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Old 04-13-2015, 11:33 PM   #1
Rusty Bavaria
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Illinois
Posts: 11
Default Garage Build – The Urban Barn

I’ve been a member of this site for a couple years now, becoming entranced by some of the crazy cool stuff people on this site have done with their garages or just the ingenuity and DIY attitude to handle both and large and small projects. To put it simply I love this sh#t!

Ok so my story. I grew up in the burbs of Chicago. My parents always had more cars than drivers there was always something non-running and rusty in the driveway and something that always needed to be fixed and well I guess that all kinda rubbed off on me. They had a 1 car garage with the horribly cracked floor and so much stuff in it that it took a full day of cleaning and hiding things in the basement and attic to have enough room to get a car in there. It was cold, the lighting was terrible and well I vowed I would not have that same experience when I bought a house.

Fast-forward a bunch of years and I get married to a wonderful woman who supports my car-tinkering habits and we go look for a house. What we end up was a great starter home with a 24x24 detached garage, already insulated, plumbed with gas, more circuits running out to it than were dedicated to the kitchen, it needed some attention but as far as I was concerned it was about as bad-a$$ as it could get!

Here’s the old garage back in 2007:


Anyway a lot of work got done in there. Here’s a shot of a suspension rebuild in 2009:


Now I had acquired lots of stuff, spare parts, projects, building materials. But 10 years and two children later it was time to move. We found a great house in a suburb we really liked, close to family, but it was missing one component thing, a garage.

Here’s what it looked like last July when I started packing things up for an August move:


This all ties into the current build so don’t worry; permits are still being approved so there’s not much to see yet anyway. Tomorrow I’ll discuss moving the contents of the garage to a house without a garage.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:27 PM   #2
Rusty Bavaria
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Illinois
Posts: 11
Default Re: Garage Build – The Urban Barn

I didn’t want to be one of those people who starts a thread and doesn’t keep it updated, and look two weeks and no updates. But plenty has been happening. Friday the tree that was in the way of the garage came down. Not so excited of the view of the youth center behind us but I know that will be taken care of once the garage goes up. These guys had the tree down in 21 minutes, had the stump ground and cleaned up in about an hour. It was amazing to watch.





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Old 04-27-2015, 11:44 PM   #3
Rusty Bavaria
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Illinois
Posts: 11
Default Re: Garage Build – The Urban Barn

Before the move I had to get my 74 BMW Bavaria project put together enough to transport to my friends house. I swore that this car would move out of this garage under it’s own power, but we’re still a-ways from that, so I cobbled it together enough to trailer it an hour south and I have to say even though it does not run yet, this place will not feel like home until it’s back here. Here’s a picture of it emerging from the garage with the fenders and hood on ready to travel:


Where does all the rest of the “stuff” go when there is no new garage? I actually thought it the new house was pretty cool cause it had a back room off the basement which I could store my tools and some of the parts and assorted garage items. I got about 1/10th of what I thought I could fit in this room. The rest went into the finished basement or the 8’x8’ shed.



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Old 04-27-2015, 11:52 PM   #4
Rusty Bavaria
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Location: Illinois
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Default Re: Garage Build – The Urban Barn

Not that I'm the most organized guy in the world, but looking at these pictures reminded me how screwed up I was for about 2-3 months not knowing where my tools were. Yes the wrenches were still in the same drawer and the pliers etc. but it was everything else that had it's place in the old garage that wasn't where it was supposed to be. I would wander around the basement mumbling to myself looking for the drill bits or whatever until 15 minutes later I realize it's still in my car or in the shed. I'm already not looking forward to the next move and I'm hoping that's a long ways away.
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:16 PM   #5
Rusty Bavaria
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Location: Illinois
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Default Re: Garage Build – The Urban Barn

The Porch and the Skunk part 1

So it’s the end of summer, we move into a house with a bunch of issues, no garage, and there is no way we are going to be able to figure out what we want for a garage, find a builder and get the permits and have everything happening before the snow and cold sets in. Even with the project car stored somewhere else there are tons of car parts, bikes, toys you name it around the house. The 8’ x 8’ shed is filled as well as my 8’ x 10’ “tool room”. The furnace room is filled also with an engine hoist and all the carpentry and “house” tools. The rest of this story is thanks to a skunk. I never thought I would thank the skunk, but I just did so here it goes. When we came for the home inspection the porch smelled like skunk, the home inspector for some reason wasn’t able to smell anything and I even made him look under the porch but he didn’t find anything. I don’t think he was trying to hard. The day of our final walk-through the porch and the front of the house REEKS of skunk. The house was previously a rental and had been empty since April and here we are the end of July. So after we close I call in a professional and have him crawl under the porch and figure out what’s going on. Turns out there is a dead skunk under there. Great problem solved and I’m now upset I didn’t man up and just go under there myself. But the smell doesn’t go away, guy tells me that dead skunk had babies and the children skunks are coming back and spraying under our porch (I don’t know if this is true, but whatever). It stinks, I have too much stuff and tensions are high. My wife thinks we should build a temporary shed for all the junk. I don’t want to spend the time and money on it just to tear it down in the spring. Then one morning I know what needs to be done: Take the worst part of our house, the stinky porch, and make it the best.

I call the skunk guy who turns out does odd jobs for cash and I have him clean out the junk under the porch, clean the wall of the house and install plywood and wire mesh into the ground so no animals are going to dig their way in. While he is doing that I put a diamond cutting blade on my grinder and did this:


Ok well the grinder didn’t frame out the opening but it cut a hole in the stucco to the underside of the porch. ☺ Once all the junk was out and the wall of the house was clean, it smelled like bleach…well it smelled much better. Then I built a door:


Don’t be too hard on me for that image; it’s just sitting in the opening for a test fit. It’s a little bit more centered when I actually installed the hinges.
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:18 PM   #6
Rusty Bavaria
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Location: Illinois
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Default Re: Garage Build – The Urban Barn

The Porch and the Skunk part 2

The skunk guy then brought over a pickup full of gravel and leveled under the porch and I then ran a circuit out there and added lights. I figured it would always be creepy if there wasn’t lights in there and plus I was able to put an outdoor outlet under the front stairs for holiday lights! Here is the space as I’m finishing up the electrical work. Sadly it started to get cold before this was all done so things just started getting tossed in there, but I have acquired some shelves for under here and hopefully this summer I can hang the ladders from the ceiling and put the shelves up and get it organized.



It’s dry, heck it’s got two roofs over it and now no one has any clue that there are 8 car doors, two trunk lids, a set of summer tires two drive shafts and who knows what else down there (but no skunks)!

Ok let’s get back to why this is so important for the garage. Once the garage is built, this will be the “junk room” all the parts projects and “stuff” has a deep storage space and the garage floor space and rafter space can be used for current projects. The best part is my oldest thinks I’m super cool for building a “cave” under the porch. I told her she’ll feel differently when she grows a couple inches and hits her head on the joists, but at least for now it’s the “coolest” part of the house.
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