – don’t hesitate to use them as a resource. At Mares & Dow, we are happy to walk through the project with you, discuss the experience we have with the type of remodel you are doing, and share our insights in the planning process.

The next several steps of your remodel will vary depending on the size and complexity of what you are doing with your home, but generally speaking, most projects take between three and eight months to complete. When constructing your home remodel timeline, be sure to give yourself a little wiggle room. No matter how well prepared you and your team are for your project, it is very normal for there to be timing hiccups. Giving yourself a little padding in your schedule acknowledges Murphy’s Law while reducing your stress levels.

Schedule the project parts

For the bulk of your home remodel, there is usually an order of operations that is standard and ensures your project will go smoothly. For example, it makes sense to plan to do electrical and plumbing work after demolition and before framing and drywall. Once you know in what order to tackle the different parts of your project, you can start to build your timeline. As an example of a generic home remodel timeline, you can estimate two weeks for demolition; five days for electrical and plumbing; ten days for framing and drywall; one week for painting; ten days for installing fixtures and cabinets; five days for doors and windows; one day for cleaning up the project area and cleaning your air vents; one week for flooring; and one week for trim and finishing work. Lastly, be sure to keep in mind that some of these components of a home remodel may be able to overlap, while others will require the completion of the previous step before the next can begin.

Mares & Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling experts and enjoy working with homeowners as they start the process with their next project.  Contact us today to get started on your home remodel!

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