Putting Together a Home Theater on a Budget

We get it—theater rooms are a great addition to the home, but they can be expensive to fully furnish. From premium leather home theater chairs that recline and all the equipment and accessories for your new media room, it can take a large chunk of cash out of the bank to get things set up the way you want.

Fortunately, it is possible to have your cake and eat it too if you’re looking to cobble together a home theater and get nice media room seats on a budget; you just have to get a little crafty and inventive. Whether it’s DIYing your entire home theater or thinking out of the box to figure out where to find home theater seating on the cheap, we’ve got you covered.

DIY Resources

While there is certainly an abundance of services at brick-and-mortar home theater seating shops that can help you install and get your home theater up and running, it’s going to come at a pretty penny. Thankfully, it’s entirely possible to DIY your whole media room with just a little know-how. 

The internet can be a wealth of resources when it comes to DIYing a home theater—from YouTube videos to dedicated guides and Reddit communities, there’s a plethora of information to glean, and multiple avenues to do so. You might even get some inspiration on how to place your home theater seating and what sorts of equipment to buy from others’ experiences that you might not find at a home theater seating store.

Setting Up the Electrical and Soundproofing

For most people, the biggest hurdle here will be getting the electrical equipment for your media room set up. Naturally, this is what you’d be paying the most to have someone else do, so if you can finish this task, you’ll have already saved yourself tons of money. Taking the installation one step at a time (surround-sound system, then lighting, then video projectors, your bass-equipped theater seats, and so on) is the best way to avoid burnout and frustration if you’re not entirely familiar with wiring electrical equipment. If the last statement does apply to you, there are tons of quality step-by-step written and video guides out there to help you along the way and not break the bank by hiring someone else.

Any good home theater will also have a certain level of soundproofing. After all, you don’t want to keep anyone else in the house up—or your neighbors, if they’re close enough—while you’re watching shows and movies on the big screen. 

Putting in new insulation into walls can be invasive and sometimes more effort than it’s worth, costing you additional money in the long-run. Enter acoustic paneling, the hero of DIY media rooms everywhere. Not only does it attach directly to your walls, but is extremely affordable, dampens sound like a champ, and comes in design-friendly patterns and colors—definitely a must-have additional piece of equipment for your home theater when you’re looking to save a bit of money during the install process. 

Another cheap trick when you’re looking to soundproof is adding in extra rugs and throws that’ll make it hard for sound waves to bounce from. Make this look intentional, and add large area rugs around a sectional sofa in your media room and other home theater furniture to help tie the space together and create an inviting sitting area to relax and sit back in. 

Adding a few throw pillows around the cushions of the couches and sectionals you’ve placed in your media room is three-fold—not only does it look put-together, but it’ll also absorb some of the sound from the speakers while keeping you comfortable on your seat.

Purchasing Home Theater Furniture on the Cheap

When you’re looking to find home theater furniture for a good deal, you’ll thankfully have plenty of options. While you could always wait around for your favorite store that sells media room seating to have a sale (major holidays are usually the best times to find those deals), you might want something a little more immediate.

If you’re on the hunt for premium-looking theater seating, try to be actively searching sites like Wayfair or Overstock. More often than not, they’ll have insane markdowns compared to other retailers that’ll net you a whole lot of savings, especially if you’re looking to find media room chairs made from leather. Although they can never truly imitate the details and refinement of real leather, some non-leather, or pleather, theater seats also look fairly convincing and save you a fair chunk of change compared to the real deal.

There’s no question that while theater chairs made from soft, high-quality leather look sleek and can really transform a space and make it feel like an official home theater, they tend to come with a much higher price tag. If you’re determined to finish your home theater setup on a budget and save as much money as you can, you might think about media seating that’s not made from leather. 

Theater seats made out of cottons or other fabrics are just as beautiful and design-friendly as their leather counterparts, but they’re often not as favored because they don’t exude that theater cinema vibe—but that doesn’t mean they’re not perfect for home use. They don’t require all of the routine upkeep that leather seats do, and while they might be a little trickier to clean, it’s not an impossible task by any means. Fabric and microfiber theater seats come in a much wider palette of colors than leather will, so if cobalt or electric blue is your jam, have at it! We’ve also put together a handy guide on how to find budget home theater chairs that are still quality and will hold up over the years.

Finding Budget Theater Equipment

What’s a home theater without all of the soundbars, speakers, bass shaker-equipped theater chairs, and other electrical gadgets? This is usually the part where people can either blow a ton of money getting the latest and greatest equipment to deck out their home theater with, or they can play it conservative and get a more modest setup while saving money in the process.

By no means do you need the most powerful accessories and equipment for your new home theater. Stick with mid-range, essential pieces for your theater, using the aforementioned tactic of waiting to see when your local or online home theater seating shops run a sale—they’ll typically stock some electrical equipment for your theater room too. Another good tactic is scouring websites like eBay or Facebook Marketplace for pre-owned equipment that’s still in usable condition. You might even be able to find some higher-quality equipment for cheap here!
Building an entire home theater by yourself will take extra work, and there might be some compromises made along the way, but it’s a doable task that will end up saving you money in the long run. Plus, wouldn’t it feel amazing at the end of the day to know you constructed, wired, and put together a home theater?