Garage Renovation Phase II: The Reckoning

So Phase II was my biggest fear! But we conquered it.

The long and the short of it is that we needed to replace a giant beam to take the slight sag out of the front of our house.

I honestly never thought it was noticeable. Of course it made Dale crazy. The challenge was to do this kind of project on our own. Let’s face it: Dale was on his own with this one. And I suffered a concussion (while cleaning the refrigerator–can you stand it?) just a few days before the project was set to go. So it ended up that Dale’s dear friend Brian (who was in our wedding) offered to come out for the day (he was vacationing in Western Michigan). Our friend Joe came out. And Pat! And we were completely surprised by the fact that Andy–who lives in a neighboring town and who works for Stone Mountain–came out to help. We were floored. Particularly as he has a formidable DIY skill set.

Our deliveries!

First order of business? Dale had to take the garage door off. Then we acquired shoring equipment from our friends at Stone Mountain Access. Dale’s dad surprised him by offering to come out for the weekend project at the last minute–it was a huge help and we were super grateful.

So Dale and his dad started putting up the shoring.


Finally, the calvary started to arrive–and they were amazing!


Brian and Andy nailing down the shoring process.


Brian and Andy fell into a quick team work. Joe was there for his labor (and to talk to me about nonsense off and on).


Brian in particular seemed to enjoy demolition.

I took a couple of quick videos to show the beam replacement “money shot”–so to speak.

Taking out the old beam:

Putting up the old beam (parts 1 & 2)


Hammering the beam in place!

Brian felt I had not captured his hard work so he set this shot up. 


And there was no rest for the wicked–the smartest folks left quickly! But Pat sweetly hung around to help us build up the walls under the beam. GarageP2-5

Though, honestly, it seemed like he just wanted to use Dale’s Dewalt Impact Driver. In fact the Impact Driver was a huge hit among all the dudes. They each wanted to use it and spoke lovingly of it after the fact. I’m not even joking. 


Our awesome team of super friends!

Huge success! Though, honestly, it left a bit of carnage in its wake in the guest bedroom and office:

Garage Renovation Phase I


Our next big project is our garage renovation! We are tearing it down to studs and starting over. We have to replace a beam above the garage so this project has an extra tough component.


So this is how it started. Packed with crap and very little storage or room for Dale’s tools. BeforeReno3

So we set about tearing it apart. 


We sectioned off the back with tarps and moved a lot of stuff into the driveway and then started tearing into the drywall. Demo2

Dale picked up a Bagster from Home Depot, assuming it would hold everything. It didn’t! We ended up needing two of them. Incidentally, the Bagster service worked like a charm for us despite the mixed reviews we’d seen for it around the internet. Demo3

Dale had to tear out some wood. The pipe you see running along the top created a problem. The 2x4s were doubled up every four feet. Dale wanted to ensure that when the drywall went back up, the 2x4s were doubled up everywhere so we’d be able to put nails in anywhere.


You can see here where Dale has started doubling up the 2x4s, Surprisingly, this wasn’t a time-consuming process. We tore out one day and the next day we put all the new wood in place in an assembly line process. I got to use a mitre saw, band saw and a drill press to make this happen. I was in charge of the drill press to pre-drill holes. It made the whole process move a little faster, according to Dale. Rebuild2

All was going swimmingly until we discovered that some of the wood at the back of the house had rotted! And it really needed to be replaced! So we had to buy a special jack (the black pipe you see in the photo) to ensure the house was secure while replacing these boards. Rebuild3

You can see here where Dale took the boards out!
Rebuild4jpgCheck out the rotted boards! Ugh. Dale used a sawzall to get them out. He replaced them with new boards.

The next phase is fixing the beam and putting in insulation. Dale is gunning for spray foam insulation so that will be a big project all on its own. Then we’ll put up new drywall and much-need storage elements.