Including a Home Threatre in a Custom Home… Is it Worth the Expense?
Is a home theatre worth the extra expense and space when building a custom home? At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, as custom homebuilders we have heard both sides of that debate and understand the various viewpoints. Let’s face it, there are some of us that just don’t; that is DON’T; go to movies or watch many movies at home. For those people building a custom home, the home theatre is not considered as a useful option. That’s not to say that an exercise room or a large game room is out of the question. Each of our custom homebuyers designs the home of their choice and includes the features most important to them.
For some custom homebuyers, especially in today’s market, a room dedicated to showing movies or watching television has been postponed to the next custom home. In today’s market, custom homes are getting smaller with emphasis on the most important and frequently used spaces. The home theatre is one of those rooms that have been eliminated by a few of our custom homebuyers. Not only has the complete home theatre room been scrapped but also, the rarely use formal dining rooms and formal living rooms have been eliminated replaced by large great rooms and larger kitchens designed with family and entertaining in mind.
For those custom homebuyers that are movie families, the families that adore going to movies and even more would enjoy the movie experience without ever leaving their home, the home theatre is in. For these custom homebuyers, the ability to enjoy professional, cinema style presentations of movies or sporting events all in the comfort of their own home makes a home theater a valuable and useful amenity to them.
A home theatre, without a dedicated room, can be as simple as a large entertainment area within a family room or game room that delivers the ultimate in large screen display and a sound system that simulates the cinema experience. The home theatre can also be the ultimate in home entertainment with a dedicated room for movies, favorite television programs, and sporting events. Theatre style chairs, lighting, temperature controls, black out shades, sound absorption or custom draperies, and the ultimate in state-of-the-art electronics systems can create the ultimate relaxing and entertaining cinema style experience.
At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, we have constructed dedicated rooms as home theatres for some of our custom homebuyers. The rooms begin as any other room, yet at the rough electrical stage of construction we begin installation of the structured wiring necessary for the locating audio and video central control units and ancillary speakers throughout the room. During the insulation stage of construction, we make a point to insulate these walls reducing transmitted noise. The floor is elevated by several inches one or more times in the framing stage of construction for elevating theatre style seating allowing unobstructed views of the large screen. In the finishing stages of construction the fine details of the audio and video electronics systems are worked out. Finally, the entire system including lighting, temperature controls, draperies, sound and video are controlled by one centralized remote control. When accessorizing or decorating such rooms, voluminous flowing curtains or other wall treatments may be added to absorb reverberated sound minimizing its transmission to the next rooms. Accessorizing these rooms with theatre style chairs, colorful large print carpet, flowing draperies adding the elegance of an old theatre and popcorn machines add to the fun and relaxing atmosphere of these home theatre rooms.
The cost of a home theatre varies by the size and complexity of the construction and electronic systems selected. The structural and construction details of the room are similar to construction of other rooms, but the varying costs of a home theatre are totally dependent upon the type of audio and video and electronic systems selected. There are generally packages available from home theatre electronics companies ranging from $6,000 to $30,000 per package.
At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, we recommend that if a home theatre is planned and designed for a custom home, to include the home theatre in the initial construction stage. We have had some custom homebuyers reserve a third or fourth car garage-stall for a home theatre to be constructed later. It’s been our experience, that it is actually more economical to install the home theatre with the initial custom home construction. This makes sense for a couple of reasons, such as modifying a garage means partial demolition of the garage to replace with sound exterior walls and removing existing drywall and insulation for complete rewiring the room with the necessary structured wiring. Then rebuilding the interior of the space.
As custom homebuilders we enjoy assisting our custom homebuyers decide if a home theatre is right for them. If so, is a large screen television in a family room with a great audio system enough for them, or is an ultimate cinema-style home theatre better for their lifestyle? Whatever our custom homebuyers choose, our network of architects, subcontractors and home theatre experts can help them to achieve the theatre of their dreams.
This home theatre room highlights some of the features of a custom home theatre. This home theatre room is located in the center of the home off a hallway. This room, located on the interior of the home, doesn’t have any windows for natural light. All lighting is overhead or wall-mounted. The speakers are inconspicuously flush with the walls. Controls are mounted on either side of the screen enclosed within cabinetry. The carpet selected by the homeowners is a large colorful print in movie reels and popcorn. The theatre style chairs have been elevated permitting unobstructed views of the screen. The arms of the theatre style chairs are flanked with drink holders adding to the cinema style experience.