When we purchased our house in 2003 we were childless (well, I had just had a miscarriage in April), and were grateful our jobs in the Bay Area allowed us to telecommute.
Why did we choose to move up to the Sacramento area from bustling, tech-friendly, fresh/diverse foodie Bay Area? Simple. Housing. At the time, you could only find a 1500 sqft home built in the 70s for half a million dollars. Meh. Meanwhile, you could buy a brand new, not even built, pick your own options home with 2500-3400 sq ft for less, and less than half a million dollars. It wasn't even a competition.
Since we were brand-spanking new homeowners, we made a few mistakes.
1. We should've had the company putting in shutters in all the new homes do it, and not give it a go ourselves. We could have saved money, stress and gotten what we truly wanted.
2. We should've have picked out wall color before we moved in. Luckily, we had a great painter, and it went off without a hitch.
3. We should've had the garage completed before the move in.
There are other things, I'm sure, but it's fuzzy brain part of the day.
For number three - my husband purchased the epoxy floor kit from Home Depot in 2003, with every intention of making our garage floor lovely.
Now, in 2011, it is done. It is good.
I should have taken a picture of the pile of stuff, precariously strewn about in the third-car garage. It was tricky work getting things out when we needed it, and it was such a chaotic mess you didn't want to look at it, so we avoided it at all costs. Not a good philosophy, but a necessary one.
Luckily, my husband, Phantom, had about two-and-a-half weeks between jobs, so he had plenty of time to put together the garage they way he'd been wanting to.
1. Phantom called around and received quotes for the storage that would be installed in the ceiling. It's nice because you hardly even notice them, except to ponder, "ahhh, clean". They're tucked away and can hold up to 600 lbs. Dude! If you live in the Sacramento area, we highly recommend -Len Baker of ALLSTAR Garage, Inc. They were friendly, helpful, efficient and worked at super speed.
2. Sorted the donate, throw out and keep piles. This is where he said I had to trim down my memory boxes from six, to something smaller. I halved it. I'm pretty proud of myself. The shrinking of the memory boxes also inspired the Blast from the Past posts.
3. Once all the stuff had been organized, anything left was moved outside to our backyard. We were lucky to have sunny weather, and only one day where it started snowing for 10 seconds.
4. Phantom mixed all the paint we had in the garage and then painted all the walls. The girls helped.
5. Phantom washed the concrete with a mixture of powdered dish detergent and water. He scrubbed, he scraped - he never does things half-baked. Then - let it dry completely.
6. Phantom then poured muriatic acid over the concrete. Then washed off the acid, and let it dry.
7. Then he began painting the floor. The mix can only be used within an hour. So you paint a section and then sprinkle the paint chips. I helped with the paint chips. Why? Because that's the fun part. It's like throwing confetti!
8. After that part dried, we hired a great painter to put on the top coat. It's important to apply the same amount of pressure for the top coat, as it will harden and will offer the protection for all the work you've done. Truly great painters have that kind of skill. If you're in the Sacramento area - Randy Reber (randyreber at gmail dot com) is friendly, skilled, and efficient. In addition, he can, if you don't have the time to do part of it yourself, he can do it all. He was also the painter who painted our crazy high walls. I don't know how he does it, but he is fast and the work is quality.
9. We let the floor dry for 4-5 days, and then moved the cars back into the garage.
10. Sigh with happiness every time we're in the garage. Girls like to jump rope out there and show their friends when they come to play. We are all so happy at how clean it is, and I believe their hard work helps them appreciate the space even more.
I had no idea how light my mind feels, less-cluttered, with the garage all fixed up.
ps. I was not paid for highlighting the great contractors featured in this post. I love promoting people who are great at their jobs. It's my little thank you.