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So, the last time we talked about the garage reconstruction, it looked like this:

Garage Demolition

Since then, we cleaned up the last bits of the structure and crammed it all into the rented dumpster – barely. 

The builder came out and checked the foundation and it’s not adequate for the new garage.  So, that meant the lovely black walnut tree you can see apparently holding up the neighbor’s dilapidated garage was in danger.  I spoke to an arborist and he said it would either not survive or would become unstable after they dug for the footings and therefore needed to come down.

I called and arranged for the tree removal, which I have to say was an unexpectedly easy experience.  I called, the tree removal guy came to my house within a couple of hours and called me back with a bid.  I told him I had made another call and wanted to give them a chance to call back.  The other guy didn’t call back the next day so I called the first guy back and asked them to schedule the removal.  He said it would be Thursday.  Fine.  They called Monday around 2 PM and said they would start taking it down within the hour.  By the time I came home Monday evening, the tree was gone.  A week later the second guy called back.  Um, you’re a tad late Mister.

I took all the plans and paperwork on to City Hall and got our building permit.  Woo hoo!  We’re official!

We then needed to get the stump ground so it wasn’t in the way of the new garage.  We also had a couple of other stumps to be ground, or we would have had them do it the same day.  Once we were ready for all the stumps to be done, I called the tree guy on Monday.  He said it would probably be Tuesday.  Fine.  They knocked on my door two hours later and were there to grind the stumps.  Is there such a thing as being too prompt in the service industry?

So, next step is the builder will construct the treated lumber footings and come the same day with the excavator and remove the old slab and dig the trenches for the footings and the drain.

Cross your fingers!  We’re off to the races now!

It’s funny how big projects seem to stretch out forever, and then all of a sudden, things come together seemingly overnight.  We’ve been working on a garage reconstruction project for about a year.  We started by asking my brother to draw up some plans for us.   We wanted to mirror the roofline of our house to give us some additional storage in the loft area.

Garage Elevation

He did a beautiful job, and then we began the process of getting a variance since our proposed structure exceeded the wall height dimension for our local building codes.  That took some time, since they only reviewed variance applications once a month and the offices are only open during the workday.  Once we submitted all the paperwork around April, Dave and my brother attended the hearing to present it to the zoning board.  Arden and I attended, and we tried our best not to be a distraction. 

Our application was approved, so then we needed to begin lining up our contractor.  My parents and my brother are friends with Chris Ratcliffe of Ratcliffe Builders, so we wanted to get an estimate from him.  The estimate came in at the beginning of August for a bit less than we expected, so we’re going with it.

Demolition.  Dave wanted to hire my brother Jeff and my nephew Nathan to help with the demolition.  Jeff is going back to school this fall, so this set an automatic deadline for us of August 29.  Dave arranged for the dumpster, and set up time with Jeff and Nathan to start demo on August 27, thinking it would take a couple of weekends.

Friday, the 30-yard dumpster arrived in our driveway and Jeff and Nathan arrived in the afternoon to start on “some really easy stuff” while Dave was picking up some supplies.  By the end of  Friday, the doors were off, and all the wood siding.

Demolition begins

Saturday said good-bye to the roof

Roof going

Roof gone

And Sunday saw the end of the garage.  It only took the one weekend, and they completely filled the dumpster.  My nephew learned a good lesson about hard work in the process.  Who knows how long the rest of the project will take, but at least there’s been a big forward leap in progress. 

Final pieces

We made a squirrel family homeless in the process, but at least we can rest easier knowing that the weather is still nice and they have plenty of time to seek alternate accommodations.   I can stop having to clean squirrel poop off my car, and Dave will be able to cruise right into his parking spot instead of having to perform stunt-driver-worthy manuevers to get into the garage while avoiding hitting the house/fence/garage door/garage wall.


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