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How to Build a Home Entertainment Theater

Are you considering a new home improvement project that will transform your room into something spectacular?

Build your very own home entertainment theater! Imagine the fun you could have with your family and friends as you watch your favorite flicks without leaving the house. Popcorn, privacy, and the perfect company — movie nights will never be the same after you've hosted your own screening from the comfort of your personal theater. Believe it or not, building your own home entertainment theater is possible for homeowners of all budgets.

With a little planning, budgeting, and hard work, you can have the home theater of your dreams within a few days. Follow these steps and forever change the way you watch movies at home.

  • Step 1: Plan Your Theater Planning is the most important part of every home improvement project, especially ones that include multiple elements. Depending on the room you choose, you'll need to complete renovations to the windows, acoustics, and flooring. You'll also need to consider what technology you want to incorporate and how it will need to be installed.

  • Step 2: Prepare Your Room for Remodeling The depth of the remodeling is up to you, but understand that the audio, video, and lighting equipment that you choose may require extensive renovations. For instance, you may choose to hide the wires of your home theater which will involve removing and replacing drywall. If you don't want to use sound barriers, you may also need to insulate the walls, floor, and ceiling. Be sure to enlist the help of a professional if you're doing extensive remodeling, especially when electrical work is necessary.

  • Step 3: Gather Your Gear The gear you choose will be based on your budget and the intensity of the experience you desire. For some homeowners, a large flat-screen TV and small speaker system is adequate while others will prefer a professional projection screen and surround sound throughout the room. Here are a few pieces of equipment you will need: a video source, HDMI cables, LED TV, HD projector, sound system, speakers, speaker wires, and receivers.

  • Step 4: Complete the Renovations Once the structural renovations are finished and wiring is complete, you can then begin to install the AVL equipment. If you're purchasing new equipment, a professional should be available to help you install it and teach you how to operate it properly.

  • Step 5: Make the Room Comfy With the tech in place, it's time to furnish the room. Before you purchase new furniture, consider the different variations of seating you could create. A large sectional could accommodate many people along the same sightline or you could create two-to-three rows of small sofas or chairs on risers so that everyone has a clear field of vision.  

  • Step 6: Test the Theater's Quality Before you start assigning seats, you'll need to go through a dress rehearsal to ensure that everything works perfectly. Choose a movie that has a range of sounds — dialog, music, action, suspense — to make sure the audio levels don't spike or bottom out. Watch the film and make sure that the clarity of the picture is clear and not disturbed by any lighting in the room. Finally, sit in all of the seats to make sure no one's vision will be obscured.

  • Step 7: Schedule Your First Showing It's showtime! Pop the popcorn, pour a few drinks, and settle in with your audience for your own private showing. Now that your home theater is fully operational, you can host movie night any night of the week!

Building a home theater is a surprisingly practical and affordable home improvement project. With a little creativity, planning, and elbow grease, you can create an amazing home entertainment theater for your family to enjoy every day of the year!

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