The most important step in building a dedicated home theater is the design phase. So important, that you should expect the design process to consume an average 40% of the total time of theater construction from project kick-off to completion.
The decisions you make in the planning phase will be long forgotten when the project is finished, but if you are successful, you will forever be revered. If not, the fruits of your labor will live in infamy.
A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
In a residence, a properly constructed home theater is the most complex room you will ever build. Don't underestimate the amount of effort required. Failure to pay attention to design details will virtually guarantee a project delivery with sub-par performance that misses customer expectations. Devise a poor sound stage, a poorly lit room, or seating out of alignment with the screen, and nearly everyone who experiences it will resent you. Execute well, and you will elevate your audience; media consumption will be transformed from an activity, into an experience.