Summer Schedule

Not the best week.

We are in the middle of our second 90-degree heatwave of 2021. By the time most of you read this post, Maddie and I will have returned from our walk. She’s been nudging me off the couch earlier and earlier, but today, it’s my plan – the heat is arriving earlier each day. We sat outside on Saturday, at 10:30 am, and it was 85°f (29°c) on its way to 93°f. Three months ago, we were placing Maddie’s cot in the sun to stay warm. Today, we only sit in the shade.

Along with the capitulations I will make to Mother Nature, I will be making my annual adjustment to my blog posting schedule, in deference to the clock. Monday is the hardest day for me to have a post prepared. Saturday and Sunday are busy days, and I’ve never liked forcing myself to write something – writing should be fun. I will have photos to share, and I may include a little explanation for the D-I-Y fans in the audience. That’s what I have today.

Some may recall that I mothballed my garage/workshop renovation in November, when we started putting the cars in the garage. I did manage to get all my tools in the workshop space, but since there was still a wall dividing that space roughly in half, I didn’t have room to work. Three weeks ago, we moved the cars out, I moved tools and toolboxes into the garage, and I started making my way toward that wall.

For well over twenty-five years, the back wall of the garage has been used for lumber storage. Several years ago, I started working my way through the pile. You may recall the bookcase I built last year. The pile remained, but it was easy to relocate to a temporary home across two sawhorses. Its permanent home remains a mystery – some will certainly be at a resort called “Kindling.”

Once the wall lumber was removed, I had to disconnect, reroute and, in some cases, remove electrical wiring. Most of the wires now dangle in an annoying tangle, but rest assured, they will be trimmed, routed properly and safely secured when I am done. The original plan was to replace the existing header that carries to weight of the storage area above the garage. This is no ordinary storage area. Flanked on both sides by bridge trusses, the storage area actually holds up the garage ceiling and roof structure. Imagine my surprise when I realized there was no header supporting the trusses. Each truss rested on a short piece of 2×6. The storage area between the trusses (at the end) was supported by a narrow board that was never meant to carry a load.

Because there was no header, my plan to augment the structure with a more substantial header beneath the top plate of the wall, was a non-starter. That would leave the existing, inadequate, and unsafe structure in place. I decided to install a new, proper header across the wall, supported by wider support boards going all the way to the concrete foundation. This header carries the trusses, anchors the original 2x6s and supports the storage floor.

You might ask/think/wonder “if the existing supports held things up for over 25 years, why bother to improve them?”

If you run into the wall at the side of any door in your house, you will feel more pain than the door. The walls, and the opening for the door comprise a structural system that can withstand that kind of pressure. On the other hand, picture kicking one leg off the base of a chair. The chair will fall.

Without a header in place, each small side wall at the ends of a six-foot (1.8m) opening would be independent of the other. If I were to hit either wall with a tool or a load of lumber I was moving, I could knock the support out from under one of two trusses that literally hold up my entire garage ceiling and roof. Being buried in a pile of rubble is not in my plans.

The pictures in the gallery might help you make some sense of the above explanation. The previous home owner – the one who built this garage — died years ago, so…

79 comments

  1. What I love most about this post is that your workshop looks far more like mine. Most workshops I see on the internet look like you could perform open heart surgery on the table saw they are so neat and clean. The real world in my experience is a much more messy affair, and each workshop adjustment involves dealing with some of the “less than ideal” decisions we took on a previous adjustment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for hat comment. I thought (briefly) that I should clean up before taking pictures, But this isn’t Better Homes and Gardens. The shop is a mess. I am optimistic that, once the renovation is complete, I’ll be able to organize things in a way that gives me plenty of room to work, but that’s aspirational at the moment. My goal is a shop that is safe to work in and one that I can close off from the garage. I’m not there yet :)

      Like

  2. Hah! I’ll say some wires are loose! Dan, this is a major project you’re undertaking. But when you’re finished, you’ll have a workshop/garage that suits your needs. Maybe not 100%, but close. And if this early onset of heat is any indication of summer temperatures, you will be retiring to bed early and rising to work early. Then you and Maddie can get a well-deserved rest in the air conditioning. Looking forward to seeing your DIY progress reports.

    Please be sensible about how much you want to accomplish each day. You’re not 20 years old anymore! That’s a cruel joke our mind plays on us. 🤗
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger. I am being careful about how much I attempt each day. I stopped after getting the 2x8s up on one side. The other side is ready to work on, but it was 2:00 and I had done enough for one day.

      The wires make the project look worse that it is. They will be neatly tucked away as soon as the structure is complete.

      The heat isn’t helping. I have a dentist appointment today at 10:00. I may not make it into the shop at all. Maddie and I walked extra early, and she was pretty happy to return to the AC.

      Take it easy this week.

      Like

    1. The heat is not welcome, but since it’s the second time we’ve visited the 90-degree mark, I guess I need to learn how to work with it. Once the wall is open, I have to bring the floors to the same level. After that, a lot of stuff gets thrown away.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m in awe of your abilities, Dan. I love seeing the step-by-step progress, and I love watching home repair shows. If only I had the skill!! Thank you for sharing. I hope today is cooler. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gwen. We aren’t supposed to drop below 90 until Thursday. I’m taking it slow, and enjoying the fact that the garage cools down overnight and stays cool until about 2:00.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We’re hitting an actual of 97 today with a real feel of 101. It’s wicked hot up here in New England. :-) I love the project and must admit I needed some of the photos to follow along. My husband always kept scrap pieces of lumber, and I wondered why. Now with the price of wood and the inability to even find it, I think he is a genius. :-) Maybe you’ll need to store your lumber on the reinforced ceiling instead of the wall. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I laughed at your comment about your husband. To make an even surface to attach the new heard to, I needed several short sections of 1/2″ plywood. I dug around and found some scraps, not wanting to cut into a $79 4×8 sheet. Hopefully, I have bought just what I need. Measuring three times before each cut ;-)

      The heat is not welcome. I would expect this in late July, not early June,

      Work early, stay cool.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yikes, Dan. That is major renovation work you are doing, Dan. I have watched so many renovation shows on television that I know that there are often costly surprises awaiting you when you get down to the structure of a building. It looks like you know what you are doing, but it sure looks like a daunting challenge to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike. The best part about this, is that it’s a detached garage so we aren’t living in the mess. I’m trying to keep it safe, but not clean enough for a film crew (obviously). We have found so many surprises left here by the previous owner that I wish he were still alive, so I could give him a piece of my mind. Oh well, I guess I just need to do my work well and move on.

      Like

      1. It’s always hard to know why folks did what they did in the past. Was it haste, ignorance, short-sightedness, or a desire to save money? You can rest secure that you will have done a better job, Dan. I suspect that all of us live our daily lives with ramshackle issues that have been papered over, both literally and figuratively, only some of which we are aware. We can only do what we can do and, as you suggest, continue to move on. :)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t quite understand the details of your project, Dan, but I understand it’s all about sturdy, stable support that will last. A job done well and right is always best.

    As for the weather, I’m already to be done with it. It’s been in the 90’s here since Friday and today brings more humidity. Yuck. My head and sinuses are not liking it, so Gibbs and I try to stay in the cool as much as possible. If the wind dies down, I may go for another bike ride very early Tuesday morning, but that’s still up for debate. Have a wonderful Monday and week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. I have a dentist appointment today, so I won’t make it into the shop. I’m only going out when it’s relatively cool in there. I hope you get a change to ride tomorrow morning. Maddie and I left for our walk before 7:00 today. We’ll probably do the same tomorrow, by which time it will be a “thing” for Maddie and I’ll be walking early all summer.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. If we get a break from the heat, John, maybe next Monday. Using the crane seems silly, but the LVLs are heavy. lifting them 90% of the way, and keeping them suspended while I added support was easy and safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well – I’m glad we’re not in the 90s … though I’m enjoying the warmth we’ve got and the sea breeze helps. Maddie getting you out and about early … makes sense – and gives you time to prepare for the day, as best you need. Stopping and taking longer seems sensible in this weather.
    The workshop looks as it should be … preparations in hand, plan in head and ready to go, when you feel like it. I’m sure it’ll be neat and tidy … as your work always looks.
    Cheers – Spring/Summer is just so lovely … Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Hilary. The plan I have in place should allow me to work more efficiently and, hopefully keep the shop neater. I could go for a sea breeze right about now.

      Like

      1. Yeah .. it’s really pleasant here .. and I meant to use the word ‘efficient’ … but you did – so I concur. – just enjoy … at least you’re at home and relaxed (near enough!) … ie no worried, and not fretting about work … it does make like easier at this time …

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I may not understand 75% of what you just said but I love your results! And that is all I need to understand. We too are in the middle of a heatwave and I have started up my relationship with my air conditioner. I hope we get to break up soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dan, what the actual?!? I’m no builder, but even I understand the principle of load-bearing. Maybe it’s the mother in me: You can’t carry a baby on your hip if you have no hips. What was Previous Guy thinking? … WordPress has again decided I don’t deserve to get notifications of your posts. Nice try, WordPress. I will always find Dan, no matter where you hide him!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In this case, MArian, extreme load bearing. We have found numerous shortcuts through the building code that were taken by this guy, but this could have caused a disaster

      WordPress tells me they have escalated this issue (at my request). I hope they can solve it soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Horsefeathers, Dan. That seems like another huge project, especially for one person. Applesauce… I’m glad you plan to take it at least a little easier on yourself on future Mondays.
    Yep, it’s hot out. I remember (and don’t miss) the oppressive humidity that comes with heat there. At 8:30 AM on my front porch it was already 93 degrees. But with your humidity it probably felt worse there. Take care. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right now it’s 94 but the heat index is 104. Just like you remember ;-)

      This project will require a little more work than I planned, but at least I have a solution. I’ll get through this, but I appreciate the hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Did your tummy lurch when you realized there wasn’t a good strong header there? Mine did just reading your post and seeing the images. Yikes! It’s a good thing you know how to fix that yourself. Today one could be waiting for the header and someone to install it for some time.

    Our temperature is going to be in the low 80’s most of the week with Wed. only reaching 66 degrees. ?? Maybe that will change, but the 80’s aren’t too bad or hot and pretty much perfect for me since I’m often cold.

    Enjoy those early morning sits, and walks. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would love to see an 8 at the front of the temp. It’s 94 right now but the heat index is 104.

      I did do a pretty big gulp, and I waited a few seconds for my heart to get back in place after I realize a short, single piece of 2×6 was holding everything up. I don’t know what they were thinking. At least I bought the LVL longer than I needed and I hadn’t cut it. I was lucky enough to have enough to make a header – LVS are hard to get, and they were $4 a foot last year. I’d hate to know what they cost today.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Just one question: how did you ever make the time to go to work? Clearly, you have enough on your plate to keep you busy without having to bother with the office!

    Supposed to reach 96F here today and 97 tomorrow. I can’t help but watch it like a stock … thinking I’ll sell if it tops 100!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha – I used to go to work to rest up, Steve. I am finding more than enough ways to stay busy. This is too hot for June. Of course, that’s just my opinion, but…

      Like

  13. I really liked the way you put arrows on the photos. It made things so much clearer. A very impressive header, Dan. Are you thinking of insulating the workspace? After that space is done, I’m going to be forced to move in next door. I’ll have lots of Corona in the garage fridge too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve thought about heat, John, but I’d have to keep the shop at at least 50-degrees. I have been able to heat the space with a propane space heater. It’s gets up to 60 within about an hour, but the tools don’t warm up at all during the day. I’ll have to see what the minister of finance (The Editor’s other job) thinks about that.

      I could see my having a “Will Work for Corona” sign.

      Like

  14. This looks like an episode of th be Propetty Brothers😳😄  I admire your ambition.  We bought a house in 1972 in CO where our kids were mostly raised.  Everything done to it had to be redone properly.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My daughter and family are almost finished having their bathroom redone in the 1906 home they bought last summer. For a family of five, one old bathtub and no shower took a toll. Looking gorgeous now.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Yikes! No header?? I wonder what the former builder was thinking… or, maybe he wasn’t. I’m glad you are fixing that “oversight.” Hidden constructions problems are scary. When we saw how our former next door neighbor put together a retaining wall (no rebar to be found) we were aghast. The new owner is aware but hasn’t fixed it. I guess the fact that we are in earthquake country isn’t worrisome enough to spend the – probably quite substantial – money.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe he’ll fix it when it starts to lean. These things are relatively cheap to build and extremely expensive to fix. When he built this garage, he probably saved less than $20 by doing it this way.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. After seeing all the shop photos, I feel much like Maddie in the last shot. :-) As for the temperatures, I’ll trade you for our 106! Next week it gets even better: at least three days when my weather app says 115. :-(

    Liked by 1 person

  17. So yesterday came around and I thought you were adjusting your schedule early and not posting on Monday. This morning, I thought I had better check to be sure. Nope. No Facilities is not a blog I am following. WHAT IN THE HECK, WP??!! So I am following you, again. My husband would love your workshop. He has plenty of space in our garage now, but you know…..more space is even better. The heat is awful. Be careful out there, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s weird, Dan. I follow a lot of bloggers that still show that ‘+ Follow’ sign on their site, but they stay in my Reader. For some strange reason, you just totally disappear. Yeah, I’m curious what their version of ‘escalate’ looks like.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. You seem to be having your hands full there, Dan. As long as you enjoy it :) It is work like this that one can look back on and actually SEE the progress made by the end of the day :) Keep it up.
    And if you have some degrees to spare, send them over. Winter came early this year in South Africa. By the way, 29C by 10:30am reminds me of August in Romania :)

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m all about not overdoing it when it comes to blogging, so cut back– especially when it’s too hot to think straight. Unless you’re in your workshop where I’m sure you think just fine. What a great space you have there.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.