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Old 01-04-2013, 02:34 PM   #1
Bogdan M.
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Default The Vintage Garage - Bucharest, Romania.





My name is Bogdan and I am now 30 years old.
In 2011, after finishing a master's degree, I decided not to look for a job, but to start my own business.
I sold my car and invested everything I had to open an auto workshop specialized in BMW repair.
I always loved to work on cars and I believe that if you don't work in a domain that you like, you can't be happy.

Therefore I rented a 700 sq. feet building which was previously also an auto shop for 10 years. It needed a lot of work because it was build in the 30's.

I will update this first post as major changes are done to the garage.

I must say that my world has changed after I discovered this board.


This is how the garage looked before the old auto workshop moved:



And this is how everything looked after they cleared out:



Shortly after renting I sold my first car and bought a lot of building materials in order to start the renovation.







Starting the renovation was fun because it involved demolishing stuff:


Last edited by Bogdan M.; 06-04-2017 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:47 PM   #2
Bogdan M.
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Default Re: The Vintage Garage - Bucharest, Romania

I decided that the best solution would be drywall, so that was the next step.
Because Romania is very cold in the winter time, I used 4 inch rigid foam for the ceiling.
For the ceiling I hired some people because I had no experience in installing something like that and there was no place for screw ups.


Last edited by Bogdan M.; 06-04-2017 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

Wow, hard to believe that is the same place. Good Job!
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

Great job, the place looks amazing! Keep up your hard work and motivation! Never give up.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

Nice work. Doesn't it feel better that you can say that transformation was all done by you!
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:10 PM   #6
Bogdan M.
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

I wanted to hire people in order to save time, but I thought that the money would be better invested in tools and other things and that I could do it mainly alone because I had no other job.
It is obvious that a non-professional did the work, but I can now say that I learned a lot of things and that I have now a lot of respect for people who work in constructions and renovations. It's very hard work.

After the drywall ceiling install I saw that it wasn't very hard to install drywall, so I wanted to tackle the job of installing the drywall walls all by myself.




I can now say that there was a lot more work than I believed there would be at the start of the renovation.

Last edited by Bogdan M.; 06-04-2017 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:11 PM   #7
Bogdan M.
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuklbstr83 View Post
Great job, the place looks amazing! Keep up your hard work and motivation! Never give up.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dubber View Post
Nice work. Doesn't it feel better that you can say that transformation was all done by you!
Thank you!
Yes, that's very true.
It's very fulfilling to make something nice with your own hands.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:32 PM   #8
Bogdan M.
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

I then proceded in changing the door and also to insulate the the front of the garage.



One of my mistakes was that I didn't estimate well the costs, so when I was almost over with the renovation, I didn't have money to buy a good quality lift.
So I decided to build an inspection pit and buy a lift later on.

I digged it almost alone, with hand tools. I had help with 20% of it.



This is how the garage looked on the 22nd of may 2012, 7 months after I started the renovation.


Last edited by Bogdan M.; 06-04-2017 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

Blue man crew, nice work on the pit install.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

Bloody hell mate you`ve been busting your arse that place looks teriffic and i`m sure your neighbors love you now!
Great job.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

That is an amazing transformation. It looks bright, clean, and nice to work in on the inside. What is the R-value of the 4" foam, and how cold does it get there? Here, I believe R-30 is the minimum recommendation for a ceiling.

Also, your English is quite good.

Finally, I am really excited when I get to see garages, tools, and projects from other countries. I think yours is the first from Romania that I have seen.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

Very nice, good luck. When do you open?
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:57 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

Nice transformation. One thing i have always wondered about eastern European countries: how hard is it to get supplies and crews to do work? Like here you can run down to home depot a few miles away and get your stuff. I hope this doesnt come off sounding like im saying anything bad.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

I congratulate you. Not only for a job well done, but for having the balls to take on such a task and the foresight to invest in your future.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:06 AM   #15
Bogdan M.
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

Quote:
Originally Posted by akdiesel View Post
Blue man crew, nice work on the pit install.
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jabberwoki View Post
Bloody hell mate you`ve been busting your arse that place looks teriffic and i`m sure your neighbors love you now!
Great job.
Thanks! Well, not really, neighbours don't really care, even the owner of the building doesn't really care. She only cares about the money she receives as rent, nothing else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bull View Post
That is an amazing transformation. It looks bright, clean, and nice to work in on the inside. What is the R-value of the 4" foam, and how cold does it get there? Here, I believe R-30 is the minimum recommendation for a ceiling.

Also, your English is quite good.

Finally, I am really excited when I get to see garages, tools, and projects from other countries. I think yours is the first from Romania that I have seen.
Thank you for your kind words.
I have studied English from when I was 5.

The rigid foam is EPS 100, here we don't have R values, but something similar.

Here we don't really have this type of pride in our work that most of you have, probably because of the country's former communist past which set abnormal values.
There are people that take great pride in their work, but they are rare.
Nowadays, everybody wants to be a manager in Romania, even if he doesn't know to do anything, so beeing an auto mechanic is a profession which isn't regarded as respectful. Probably things will change over time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henricogolfer View Post
Very nice, good luck. When do you open?
I already opened in june.
I will post some newer pictures, unfortunately is not so easy to keep a garage clean when more than one person is working there so it's always a job in progress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neonnblack View Post
Nice transformation. One thing i have always wondered about eastern European countries: how hard is it to get supplies and crews to do work? Like here you can run down to home depot a few miles away and get your stuff. I hope this doesnt come off sounding like im saying anything bad.
Thanks!
No problem, I'm glad to answer all your questions.

Because the communist regime fall in 1989 and we are now in the EU, we have 11 shopping malls just in Bucharest. We also have a lot of the big european brands similar to Home depot: Baumax, Praktiker, Bricostore, Dedeman, Leroy Merlin, Ikea, Hornbach and a few others.
It's very easy to get supplies, but the problem is money. The majority of people don't really afford to buy things like that for a renovation because the average salary is very low, around 350 Euros = 457 USD.
The crews are mainly very low skilled and want very high prices, usually rip-offs.
I wanted at first to have the garage renovated by a crew of workers, but I was them at work when they installed the sealing and they were very sloppy, only interested in getting the job done fast to get payed fast.
They wanted 3000 euros only for the labor. As they usually do, the price would have gone higher day by day, building supplies would dissapear, and 3000 euros would get to be 5000 euros + supplies.
I have invested a lot more, but I am glad that I did the work myself and that I was not ripped off.
I would have gladly payed more than 3000 if I would have trusted the workers, but you can't really find good labor for a job like that.
A friend of mine renovated a bigger garage, it's the one that used the garage I use now before me, and he eventually payed 35 000 Euros for the renovation, the garage beeing double the size of mine.
He had a company do the job and, unfortunately, the result is not at all superior to mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RivennHewn View Post
I congratulate you. Not only for a job well done, but for having the balls to take on such a task and the foresight to invest in your future.
Thanks!
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:22 AM   #16
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

Looks great, what's next?
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:05 AM   #17
Bogdan M.
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

On the long run, buying tools and shop equipment. This is probably a lifetime disease.

I must buy / build more storage spaces - cabinets and shelving.

When I finished the restoration I painted the floor with a blue paint. It said on the box that is used for concrete floors, but it kind of fades away in time and it's not resistant to oils and other residues.
I have seen epoxy floors in auto shops and, IMO, it's not the best choice for an autoshop.
It's great for a garage, great for a home workshop, but not tough enough for the type of abuse it gets in an auto workshop.
I don't know what to do. I have seen pics of shiny concrete floors and I must say that the look is great and industrial, but I haven't seen something like that live.
Any opinions on that?
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:52 AM   #18
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

Great job. I hope you're rewarded for your outstanding work ethic and ambition. Surely people will recognize the value in that especially if it is, as you say, somewhat rare.

Best of luck with your venture and please keep us posted. I'm sure a lot of us are pulling for you.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:07 AM   #19
Bogdan M.
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

Thank you very much for your kind words!
I have read all the pages of your build thread and I must say that I remained amazed by the quality of the build and the entire project, so I feel very flattered by your post.

Good luck to you too in completing your great project!
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:19 AM   #20
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Default Re: The Blue Garage - Bucharest, Romania

Great job on that old garage,it looks real nice.
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