It's that blissful time of year when football season has begun, baseball is headed for the home stretch, and basketball and hockey will soon start. Now's the time to install that home theater you've always dreamed about.
Step one: ambiance. Where should the theater be? How will lighting affect the space? How many seats will there be? Perhaps most importantly, you'll need to define the level of noise isolation in the room, or how much sound will get in and out. You certainly won't want to hear the neighbor mowing the lawn while in the middle of watching the heist scene from "Rififi," but you may not want the profanity-laced tirades of Scarface invading your significant other's book club upstairs.
If you're going to soundproof the room yourself, the Sound Isolation Co., which distributes its products across the country, suggests three basic "elements to ensure success." No. 1, and most critically, is floating the walls. Second, add mass to all surfaces of the room, which can be done by putting up another layer of drywall. Finally, the sound should be absorbed, so apply fabric-covered wall panels, acoustical foam panels and high noise reduction coefficient ceiling tiles.Seem complicated? It is, and plenty of companies will design and soundproof the room for you. Solution of Soundproofing of New York will measure actual sound levels and transmissions and determine what makes for the most sound-efficient design. Fees vary according to the size of the room and materials. You're basically paying what you would for a room renovation. Auralex Acoustics, which provides many of the materials you may need, offers free personalized room analyses.