Before we could really dive into our garage overhaul, we had to start from the top before working our way down. For as long as we’ve lived in this home, we’ve never parked a car in here. Not only has the space been overloaded with scrap wood and miscellaneous boxes for the last two years (which we finally purged and organized a couple weeks ago!), but anytime there was rain, the roof would leak. It would leak from the vents in the ceiling, and rainwater would spit through holes in the rotten exterior fascia, too. With so much going on inside our home home, we’d been putting this eyesore on the back burner for far too long, and it’s going to feel so great to whip this guy into shape. Yeah!
It’s a detached garage, and our intentions are not to turn it into a warm and cozy room (i.e., we won’t be insulating it), rather, we just want it to function well (uh, a car in here would be nice!), and we’d like to do so on a budget. We won’t be spending all our time out here in the winter – that’s what the workshop is for – but we do need a place to get messy with the table saw and a home for gardening and car washing supplies. All that to say, our budget dreams were slightly crushed when we realized just how much work was needed to seal everything properly and keep our soon-to-be hard work safe from weather.
We called around for several quotes, and the verdict was the same with everyone – we’d need a new layer of shingles, gutters to handle the rain, and of course, we’d need to replace the rotted wood from a poor construction job previously. See those black spots in our ceiling? The plywood had completely crumbled away, leaving the black paper exposed:
After weighing the financial options and checking in with our guts, we went with a roofing contractor, Andrew, recommended by another company that was unable to fit in our job. He blew our minds. Every bad experience we’ve had with a contractor was redeemed by how awesome Andrew was! He was on time, speedy, professional and incredibly kind. (Kindness goes a long way, really.) They also knocked out the whole job in two days, starting just one day after we confirmed. Side note: If you’re in the Chicagoland area, I would be thrilled to give you his information! Just shoot me an email.
On the first day, a roofing team took care of the leaking vents and added a layer of shingles, course correcting some issues that were done improperly the first time. I texted photos to Scott throughout the day, remarking at how efficient and quickly they were moving! They were also mindful not to walk through our front yard, and they used the alley to load and unload their tools – a courteous move that we’ve found to be rare among our past experiences.
On day two, the rotten fascia was replaced, and gutters were installed. One downspout leads to the alley, and the other one flows into our yard (where we will one day have a garden, hopefully!). You guys, our garage was in such bad shape, but it’s already so much better!
We have had the most ridiculous amount of rain in the last week since the job was completed, and with the exception of an area along the floor we need to re-caulk (unrelated to the roofing issue), the garage is bone dry! If you just look past that rotten door frame (it’s on the chopping block), the visual improvement of the gutters alone made our day. Before and after; see?
Before and after from the side:
One more before and after, because, so satisfying. This is actually the view from our kitchen – that is, once we get that sliding door installed (that’s a whole different story; you know).
Once we paint the entire interior of the garage, you won’t be able to tell where the ceiling was patched, and everything is going to look so clean. Oh, my happy heart! In the meantime, the biggest budget buster has been knocked out, but we’ve realized that repairing the cracked garage floor may need to wait until next year as a result. And we may look into repairing our garage door, rather than moving forward with a full blown replacement. Let’s get scrappy.
Fix the leaky roof
• Bike Storage
• Open metal shelving for bins + occasional use items
• Wall treatment for cabinet wall (close up exposed studs)
• Paint everything – no more bare plywood!
• Reconfigure and paint cabinets
• Install a countertop
Epoxy/paint the unlevel/cracked garage floor – not this year, womp.
• Wall of hooks/hanging storage
• New side door
• Paint exterior trim
• Re-caulk exterior siding
• Repair/new garage door
We’ve just wrapped up the treatment for the cabinet wall, so more on that this week!
PS – Again, if you’re in Chicago and looking for a roofer, we would feel confident enough to shout Andrew’s name from the rooftops (oh, punny!). We only have a phone number for him, so email us if you’re in need of a recommendation.