I have been doing my own darkroom work since high school and I am now retired. I started in my parents’ house bathroom. After college graduation and the first job, I moved into a rent house that had a darkroom, and then I built one in another rent house, one for an employer, and two in houses that I’ve owned.
Shortly after getting married, we moved into a rent house that had a storage shed built off of the carport. Not having that much to store, it was destined to become a darkroom.
I built work surfaces out of cheap particle board and two-by-fours, but then went to the trouble of putting multiple coats of polyurethane on them to make them waterproof. For a sink, I bought one of those plastic utility laundry sinks. Plumbing was supplied by a garden hose from the outside and a drain that emptied onto the grass in the yard. Not ideal, but it was the only solution.
Once again, a second hand window AC unit came into play. The shed had two doors, so I framed one up as a wall, with the AC unit installed in the wall. Almost everything was made to be reversible so that when we moved out, there would be no problems. I even reinstalled the second door. However, the shed was much cleaner when we left, and now had nice paneling on the walls, so the landlady complemented us on “improving” the storage shed.
No pictures of this darkroom exist. It was not used much, since almost immediately after being completed, I was asked to design a darkroom for my employer, and became a darkroom technician for the company. I spent so much time in the company darkroom, that the home one hardly ever got used. We also bought our own house after a couple of years. The new house never had a darkroom, since I had one “at work”.
Part 4 will discuss the company darkroom.