About five months ago our water heater broke and we began a project that would have been really useful to have put front and center when we bought our house 4.5 years ago – refinishing and organizing our garage into a usable storage and parking space, as well as a functional work area for all the various projects we seem to do around here.
If you haven’t caught any of our progress updates along the way, feel free to catch up before reading on.
- Part 1 – Planning
- Part 2- Picking a Pretty Water Heater
- Bonus Garage Post – FPL On Call: Discounts on Our Utility Bill
- Part 3 – Saving $ Through Organization
- Part 4 – Get Rich By Enduring Chaos
But now we’re done. Well, mostly done. There are a couple finishing touches that have been ordered but haven’t arrived yet. But for all intents and purposes we’re calling the garage a wrap.
Overall – It Went Well!
We might finally be getting pretty good at estimating the time projects can end up taking us, as well as how much they can cost because our estimates were pretty spot on for this one. In our planning post, we thought we’d finish by late January and spend between $2K-$3K. Well, it’s mid-January and we ended up spending about $2,500.
How Was the $$ Spent?
While I can’t tell you how much to the penny was spent on each bolt or light cover switch, I can say this.
- The top expense in the garage was shelving. We ended up spending about $1,300 in shelving and bins for to keep all of our tools and supplies organized and within reach.
- The next big expense was the water heater which ended up costing about $700 after including all the different parts associated with installing it and customizing the install for Mr PoP’s coffee setup.
- Paint and other finishing supplies accounted for another $100 or so in expenses.
- The remaining $400 was in miscellaneous expenses like a new light fixture, my new-used utility sink, new outlets, wood and terrifyingly large screw bolts for constructing Mr PoP’s work surfaces, a few parts to breathe new life into our 30-year-old garage door opener, hooks, and the occasional Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that found their way into the shopping cart at Ace or Home Depot.
And The Biggest Lesson?
When your drywall is covered in thick layers of texturing made out of plaster, virtually every electronic stud finder is utterly worthless. We bought and returned at least two “best in class” stud finders during this project and the most effective tools for finding studs ended up being a hammer and an 8d nail. I was honestly tempted to mark every stud in the garage with a little blue reflector at the base of the wall the way they are used in the middle of roads to indicate where fire hydrants are. The only reason we didn’t is because we don’t think we’ll be drilling into these walls any time soon.
How Does The Wish List Stand?
When we started planning our perfect garage, we made a wish list of everything we wanted to see in it. Here’s where it stands.
- Epoxy the floors (Mr PoP’s wish) – didn’t happen. We went back and forth on the floors, even considered tiling them at one point. In the laundry area we stripped the linoleum, acid washed, and painted the floors with special colored cement sealer. But in the end we didn’t do anything with most of the flooring in the garage. We’ll pressure wash it the next time we have a pressure washer rented, but Mr PoP didn’t want us to worry about messing the floor in the garage so chose to leave it kindof fugly.
- Paint the walls (Mrs PoP’s wish) – done. They are now the same color as our outside walls, a color I think was called “gull grey”, and I like how it turned out.
- New water heater (Mr & Mrs) – done! And it’s been working perfectly.
- Utility sink (Mrs) – done! We ended up finding a used wall-mount one on Craigslist for $40. The seller actually told Mr PoP the one he bought to replace the one he was selling was a POS by comparison, his wife just didn’t like the paint splatters on the inside of the tub. I couldn’t care less about the paint splatters – we’re just going to add our own… so I absolutely LOVE it.
- More countertop workspace (Mr) – done! His workspace actually split in two, with his coffee maker now moved to a separate dedicated counter area and his overall countertop space is now 35% bigger than it was before. Score!
- Bike parking (Mrs) – Done! We even built bike storage for a bike for Mr PoP, and now he’s got a brand new bike that lives there as well. Her name is Lucy.
- Adjustable shelving (Mr & Mrs) – done! And this is some high quality shelving. When we went to a garage sale in the nicest house in our neighborhood this weekend, the one thing I noticed was that garage had the exact same shelving system we just installed, but in a different color. And the past 4 years I’ve always noticed how organized their garage looked from the street… hopefully the shelving performs similar wonders for us in keeping us organized.
- Lighting, electrical outlets, and a water spicket for new counter space (Mr) – done, done, and done. We’ll talk about this a bit more in Friday’s post. But definitely done.
- Nothing on the floor (Mr & Mrs) – On the ground sits the car tires, the mower, the hot water heater, and the rolling wheels for the garbage can. Not even the bikes touch the ground. I call this a win.
- Transitional storage space (Mrs) – Kindof. Mr PoP’s improved big countertop is actually going to be this as well, since now that we’re organized we’re not anticipating stuff being set on this countertop and left there for 4 years. *cough* Publix hand basket *cough*
So remember this was before…
At some point in the middle it was a disaster and looked like this…
And this is after…
Don’t forget to check in on Friday where we’ll talk about some of the special touches that we put on the project.
What do you think of the final product? Did we sell ourselves short by not doing the floors or just save our sanity down the line by not having to worry about keeping the garage floors impeccable?