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Building the new Gameroom!

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lemme tell ya a story about contractors...


Things started out brilliant and then stop and started, I never knew which day they'd show up or not. Still though they were so close, the framing, the drywall, insulation and electric were done. All they really needed to do was plaster and tie up a few carpentry details and it was all set. Well monday morning the foreman and his helper show up at 8AM, great they're getting an early start I thought. Then he tells me the company I've signed a contract with is no more, they're disolving he says. They've come for their tools! Well damn thats a fine way to start the week, so we get our lawyer on the case to sort out the messy parts....


Believe it or not this may well turn out to be a good thing, the payment plan was in 1/3s. One 1/3 to start, 1/3 after plaster and the final 1/3 after they had swept up and walked me thru my new room. So basically they did 70% of the work for 1/3 of the pay, and they left behind most of the materials to finish the job. Its still a bit of a gray area but our lawyer essentially says that they've already breached the contract and arent entitled to jack, we've got a certified letter heading their way. The foreman told me they all got screwed out of their pay and the owner is half a million in debt, he wants to finish the job acting as his own company but I'm not sure I want to be involved in the drama. Once I get the old contract voided me and my extra funds will be shopping around for another crew to do the final work. Hopefully I can get extra couple grand to throw towards the flooring or furniture.


I guess theres a law that no major project can go off without a hitch, I dont know what the lesson here is but I'm hopeful I'll come out ahead.


Heh, anyways I gotta post pictures right?


heres the two new windows they did on their last working day


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  • 2 weeks later...

Back on track just in time for Christmas!


Man I hate hold-ups and broken promises but what can you do? I'm not gonna let anything stand in the way of finishing my gameroom dammit. So I called up a painter I've used in the past and he found me a plastering crew looking for a quick and cheap job. Turned out it was just the crew rehabbing the house across the street but its cool, they did nice work and were out of here in less than 24 hours. The plaster looks awesome, it really warms up the space, it feels like a room you could see yourself living in.


So the very next day out of the blue I get a visit from one of the carpenters who worked on the project before, he was a bit player on their team but I said "Well I'm really looking for a finish carpenter type guy". Of course he knows somebody, they always do but since I've got nothing better to do I say send em over to bid. Long story short I liked the guy, he knew his stuff, his refs and lic checked out and he came in a cool $1600 less than the previous carpenter I had out to bid. He came in this morning with a couple of guys and they've started doing the baseboard and trimwork, along with those storage closets and the door out to the porch.


Next up is the primer coat and color coat, since my wife growled over the ceiling texture I agreed that she could pick the wall color, looks like its gonna be super light grey blue. After that its carpet time! Somewhere along the way comes the hook up visit from the electrician. No doubt more crazy stuff lies ahead but I'll be ready, this has been a real learning experience for me on so many levels. Anyways I'm still shooting for a meet in Jan so keep the trade box handy. Now here are some pics, the Irish/Brazilain plaster team and the finished product.



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A December to Remember...


Geesh this project will never end, its been going since early november and it looks like it'll go into January. There is always an end in sight but at this point I refuse to believe in anything until I see it done. I never really thought of built in shelves with the chimney surround, in fact I thought it would be exposed until they framed it in...lessons learned. It doesnt take up the room really, its in the immediate foreground, about ten feet deep in a 40 foot long room, eh its hard to get a sense of the space from pictures but you'll see it in person someday. So we've got our new crew up there and things are happening again. The guy is doing good work, he's one of those anal perfectionist carpenter types so he stares at everything for ages and has a smoke before he picks up his nail gun. It was pretty damn exciting when he cut the porch door, yeah we had a 3rd floor porch you could only access from the attic window, until now. We were able to use a cool old door I found literally in the rafters, its a 15 panel floor glass door, which will be backed up by a screen/storm door. In order to make it fit with height of the gable wall one corner was cut down to an angle.



My wife Lauren has taken an active interest in the project now that things have reached the decorating stage, for once I just gave up and let her have her way. She has a sort of gold/tan sissel carpet picked out and you can see what she's done with the colors. The ceiling is standard white but the walls are a sort of ultra light gray/blue(like the background color on this forum), the chimney is a full on tomato red and its what Lauren calls the Pop! element. Its sure does break up the room, its cool I guess. You should see the stairs, they're gone be gray on the tread and red on the risers. So now we tie up the carpentry and then the electric and carpet. It'll be a challenge to set up this room at least at first, most of the walls are low and there will be 16 feet of baseboard heat to work around. I also have to make it toddler friendly, which means no precious things and loose wires on low levels til they get out of the destructo-monkey stage. Damn, how about that red?



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  • 3 weeks later...

Kinda funny how once this project was finally finished I forgot to post about it, it wrapped up last thursday. After a lot of wrangling we finally got the electrician out here to do the finish work and install the heat. I'm happy to report its a well illuminated, well outletted and very toasty space. It'll be interesting to see how my A/C strategy works in the July heat but for now its great, I actually had to wait for a truely cold day to test it out! Then came the carpet, my wife and I agreed to a nice silver/gray carpet in the high traffic, low loop style (think office carpet). We figured with kids using this as a "go nuts inside" space it was best to get a padded carpet that could take a beating. We went with Empire carpets, yes with the annoying commericials, I gotta give em props though. Their selection isnt the broadest but they are all business, they'll show up whenever you want and do a good job fast.


So I've managed to set up my main steel shelf and get the modern consoles going, keeping everything high and out of kids reach. I set up a few of my old shelves and they just didnt feel right in the space, you can really only use IKEA style shelves so much before they turn to saggy wrecks. For now I'm going with a less is more look cause I'm too broke to buy custom shelves and the kids are too little to respect a valuable and fragile collection. I figure around the time the twins turn 3 (16 months or so) they'll be better like their big brother was. Kinda ironic that I'll have my largest space ever with the least displayed but thats where our family is at in 07. I've been spending a lot of time up there playing with them, when I see them running around and playing cars up there I know it was worth all the hassle and expense we went thru.


A few loose ends remain, I'm not wild about how the storage doors came out so the carpenter may change them, we need a custom baby gate since the stair top is a non-standard 23 inches. We've got a custom ordered screen/glass door for the porch and Comcast is coming out to install proper ethernet, phone and cable jacks. Now that we passed official inspection we're going to have further wiring added to the office room, perhaps another heater in there. We're planning to frame in a door to make the attic stairs open to the kitchen instead of the backstairs. It never really ends when you own property I guess, the only real lesson here is find contractors you can trust, and even then you better watch out!


Alrighty then, a trademeet is in order, as soon as we can find a date that works for everybody we're on....


now the pics, I havent taken one of the fully finished room since I keep moving stuff around but heres the carpet padding, carpet install and rough set up.





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  • 4 weeks later...

Looks awesome! Last I looked at your pictures you had only just started. I can't believe it's done. I wish I could focus on a project and get it done like that. My house is a disaster. (It looks nice on the outside though. We just had the whole thing painted, even the roof. Shiny!)

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