Home cinemas are the epitome of home entertainment. For film fans, sports fans or anyone who likes to be witness to a spectacle of the highest quality, not many things can beat the huge screen, crystal clear picture and immersive audio of the cinema experience. You may think that home cinemas are reserved exclusively for the mega-rich and megastars, but even though they are expensive, you can build yourself your own theatre for a price similar to that of a new hatchback.
You will probably have the potential location of your new home cinema selected already. But if not, and you have more than one space to choose from, then there are some factors that need to be considered. The prospective room should be 20 feet long by 13 feet wide, and it should be situated in relative isolation from the rest of the home, so as not to disturb other people in the house.
The go-to standard of home cinema audio is 7.1 surround sound. If you are unsure what the ‘7.1’ means, like a lot of people, then don’t worry: it means seven channel speakers and one subwoofer.
The channel speakers are situated as follows:
- One left (left side of the screen)
- One right (right side of the screen)
- One centre (above or below the screen)
- Two side surrounds (behind main row of seating, on the side walls)
- Two rear surrounds (on the back wall)
- The audio system should be pre-wired first, and unless you are a qualified electrical engineer yourself, you should contact a professional, qualified engineer to wire it for you.
Without a projector, you might as well watch TV in your living room on a normal television. For best results, a HD projector should be used (ultra HD or 4K if you have money to burn). Purchase an HDMI cable that is long enough to reach the projector, in order for it to receive HD video, and a CAT5 control wire that allows you to control the projector with a radio frequency (RF) remote control. The difference between a radio frequency remote and a normal remote is that you don’t have to point the former at the projector to operate it.
Lighting is important in any room, but in a room where the main purpose is watching TV, improper lighting can significantly hamper the experience. Recessed lighting is best for a cinema room, and by connecting the lights to an RF dimmer, you will be able to subtly change the lighting during whatever you’re watching, complementing the atmosphere and not distracting any of your ‘customers’. If you prefer, you can also set the lights to dim automatically when you press play.
This lighting requires some complex wiring, so it is important that you contact a professional, qualified engineer – unless you are one yourself!
As the most important part of the whole set up, the screen needs to be perfect. If we are going by the dimensions that we mentioned earlier, and the room is 20 feet long by 13 feet wide, then the ideal screen size is 110-120 inches. Proscenium is the perfect choice for the frame – it hides the left, right and center speakers, whilst all other speakers can also be hidden to provide a seamless, professional look.
The receiver, which connects to your speakers and the projector, is designed to accept content from a variety of devices:
- Blu ray player
- Games console
- Satellite TV feed
You need to be comfortable when sitting in front of the screen, so investing in top quality seating is worth the money. A cinema room that is 20 by 13 feet will comfortably house two rows of four seats, but it’s the type of seats that are in these rows that is most important. Leather recliners with cup holders on the armrests are the pinnacle of cinema seating, but be sure to elevate the back row so their view is not obscured.
Even if your seats are as comfortable as possible, if the temperature in the room is not right, then you and your guests could get distracted and not enjoy the atmosphere or experience. Airway Air Conditioning can provide you with the perfect air conditioning unit from any of the world’s leading brands. It will be installed perfectly and efficiently, ensuring it is ready to go quickly and you can begin to enjoy your new theatre room.
The above points are a guide to the most important features of a home cinema. It comes down to your personal tastes, your property size and how many people you plan to invite over to use your new entertainment station.
For the optimum climate control for your cinema room, you need the optimum air conditioning unit. Airway Air Conditioning can provide state of the art equipment for domestic and commercial properties alike, with efficient and professional installation, as well as servicing and maintenance work. If you would like to know more, please get in touch with us today.
Three tips when buying a new carpet
If you are like most people, you probably won’t find yourself in the position of having to buy a new carpet in Liverpool all that often. Most of us tend to live with a carpet for several years, which means it is important to choose wisely and select the right carpet for the space. Here are a few simple tips to bear in mind when you are next in the market for a new floor covering.
1. Think about where it is going
It may sound obvious but you would be surprised how many people choose carpets that are not suited to the room in which they are to be used. While the overall appearance of the carpet is important and it is easy to be swayed when you think you have found the perfect carpet for your space, you need to ensure you choose the correct type of carpet. Bedrooms are generally fairly easy to select carpets for, as a bedroom carpet does not have to be as hardwearing as one intended for use on your stairs. Hallways in particular tend to experience a lot of wear and tear, not to mention the dirt they are subjected to as people – and possibly pets – traipse through the front door. Choosing a hardwearing carpet for high-traffic areas such as stairs will ensure your flooring looks good for longer.
2. Check the colour in different lights
Many shops and department stores have poor lighting that makes it impossible to tell what a carpet will look like in situ. If possible, try to get a good look at any carpet you are considering in both artificial and natural light. If you can get hold of a small sample of your preferred carpet, even better. In this way you can check the colour against your existing decor and try it out in different parts of the room you are carpeting to see how it looks in different lights. Buying a carpet that looks a lot lighter or darker in your home than it did in the store can be an irritating and costly mistake.
3. Get it professionally fitted
A professional fitting can make a world of difference to the overall appearance and lifespan of your carpet. You might feel reasonably confident about laying a budget carpet in a small room such as a study or box room by yourself, but larger rooms or awkward spaces can be tricky, even for experienced professionals. While it might be tempting to save money on the cost of installation, this is often a false economy.
CCTV has always been a security measure that is commonly reserved for businesses such as shops, manufacturers and various stores. However, what people often fail to realise is the numerous benefits of having CCTV installed in and around your home.
In this day and age we are seemingly having to pay insurance for everything and with premiums increasing every year people look for more ways to reduce what they pay. Installing a CCTV system in your home is a great way of reducing what you pay each month and any insurance company will agree. The more advanced the system, the more secure your home is in the eyes of insurers so as a result will lower what you have to pay. CCTV can be quite costly initially but you have to think of it as a long term one off investment that will provide your home with security for years to come as well as saving you more money than it cost to install.
That being said, not all CCTV systems are that expensive so you do not have to worry about being bankrupt in doing so. In the past it would have been costly to install but recent technological advances now mean that more affordable systems are available.
Home security has never been more important but with modern CCTV recording equipment you are able to not only record but transmit the footage as it happens. This footage can be streamed to anywhere in the world to any device of your choosing whether it be a laptop, portable tablet or even your mobile phone. You can either monitor it yourself and be sent alerts to your device when movement occurs or even have a specialised security monitoring company do it for you.
For some, even opening the front door can be a frightening process even if you have a peephole. If it is night time and you don’t have a well-lit porch then you never know who you’re answering your door to. CCTV placed above your door can help you see who is there at all times and who has been there. It could even be to see if a delivery attempt was made to your home or if a friend stopped by whilst you were out.
Finally, if your home does happen to be broken into, vandalised or even if you are being harassed, CCTV will provide you with a concrete source of evidence. The authorities and courts will accept this when prosecuting so you no longer have to be worried if you are away from home.
These are just a few of the benefits that come with having CCTV installed in your home. Once you have it you will realise how advantageous it can be whilst providing you with peace of mind.
To avoid any further damage to your property and to stand the best chance of salvaging your items from flood damage, here are our top tips of dos and don’ts in form of this handy infographic. Image Credit: CleanSafe Services Scotland
Heading off on holiday this year? You’ve probably already renewed your passport, bought more sun cream than you need and double checked the tickets a thousand times. However, home security is often overlooked and left to the last minute — despite 60% of burglaries occurring when properties are empty.
Ensuring your property is secure for the duration of your trip is crucial regardless of how long you’re away for. From weekend breaks to extended vacations, security systems specialist GPS Installations shows how to keep your home safe this summer.
Lock it up
Locking up your property may seem obvious, but it can be easy to forget about an open window or exterior building. Before your holiday, examine the current locks on your property to make sure they are completely secure. Carry out repairs and replacements where necessary.
Check all windows and doors are shut and locked before you leave. In addition, make sure sheds, garages and outside storage are locked up too, to keep your belongings safe.
Make it look occupied
If it looks like your home is occupied, the property will become less of a target, as the high risk could deter potential thieves. There are a number of ways you can make your property look lived in, including:
- Cancelling deliveries — a build-up of milk or newspapers on your doorstep is a clear sign that your property is empty. Cancel the deliveries before you leave.
- Ask a trusted neighbour, friend or family member to call round — if your curtains haven’t been opened in the best part of a week, suspicions may start to arise that your property is empty. To give the appearance of someone living there, give your keys to a trusted neighbour, friend or family member and ask them to pop in every day to open/shut the curtains and clear the mail. Don’t forget to give them your house alarm pin too, if you have one.
- Consider light timers — invest in timer switches to turn lights on and off at certain times, creating the illusion that somebody is inside your home.
Deterrents like house alarms and CCTV systems can help prevent break in’s from happening all together. Dummy systems are available and, while they are intended to deter, criminals are often able to spot the difference between a dummy and the real thing.
In addition, you’ll actually benefit more by having a real system installed. For example, a working alarm system will alert your neighbour to an intruder and potentially scare them off. Likewise, CCTV systems can capture criminals in the act, which could help lead to a prosecution.
Deterrents can benefit virtually any property, so they’re always worth considering.
Check your home insurance policy
Should the worst happen and your property is broken into, you’ll want the peace of mind that you’re covered for the items taken and the damage caused. Before you set off on holiday, check that your home insurance policy is still valid and make sure it offers the correct cover for your needs. Don’t leave anything to chance just to keep costs down — it could cost you a lot more in the long run.
Finding the perfect fireplace to suit the heating requirements and decor of your home is an important, and often painstaking, task. This article will provide you with specialist advice and information for the selection process, so you know exactly what you need when contacting a fireplace expert.
Home improvement articles, such as this one from Reader’s Digest, suggest that you first determine the main purpose of your fireplace: are you looking for a design with a high heat output, aesthetic appeal, or both? This will help refine the selection process, making it much easier to find the right design to suit your requirements.
If the functionality of a fireplace is an important factor in your decision-making, you must carefully consider your choice of fuel:
- Wood burning: Installed with a chimney or flue system, wood burners boast eco-friendly, self-sufficient qualities.
- Multi-fuel: From logs to smokeless fuels, multi-fuel stoves can burn a variety of fuels to suit your needs. Not only that, this type of fireplace can also provide a very high heat output for a long duration of time.
- Gas: As the most cost-effective option, a gas fire can heat an entire room using less energy than alternative designs, saving you money on your energy bills. Not only that, the flickering flame effect of a gas fire eliminates any mess during operation.
- Electric: According to the buyers guide from The Fireplace Studio, electric fires combine the high performance of wood-burners with a low maintenance, energy efficient design.
Homes with a chimney
The type of chimney or flue you have in your home typically determines which style of fireplace or stove you can have installed. You can refer to buyers guides, such as the one from The Fireplace Studio, to help you identify the chimney or flue in your home, how it works and the measurements involved, so you are fully informed when contacting a professional.
It’s also worth noting that thorough chimney maintenance – such as having your chimney swept – is recommended to ensure it is in good condition and remains fully functional.
Homes without a chimney
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a chimney in your home to have a fireplace. In actual fact, there are several options available if you are looking to create a fireplace feature in your home without a chimney:
- Electric fire: available in built-in, inset and freestanding models
- Powered flue: powered by a fan which transfers fumes from the fire and removes them through a rear vent
- Balanced gas flue fire: a flue system is installed which draws clean air through an outer pipe, whilst combustion gases are removed via an inner pipe to the exterior of your home
After considering the purpose of your fireplace, the type of fuel you would like to use and whether or not your home has a chimney, there are a plethora of styles available for you to choose from. Depending on your requirements, the selection includes:
- Gas Stoves
- Wood Burners
- Inset/Outset Gas Fires
- Balanced Flue Fires
- Electric Fires
- Open Fireplaces (Inglenook fires)
Whether your home has a chimney or not, the comprehensive range of fireplace styles available on today’s market means you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect design.
If you’re about to splash out on a brand new kitchen this year then you’ll no doubt want to be spending your money wisely. The kitchen is one of the most vital rooms in the home and can add significant value to your property if the space is used wisely. Before you begin planning your new kitchen, take minute to look through these key design tips and ensure you factor them into your design.
One thing people need an abundance of is surface space, so don’t undervalue its importance when creating your plans. To maximise the amount of surface space you create you could add an island or an L shaped arm from the edge of the room. Choose a sturdy but attractive work surface so that, regardless of whether people want a food prep area or just an area to sit and eat breakfast at, you end up with a practical space.
Another key design matter people often overlook is their lighting. While you have the bright sunshine in summer you have to consider how dark things can get in winter, especially if you’re hemmed in by cupboards overhead. For this reason, in addition to any lights you have in the ceiling, you should get lights under your cupboards. These can come in the form of spotlights or longer strip lighting and can be turned on and off individually if you want the flexibility in your lighting.
The main purpose of the kitchen is to cook, so it stands to reason that the oven you choose is selected specifically for your layout and the needs of your family. There are many different manufacturers, models and designs available to you and it can be a little overwhelming if you’re not sure which cooker to buy. To help make the process of selecting a new appliance easier you can take a look at the Domex buying guide for ovens here.
Colours & Trends
It’s great to have a colour scheme in mind, picking a couple of colours as your main palette base and perhaps a third minor colour. This helps to keep the design of your kitchen from getting out of hand and gives it an attractive finish. However, keep your eye on the latest kitchen trends and ensure you aren’t throwing all your passion into one particular design which will be dated before you know it. Something timeless and suited to your own taste will undoubtedly stand the test of time better than some fad, which you could end up paying more than you should for.
Storage & Bins
One practical aspect of modern kitchen design is that we have started to hide our bins, dividing them into ordinary waste and recycling waste. This is a great way to tidy up the room, but it does beg the question: how much space do you have to play with? If you have enough for everything plus a bin cupboard then great, but if you don’t you need to think about where everything will fit. Cupboards, drawers and pullout racks all need to be planned in with a specific purpose to ensure you make the most of your space.
Thinking about the future of your new kitchen, keep in mind the changing fads and fashions and try to create something both practical and long lasting in terms of its aesthetic appeal.
Author – Domex Appliance Repairs London