Is this normal?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Gary S., Nov 6, 2007.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Okay, in my garage, I have 75 feet of shelves with a layout that is quite fun to operate. I still need to do the scenery, ballast the tracks, and finish the structures. All kinds of fun stuff left to do on a layout that is completely satisfactory for what I want. So why am I having these thoughts to abandon the garage, and build a 20' x 35' building in the backyard, dedicated to a new layout?

    This expansion stuff must be normal for everyone? Two years ago, I was going to use the 11' x 12' spare bedroom. Then I changed to using 2 walls of the 27' x 21' garage. Then I discovered that with a lift-out, I could add another 28 feet of layout in the garage. And now a new building??? I have already been plotting and planning... I could get 150 feet of shelves in that building! A layout similar to what I have now, but twice as big!!

    I sure hope this feeling goes away!:eek:
  2. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Heh, when you realize that when all is said and done, including the building, prep, painting, and fountation, I'll set you back $10,000. Does that phase you? How about the other $10,000 (from nuts and bolts, lumber, buildings, track, DCC, and rolling stock...) that you'll pour into your layout in the next decade? If that doesn't scare you, I'd LOVE to see a layout that size by someone of your level!!! But what I'd REALLY like to see is this layout reach completion! I really want to see what you can do with the layout you already have, then if you want to build a larger layout, incorporate this one into the future one.

    By the way, could you post an overall photo of your layout as it currently is?
  3. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Thanks for the kind words, Miles, I really do appreciate them. And also thank you for the great advice. I absolutely DO need to finish what I have and be satisfied for now. Your estimation of the cost involved is exactly why I am hoping these feelings go away!

    An overall shot of the current layout is hard to get because it actually is on four different walls. There is a series of "overall" shots in the following thread from a couple months ago. Since then, I have completed some ballasting and the Texas Division of GERN Industries, but not alot else.
  4. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I used to run my trains out at the club. Then due to club politics and a bunch of grumpy old grouches, I decided to build a layout at home instead. It started off modest - a 9' x 7' L in my dining room. Then, I got permission to make it a little bit bigger so I hacked it in half and added a 3' extension to make it a bigger L. Now, my wife and I are thinking of building a dedicated office off the side of the house. If she does that, my layout moves into what used to be her office space. Guess what? Yep, I'm gonna hack it in half again, add another 5' section and turn the L into a U.
  5. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Interesting. I was just about to post a thread along the lines of "how do you know when it is time for a new layout" when I saw your thread. My dillemma is a bit different. I have a 3x6 in hon3, with 14-15 inch curves and 4-5% grades. It's a neat little layout and definitely interesting for the space I have, yet allows for continuous operation (my original idea was to make it portable enough to put on display-and the general public is more interested in seeing trains go around). But, it's now in my spare bedroom, and I have the space to either build something as large as a 4x8, or add a small yard to the side of my current layout. I can't go larger than 4x8, and an around-the walls is not an option because I do not want to block the closet door or the window.

    For awhile, I was content with what I have because I didn't see where a 4x8 would offer much more. Then bigsteel's thread about the logging layout and I remembered the lilliput logger, and I thought about it and adapting it for both standard and narrow gauge. I've got a fair amount of standard gauge stuff that hasn't run in years. I'd also have something with a bit wider curves and shallower grades, giving me the possibility of being able to actually run my roundhouse shay, or a blackstone k-27. So, I've been tinkering with the lilliput plan, and think I have come up with something I really like. And to top it all off, my dad brought over some scrap wood from his house under construction that I could use for benchwork.

    I guess the only thing stopping me is that I don't want to see all my hard work on the current layout go to waste. It's finally close to the state where most of the basic scenery is done, and all that is left to do is add details. i always wanted to get to this stage - but now I am considering tearring it down just so I can have something that operates a little more reliably.

    So Gary, my impression is you want a larger layout, or are there other things you don't like about your current setup? I think it is natural in life to occasionally have a desire to start over, and train layouts are no different. But before taking such a big step, sometimes it helps to ask yourself what is wrong with the current layout, and whether building something bigger would solve those issues.

  6. scubadude

    scubadude Member

    I live in Texas too, Gary and I say ask yourself only one question....Just how hot and humid can it get here in the Great State of Texas??!!

    I say go for it and make sure you budget for a really good AC system!sign1sign1sign1sign1
  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Scubadude! That isn't what I want to hear! Don't tempt me!:mrgreen: I really don't need a 20 x 35 building in my back yard. Although I admit, the air conditioning would be nice.

    Nachoman, I see you have a tough decision. Good luck with whichever way you go. As for me, honestly, I am perfectly happy with my current layout. It is plenty big, and has an operational theme that I like. I guess "the grass is always greener", and "the bigger the better" is all too often a goal.

    TrainNut, it is great that you can "hack it in half" and expand it. But if you are going to add on an office, why not double or triple the addition for a new train room?:mrgreen:

    The feelings for expansion are kind of passing. I had been finding myself contemplating, plotting, and planning while on the drive to and from work. Whew! I barely escaped this time!
  8. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    My dream layout room would be a 100' long hallway, with a 12'x12' room at both ends. ;):-D:-D

  9. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Me too, Wayne. We built/had our house built about 10 years ago before I was a railroad modeler. A few weeks ago I was reflecting on what I would have done differently had I known I was going to need a train room. What I would have done is widen the house and put in a room which would run parallel to the long hallway which leads to all the bedrooms. It would have 1 door on the end, and no windows.

  10. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    BTW Gary, if you have the itch, perhaps consider a garden layout instead of adding another building to your yard.

  11. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Gary, I feel for you. This is very typical of me. Soon you will be looking for ways to add more track to your current layout (like i am doing now ). Or extend it more. Or widen it. Soon you will be thinking you can leave the cars outside and put an island down the center. I go through the same thing whenever I finish construction and track laying. That's why this is my 4th layout in 2 years. Even though this is the best designed layout I have had, I always think it could be bigger and better.That's why I am talking about moving to my garage. Even if it needs insulation, heat and power. And you know what it cost to wire a building:cry:. All I can say is, good luck on your decision.

  12. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Kevin, although Garden Railways are really neat, I don't seem to have that much interest in building one myself.

    Loren: I know of your trials and tribulations of layout expansion, and your story of how you came up with your old forum name is beautiful = the wife stepped into the layout room and said "wow, it looks like it grew some" Heehee!

    What I am going to do is stick with what I have and make a complete layout of it. Operationally, it runs very well, and I am satisfied. Really! No, I don't need a new building in the backyard. Really I promise I am happy with my current layout:mrgreen::rolleyes:!

    On that note, I don't think I mentioned this, but when I was putting the fascia on a couple months ago, the layout did expand a little bit. I figure I gained enough room to put a nice rendition of that tile factory.
    Everything to the right of the blue line was added on after the fact.

    Attached Files:

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  13. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    See, your starting allready !

  14. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I tried to get that one past the finance committee but it was a no go.
  15. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Gary...What's probably NOT normal is NOT to wish you had a bigger/different layout. I think 99% of us think about it quite often...but most settle for what we've got, and file away the "druthers" for when they may come in handy...
  16. scubadude

    scubadude Member

    Do it, Do it, Do it, Do it........:twisted::twisted::twisted::twisted::twisted:
  17. cedarcreekrr

    cedarcreekrr Member

    I just built a 30 x 33 garage with an apartment upstairs to help defray the cost (originally planned for my layout). I am installing my old furnace and central air from the house to heat and cool it. My only concession is parking space for the wife and a bathroom for the kids when they are using the pool. The rest of the garage is for a workbench and my future layout. I can't wait until it is all finished so I can get started. So my advice is go for it.
  18. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Its Manifest Destiny, Gary! :) The Spirt of Expansion is within all of us!
    I made my layout a few feet larger than originally planned (with some raised eyebrows from the missus at first, but all is well. I still have fantasies of breaking through the wall into the unfinished side of my basement to create a staging yard. :)

    I guess it comes down to what you're happy with now compared to the possibilities you imagine in that new building. How much layout do you want? What do you wish to accomplish? Do you want to start all over?
    Will you finish your current layout and then scrap it any way? So many questions! :)

    That was probably no help at all I'll bet!
  19. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Hey everyone, I AM normal after all! But, I have successfully put aside the thoughts of a big ol' building in the backyard and will continue with what I have now. Whew, barely escaped! Sorry about that, Scubadude! Now, maybe 15 years from now after I retire, I'll have time for such a project.

    Ralph, actually your commentary was helpful, as was the entire line of discussion. Cedarcreek, I like your suggestion too about the apartment to defray costs! Only thing, my neighbors may throw the deed restrictions in my face.

    Back to working on the current layout! Woohoo!
  20. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Gary, the thought I have when I read your post is: do you have any visiting operators to operate the layout with you on a regular basis? If the layout is designed primarily for your personal enjoyment, you get to a size that is almost perfect. You think "if it was just a little bit bigger," but if you make it bigger, you suddenly reach "critical mass" and discover that it has gotten big enough that you are spending more time doing cleaning, maintanance, and repairs, than you are running trains. I think the one disadvantage to the garage is that due to the large garage door, that critical mass is reached at a smaller layout size than it would in a basement or dedicated room where you can have more control over dust and critters.

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