Garage Restoration Status

I’m making good headway on getting my garage in order.  It is a old structure dating from 1930 or earlier. Its dimensions are clearly from another era; it would fit a Model T car just fine, but a modern car would be too tight a fit. It’s a charming little red brick hut.

The roof needed major repairs.  Luckily, I have a great friend who it handy at these types of things and utterly fearless. With him leading a crew of volunteering buddies, we removed the disintegrating, likely original shingles, replaced rotted boards, and nailed in nice fresh asphalt shingles. The garage, which used to stink from mold and decay, now is dry as a bone. It now smells of dust, wood and oil like a good workspace ought. Last winter’s snowfall proved the new roofs integrity. Around the sides, I still need to apply some white exterior paint for appearance and longevity assurance.

At one unknown point, an attempt had been made to turn the little hut into an apartment or office.  Electrical wiring had been strung from our house to the garage overhead. While roofing, we noticed the ancient wires had become exposed down to the metal, the rubber/asbestos coating long gone.  Now they are removed, I’ve decided that when I do run electric, I’ll dig a trench and bury the wires instead.

The interior of the garage was quiet a mess. a  light fixture, a switch, a drop ceiling and even a thermostat had been installed. From water damage and age, all may have to go. Nothing salvageable found as yet, but maybe some nice vintage bits might turn up.

A crude room divider was erected long ago, made of simple boards. It is strong, albeit ugly. I plan to work on mainly nothing larger than a motorcycle in there, so it can stay for now. I fear too that the divider may have become unintentionally load-bearing over the years and removal might be tricky. For now, it will work for me as a handy place for shelves bearing solvents and “mantiques”.

The two main garage doors were sealed off in the worse way possible. Bricks were placed along to bottom of the door on both inside and out.  Next, dirt was poured upon the bricks. On the interior side, a series of boards were used to shore-up the dirt. The bottom of the doors were simultaneously crushed and permanently dampened.  Then the termites came, and left. To repair the doors, for now, after clearing the rubble I daughter-boarded-in scrap wood at the bottom.  I will ultimately have to build new doors.

An odd side note about the doors: keeping one of the doors slightly open was a large, wobbly homemade shelving unit!  To get the door to close flush, but save the shelves, I shortened them a bit and rebuilt them to a more solid standard with more scraps.

Much work to go. Drop ceiling needs ripped out.  Side door not in good shape. Original window needs replaced. Ventilation needs improvement. I found a bag of Quik-rete on the floor that made a nice lump I’ll need to pound down.

At least now I am at a point that the structure can be used for more than just storage. So far I used the space to repair my mountain bike, and fix my motorcycle battery, without worry of mess or parts disappearing in the lawn. Good times. Sure beats the time I had to rebuild my brakes on the dining room table.

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2 Responses to “Garage Restoration Status”

  1. ben Says:

    Exceellent work comrade. Your door repair skills are clearly an outgrowth of your former roofing endeavors, combined with your history of mechanical wizbangness that arose from motorbike r[epair. Keep blogging…and i’ll be there on the 30th as well!

  2. Doria Says:

    Very detailed description of the work you have been doing. Now that the chi is finally flowing in there I have a mural planned for the new doors. It will include Robots, gears and various other mechanical images. Airplane perhaps? Or maybe I can go Warhol with a Mobil Gas Pegasus. You are doing good work! xo

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