Monday, April 14, 2014

Under Construction: new garage doors and yard work

Don't want to miss out on any of our renovation shenanagins? 
Click here for a full list of my posts on it!

Well, the renovation was on a partial hold for the last couple months for the end of my pregnancy and the birth of Ruby, but the last 2 weeks have brought us absolutely gorgeous weather and my energy has returned so we've been getting quite a few projects done around the house.

Sometimes I just have to stand back and laugh at the way that we go about our renovation. Home improvement projects are very daunting to most people and may require weeks (months?) of preparation. Some researching on how to do it, sourcing the materials and him-hawing over options. Us? Nah. Adam woke up this past Saturday morning and said "today I'm going to put in our garage doors."

Ok, let me back up a few days.

The Suburban "Duraburb" project is done and Adam started parking it into the (in my opinion) very skinny garage. Our house was originally had a 2 car garage (2 single doors) but the previous owners converted one of the stalls into a room for their daycare. We value garage space over weird/extremely cold rooms so the plan has always been to convert it back into garage space in the next year or so. I've been driving the Duraburb around for a couple weeks and am pretty comfortable with driving it and parking it in easy spots but the garage was another story. One morning I was getting ready to go to my local MOPS group and all I had to do was pull the Duraburb out of the garage. It was a tight fit but simply driving it out of the garage shouldn't be a big deal, right? Even after loading up both of the girls (who were NOT happy) I felt that I had succeeded in my attempt and started pulling out of the garage. Well...*somehow* the garage door had slid down just a teeny tiny bit and it was enough to catch the back roof rack as I pulled out. Thankfully a neighbor was walking by and I had already slowed down to let him cross, so I was literally creeping along but it was enough to bend the roof rack a little bit. This was the fire under Adam's ass to fix our garage situation.

So this past Saturday morning he went to Lowe's just to check their prices on garage doors and found that coincidentally they are having a super-sale and picked up 2 garage doors for cheap! We tend to have a lot of luck with getting super good random deals at Lowe's. So he came home and literally started cutting a hole in the side of the house.

If you know me personally or have been following the blog for a while, you know that although Adam doesn't have any professional experience in house renovations / improvements he just has a knack for these things. His engineering background gives him the basis for a lot of the projects that he tackles and where ever there are hole in his knowledge he picks up pointers from the internet or friends/family who have already done it. In the 1 1/2 house renovations that we've done he's actually got a pretty good record of success. Sometimes it's a windy road with a few detours, but I have to say that I'm very proud of him for always completing a project.

Ok enough blubbering about my handy husband, back to filling you in on what we've done.

The way that we tend to start our projects is by the seat of our pants. We decide a few days before or the morning of (as was the case here) that we want to get something done and pretty much do it. Yes, we have a list of house projects that need to be done. Yes, they are organized by priority. But sometimes that list is set aside and we just do what we want to do that weekend.

Case in point: he cut a hole in the house and installed one garage door in a day.

Sunday morning he moved on to the garage stall that already had a garage door (the one I had pulled out of). The original width was 8 ft and both new doors are 9 ft. This is plenty of room for me to comfortably park the Duraburb in the garage. Whew! He managed to finish this project in time for Penny's 2nd birthday / meet the baby party that we had planned that afternoon too.

Over the last few weeks we've been working on the yard as well. The side yard leading from our driveway to the shop was in dire need of drainage so Adam and my step-dad worked for a couple weekends to lay down drainage pipes and dig trenches. Last week a couple of our neighbors literally volunteered to throw almost 10 tons of gravel over that driveway that Adam outlined while he was at work. We have been seriously blessed with great neighbors who have welcomed us to the neighborhood and are a constant support!

Meanwhile, my parents have been visiting almost every weekend and my step-dad is a machine when it comes to whipping a yard into shape. For both of our renovations that has been his area of expertise and the man is tireless. Normally I'm not much of a yard person but he inspired me a bit and I've been working on a couple small projects throughout the yard (as nap time allows).

My first project was to weed our raised bed. Penny and the chickens became my helpers (as helpful as a toddler and five chickens can be) by dumping the weeds into a bucket or eating bugs that I unearthed - respectively. I need to fill the garden with some topsoil and then Penny and I can plant our first veggies together! I'm thinking snow peas, radishes, cucumbers, sunflowers and setting aside some room for a couple pumpkins.

I started walking around the yard and found a few areas where there had been paving stones laid out but had been overgrown for several years.

My yard projects are usually limited by which child I have with me at the time. If it's just Penny then I'm pretty free to do mostly whatever I want to do and she's become a good helper. If Penny is down for a nap but Ruby is awake then I wear her in our Boba and I'm limited to tasks that keep me standing (such as clipping branches or raking). It's not too often that I'll tackle yard work when I've got both of the kids - but we still go outside and play :)

This run of great weather has been a great motivator in getting the outside of our house looking more presentable and I've been enjoying taking the girls on walks during the day and when Adam gets home we typically take another walk after dinner. It's not too often that we get weather like this in Washington this early in the year so we take advantage of it while we can!


  1. You have done an amazing job! It looks like a fun room to work and play in. I really love it.

  2. What a great job you have done. The blog is really well written and was a real pleasure to read. Also gave my wife and I some great ideas for when we renovate our house in the future. Our garage is probably the first place we will start. Keep up the great work and hope to read much more. Thanks.

    Giovanni @ Coastal Contract Hardware



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