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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gaming Room!

We decided to rebuild the room that is downstairs and in the back - it had been used as a 4th bedroom, but we decided it was to be my gaming room (and drums). It was always smelling kinda musty, and we thought there might be a mold issue.

The original layout:
The room was a long rectangle with a closet on one long side, cutting into the rectangle, making the room narrower where the closet was. On two sides, the walls are underground w/ concrete behind them; the outside wall is a short wall, with a window. The 4th wall shares with the library and has the door. We took the door off the hinges because the swing pattern was annoying. There was a 220 heater in there that didn't work, so we also pulled that (and the wires) out.

The plans:
  1. Move closet to the end of the room. This will shorten the room rather than narrowing one end. leaving more usable space.
  2. Pocket door! No swing pattern, and a door we can close to keep pesky animals out. (Cat) Soccer w/ D&D minis DENIED! (Dogs) random place in the house far from the usual use pattern to find a spot to pee in if humans aren't paying attention; after all, it is further from the main living area of the house. (dog logic)
  3. Redo outside facing window wall for mold and insulation concerns and extend the wall 1 inch inside to cover the concrete footing rather than having the drywall end on top of it, making it easy to add baseboard molding. Also add a vapor barrier and enlarge some electrical outlets from 2 bangers to 4 bangers.
  4. Seal the concrete floor and wall footer with a moisture blocker.
  5. Add a ceiling fan and better lighting. Lighting was one bulb on each end of room. Not enough light to even read. New lighting has 2 bulbs in the fixture by the closet, and the fan has four bulbs; fan is over the gaming table. Also, added a light in the closet.
  6. Install speakers into the closet header for built-in sound, connecting to built-in shelves (see number 7). This includes running speaker wire through the new walls for easy and hidden connections.
  7. A built-in shelving unit for stereo components - including a 4-plex of power outlets, the speaker connections, and generally more game room storage.
  8. Look for different shelving options for games and miniatures. (We were using free-standing cheap book shelves.)
The Build:
  1. Closet. Pretty good, some issues with plumb-ness and square-ness, but that's to be expected with my level of framing skill. Built-in shelves on one side, and the built-in unit to the right of the closet came out pretty good. Power and speaker cables were run and look pretty good. Problem is, header is waaaaaaay too small for any decent speakers to be embedded as planned. We compromised and found some Bose wall-mounted speakers that are of a good quality for the price.


  2. Pocket Door. We hired Jerry (our contractor) to help out with this. The pocket door was bought from a local builder's supply called ProBuild. They aren't open on weekends, but they are way better on supplies than Home Depot, though Home Depot is open on weekends. I try to go to ProBuild whenever I can when my planning allows for it. The key to hiring Jerry was to try to install the pocket door without removing both sides of drywall (leave the Library drywall there). He managed to do it, and we were all very happy with the results. (Library wall still shows screw heads; those will be fixed once all gaming room stuff is placed in its new home.)







  3. Outside wall. Added 1x2s to the 2x6s to add the depth necessary for covering the concrete footer. Replaced the insulation, added a vapor barrier, and added 6 outlets to the wall - 8 up from 2.(Now there are two new 4 bangers.) New drywall - used the mold proof stuff; nice.




  4. Water proofing. Drylock brand water barrier painted on floor and footer, 2 layers. Had to scrape up 2 layers of crappy asphalt tiles and clean off the glue. Also had a bunch of pock marks where floor anchors were used into the concrete for the old closet and the carpet tack strips.
  5. Ceiling fan and new lights - other than the fact that I've never seen the electrical wire pattern that was used to connect the two ceiling lights, (5 wires: red, white, black, blue and green) this went well.
  6. Built-in speakers. Unfortunately, the header for the closet wound up to be too small for built-in speakers. We found some appropriately-sized Bose speakers that will mount on the wall above the closet. Not quite what we wanted, but it'll be okay.
  7. Built-in shelf. Not only 3 built-in shelves, but an old recycled kitchen cabinet we bought from the Re-building Center for $5.00. Yup!! Five bucks, some sanding, paint and it was almost a perfect fit - within a 1/2" or so. Pretty sweet. And it has a cool slide out shelf.
  8. We found a book store going out of business, and bought some book shelves. My friend Matt helped me hang them on the wall. They are tall - 7 feet high. and we got 2 that were 48" wide, and one that was 42" wide. They were designed for paperback books, so they are only 6-8" deep. They will be perfect for all my gaming stuff, especially minis. The big blank area will be used for map display.






  9. Flooring. We decided on carpet. We put in 1/2" Celotex insulation and then 1/8" masonite board on top of that. Then, we were ready for the carpet. After a visit to Home Depot, Lowes, and a random flooring store, we found a place called Great Floors which seems to be an overage outlet for carpet; not a huge selection, but what they do have, is reasonably priced. They have full rolls of carpet and a lot of extra leftover rolls priced better. We walked in and found the exact color we wanted on one of his remnants. AND it was only about 10% too big for the room, so it was perfect. We had it installed; the first guy whined a lot about the lack of "proper subfloor", and the next couple to come out were way more accommodating and did the job well.
  10. Trim work. Trim around the closet, window and door all match trim that is upstairs in the house in one of the rooms. This has become the trend in the house.
  11. Paint. Meran did a really cool faux paint job in the room, a random pattern with 3 colors. We'll see how easy it is to touch up. [Meran says it was surprisingly easy to touch up after James installed the built-in cabinet and knicked up the paint.]
  12. New table! My 4x6 piece of plywood with fold-up table legs has seen its end. We found a really nice table and chairs at CostCo, and got it. It's narrower, so it fits better, and longer. And looks really good, to boot! And has much better chairs to sit in.
Well, that's that. it took us WAY too long to get it done, but now it is. We're ready for gaming!