Are you a movie lover? Perhaps you’ve been dreaming of having your own home cinema? If you own a log cabin, then why not channel this dream into outdoor cinema?
With on-demand and streaming services on the rise, more and more people are creating their own theatre systems at home. But, setting one up requires adequate space which a living room or a spare bedroom may not be able to accommodate.
A log cabin is known for its versatility, thanks to the number of ways in which they can be designed and utilised. This means that with one, you can now fulfil your long-time dream of creating a home cinema through an excellent log cabin cinema setup! This will allow you to enjoy a theatre-like experience, without having to leave your garden.
You can also invite friends and relatives over for a cosy movie night in! Here is a complete guide on how you can turn your log cabin into the perfect home cinema.
1. Choosing the location
If you’ve recently purchased a log cabin, you’ll want to make sure you have the right location in mind. When it comes to positioning your log cabin, picking a firm and level spot with no standing water nearby will be your best bet – or in an elevated part of your property if you have one.
You must also have access to all four sides of the outbuilding during the installation process. Otherwise, placing it near to walls and fences can hinder the process.
Setting the base near trees or large bushes could also lead to trouble from overhanging branches. If that’s the case, it’s best to cut the branches in advance, before they come into contact with the building.
Also, consider checking your outdoor area, and consider how comfortably your garden will be able to house your new log cabin.
If you want to make the most of your log cabin cinema and turn it an all-season entertainment room, then proper insulation is crucial.
A well-insulated structure will not only provide warmth, but will also make it sound-proof. Essentially, you’ll need to insulate three parts of your log cabin: the roof, walls, and floor.
If you have the proper knowledge, you can do so using bubble wrap or fibreglass sheets. But if you aren’t adept in insulating a garden room, you can leave it to the experts to avoid any significant problems.
3. Pre-wiring: surround sound, projector and lighting
After you have insulated the walls and roof, your next step will be pre-wiring your log cabin. This is essential for your home cinema’s sound system, as well as for a projector and lighting.
Most home theatres use a 7.1 surround sound system, including a sub-woofer and seven-channel speakers placed at the centre, left and right, side surrounds, and rear surrounds. Yours will depend on the size of your log cabin, and of course, your budget.
If you prefer a video projector, you will need to pre-wire an HDMI cable to be able to show high-definition videos. You will also need to set up CAT5 wiring to access your projector via a radiofrequency (RF) remote.
If you wish to use a home theatre TV, on the other hand, you can also pre-wire an HDMI cable if you want to connect it to your computer. Alternatively, you could opt for a modern smart TV instead.
If you want to create a home movie theatre atmosphere in your log cabin, install some downlights on your ceiling and sconces (light fixtures that are attached to walls) along your sidewalls. For this, you can plan their locations and run the necessary electrical wiring on each.
You can also opt to connect the lights to a dimmer, which you can control using the remote you use for your projector.
One of the most important things to accomplish before attaching the drywall is to create careful incisions through which all your pre-wired electrical cables will be inserted. You can then install it using properly-driven fasteners.
At the same time, you can opt for speciality drywall which provides a significant sound barrier. If the budget doesn’t allow however, you can also install standard drywall and add sound-dampening materials for sound-proofing.
After the installation, you can paint the drywall with black or any dark hue to complete your home theatre atmosphere.
5. Setting up a video projector
For the projector screen, the ideal size ranges from 100-120 inches. Motorised widescreens are now a popular choice for home theatres.
Your image projector should then be connected to an equipment hub where you can play your favourite movies. In the equipment hub, you can show content through various multimedia devices such as a Blu-ray player, cable/satellite feed, gaming console, or home theatre PC.
If you have a relatively small setup, you can also fasten a 42-65 inch TV into your log cabin wall. You can opt for a modern smart TV which allows you to access online streaming sites without a computer or disc player.
Tip: It is recommended to choose one of the largest TV models: one with a large screen that can enhance the exclusive cinematic experience!
6. Setting up the sound system
After setting up your home cinema screen, you can start hanging your speakers in their designated locations. You can then connect the receiver to your equipment hub.
Tip: For the best log cabin home cinema experience, you can opt for 5.1/7.1 surround sound.
Furnish your home cinema with great seating! You can choose to set up some comfy sofas, bean bags, or more authentic theatre-style seating. The number of chairs to add will depend on how many people you plan to accommodate in your home cinema.
8. Set up control systems
Having a dedicated area for a control system, such as for your universal remote, automation system, or even for iPads and other gadgets, will prove to be incredibly convenient. This will help you control everything; from the lighting to the sound in one location.
9. Decorate with movie posters and other memorabilia
This is your chance to hang up and show off all of your favourite movie posters! Imagine being in a room full of posters from the movies you grew up with and love.
If your parents or spouse won’t let you hang them around your house, maybe it’s time for you to convince them that a home cinema is the perfect place for these to go. Having your own space for your log cabin cinema also means you’re free to add curtains around your screen/projector for a more dramatic and classic cinematic vibe!
Moreover, if you own a bunch of DVDs and Blu Rays, find a bookcase and add it as a finishing touch in your log cabin cinema.
After completing every phase of your home cinema arrangement, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your favourite movies with family and friends!
Log Cabin Cinema: Planning Permission
When it comes to building a small, detached building on your garden premises, such as a garden or tool shed, it’s important to consider building regulations. However, a building that has been constructed from non-combustible materials may be exempt from building regulation approval.
In addition, these provisions won’t also apply if:
- The area touching the ground is no longer than 15 metres
- The floor area is 15-30 square metres in size
- There are no sleeping accommodations inside.
Note: The height of your building and how you are going to use it are the two key factors that will help you determine if you can build without planning permission.
As for log cabins, planning permission is only needed if your building structure is large or will be used as a habitable space. The rules that govern outbuildings most commonly apply to log cabins, summerhouses, and other large garden buildings.
Planning plays a vital role when installing a log cabin, and that includes choosing the ideal location for your outdoor structure. If you’re unsure, then contacting your local planning authority is always a sensible option.
As mentioned, insulation is key to year-round use of your cabin cinema. But if you’re still undecided on this option, the advantages of insulated log cabins might help!