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    Default Basement Design Consideration

    There's been a few basement development / entertainment threads around that I've been able to get some info on, but instead of hi-jacking those, thought I'd start my own.

    Looking to develop the basement this winter. Had the drawings completed, and the building permit approved earlier this week. Will be starting framing soon, but not sure how to approach this rec room and TV area.


    Screen Shot 2020-11-19 at 3.28.15 PM.jpg

    The TV will be going on the east wall, where the DATA marking is. Based on the dimensions of the room:

    1. Will a 75" TV be sufficient? Will be a darker room, so thinking of the Sony 900H
    2. Flipping back and forth between Sonos Arc and monoprice in wall speakers. Looking for a clean / minimalistic setup, but is putting in wall speakers in external wall recomended?
    3. Will anything above a 5.1 be overkill for the size of the room? The nerd in me would love to setup Atmos, but not sure there's space in the ceiling for proper spacing?

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    Looks like you have more than enough space for ceiling speakers, according to the Dolby Atmos design guide you want them basically right on top of where the couch is going to be.
    https://www.dolby.com/about/support/...r-setup-guide/

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    Personally I would not consider in-wall speakers for an external wall. Wall-mounted soundbar or front channels are plenty clean enough IMO, and you wouldn't need to interrupt a vapour barrier and risk condensation ruining your speakers.

    You are going to want WAY MORE than four pot lights. I have eleven 4" LED pancake lights in a 20'x14' basement rec room. You do have a window in the room which will help, but I'd plan for minimum six, probably closer 8-9 lights. Put them on a dimmer. Mind the maximum load rating of the dimmer itself. Perhaps onsider creating two "zones", one around the east wall / entertainment area (dimmed) and one behind where the couch will go.

    The manufacturer of the lights should offer a "throw distance" / illumination cone drawing you can use to more appropriately space your lights.

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    For a 75" tv, optimum distance is 10 -1/2' away, so you're good there, assuming you leave a path between the back of the couch and the bar.

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    Is the shelf indicated underneath the stairs a place you're considering an amplifier/data cabinet? If you want truly minimalistic you need to have an equipment rack somewhere out of sight but wired to your TV or projector.

    It's probably worth running a conduit out to the ceiling where a projector might go, even if you have no intention of using one yourself.


    One regret I have from finishing our basement last year was not putting pot lights into the bedrooms/office. I just went for the traditional one-overhead fixture and it's kind of dark. If you have any intention of using the space regularly, it's almost impossible to have too much lighting.

    I say almost because I definitely put too might light into a small corridor with a lower ceiling due to a bulkhead and it's obnoxiously bright.

    Otherwise, my favorite feature of our basement was the ample storage/workshop space we put in. With a detached garage, our basement has become the most secure place to store valuable items like bikes and tools.

    A lot of newly developed homes really are stingy on the storage/workshop space downstairs, which shows well when you walk through, but at least for our living needs, wouldn't be sufficient.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prae View Post
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    You are going to want WAY MORE than four pot lights. I have eleven 4" LED pancake lights in a 20'x14' basement rec room. You do have a window in the room which will help, but I'd plan for minimum six, probably closer 8-9 lights. Put them on a dimmer. Mind the maximum load rating of the dimmer itself. Perhaps onsider creating two "zones", one around the east wall / entertainment area (dimmed) and one behind where the couch will go.

    The manufacturer of the lights should offer a "throw distance" / illumination cone drawing you can use to more appropriately space your lights.

    First thing that came to mind for me too. Better to have too many pots with a dimer than not enough.
    "if you disagree with my views are cannot adequately my criticism then ignore my posts." - Nusc

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyra1ax View Post
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    Looks like you have more than enough space for ceiling speakers, according to the Dolby Atmos design guide you want them basically right on top of where the couch is going to be.
    https://www.dolby.com/about/support/...r-setup-guide/
    Ahh yes. Validation to spend money!

    Personally I would not consider in-wall speakers for an external wall. Wall-mounted soundbar or front channels are plenty clean enough IMO, and you wouldn't need to interrupt a vapour barrier and risk condensation ruining your speakers.

    You are going to want WAY MORE than four pot lights. I have eleven 4" LED pancake lights in a 20'x14' basement rec room. You do have a window in the room which will help, but I'd plan for minimum six, probably closer 8-9 lights. Put them on a dimmer. Mind the maximum load rating of the dimmer itself. Perhaps consider creating two "zones", one around the east wall / entertainment area (dimmed) and one behind where the couch will go.

    The manufacturer of the lights should offer a "throw distance" / illumination cone drawing you can use to more appropriately space your lights.
    Thanks. Vapour barrier was my concern was well. I've toyed with the idea of creating an interior wall that goes against the east wall, to put wall speakers in, but then I'm losing another few inches from overall space. I also wondered if 4 lights was enough. 4 x 6" pancake lights were recommended, but adding more seems to be the safer bet.

    For a 75" tv, optimum distance is 10 -1/2' away, so you're good there, assuming you leave a path between the back of the couch and the bar.
    Thanks for the confirmation! Will want to make sure the walkway between the couch and bar is sufficient. Should i estimate about 4'?

    Is the shelf indicated underneath the stairs a place you're considering an amplifier/data cabinet? If you want truly minimalistic you need to have an equipment rack somewhere out of sight but wired to your TV or projector.

    It's probably worth running a conduit out to the ceiling where a projector might go, even if you have no intention of using one yourself.

    One regret I have from finishing our basement last year was not putting pot lights into the bedrooms/office. I just went for the traditional one-overhead fixture and it's kind of dark. If you have any intention of using the space regularly, it's almost impossible to have too much lighting.

    I say almost because I definitely put too might light into a small corridor with a lower ceiling due to a bulkhead and it's obnoxiously bright.

    Otherwise, my favorite feature of our basement was the ample storage/workshop space we put in. With a detached garage, our basement has become the most secure place to store valuable items like bikes and tools.

    A lot of newly developed homes really are stingy on the storage/workshop space downstairs, which shows well when you walk through, but at least for our living needs, wouldn't be sufficient.
    Underneath the stairs, I already have a 12U rack with my network equipment. Rack was planned to add in a receiver and maybe XBox for basement development. I do plan on running conduit to the back of the TV area, will just have to make sure there is space. Would creating the exterior wall with 2x6,s give me some more flexibility for putting conduit down the wall outside of the vapour barrier? Also wondering if i should just use 2" PVC for conduit versus some of the more expensive 'specific' low voltage products Ive seen available.

    We're developing basement to get a bit more usable room. A large closet in the basement bedroom will help with that, plus some more functional storage in the mechanical / furnace room.

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    As a side note. Make sure those potlights aren't going to be directly above where you plan on putting couches/chairs. It's super annoying to have a light shining right above you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tik-Tok View Post
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    For a 75" tv, optimum distance is 10 -1/2' away, so you're good there, assuming you leave a path between the back of the couch and the bar.
    I'm 10ft away and I have an 85". I want to go bigger if it wasn't cost prohibitive.
    Originally posted by SEANBANERJEE
    I have gone above and beyond what I should rightfully have to do to protect my good name

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    Real life footage of @rage2 watching tv

    3140F479-2212-4445-A5C7-56E5B3AB339C.gif

    As if I’m one to talk
    Last edited by killramos; 11-20-2020 at 02:11 PM.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

    If you think I have been trying to present myself as intellectually superior, then you truly are a dimwit.
    Originally posted by Toma
    fact.

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    +1 on two overhead speakers for Atmos. Or even just rough in the wiring if you don't want to spend the money on the speakers now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by killramos View Post
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    Real life footage of @rage2 watching tv

    3140F479-2212-4445-A5C7-56E5B3AB339C.gif

    As if I’m one to talk
    Next time he upgradeseyes-looking-different-directions-duane-syndrome.jpg
    Last edited by Tik-Tok; 11-20-2020 at 02:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rage2 View Post
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    I'm 10ft away and I have an 85". I want to go bigger if it wasn't cost prohibitive.
    85" is getting in to the cost prohibitive realm for me I think. Primary viewing would be hockey (whenever it's back), and movies, which is why I'm leaning towards the Sony 900. I'll probably post in the TV recommendations thread once it comes time for that decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 94CoRd View Post
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    Underneath the stairs, I already have a 12U rack with my network equipment. Rack was planned to add in a receiver and maybe XBox for basement development. I do plan on running conduit to the back of the TV area, will just have to make sure there is space. Would creating the exterior wall with 2x6,s give me some more flexibility for putting conduit down the wall outside of the vapour barrier? Also wondering if i should just use 2" PVC for conduit versus some of the more expensive 'specific' low voltage products Ive seen available.

    We're developing basement to get a bit more usable room. A large closet in the basement bedroom will help with that, plus some more functional storage in the mechanical / furnace room.
    I don't have much experience with the larger 4x6 pancake lights, but I could see how fewer of those would create an equivalent amount of light. Recommend just reading up on the manufacturer's recommendations in terms of light cone at your ceiling height.

    I'd just go with the biggest generic/cheap option you can find. I'd try to use something like 3" ABS or PVC, but obviously if you're having to furr down the ceiling or build a weird bulkhead, maybe you want to stay fairly small in diameter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tik-Tok View Post
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    Next time he upgrades
    He upgraded to a full head of hair and a beard?
    One of those is impossible by genes, and one hasn't existed in 25 years.

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    When framing, consider how/where you would like to mount the TV. Height, angle and cables. I am personally not a fan of the tv being mounted so high.

    Don't just put in pot lights for the sake of it. As mentioned above, consider where you will put in sofa etc.
    Start with that type of light you would like and then work on they type of lights to fit that. Don't just think of ambient lighting, will you have enough light when you clean and vacuum the place for example?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 94CoRd View Post
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    85" is getting in to the cost prohibitive realm for me I think. Primary viewing would be hockey (whenever it's back), and movies, which is why I'm leaning towards the Sony 900. I'll probably post in the TV recommendations thread once it comes time for that decision.
    Those are my primary use cases too, with gaming being a 3rd. It's too bad Vizio pulled out of Canada, the Quantum X is really the best TV that's better than the 950H at the price of the 900H.

    Quote Originally Posted by sabad66 View Post
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    +1 on two overhead speakers for Atmos. Or even just rough in the wiring if you don't want to spend the money on the speakers now.
    I'd go for 4 in the ceiling, or at least pre wire/position for it. It's a pretty big difference between 2 and 4. I can only manage 2 in my setup because Atmos wasn't around back then, and the cost to rip up the ceiling to add more is ridiculous.
    Originally posted by SEANBANERJEE
    I have gone above and beyond what I should rightfully have to do to protect my good name

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    The TV can never be big enough. I would've put a 65 in the bedroom but it won't fit on the dresser without hitting the ceiling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 94CoRd View Post
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    Underneath the stairs, I already have a 12U rack with my network equipment. Rack was planned to add in a receiver and maybe XBox for basement development. I do plan on running conduit to the back of the TV area, will just have to make sure there is space. Would creating the exterior wall with 2x6,s give me some more flexibility for putting conduit down the wall outside of the vapour barrier? Also wondering if i should just use 2" PVC for conduit versus some of the more expensive 'specific' low voltage products Ive seen available.
    If you're DIY'ing the low-voltage stuff, I highly recommend getting your cabling from Infinite Cables. They're actually cheaper than Primecables I find and their materials actually have the Canadian ratings on the jackets.

    Quote Originally Posted by suntan View Post
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    The TV can never be big enough. I would've put a 65 in the bedroom but it won't fit on the dresser without hitting the ceiling.

    Ceiling mount it!

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    Those are my primary use cases too, with gaming being a 3rd. It's too bad Vizio pulled out of Canada, the Quantum X is really the best TV that's better than the 950H at the price of the 900H.

    I'd go for 4 in the ceiling, or at least pre wire/position for it. It's a pretty big difference between 2 and 4. I can only manage 2 in my setup because Atmos wasn't around back then, and the cost to rip up the ceiling to add more is ridiculous.
    900H will fit the bill thought right? Unless the 950 comes down drastically in price, it's a bit out of range for my budget and wanting to stick with a 75". I'll think about wiring for the additional speakers, but not looking to spend the additional monies required on the receiver end of things.

    If you're DIY'ing the low-voltage stuff, I highly recommend getting your cabling from Infinite Cables. They're actually cheaper than Primecables I find and their materials actually have the Canadian ratings on the jackets.
    Thank you. Will be doing all the low voltage stuff myself. Haven't used infinite cables before though.

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