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Hello. I joined this forum yesterday and left an introduction in the appropriate section. I've already received useful advice about fitting decoders into locos on the DCC part so I though I would add a question here.

I am planning a layout in a garage. My particular garage is very suitable as it is integral to the bungalow, with a door from the hallway. It has insulated double skin walls and a pitched roof with loft insulation. I only need to fit insulated boarding over the inside of the car door and double glazing to the windows (which I got from someone up the road changing theirs) for it to be really snug. Oh, and something suitable on the floor. Any suggestions on this aspect? I have a DIY book which says that it is rarely necessary to put down anything other than ordinary lino or carpet straight onto the concrete when converting a garage. This is what we have in the other rooms anyway, but I don't know whether the floors of habitable rooms would have been prepared differently.

I wonder whether anyone can help with a another decision I have to make. Should I make the layout a one-piece construction screwed to the walls of the garage? (We don't plan on moving for the rest of our lives.) This would have advantages in terms of cost and time. Alternatively should I make it in several free-standing pieces, having their own legs, permanently screwed together? This would have the advantage of being easy to dismantle, for my wife or sons to sell, when I go to operate that grand layout in the sky.

Has any been down either route and got any helpful comments? Thank you in anticipation.
 

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Hello Robert

Personally, I have opted for several cheap Ikea tables [about £25 each], then chipbaord on top - 8mm I think.

So, its sort of half movable !

I have not decided whether to cut into sections.

I can see the benefit, but the gaps across track and scenery bother me.

I am currently thinking that when we move the next project is a different challenge etc, a chance for another idea !

Nick [37 and a half]
 

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Hi Robert,

Looks like agood location you have for the layout. I have a brick built workshop with the same basic construction as you have. The concrete screeded floor has been battened with 2 x 1 & then covered with 3/4" chipboard for extra warmth. It was then painted with grey floorpaint.

Personally, I would make the layout "moveable", so that you could dismantle it without destroying all your hard work. Hate to say it but at least half the people I know who "don't plan on moving for the rest of our lives" have moved afterwoods at sometime !

Track gaps are not a problem if a little time is taken when laying. Scenery gaps can be mostly hidden with "soft" scenic materials such as Hydrofibre, with flocks and/or scatters.

Hope this helps.
 

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definately go for a wood [or similar] floor.....even with carpeting, concrete can be very cold and hard on old feet.

Sorted the heating and ventilation yet?

I, too, would plan on moveable sections...not for the benefit of the kids...but as noted above by db, best-laid plans of mice 'n men,eh?

note....moveable, rather than 'portable'?
 

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I did this last year. Most of it is covered in my blog so I wont repeat it all. I just have plain painted concrete on my floor but as temperatures here don't go below 2 degrees that is fine. I still have roller door at the front whic is sealed round the edges. I haven't completely seal it off as I need access at the front. I have sealed between the rubber at the bottom of the door with silicone and rubber to insulate it.

I would leave it portable so if you move you can still salvage most of it.
 

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Hello Robert,

I managed to get the rear half of garage about 9' sq. I used carpet tiles on the floor but if you do pick a good colour its a beggar when you drop something ( mine are medium brown colour ). For my baseboard support I had to hand some of the stronger type dexion 2" x 1" angle iron with 3/4" chipboard on top.

Regards Bizerba
 

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Hi Robert,

I think all the advice here about making your layout modular (as alastairq says, moveable not portable) is very good advice. There are always snags and changes and unexpected issues you'll have to deal with, and it's a lot easier to get at them if you haven't bolted everything down, or built it out of reach. I knew an experienced modeller (RIP Don) who built a tunnel and an incline behind a chimmney in his loft. When he wanted to change his track plan a few years later....ouch!

I also recommend C J Freezer's advice to build cross-overs on their own removable piece of board (whatever material you're using). For maintenance and testing (and upgrading, in my case) it really helps. Otherwise you're perched under the main baseboard swearing and sweating for hours, not being able to see properly and dropping tools on your face (and in extreme cases, hot solder, I gather, but that's never happened to me).

Finally, vertical "drop boards" for equipment and electrics (recommended by Steve Jones, amongst others) are a good idea, in my opinion, too. And for the same reason. If you make them removable they're a lot easier to get at, and a lot more comfortable too.

Sorry if this seems obvious to you - it wasn't to me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for your advise. (This reply delayed by me being on holiday.) I have decided to make the baseboards in several free-standing units as you suggest. However, I am going to screw them together with thin card in between each pair. Then the tracks and scenery will be put across without any breaks. My idea is that if necessary it can be dismantled by using a cutting disc through track and scenery at each joint. When reassembled without the cardboard between boards it should all join up again nicely, well that's the theory anyway.
 
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