It looks like you have done a good job of maximizing the usable space. Before building, you might lay it out with paper forms on the floor. My wife does this whenever she decides we need to move the furniture. It's a lot easier to move or change sheets of paper than cabinets or couches.
IMO, it's a little premature to be getting contractor quotes until you've decided how you want everything laid out IN DETAIL. I chose to "make do" with my sort of inadequate darkroom until we decided to have a contractor come in for a whole-house re-model. By then I had my darkroom plan laid out with pencil & paper on gridded paper (scale = one inch per line). I did several views as necessary - floor plan, elevation for each wall, ceiling. Darkrooms are three-dimensional spaces, of course. Important to show where electrical outlets are needed or may be needed in future (e.g. walls/ceiling), as well as the currrent draw required for each one (never have enough outlets). I found it very useful to make max dimension paper cutouts of each significant piece of equipment that can be moved around on the gridded paper for adequate placement and spacing.
Other thoughts that come to mind:
A search of the forum for threads on darkroom design will provide much food for thought.
Plumbing - behind the walls vs. accessibility for repairs, supply/drains.
Flooring - it seems spills are inevitable - access to ALL floor space (under everything) for mopping up is good.
Carpets have no place in a darkroom - trap dust and hinder mopping up.
Dust control and ventilation are crucial - exhaust fan to outside & filtered incoming air (some prefer positive pressure approach).
Lighting for placement of safelights, room lights, wet print viewing light(s), etc. (beware of fluorescents).
Anti-fatigue mats for long periods of standing + even a folding chair to sit occasionally for knees/back relief.
Ceiling height check - for max enlarger height, space for wall-hung cabinets, shelves, etc.
Darkened partitions around the enlarger to minimize reflections that can fog paper in easel.
How to best block light leaks around doors/windows.
Color of walls (wide variety of opinions and preferences on this).
In my case, the contractor found it very easy to make an accurate quote, as the details were already worked out. Plus he was able to suggest minor improvements possible with the special tools he had to work with.
I did my own work, so using a 'standard' tabletop size made cabinet construction very easy. In this case, you can see how a typical 4x5" enlarger will overhand the countertop. Some may find this unsuitable, but in 11 years, it works OK for me. http://www.apug.org/forums/viewpost.php?p=993577
Good idea. A roll of butcher paper should do.
Originally Posted by Allen Friday
All I greatly appreciate all the suggestions!! You are all so kind!
2F/2F - Great idea re drop leaf, well see if contractor can do something. Yep ventilation is in the the bid. My main bid is walls, move light switch into darkroom, door, plumb sinks, venting. The rest I might do (tables, dry spaces (film and paper). It all depends on what the cost for the 4 main things I want (elec, exhaust, plumb, walls/door). Thanks for the heads up about the clearance re the 11” infont of drying rack, will think about that more! Viewing hood, humm will have to investigate, thanks for a thought re that!
Re the the Kreonite, it is in the orig drawing, I refer to it as a “slop sink”. My main sink is your typical wood 7 foot not-too-deep photo sink. My Kreonite, is deep, maybe 9 inches deep and 3 feet wide. It is where I plan to clean my trays, etc, that will contain splashing, etc.
This is the Kreyonite I got:
Frobozz - Thanks for the heads-up re Sketchup, will have to investigate. Re one of those revolving doors, I would love one, actually one listed the other day in Arlington Heights or maybe it was Palatine, anyway, it was only $100! Should have got it but oh well missed it. Anyway, you all will not like the sound of this, but my darkroom needs to have a regular door because on the north east side of the darkroom is the only door to get into the furnace/waterheater room. So a darkroom door needs to be typical size so I can get to it.
Jeffreyg - Great idea re sink lid, will have to look into! Yes exhaust is in the bid (see my reply above to 2F re my main specs (basically walls/door, elec, plumb, vent).
John - Overhead is thankfully finished drywall painted with some dimmable caned lights. Drying racks, I will prob build. I think the bid is will be a lot and I am going to prob build some and really only contract for the elec, walls, plumbing and vent. Storage closet? Well I am actually thinking of removing that wall sink in the northeast corner of the basement and making that my film drying closet. Not sure. I don’t run much film, maybe a roll or two a month so film drying is not a major requirement here but wd be nice. Love your Home Depot idea, will have to look into. Re saving an area for storage, yes I anticipate building a ton of storage under the tables, might use cabinets with a top like a kitchen (see ic-racer's layout). Trays will go under the sinks.
Monito – Thanks for the heads up re scketchup, will have to investigate sounds fun.
Allen - Great idea re laying out the layout with paper! I have a huge roll of craft paper I am gonna mock up. Stay tuned!
Silveror0 - I agree with you completely re it being too early for getting bids. But I gotta plead my case. I am getting new siding/gutters/roof/windows as we speak so my contractor and I got to talking about all that stuff in my garage that I have been collecting for my eventual darkroom. I showed him Apug's darkroom gallery to show him what a darkroom looks like, then I walked him through what I believe I mainly want (walls/door, elec, plumb, exhaust) and asked for a bid on that. Then a bid on building tables. Then a bid on building out all (cabinets, shelving, drying racks). So while he is around my house I got to thinking it might be best to have him ponder the costs, etc while he is here. I told him that I might not build till April or whenever I can pay for it because all the housework here is already doing is enough as it is!
You say: "Plumbing - behind the walls vs. accessibility for repairs, supply/drains" Why would I want behind the walls? If I sell the house I can tear out, re-mud, paint, re-carpet and be done. I cant see a reason to plumb behind the wall? Anyone disagree? My family wont really be in the room so they wont object to unsightly pipes.
Floor yeah was thinking those floor grids in restaurants? Thoughts?
How to best block light leaks around doors/windows – Yes I am with you, in the NW corner is a window that will either be blacked out or used for the venting/intake, I asked contractor to bid it both ways (use the window or vent elsewhere).
Ic-racer – table top cabinet is something I am considering. Heck every few days on Craigslist someone will post some cabinetry for free, might just grab some? Your darkroom is a palace!
The viewing area need not be in the darkroom, but it sure makes things more convenient if it is.
Also, consider going with white walls. It will make the visibility much better than brick or dark walls.
And in the same vein, John has a great idea about the ceiling.
I was just joking about the Kreonite. I didn't realize that you actually have one! :D
Your project looks gorges! I just want to recommend two things:
1. - Be sure that you have a well design ventilation system.
2. - Do not forget to include a refrigerator, not only for film, but for beers.
Congratulations and good luck.
In VCP's gallery darkroom, we have enlargers mounted directly on the table, this works very nicely, and really opens up the space around the enlarger vs an enlarger on its inch+ thick baseboard. No worries about the easel tipping off the baseboard, and lots of freedom for positioning timers and all the other paraphernalia. That said, my enlarger is on it's baseboard on a standard home-center laminate countertop, but mounting it directly will likely be one of my first changes when I do my "nuke the darkroom and rebuild it" project.
I would consider adding more electrical outlets than you think you need, so that if you add timers, processors, clocks or other power using stuff you won't need to run extension cords, etc.
Concrete wicks water, and produces dust, if it's bare concrete now, you'll want to add some sort of flooring, and depending on what you choose, maybe an additional anti-fatigue mat. I don't know that the grid flooring would be my first choice, unless you have a floor drain (which commercial kitchens usually have). Otherwise cleaning up spills through and around the grid may be very difficult. If you have a floor drain, then all you need is a hose.
Without a drain, my preference would be a flat moisture proof/resistant surface like sheet vinyl.
I would leave the plumbing open for the reasons you've stated, plus it's way easier if you need to make future changes or repairs.
Build in spaces for a 5.1 stereo system.
Here's an example of Sketchup of a camera done by somebody online:
Here's an example of somebody designing a recording studio with Sketchup:
I'm mocking up some camera ideas and did this last night (attached thumbnail):