The Game Room
When we stared house hunting in January 2004, we (well, Neil, really) wanted to make sure that whatever house we bought had a suitable room to make into a game room, complete with pool table and dart board, and anything else we could think of later. The house we settled on was just the ticket.
The room upstairs was originally 15'x15', a little too short to put a regulation 8 foot pool table in, but we had plans to expand the room to about 18 feet long. We got the pool table earlier than expected (deal too sweet to pass up), and had it installed before we expanded the room. For a few months, you had to use the short cues for shots from the ends of the table.
Spring 2005 rolled around and it was time to get started on the big expansion. There was plenty of attic space on the South side of the house to work with, so the decision was made to expand in that direction, essentially moving the wall back 3 feet. Of course, in order to move the wall, you have to have floor under it, which needed to be built. And you also have to distribute the weight of the ceiling somewhere before the existing (load-bearing) wall can be taken out.
A friend of Neil's from work (who happened to be an experienced contractor) helped out at first, building the subfloor on which to rest the walls. Due to, as they say, "a complicated series of events", this friend "had to" move away from the area in the middle of the project. But, hey, the plans had been pretty much worked out and the most-important subfloor was finished, so things could charge ahead without professional help. Well, a little bit: an electrician was hired to rewire a bit, as wall sockets needed to be moved and the closet light needed to be removed.
Neil's WorkCamp experience kicked in, so he was able to get things finished off, with the help of Ginger and a few friends. Our buddy Tom came up from Houston for a weekend to help with the major construction, the installation of a beam (three 16' long 2x12s nailed together) that would carry the weight of the existing and new ceiling joists, then the ceiling joists themselves, then the demolition of the old wall and hanging of new drywall.
Once the major labor was completed, the walls needed to be floated and textured (we chose a cool faux Venetian plaster look), then painted.
What to do for the new floor section? You can't very well match 8-year-old carpet, and we didn't want to recarpet the whole room. We thought about tile or linoleum... then Ginger got a great idea: since it's a game room, why not have the new three-foot strip be green indoor/outdoor carpeting... a putting green!
So after a bunch of hard work spread over a couple months, it was down to the finishing touches: installing a floor a transition piece between the carpet and the green, and new baseboards, and having the ceiling professionally floated and textured, made the renovation complete!
Seems like a lot of work for a little three-foot expansion? It was, but it was well worth it. The main goal was accomplished: you can shoot from anywhere around the pool table, even against the rails, and there's just enough room that your cues don't butt up against the walls!