Monday, July 9, 2012

The Workshop, part 1

If you’ll remember with me all the way back to November, there was day when I had done my part—I had cleaned out my husband’s side of the garage so he could park in it for the winter. 

Except he couldn’t.

Earlier that year (2011) we had traded in his 10-year-old VW Jetta for a Ford Ranger (just a little truck), and we discovered that the Ranger and the extra refrigerator and freezer could not co-exist in our tiny garage!


That was the proverbial “last straw,” and we put our house up for sale.  That lasted until February, when we decided it was not, after all, in the cards for us to move.

So we made the decision to stay where we are and try to make our house work better for us.  One of our goals was to get to park in the garage!  In order for that to happen, all of my tools and projects had to find and new home, and to that end, we decided to build a workshop!  Yes, it is expensive, but far less than a new home would be.

See this playset?

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It used to be here (below), where the big pile of dirt is.  This seemed to be the best place for the new workshop.  There was no grass or sprinkler lines to contend with!  And it turned out to be a good thing to move the playset (although not an easy thing), as it gave us the chance to replace all the boards that had rotted and bolts that had broken after 8 years!  The children say it’s much less scary to play on now.

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My neighbor owns an excavating company, so we hired him to dig out the foundation and bring in rock.  It had to be 12” for the footings, with a 4” slab.  The equipment saved a lot of work in hand-digging—but getting it in the back yard was more than a little hard on our fence!

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Boys and their toys—just a bigger version of a Tonka truck!

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The concrete forms go up next.  The gravel my neighbor brought in was a bugger to move around.  We were expecting pea gravel, but what we got was broken-up concrete road base.  Que sera!  It works.

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The size of the workshop is 20’ x 17’.  We were limited by city code that said we had to be 8’ away from the property line, or it would have been bigger!  Here I am deep in contemplation of the shop…our friend Ian (actually working) stayed with us for two weeks to provide all the know-how for the construction.

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The next morning the a concrete pumper came to get the concrete to the pad area.  See our poor fence?

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Looking good!  The pad was poured on Friday morning, so we left it alone over the weekend to cure.

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On Monday, the framing started!  Yes, I helped build this wall (a little), and stand it up!  Did you know you half-bury J-bolts into the wet concrete, so that you can bolt the frame onto them?  Me neither.  It was cool.

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Ian is the greatest—he was SO patient with the plethora of little helpers he has around here!

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The south wall has a window and a man-door.  It was built in two pieces, and I got my arm pinched between them when we stood the second piece up.  Ouch!  I had the most spectacular bulls-eye shaped bruise!

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Twilight…but all of the wall framing was finished in one day!

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Next step…we put up a few pieces of exterior siding to get some shade!  It was miserably hot here.  Then the ridge pole (actually a 2x12—I think) had to go up.  At one point I was balancing that 16-foot-long 2x12 on a 14-foot 2x4 while Ian attached one end to the wall. And the wind was blowing.  I said to him, “This is the weirdest thing I have ever done!”  But trust me, it was not the last time I said that over the course of this project!

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Then it was time to attach the trusses to connect wall to ridgeline.  This is Ian, sitting on a ladder on top of a scaffold to be able to reach that high!  Don’t tell OSHA!

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My dear friend Michael spent his days off helping us on this project.  He sat on the wall, Ian on his ladder at the ridge line, and I handed up the very heavy trusses for them to attach.

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I loved how the roof looked with all the trusses on and the facia board attached.  It made me want to leave it a pergola!  Not really.

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Here the plywood is going up.  Ian was on the roof.  I carried the 4’x8’ sheets of 3/4” plywood to the roof.  I had to lift them vertically from the bottom to get them high enough for Ian to reach.  Then I would give a mighty swing to the bottom edge to give Ian enough momentum to pull them the rest of the way up.  It was a serious workout!  And I got some more spectacular bruises from where I rested the plywood on my thighs on the way up!

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More to come later!


Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Wow! It's looking great so far, Korrie! What great friends to help out with the building of your studio. You must be so excited!

Herballistic Garden said...

You must be so excited! But, maybe you should just become the manager...sounds like you're hurting yourself an awful lot! I'm a better manager myself because I tend to be klutzy! I can't wait to see the finished product. xo wendy :)

Unknown said...

This is an ADVENTUROUS project! Wow! This post has the feeling of an old time Barn Raising!!! lol

So glad you are doing this for yourselves. Stay safe!

Proper Prim said...

How exciting for you Korrie.

Can't wait to see the outcome. What a perfect solution to your problem. A DIYer's dream come true.


Twice Nice said...

Very cool! It looks like it's going to be a marvelous place to work in!

Jennifer said...

What a project! I can't wait to see photos of the finished product. It looks like this will be the perfect work space. It's wonderful that you and your family are being proactive and making your situation work, even though it's not exactly the situation you would have chosen yourself. As they always say, when God closes a door, he always opens a window. :)

- Jennifer @ JennJill Designs

Sandi @ The Primitive Skate said...

Looking good so far! I am so excited for you! I can't wait to see part 2. Enjoy your Monday!

From G2B said...

I wondered what you'd been up to! So very awesome! I am looking forward to the reveal...and to you being abole to work in confort!
xo Becca

Shari @ said...

That is awesome. A fresh, new place to work - I bet it will put your creative gears in turbo!

Cassie Bustamante said...

WOW! that is going to be so amazing, friend!

Carol said...

How exciting is that!?! I love that you are sharing the whole process...using it as a learning experience for when we build our workshop/garage :0)

Bliss said...

This is exciting. Your own space... to fill up, to create, to escape too. Very cool.


Full Circle Creations said...

Now that's some hard work! It's great that you have such wonderful friends to help you build it. It's looking good! Can't wait for the next installment. And I bet you can't wait until it's all finished and you're moved in working on your first project!


gail@My Repurposed Life said...

whoa! you go girl! I love a woman who can put in a good day's work with lumber! :)
So happy for you, but have to admit, a wee bit green with envy!

~ Laura said...

Ohmygoodness!!! That was like watching part one of a realllllyyyyy good movie!!!!! It's going to be hard to wait until part 2!! Oh no!! Just realized this could be a trilogy..or more!!! Please forgive my impatience but I love building projects like this!! :)

Amanda Dale said...

Holy crap! This is awesome, Korrie! Can't wait to see the rest!

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Tina@WhatWeKeep said...

Go Korrie! This is fantastic- can't wait to see what you do with it. I'd bolt the door from the inside and paint all day! ;)

Welcome to the Garden of Egan said...

That is one construction project~!

Suzy-Q said...

That's so exciting! And how fun it will be to have your very own space to create in :-)

Good Time Charlie said...

This is amazing! I have been saving this to look at when I had time. I am so envious of this. I am wanting to turn part of my back yard into my workshop now too! Going over to part II now!

Rachel said...

How fantastic is that that you were able to have Ian help!!!!! You know your shop is pretty close to perfection with him on the project!