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Reconstructing my hobbyroom

The old situation

From 2009 to 2012 my hobbyroom measured about 3.60 by 2.10 m effectively. Modest but sufficient. It is a result from an earlier reconstruction in 2000 when we split the loft in two to house our two then teenage sons. The son occupying the other half of the loft married in 2012 leaving the other half of the loft vacant. So I wanted to undo the 2000 recontruction, remove the separating wall and join the two rooms into one again. Easy. Well ....... there are some minor complications.

My hobbyroom in the loft as I used it from 2009

  • My wife wanted a laundry room in the loft so I had to reserve some space for that.
  • Placing the washing machine and the laundry drier there needed some relaying of electric and water conduits
  • That small laundry room needed placing an extra window.
  • An old wall needed removing, an new one for the laundry room is needed.
  • All doors had to be replaced
  • The electricity of the two old rooms needed revision and replacement to suit the one new room.
  • Additionally I had to take sound deadening measures to reduce the noise coming from the laundry machines and  the house's mechanical ventilation.

All in all it was a fairly large job which I expected to take the better part of the modelling season.


Left: my hobbyroom, right my extra space. The two metres effective width of each room is measured on the beams just below the windows. Below the beams there is an extra meter floor space on both sides of the loft which can be used for storage.

The reconstruction plan

The plan is like this:

  • First I move to the adjacent room so I can work on extending the large closet in my old room reconstructing it into a small laundry room.
  • Then I will break down the old wooden walls forming the large closet behind me on the first photo. I will also take away the laminate flooring. I assume the white-blue door will have to go too, as it will otherwise interfere with the placement of the new door.
  • After that the laundry room can be built
  • When the laundry room is ready in its contours, I have it fitted it with all necessary equipment, warm and cold water, drainage, electricity and a window for light and ventilation. I will hire someone to do most of that work.

Once that is done I'll take a week leave from work, probably somehwere in January or February 2013, and in quick succesion will complete the following steps

  • move all my stuff downstairs out of harm's way, 20 boxes, some weighing over 25 kilo!
  • remove all laminate flooring,
  • knock down the separating wall between the two rooms,
  • relay the electricity and repair the ceiling,
  • lay a new laminate floor,
  • move the washer and the dryer into the laundry room,
  • move all my stuff back into my hobbyroom.

28 October 2012

The first step of the plan has been completed: yesterday I moved all my stuff to the opposite room.

This is how the extension of the laundry room will protrude into the hobbyroom.

A small sacrifice for a larger hobbyroom and more space in our bathroom. In the latter, having just 4 m2, space is at a premium and once it is cleared from the laundry equipment, the bathroom will receive a major overhaul into a modest but modern quality area. So after my hobbyroom is ready there's another major project in store. The work ain't done yet!

3 November 2012

A little progress.

As I have developed a back problem in the last few months work is slow, at best working a only a few hours at one time.

  • The floor has been cut to separate the flooring of my current hobbyroom from the part where reconstruction will take place.
  • Removal of the old storage space has begun, shelves have been taken out and doors are gone.
  • Laminate flooring removed and door removed. All debris had already been removed and brought to the local waste deposit. Not a bad result for just three hours work.

9 November 2012

The same spot a week later

17 November 2012

A lot of small but time consuming work has been done. The old framework is gone, repairs of collateral damage has been carried out, construction that depended on old concepts has been reconstructed, old wood has been retrieved for reuse and the remainder of debris has been cleared and disposed of. I'm now ready for the construction of the laundry room, the door of which can bee seen laying on the ground for measurement.


By the way, I'm not working alone.

Credits must also go to my 21 year old son Daniel. He's a good and able co-worker. When he pick ups a tool it seems to come to life by itself.

14 December 2012

Progress was not great, due to being a weekend a away at the coast. But being able to work on it for two consecutive weekends made up for that quite a lot. The door frame is in place and the wall frame is ready. The greater part of the wall is already clad with MDF.

3 February 2013

A lot has happened since my previous update. I didn't want bother you with details.


One minor breakthrough, in the literal sense, was drilling the holes from the first floor through to the second floor to provide electricity for the laundry washer and drier.

I didn't do this myself. I hired Klusservice Sliedrecht to do this work for me. The first of only three jobs I do intend to do myself, the other being the providing the water supply and installing the window in the laundry room.

A very dusty job.

By now the laundry room is as good as ready but for the window to install and some minor painting. As mentioned, I moved to my son's old room as refuge during construction of the laundry room. The door of my old hobby room has been removed and its frame replaced as the new door frame of the laundry room. The numbers correspond to the photos below.

1. The laundry room seen in my old hobbyroom.

The new window is awaiting installation next wednesday

Looking up from place 4 in northern direction into the storage space below the top of the roof.

I replaced the redwood lath paneling dating from the 80s. It was affected in various subsequent reconstructions and replacement was due.
At the right you can just make out the door to the laundry room.

1. This door

2...opens to the laundry room

4. The laundry room

The window still needs placing (next wednesday hopefully), the frame sits to the back of the room

5. The water sink and tap.

The central heating was originally located where now the sink is. When placing a new central heater, at the right, a few years ago we had the foresight to place it to the back wall, saving us now a tremendous lot of time and money.
The water piping was installed by Klusservice Sliedrecht

6 February 2013

The window is in place! Again done by Klusservice Sliedrecht. Great job Alex!

8-15 February 2013

"The wooden laths around the stairs are way outdated", my wife remarked, "While you're at it anyway, couldn't you just replace it?" So, as an intermediate job I ripped out the wood, mounted MDF in place and painted it.

The old laths still in place


New ceiling already done

Then, on the bare framework I attached 6 mm MDF panels, pre drilled and pre-sunk.

The seams where glued

After painting.

The seams around the wall will be sealed with white silicone kit later

15-16 February 2013

Next job was to tear down the wall dividing the loft into two.

Before, on the morning of February 15










After emptying the rooms we wielded the sledge hammer, well, kind of..

Photos of the demolition of the walls in this Album

After, the next day just before noon.

21 February 2013

Well, once we got the ceiling panels out, I checked the ceiling's beams carefully for sagging and much to my surprise it did, too much. I usually build to carry elephants, as my wife puts it. But now the two beams closest to the concrete wall sagged by more than a centimeter in the middle. Although within the safety margin, but barely, I decided to reinforce the ceiling for three simple reasons:

  • as it is now the ceiling will keep flexing, wreaking havoc among the ceiling MDF panel's seams later;
  • if it later proves necessary to reinforce after all, there's a terrible lot of more work and costs involved;
  • and maybe most important: my peace of mind.

So I bought two 44x120 mm beams, instead of the others being 44x69.

The height of a beams adds to the strength of a beam to the power of three so each higher beam is five time stronger than the original beams, both beams combined effectively doubling the strength of the entire ceiling.

Inserting them was a fuss, it took me all day.

First I pressed the ceiling up by 15-20 mm with a vertical beam (barely visible in the middle of the photo). Then I inserted the new beam for which I had to disassemble and reassemble parts of the existing structure. Then I lowered the ceiling onto the beam.

I also added a normal seized beam at the outer end of the ceiling on the concrete wall. As this beam is firmly fixed to the wall it does not flex and adds much more strength than a normal beam.

23 February 2013

The following day I attached the ceiling panels. 

2 March 2013

Now the ceiling was in place, I focused on constructing a cupboard. It serves several purposes.

  • As a whole it serves to prevent anyone falling into the stairway, replacing the original fence.
  • The lower part will accomodate three bookshelves
  • The upper part will serve as a light source to allow daylight to enter the stairway.
  • In order not to sacrifice precious space the upper part will be made into a display cabinet with glass in the back and glass sliding doors in the front. Guess what will be on display.

8 & 9 March 2013



As I mentioned before my wife suggested removing the redwood laths from the '80s. After the ceiling's completion I ripped out the last of the laths and replaced them with MDF sheet.



On the left photo I'm turning in the last screw not all of the lath replacement activiteties but of all the hard construction work. The laundry room is ready, the ceiling is done, the cupboard is ready, the laths have been replaced, even the room's door, barely visible at the very right, has been hung in its hinges.


Let the PAINTING begin!!


Painting meant first filling the screw holes and the seams in the MDF sheets, sanding them down. The latter is nasty and dirty work. I took ample safety measures as it is extremely dusty work.

So after two days of hard work the northern part of my room looked like this:



I even had time to give the ceiling its first layer of final coating. It looks ok on the photo, but believe me, it needs another layer.-->

23 March 2013

It's been two weeks since my last report. The weekend in between was used to do numerous big and small jobs. Taking the two photos above as a reference: removing the slanted bookshelves, filling and sanding its holes, painting the slanted walls, painting the main beams, final painting of the ceiling, final painting of the cupbaord, installing planks in the cupboard, installing lights, finishing touches to the electricity like mounting a threefold power outlet on the slanted beam, cleaning the concrete wall from remains of previous decoration, removing plugs and filling their holes in that wall, sanding and revarnishing the window sills (much needed after 12 years), discarding of superfluous construction material and moving the rest so it would be out of the way. By March 23 I had advanced to the stage where redecoration of the concrete wall could start.

We started early in the morning, having spent the previous day arranging everything so we could work undisturbed. Before noon, and well ahead of planning, we'd finished the wall. So having another half day I started work on laying the floor prematurely and beforelong I'd finished that as well!

Panorama facing south

Believe me, the floor is straight, the "curve" is a result of the panorama technique to provide you a full sweep view from left to right

Panorama facing north

28 March - 1 April 2013

I had taken a few days leave from work immediately before the Easter weekend. I moved my stuff from the overfilled laundry room into my newly decorated hobbyroom. Having emptied the laundry room I layed laminate flooring and we hauled the laundry machines up the stairs

It stil is a bit messy

Laying the laundry room floor






Before long however the floor was done and the machines were hauled upstairs, by no means an easy job!

Things are getting a little bit organized

On March 29 I moved my temporary work area....

.... and beforelong I was mailing from my new work space in my hobbyroom

I started settling in my hobbyroom

I moved furniture all over the place to see how things worked out best in the new space. After the Easter weekend things got a bit organised. I was most pleased to have my books back!

6 April 2013


The doors are on the book cabinets! Not only does it look much better but it also keeps out the dust and my two dear parakeets who showed a naughty appetite for my books. Of course without fail they found my most valued and valuable book!

13 April 2013

On the previous photo the wall to the right of the book cabinets was still unused. The room in the cabinets proved to be unadequate for both my books and my modelling stuff so I mounted shelves on the wall to gain storage room.

This is my new hobby space.

At the left the book cabinet, then the machine table and the newly mounted shelves, under the window is my working table with soldering stuff with at the right side the cage with my two parakeets. By day the cage is open so they can fly about freely. The boxes at the far right contain my locomotive models. Stored for now until the display cabinet is ready, the last job to do!
BUT, WHAT'S ON THAT DESK??? Surely it wouldn't be.....
.....yes, it is! It's the Ad60 unpacked after a full year's pause awaiting completion!

Me figuring out where I left last year