I was so disappointed with black and white prints back from the lab that I built the darkroom! Actually, the only battle was getting my overly contrasty and overly developed chromogenic film onto fiber paper. I have to say it's a pleasure to print from a well exposed and developed negative with minimum burning and dodging. There is way more latitude to make the prints expressive. Back yard is probably not the most practical , but what a nice place to be, rather than holed up in the pitch black of a darkroom. I must admit, I prefer the darkroom when the weather outside is lousy, and we have plenty of that in New England. Anyway, I think the darkroom rental may be the best bet for the moment, or a class. Or just use the bathroom when the kids are away, and keep the vent going.