Home movie theater room cost calculator

Project selector > Media room additions

What type of remodel are you planning to do?

Addition

Adding new square footage to the house (require new foundation).

Renovation
Remodeling an existing space with no change to any walls
Expansion
Expanding an existing room by moving walls within or outside the perimeter of the house (may require new additional foundation)

How much does it cost to install a home theater?

On average, your media room remodel cost can range from $14,400 to $38,700, depending on the size of the renovated space, the complexity of the work and where you live

The features you wish to add to your media room will also affect the overall cost to build a home theater.

These could include a mounted TV or projector and screen, a high quality surround sound or other speaker system, soundproofing, recessed lighting, carpeted platforms for stadium-like viewing and some custom home theater seating. And don’t forget the popcorn machine!

Your complete home movie theater cost can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the total square footage of the space, the scope of renovation, your zip code, local labor costs, material quality as well as costs, and the finishing details.

To get a general idea, check out the table below for an estimate of how the cost of a home theater installation varies according to city and project size.

City Size of Project Average Estimated Cost (USD)
Birmingham, Alabama Small
Medium
Large
$14,400
$23,800
$35,500
Des Moines, Iowa Small
Medium
Large
$15,700
$25,900
$38,700
San Francisco, California Small
Medium
Large
$15,100
$25,000
$37,300

A media room or a home theater room (aka cinema room or mini movie theater) is that space in your house that gives you an amazing theatrical experience with installed audio and video equipment. It’s a room dedicated to enjoying movies, television, sports and gaming.

With a large flat screen TV, awesome surround sound system and comfortable seating arrangement, it serves as the perfect place for many of your social gatherings.

Keep in mind that the better the design and components of your theater, the more likely it is to increase the value of your home. A great-looking media room greatly increases the ROI value of your house in the real-estate market.

Therefore, overall, it is a good decision to think about adding or renovating a home theater or a media room in your home.

Once you make the commitment to add or remodel your home theater, you need to know how much of an investment you require for this kind of home improvement.

An estimate helps you organize your remodeling project and effectively manage milestones and costs.

Acquiring a free estimate for your renovation helps you create a realistic budget – getting you quality work at a fair price. It’s also the best way to ensure that you don’t stumble across any unwelcome surprises during the execution of your project.

Getting an estimate through Kukun’s media room cost estimator is easy. Just follow the steps below to get your personalized total remodel cost in minutes!

1. Select the type of remodel you would like by choosing from the three options below:

  • Addition
  • Renovation
  • Expansion

2. Enter the size of your media room/ home theater

3. Enter the scope of work by choosing one of these three options:

  • Cosmetic Changes
  • Typical Renovation
  • Down to the Studs

4. Enter the finish level you’d like for your media room:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Mid-range
  • High-end

5. Enter your property details

Enter the full address to get the ROI/recoup value of your house or just your zipcode to get the renovation cost estimate.

And there you go – an estimate for your media room remodeling project is ready.

With this estimate, you can analyze your finance options or hire a professional to get started on the work right away.

Wait, there’s more. We even offer you options for professional remodeling contractors near you. You can conveniently explore each contractor's profile, check out their online reviews, and view all their previous permits and type of work before hiring them.

It’s very important that you plan your home theater remodel well in advance. Here are some tips to make the process easy and quick:

  • Organize your media room renovation with thorough research in terms of the latest technological advancements both in visual and sound quality.
  • Set a realistic home remodeling budget. Always include leeway for some surprise costs. According to experts, you should add 20% extra to your existing price range
  • Though you can renovate or add a home theater anytime of the year, it’s economically more viable to avoid the spring and summer rush.
  • Check your local building code for permit requirements as well as building inspections. Generally, any type of home addition will require a construction permit.
  • Make sure the contractor you hire measures the room at least twice to avoid incorrect installations.
  • Choose quality materials for your sound system.
  • Choose a good visual spot for your screen.
  • Get a soundbar if you have a smallish space.
  • Plan some additional space for the vibrations from the woofer system, etc.
  • Think about wall-mounting your speakers for better impact.
  • Make sure that the lighting is proper and prevents any glare.
  • Work only with expert contractors who you trust. A professional finish goes a long way in adding to the beauty and value of your home.
  • Get a written contract from your contractor with a warranty or guarantee, details of the complete schedule, deadlines for milestones and the payment process.
  • Maintain a timeline in order to manage a seamless job.

These steps will help you avoid unexpected hassles and issues and make your media room remodeling project run smoothly

Let’s take a look at some of the factors that will impact the cost of a home theater installation.

  • Building a Room

    Finishing an unfinished room for a home theater can cost between $50 and $250 per square foot.

  • Equipment and Cabling

    Home theater systems can be set up for as little as $500 if you’re using your existing TV as adding some sound equipment, or cost as much as $80,000 for a professional set up with seating. On an average, expect to spend around $7,500. Similarly, the quality of cables you use, and whether you want the wires and cables hidden inside your wall or not will also affect the cost of installation.

  • Labor

    While you could install a simple theater system by yourself, professionals always do a cleaner job, especially if you have a more advanced set up with extensive cabling. Professionals will also know how to calibrate your sound system and projector to achieve the best cinematic experience. Labor to set up a home theater system starts at around $80 an hour. The process could take 5-6 hours, depending on the complexity of the set up.

  • Soundproofing and Acoustic Treatment

    The right kind of acoustic treatment can make average sound equipment sound great. Depending on the size of your room and how much you want to invest, soundproofing and acoustic treatment could cost you anywhere from $500 to more than $30,000.

  • Seating

    Home theater seating is a large part of the audio-visual experience. Cheap Chinese seats can be bought for a few hundred dollars, while European and US made seating can cost more than $7,000 per seat. As a rule of thumb, anything more than $800 per seat will be of decent quality, with most of the good stuff starting at around $2,000.

Here’s a list of the components of a home theater system.

  • Display Device

    This is the device you will use for viewing your favorite movies or the weekend game. Ideal display devices include large screen televisions and projectors with screens.

  • Audio Systems

    Enhance your viewing experience by pairing it with an audio system. It could be something as simple as a soundbar, or something as complex as a state of the art surround sound system. Speakers can be wall mounted, in-wall, in-ceiling or mounted on stands.

  • Video Sources

    Video sources supply video content to the display devices. These could be blu-ray DVD players, or modern devices like Kaleidoscope’s Strato S.

  • Receivers

    A receiver is what you connect your audio and video sources to, and what allows you to control them from a single place.

  • Cables

    High quality cables always enhance every audio-visual experience. Make sure you buy the right size and length so your gear can be connected with ease.

  • Surge Protectors

    Home theater systems can be expensive, and sudden power surges can cause permanent damage to circuits. This is why surge protectors are important to protect your home theater equipment.

Home theaters do add to the value of a home at the time of sale. However, it isn’t possible to accurately calculate the ROI on a home theater investment.

A lot of factors affect that value, including whether home theaters are the norm or an exception in the market you live in, what equipment and upgrades your system has as well as housing supply at the time of sale.

However, it is safe to say that home theaters do help sell houses, especially if the house isn;t located in an affluent neighborhood where home theaters are the norm.

While there are no set rules, larger rooms tend to work better for home theater setups. Experts say that ideally, the room should be rectangular, and measure 6 meters long and 4.5 meters wide. High ceilings are also an added advantage.

Costing just $430, the Yamaha YHT-4950U is the best budget home theater system. It features compact speakers that deliver crisp and impressive sound, especially for movies. Other features include Bluetooth connectivity, Yamaha’s YPAO room calibration and an AV receiver.

Dark colored walls are best suited for media rooms. While dark shades of gray and brown are sure to enhance your video viewing experience, painting the walls of your media room black is sure to give you the most vivid viewing experience, closest to a movie theater.

Here are some handy tips for building a cheap home theater.

  • Stagger Your Buying

    Affording everything you need for a home theater system may not always be possible. Buy it in parts whenever you can. For example, instead of spending on a projector, buy a smart TV that supports both HDR and 4K. Even if you don’t like the TV’s interface, it won’t matter once you hook it up to your video source.

  • Forget About a Projector

    While a projector may seem fancier, using it practically will require you to invest in backlights, blackout curtains and other things that will only add to the expenditure.

  • Repurpose an Old Computer

    Repurposing an old computer into a home theater setup is easy as well as inexpensive. A computer offers you more flexibility than a roku or a Chromecast device ever will. You can always attach upgrades to it, like a Blu-ray DVD drive and a top of the line sound card.

  • You Don't Need Expensive Speakers to Begin With

    You don’t need a top of the line Bose 7.1 speaker system to begin with. Just as long as you know the right places in the room to install your speakers, a default 5.1 setup by a company like Monoprice should work just fine.

  • Invest in a Universal Remote

    Invest in a universal remote such as the Logitech Harmony 650 to help you control your entire home theater system.

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