Your basement has everything you need to make an ideal home theater. Basements provide quiet surroundings and little natural light, both ideal settings to watch movies. Moreover, this unused space, just like a blank canvas, allows you and your family to dream out loud. You can add as much entertainment, such as a popcorn machine, as possible to fulfill your imagination. Create an underground cinema that a real movie theater can’t compete with. Nevertheless, before your ideas go wild, be sure that you have the basics down. Here is our list of five must-haves for creating the ultimate basement home theater.
Be Considerate! Soundproof Your Home Theater
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Don’t build your happiness on others’ agony. Leave extra space in the budget for soundproofing so you don’t disturb your family when watching late-night horror films.
As concrete walls and floors will degrade the sound quality, you may want to cover them up with something softer. For example, covering the concrete floor with a sub-wood floor and carpet will prevent sound waves from bouncing off the floor. Likewise, the cement-block walls should be covered with drywall, sheetrock or wood panels. If you are looking to perfect the room’s acoustics, fabric wall panels are the way to go. A mix of absorbents, such as upholstered furniture, rugs, draperies, or Roman fabric shades will also help improve acoustics.
Find the Superstar: TV & Sound Systems
After the opening act, it’s time to introduce the superstar of your home theater: TV & sound systems. When it comes to TV size, I know many people will agree that bigger is always better. Really? According to Axiom Home Theater, your seating distance versus TV screen size will determine your sense of picture clarity and detail. Hence, before you swipe your credit card at retailers, get some advice from a few consultants. Those TV experts will offer you some proper TV options based on the size and layout of your home theater. Of course, if you are really into a movie-theater-sized screen, go for a video projection instead.
Besides the viewing experience, the ultimate home theater should also be equipped with a thrilling surround-sound system. Many home theater experts recommend in-wall or in-ceiling speakers because they can provide excellent sound reproduction. Plus, they are an aesthetic option since they eliminate any visible wires.
By the way, don’t forget to put all A/V components in a media closet to keep your theater clean. After all, you wouldn’t want to be distracted by those wires and components while watching Batman.
See what it costs to install your home theater wiring.
Don’t Overlook Lighting
Lighting is one of the key elements for a movie theater experience. My favorite lighting combination for the basement home theater is recessed ceiling lights and wall scones with dimmer controls. Task lighting is also a great addition for people who love to take notes, read movie reviews online or eat during the movie.
Unlike most basements, if your basement gets lots of natural light, you need to do a bit extra work by installing blackout curtains to cover the windows.
Enjoy Movies All Year
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Since you have invested a lot of money in your basement home theater, you want to be as comfortable as possible. A climate control system can help you reach that goal. With an intelligent climate control system, you can easily adjust the heating and cooling system so that your home theater can be maintained in the most comfortable temperature all year long. You may worry if this device is expensive. The good news is it actually lowers your energy bills because it automatically changes your climate setting to reduce energy while your home theater is not in use. A Nest would be a great investment here.
Need supplement heat during the winter? Go for a direct-vent gas fireplace, as it is safer and can make your basement more appealing. To see how much it costs for fireplace installation, check out our fireplace cost estimators.
Grab A Good Seat
To ensure that every person has a perfect view of the screen, you can put a U-shaped sectional sofa or build stadium-style seating with recliners. If your space is too small to accommodate the above seating ideas, theater-style joined chairs or a simple array of armchairs may be good substitutes. For people looking to create an actual cinema in the basement, don’t forget to choose chairs featuring cup holders and trays.
Once these five essential items have been installed, you can add some additional entertainment features such as a small refrigerator or a popcorn machine to maximize your movie experience. If you are ready to create your basement home theater, see how much you should pay with our basement cost estimator. However, if you are still looking to transform this space into your own private room, here are some tips for creating the ultimate man cave or woman cave.
ImproveNet’s Alyson Yu wrote this article.