When we purchased our home the previous owners had built a large 21 x 25 foot building out beside the pool and were using it as a storage area and workshop.
As we were deciding what to do with the space and dealing with deployments we decided to turn it into a family game area and hangout. We installed a foosball table and a slate pool table. It gets very hot in Savannah so we started to buy rolls of insulation everytime we passed the Home Depot and slowly started to insulate the walls.
Since the prior owners used it for storage it had a garage door on one end that took up lots of needed space.
We continued to use the room as is and slowly worked as funds were available...Home Depot had a nice portable air conditioner that we ran while we figured out a heat/AC solution.
As we finished up the insulation we could certainly feel a difference in the temps inside of the poolhouse.
Final insulation; while there was no drywall I installed a suround sound system and outside speakers and dropped all of the cords in the area that would eventually become the bar.
Started to drywall before one of my deployments.
I had a vision of what I wanted the final 'look' to be so before I left for Iraq I did one corner so I could see what it would eventually look like.
Back at it and completing more drywall. Since I was hanging these alone I didn't follow any set pattern...I sort of worked one wall at a time.
I needed to slowly work each panel making sure I put the electrical boxes where I would need them and connecting the associated switches.




I got a quote for central air, but they wanted $3600 and I would lose the upstairs space...I decided to go with a split AC unit (ductless)...we used them overseas and they seemed to work great. I got the unit on Ebay for $650 and installed it myself as it came precharged.
Got rid of the garage door. Well this required some fast work as I now had a huge opening into the poolhouse.




Since the door frame was very solid it was just a matter of building a new frame and sealing the bottom. I left the large frame spacing for a reason...
During one of my deployments a friend said "you need to get a pachinko machine for the poolhouse"...so a few eBay bids later and it was on its way to my wife...that was tough to explain until I came home and installed it. Here I countersunk the case I built by installing it in my new wall.




Stained to match the rest of the wood.
Installed the machine into the custom built cabinet.




Finally I ran a switch and installed the converter in a lower access panel by the plug. Power on and all is well!
After I finshed installing the game I drywalled the final section.




Lots of planning and leap-frogging steps. When I put the pool light up I knew it would be in its final location, but I needed to set the box so I used a small piece of drywall...the light in the background is a directional globe set to light up the dartboard.
Hanging drywall is heavy, but not hard. Running the tape and mudding...that seems like an art.
To get that bar/pub feel I'm runninmg bead board up and placing a cap at the top. The ladder is now my only way to get to the second floor since I removed the pull down attic steps that were installed in the dead center of the room...when I removed the steps I had to put a new joist all the way across (not fun with limited helpers...wife and kids).
Movie area allmost done. Before I drywalled this area I put a drop down screen up in the rafters and installed the center channel speaker directly below the screen.
Starting to come together. Since we wanted a theater area we needed light blocking shades. We ordered some custom fit/color ones at the Home Depot that really made the room look great (and dark).
My son testing out the movie screen...notice the wall is stained and the speaker grill is painted...the area looks good.
Full size...between the screen and the surround sound movies really come to life in the poolhouse.
More ceiling drywall going up...I also got those cool mini celing fans at the Home Depot...they have a supper short blade which is perfect for the area. The projector is installed behind the seating area and I ran a power switch to the wall so it turns on from floor level.
This is the space I left to get upstairs...more to follow.
Better view.
Again, moving on and working in small sections.
I had to build window casings as they were only framed in...I have lots of tools, but I don't have a planer...to get thin enough wood I bought a panel kit from Home Depot and ripped the boards to fit.
To finish the windows and doors I simply took the moulding and routed the bottom (outside half inch) so they installed over the panels.
I know this looks scary...he painted the wall and now ruined it...this is actually the first coat of venetian plaster...after this is done and buffed the walls will have a rich warm feel.
Other end of same wall.
First coat dry...now opposite direction!
Second coat on and drying...once dry you take a putty knife and 'polish' the plaster.
See the warmer tone compared to the flat yellow.
Stairs...well I researched the internet on how to build stairs...ie take the hieght needed and the distance and calculate rise/run...well I did that and my runners fit perfect from the header on the joist right to the wall (just as I measured)...problem was you couldn't get on the steps...I couldn't change the distance or the stairs would be too steep...solution...build a landing and turn!
The stringers are secured to the header and the inside one is lag bolted to the wall studs.
Steps!...I can actually walk upstairs.
Lots of space under the stairs...wife suggested closet...so be it!
My daughter doing her part...she was motivated to stain all of those stair treads...bless her little heart, because I wasn't motivated!
We are using the stairs to carry drywall upstairs and they are very solid.
Stairs and under closet complete...I also did the venetian plaster to the stair wall before moving on...I really think the dark wood and soft plaster color really change the room...the two sections are night and day to look at.
Moving on...same process, bead board, paint, and then stain.
Corner complete.
Ceiling sanding...what a mess...drywall dust on EVERYTHING!
Last area sealed up...the room is completely drywalled.
I'm building the bar over by the french doors, but really only have it designed in my head...so for now I built this first shelving unit as a placeholder so I can finish the forward wall.
By finishing the corner cabinet I can now finish the front wall and trim out the french doors.
The bar will be built and trimmed to look like the rest of the bead board...this is an easy way to build a custom cabinet...I installed the bead board to the wall and built the frame over it.
Well with all of the walls stained it's time to move onto the floor. We looked at tiles, but the room is big and the kids come in wet from the pool (wood and carpet not practical)...I decided to stain the concrete. Here I am cleaning the floor and removing all drywall mud and other stains.
The floor must be very clean, but you have to use cleaners that don't attack the floor (like solvents)... I used Simple Green and lots of elbow grease.
Final wash...I taped plastic to all of the walls as my wife used the shopvac for a final cleaning (the floors look so clean I felt like leaving them as they were).
The floor (cement pad) is in four sections, so to deal with the expansion joints I decided to run a boarder around the edges with one color (black) and then fill the inside in with (cola).
I worked two sections at a time (since the pool table is still installed).
I used a small brush and filled in the areas around the outside of both sections.
Next I covered the black with plastic and then started to 'build' tiles in the center section. I built the grout lines with quarter inch vinal tape...I also layed the pattern down on an angle as I feel the slant makes the room look bigger.
OK seriously this took a long...long...long...time, but the pattern looks good and the spacing is even.
Using a cheap bug sprayer I started spraying the acid stain...no real pattern, just good coverage and some heavy and light spots.
No floor comes out the same...the cement is what provides the character to the final look.
Next I lifted the tape and had grout lines...
To stop the etching action and clean the floor we washed it with a water/baking soda mix to neutralize the acid.
After washing and drying the floor we had a really nice tile pattern (my wife gets all of the clean up duties).
The next step is to seal the floor and give the tiles their shine! Simply use a paint roller and work the sealer over the entire surface.
You can see that with a little work and less than $150 we were able to create a tile look in the whole poolhouse.
I lost a few photos somewhere (they showed us using a car jack to move the pool table)...anyway most of the work is done...we picked a metalic brown for the ceiling...it's nice because it matches the lower part of the wall and for a dark color it still reflects light.
The bar area...(still not done).
We are slowly decorating with themed areas...when the kids were young we would play (I spy with my eyes at TGI Fridays), so we decided to go with that type of decorating.
We had to put a wood frame around the dartboard, because even with soft tip darts the kids were putting holes in the wall.
The stair area is my car/auto area (homage to my Roadster).
Upstairs is almost done.
My wife wanted her own sewing area, so we made the second floor her sewing area. I used some Pergo flooring in a stone/slate pattern and she picked the red to offset against all of the yellow. I left a three foot deep closet on the second floor to store party tables and allow me to access all of the wires and audio/video equipment.
This is looking back the opposite direction.
Time to build a bar. I started by hanging a trim piece to hold the background mirror.
I centered the mirror so I will be able to build a matching shelf to the right that will complete the bookend look.
Installed the mirror and used the same trim along the top.
With the mirror glue drying I moved on to the right cabinet. All of the wires are the sound system that was pre planned for this area.
I put a shelf under the mirror.
Trying to figure out what I want...I don't use plans...sort of build in my head...I know I want this type of shape...here I had the glass front fridge forward and the kegerator to the rear.
I built a panel to hold puck lights over the bar.
After pre fitting I set them in and neatly ran the wires.
Well I got the basic shape down, and framed it out...the biggest change was I moved the fridge to the inside...even though it had a cool looking clear door I was afraid someone would end up kicking the door, besides it's easier for the person mixing drinks to have access to the fridge.
Building shelves; there is still plenty of room for the doors and plenty of room behind the bar.
Countertop in place.
I bought a nice brass sink on eBay to use as a basin below the keg spout.
After I put the first level on I built a step up to bring the bar top to a normal height.
You can see from the back how the step leaves a lower counter under the bar.
Skinned the front to match the rest of the room.
Installing shelves. I ran the bar lights down the back inside corner and used a 3/4 round to hide the wires.
First coat of stain.
Second dark coat to match the rest of the room. I wired the bar lights to a slide dimmer...they look real nice against the dark wood and mirror.
I wanted a shelf in front of the mirror, but wanted the lights to go through, so I framed out a shelf to hold a piece of glass. notice the wire from the lights is hiden behind the right shelf trim pieces.
Bar top...I used a smooth 3/4 inch board and glued trim to the outside unfinished edge...after all of the wood glue dries i will sand the top smooth and then stain.
These are probably overkill as the top really didn't flex at all, but now you can really lean on the bar with no issues.
Sanding the top.
Stained...almost complete. The bar top is VERY shiny...I used lots of coats of urethane and polished between coats.
Bad photo, but the bar came out great.
Updates soon.