Editor's choice: LendingClub personal loans
- Loan range: $1,000-$40,000
- Coapplicants accepted
- No prepayment fees or penalties
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True film buffs aren’t content with a TV mounted above the fireplace. If you want to take your movie-watching to the next level, finding the right financing for your home theater is a necessity.
Because there are so many variables to include with a home theater, the cost ranges from $2,000 to $33,000, according to Home Advisor. Like any other major renovation, installing the right tech and finding the right design can take months of labor.
The lower estimate is for simple setups and the basic equipment you need to get started. The higher estimate is for film aficionados with a dedicated space to renovate.
If you’re creating a media room — the younger sibling of a home theater — then you likely already have the space finished off and much of the tech purchased. If you’re building out a home theater from scratch and purchasing a litany of new furniture and tech, you’ll pay significantly more.
|Average Cost||High Cost||Low Cost|
Depending on how extravagant you want to go, you can handle most home theater costs with a credit card or personal loan. For the biggest renovations, a HELOC may be more appropriate.
Most credit card can cover the basic tech you need to set up a home theater or media center. We recommend investing in a card that offers strong rewards like mileage points or cash back to get the most out of your purchases.
4.7 / 5 ★★★★★
If you plan on installing soundproofing or building in a wet bar, a personal loan will be a better option. These allow you to borrow more money at a lower interest rate than credit cards — but they don’t offer rewards for spending.
4.83 / 5 ★★★★★
|Loan Amount||$5,000 - $100,000|
|Interest Rate Type||Fixed|
|Min. Credit Score||Good to excellent credit|
|Min. Credit Score||Good to excellent credit|
|Loan Amount||$5,000 - $100,000|
A home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) use the equity in your property as collateral. Typically, this means you’ll have access to more funding at a lower APR. These are a good choice if you plan on a full, extensive renovation to your home theater space.
Home theaters are a unique project, so it’s difficult to determine the exact factors that you’ll need to consider.
In general, the cost of equipment, renovation and furnishing will all be important considerations as you plan your budget.
Determine what you want out of your space. Adding risers to your seats requires a carpenter, and you can expect to pay $50 to $75 an hour for this service. If you want a wet bar, a plumber and carpenter adds thousands of dollars to your renovation cost, especially if the bar has granite counters or the room lacks suitable plumbing. A designer is likely needed to shape the space into what you imagine, and again, it will cost you.
The space you choose will also impact the cost of your renovation. Spare bedrooms offer easily enclosed areas but often lack the space many film enthusiasts want. A basement or attic can often handle more equipment but may cost more to finish off.
The size of the room will be the main factor in determining how many seats you need. You may want to install six luxurious recliners, but if you have limited space, you’ll end up overcrowding things and lessening the viewing experience. Most home theater contractors recommend a large, open space like a basement or attic. This way, you can fit a huge screen, multiple rows of seats and other necessities.
You can calculate your seating needs by measuring the space between rows. People should have at least 20″ to walk around, even when seats are reclined. The space from the back wall to last row should be about 4′ so your guests aren’t overwhelmed by bass.
Keeping everyone comfortable is crucial. Calculate the minimum and maximum distances from the screen to make sure everyone has an optimal view, and if you have those two or three rows with comfortable recliners, installing risers will give everyone a chance to see the screen without strain.
Soundproofing is an overlooked but crucial component of your space, but for people with a large space, it’s not a simple DIY project. It begins at the design stage. You might want hardwood or tile flooring in your home theater, but if you’re keeping soundproofing in mind, consider using carpeting and working soundproofing into the walls.
Once your walls are up and your carpeting is installed, take the extra step to install acoustic panels. These come in a huge variety of designs and can be built to suit your space.
The national average to soundproof a room runs around $1,600, but can cost upwards of $4,000. The bigger the space, the higher the cost. If you’re ripping down walls and tearing up floors, builders will charge more. It all depends on how much you need and how quiet you want your home theater to be.
For most people, this is where the real money comes in.
Once you make your purchases, experiment! There’s no better way to set up a home theater than to figure out what works for you.
Struggling to choose the right projection screen for your space? Here are some basic things to keep in mind when comparing screens:
Between small appliances that make life easier to important aesthetic decisions that will enhance the quality of your movie experience, it’s not always all about the sound equipment and screen quality.
Here are four small additions to your home theater that can make a big impact:
Creating a home theater can be an expensive process, especially if you need to do a complete renovation of a space to get it functioning properly. Create a budget and tackle your home theater one piece of tech at a time.
By browsing your loan options and sticking to a renovation budget, you’ll be able to finance your home theater without spending too much for the luxury.
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