Early in 2019 I finally got around to starting work on the garage to convert it into a game room and workshop (a.k.a. ‘mancave’). I quite often have buildy-things on the go and I love retrogaming and wanted to get a few old 80s arcade machines. I was stuffing everything into my office upstairs but it got to the point where it was so stuffed full and messy that I couldn’t find anything. I needed more space. I had grand plans for a home arcade and workshop and after getting the ‘OK’ from the missus, I made a start.
The garage is roughy 5m long by 3m wide, and a little over 3m high. The plan was to split this up into two rooms with a stud partition wall.
It needed lots of work if I was going to be able to make 2 rooms out of it…
- The big up-and-over automatic garage door was rubbish. You can see it powered here by a floating extension reel. It didn’t open or close properly, and the framework and motor took up half the garage. If a stud-wall was going in, this had to go.
- The electrics were shot. There was a tiny consumer unit on the back wall, cables everywhere, crap lighting, and hardly any plug sockets.
- It had a big lop-sided mezzanine shelf over the garage door with supporting beams that ran most of the way along each side wall. I liked the idea of a mezzanine storage shelf in my workshop, but this existing one had to go.
- There were lots of old fixtures, shelves, nails, screws, you name it, along the walls that would all have to be removed.
- The steps at the back door were crumbling away and would need replacing.
- The render on the walls would need patching up all over the place and it would need painting.
- It had damp issues.
- I’d be running loud power tools in here, probably at night. It is directly below the girls’ bedroom and it wasn’t sound-proofed.
I made a basic plan in sketchup and drew on some bits to give me an idea of what I wanted…
The front of the garage was to be a 3x2m workshop, and the back would be the 3x3m gameroom/arcade…
I worked out that over time I could comfortably get a maximum of 8 arcade cabs in if I arrange them carefully. My ideal list would be: –
- Sega Out Run
- Williams Defender
- Atari Asteroids Cabaret
- Electrocoin Midi Jamma cab (for horizontal games)
- Electrocoin Midi Jamma cab (for vertical games)
- Reproduction Atari Star Wars (not paying £5k+ for an original!)
- Reproduction Williams Robotron Mini (not paying £4k+ for an original!)
- A multi-vector Mame cab
- My rotating CP+monitor Mame cab
OK… I just counted.. that’s 9. 😀 Well I’m sure the good wife won’t mind one of the smaller ones in the lounge, will she?!
First job would be to get rid of the up-and-over door and replace it with something nicer and more suitable. See you in Part 2.