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.

Family Room Renovation!

Have I mentioned I’m still working on file sizes and photos? Because I am.


So this is what our family room looked like when we moved in! It’s a large, lovely space but with the dark cedar slats and old ceiling fan it looked dated and like an old man’s hunting lodge.


Every great project starts with demolition! Dale pulled all the cedar slats down, put in new insulation and began rebuilding the room with fresh drywall. He also skimmed the ceiling.

construction ceiling 

One of Dale’s favorite finishing touches was taking the old, defunct speakers out of the ceiling, patching the holes with small circles he cut out of drywall and then plastered over.

ceiling before

There’s Dale putting in the final touches!


After the drywall was done, the room was primed with a base white. Monty, our cat, was just excited to be able to access the room and its many windows.


Primed and ready from the original photo view!


Next up, our friend Joe picked out the paints! We were stuck and he got us to move forward with this lovely blue and a dark brown focal wall, a shout-out to the room’s original brown paneling. However, we don’t face the brown wall so the room is crazy bright and cheerful–even on dreary days it seems like we are surrounding by a bright blue border.


Step two–paint!


Finally, we put up all new trim around the room. Dale had to cut custom framing for the over-sized sliding glass doors. All that was left was to paint the  frames themselves. This was a real challenge! I had to paint the trim three times because the basic primer didn’t cover the wood.


So this is the final product: pretty crisp white with blue paint.


It has a long way to go to be finished but the new walls, paint, and trim, along with the simple white curtains, has brightened up the space considerably! We also put up a new ceiling fan that is more our style–and has an actual light unlike the one that was there when we moved in.

Clearly, we’ve yet to finish the floors (sadly no wood floor under the carpet), put up some artwork and finalize the furniture. Baby steps…

Stripping the Floors

Click on any link to go to the larger resolution image:


The office with its floor naked!


The living room–curtains gone!


Beautiful floors!


A long shot of the combined/living and dining space.


Mike stripping the floor in the master bedroom.



Heavy equipment at work, with fans blowing dust out.


A Quick Tour

I figured the best way to kick this off is with a quick home tour. So this is what our house looked like when we moved in (minus the basement, as I didn’t take any pics on the first day and after that it was all boxes for weeks).

Click on any image to go to a larger version for better stalking.


The front of our house! We have a lot of work to do to get those bushes under control, no?


The entryway/living room (note its carpeted).


The living room, entryway and hallway (all carpeted).


The living room/dining room (wallpapered and carpeted).


A fun panorama of the kitchen from the family room.


And a panorama of the kitchen from the dining room.


The family room–carpeted and paneled with cedar slats.


Master bedroom had green carpet…


Second bedroom had blue (not that Dale could not slow down ripping carpets out so I could get proper “before” pics!


The third bedroom (will be a guest bedroom but will not feature rust-colored carpets).


We never got pics of the downstairs after we moved in and before the boxes descended. My bad. This is what it looked like when the previous owners lived there.


This picture of the garage is also from before we moved in–that’s Dale and our realtor.


Another quick pic of our garage.


And the backyard!