Thursday, July 03, 2014

Big Summer Project

We decided to do some pretty big things with our house this year.  Mitch's dream is to own a wood working shop.  We have some nice tools that my dad gave to us a few years ago, and we have never really had the space to be serious about anything.  We considered moving, but it isn't financially feasible at the moment.  So we began to look at what we could do to our own home to make the dream a reality.  I even (crazily, but seriously) suggested he turn our bedroom and office space into a shop.  My dad's shop was in the basement of my grandmother's house, so why not??  ::grin::  We have a small garage (big enough for two cars), but it has ALWAYS been full of junk, with no room to move.  Add to that the major problem that our roof over the garage leaks.  Badly.  Staying in this house means that we MUST fix the roof--not a cheap thing to do.  As we explore financing options (we have applied for some special loans through MN HUD/HRA programs), Mitch has already begun working on building storage space in the garage.  We started by moving our chest freezer and extra fridge out of the garage and into the house.  That took some shifting in my thinking through the purpose of rooms in our house, and their present locations seem a little unconventional, but I realize more and more every day that there is not much conventional about our family anyway.

 Sewing machine moved out of the school room, chest freezer moved in.

Fridge moved into my office along with the sewing stuff.  Actually, this is not a bad set-up, except that the fridge is so far from the kitchen I'm wondering how much we actually need it.

Next came purchasing and planning.  Mitch researched and planned out a cabinet and shelving system to maximize his space.  He spent a lot of time on this (the boy knows how to USE pinterest!!!) so that he wouldn't be redoing it all later.

Mitch shopped a lot at the Habitat for Humanity's thrift store called the ReStore.  He has a "friend" there who often gives him deep discounts.  He pulled out some amazing cabinets, boards, cabinet tops, etc, for crazy good deals.  He was also blessed to receive some good deals shopping Menards' bargain section. I have searched everywhere for a "before" pic and can't find one.  This can give you an idea--you could barely walk around stuff in the garage:
That cabinet front and center is one of Mitch's awesome finds--it has ball bearings in the drawers.  One drawer needed some screws and some minor adjustments.  By design, each drawer can hold quite a lot of weight.  He paid $5 for the cabinet.  I got that jack that Tirzah is holding on to at our church garage sale for $35...another awesome deal.

He also has to work around the leak in the garage until we can get that fixed.  Our weather has been wetter than normal this spring/early summer, which means we have had water in the garage often.  So we work around it.  He started on the back wall, away from the leak.

Josh, Malachi, and Zeke all learned how to use this saw.  Micah, Caleb, and Eden have also spent their fair share of time out in the garage.  :)



He is making great progress in spite of the difficulties!  It is amazing to look in the garage and see the difference.

 Mitch is going to build cabinet doors to cover these new shelves.  The doors will have storage in them in useful places.  He can't wait to get it all organized!

 Mitch bought this cabinet at an auction a few years ago for $2.  He found the countertop at ReStore.  He had it on a cart full of stuff, and the lady said, "How about $5 for the whole cart?"  He cut it to size and used the leftover to make the backsplash.  Amazing.

Soon Mitch will work on wiring new outlets in the garage to power all his tools.  He can't wait to bring over the big table saw!  We have some things in storage, and he plans to spend some time reorganizing that as well.  We will be able to switch some things out, and that will be really nice!

Once the roof leak is fixed, he will build another wall of cabinets above a workbench.  Then he will remove the plywood that is covering the outside wall of the garage so he can insulate behind it.  We will pull all our things out of storage in the attic above the garage (good thing I already purged the clothes by nearly half!), and insulate that area as well.  The tricky part for me will be finding places to store that stuff, but Mitch assures me he has it covered.  Finally, we will purchase an inuslated garage door (already have a great source--Alternative Garage Door Repair) and choose a heating method, so Mitch can work (play?) in the garage all winter.

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