(Topic ID: 243196)

New game room Underground excavation and expansion for TheModCouple

By Yelobird

32 days ago

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  • 265 posts
  • 99 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 days ago by Yelobird
  • Topic is favorited by 109 Pinsiders


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    There are 265 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 6.
    #1 32 days ago

    After seeing so many Amazing game room additions, creations, and expansions on Pinside I had not yet seen a game room Excavation thread! The Mod Couple invites you to what we call "How far would YOU go for pinball!" lol Viewing the many game room threads and visiting with Many wonderful collectors local we knew we needed to raise our collection and volume and space to new limits. Add to that The Mod Couple business has grown beyond the 5 allowable bedrooms so we had to do something drastic! Building Up would mean a very invasive (and Costly) proposition. After Many months of research I proposed a Crazy plan to Mama Mod Couple. Lets go Under the house! As it turns out our house already had a decent basement of 850 sq feet. (Call it 17 Cozy pinball machines) However, our primary wing of the house has another 1000 sq feet of crawl space! Unused as its only 3 foot high and rather nasty... After much research I found a Great crew that specialize in crawlspace to basement conversions. A few calls, architects, and many permits later and we are ready to tunnel bore our way to digging up a new 5 star arcade/museum! For anyone interested I will try to document some of the steps along our ongoing journey. I estimate to Completion should be roughly 2-3 months but as with all projects we shall see...... Let's dig in!!!!

    #2 32 days ago

    Paint a starting point picture. Pretty useless crawlspace and the Last thing you would call a game room! To add to the fun, there is a 30" Thick concrete wall that separates the old basement to where the New basement game room needs to go. Thats going to be some Fun time with a saw for sure but it needs to go bye bye! Luck me I enjoy plumbing so no doubt all of the soil pipes and plumbing in general All have to be removed and rerouted as nobody wants to limbo under poop pipes in a game room!

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    #3 32 days ago

    The equipment and crew start to arrive! Permits up and a beautiful 70 degree Chicago day!

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    #4 32 days ago

    Add some lighting to a rather dark work zone and its almost time to Dig in so to speak!

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    #5 32 days ago

    Wow that is quite a project and I look forward to seeing your progress. I created a couple of rooms by hand under my then house many moons ago and found the biggest job was getting rid of the soil/clay dug out. I wish you all the best.

    #6 32 days ago

    Holly mother! In less then a half day our home has a Drive in! Cut through foundation wall, added support steel beams and the dirt begins to fly! Good thing I don't care for my lawn much! lol

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    #7 32 days ago

    Wow, good weekend to place an order.
    Thats an awesome project. Look forward to pics and progress.

    #8 32 days ago

    And they are IN! Actual daylight in a tomb of 50 years. To keep it bright we are adding 3 and 6 foot windows (incase I need to side load a game at night!). Amazing how fast this is going but not a single brick mortar crack or surprise.

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    #9 32 days ago

    This is insanity. Bravo. I Love it.

    #10 32 days ago

    Haven't found Hoffa Yet at 7' down but you never know in Chicago! This project was definitely bigger than a Shaw Shank pocket dirt move. Starting the pin wall bracing. When doing a project like this it is Critical that it is done in segments or you will most certainly have a foundation slide. Carefully layed out with rebar and special concrete poured to an additional 15" thickness this should be the ultimate bunker. Or arcade works to!

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    #11 32 days ago

    Its amazing what you have to do to support thousands of pounds of concrete wall up for a pour. They estimate I will have roughly 6 truckloads to complete the job. Each timed days apart depending on weather and daily pre-pour inspections.

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    #12 32 days ago

    Yeah, that 35" opening is Way to small to slide pinball machines in! Lets make that 13 Foot, that works!! SO glad I wasn't the guy working on this part of the job! The base of the foundation wall is just under 30" thick. Double blade water fed made for a Long Saturday. All cut and ready to slide in a 10" "I" beam. Mercilessly there was hardly any dust from this process. Kept the blade wet and cuts like butter. Old butter! Not a good day to have a hang over.

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    #13 32 days ago

    Looks like I now have a car port!! And I guess I should have pulled those ducts down..... No worries as luck would have it I have done my fair share of HVAC so just add it to my todo list. This was a LONG day of jack hammering. Add to that, day 1 70 and sunny. Next day NO joke it snowed 4 inches. Umphh welcome to Chicago!

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    #14 32 days ago

    More equipment and more noise. But luckily no bodies or surprises other then the weather. We went from snow to a Record monsoon 2 straight weeks of rain!!!! Great feeling to know you have a 12 foot hole in the side of your house and you may need an Arc. No issues with water as they were prepared but it really slowed progress for over a week as driving a Skidsteer outside let alone down a mud ramp was less then ideal. Sadly much has slowed from the first days.

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    #15 32 days ago

    We have 1/3 of a basement now and parking for 3! The pin walls (not a pinball thing) are starting to form. Sadly they have to wait for better weather to breach further or risk a foundation slide. For now we park some equipment down in the Arcadarage and do a weather negative rain dance.

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    #16 32 days ago

    Might as well brake some rocks while we wait for the deluge of water to stop. So not a fun working environment. These guys Really earned their money on this job...

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    #17 32 days ago

    Beams set in place and you Know its a good day when you see a cement truck on your front lawn at 7 am!! More shoring and support to pour the beam supports.

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    #18 32 days ago

    So crazy how much support that they need to hold those walls spot on square and true for the poor. This 20' section was a full truck load. Looks like a mine shaft yet we have not found Indiana Jones. (He's in the arcade in the other room waiting)

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    #19 32 days ago

    With a break due to weather may be time for me to have some Fun pulling out All of the cast iron pipes. Always fun... At 20 pounds per foot (not including 50 years of built up crap) this should be a fun day. Not!

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    #20 32 days ago

    A weather break!! We are digging south!! A bit soupy but they are muscling through the slop and making progress! I am Certain there is a gameroom buried down here Somewhere!!!!

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    #21 32 days ago

    Did I mention I don't care about lawns? Yeah this might be a bit much. May need to add that to the budget or my todo list. Yikes! Looks like Sanford and Son found a parking lot. We have basically Every type piece of equipment on the lawn including new windows and even a Port-o-potty! Yeah my neighbors must love me now. lol

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    #22 32 days ago

    The dig continues! Look at that beautiful new wall. At this point its more of a mud wrestling pit then a game room but I am seeing the light. Getting bigger day by day.

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    #23 32 days ago

    Oh joy, another 25' of crap pipe for me to remove and re-route with new. Have yet to find any dinosaurs but the day is young!

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    #24 32 days ago

    Wow, I’ve got to follow this and can’t wait to see the finished room!!!

    #25 32 days ago

    Another corner wall and new Extra deep sump pit installed. Going double redundant sump with battery back up. Not risking the games we are bringing in at this point. A want a game room not an in-ground pool.

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    #26 32 days ago

    Inch by inch, foot by foot the vision continues! Forms removed from the last pour and they prep for the next 20 feet. Slow and steady keeps the house up. A few tons of pea gravel base poured to stabilize the mud boag situation. Getting closer. Another 3 foot window cut and hand dug in this side.

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    #27 32 days ago

    Random looking for fossils pics. Temp waste lines installed each day so mama doesn't have to drive to McDonalds in the middle of the night to use the washroom.

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    #28 32 days ago

    New steps to the taller ceiling gameroom framed and another wall prepped and holding a full cement truck of concrete gold. Really cool to see how they shuttle that concrete 60 feet across the room to the back wall. Figured watching concrete set is the same as watching water boil so I figured why not have some evening fun and rod the soil pipe with a 3" blade all the way to the street. Think I made it to Nebraska but a job I am glad is done. Never really know what your catch fishing these ponds.....

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    #29 32 days ago

    Did I mention they use supports? lol Must say when they pulled the forms the walls were as straight as an arrow. Corners razor sharp and not a single void or deviation. My guess is they have done this before!

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    #30 32 days ago

    Forms pulled and the next dig section begins. While you are catching up on my story for those interested I will continue the saga to the final game placement. So far we are Very pleased with the decision and already see the light at the end of the cave. All told we should end up with a Generous expansion on The Mod Couple manufacturing area and for me a diverse collection of pins expanding to just over 43 machines. (Though I bet I can fit more in) IF the weather holds out, they are targeting finishing the construction by next Friday. Then its my turn with electric, plumbing, black out ceilings, HVAC, drains, lighting, you get the idea lots more stuff...

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    #31 32 days ago
    Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

    Wow, good weekend to place an order.
    Thats an awesome project. Look forward to pics and progress.

    Thanks Eric. lol No mama made certain The Mod shop stays open and operational 22/7 through the entire project. Pinball must go on, and I suspect I still have a few weeks till the floors and walls are ready to move in. For now we have the other basement game room packed and another 15 plus games in every room of the house from dining room to spare bedrooms. Odd temporary lifestyle but we Know the day is coming soon.

    #32 32 days ago

    Must be big money in mods . looking good hope it all goes well

    #33 32 days ago
    Quoted from screaminr:

    Must be big money in mods . looking good hope it all goes well

    No I assure you I have a real day job and we worked Many years to see this come to reality. So far so good and we look forward to our kids, grand kids, and friends sharing our gameroom expansion. Or zombie bunker should the need arise!

    #34 32 days ago

    Holy cow that’s amazing. We have a ranch home and it’s about half crawl space.

    If I did that grandkids could place soccer down there. Good luck.

    #35 32 days ago

    Wow, thats unbelievable, great work. Thanks for sharing your game room build, can't wait to see the final build with pinballs installed.

    #36 32 days ago

    thanks for posting. would like to see it done.

    #37 32 days ago

    Very interesting, especially the fact that there is a company that specializes in conversions from crawl space to full basement. Hard to believe there are enough people crazy (no offense intended ) to want to go through this ordeal, let alone pay for it!

    #38 32 days ago

    Can’t wait to see the finished project! I’ve thought about this many times for our home!

    #40 32 days ago

    This is incredible! What we do for more room to have more pb machines.

    #41 32 days ago

    This is amazing!! I have to ask though, why not just buy a bigger house??

    #42 32 days ago

    Great job. I have looked into this for our house and it is not cheap. Looking forward to seeing updates.

    #43 32 days ago

    That’s a heck of a lot of work!

    #44 32 days ago

    Great topic - looking forward to future reports!

    #45 32 days ago

    Are you going to leave a walk out entrance when done?

    #46 32 days ago

    Well you win the award for most drastic remodel for pinball

    #47 32 days ago

    Damn California and our concrete slab houses....

    #48 32 days ago
    Quoted from thedarkknight77:

    This is amazing!! I have to ask though, why not just buy a bigger house??

    Great question. As an empty nester now and a Paid Off house in a historic area that is more then doubled in value even through the 2009 economy bump we felt it would satisfy our needs. Plus, in our area more SQ footage is a good thing. I suspected vs adding a swimming pool rarely will you find a realtor (in this area) that says adding 1700 sq feet to a home is a bad investment. Believe it or not this doesn't cost Anywhere near what an addition or raised addition would cost. Plus its rather non-invasive as they are basically Under the house and other then the yard mess you hardly know they are there. Finally, this is where our kids grew up so we do love our home.

    #49 32 days ago
    Quoted from Oldgoat:

    Very interesting, especially the fact that there is a company that specializes in conversions from crawl space to full basement. Hard to believe there are enough people crazy (no offense intended ) to want to go through this ordeal, let alone pay for it!

    As I said its really not that invasive. Like having hobbits under the house (with jack hammers). While not common throughout the US, having a basement in Chicago is fairly common. Technically if weather cooperated, they take only 14 days to pull this off.

    #50 32 days ago

    Wow. Congrats! This is nuts! Awesome! My kind of project. Keep posting pictures, it's like construction porn.

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