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Build location question... pictures please...

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  • Build location question... pictures please...

    Well, I finally feel like I'm ready to build and I'm undecided on 3 locations, so I need a bit of advice. Here are my 3 location options, and likely costs:

    1.) Basement 11' wide x 18' long x 10' high. Requires I have a structural company come and do 2 things, first knock down and dig out a 6'x8' area that is a crawl space now, and then dig down a 11'x18' area by 3' deep in a pit to give me 10' height (and leaving me a 5' balcony area to enter the pit from the back for seating). My guess is this will run around $12k-$15k.

    2.) Add on to,or build anew garage with a sim room above the garage accessible by outside stairwell,or as an addition to a new garage as in behind the new build. My guess on this is around $20k. Size of sim would likely be 12'x16' with a peaked roof at 10'.

    3.) Build a separate building, as a high-end shed. This one would be built out as 12'x14', but could go larger up to 14' x 18', with a sloped roof, from 10' down to 8.5 feet, but offset so that my swing path would hit the 9.5' height area. Costs on this would be $10k-$18k, examples can be seen on the familyhandyman.com website, as their game-day shed, which I would likely build with smaller windows, to keep light dim.

    So, I'm looking for pros/cons of each building location, with possible pics, that might match my locations. I'm a little worried if I build this in the garage, or as a shed, that I will not be as likely to go out there and use it during cold Winter months. On the other hand, if I build it in basement, I may disturb my family and only be able to use it - if I can cut the sound down, from the loud impact. I live in Northern, Indiana, almost to Michigan and we have very cold winters, which can last for 4-5 months... my house is small 1100 square feet, though, the location in the basement would be a good 10'-20' away from being directly below bedrooms.

    Any thought, ideas or pics that will help me make up my mind would be great, thanks in advance.


    Last edited by Brettster; 10-09-2018, 02:09 AM.

  • #2
    If I was spending that kind of money in construction costs, I’d want to get a room that was a minimum of 16’x18’ with 9.5-10’ ceilings. Each of your ideas is narrower. Minimum front to back is going to be about 14’. Figure from ball to the left wall (for a righty) you need about 8’. So in each case you are offset (meaning ball can’t be centered on hitting screen) unless you do a smaller width screen.

    If building, I’d spend a little more to make sure you don’t regret building it too small.

    Comment


    • Godfather
      Godfather commented
      Editing a comment
      If you do end up going 12’ wide, you can just offset the ball location (in TGC at least). My room is actually 13’6” wide and I use a 10’ wide screen with a cabinet for my clubs to the left of the screen. I built mine before TGC had the offset ball feature and wanted it centered.

    • Brettster
      Brettster commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Godfather View Post
      Figure from ball to the left wall (for a righty) you need about 8’. So in each case you are offset (meaning ball can’t be entered on hitting screen) unless you do a smaller width screen.

      If building, I’d spend a little more to make sure you don’t regret building it too small.
      Do I really need to go that much wider, when I'm only going to set it up for right-handed players only? I was hoping even the 11' basement would allow me to squeeze it in, with a 10' wide screen?

      I do see what you mean about the offset - so tell me Godfather, how annoying is having the offset, rather than hitting into the middle of the screen? And, I think I see that if I wanted to go 16:10 ratio on my screen, I would need - wow, 16' in width (if I'm 10' high), is that right? So, maybe I go with 16:9, or 14:9, then that gives me a minimum of 14' to hit into the center of the screen, and with 8' clearance from the wall, I'm still offset?

      Yikes - I never considered that! Could I be offset 8' from left wall (6' from right wall), and just aim into the center, or is that a problem too? Please fill me in, show me a photo of your own setup Godfather, so I can get a handle on this...
      Last edited by Brettster; 10-09-2018, 02:11 AM.

    • Godfather
      Godfather commented
      Editing a comment
      You’d hit straight into the screen. In TGC you can move where the ball appears on the screen. Say 11’ wide room. If you have a flat swing you need more room behind than if you have a more upright swing so test it out. I figured 8’ based on my swing and wanting a practice swing sometimes that moves you a few inches closer to the left wall and not feeling crowded. Maybe 7’ is possible. If so you will only be offset a foot from center. That’s not a big deal really - it’s just if I had to spend money for construction I’d up my bill the marginal amount to make it amazing!

  • #3
    I tend to agree that those are pretty high construction costs to not necessarily be getting an ideal setup. A couple of things to consider...which option do you think would add the most resale value to your home? Maybe you don't ever plan on moving, but if you do it would be nice to recoup some of those costs. My gut feeling is that a separate building would add the least value since not too many people really want a huge shed, but maybe in your area that is different. If digging down your basement added livable space, that could add a lot of value since you don't have a ton of square footage currently. Potential buyers might see it as a home theater, second living room, guest bedroom, etc. Adding on another car stall may or may not really matter. I would think going from a 1 car to a 2 car garage would be more of an improvement than going 2 to 3 since most families moving into an 1100 square foot house wouldn't have 3 cars.

    I am pretty sure building above a garage can be tricky due to code rules concerning carbon monoxide. Maybe you are figuring that into your cost estimate already. Or maybe if it isn't a living area it doesn't matter.

    Having a space that isn't climate controlled in such a cold area just seems like you wouldn't want to use it during the prime simulator golfing months. There are guys on here that have found some solutions though so it is possible.

    Comment


    • #4
      If you have the option to build a separate building then that seems like the only logical option for the money. Building up is typically more expensive than building a standalone building. Digging down to have a really narrow room seems like you'd be left wanting more (a lot more). I built about a 300 square foot shed and love it for my personal use but could use more when having anyone else over. Especially since I'm a whacky lefty. Also, under 10' works for many people on this forum but some people require more room. I have skimmed my ceiling a couple times which is about 10' 4" above the hitting area.

      I've attached an album to some of my photos. Also, not sure where you live but this was an expensive project to build it as close to code as possible. The cement pad was close to 10k. Framing, siding and roofing was another 20k+. Then all the finish work adds up. Someday I'll put a more detailed post up about build if people are interested but ultimately bigger is better. Don't spend 20k to be stuck in a room too small.



      60 new photos · Album by Colin Moloney

      Comment


      • Godfather
        Godfather commented
        Editing a comment
        Wow 10’4” and you’ve skimmed it!? Mine are 9’0” and everyone that’s played has had no problems even with a cut/fade driver swing.

      • Brettster
        Brettster commented
        Editing a comment
        AWESOME!!! I've replied to you below, man that's an incredible build! Oh, how long did that take, from start to finish? Any chance I could complete it before Mid-November (and Winter hits here)?

    • #5
      I say #1. The golf town by my house has sims that are 11-12 feet wide. It’s a lot of room. I just did one in my buddies house that is 10. It’s the min I would do. The only downside to 18 feetx11 is having other people there. If there’s a way to accommodate guests I’d say go for option 1. Being in the house is a huge plus.

      Comment


      • Brettster
        Brettster commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you MTHunt - that is what I'm considering most, just have to get some estimates from structural engineers and concrete workers. I've followed a few others posts here (Libbing and others), and up on OttawaForum about digging pits in the basement.

        I did wonder about width at 11' thinking it was wide enough, but did you have that problem of having to have an 'offset' screen position with the ball, does that bother you? I've played in many other sims myself, I can't remember that 'offset' problem ever being noticeable?

        As for accomodating guests, I'll post a pic of my plans, but basically that entire room, when it's done ends up being 11' x 22' long, with the back 4'-5' being a balcony area where you go up 2-3 steps and have seating up there, most likely I would do a bar across the front of it, with it being split down the middle with the stairs, that way buddies could drop by and could sit in the area outside of the pit and have a few brews, and then go down into the pit to hit their shots, and to the putting area. That putting area me a little concerned, as I'm thinking I will be squeezing in a 3.5' x 18' putting green, likely with 2 holes and maybe some type of chipping area on the other side of the swing mat, not sure? Though again, I don't remember that being a problem in the local sims I've played in, 1 was a Foresight sports facility with about 8 simulators in one building, the other was an E6 system (that one was confining with having to have that ramp that you put into)... and also I've played on a TGC simulator facility up in Michigan that has now since closed, I do remember that one being quite wide in the simulator bays - maybe TGC/SkyTrak just requires more width???

        Your thoughts on these accomodations I may have to make are appreciated... It's helping me put it all together in the 'big picture'. Thanks mthunt!
        Last edited by Brettster; 10-09-2018, 02:12 AM.

      • mthunt
        mthunt commented
        Editing a comment
        Offset is no big deal at all. 11 feet is enough. You need 7 feet from the ball to the wall behind which leaves 4 feet. Lots. Go 8 and 3. Tons of room. Having a step up viewing area is great. Go for it, play on the tour and don’t use rewinds.

    • #6
      mthunt - If you only have right handed players I see how this could theoretically work but what about the shanks that happen to everyone? Just have them hit the wall or do you protect it with something? If you have it 15' wide you will probably never hit the wall being 8'-9' from screen. I built a shed instead of going up because it is a dedicated sim room. Taking the noise outside the house was what I needed. If you are going to use it for a play area or rec room as well then I see how inside the house could be desirable.

      Comment


      • Brettster
        Brettster commented
        Editing a comment
        legendsfan yes, it would be right-hand players only (sorry, I'm actually left-handed but I play right). Regarding wall-hits, the way I see it, is with netting up along the sides, walls will never be hit, even with shanks? I've played in local sims and never hit walls, I'm sure some of those were no more than 11'-12' wide too.

        Yes, I think your outside house 'sim room' is amazing. I would love that, I'm just worried about doubling my costs to heat/cool that space, and you're right having a play area/rec room, actually I see it as a 'theater room' in the basement is a big seller for the kids, they love movies, so I'm sure if it's something I can quickly turn into a movie theater on off-nights, would really make it a hit. I've been looking at the Net Return Simulator that has a motorized screen for raising/lowering, and nets on the side held in place with sand-bags, you can take those down, raise/lower the screen and there's you're theater, especially with the seating area I have planned behind the 'pit', which would be raised above the pit because it would be at the current basement floor level (about 3 feet above the pit area).

        It's going to be a fun/challenge that's for sure, and I'm not done with my estimates, and checking on costs to do all of this (I also have to move my mechanicals - furnace, water softener, and hot water heater by about 2', but I don't think that will cost too much in the long run, compared to heating/cooling a separate space??

    • #7
      legendsfan fan, my room is 15x21 with the ball 10 feet from the screen. Shanks do still hit the walls and ceilings. I’ve had really bad golfers and kids in there. It happens. In my room the walls are plywood covered in carpet to absorb those shots. Even the worst shot heads forward and ends up hitting the screen. It works great.

      the noise is no big deal in my place.

      Comment


      • Brettster
        Brettster commented
        Editing a comment
        amazing mthunt that's how I see it, and how it has played out for me in local sims I've played on, only the E6 system, and maybe the Foresight sports one did I have a problem with balls flying back at me. I knew there had to be a good way to absorb those shots. Does the carpet/plywood keep the sound down too? I've looked at a few 'sound blocking panels' you can buy, and thought that combined with good insulation in the flooring/ceiling above might do the trick, or maybe I have to play with Almost Golf balls at night, something like that??

      • mthunt
        mthunt commented
        Editing a comment
        Almost balls are terrible. I used to hit balls when my wife and kid went to bed no problem with regular balls.

    • #8
      mthunt OK. We have very similar rooms. Mine is 15' x 21 but cuts in to 10' wide at last 5'. I hit from 8' but could do 9.5' from screen with a driver. Any farther back and I'd hit where it cuts in (narrows). This limits me to a camera setup (GCQuad) as Trackman doesn't seem to be great under 12' of flight from what I have heard.

      Comment


      • #9
        Originally posted by andygg1986 View Post
        ...which option do you think would add the most resale value to your home? Maybe you don't ever plan on moving, but if you do it would be nice to recoup some of those costs. My gut feeling is that a separate building would add the least value since not too many people really want a huge shed, but maybe in your area that is different. If digging down your basement added livable space, that could add a lot of value since you don't have a ton of square footage currently. Potential buyers might see it as a home theater, second living room, guest bedroom, etc. Adding on another car stall may or may not really matter. I would think going from a 1 car to a 2 car garage would be more of an improvement than going 2 to 3 since most families moving into an 1100 square foot house wouldn't have 3 cars.

        I am pretty sure building above a garage can be tricky due to code rules concerning carbon monoxide. Maybe you are figuring that into your cost estimate already. Or maybe if it isn't a living area it doesn't matter.

        Having a space that isn't climate controlled in such a cold area just seems like you wouldn't want to use it during the prime simulator golfing months. There are guys on here that have found some solutions though so it is possible.
        You're right, the basement would add the most resale, for sure...

        Here are some answers to your other questions... Yes, I am going to build it out so it functions as a home-theater, and use it as a sim (that's how I'm selling the wife ) I'm gaining about 6' by 11' of new usable space, (so 66 sq. feet), because that space is now built up with a foundation wall and filled up to about 3' from the top with dirt already, either that, or it's a knee wall they left in place because it is on the same side of my house (about 1 foot from the foundation base) as my driveway/garage - I guess that's what the structural engineers will be able to tell me, there are close to 100 homes in my neighborhood all built to similar specs - that is, until I walked into a neighbors house (one that does not have a driveway, or garage like mine does), and noticed his basement was dug all the way out. So, I've been told, that structurally, it will need to be dug out, and cemented in along the outside wall as they go along, then they would be able to knock down the knee-wall which is about 6' from the outside foundation wall is now. It's hard to imagine, in fact I never even realized that space was back there, behind that knee-wall until I started doing some reno work upstairs and had to move electrical stove lines, etc, in my kitchen, which sits west, and above the Sim spot. I'll see if I can take some pics so you have a better idea - but this fact also (with the kitchen and living room upstairs being directly above the Sim / screen - is what would help me reduce sound to the bedrooms which are the farthest away from this area in the house... But, after I read what Godfather and others say, I'm a little concerned now that the 11' width may not be enough for me, and I'll just be wanting more room, when I get the simulator/screen in there????

        Regarding a 1-2, or 2-3 garage... Mine is 1.5 (1 1/2) garage now, I would take it to a 2 car (rather than going to 3), and that is not what I planned the Sim space for, instead I was hoping I could build out a 2 car, 2-story barn-style garage and put the simulator on the 2nd floor, which is what I'm considering, though I'm pretty sure that local ordinances may prevent me from building a garage with a higher peak than my house. And, with that setup, my sim space would be quite large, probably 16' x 20', however only a narrow 4' strip down the middle would be peaked to 10' at the ceiling, which means I would have to be center positioned, and hitting to make the swing work in that 2nd floor. I have already thought about the 'living area', and thought I would NOT build the Sim space as 'living area', but instead would just call it garage area - there are way to many local building codes that would have to be followed to build it as 'living area' - which I wonder how LegendsFan would say his shed is defined - it sure looks sweet - I am expecting mine to be more like a glorified storage area above the garage, with my hitting mat and simulator in place. I already have power running to my garage, so that part is already solved, and I would hope I can use that power to also power up an air-conditioner in the summer, or maybe a split system that would also bring in heat in the winter (it can get to -10 here on a cold night). You're right though, it has to be climate controlled for me to use it - I'm not going to go out there and put a coat on to swing, you say other guys have found solutions to that, I hope they can chime in here, and maybe post some pics on their setup, so I can get a comparison. What is your own setup like Andy?

        That's kind of where I see the 'shed' being a good tradeoff, as it would be separate from the garage allowing me to build it with a higher roof, and it could be insulated enough, to stay climate controlled, but still not considered a 'living area' - at least that's what I'm hoping, I still need to have that discussion with some local contractors.

        Thanks for your input Andy...

        Comment


        • #10
          Originally posted by legendsfan View Post
          If you have the option to build a separate building then that seems like the only logical option for the money. Building up is typically more expensive than building a standalone building. Digging down to have a really narrow room seems like you'd be left wanting more (a lot more). I built about a 300 square foot shed and love it for my personal use but could use more when having anyone else over. Especially since I'm a whacky lefty. Also, under 10' works for many people on this forum but some people require more room. I have skimmed my ceiling a couple times which is about 10' 4" above the hitting area.

          I've attached an album to some of my photos. Also, not sure where you live but this was an expensive project to build it as close to code as possible. The cement pad was close to 10k. Framing, siding and roofing was another 20k+. Then all the finish work adds up. Someday I'll put a more detailed post up about build if people are interested but ultimately bigger is better. Don't spend 20k to be stuck in a room too small.
          Wow! LengendsFan, thanks a ton for the pics... Are you at nearly 15'x20' then with your shed? That's an awesome build, well insulated and with a window A/C unit... amazing! Do you have heating capabilities too and where do you live? I'm in Northern, Indiana, near Michigan, it gets cold as h*ll here in Winter, down to -10, and can hit over 100 several days in Summer, so whichever option I choose, it has to be one that will be climate controlled, and I'm afraid that also is going to add a lot to the final cost...which is why I was hoping I could keep this all contained in my basement, which gives me several advantages 1) already heated/cooled, 2.) already finished, just need to dig it out, 3.) ability to add a bathroom as I will have 3' dug down to make it higher, 4.) I don't have to go outside in the Winter to get to my simulator.

          Yes, I'm getting the hint, that I need to think bigger, and that the 11' width x 18' length is not going to be enough... It's almost making me throw out the idea of digging in the basement, but I want to get good solid estimates first, just in case, maybe it would turn out being less than I expected and I can do it for $10k, in which case it becomes more appealing, but I can see your point for sure. I don't think I need more than about 9'6" for swing height, I'm 5'11" and if my calculations I did in the yard are correct, I should be fine with just under 10', you must have an upright swing?

          Regarding the shed cost, I've found that I can build a wooden beam foundation (laid out on gravel), and save a ton over a cement foundation. I'm considering that, and putting on my own metal roof, but still, I could see this thing coming in at $25K or more once I get to insulating and adding a heating/cooling split-system, etc, and even then, will it heat/cool enough, and how much more would it add to my heating/cooling bill trying to climate control that separate space from the house (in the basement - I already have perfect climate control, and perfect light control, for the screen).

          My shed idea is based on this one from FamilyHandyman.com - it's called the 'Game day' shed, which I'd like you're opinion on,as I feel I would have to do quite a bit to insulate and heat/cool a space that big, here's the video on it:

          Curious what your thoughts are on it LegendsFan, I don't think they insulated theirs at all, as they built it in Colorado, I think...

          Our game day shed has a few undeniably slick features: a stunning overhead door, ample storage in the back, and an exterior from LP Outdoor Building...

          Comment


          • #11
            ---
            I've added a pic of my basement plans (4 squares=1 foot), I did a re-measure and I'm 10'6" x 18', best I can do on width, you will also notice I drew in (dashed-line) a Net Return Simulator screen with side-nets at the screen area against the back wall.
            ---

            Comment


            • #12
              I'd throw out the idea of digging down right now. That's way too narrow for the investment you'd be making. I know some people make it work in narrow areas but you'd be extremely off center hitting ball so any slight mishit isn't hitting screen. As for heating and cooling.... I live in a milder climate (Seattle) than you but I wouldn't think heating would be a problem even in Michigan. That small AC unit(8,000 BTU) kept me cool all summer. You may want to step it up to a 10k or 12k BTU if you build an insulated shed. For heat I have a wall mounted convection heater that is 2400 watts. It's awesome. I also have an in wall heater fan but never used it after first day because convection unit is quieter and easily heats room. As long as you insulate shed well it should be inexpensive to heat and cool. I barely notice the difference in my utility bill since building it but I really insulated it well. Make sure to insulate floor too.

              Look at this heater on Amazon as link isn't working: Stiebel Eltron 231546 2400W, 240V CNS 240-2 E Wall-Mounted Convection Heater

              Comment


              • #13
                legendsfan - thanks for the tips, but I'm pretty set on digging-down right now, for several reasons:
                1.) I see pics all the time in narrow spaces, just saw one up here, with a guy selling a 10 1/2' wide screen, and the hitting area seems fine. Also, I've played in many local sims and they are not much wider, than 10'-11'.
                2.) I just can't get past how much of a property 'detractor' it is to build a huge shed in my backyard as I don't see that adding as much to the property as digging down and reclaiming the lost 100 odd square feet I need down there to make it work in the basement.
                3.) As mthunt said, adding that balcony in the back of the room, for seating/bar area will stretch it out and make it feel bigger, the entire room will end up being 10 1/2' x 26', with 4' of that being balcony/seating/bar.

                I've decided also, that if I do the dig and really does not work, I can still go back to the outdoor shed idea as a 'second-chance'... I'll let you know how it goes, thanks for your input!

                Comment


                • mthunt
                  mthunt commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I just helped a friend do a sim thats 10x26. I would have preferred 11 but his works so yours will be fine.
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