Some of my childhood dreams were idealistic and beautiful in nature—becoming a millionaire so that I could feed the poor of the world, world peace—things you hope to hear from an innocent child untouched by the realities and sometimes bitter ironies of our world. And then there were my other dreams that were very specific and probably a little strange in nature, like my resolution to stock my kitchen cupboards full of Tupperware, to own 4 fainting goats and 3 silkie chickens in my backyard, to purchase a two-foot tall troll once I had the $100 to do so (decided after a trip to Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, Troll capitol of the world), and to always park a car in my garage. How can I possibly remember these strange childhood dreams? Just like Martha Stewart probably putzed around her preschool with a spatula as early as age 3, I’ve kept a diary of my life since the age of 5.
Well, I am pleased to announce that one of these dreams has come true today: our car is parked in our garage. That’s right; no longer is our garage a pit holding paint, sand paper, tools and other product carcasses leftover from last year’s house renovation projects. Not only is the car parked in the garage (just like I had envisioned all those years ago), but the garage has been renovated and looks fantastic!
The great news on this renovation is that it was mostly sweat equity. There were not a lot of costs involved thanks in large part to the leftovers from the previous homeowners (a set of old kitchen cabinets affixed to the wall, various shelves, drywall they had all ready installed, a work bench, etc.). Everything just needed to be modernized a bit, cleaned, shined, sanded, painted, etc. And that is exactly what we did!
Cost of Renovation
- Paint and Paint Supplies (paint for cabinets, walls, and cement floor): $101.67
- Pressure Washer: Free—borrowed from a friend for a savings of $60 rental fee (thanks, Helen!)
- Hardware and Accents: $40.16
- Rack for Paint storage: $52.00
Ways We Saved Money
I may start sounding like a broken record here, but we saved money by reusing what was all ready in the garage, shopping sales, and doing the work ourselves (it should be noted that we are still working on the floors—we just got the pressure washer this past weekend).
The previous owners had installed used kitchen cabinets in the garage all ready—a fantastic idea! I took down each of the doors, sanded the finish off, and painted them all a beautiful Black Raisin color. We purchased new door handles, but instead of purchasing new hinges (it was bronze and everything else is brushed nickel), we painted them using a special metallic paint. If you don’t currently have cabinets in your garage and would like the storage, see if you can find someone else who is getting new kitchen cabinets and purchase their old ones at a discount. They might even want to give them away if you pick them up and uninstall them!
Next, we simply painted the fan blades to make the existing fan look high-end with a cost of roughly $8.00 in leftover spray paint from when we painted our other fans throughout the house. We had a metal rack that used to store pots and pans in our last apartment that I repurposed to hold gardening and lawn tools. There is a lot of paint leftover from various house projects and from the previous owners, so I purchased a new rack to organize these. January is the time to purchase organization products to get the best price. We were able to purchase a rack that can hold 750 lbs. for $52 this past January, down from $75.
The previous owners had left racks, shelves, and other random wall fixtures. We took each of them down, cleaned/painted them to match everything else, and repositioned several in order to fit our current needs. This included taking down the heavy duty hooks from the ceiling and putting it on a wall where I can keep my bike and be able to access it, and the pegboard that we took down and moved next to the other pegboard for both aesthetic and practical reasons.
There was an existing garage door opener. However, we were not given a remote control when we moved in. I used a $25 Amazon gift card bonus I received last Christmas to purchase a new remote, and then my friend Helen figured out how to program it. Now it works (thanks, Helen!)