(Topic ID: 223610)

Last years Polar Vortex leads to this years game room?!?


By PinsideMike

8 months ago



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  • 23 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by PinsideMike
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders

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    #1 8 months ago

    Like everyone else living in the North East with an old house, we have lots and lots of snow and cold each winter. I learned a lot about my house last year. Being built in 1901, and looking like its an addition on an addition on an addition has definitely caused some seriously good times. Or not. Last year right around new years, the crazy cold weather we had froze up my downstairs bathroom and burst all the pipes. This has happened before over time, just no where as extreme. Usually they just froze up and thawed out or only 1 would burst and have to be rerun. Not all of them at once. 2018 is apparently my year of getting stuff done here in the Adirondack State Park. What started off as some winter time digging by hand, lead to kitchen/game room nook insulation and repair, and within 2 weeks (knock on wood) my contractors arrive to dig out my basement!

    As already said, old house is old. It has sentimental value and I am not interested in tearing it all down and starting over with new construction. Also being 33 and owning the place free and clear makes this project just a little easier to have some wiggle room financially. What is my project? 1/2 the house seems to be full basement and 1/2 the house is on a very sketchy very improperly built "crawl space". "Crawl space" as in 3 inches off the ground and no crawling can actually be done. Time to fix this properly for once in the history of the property repair log book. After around 8 months of calling around and many no shows/not interested, I finally found a reputable company in the area who has been doing nothing but foundations for the last 40+ years. We agreed on a price, and they should be wrapping up their last job and heading this way hopefully by the end of the week and if not, the very beginning of September at the latest. Were estimating this to take just short of a month, and then its crunch time to get the room roughed in and sheet rocked, flooring, drains, sump pump ect to make yet another North Eastern Game Room ready for winter.

    So here is the plan: (the reason I need you guys)
    I want to dig out the 1/2 side of the house on the crawl space and were going to punch out the cement wall in the basement to make one large room primarily for nothing but pinball and arcade/video games. Again, the company has an amazing reputation, the code enforcer is involved and permits pulled and ready to go, I just want to make sure we get this built right so that I can upgrade/increase my collection as needed in the future without having to punch out a wall every time I want to buy/bring a machine somewhere.

    I have enclosed some pictures to show the craziness of what we are starting with, and hopefully in 2-4 months a finished product. Let me know what you guys think of the dimensions, any tips for floors to ensure proper drainage for pinball games, proper ventilation/humidity control (its a damp basement but no sump pump needed to keep dry, but will still be adding one just in case)

    Were going with a 10" x 20" footer, 10" thick cement walls 5' 4' tall with 3 rows of 8" cinder block at the top. This should give enough room to stand up a pinball machine with even a topper and playfield standing straight up for eventual repairs. We are thinking of a 4" floor with the edges sloped to lead to a 4" drain to daylight with sump pump to remove any potential water that did get through the foundation. We will tar the exterior walls and put in 2-3 steel beams to support the ceiling (kitchen floor) since they did not put in floor joists properly on this side of the house. And to finish up, move the house plumbing piping from our way closer to the other side of the basement.

    Anything you guys can think of that will save me some heartache in the future? I'm thinking this should be a roughly 500 sq foot addition of good times to be had and would love any incite you all have (considering so many of us have already done this exact project).

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    #2 8 months ago

    It's probably cheaper to sell it and build another house from scratch with the features that you're looking for.

    But then again labor is super expensive here, and land is fairly inexpensive.

    #3 8 months ago

    So far I am 12k in for the roof removed and metal installed and siding fixed, 4.8k for the closed cell insulation in the kitchen/attic and the contract for the dig out with steel beams installed and foundation is $30k. I'm just waiting for the framing quote and sheetrocking quote and I think I am ready to rock

    #4 8 months ago

    I don't really have much to offer, so I'm just here for the upcoming build pictures. This should be pretty cool.

    Make sure you have enough electric for all the machines. You might also want some outlets up higher in the wall for TVs / signs / etc. If you're doing a drywall ceiling, you might want to consider some strategically placed conduit for future wiring. Are you doing any type of storage / electrical / data room?

    Quoted from PinsideMike:

    We are thinking of a 4" floor with the edges sloped to lead to a 4" drain to daylight with sump pump to remove any potential water that did get through the foundation.

    Since this project is pretty much new construction below grade, doesn't the contractor have some type of guarantee against water in the basement? I've been in my house for a few years and haven't had any issues with water (thankfully). It isn't damp or anything. It just feels like another living space.

    #5 8 months ago

    So the door in the one picture leads to my back porch which is approx 10x20. We are going to put stairs in there leading down into the room. Currently it only holds one shelf that I store my hot tub chemicals on and I think this will be my pinball overflow room. I have an out building on the property that at one time was a pretty mean biker bar (but that's a story for another day) I use as storage.

    There is another person right on the lake getting a similar job done by my guys. I just went onsite today and checked it out. They do tremendous work and the code enforcer highly recommends their quality. I should not have any problems with moisture coming in. The ground is almost all sand. Plus we are going to tar the outside. I will either spray foam insulate the roughed in walls or it was just recommended to me today by the sheetrocker that I can put up insulation on the outside of the foundation to keep even more moisture out. I live on a mountain (1 mile up the road from a ski resort) and luckily for me my property has a natural tilt to it and over a hill is a small seasonal creek. We can tie the daylight drain into this to drain out with an added security of a sump pump. I'm hoping for the best. On site today they already had the current house jacked up fully, the rebar installed into the footer and were setting up the cement molds around the foundation. In theory they might be hear at the end of the week (if all this stupid rain stops of course).

    #6 8 months ago

    How much laundry do you guys do?!?

    Looking forward to this.

    #7 8 months ago

    My friends wife gave me grief over that picture as well. I'm super lazy and when I go to the store to buy fabric softener, laundry scented beads and whatnot I just buy everything at once. It works out good for the smaller stuff, but usually not so good with the detergent.

    #8 8 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    How much laundry do you guys do?!?

    By the looks of the bottom of that washing machine a lot.

    #9 8 months ago

    That's my immaculate washing machine. Its only had 2 loads a week for the last 10 years. I purchased it used from a auction house so it must not have too much use before that. Having a drip in the copper pipes above it in the front of it did not help either. Once this project is done, Ill be moving the laundry room back to the first floor. Over where the spray foam finishes up near the door. After that I guess it will be time to retire my washer to a farm with all the other lightly routed, almost huo, immaculate, minty fresh, just needs to be shopped, maybe just a bulb out and it will work 100% machines.

    #10 8 months ago

    Today was a planning day and intel gathering day. I went to the local supply store and priced out 2x4's and 2x10's to frame in the exterior walls. Surprisingly enough, it is less than $1k for the material for the exterior walls to all be framed in as well as some 2x10's to support the basement ceiling/kitchen floor. I am also officially in contract with one of the better sheetrockers in the area. They will be sheetrocking the old game room nook upstairs, returning it to a kitchen nook as well as the entire basement game room project. I drove up to the lake today to check in on the foundation guys progress and they are setting up the concrete wall mold and have the cement ramp ready to go. Hopefully we will be breaking ground here on schedule before September even starts.

    What do you guys think? Keep it simple and just frame in one large open room and fill to my hearts content with Nintendos, Mame, Arcade, Pinballs and Xboxs ect? Or should I do some smaller rooms as well? Upstairs on the first floor I already have my projector room setup and the back porch will be converted to overflow for pinball parts, repair tools, junk and some very nice and wide easy stairs leading down (eliminating the need for a walk-in) or is that a bad idea?

    Any more suggestions on electrical? I'm thinking of having a sub panel installed with lots and lots of outlets. As you all have suggested already I'm going to need plugs for the pinballs, higher up for any signs or decorations, and of course lighting down there. I have not included a bathroom in this because the other side of the basement is currently not in use. I only have an oil boiler for house heat, a well pump, and of course my minty washing machine and dryer. Plenty of room over there to put in a bathroom eventually.

    2 weeks later
    #11 7 months ago

    Not much on the update front unfortunately it seems. All this rain the East Coast has been getting has really slowed down work around me. The guys are wrapping up the cabin on the lake hopefully this week, and will be starting on mine Monday/Tuesday if we get lucky and the rain holds off. On a positive note though, we signed the contract, I paid 1/3 down today and they dropped off the steel beams and 1 of 3 machines that they will be using. Ive waited 9 months already, whats another week or two at this point right?

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    1 week later
    #12 7 months ago

    Alright alright. I think I jumped the gun by starting this post 31 days ago already. With that being said, 430pm September 20th 2018 we have officially broke ground. After they call it for a few hours (they are juggling the house up on the lake still because of all the rain setback) Ill take a few pictures and show whats happened today.

    With that being said, I think possibly I might have one of those big monster Gauntlet Dark Legacy arcades lined up for when the job is done. Any suggestions on how to lug 800 lbs. of death into the gameroom? I never want to have to move this thing again (if it comes through of course).

    #13 7 months ago

    2 hours in to our first surprise. Demo in the back porch relieved that "oh that's just a little cement slab" is really 8 inches deep and 20 feet long. Just perfect to be in the way of where I want to put stairs going down into the new basement of course. That and the old septic line is definitely not up to code and should all be removed and replaced before the job is done.

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    #14 7 months ago

    Looking forward to watching the progress ...

    #15 7 months ago

    Had a good run today, but calling it for the weekend. We made it approximately 10 foot deep before we hit clay. I was hoping for a bit deeper but expected it. That should give me a guaranteed 7 foot ceiling after the Sheetrock and sub floor is built. That should be tall enough for a gameroom right? Most pinball and arcade machines are only 6 foot and change.

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    #16 7 months ago

    Just keep in mind that if you have any light fixtures or want to put in ceiling fans, you’re going to run out of headroom really quick.

    Also, the higher the ceilings, the less it feels like a basement and the more it feels like another living space.

    #17 7 months ago
    Quoted from Spyderturbo007:

    Just keep in mind that if you have any light fixtures or want to put in ceiling fans, you’re going to run out of headroom really quick.
    Also, the higher the ceilings, the less it feels like a basement and the more it feels like another living space.

    I talked to the contractor about this. I must of been more exhausted yesterday after digging than I remember. So the ceiling will be 8 foot. However because we will have to leave the 6" steel beams in place, there will be a spot or two in the ceiling that drops down to 7 foot. I stole this pic from the Gameroom thread here on Pinside to try to explain better. I am terrible at construction lingo ha!

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    #18 7 months ago

    Day 2 of prep work is officially wrapped up. We dug down to 8 foot in the front of the house with no issues. Unless of course you count the hand dug well from the 1800's that no one knew of that drained out where we were working of course. Hopefully tomorrow the boys will drop the house they are working on and be able to bring all the cribbing on site. Our tentative plan is to have all the cribbing installed and house lifted by this time on Monday October 1st. That gives us an entire month to stay on schedule to dig out, pour footers, build wall ect.

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    #19 6 months ago
    Quoted from PinsideMike:

    However because we will have to leave the 6" steel beams in place, there will be a spot or two in the ceiling that drops down to 7 foot. I stole this pic from the Gameroom thread here on Pinside to try to explain better. I am terrible at construction lingo ha!
    [quoted image]

    What you're referring to is called a soffit.

    If you do it right, you can build the soffit so you only lose a few more inches. It doesn't have to be 1' of head loss. Believe me, that extra few inches will make a big difference once you start dealing with low ceiling heights.

    #20 6 months ago

    We are debating running 2x6's inside the steel beam to replace the floor since the floor joists are so horribly constructed or just running 2x10's notched out and up and loose a little bit of room on the first floor. Gotta love old houses. By the time we are done Ill have an entire side of the house basically new construction. So much craziness in old houses. I would of never guessed I had a well within 5 feet of the house or crazy sketchy wire just thrown in the ground to power the garage ect. In a way I am glad we are taking care of it all now. I'm 33 and if I can squeeze 50~ years or so out of this house, almost everything will be fixed by the time I'm 40 max.

    #21 6 months ago

    End of day 3 work. The house is officially pressurized. Hopefully tomorrow we will start the actual dig out. If everything goes as planned, hopefully this time next week we will be pouring the footer! I have a Gauntlet Legends machine lined up and I really do not want to store it in the garage. If all goes as planned, I'll be able to stick it in the other side of the basement near my minty fresh off of route washing machine until the room is finished.

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    #22 6 months ago

    Today's dig went really really well. They quoted me at 2-3 days and they got it almost done in a day. If you guys got a kick out of my dirty washing machine, take a look at these floor joists! These babies held Pin-Bot, BoP, Jack-Bot, AC/DC and a MAME machine for close to 10 years. I gotta give it props. Code Enforcer/Contractors ect are boggled on how long they held up to begin with!

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    #23 6 months ago

    Another decent day on site. It only rained for 1/2 the day instead of all day so we got a little done. We found this little treasure in the wall. It reads June 10th 1958. I wonder if the previous owner left it there to show when the addition was put on the house? Or perhaps a lazy mason worker dropped it and did not bother to pick it up after the work was done.

    The room is dug to depth and we should have the footing mold and rebar in place tomorrow. If we get lucky, maybe even the plumbing run. We hope to pour the footer on Monday, if not hopefully Tuesday.

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