Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Great Garage Remodel: Part Two

I am out of town this week and away from internet or email so I won't be around to answer any comments or visit your blogs. Eventually when I get back, I'll get caught up as I always do. Until then, here is a part two of a series on my garage remodeling project.

With the west wall and the ceiling stripped down, the first thing I did was wire up four new flourescent fixtures to shed some more light on the garage. With that done, I unwired the west wall of all the crappy wiring going everywhere and ran my new 20 amp circuit. Unfortunately as I mentioned before, I couldn't hook it up as I needed to route it through my north wall which I hadn't stripped down yet. I was fairly confident that I new what I was doing so I went ahead and sheathed the wall with OSB and put a couple coats of some leftover primer white on it. With that done, I built an eight-foot potting bench for my wife under the only window in the garage. As you can see in the before and after picture, it was previously the place of my cheopo storage racks, the best one of which I screwed to the wall above the bench to allow for pot storage. Eventually I may build some storage drawers underneath but for now I just left it open. My wife was surprised at all the pots she had which had been previously hidden in the cabinets along the north wall so I figured with them all in view, she would be less likely to collect more.

Further along the wall where my very inefficient storage rack for long sticks of wood had been above a scrap bin for wood to be used to kindle wintertime fires, I got a deal on some sturdier shelving than I had that was also a little bit deeper, wider and taller. That went up well and was anchored to the wall so that it wouldn't tip over. I built a more efficient vertical storage system for the long sticks of wood on the east wall and moved the wood scrap bin underneath the workbench closer to where I created said scrap and where I didn't have to squeeze beside a car to dig some wood out of it. With that done, I put what I could on the new shelves and then emptied out all the cabinets on the north wall so I could start there.

A previous owner had down a kitchen remodel at one time and left all the old cabinets in the garage. As you can see, some of them were just stacked on top of others over eight feet in the air and thus were empty. The floor cabinets sat too low for me to use as a workbench and thus just collected junk on top of them as well as in them. So I removed all the cabinets along with my too short workbench that I had built a decade ago and had served me well over the years and stripped down the wall to the studs. I continued my 20 amp circuit and was able to hook it to the new line I had run from my basement and everything on the west wall worked which made me happy. I stripped out all the old wiring and simplified what remained.

This last step gave me a lot of headaches as there was a junction box that had been mounted on the surface of the north wall where five wires came in and were jumpered together. One line went to my continuously on great room outlets, one to my switched great room outlets, one was the incoming power line for the great room that had been tapped from a light bulb in the garage and the other two ran to the great room overhead light and to a switch. Now if I had the gift of fully colored sight, this probably wouldn't have been a problem and had I taken the time to mark each line it might not have been a problem but partially colorblind and in too big a hurry me thought I had it all figured out. I unwired it, threaded all the wires into a new junction box set into the wall and hooked all the wire up again. I turned on the breaker and in the process of testing everything to make sure it was correct, flipped the switch in the great room causing the breaker to trip. Twenty odd trips to the basement, plenty of cursing and scratching my head trying to figure out what everything was doing and about three hours of working in the darkness of evening with my headlamp as my sole source of light, I finally had everything working again. What a difference one wire can make.


Ron said...

Ha, I know the feeling. One wire sure does make a difference. :)

I'm loving your series!


TC said...

I figured with them all in view, she would be less likely to collect more.

AHA!!! So this garage cleaning wasn't a selfless act... you had ulterior motives.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Hhmm, I guess it's really a man's thing, that man can find stripping down cabinets and circuits so rewarding :)

sage said...

I'd never thought about the problems of color blindness and reading wires... Looks like you worked hard while your family was away, so I assume you're now on vacation? :)

Beau said...

Looks great- I especially like that potting bench. I never thought about wirihng and color blindness either... as with a million other things I'm sure!

Murf said...
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Murf said...
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Murf said...

I hate to tell you Ed but her seeing all the pots won't be stopping her. She'll just realize that she has a lot of terracotta ones and will buy different colored ones instead.

Ed Abbey said...

Ron - Hope you get some ideas on what to do or not to do. I can't wait to swing over to your blog to see what you have been up to while I've been gone.

TC - 99% of the reason was to give me a sanctuary while the in-laws are around. 1% contained ulterior motives.

Mother Hen - I just can't stand wiring running all over the place with no order. It just doesn't look professional.

Sage - Normal wiring with black, white and ground doesn't pose a problem but those red and green wires, especially when seen by flashlight gave me fits. Unfortunately it was a business trip and lots of hard manual labor.

Beau - Thanks. Mrs. Abbey really loved it too.

Murf - The first thing she said when seeing it was that she was amazed at how many pots she had.