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toriafly 03-27-2012 07:22 PM

Remove Basement Closet
This is my first time posting here, so I hope I can do my question some justice! We have a 100" movie screen for our home theater and recently moved into a house where the basement is long and skinny. Unfortunately the best wall for placing the screen would make our seating area just too close to the screen and in a very awkward position within the room. The best spot for it is right where there is a closet.

I was curious if anyone could offer suggestions about how to go about removing this closet. It is lighted, but I think that was all wired in after construction, so I'm guessing that's the only wires running in there. My concern is if this is a load bearing closet, although I'm guessing not because it doesn't line up with the other columns in the basement, and if the soffit above it can be removed.

Here are some dimensions if that helps:
The total length of the outside of the closet is 108", inside is 102".
The depth of the closet is 24", 29" if you include the wall part.
The inside height is 83", and outside including the soffit is 93".

And for more help, pictures (sorry I couldn't move the 300lb speakers)!

Thanks in advance!

gregzoll 03-27-2012 09:49 PM

What makes you think that small section is load bearing? It is in a basement. Unless they are using the basement walls to hold up the upstairs, which is far from it, unless the "hack" that owned the place removed a lot of support columns downstairs, it would be hard to tell from that little thumbnail.

Can you post a drawing of the complete floorplan for the basement, along with better pictures of the total space, so that you can give people better insight as to what you are dealing with? Also, if you are not a member over on, they have quite a few people that are familiar with basement home theater layouts. Just beware that a lot of members over there are using improper insulating techniques for their basements, which later will lead to moisture and mold problems.

Also, what did you use for calculating the chair to screen for the seating area? I have seen people build a frame and place their screens over spaces like this, due to they use them for equipment or storage, and just hinge the screen to be able to get back behind it. Also beware, that if you are not going to make any changes to the space, you are going to find out very quickly that the room will have problems with sound control and sound quality over all.

toriafly 03-28-2012 07:03 AM

I know nothing about removing walls besides what I've seen on watching HGTV, they make it look easy. So I just wanted to see if there was any advice on the subject as I have heard closets can be load bearing, but in the case I do doubt it. You should be able to click on the thumbnail to get a larger picture.

As for a floorplan of the basement, I'll see what I can do. It was a shortsale, so it was an "as is" and we didn't get much stuff like that in the purchase. It is a finished basement, the closet just needs to come out. I'd hesitate to put the screen over it, it would be in the corner of the room if we did. Thanks for the mention on the other forum, I've checked that out a bit, too, but this theater system isn't new to us, so my fiance knows how to set that all up just right. Once we get this darn closet out! :)

gregzoll 03-28-2012 07:16 AM

The big problem will be, once you start tearing walls down, it opens a can of worms. You quickly find that the person that did the work, took a lot of short cuts. As for closet walls being load bearing, yes they can, but the majority, especially what you have down there, would not be load bearing, since there should be support beams and columns in your basement.

As for the stuff on DIY & HGTV, forget what you have seen on there, better to learn from the trades, and this is a good forum to ask questions about what you are planning on doing. Get some more pictures, and get a floor plan to give an idea to others the size of the space you are working with.

toriafly 03-28-2012 07:33 AM

Thanks for the info! I would love to do this all myself so I hope we don't encounter too many problems! Here is our basement layout, not sure if it will help much: . Unfortunately we do not have as great of a space to work with like our last place, it is very long and narrow. The boxed in area called the "rec room" is where it will be. All along the upper line by the laundry is support beams. The closet is in the bottom left corner of the rec room. Unfortunately the other half of the basement with the mudroom and den will not work at all.

gregzoll 03-28-2012 08:18 AM

What is the width of the rec room? it looks to me about 12 feet or so. I would say that you have pleanty of room, even if you leave the closet. Aprox 12 or 14 by 30 is a lot.

toriafly 03-28-2012 08:29 AM

12' sounds accurate. There is a utility room door on the other side, though, so I'm concerned about building out the frame for the screen and having this little "nook" area to get into that room.

Decisions, decisions!

toriafly 03-28-2012 09:59 AM

Actually, I'm starting to like the frame idea, we could just put decorative curtains on each side of the screen to block that "nook" area. Thanks!

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