GARAGE TO GAMES ROOM – Part 2

Hi guys.

After a very busy summer, it is time to share my progress, and see if my garage is still a garage or looking more akin to a proper man cave and games room. Is it finished? Well, let us see. Grab a brew, get comfy, there’s a bit to cover.

Let’s quickly recap where I was up to. [you can read the full write-up of Part 1 HERE].

I had further insulated, plaster-boarded, papered and painted the walls, installed the first fix electrics, moved/removed a light fitting, insulated the garage door and painted the ceiling.

Right, now that we’ve caught up, let’s get cracking. With the first fix electrics already in place, it was time to call up a good friend, we’ll call him Jim, (mainly because that is his name), to come and make good the second fix. With that done, I now had sixteen, yes sixteen glorious and shiny, white sockets gracing my freshly painted walls.

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Next up was to split the garage into two sections. The part nearest the back, where the entrance through to the hall/stairs are, which will house the utility stuff, leaving the part at the front, garage door end, for the good stuff. The construction of the garage actually led to a natural point where this would lie, as the left wall has a step in at about two thirds of the way down the garage. I had already decided that rather than just a standard stud wall, I wanted/needed to incorporate some level of storage into this partition, to house the general everyday detritus that used to be housed in the garage, that I didn’t want encroaching into the new space.

After a lot of measuring, re-measuring, working out spacings, I drew up a rough plan and figured out all the lengths of trusty 18mm MDF I was going to need, worked out the optimum layout to fit on the least number of sheets. Then it was off to my local B&Q (other diy stores are available), to buy the wood and then get the nice man to quickly and accurately rip all the sheets to my desired lengths.

The end result being that, yes I paid about a third more than the builders merchant prices, but I saved ages of time, avoided all that awful MDF dust and importantly, came away with very accurately cut, square boards, walking out of B&Q 15 minutes later with this lot.

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The plan was to build a wall made up of three main sections, each one sporting a number of storage cubes, a left section, a right section and a top section. These could then be secured to the walls/ceiling and each other to provide the strength/solidity associated with an interior wall.

Time for some woodwork. But before we get to the glossy photos, some advice. If anyone here decides to shun Ikea and build their own storage based on the following photos, if you take nothing else away, please, remember this. Paint the lovely flat sheets of wood NOW. Take them outside and roll them, brush them, spray them, whatever, just do it NOW and NOT, as I did, after they are built, with all those horrid angles, corners and upside down shelves. Oh how I still smart at my lack of foresight, even as I type this, I recall awkwardly lying on the ground painting the underside of the lowest shelves!!

 But enough of that, lets get gluing/screwing/drilling/countersinking……

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‘Mandatory brew in shot’
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Weird camera angle makes the top look wonky – it’s not
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In case you were wondering..
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Another day, another brew..
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And starting to take shape..
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From the other side, you can (just) make out how the top section is ‘tapered’ to fit the differing ceiling heights at each end

With the basic woodwork complete it was time to break out the primer. Standard Johnstone’s MDF primer (white) used and rolled on, with brush used for all those annoying angles and corners -[facepalms self].

Then it was time to choose a paint. Black? Dark Grey? No chance, break out the colour!

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Here’s a work in progress shot. White – Primer. Orange – Paint. Grey – Paint as used on walls.

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Really starting to take shape now, but with MDF, it is always difficult to get a nice finish on the sawn edges. Yes, you can use a really fine sandpaper and polish it to a high gloss, as I did for my Arcade Stick build, but whilst that is ok on a small area, I didn’t fancy doing it for all the edges on show here. So I decided to simply clad it. You can get all kinds of fancy wood edging strips, but a simple ‘D’ shaped 18mm wide strip was all I used. But when I initially offered the strips to the shelves, I was unhappy with the ‘gaps’ that were formed where the strips met at right angles, so I set up my dremel and shaped the edges to fit over each other.

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Here’s a close-up to show what I mean.

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These strips were then painted up, using the contrasting grey I had used on the walls in the games room.

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And then glued/pinned to the front of the shelving unit. I think this really sets off the shelving and gives it a far more ‘finished’ look, rather than just a load of MDF.

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Next up was to put a backing onto the shelves, which in turn will be the solid wall, from the games room side.

It’s worth noting that with all houses, rooms, walls, nothing is actually square, and this was no exception, offering up the backing sheets, showed just how far off the wall is to the ceiling, but a quick scribe and saw, soon remedies this.

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A sheets of 6mm MDF was used on each side, but in order to ensure I didn’t cock this up and hammer a nail through in the wrong place, I first offered it up, then drew round all the cubes from the front, onto the backing sheet. Leaving me with a template for all the MDF uprights and shelves. From there I could drill 1mm pilot holes, every 6 inches, to then use a perfect guide to hammer in the nails.

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Then the nails needed punched below the surface and the holes filled, ready for final sanding.

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But first, having learned my lesson, I primed and painted the backing sheet BEFORE I fixed it in place. Now we are talking..

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Then it was simply a case of repeating everything I had done on one side, to make the other side complete. I also added some small architrave around the base and side to hide the edges, etc.

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And standing back, as far as I can, to try and get it all in shot, you can see how it spans the entire width, from floor to ceiling, leaving a nice doorway sized gap.

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I really do like how these strips join together, they really finish off the build.

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And from the other side, the games room, looking out. (Yes the other side is full of crap and yes, that is a huge lego minifig!)

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A good marker for a woodworking project is how much glue remains in the bottle and how much pencil you have left…..

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Getting close now, and some final woodwork to take care of, with the fitting of architrave around the bottom of the walls/plasterboard. A much taller board used for these walls to fit with the proportions. Simple MDF stuff, pre-primed and painted to match.

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With the bottom of the walls sorted, time to turn attention to the tops. Here I wanted to put up some coving of sorts, to hide the gaps between the plasterboard and the ceiling, but also wanted to incorporate some kind of mood lighting.

First I settled on the lighting, some LED lighting strips, readily available all over Ebay and the Tinterweb. I bought two reels, with power adaptor and remote control for about £20. These come supplied with a self-adhesive backing strip, but I had read that this wasn’t the strongest adhesion and after time peeled away, so had to factor this in too.

I settled on using simple flat 10mm thick, 100mm high, UPVC facia boarding for the coving itself. It is cheap, easy to work with, light as a feather, very smooth surface. 10mm is also the thickness of the LED strip.

I also ordered some high-strength double-sided foam tape.

The first facia strip was secured to the top of the wall, with the foam strip applied to the base. I then secured the LED adhesive backing to this foam strip. Resulting in the LED strip effectively being doubly glued to the bottom of the facia board, with the strip lighting facing down. On to this, I then secured a second facia strip, 1cm lower than the first, to hide the individual LED bulbs, resulting in a solid glow, being omitted from behind the facia board. I then painted the facia board the same, lighter grey, that I used for the ceiling.

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Again, very happy with how all of this is turning out. The photos are ok, but in real life, this is really making me smile. The lights do all manner of fancy disco themed fades and flashes or can be static in a whole myriad of chosen shades, and whilst on bright white, actually give off a decent amount of light.

We are close, so very close. What was once a dusty old cold garage is almost an actual room. But letting it down, is the floor. The bare, cold, dusty concrete slab had to go. I had toyed with varying options. Carpet tiles, actual carpet, laminate, vinyl, I pretty much considered everything.

Vinyl was already in use in the utility end and offered little in the way of comfort or relief from the cold and I figured moving cabs on it would just rip it up.

I knew of others who had used wooden laminate and the cabs had wrecked it almost straight away.

I brought home a sample of differing carpet tiles options, cheap to expensive thick rubber backed ones, and whilst they offer the most flexible option, after leaving them overnight in the garage, walking on them in socks, you could still feel the cold permeating through.

So I tried a square of high density underlay covered with carpet and there was just no comparison. Sold.

And here I turned to the first paid trade to come and help me out. I say paid, but actually the fitting was free when I bought the underlay and carpet. And whilst here, I figured there was no point in buying the cheap crap and splashed out. After all we were only looking at about 9msq, so hardly going to bankrupt me.

The difference this made, is literally indescribable and even the photo do not even come close to trying to infer just how much this propelled this whole project from a miserable garage to a beloved cosy room. But as you look at the photos, try and recall the smell of newly laid carpet, the sumptuous feel as you sink your toes into the deep pile, well you get the idea…

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We have rounded the final corner and are now positively on the home straight.

The garage door. As it was, it remained obviously a garage door from the inside, coupled with the fact that I had fixed the insulation to the inner side, it wasn’t going to do, leaving it like that.

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As I have said before, I always intended on leaving the garage door as a functioning garage door.  After all it is the easiest way be far to get the cabs in and out when Martin comes a knocking. So for this, I went really simple. Having acquired a set of thick, lined, full length, black curtains from a friend at work, I used a roll of extra strength adhesive Velcro tape, fixing it to the top of the door frame and the top of the curtain. I thought I may have had to stitch it to the curtain, but the box did not lie, when it told of super sticky tape.

What a difference.

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(the planks were used to move the cabs into place along the carpet)

So, is that it? Well, not quite. I need to pick up my Atari Asteroids cocktail cab from my friend IamJimmi’s house where he has kindly been storing it, whilst I have got this room sorted. I need to also do an IKEA trip and pick up a piece of furniture which will house my console collection and finally decide on what seating I am going to have. Then I have collected numerous artworks and other items to finally get pride of place in their own space, to display around the place.

So there will be one final update to follow, but here are a few photos of the inhabitants to date.

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Admittedly though, I am at the end of this build, just the fun stuff left. So I hope it has served of some use to others who may be thinking about, or already on with their own. I certainly took inspiration from some great games rooms of friends and from the internet. Check out @ArcadeBlogger and @NintendoArcade over on Twitter for some great articles and videos on other games rooms, including their own.

I’ll post back, soon, with the finished room in all it’s glory, fully populated, with a video to boot, so please watch out for that in your feed. If you liked what you have just read here, please give it a like, retweet or share on whatever social media you frequent. Please come back and have a read through my other blog entries and if you like them, consider subscribing.

I would be made up if you took the time to leave a comment, but more than happy that you took time out to read this far. I hope to see you back for the final reveal.

Thank you all, I’m now off to play some games. Did I mention, I have a new games room!

17 thoughts on “GARAGE TO GAMES ROOM – Part 2

      1. Looks epic mate, love that orange and blue combo on the shelving. Great job mate and nice craftsmanship. Can’t wait to see it in the flesh!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Bloomin’ Nora! That’s ace mate! Bloody jealous as a green eyed monster in Greenland.
    Might garage is still leaning over and unusable.
    Great choice of cabs. Space Invaders is classic. Asteroids on its way… another fave. Just need Robotron2084 or Astro Blaster 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A great job Neil, you should be well chuffed with yourself. How’s the soundproofing to the rest of the house with your arcade at full power?
    Enjoy it

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Epic!

    Lovin the colour scheme… The little asti is going to be spoilt in his new home… I reckon he’s going to love the company in there too… Space Invaders, Robotron, DK bartop… oooh and lots of space for…. ?????

    Liked by 1 person

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