Finally, a Garage

  Since 2000, the beautiful finish on our cars has slowly faded to grey. The lubrication starved pistons have eroded the cylinders and rods into sloppy clanking metal. Beach balls and rafts crack outside in the subzero cold. How does this happen? No garage. But not anymore. We finally took the plunge and signed the papers for a new two.six bay garage.

  Location of the Future Garage Here's where the future garage will go. See, the gravel pad is so crowded, the little Miata has to live off the grass. These were the early days, so we sold the best car we ever owned and kept the electrically buggy Volvo wagon, the $4.00/gallon pickup truck, and the noisy and tiny Miata. Note the slope and gravel. It makes oil changes wait.

  The foundation begins. This is just to the east of the house. He had a few more feet to go before he would get it low enough, as it will be a 10 foot garage (I'm not sure why). See the grass that the skid steer hides behind? We broke that up with the Backhoe to replant. We also moved the Yellowwood tree there on the left just a bit closer to the camera position. The Dig Begins

  Moving the Yellowwood Speaking of the Yellowwood, you have to have a Yellotruck for moving Yellowwood. See the hole on the right? That's where it came from. They are sticking into the pre-coned hole on the right. It worked pretty well. I hope it keeps growing.

  This is the laid block on the west side, closest to the house. Note the little bizarre footer step. That's so they didn't have to dig the footers to the right as deep. I hope they replace that gravel with something soft and level for changing the oil. Block

  Mud Room Footers A hole next to the back door. These are the footers that the mud room will rest. There will be a floor and stuff above this so its not really a real mud room.

  This machine is for mixing up cement and dumping it on the floor next to it (if it happens to miss the machine itself). Whatever is left goes into the wheelbarrow for sticking the blocks and bricks together. Its important to get the right slump. Machines for Cement

  The EF3 back on the job site. Nice thing about that Bobcat Quick-Tach is that I can put some pallet forks on and move those bricks around. Its a handy machine with the 4WS - gets in nice and tight and doesn't tear up the ground.

  The nearly completed foundation. This is the view to the south west, looking from the deep part of the cut. They have some more bricking to do. Note where they bashed out the bricks or the lower retaining section. I don't get masons (unless someone used them for home canning!!). The rest of the block and brick is done and gravel is in there. They told me they will put concrete on top so it won't be bumy. You can also see the mud room debris. The keen observer will take in the little volcano next to the Pergola. Foundation

  Front View The foundation from the front, close to where the original, top picture was taken. Note the shifted yellowwood. Also note that the new drive part goes over half the hole the yellowwood was in. Hope we don't sink.

  Mud room brick work complete. That thing that looks like a pallet of blocks inside bricks? That's where the front mud room stoop will be. Its covered with wood and gravel and then a slab is poored onto which some rock surface will be adhered. The constructors did a good job with the crawl space and its access into the regular house. Stoop

  Slabed Up All slabbered up. Its shiney, with a deep, glossy shine. Doubles as a skating rink. Note the little fence post on the left. That fence will continue into the building after the walls are up. Also note the little brick wall. Its kind of odd.

  Our first clue that our understanding of garages and our builder's is a bit different. While hard to see here, these walls are 10 feet tall. That's good when playing basketball, but not necessary for changing oil. Also, the goofy little wall sort of crowds the little bay. No matter, it has lots of volume. Walls Framed

  From the Back with Sheathing Here is the building from the back on the high side. This side looks about the right height, but its four feet higher at the base. That's where the 10 foot walls on the far side appear. Check out the window next to the door. I'll be standing with my chin on the sill.

  Sheathed from the front. Now you can start sensing the height. See the hay blobs? That's where we moved the tree - from the left blob to the right blob. Also note the high windows on the right side. Later on the came and lowered it so now you can see my shoulders from outside. From Front

  First Truss Truss number one goes on. Now the height becomes apparent. You can't tell by this one, but the roof will house the new man-loft. I'm thinking to use this one for Winter activities as it may be warmer than the man-cave. That makes the man-cave the summer home and the man-loft the winter home.

  The final form. Dormers are on, though all the windows have the wrong paynes in them - they are supposed to be like the house. The driveway in front of the garage has no cars because there are more nails than rocks. Note the Yellowwood leafing out. Form Finalized

  Interior Wiring Some internal work - here are a couple of homeowner wiring boxes (the blue ones - 25 cents). The top left one has RG6 (for video broadcasts from the house) and two wire speaker cable. There are another three boxes like this plus two more boxes of speaker cable only, giving six speaker locations and four TV locations. The lower two boxes have two Cat5e cables each. There are a total of four boxes like this, giving eight Cat 5e connections plus one more Cat5e single box for a telephone. Note also the 8" intercom rough-in to the right of the window. Alll are home runned to the rack location (inset).

  There are also a bunch of cables from the house to the garage to run all the electronics that a good garage will need now and into the future. In this conduit are two Cat6, six Cat5e, two RG6, two shielded two pair intercom, and a pull string. I'm not sure what I will need this all for, but it only cost me a weekend and about $500. Exterior Wiring

  Finished Building Here the building is finished, though we are still doing lots of accessory work on the walkways, walls, driveway, and other things.

  The finished building from the back. All the trenches are covered and grass was planted. Unfortunately, the wind blew most of the grass away, so I'll wait for next spring to plant more. Also note the new sidewalk, which makes barefoot trips to the cars much easier.. Exterior Wiring