Sep 14, 2012

Project Modest Garage

One of my favorite things to do is work in the garage with the sound of auto racing in the background.   I'm not a big fan of watching auto racing on TV mind you, but I enjoy the sounds and commentary as it motivates me to organize my tools, wax my car, or bleed my brakes.  Frankly, as a renter, I'd accepted defeat on having an awesome garage and began daydreaming of manly days alone, at Starbucks.
It may be ugly but in Seattle garages either have abandoned MG's in them or have been converted to mother-in-law apartments.  Both highly offensive. 



After 2 double lattes recently I decided renting is no excuse for not having a cool garage.   A few hundred dollars spent for the garage improvement is no different than new curtains and throw rugs.    The landlord, Jeremy, agreed to coat the roof with sealant and install a new garage door.   Twas time to kick some ass.

Ideal garages are not easy to accomplish when children demand new soccer shoes, and the trash cans need a home that the raccoons can't reach.  But even a suboptimal rented garage like mine can deliver some fulfillment.   I forwent the heater and flooring, and commenced with core improvements.

Core improvement #1 is to keep it dry and bright (especially if you can't work with the door open because perhaps you live in a bad neighborhood).  After a little research, I selected Drylok paint, to keep the walls from absorbing the little light I had.  It also seals out water that can seep through the kind of concret walls an old garage might have.  Dryloc has sand-like additives to fill holes in cinder blocks or concrete.  The resulting texture is abrasive so you have to make sure it doesn't scrape your door paint.  It took 8 gallons for a 2 car garage.    My plan was to affixe a composite plastic (Trex) trim piece where my doors and bumper  might contact the walls.

Entertainment while painting was arranged through a wifi router-booster so I could stream TopGear through my iPad.
Under those booties I've got my driving shoes on.  Trying to keep the mood.

Looks better already with coat #1

I replaced the two bulbs in the garage with fluorescent ones.  I decided I wouldn't replace the fixtures in a place that I was only renting.  Fluorescents take longer to warm up but offer more wattage for the small size.  After about 6 minutes, it's much brighter than the previous incandescent bulbs.  


Placed in the middle as a shrine to the gods: the tool box was enshrouded and placed in the middle of the work space.    The smaller item is a crankshaft/flywheel end table that has been exiled to the garage. Go figure?


The wife didn't help, she was busy with stupid stuff like unpacking and reassembling furniture.


See, that second coat is what fills the holes.

Once you get that first coat of paint on, don't wimp out and quit.  You've come this far... go get that second coat on.  Trust me.  You've already got your painting clothes on, and besides, if you finish early, somebody will ask you to take out the garbage or fix the garbage disposal again.   

Motorcycle of my recent past.  Kinda bummed there wasn't room for it anymore  But now there's room in my wallet.
Once the painting was done, I placed my motorcycle inside to measure just how high I needed to mount the shelves.   Shelves were the inexpensive and simple... the most basic option available at the hardware store.  In retrospect, I could have bought them on Craigslist for $50, I bet.  In such small spaces, you want them mounted nice and high, that way you can move around without poking your eye out.

   The BMW leaked a gasoline, the best fix was a new Ducati.   An unorthodox solution, I know.



Oh, one more thing. Now that I'm finished, I've learned we are moving in 2 weeks.  

I've go two words for the next tenant and the landlord:  
You're welcome



No sooner than the paint in the Garage dried, my entire situation changed.  My selflessness in bringing the rental's garage to glory was immediately rewarded.  The car gods "smiled" upon me with an ample, or shall I say a litany, of life complications that require moving, again.   This time, back into our home in Bellevue.   The timing is far from ideal, but there is a definite automotive upside...

Two cars deep and two cars wide it held my old cars well.
Huge fluorescents and skylights make for good visibility day or night.
That upside is that 5 years ago, we made remodeling the garage here our very first priority.  I poke fun at the spouse for comedy, but clearly she's a car guy too.

The door beyond the Carrera goes directly to the master bathroom.
You can't see: exhaust vents, heat, pluming and lots of big cabinets

The wife chose colors and painted the cabinets, beams and walls.
Don't scoff at the my Cobra replica,  it paid for my 993 Carrera S



and why do I have to move? For more space...   

who says kids ruin everything and force you to buy minivans?  Stay tuned