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Build Your Home Theater – Blueprints

Build Your Home Theater – Blueprints

In my opinion, the most important thing that you need to do before the construction phase of your home theater is to draw out your idea. Just as a worker needs a blueprint to construct a building, you also need some sort of drawing to follow when you actually get to the construction phase of your home theater. You need to do this for a number of very good reasons:

If you have people helping you during construction, it will give them a better understanding of what you’re trying to do.

It will be easier for you to make a shopping list of construction materials you need.

You can experiment with different ideas regarding seating arrangements, speaker placement and location of equipment before you start physically moving things around.

It will stop you from constantly changing your mind during construction because you didn’t have a plan.

Most importantly… once it is on paper, you won’t forget the “look and feel” ideas you initially had. Construction can take months to complete and you’re going to forget all those great ideas.

Now don’t get me wrong, you don’t need to get out a drafting table and that funky blue paper, but I do know some people who purchased architect software to design their home theater blueprints. All you really need is a piece of paper or notebook to keep track of all your drawings and ideas.

Start by drawing the basic shape of your room and scribble in all the things that are already there. I love dealing with a room that is completely empty because all I have to pay attention to are the electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, and any objects that cannot be moved.

The TV, receivers, speakers, subwoofers and amplifiers are all added next… you don’t need to draw it perfectly to scale, but at this point you’ll get a better idea of where everything will be in relation to the entrance and your proposed seating arrangement. Try to be realistic here and keep things in perspective; don’t draw your speakers larger than your TV if they aren’t.

One of the most important things you must detail in your blueprint is the location of your electronics and all the wiring (speaker/electrical/cable/satellite) that will be needed to connect everything together. If you decide to put your equipment in the back of the theater, you MUST detail how the wiring will travel through the walls to your speakers and to the TV in the front of the room. This will save you headaches when you start running wire.

Once you have everything drawn in, you should finish your blueprint by asking yourself the following questions:

Do I need to remove, move, or add any electrical outlets?

Is the existing lighting conducive to a theater design? Do I need to add any lighting or put lighting on separate switches?

Are the seats arranged so I can walk safely around them when the lights are off? Do I need to construct more than 1 row of seating?

Are my electronics in a location where I can easily access them during a movie in the dark?

Do I need sound insulation in the walls/ceiling?

Remember that you are going to run into a lot of interesting problems during the construction phase, and no blueprint will ever foresee all those situations. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’ve thought of everything, but be rest assured that while you were drawing your blueprint, you thought of things that could have gone wrong and worked around them already.…

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My Home Audio Equipment Throughout The Years

My Home Audio Equipment Throughout The Years

When I was younger, even though we didn’t have that much money, we still had a nice home audio system. This was the early nineties and CDs still had different quality levels of digital recording. My father played Bach loudly on his home audio equipment, and sometimes he mixed in rock ‘n’ roll. I didn’t like the classical music at first, although today I love it.

Growing up, music was important. By the time I was buying my own CDs, my room was a haven. I had my own bathroom, a big bed, colorful lighting and a stereo with a remote control I used whenever there were commercials on the radio or a song came on I didn’t like. It wasn’t the best home audio system but it worked for me. Then we moved and my stereo became fuzzy and broken with age. I inherited my father’s home audio equipment with its still-powerful Japanese speakers and slick black design.

I listened to music loudly during my teenage years, as do most teenagers, but then the iPod came out. This was a different beast. Music was no longer on discs, it was on computer files. So are you telling me I have to convert all my CDs onto my computer? Fine. Ever since then it has been less about buying albums and more about downloading tracks. I still value and treasure my home audio system, but instead of the individual player and receiver I had when I was in high school, I use my computer as my dock. I’ve invested in nice speakers still, so I have good home audio speakers, but I no longer listen to the radio. What about music in the future?

I want to be able to plug in an iPod or whatever music device I have to a wall in my home and have my home audio speakers blast it throughout the house, according to which rooms I allow it. Same goes for the car. There will be a music subscription service that plays whatever music you want, while also having access to your personal collection, and you will be able to bump it over your automotive electronics. This may take ten years or so but the future will be glorious when it comes. If there’s anything I was taught while growing up, it’s that music is powerful. It can make you feel better when you’re having a tough time, and there’s always something to match what you’re doing. That’s why it’s important to invest in it and reap the benefits for years.…

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Why You Should Invest In High Quality Appliances

Why You Should Invest In High Quality Appliances

The smallest opportunities to economize on household expenses is deemed valuable by most of us these days. It just isn’t a good idea for us to forgo of any chance to save money, considering the world economy is not at its best. Unfortunately, some people do not understand that there are things we can economize on and those for which we may just need to invest, even our hard-earned money. Home appliances are some of these things.

When we buy cheap, substandard appliances, we may be sacrificing a lot without even knowing it. Consider the following:

Environmental Impact

By using low-quality appliances, we could be adding to the problem of carbon emissions which will not be good for our environment. Using a high quality refrigerator, for example, may have us paying more, but it will keep us from worsening the already deteriorating condition of mother earth.


When we use an appliance that is not made to handle voltage surges arising from faulty circuits or lightning, it could end up being damaged or cutting electrical supply in the house. This is not to mention that the worst thing this cause is fire. A high quality appliance will surely be a worthy investment because it will have the right features that will limit the damage to itself. This means safety for our other appliances and our lives.

High Quality Equals Long Life

When we buy cheap appliances, we think we have gotten lucky. Not all the time. In fact, these low-cost appliances will never work long enough and can simply shut off in as short as one month, thus, needing replacement.


Many of us buy cheap, substandard appliances because we want to be able to save money. That’s what we think. These appliances never work long enough and will cost us more in terms of repairs.

In most cases, the appliances simply shut off in a matter of a few months and, thus, require replacement. This causes to spend even more than the amount we would have shelled out once for a product that may have cost more but would have served us better and longer. In terms of electricity, high quality appliances also let us save on electric bills because they are built to consume at least half of the energy that cheap brands do. Definitely, this is a plus for those who are serious about making the best use of their money.…

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Tips to Upgrade a Home for Comfort, Efficiency

Tips to Upgrade a Home for Comfort, Efficiency

When purchasing a house for the first time, some homebuyers will forego many of the luxuries and extra amenities and stick to the basics. This may be due to lack of funding or inability to find the right place at the right time. Later on, they may be ready to make some improvements and stay where they are, rather than moving into a new home. By making changes and adding some creature comforts, not only will the home be a more pleasant place to live, but the home’s property value will likely increase.


Upgrading the shower and bath areas of a home can give them a feel of luxury and comfort. The newest trends for homes in Northern Virginia are granite and other types of natural stone. These materials are durable and easy to care for, not to mention eye-catching. They add an air of elegance to the bathroom with granite vanities, showers, baths and flooring. With many colors and varieties to choose from, they will fit in with any d?�cor and make a practical replacement of the worn ceramics from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.

Air Conditioning

Many older homes still have the original air systems from when the dwelling was built. In many cases, this means none at all. Once considered a luxury, many Northern Virginia homes do not have the comfort of central air conditioning systems. Instead, they have window units that are taxing the structures and do a poor job of being energy efficient. Gaps and cracks between the window units and the windows themselves allow drafts and moisture to pass through at will. Homeowners can install a centralized system to help them cope with the hot and humid summers in Northern Virginia. Air conditioning is no longer a luxury for most people, but a necessity. Installing a new system or replacing the old one will make the home more marketable in the future and more livable in the present.


They say a man’s home is his castle. Adding the comforts of entertainment will make it more enjoyable to stay in and relax. This can quickly become a place where friends and family will want to spend quality time. This is done by redesigning the sights and sounds with a home theater. Northern Virginia trends include large screen television, first-rate audio and even a home security surveillance system to improve the look and feel of the home. Watching favorite movies or catching a game takes on a whole new meaning when the picture is clear and the room makes the audience feel as if they are sitting in a movie theater, rather than their own basement.…

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Need for Home Entertainment Systems Booming

Need for Home Entertainment Systems Booming

It’s during winter period when people prefer to stay indoors and watch movies in the comfort of their home with all heating arrangements around. Many more people plan to buy a good home theater system or home entertainment system which creates a movie like effect at home.

Whenever you attend any concert is it indoor or outdoor you are really amazed at the type of ambiance created with wonderful lighting and wonderful sound arrangements from all directions. It gets reflected and reinforced from all side walls and ceilings in indoor concerts or even from greenery around your buildings at outdoor venues.

Have you ever visualized if you could get a chance to create such an arrangement at home. These sound reflections make your recording sound much more real once played through surround sound systems at home. Now there is need to upgrade your old noisy stereo speakers with new surround sound speakers.

Please have a look at the below mentioned points which can guide us in a better manner:

1A well-engineered and good recording makes any sound system sound like a star. Many music and movie websites focus on the artistic aspect of recordings to better rate your sound quality

2Speakers are an important part of your music system it is advisable to place them carefully within the room area

3Check out your subwoofers adjustment settings properly as well powered subwoofers give deep bass and dramatic low-frequency effects for home theater systems

4Check the home theater receivers auto set up calibration features properly

In order to get rid of sound disturbances and get subtle sound quality there is need for use of upgraded electronic systems. In such cases the use for large powerful amplifier brings in real contiguity if your AV or stereo receiver or amplifier is under powered.

It’s quite clear that the use of well-designed loudspeaker device actually makes your sound change your life in a real good sense.

Whenever you shop for loudspeakers, it should be kept in mind that price off course influences the physical size of speakers and subwoofers. In general large physical size of speakers or subwoofers cabinet can suggest powerful deep bass potential output. There are speakers available in market that has passed through long acoustical research, and scientific listening tests to judge their products quality. There are many speaker companies who have put into their best efforts to manufacture audio products which must deliver quality results at output.…

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Retractable Projection Screen – How Do You Know You Are Getting the Best Projector Screen Possible?

Retractable Projection Screen – How Do You Know You Are Getting the Best Projector Screen Possible?

A retractable projection screen could be the best projector screen for your home theater. There are many reasons why you would want to choose a high quality retractable motorized projector screen instead of a fixed projector screen.

Imagine this situation…

You set up your home theater, and you decide to save some money and go for a painted projector screen. You spend the time painting the wall, and then just a day later some company comes over, and you see marks all over the wall. Inevitably these marks drive you crazy when watching movies and you decide to repaint the screen. A couple months later some more marks show up, and you end up painting the screen again.

This is very common with painted screens and can be avoided with a quality retractable projector screen for your home theater.

Here are 4 key factors to look at when purchasing a retractable electric projection screen:

You will need to choose the screen color, and material type appropriate for your home theater. The typical coloring is matte white which is a good all around color. A brighter projector screen material such as one coated with melted glass beads will be more sensitive to ambient light, while a darker display will reflect less overall light and look better with ambient lighting.

Also, the material that you choose should be cleanable. Typically the display area can be easily cleaned if you purchase a quality name-brand such as a Draper, Da-Lite or elite projection screen. However, if you decide to go with a lesser known brand you will want to check to make sure that it is a cleanable surface. A good cleanable display will last for many years.

Make sure that you pick a screen that can retract to the right screen ratio for your projector. A high definition projector will be best with a screen size of 16:9, and a normal definition projector will work best with a 4:3 ratio. If the screen is not usable at the proper ratio there will be annoying white space on at least two sides of the screen. Typical the price for a HDTV projection screen will be a bit higher, but it is well worth the price difference with a HD projector.

Another thing to look for is to make sure that non-reflective fabric is on all sides of the screen. Many screens will have reflective metal material, often only at the bottom of the screen, and this is not suitable for the ideal picture, and does not make for the best projector screen. The reason why you want it on all sides is because it will give the appearance of better screen contrast, and absorb excess light on the edges of the screen.…

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Must-ask Questions When Quoting Plumbing Work

Hiring a plumber is one of the best decisions you could make for your home in terms of professionalism. However, it is also an opportunity to ask questions to ensure you are not swindled or become the recipient of poor services all because there are questions you failed to ask. This usually happens in the wake of an emergency where you need something fixed fast. So before saying yes to a plumber, here are some of the questions you might want to ask.

Ask if they have a license

This is one of the most important questions. A license is a guarantee of qualification for the plumb work and an assurance of quality. There are many people who operate without a license, which doesn’t make them unqualified especially if it is someone who you know works properly in this. However, ask for a license for the plumber, which is usually at the two levels, either the state or the local. If you are unsure, some pages like Angie’s List offer a good listing of licensed professionals like plumbers or electricians in many locations like Plano plumbing tx.

Ask the total cost of all services

There are budgets for everything, no matter the amount of money you have at your disposal. There are many plumbers, both from agencies like Plano plumbing tx and working individuals who have a range of estimates for their services. One thing to be careful at this point is to brush off any people who give you estimates over the phone. The only way a plumber gives an accurate estimate is by first seeing the extent of the work they need to do. When they actually give you their estimates, continue to ask what the total cost includes because some extra charges accrue and lead to an inflated bill afterwards.

Ask how they expect their payments to be made

Different professionals have different methods of payments. Some professionals want upfront payment followed by payments made on the time of their choice, either hourly or monthly depending on when they want i.e. either monthly, hourly or a flat rate after the end of the session. There are two ways to go about this; one of them is the hourly rate, which does not usually involve the cost of material and the second is the flat-rate cost that sums up everything. Know what you are working with.

Who is coming to do the work?

This is usually applicable to people hiring plumbers through agencies. Depending on the size of the job, you can expect more than one plumber. However, always ask the one who comes to give the estimate if you are paying for them or for someone else.

Does your plumber have insurance?

It is important to know whether your plumber has insurance depending on the job you want them to take. Some projects are high risk and require a plumber to have insurance to cover them in case something is damaged in the process. It will also save you the cost of fixing the damage by yourself when the plumbing job is complete.

How about cleaning?

Plumbing work is labour intensive and dirty so after they are done, you can be assured of some leftover mess. As a client, you want to know if the company or the plumber will hire cleaners or clean the messes as part of the package or whether you will have to deal with it yourself. If you are getting quite the inflated bill, this is something you want to ask before you hire the plumber. If you are hiring through an agency and they subcontract to an independent plumber, ensure they meet the same qualifications.

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Ready To Get Your Flooring In The New Home?

So you’re thinking of buying a home. There are of course many things to consider, when doing this. One of them is what kind of flooring would you like installed. There is a wide variety of flooring options, at a floor store, to choose from today. Some of today’s trends, in flooring, are to use ceramic, vinyl, or laminate tiles that can come in, many different styles, and colors.

Laminate floors are made from a wood base that is made from particle board. There is then a layer, placed over the particle board, that has a type of image, or color on it. After this, there is a layer, to protect the image, from wear, and tear. It is transparent, to allow the image underneath, to show through. They are made up of wood, saw dust, and small pieces of wood. These wood products are combined, with certain chemicals, that can bind up the wood. Intense heat, combined with pressure, allows it all to combine, and in the end, is transformed, into a usable, durable type of flooring product.

Vinyl floor tiles are made from polyvinyl, chloride chips. These chips are transformed into sheets, by using a combination of pressure and heat. They are usually, one eighth of an inch, thick. They are available in many styles, and colors.

Ceramic tile is made from water, sand, and natural clay. They are made by shaping the mixture, into the shape of tiles. They are then baked, at a high temperature. Porcelain is made, using the same type of process, but the clay used is denser.

One may want to try flooring that looks like wood. Wood has a nice, traditional type of look, and feel to it. It can help a room feel warm, and inviting somehow. The wood flooring design can be light brown, or medium, or dark brown. It can come in shades of gray also. Different types of wood grain designs are available.

Waterproof flooring might be an option. Carpets can be obtained that are waterproof. Solid color, vinyl flooring, is popular. One can make, colored patterns on their floors, to their liking. There are hardwood floors that are designed to be waterproof. This type of flooring is a mixture of real, natural wood on the top, and a manufactured, artificial base, at the bottom.

There is a type of flooring, at a floor store, that is a mixture of stone, and plastic.

This type of flooring can work good in basements, and other areas, because it is completely waterproof, and therefore easy to maintain, in these types of environments. There has been waterproof, outdoor carpeting, available for many years. Now this type of carpeting is being developed, to be used, inside one’s home. It is perfect, for a basement area, or any area, of the home.

This carpeting is easier to clean, than traditional carpeting. It is great, for pet owners, or for people, who have children. Tiles have changed, in size. They can be small, or large. Some can look like concrete, or stone. Marble looking tiles are popular.

Decorative types of tile tend to be used, in bathrooms, and kitchens. They have recently come down in price, and are great, for these areas of the home. They are easy to clean, and maintain.

Tile that is made from glass is gaining in popularity. A mosaic of glass tile, can look good, in many areas, of one’s home. One can think up their own mosaic glass pattern, to give their home, the personal touch, many people want, in their homes. Flooring options are limitless, in the home flooring, of today.

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How To Avoid The Most Common Mistakes During Foundation Repair

When it comes to repairing cracks found on foundations, homeowners are advised against looking beyond the visible damage. They should look at all the possible causes of the problem and come up with ways to reinforce the damage. Companies dealing in foundation repair Frisco advise homeowners to find contractors who will investigate the problem further and ensure that the damage is fixed correctly.

Common mistakes to avoid during foundation repair

Most of the problems associated with foundation repair happen when the cause of the problem is analyzed fully. Here are some of the most common foundation repair mistakes that homeowners make and should be avoided:

1. Not reaching out to a contractor soon enough

Property owners should contact a contractor as soon as they realize that their structure’s foundation has become faulty. If the problems are not handled ASAP, they progress and the repair costs rise too.

Seeking help as soon as they sense trouble enables the property managers to get all the necessary information on how to stop the damage from progressing. Get an inspector to check all the problems and indicators that might have been missed such as cracks, unevenness, and bulges.

After the evaluation, the homeowner also gets a rough idea of how much the repairs are going to cost him so he can plan for it accordingly.

2. Planting trees and shrubs close to the house

Trees and shrubs around the house look nice and provide shade. These reasons can sound so tempting to homeowners who find themselves planting them too close to the foundation. The trees can damage the foundation in two main ways:

  • The trees need moisture to grow and so their roots collect it from the soil. When the roots draw water from the soil around them, the soil around the foundation is left dry. As a result, the soil shrinks and this puts pressure on the foundation causing it to crack.
  • As the trees grow, the roots become larger and they crawl underneath the house. When they reach the foundation, they slowly cause it to move and eventually crack. As a result, the foundation’s strength is compromised.

3. Not maintaining the consistent moisture level in the soil around the foundation

The soil around the foundation shouldn’t be allowed to get too wet or too dry. Remember that if the soil gets too dry it contracts and shrinks and when it’s too wet it expands and increases in volume.

To ensure that there is some form of moisture control, homeowners should periodically water the soil using a sprinkler during the hot months. The point is to get the soil a little moist without getting it over soaked.

4. Not having proper drainage systems around the foundation

When there is too much water getting to the foundation, it causes the soil to expand and this puts unnecessary pressure on the foundation.

Gutters need to be installed so that rainwater is redirected away from the house. It also pays to ensure that the soil around the foundation is on a proper slope so that the water automatically flows away from the house.


To avoid all the mistakes listed above, homeowners need to make sure that the foundation is well protected. As they say, prevention is always better than cure. Often, most foundation problems may be fixed using various repair techniques. But it would be better if these problems were prevented in the first place.…

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Don’t Let The Heat Destroy Your Indoor Time, Call An AC Repair Today

An experienced handyman is responsible; to take care of some minor repairs. Nevertheless, it’s appropriate to request an ac repair in Arlington when there is an electrical skill required. Well, some ask for guidance; when the activity; requires using refrigerants, which is harmful, that generally requires a licensed professional to work with. Additionally, state specifications, the Environmental Protection Agency board certifies all heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) specialists to take an exam for handling refrigerants. Yes, Central air conditioning is one of the most rewarding enhancements to the home that the modern age has contributed to us. Yet, a broken AC; may continue to perform for a time, it’s best to see any problems corrected as promptly as you can. Ignoring warning suggestions can generate a slight complication and make it worse and induce more costly repairs in the long term. The result of the time this project takes depends on the location and severity of the discharge. Yes, have your system repaired quickly to avoid considerable harm and an expensive utility bill. Water can produce; considerable damage; because leaks can expand or go undiscovered in places, until it’s extremely fast, the point of repair.

You can maintain stability in the ac system!

Central air conditioning upkeep, for example, the AC Freon leak repair cost time as well as money, an ac repair in Arlington can identify an AC gas discharge and repair it. Yet, many handymen; make adjustments to the air conditioning unit; however, it is best to let a professional accept any projects involving Freon. Yes, a certified expert should handle this dangerous substance.

Yearly maintenance helps head off significant repairs to your system and grants you peace of mind and ample savings in the long term. Its objective is to add thermal relaxation and sufficient indoor air capacity. An HVAC expert; can perform an annual tune-up of your unit. Furthermore, planned servicing can assist a home inspector, to certify your system is performing accurately in the situation where you determine to market your home. Well, most deterioration can take more than eight hours to uncover and secure, and this can cause time away from your family. Patching a leak can cut your water bill a considerable amount observance to the EPA. Plus, accumulating an immense; water bill when it is functioning, constantly. Patching a leak can cut your water bill a considerable amount observance to the EPA.

Preferably, we can activate our central air systems and have it discharge

Yes, a license gives electrician’s businesses several competitive assets, licenses can encourage clients your corporation acquires the most competent consultants to achieve work required. The professionals must be certified and the question on the state exam involves subjects like compliance and leak repair specifications in requiring safeguarding the ecosystem. This can give applicants the decisive push they require to choose your electrician over the competition. Also, Four years of background in the HVAC profession in which these professionals are practicing. HVAC can assist with a thorough investigation of gas leaks or other electrical problems, better than a handyman who can easily miss the signs of a leak until it is a significant cost. Inadequate pressure is generally; associated with damaged; or cracked pipes, either in the walls or, under the foundation, of your home. A handyman; may wash out an aerator when that does not produce a better result, or if the moderate pressure is in more than one location, you may have a much more compelling complication hiding beneath the surface. These areas will leak when you use water in your home, generating a rising complication that can produce extensive destruction to your home.

Additionally licensure requirements!

You will prefer to investigate the company’s with referrals from associates and others who have had ac repair in Arlington, the HVAC organization’s past, and any warranties available. Yes, to decide to work with a business that specializes in HVAC services helps with keeping your system up to date. While some general handyman associations can present a moderate-cost alternative to too many proposals, a business that concentrates on air conditioning is consistently a stronger choice. A good plumber assists with determining the cause of significant repair; to the air conditioner condenser, as opposed to a replacement. Yet, condenser replacement should take a pro barely a day to complete this project. Accurately, to substitute a duct system; is expensive for installation only. To put in a duct system; and replacement HVAC unit, expect to pay a lot more. This venture; takes days depending on the supply of ductwork is essential. Well, your certified plumber can keep your home at an economical cost by adjusting or changing your water heater.