Indoor Hockey Rinks Go Residential
When one of general contractor Ross Tomoson’s customers told him five years ago that she wanted to turn one end of her newly renovated basement into an indoor hockey rink, Ross didn’t know what to say.
“I tried to talk her out of it,” says Tomoson, with a laugh. “I didn’t think it could be done. But I did some research, designed it, and it turned out great.”
Now, Tomoson hopes to put his remodels, additions and kitchen and bathroom redesigns to the side and focus mainly on indoor hockey rooms.
Yes, hockey rinks…inside people’s homes.
These rooms can be incorporated into, or built on, most homes and have all the accoutrements you would find in a good-old-fashioned hockey arena, including plastic tile “ice,” dasher boards, penalty boxes, player benches and plexiglass rink shields.
Although a perfect space configuration would have a length approximately twice as long as the width, Tomoson says that virtually any area can be converted into a hockey rink. He has turned “L-shaped” spaces into rinks, and has even transformed a two-story, indoor basketball court into an indoor hockey room.
Heather, one of Tomoson’s clients, has lived in her Country Club home for approximately 10 years. She and her husband had gone through two remodels, and during the one, dug a basement under one part of the home but left it unfinished. The couple has three boys, ages 9, 7, and 5, who are avid hockey players, and while waiting for them during their practice at a local indoor hockey facility, Heather got the idea for the 15-foot by 25-foot unfinished space in the basement.
“I was just sitting there and looking at the dry-land and synthetic ice area, and at first I just thought it would be really great to have some boards in that room,” recalls Heather. “So, I asked the manager where he got the boards, and that person put me in contact with Ross. But after I talked to Ross and he told me I could do the whole rink, that was it. We wanted to move forward.”
Heather’s project took approximately two months to complete, but only because some changes were made along the way; most projects take about four weeks, according to Tomoson.
The process can be time-consuming because some of the drilling of the high-density polyethylene (similar to fiberglass) is done off-site for accuracy. Tomoson lays down an insulation pad for protection under the tile “ice” floor (which is perfect for stocking feet, tennis shoes, even roller blades, and boasts a center line and blue lines), he used 2-by-4s to frame the entire perimeter, boxed everything in with polyethylene, and rounded the corners for safety and to give it a finished look.
Because Heather opted for a traditional hockey rink feel, they sprayed the cinder block walls grey, and used red and blue as accent colors. They also added wooden beams, numerous caged-in lights, Plexiglass sheets to protect beloved hockey posters, and hooks, nooks and crannies for their mountains of hockey gear.
And, because they needed access to the fuse box, Ross incorporated a penalty box in the corner, complete with swinging door, and while he was at it, a player’s bench along an adjacent side.
The kids loved the final result.
“They’re down here all the time,” says Heather, “before school, after school. They will play full-on three-on-three games or two-on-two games, and when they come upstairs they’re just dripping with sweat. It’s nice because you don’t have to count on the weather; they just come down whenever they want.”
And Tomoson has heard about other benefits from the hockey rinks he has built.
“Kids will get good at hockey when they’re goofing around,” he says. “They are practicing, but they think they’re just having fun. And, of course, this is the mecca for hockey here, so I’m hoping people will hear about these rinks and think they’re really cool.”
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