How to Build a Home Cinema

home-cinema

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.

Location

location

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.

Surround Sound

surround-sound

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.

Projector

projector

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

lighting

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!

Silver screen

silver-screen

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
  • PC
  • Satellite TV feed
  • Seating

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.

Climate control

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.


Renovating the House- 4 Essential Tips

Renovating the house is not a walk in the park; just ask the 2012 winners of the Telegraph Homebuilding & Renovating Awards. The event celebrates the best in British self-build, and the front-runners have had to endure blood, sweat and tears in order to create spectacular masterpieces.

The overall winner, Tim and Ceridwen Coulson, from Monmouthshire in South East Wales, created a stunning three-storey, four-bedroom house. The property was awarded the crown title for its outstanding natural beauty but it did not come easily. An old worker’s cottage was bought for £350,000; the owners had to endure four years of planning debates, 18 months of bat inspections; and in total the project cost £730,000.

So what are the essentials that you need when revamping your property? Here is an expert guide.

  • Generator

When the house is in a state of repair and every room looks like a building site, the last thing you need is the inability to be able to run hot water, take a shower or put on the heating.

Power is vital to carry out your day to day tasks as normal and if the mains supply is cut-off, you will need an alternative power source in the form of a generator. This can also help you power some of the building tools, like the cement mixer and pneumatic drill.

  • Materials

Before you start the build, write down a list of all the materials that you need. You need to take into account how much space you have available for the size of the resources, so it may be that you need to order some in now, and save others for later on in the project.

By organising what materials you need, you can calculate your budget. What kind of materials do you need and which ones do you want? Have you considered eco-friendly supplies? It may cost you more money now but it will save you much more in the long-term.

  • Expert help

You will need to employ contractors for particular parts of the project. A lot of the building work you should be able to do yourself however, there will be certain jobs which are dangerous and require expertise. The electrical wiring, roofing and plumbing, should all be undertaken by professionals.

  • Planning permission

Before you even do anything, are there any planning restrictions in place? This is absolutely essential; just take the following case in Gloucestershire for example.

The owner of a secret house is being asked by the council to pull it down because the building is outside the settlement boundary, and its authorised use is only for a garden centre, not to be used as a home. Stroud District Council says the whole building, which has a fully-furnished bedroom, lounge and a tiled shower room, must come down.

Don’t waste money, time and effort building a property if there are constraints in place. It will only be torn down at a later date.

Follow this guide to ensure you have all the necessities, when it comes to your self-build project. With regards to actual tools, check out this post on the fundamental apparatus, every person should have in their tool box.

This article was provided by Mather & Stuart, specialists in generators to hire and buy. If you need emergency power fast, visit the site today.


Five Kitchen Renovation Mistakes To Avoid

A kitchen renovation is one of the most expensive home improvement projects you will ever undertake. It is also, of course, one of the most important, since a properly functioning kitchen is essential to the functioning of the whole household. For both these reasons, mistakes made in the process of renovation can be disastrous, yet it is remarkable how the same mistakes are made over and over again. It is a good idea to find out what mistakes to avoid before, rather than after, making them.

Keeping Up With The Joneses

It is a sad fact that one of the most common reasons for undertaking a kitchen makeover is envy of someone else’s kitchen, or wanting other people to envy yours. This leads to a compulsion to follow the latest fads and fashions, even though these will almost certainly be outdated in a couple of years. You should never lose sight of the fact that a kitchen renovation is supposed to last on average 12-15 years, so you need to concentrate on a timeless look, and on what really works for you.

Temptation To Over-Customise

This is the other side of the same coin. Bringing back the special unique tiles from Tuscany which you so much admired may give your kitchen a bit of snob value, but you will have a problem replacing them if they get damaged. In addition, if you put your house on the market, prospective purchasers may hate them and it may put them off buying.

Getting Your Measurements Wrong

It is surprising how many people make this mistake — ordering the wrong size of appliances or kitchen units because the measuring has not been done correctly. Even being a centimeter out in your measurements can prove disastrous. In most cases you are better off using a professional kitchen fitter, who can plan your project from the start, but of course you have to be careful to choose one who is reputable and competent.

Forgetting About Storage

It is quite common for homeowners to find on completion of their kitchen makeover that not only do their pots and pans not fit where they are supposed to go, but there is not enough storage capacity overall. You need to work out what you will require in the initial planning stages, not halfway through. In fact, it is a good idea to prepare an inventory in advance, to ensure you have the correct type and amount of storage. In addition, make sure it is organized for efficiency — have cooking utensils close to where the cooking is done, not at the other end of the room.

Working In The Dark

This is said to be one of the most common mistakes. The majority of people still assumes that the old style of lighting — a bulb hanging from the middle of the ceiling — is all that is available. However, poor lighting can be a real hindrance to cook, let alone all the other things you might want to do in the kitchen, like sitting at the table checking your household accounts. Nowadays there is a wide variety of task and ambient lighting available, meaning you can have the right light in the right place for the right purpose.

For most families, the kitchen is the hub of the house, so it makes sense to take the time and care to get it exactly right. There are many mistakes that can be made and you can read about more of them at http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/10-mistakes-in-kitchen-design.htm There are no hard and fast rules — just make sure you get the kitchen that is right for you and your family.

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Turning Your Basement Into An Entertainment Lounge [Guest Post]

Entertainment LoungeBasement is often an ignored part of the house. Majority of us use it just as a storage space. However, basement when utilized properly can be turned into a very useful space. A basement can be turned into a small additional bedroom or a study or an entertainment lounge. In my opinion the best way to utilize a basement is to turn it into an entertainment lounge. There are plenty of advantages of turning the basement into an entertainment lounge. In most houses basement is designed in such a way that the sound coming from the basement generally doesn’t disturb the neighbours  Hence basement is a great option for an entertainment lounge. Also an entertainment lounge is a great venue for home parties. In this article we would be discussing, ways in which you can turn your basement into an entertainment lounge.

Every entertainment lounge has a main area or a feature which attracts the attention of visitors. Not every visitor may utilize it, but it’s always good to have such an area of attraction. In case of home based entertainment lounge, a small bar is the perfect choice for such an area. There are two things which you need to consider when planning a small bar. First, it should be easily accessible and should have plenty of sitting space around it. Second, it should have plenty of electrical connections which can be used for the blenders and other appliances. Also a general tip to make your bar look elegant is to place the ornate bottles at the back and the shorter bottles in front of them. It is always a good idea to extend the bar a little,so that it can easily double up as a snacks counter when there are plenty of kids. Also granite is the best option for the bar counter. It looks elegant and has been in trend since ages.

No entertainment lounge is complete without proper entertainment facilities. A wide Tv screen is your best and most affordable option. However, you also need to take care of the acoustics. If the acoustics are not proper then you can easily correct them with common household items like curtains or things made of rubber. Both these materials absorb sound to certain extent and can be used in the general decoration of the basement as well, hence they won’t look out of the place either. This would help you in saving thousands of dollars which you would have otherwise spent on sound technicians.

If you take care of both these aspects then you can easily turn your basement into a throbbing entertainment lounge for your family and friends.

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Amanda perry works as a interior design and specialises in Remodeling and Home Improvement.


Steps Towards Remodelling Your Bathroom [Guest Post]

Bathroom RemodellingRemodelling your bathroom is a rare home project that incurs large expense and equally a huge return. As per your experience and budget with do-it-yourself projects, it is possible to do all or some of the work by yourself. Completing a step-by-step remodelling project of your bathroom is generally a function of enthusiasm, patience and planning. Most people assume that plumbing jobs are dirty and difficult, but one can be able to do most of the work. You can consider hiring a professional who will handle tasks which are out of your comfort zone.

How To Remodel Your Bathroom:

Measure the wall areas and floor space of the bathroom.

On a graph paper, sketch the measurements of the room, including windows and door openings. If needed, identify where light and space can be added. Identify the major fixtures that you need. If possible leave the toilet on the plan grid in its current location, but upgrade the toilet to a more modern design having water-saving fixtures. In a pre-made design unit, select a shower or sketch a tiled shower having glass doors. Choose a jetted tub or bathtub which harmonizes every aspect in regards to the shower. Invest in bronze or nickel faucets over cheap stainless choices. Purchase sinks, cabinetry and fixtures, and find somewhere onsite to store them while your old bath is being gutted. If no storage is available, schedule the exact time of delivery.

The next step is to disconnect electricity and plumbing in your bath area. Once that’s done, tear out old flooring, walls and plumbing appliances as required, and drag the materials off of your premises.

Make any needed structural modifications to the room beginning with the ceiling and then add recessed lighting fixtures or a skylight or install a bigger window in any of the external walls.

Once that’s done you should install a sub-flooring and drywall. Ensure you route all new plumbing and wiring via wall stud areas prior to nailing on drywall. Install all water lines and drain lines in the joist area of the floor before you nail in place new sub-flooring.

If desired, add a new bathtub and shower plus faucets as well as accompanying hardware and complete the flooring. You can install porcelain or ceramic tiles or put vinyl sheeting flooring. Allow all grout regions to dry for a period of 24 hours. Place the new toilet using a wax seal then attach water lines. Install the sink (s) and vanity cabinet as the focal points of the room. Remember that the colour of the surrounding decor or cabinetry including wallpaper or art must draw the eye towards the vanity wall.

To the wall on top of the vanity you then add your lighting appliances. You can add a lighting bar having clear bulbs or a complex light fixture which is held to the wall over the sink space. If you desire, install within the ceiling space a light fixture. Include details such as towel bars and shelving and throughout the space put in all

baseboard materials. On the wall above the vanity, secure a big mirror. When you have installed light fixtures as well as new electrical outlets, connect the room’s electricity and you would have a perfect bathroom.


5 Tips To Keep In Mind When Seeking Bids For A Home Remodel [Guest Post]

Remodelling Tips90% of “ad-on” work can be avoided in the bidding process.  Always write out a detailed description of the work you are looking to have performed, and provide it to ALL contractor’s bidding the job.  If the scope changes during a “walk through” with one bidding contractor, be sure to call other bidders to convey the changes.  You will only be able to make an informed decision about what you are paying for if ALL bidders are providing estimates on the same line items and level of quality.

Any contractor who missed things in the walk through that was noticed or mentioned by another contractor should heighten your awareness about both contractors.  The one who missed it may be looking for extras later or not as capable as he let on; the one who pointed it out may be the person you are looking for despite the price difference.

Always get at least three similar estimates.  It is your responsibility to choose the right person for the job.  You can only do this by committing yourself to the bidding process on the front end.  The three bids should be from companies of equal caliber – same size, same qualifications, same quality clientele, etc.

When getting an estimate, begin your interview process on the initial phone call.  If the contractor does not answer the phone or return your phone calls, cross them off your list and move on.  Do not look back.

Ask as many questions as you can before scheduling an estimate.  Your time is valuable and you can save much of it by pre-screening people before you meet them.

If a contractor cannot provide any references for the specific type of work being bid, he may not be right for that project.  Be sure to call the references when they are provided. If the contractor, or home remodel company  does not have reference from similar past work, it can mean that they either have never done that specific type or job, or executed it with poor quality.  Either way it is a red flag to be wary of.  If you live in the south-western United States, a san diego home remodeler is a great place to start due to the high concentration of high value homes in that region.