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Old 01-25-2011, 12:19 PM   #1
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Custom Entertainment Center

Does anyone know whether it worth building a custom wall-wall entertainment unit with shelves, drawers, inset for new plasma tv? As opposed to purchasing?

Any idea of cost of doing this. I've included a picture of the wall in question. The built-in would have to incorporate the windows also
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:39 PM   #2
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When you build it for yourself, there is a amount of personal pride that can't have a price put to it, the material cost will differ greatly depending on what material you choose to build it from.

The next question is, do you have the tools to build a cabinet, router, table saw, vacuum to contain the dust, miter saw, etc etc.

First thing to do, make a scale drawing, cost out the materials, don't forget to add about 25% scrap, complete with the hardware you will use, ie drawer hardware.

When you get done, you home build unit will likely cost more, unless you are complaring to top shelf furniture.

If you build stand alone you can take it with you in the event you move, but if built-in naturally you can't.


When its all said and done there is usually more said than done
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:06 PM   #3
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With a custom unit, you get what you want and need. It will(could) be an architectual stand out in the house. As opposed to some sawdust and glue landfill candidate.
I'd build it in a heartbeat.
I see 4-5 sheets of 1/4" birch ply, maybe 7-9 sheets of 3/4" ply. Some molding for the crown, base, shelf and uprights. And some 1xby's for capping and doors.
Cost will vary by design as well as material.
I'd still build it.
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:42 PM   #4
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I don't think you will save anything compared to a store bought unit, but you will save if you are comparing it to a custom built unit.
I had a really nice 3 piece entertainment unit, gloss black. But when I bought a big screen, it was not even close to fitting. So I rebuilt the center unit of the entertainment unit. The TV fits with 1/8" clearance all the way around (I guess that means I can't buy a bigger TV now), and fits my living room perfectly. I made it out of 3/4" mdf and ordered in the most shiny laminate that Formica made (part of the learning process was that you can get many more grades of laminates than what you see sitting in the bog box stores, but you have to order them in). It helped a lot for the design (not the build) that I had the old unit to copy. Best of all, I can say I did it myself.
So it won't save you money. In fact, you might get 90% done, decide it looks like crap, and end up buying a pre-finished unit. But what the heck, go for it.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:21 PM   #5
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Cost is probably the same. How much more will you enjoy a custom unit, and how much is your time worth? Easy calculation if enjoyment is infinite
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