Garage is complete

 Summer of 2010 or so
Summer of 2010 or so
Kinda sad
Kinda sad

It has only taken 18 months to finish our latest project, the garage.  Well, I should re-state.  We really have been working on the garage for 4 years and we have yet to truly finish it, but it at least looks finished and I can be happy with it now.  The garage was in shambles, with a full attic and stacked shelves with all sorts of junk.  It was probably used to fix up cars and originally it had a wood burning stove in the back with a chimney.  Back in 2009, we took down the crumbly chimney and used the bricks to build a walk from the drive to the back door.  Bill did that as a surprise for me when I was on a work trip  in the spring of 2010.  Bill covered the chimney hole with extra shingles we found in the garage and we cleaned out the shelving in hopes we could fit two cars in our 1 1/2 width garage.

Last summer, we began scraping and priming the exterior, taking down the lights and removing the windows.  We didn’t get very far along in the process and the windows stayed open all winter.  But, we were able to pull both cars into the garage for the duration of the winter storms, even though the narrow door only allowed us to move one car at a time.

This summer, we widen-ed the door, put in a whole new door, new lights, new opener and re-glazed the old windows.  The garage looks decent and we can use it more easily for both cars.  However, the cinder block foundation could use some work in the long run and we will want to eventually clean out the garage attic.  Yes, there is a garage attic full of old stuff from long before our arrival.  If we do it right, we could put in a dormer and a floor and it would be a great playhouse for Will, especially when he starts bringing his buddies over.  But, that is for another summer.

Right now, I’m just pleased at how nice it cleaned up and how spacious it feels.

Much better!!
Much better!!
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Starting on the Garage

Before the mudroom
Before the mudroom

Sometimes I’m truly surprised at how much time has passed since I’ve written; and yet, as I look back over the blog, it is a wonderful reminder of how much we have really done and how far we’ve come.  I’m loving that.  Course, with only 1 year and 4 months to go on our countdown, we better keep moving.  (That is the countdown my mom and husband put in place on how long it would take us to FINISH this house.)

I’m almost finished painting touchups in the mudroom and we still have to put in a handrail for the stairs.  Otherwise, it is in full use and much appreciated by us.  It is just one of those spaces that is so much cleaner and brighter now.  You can see our before and after.  😉

We are savoring our weekends and greatly enjoying this weather outside, although it is a touch hot for my northern boys.  However, Bill spent a week up here on his own while I traveled south to visit family and he used the time to scrape the garage.  We didn’t have it painted when we originally had the house done as there was no reason to for our mortgage, and we wanted to save some money.  So, now that we’ve done quite a bit on the house, we thought it is time to catch up the garage.

The completed mudroom
The completed mudroom

If we hired outside contractors at this point, we would end up paying a lot as the lead removal laws in NY are stricter now than they were 4 years ago.  So taking this on ourselves is both messy and, well, messy.  The lead doesn’t come off in quick strips like smooth latex paint.  Instead, it really chips and falls heavy.  Bill power washed the garage, scraped and sanded while I was away for a week.  We’ll have to vacuum the ground and try to scoop out the topsoil with some paint in it, but at least we’ll never have to do it again.

Once painted with a primer and top coat, we’ll need to attack the cement or plaster bricks that are the foundation.  Some are completely hollow and others need serious repair.  It will mean coating them all with a mortar-paint and filling many of them.  Then, we have to consider a new floor inside the garage and repairing all the windows.  We still need to empty the garage attic.  That will be a whole post unto itself as who knows what is still up there.  I could stand up there, too, if I so chose, but the floor is unstable.  Eventually, it will make a super fort for Will.

the garage, waiting for a paint job
the garage, waiting for a paint job

Lots of work and expense to be done on the garage and that doesn’t even include resurfacing the drive.  At some point soon, we need to recoat the asphalt drive.  The snow and ice are hard on the roads and drives here, so this is a priority, too.  So much to do!  The summer posts will be full of more outside work and inside detail — stay tuned!