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Old 11-11-2016, 12:37 PM   #1
-Brent-
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Default Bad Habits and a Garage Rehabbed

This building has been a lot of different things since 1945. It was the first residence on the property. The owner built this and lived in it with his wife while they built their home. It was a very basic place. Water came from a creek and drained out the wall and onto the dirt. No bathroom, they used an outhouse.

Over the years it got one electrical circuit. It had 3 light bulbs and 3 outlets. I used it that way for a couple years. While it was hardly ideal, I probably only popped the 15a breaker (which was also shared with the kitchen) a handful of times.

The way I was using it just didn’t work for me. Here’s the way it looked on a clean day.



That was not often.

It was a place that was doing too many things. I used it as storage, which got in the way of tools and machinery. I used it for working on projects, which created mess and a juggling/tightrope act that always frustrated me. A lot of times it was an overflow area for home projects. Tools/materials would get put in an empty spot as I continued on with the project. But, when I needed something in the garage it was a task getting to whatever I needed.

I dreamed of making it a shop but I didn’t do anything to make it work as one. I was woken from that dream, continually, every time I tripped over something, stubbed a toe, whacked my shin, tore a pant leg, got grease on some part or me or my clothes or spent way too much time looking for something. I was my own worst enemy.

Over the years as I completely remodeled my home, landscaping, had two children, and did a lot of work for other folks the garage project evolved in my mind. Every summer I take on one larger home project and this year I scratched the plan for a pergola and patio area to get the shop done.
And here it is… well underway (June 10, 2016 start day).

The plan:

The plan wasn’t much different than a lot of other projects I’ve accomplished over the years. Take something old, worn out, and rejuvenating it.
My planned improvements were:

- replace the ceiling with floor joists that were up to walking and storing items.
- Upgrade electrical with a 100a subpanel
- Remove everything that’s not a tool or shop specific – no more storage
- Insulate
- Install a compressor and run air lines
- New man door and deal with the old windows
- Free up floor space with a more appropriate sized work bench and equipment layout
- Create a comfortable space that’s comfortable, yet industrial.
o Use reclaimed materials whenever possible
- LED lighting, lots of it
- Outlets, lots of them
- Everything else – that where you get nickel-and-dimed and spend the most time.

The project couldn’t begin without emptying out the garage of stuff that didn’t belong in a shop. That in itself was a big project. I’ve had a storage condo nearly the whole time I’ve owned this place but for some dumb reason I didn’t utilize that place very well.

Here’s some of what I was dealing with:



Can’t walk between the boxes and the Sami. This was something I wanted to change. In the future, my goal was to keep this wall blank.



A pic that describes how I was my own worst enemy, it was so frustrating.



This was AFTER I had removed 2 cantilever racks and 2 hot rod projects. There was still a ton of stuff up in the loft area.



Seriously, how could anything get accomplished here?

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Old 11-11-2016, 12:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Bad Habits and a Garage Rehabbed



This area really wasn’t useable. Also, take a look at the ceiling “joists.”
I recently read something around here that stuck with me, “It takes some work to get to the easy part.” And nothing better could sum up how I feel about this garage/shop remodel.

In realizing this project was going to take me the majority of the summer (spoiler alert, I’m not done yet and summer is over ) I decided to do the right thing and knock out a big ole house to-do list before really digging in. It took ten days to earn that check mark. I have another list brewing (kids wear out everything!)

After that, I tore into it.

]







A ton of stuff came out, for good. The tools and cars came out temporarily, which definitely slows a project down needing to move stuff in and out.
Organizing my off-site storage was important. It’s nice to be able to walk in, grab something, and leave. This pic is during the organization. As you can see, I had to hang a 32 frame from the ceiling because it took too much space anywhere else. That was a fun solo job. Just an aside, pretty much everything I do, is solo.

That is, unless I know hiring a job out makes sense. So far this project (blocking up the windows) and the electrical panel are the only two things I farmed out. I did hire a day laborer one weekend but that turned out to be a nightmare. That’s a story for another day.

I pulled the windows and picked up the materials.





See the old faucet? The cast iron sink was still in place when I first occupied the garage.






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Old 11-11-2016, 12:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bad Habits and a Garage Rehabbed

I found this guy through a local ad and he was really an awesome dude. He and his son did the work. They did a bunch of pointing on our house, too, which was much needed.









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Old 11-11-2016, 12:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Bad Habits and a Garage Rehabbed

I only left one window opening. I figured since the other two walls would be occupied with toolboxes or equipment, it made little sense to keep windows.





With this opening I chose to increase the size. I had the sill made at a custom precast place, in town. Certainly, one of the benefits of living in Salt Lake City is the access to all sorts of building and industrial businesses. I went to this place on my way to work, probably a 10 minute detour on my commute. I couldn’t have done that in too many other places I’ve lived.

The window took about 6 weeks to come in… so as annoying as keeping a sheet of plywood leaned up, as well as the knowledge of little-to-no security. I left it and carried on.
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Old 11-11-2016, 12:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: Bad Habits and a Garage Rehabbed

I'm going to figure out wtf is going on with these pics and then continue on.
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Bad Habits and a Garage Rehabbed

Brent: since i really like you and your attitude and contributions to GJ I'm grabbing a chair and watching the magic happen in your garage. also interesting that your garage is made out of cement block because my entire house has that for all the exterior and a lot of the interior walls.

got to run, but wanted to mark the thread and give you my support and best wishes on your adventure.

thanks for starting a thread and i bet you'd like to see one or all of those project cars done some day too.
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Let's get healthy cause we'd like to play with our tools when we get old thread's link: http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=298568
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Bad Habits and a Garage Rehabbed

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Brent: since i really like you and your attitude and contributions to GJ I'm grabbing a chair and watching the magic happen in your garage. also interesting that your garage is made out of cement block because my entire house has that for all the exterior and a lot of the interior walls.

got to run, but wanted to mark the thread and give you my support and best wishes on your adventure.

thanks for starting a thread and i bet you'd like to see one or all of those project cars done some day too.
Thank you! And, yes, 2017 is the year I get some car projects done.
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Bad Habits and a Garage Rehabbed

That same weekend we got the windows filled in, I tore down this wall. I assume the only reason it was left there after converting the building into a garage (from living quarters) was because it had switch wiring in it. When I saw that it had no attachment to the ceiling other than some nails into the sheathing I didnít even wait to move some tools before hulk-smashing this wall down. It felt wonderful even if I almost landed on my rear a time or two. Haha.



The 60+ years of dust was pretty nasty stuff.

With each pull down of the ceiling material the dust would pour onto me and the floor. I had to dive in and go for it and get it over with. Usually demo is fun... not that stuff, though.





At some point someone got safety conscious, haha.



The 2x4s spanned about 12-1/2', as well, they were placed randomly. So, walking up there wasn't all that safe. That didn't stop me though. Nor did it stop me from keeping a bunch of stuff up there. I never said I was smart.
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Bad Habits and a Garage Rehabbed

Love the sami.

Needs more traingulation.

:-D
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Old 11-11-2016, 02:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: Bad Habits and a Garage Rehabbed

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Love the sami.

Needs more traingulation.

:-D
Thanks! Spoken like a true Pirate4x4 member.
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Old 11-11-2016, 02:11 PM   #11
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Default Re: Bad Habits and a Garage Rehabbed



Hereís half the 2x4s pulled down. If I come across a pic of the whole area bare, Iíll post it. During the renovation I dropped a phone and damaged it. It had all the build pics. I had the phone repaired but may have not gotten all the pics off, yet. Iíll check.



Anyway, once most of the ceiling joists were down (save for this one pictured because it supported the garage door) I put up the joist brackets. I hammered one of them in, it took me a half hour, at least, and my arm was dead. The beam was so dang hard that I struggled to drive in nails. Frustrated, I went to Home Depot and bought a pneumatic palm nailerÖ or what I like to call them Ė the best tool I ever! That sucker drove in all these nails nearly in the time it took me to get one bracket in with a hammer.



Hereís the pic of everything gone. That beam is interesting. Originally it was built with just the lower. When they converted it to a garage, which was the plan all along, the added this other beam, bolted and shimmed as you see. The trick, for me was getting them square again, since they had rolled a bit due to the load bearing wall oppoite of the garage door end was narrower than the beam it supported. It took some MacGyvering but I got it handled.
After that, the new joists went fast. After running calcs, it was obvious that if I ran 2x8s I had to run them 12Ē on center. The span was just a tad too long for 16Ē centers. It ended up being like 5 more, or so. No biggie.





I left the opening for attic stairs. One of the better upgrades to the shop, Iíll admit.

This side of the shop is going to be open (no attic above it) but I wanted to put shelves at each end for displaying items more than for storage.

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Old 11-11-2016, 02:18 PM   #12
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Thanks! Spoken like a true Pirate4x4 member.
Yep sure was wernt it.

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Old 11-11-2016, 02:33 PM   #13
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Default Re: Bad Habits and a Garage Rehabbed

Attic door rough opening.



It was at this point that I had a pile of lumber to get up into the attic space and I didnít want to do it alone. I was making good progress for being a couple days into the project and I figured Iíd see if there was a day laborer or two over at Home Depot that wanted to help put some lumber up in the attic and make a couple bucks. Now, I should preface that the only skills you need to posess in this job are to be able to walk upright and carry something. I wasnít looking for Bob Vila. So, all that said, I figured it would be worth the money.

Many of us have seen the crowd of guys curbside, looking for work. It might not happen at a big box store near you but itís not uncommon out here. I picked up a guy to help once, a few years back, so I figured it would be the same, now.

I pulled into the lot at about 1:30 pm and was swarmed, I said I needed two - and three guys got into the truck. One man saying he'd take any work for any pay - great youíre hired. The other two commenced haggling. I told them I didn't have enough work for three men. "Two guys, three hours and I'd pay ten cash to move some lumber into the attic" and that it was easily accessible. Easy, quick money, I figured.

"No, you get us two, he goes."

"If 3 guys, 8 bucks an hour each, sorry."

"10 dollars, no way, we get $20 each an hour."

"I'm not paying that to carry lumber... some plywood and 2-bys and to push a broom. I'll pay a neighbor kid, instead."

The two hagglers spoke to each other about the word "lumber" and shot me some expletives as they hopped out of the truck. I had the one young guy hop in front with me and we went over to the other side of the lot where some others were standing.

Two come over and I say I need one and tell them the rate and task.

"We get $15-25 for that."

"For both of you?" (Joking)

"No! Don't be cheap."

"Sorry, fellas we'll work with just this one guy."

An extra connotation (hand jesture, maybe what he was going to do with his free time...) was added by the short, stocky silent guy in the pair. It capped off the moment, completely.

All that said, 5.5 hours netted him $55 and some dinner at O' Falafel (where the owner knew the kid's whole family and he promptly chewed him out for being a lazy such-and-such... ) with a day's more work the next day. I gave him a bunch of scrap metal, too. But bless him for pulling the copper out of some of that old tar-fabric-covered wiring.





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Old 11-11-2016, 02:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: Bad Habits and a Garage Rehabbed

Brent,
THIS IS HANDS DOWN, MY NEW FAVORITE THREAD ON GJ!!!!!

I've only savored half of it, and so far I've laughed, I've cried and I see myself in it.

And I see hope in it too.

Your difficulties are many of our difficulties. Your solutions apply not just to you.

I will be watching with great interest.

And you've given me renewed incentive to begin again, which is the only way forward, to keep beginning again.

Bill
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Old 11-11-2016, 02:56 PM   #15
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Brent,
THIS IS HANDS DOWN, MY NEW FAVORITE THREAD ON GJ!!!!!

I've only savored half of it, and so far I've laughed, I've cried and I see myself in it.

And I see hope in it too.

Your difficulties are many of our difficulties. Your solutions apply not just to you.

I will be watching with great interest.

And you've given me renewed incentive to begin again, which is the only way forward, to keep beginning again.

Bill
Haha, glad to help Bill. Thanks.
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Old 11-11-2016, 02:58 PM   #16
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The next day was a head-scratcher. Here I am looking forward to having an extra set of hands and my guy is not on site, yet. He strolls in after being “lost” for an hour even though he had my address, we live in a grid system, he had my number, etc. Haha.

I figured I'll have him mow the lawn since it had been neglected with all the home projects getting done and such. He was excited to do it as he told me he worked for a landscaper. A lot of the day labor guys do (that and roofing labor) so I figured what harm could he do.

Turns out, not too much. After I showed him how the mower worked (a 32” commercial mower) he walked around the lawn happy as a lark. About 20 minutes into it, with my compressor shutting down, I hear him “mowing” and it doesn’t sound right.

So, down the ladder I go and stop him out in the yard and sure enough, he’d just been walking around the yard with the blades off. Okay, I try not to be judgmental while I’m thinking, “Man, I told you step-by-step how to fire this thing up, you go to your car to get gloves and forget maybe the most important step in the lawn mowing process?” So, from there I figure I just have to do better at instructing him in the future.

The lawn usually takes an hour if it’s cut twice. He walked the lawn for nearly two. I kept thinking, “I’ll get him in ten more minutes, he’s got to be nearly done.” I did that a few too many times. Finally he came to me saying he needed to take his father to WalMart and he’d be back to finish the lawn. … Wait, what? He says, “I won’t ask you to pay me now.” And I’m doing all I can not to roll my eyes into the back of my head in bewilderment.

I walk out to check the lawn and my wife has this grin on her face as she is about to be entertained by my reaction as she walks out front with me. I can’t really explain what I saw out there other than that young man never operated a lawn mower in his life. This lawn was proof.

The worst part is… I let him come back and finish. More than anything I was curious just how he was going to pull this off and it probably meant I might have to replace my trimmer because he ran it full throttle for twenty minutes without string… haha. No joke. I was in the garage telling myself this experiment is going to cost me.

I taught him how to change the string, a couple times, but it never stuck. He liked running that thing without it. Eventually I called it “good” and had him clean up some construction trash and call it a day.

I should have taken a pic of that lawn...

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Old 11-11-2016, 03:18 PM   #17
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Default Re: Bad Habits and a Garage Rehabbed

Progress is looking good so far Brent. Keep up the good work.


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So, down the ladder I go and stop him out in the yard and sure enough, heíd just been walking around the yard with the blades off.
Wow, just wow!

How old was this dude? The reason I don't cut grass now is I did it enough from years 8-18 to last me a lifetime, but my at least my Dad didn't have to tell me the blades needed to be spinning to actually cut the grass!
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:30 PM   #18
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Progress is looking good so far Brent. Keep up the good work.




Wow, just wow!

How old was this dude? The reason I don't cut grass now is I did it enough from years 8-18 to last me a lifetime, but my at least my Dad didn't have to tell me the blades needed to be spinning to actually cut the grass!
Thanks, Larry! He was early 30s, maybe just 30. It's funny you mention being 8 and mowing laws because I have a young kid I usually hire to mow the lawn when we go on vacation. I come back and it's perfect. He's in middle school.

I try not to be overly judgemental. My parents worked me hard as a kid and because of that I learned how to do things and took things on (other jobs and such) that help me to this day. Some folks don't have that type of life. So, in a way I felt kind-of bad for him. It's a pretty drastic reality for a lot of folks, so I hear from buddies in the trades.
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:32 PM   #19
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Default Re: Bad Habits and a Garage Rehabbed

For the first time since I moved into this little garage I could see this wall. The boxes were moved to their new home along the other wall, under the shelf. I realize this seems a bit out of order, because it is.





It was quick going up and already felt bigger but man, at this point I felt pretty overwhelmed. You see that pile of wood. Thatís probably 30 pallets broken down. The upper walls will be all aged pallet wood. I spent a few days after work breaking down pallets. I got pretty good at it, too, up until I had enough. I still have some stacked up that need to be broken down.



Again, another pic out of order. I was contemplating layout a bunch.



It was neat to see these in there with a little bit of room. Still, a long way to go.

Iím one of those people that needs to stop and stare a minute to figure some things out. When it comes to my own projects, that arenít defined like paid jobs, I tend to contemplate longer. As I was cleaning up I saw the car sitting there with decent lighting and I thought I wonít have lighting like this for much longer, Iíll snap a couple pics.



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Old 11-11-2016, 04:02 PM   #20
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The plan from here is to move up all the collar ties. As well, I decided to run a tie at every rafter. It wasn't needed but it will help with finishing off the attic.



After they got moved up, I knocked out framing of this wall. It was hot as hell up there the whole time. By this point I wanted to toss my compressor out into the highway, discuss style. That thing is so dang loud, even with earplugs.

The thing about this wall is that I spent a couple hours just getting marks and measurements set to get things square. You can put a level on that wall, now and the sucker is plumb level and pretty darn close corner to corner. It took a lot more work than I'm used to. Every single stud is a different length due to that top support beam.

Here you can start to see what I was aiming for. This isn't going to be a spot of a lift or anything, it's really too narrow for that. It does make the shop feel larger, though.

I got a bunch of old corrugated steel roofing stripped from a barn. That's going to be the ceiling material. Aged pallet wood will go on the two end walls and the center wall. But that's all daydream stuff, at this point.
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