Thursday, May 31, 2018

Garage Progress

If you read last week's post you know that we decided to have a garage built. The New England winters have proved too much for this lady.

We cannot do this on our own so we hired a builder. We met with him in May, contracting not only for a garage but for a shed, also. Our main concern was getting put on his schedule and being in the garage before the first snowfall. It is May so that gives them plenty of time.

A new shed was built and the old rotting shed was removed. That wasn't until August.

The ground was prepared and a foundation was poured. This took way longer than I thought it was going to. The Lord is obviously still trying to teach me patience.

Because of the large trees that flanked the driveway there was a lot of the root system in the ground where the garage will go. That soil is not good for foundation building as the material will rot and breakdown over time. It had to be removed and better soil brought in. Yup, we had to buy dirt. 

And we wait. That soil now has to settle, rest and pack down. We had to water our dirt to help it pack down. I am so impatient! 

Finally it is concrete day. It is September 21st. School is back in session! I am not sure what I thought was going to be the timeline for this but I am pretty sure this was not what I was thinking in May. 

Now we wait some more. This concrete has to cure. 

3 Weeks later the framers showed up. No warning, no 6:30 in the morning! 

These guys worked sun up to sun down. Three days later the framing was complete! Now we're getting somewhere. 

The original plans did not take into account some changes that we had to make. Because of the available land we had to build on we had to change the size and we lowered the height so that the garage would not be taller than the house. Nobody explained that to the framers... oops. That took some time to fix to accommodate a wall of windows upstairs. 

Once that was done we had to wait for inspection. That took almost 2 weeks or waiting! 

Once the framing was done we had to wait for the electrician. He's a busy guy. In our area this is a dying breed- we need tradesmen. And, we wait for inspection . Next up is siding. 

The siding went on so quickly that apparently I didn't get any photos of that. We chose a white vinyl siding. 

December 5th we moved our vehicles into the garage and waited for final inspections. 

It was literally just in time. The first snow of the season came December 9th. 

When you are having others do the work you are on their time table. We did say we wanted to be in before the first snowfall and they did accommodate. Next time I will be more careful with my words! 

Now, I have a huge space upstairs that will be my space for crafting..... the plans were already in brain but we will be doing the work ourselves. Oh, boy! 

Thanks for spending time with me. If you've not yet subscribed to this blog would you consider doing that? The link is in the column on the right. Thanks, again! 

Monday, May 21, 2018

You Have To Know Your Limits

While I have been quiet on the blog over the winter and much of the spring I have been busy.

We live in Massachusetts. Springtime is exciting and bursting with color. The summers are glorious, the beaches are beautiful. Autumn in New England has to be seen to be truly appreciated; rolling hills decked in reds and golds are world renowned. And then... there is winter. "Wait", you say, "why are we talking about winter?!" Stay with me.

I suppose if you ski, ice skate, ect. the winter isn't that bad... but I am not one of those people. I like the first snowfall, maybe a light snow while I'm Christmas shopping and possibly Christmas morning and THAT'S IT! From December 26th until some late day in March I question why I live here, what it would take to sell our home and move, or how to afford a three month long vacation south every year.

One of the my least favorite chores in the winter is clearing off the snow from the cars. For 14 winters we have lived in this home with enough parking for 6 cars but no garage. There was a shed at the end of the driveway. The house originally had a barn where the shed stood but that was long gone before we bought it.

We decided that we were getting too old and our cars were taking too much abuse. Two old maples, over 100 years old, flanked the left side of the driveway. I had to go to Google Earth for photos of them because for some reason I did not take pictures of them!

Both were diseased and we knew it was only a matter of time before they would need to be taken down.

Those factors combined moved us to build a garage! What do we know about building a garage? Nothing.

We contracted with a local builder because we know our limits. We are limited to where it can be positioned and how big it can be. To the rear is our septic system. It has to sit so many feet off the front property line and so many feet from our neighbor's property line. That being said we had to be very precise and smaller than we would have liked. We would still need a shed to house yard equipment. Trying to figure out where that was going to go I think was the hardest part.

The shed was needed to store all the stuff that our old shed housed but in a different spot. The old shed was rotting and wouldn't survive a move. The problem was trying to envision where it should sit in relation to the garage once it was built. We opted to sit in on an angle off to the side.

We contracted to build a two story, two car garage and it will sit where the old shed was. The upstairs will be a work space for me; not a living space but a place I can paint or sew or craft and have all the mess out of the house. If you sew you know how difficult it is to have to pick up everything to make dinner and use the dining table for something other than what you're in the middle of at the moment. Downstairs there is enough room for a work bench at the back of the garage.

As I said, we know our limits so it is better to have the shell done by those who know what they are doing but I had plans brewing for the inside! I will be sharing the process here in the coming weeks.

Thanks for spending time with me today.