The ULTIMATE game storage solution. Or, 20 steps to making a dream come true.
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I finally did it. I've cracked under the pressure of boardgame addiction and more or less succumbed to the fact that it's my one true vice. More importantly, I had to find a solution to keeping my marriage intact without losing my second true happiness. Yes, I want my games and play them too (I think Marie Antoinette said something similar before they lopped her head off, something my wife was going to do to me soon if I didn't clear out the house).

So once a collection spills beyond it's containment you might have a few options. One was to start storing less played and displayed games in bins in the garage. Even though I packed them well with dry-rite to keep out moisture and mildew, I eventually ran out of space in the garage for my bins. I started stashing a few stacks in closets in the house but with bookcases full of card games in binders, stacks of games above cabinets, and the occasional game hidden under the bed, something had to give. I had five full cabinets filled the living room with another four in the dining room (which had become my game room), plastic bins with my CMG collection under bench seating, odd shaped stuff crammed in every open corner, and a few bookcases overflowing with games and game materials. There was no denying that I was out of control. Despite the most efficient space management techniques I could devise, I finally hit maximum density from over 30 years of game collecting.

Option 2: rent a large storage unit and move my games stored in bins out to it, thus allowing more games to be moved from the house into bins in the garage, and so on. Not an option. Square footage rental costs along would be a recurring item and I'd still have games hidden away from the light of day (at an even greater traveling distance than my dining room).

Option 3: "Hey honey, what if I build a big shed on the property and move all my games out of the house and garage for good. You'd get your rooms back that we can renovate however you want and you'd have room to open your car doors in the garage when you park." The evil seed was planted. With a bit of nurturing care and proper feeding, this might be the solution I was looking for.

Well what follows is the sequential story of this project. The spark was ignited back in March of 2012 and the process started soon thereafter.
- Building Options (went with Tuff Shed)
- deciding how big to make it and what would fit
- review CC&R's
- getting Blueprints
- Permitting
- discovering new hidden requirements like the requirement for a poured foundation
- contracting cement
- curing time for the pad
- building it
- inspections
- adding the extras
--- siding
--- gutters
--- paint job
--- entry patio
--- insulation
--- electric (another whole process of permitting, installation, and inspections)
--- security
--- flooring
--- heating and dehumidifying

Option 4: Stop buying games. (HA! Like this was really an option.)

Well Holy crap! The process was like living the movie "The Money Pit". So come 1 October 2012 and I can say it's pretty much complete. But was it worth it? I know my answer (and I'm still married... to the same woman). Now it's off to Essen to get more games to fill it.

So now my wife wants to buy a plaque to hang over the door naming it. I've come up with a few choices as follows in my order of preference:
1. The Boardgame Bunker (aka "the bunker") THE VOTE WINNER BY ALMOST 60%
2. The Ludo Lounge (aka "the lounge")
3. The Gaming Grotto (aka "the grotto")
4. The Playroom Parlor (aka "the playroom")

Anyway, more on that later. I figure you only live once, but boardgames are forever. So without further ado, here's the 20-step way to breaking your wallet that results from a boardgame addiction.

Cheers and good gaming.

... and to see what I've been filling it with this year start at:
A Fool and his Money... My 2014 Boardgame Bunker Acquisitions
Boardgame Bunker Baubles - My 2013 game acquisitions
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1. Board Game: Storage Wars: The Game [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:7680]
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So between miniatures games, CCG, board games with boxes of every different size and shape, play mats, and all the other miscellaneous stuff that goes along with boardgaming, it really became an issue of maximum density.



Once it starts taking over rooms that the wife wants for living space, you've hit critical mass. Yes, this was the livng room. But eventually storing stuff in bins in some cold, dark space is just a disservice to the hobby, not to mention a real pain in the ass when you're trying to find that one game at the bottom of a bin at the bottom of a stack of bins. I guess if I was a classic car collector/restorer, I would have run out of garage space long ago.
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2. Board Game: Prize Property [Average Rating:5.61 Overall Rank:8971]
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I hate mowing lawns. And I've never made great use of all the space I've had off to the side of my house so rather than throw money at a storage facility I decided to invest it into my property. It was time to add the bonus room I never could afford when I first built my house. And a 2-car garage doesn't offer great storage room when you park 2 cars in it. What a concept, I use my garage to park my cars in. I think it was George Carlin that said only in America do we pack a thousand bucks work of crap to the roof in our garage and leave $50,000 worth of car parked in our driveways.
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3. Board Game: Digging Around in the Dirt [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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So after measuring, staking, checking codes, getting permits, and all that beurocratic crap it's time to bring in the Tonka toys and start getting dirty. The plan: Build a 16'x20' shed. After a bit more measuring I discover that I can squeeze another 2' in, and still clear the set-backs for code. Final decision is for a 16x22 foot slab. So rough calculations give me 352 sq. ft. of storage space. I figure if the wife is going to kick me out of the house into the doghouse, I better make plans for some comfort while I'm out there.
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4. Board Game: Concrete Jungle [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
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The finished slab end result of the following:

So get the hole dug.

Get everything framed.

Impressive rebar and mesh.

And the kicker is that code required footings due to its size so it wasn't a matter of just pouring a 4" pad. This monster is stressed to hold up the weight of the Statue of Liberty. That's when you discover just how expensive concrete has become.
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5. Board Game: Master Builder [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:3638]
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After weeks of bad weather and concrete curing, I finally managed to schedule assembly in mid June. It was nice to have given the bolt patterns to the concrete guys so everything was ready for the pre-constructed walls. The silver you see on the inside of the wood is a hard moisture coating almost like an aluminum sheet.


It was amazing to watch everything assembled so quickly.
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6. Board Game: Raise the Roof [Average Rating:5.54 Overall Rank:9006]
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I significantly increased the pitch of the roof in order to get a loft put in that I could stand upright in at the apex. Glad I did.
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7. Board Game: Loft Story [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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I had the two center trusses modified to allow for open access to either side of the loft while also providing light in from the skylight. The loft(s) added another 150 sq. ft. of storage which came in handy.


I had a nice flex-ladder that works perfect for accessing the lofts.


The lower right corner of this shot shows my ladder solution. Two hooks and the whole thing is up and out of the way.

EDIT: 2/14/2014 A Valentine's Day update. I now have created a niche area on one side of the loft by installing 4 smaller gorilla shelve systems and moving my Avalon Hill, Avalanche Press, and miniatures collection into the area. With a nice ottoman and corner lamp, it's a nice low-ceiling storage area with easy access. It effectively cleared out two more years of storage space on shelves in the lower main bunker area. Here's some shots of the improvements.

looking across from the other side
dehumidifier in one corner
lamp is hiding in back corner
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8. Board Game: Take Siding [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Along with the interior attached moisture guard the whole shed is wrapped in a Tyvex type moisture wrap before the siding is attached. The Hardy Plank siding was another big expenditure but we did it to match the house and avoid any code issues with the neighbors, even though we don't have an HOA to deal with. The two smaller vents in this shot are also skylight type allowing plenty of light in the morning from the East facing of that side. To maximize interior wall space, I only went with 2 small windows on the West side.
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9. Board Game: AC/DC [Average Rating:4.76 Unranked]
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I made a decision early on to have the shed wired for power. This decision delayed interior build-out for nearly a month. Scheduling the electrical guy wasn't so bad but getting the inspections done (and the "
trench to hell" dug) is long story I won't relay. (Ha ha, electrical... relay... sometimes I just crack myself up.) I did become intimately familiar however with the crawlspace under my house.

Anyway, I had a 20amp dedicated circuit run from the garage box, finally deciding on 2 overheads and 2 outlets (I eventually added another 2 myself in the loft). Then I decided to run coax cable in from the garage in case I want to move my old crappy television out there.



If only for resale value down the road, the place would make a great office or workshop.
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10. Board Game: Ground Floor [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:605] [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked]
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The original idea was to just redo the floors in the house once all my games were out of it. Then Costco had a great deal on this flooring at 50% off so then it became feasible to just floor the whole shed with plank flooring. Installation was relatively easy since there were no cutouts to deal with and the planking was already pre-padded with insulation. It turned out much better than I had hoped at about 71 cents a square foot. And I discovered muscles I never knew existed in my body.
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11. Board Game: Stuff It [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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Another great debate. To insulate, or not. At this point, I'm already in for a penny so it's time to go for the pound. Went with R-13 standard insulation. That was a fun process (not) and I'm sure I've insulated the inside of my lungs with a fine fiberglass coating as well. But in the end, I'm glad I did since it really turned out to keep things cooler in the later summer months and, so far, cozier with winter coming on. The games will appreciate it.

I made sure I got every nook and cranny.
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12. Board Game: Quiz Panel [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Can't keep insulation just open to the room, so the next step was to panel the whole place. Went with a simple pattern that worked good with the flooring and kept things fairly bright. Of course then I started getting fancy and put molding down the corners and around the base.



You truly learn the value of a nail gun when you do it all yourself.
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13. Board Game: Pick a Paint [Average Rating:5.85 Unranked]
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Decided to paint it the same color as the house with the same trim.

unpainted
painted


More important than that though was the decision to put up gutters to get the rain away from my treasures. We get plenty of it in the Pacific Northwest so it was a must. Probably the cheapest addition I made.
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14. Board Game: Doorways to Adventure [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:8737]
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Of course I soon realized that trudging through the grass and mud would bring a mess of cleanup needs to my hovel, so a few hundred pounds of concrete slabs and sandbags later, I added the mini patio (I got my workout that day).



Today was spent on finishing touches like laying the stone path to the bunker. AKA "the road to adventure". Guarded by Thor, my pet gargoyle. And yes, that is a Piss-boy you see in the photo.

EDIT: Winter 2014

With space heaters keeping things at a cool 65, the bunker survives a week of snow, ice, and sub-zero temperatures.
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15. Board Game: Shelf [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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How to work a living dead Zed shot into the list. My 6' 2" son fit nicely into the packing box for what could double as a coffin. And, what type of shelving to use for a huge quantity of games? I had nice melamine cabinets but wanted something with a high sturdiness factor. Ultimately I settled on Gorilla Racks. They're so tough I can climb on them like a ladder with no issues or concerns. No bowing, bending, flexing, they're linkable, and they come with plenty of width for storage space.



The hardest part was deciding on orientation. I had a few cabinets to move into the shed as well as a bookcase, so I finally went with a hallway configuration that would allow for access to games from either side of one set. Hence, the upcoming alleyway that was created.

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16. Board Game: Moving Forward [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Eventually all the details were in place and it was time to start moving the games from storage out of their mausoleum bins and back into the light of day. Following that came the move of all games from in my house into this man-cave. I think I covered the distance of a marathon between the number of trips hauling games from point A to point B. Much like with the nail gun, I also discovered the beauty of a handcart.



After moving in all my games, and by my best calculations, I figure I have at least 2-3 more years worth of game accumulation space on the shelves, maybe even more.
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17. Board Game: Alley Oop [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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So out of this configuration came what I call "the Alley". Shown to the left is the small entry area into the long corridor which reminds me of a scene from the original old movie "Tales from the Crypt" with Peter Cushing and the "Blind Alleys" story. Here's the referenced image:


Here's the view in the other direction towards the Alley entry:


The nice part about the alley setup is the front row of shelves allows for access from both sides with bookcase and square type game boxes. This allowed the back shelf wall to hold the longer box games that take up most of the shelf width.

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18. Board Game: Let's Furnish A House [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Time to make the house a home. I start bringing in the gaming tables and adding the homey/cozy elements that really make it a locale to retreat into for solace and gaminess.

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19. Board Game: Finale [Average Rating:5.76 Unranked]
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... or the GRAND Finale. Throw in a comfy chair, benches, gaming tables, mini-blinds, entertainment system, space heater, dehumidifier, and mood lighting, and the dream becomes a reality. I think I'll go have a beer and snuggle up with a rulebook.

... looking towards the alley entrance.

... entryway shot of mini table, great for a workbench, holding gaming snacks, or a 2-player game area.

... The comfy chair, and a few carry-over cabinets from the house (full of smaller sized games).

... the "Nook"

Total comfortable seating capacity at any one time for 10 gamers.
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20. Board Game: The Name's The Game [Average Rating:4.62 Unranked]
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I spent 100 Geek Gold and all I got was this lousy overtext message!
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So with all said and done, I don't know what to call this folly. I do know it has to be a double name that starts with the same letter like Stan Lee's characters. I've listed my choices in order of preference from coolest, to most fruity. But maybe there's one I've overlooked (like Das Brettspiel Beutel or Das Spiel Shed for example). For now it's going to be hard to "dislodge" me from the "bunker". But if you list a name that I like more and ultimately pick, 50gg is yours. Mostly I'm interested in just seeing what other folks come up with.

Oh, and if you made it this far, thanks for reading. I hope you've enjoyed this montage as much as I did in creating it. I guess it's time to start hosting game nights again.

Poll
Help me decide on a name.
Which of the following names would be your top choice for this structure?
The Boardgame Bunker
The Ludo Lounge
The Gaming Grotto
The Playroom Parlor
Other (list below in the comment section)
      1864 answers
Poll created by Walt Mulder
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