The theater took me two years to build, mostly working just weekends with a couple of evenings. That includes everything from studding the walls to final finish. Only the carpeting was handled by professionals (Home Depot).
Here is a before picture of the space looking towards the screen.
Here is an after picture, same view.
I budgeted about $15K for the whole project. I had some of the equipment in use already in the family room so that saved me some bucks. To see all the latest gear in the theater, go to this link: http://www.reighn.com/theaterequip.html
. I would like to upgrade to a 1080 projector once they come down a little in price. I also plan to buy and DH DVD player once Transformers comes out!
Occasionally I get an email asking if I would be interested in doing something similar for someone. I am not really able to do that given my day job. I am also not an acoustical engineer which you would probably want if you were paying someone for a theater.
The Bridge has been featured in a magazine (Electronic House), a book (Manspace), the local Phila Inquirer newspaper and on TV on the HGTV show 'Look What I Did'. The interest in it has amazed me and I never expected so much.
I'm really glad my little project may inspire others to try something fun and unique. As you said with a little elbow grease, you can do a lot.