As is becoming the norm, I'm way behind on updates. Where we left off last time I had just raged against the local machine. But this time, I have some serious progress to report.
This garage, like many parts of our old house, was designed to maximize use of the available space. Old houses were built smaller because people used to be more in tune with the labor and energy required to build, maintain, and heat the house. It's something I've grown to really appreciate, and I wish the average American gave more careful thought about how we use the resources like land and building materials. Good design enhances quality of life.I tried to design this garage carefully, and make the best use of the space I have. No thanks to the city, I think we have a reasonable compromise on yard space, garage space, and cost.
On to the actual updates, the concrete was done by a local concrete crew, who did a great job from my non-expert perspective. Concrete is not cheap, and this project made me incredibly curious about concrete. I read tons of blogs, articles, and forums to learn all I could. Did you know the oldest concrete in the world is 8500 years old, and that the concrete in the Hoover dam is still curing? As long as the cement stays wet, crystals continue to form, and strength increases.
About 5 minutes before Jen and I left for a summer vacation, the building materials showed up on a truck. We left and crossed our fingers that when we came back, there would be a garage in our back yard.
The framing was done by an Amish crew, beards, hats and all. They were recommended by a friend at church, and did great work. Apparently they use all pneumatic tools, and hire a non-Amish driver to get them to the job site. Sadly they built the garage while we were on vacation out west so I didn't get to watch, but they built, roofed, and finished the entire building in less than three work days. Normally I would want to be around for a build just to make sure all goes well, but I figured if I can't rely on the Amish to do good work then we're pretty much screwed no matter that.
So this is the finished product... Sorta. We caught a lucky break and had the garage door installed much sooner than was originally planned. Originally it was going to have a month lead time because it was a custom order, but the vendor found one in stock in Grand Rapids.
So why were we willing to wait a month for a garage door? When I was shopping for garage doors, Jen said she didn't want the standard garage door you see on about 95% of garages because it "looks so 90s!" I was more than ok with that, so I started looking. I began to notice that every house built in the last 40 years has the same garage door! I got a quote on something I thought looked good and I about choked when I saw the total!
A double garage door can range from $800 for a very basic single layer steel to about $6000 for an aluminum and glass, or unfinished finished wood door. We needed to be on the well into the lower half of that range and for a while I was worried I wasn't going to find anything that fit that requirement. Eventually I stumbled across a line of stamped steel faux carriage doors by Amarr, available in single layer and insulated steel configuration.
This door checked all the boxes but was a custom order, which is why were willing to wait. The early delivery was just the frosting on the cake.
At long last, Grace has her new home. Unfortunately, that does not mean that I've had time to work on her. Instead, I've endured a bit more wrangling with the city in order to get a concrete driveway approved. This morning the concrete crew laid the driveway and a small patio in the back yard.
|Max even got to leave a mark in the patio!|