Getting Started With Your Layout Room

By Nick Kalis


The fourth in an occasional series of articles providing obscure yet vital resources for modelers in the Potomac Division. Previous articles detailed sources for styrene, ballast, and lumber.


            Recently, I had the pleasure of having an unfinished area of my basement finished for my then as yet built layout. Before engaging a general contractor, I knew I had better start with an architect. I turned to my trustee local architect, Larry Blevins.


            I explained to Larry what I needed in terms of lighting, ceilings, storage, and workbench. Larry came over to the house to look over the area and to take measurements. I gave him a copy of my track plan so he would know what I needed. He took it from there. He presented me with several options from which to choose from. The final choice was mine. He listened to suggestions I had to improve the design. I was pleased with his work as reflected in the final drawings.


            I took the final plans to a general contractor I have worked with in the past. I believe the plans allowed me to get a better bid as it reduced uncertainties that the contractor might have to cover by padding the bid. The plans also allowed the builder and his subcontractors to do a better job.  I would commend to all of you the use of a licensed architect to help bring your dream layout room to fruition.


            I will tell you about my pleasant experiences with the general contractor in a future installment of this series.


            Larry Blevins can be contacted at Barzdukas and Blevins, Architects at 450 West Broad Street, Falls Church, Virginia 22046 703 241-2500 Facsimile 703 241-9114.