The Grotto

Welcome to Joe’s Bar and Theater

The Plan

Big Joe

First PlanHere was the first floorplan. There were a couple of issues with it. The first was that the wife wasn’t going for such a large office/studio for me at the expense of both the loss of storage, and the actual expense of the amount of framing it would take to turn that part of the basement into finished space. The second was that the width of the theater space would only comfortably hold a nine foot wide screen, and that would be smaller than the screen in our last house. And we couldn’t have that—one of the requirements we had in taking the transfer across the country was that the new house had to make the move feel worthwhile.

Because the rest of the house needed a good amount of work (deck, patio, landscaping, carpeting, paint, door knobs & hinges, drawer pulls, light fixtures, ethernet), I wasn’t granted an unlimited budget. In order to keep expenses down, we eliminated my office, and delayed the construction of the half bath.

Basement PlanInstead of putting the interior wall of the theater completely flush with the outside wall by the billiard room, I decided to push it as close to the water heater as I could, allowing for a comfortable ten-foot-wide screen, and angling the wall in the back of the room, which would be matched on the outside wall, where the radon exhaust pipe had been installed. This solves two issues by making them look like a design choice instead of having to hide something. My hope is that all of the numerous such challenges I have can be solved this way.

While drawing these plans, Dolby Labs announced a new technology for the home—Dolby Atmos. Being an over-the-top sort of guy, of course I have to add this to the design. So, in addition to the originally planned seven speakers, two subwoofers, and two rows of shaking furniture, there’ll also be four overhead speakers as well.

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