May 5, 2011

Garage Abuse

We’re going to deviate away from the humor and fun today to talk about a serious issue.   Garage abuse.  Garages are abused much too often.  Household storage is the most common offense.  Nic-nac overflow and decommissioned furniture are the frequent offenders. Further offenses include children's bicycles and seasonal items.  The largest of those offenders, in both frequency and girth, the artificial x-mas tree.  Yard tools can often invade the sacred garage space.  Some how man and woman alike have rationalized the forced cohabitation of lawn mowers and sports cars.  They are not the same vehicle, one belongs in a shed.  All of these offenses are, however, reversible.  Yard sales can reduce storage issues. Children grow up eventually or can be sent to boarding school.  Convert to atheism and you won’t need that x-mas tree.  Lastly, pave the yard, lay down gravel,plant ivy or just hire a lawn guy if you don’t have a shed.   These are all easy solutions that I hope you’ve already implemented.  I want to talk about a more heinous abuse.  An ugliness that's attacking homes, like many here in Seattle:  The dark art of converting garages to living space.

If I was visiting these people I’d drive right into that reading room or whatever the hell it is.

The first step to beating any disease is naming it. So let me be the first to give this evil thing a name.  We’ll call it ”Conversion” henceforth. Conversion is more common than you might think.  It’s a painful sight, seeing a driveway end at some makeshift entryway or a picture window.  That driveway is a road to nowhere!
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People always have a some stupid reason for conversion.   Your mother in-law may, supposedly, need  living space.  The kids may claim to need  room for studying.  Some people want a rental unit for extra income.  Even others think they need more square footage for a recreation room or even just to enhance the value of their home.
Conversion is not the answer.

The ultimate garage? We'll see.  I've just  been enlisted to assist a little in it's design.
I may have just had a stroke.
You don’t want to give up the garage to your mother-in-law for two good reasons.  One, you’ll never be able to love her if she kills your dreams of antique gas pumps and checkered floors.   Two, how can you go hide from her in the garage if she’s living in it?  This problem is easily solved without sacrificing the garage.   Long term care facilities are popping up all around, they serve great food and offer assistance with health issues too.    Problem solved.

I takes a tough man like me to make his wife park her Explorer in the street.
  Note the clutter, so I moved to the garage below.

Recreation rooms are not a good reason to give up that garage.  What good is a plasma TV to watch Speed Channel if you’ve got no sports car?  Besides, any garage could easily double as a place to watch your flat screen.  It may be harder for the kids to play Shoots and Ladders or Nintendo, but they need to get outdoors more anyway.   Studying, would never really happen anyway in that rec room, you are being played on this one.   Summer school or camp during the warm weather is best.   They can play in their rooms when it rains if they can’t go a friend’s house.

garage1
This garage started life as carport in 1964. Double deep too! See my old Ducati in there?


This whole rental unit idea has got to stop.   Why do you need the money? So you can buy a better minivan?   Come on, you can do better.  If you need money more than a sports car then you better be saving up for cancer treatment or something.   Besides, on your death bed reflecting on that  ride up HWY-1  will be cooler than the shoes, pencils or new school books.   Shop at the thrift and kick out that tenant. Sell your plasma, then be a man and go buy a ‘78 Trans Am.

garage5
Good Garage, good contents. But those shovels have got to go.
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Don’t tell me your garage is too small for a car anyway.  Bullshit!  It would be larger if you threw out that extra sofa and that ride-on lawn mower.   Lawn equipment improperly stored next to your trickle charger  is a fire hazard anyway.  Do you want to die in a fireball? I didn't think so.  Besides plenty of cars will fit in even the smallest man cave.   Try a Mini Cooper, Miata or Alfa Romeo.  Even a Porsche 914 not to mention just about any Lotus will fit in there just fine too.   Don’t give up on that garage, adapt and overcome. 
garage
Note  my old friend Matt's high window placement.  A sign of enviable contents. 
Now he might have room for a x-mass tree in there.  Maybe.
During the recent real estate boom one garage/minute was lost to the greed of square footage based appraisals.  That rendered countless sports cars homeless.  Seeking more square footage is a slippery slope.  True, adding an extra 200ft to your home could add $50k in equity, .  But that $50K can’t buy you a sports car if you’ve got nowhere to put it.  Think again, because it’s  morally wrong.  Money earned from sacrificing a garage to the almighty can never be used for a sports car in good conscience.  You’ll likely get a car with a curse on it.  Such as peeling paint, clogged injectors or even a spun bearing.  “Car/ma’s” a bitch.   Besides, I'm sure this whole financial crisis started with people doing garage conversions in the first place.  Don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution.  

house6
I sold my soul (and my Husqvarna) to the devil for this garage.  Worth every penny. 
In conclusion.  Conversion is clearly immoral.  It’s cruel to children because it forces them to  play indoors. Conversion compromises the well being of the elderly by refusing proper qualified health care.  It’s hard on the economy as evidenced by our current recession.  Moreover, resisting conversion is patriotic.  Your refusal to rent out your garage stimulates 1st time home purchases. Oh, and those sliding glass doors are stupid looking, we all know it used to be your garage! 

Don’t plant a tree you sissy, build a garage.

Nigel gets honorable mention for his recently built garage. He’s probably going to do wood work
and store his lawnmower. But he does have a Mini that will go in here too.

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