Friday, May 20, 2016


TGIF! I have a special treat for you TODAY.  I think this is the first time EVER Jeff is making an appearance on my blog. 

Here is a Before & After of our garage:
 I thought it would be fun if I asked Jeff a few questions for the blog and these are his answers below!

Why did you decide to start this garage project?
 Finishing the garage would not have been on my radar screen at all except my dad kept harping on how terrible the existing drywall in the garage looked.  At first I didn’t think much of it until March of this year when I purchased two sets of blinds for the garage.  I picked up the blinds because I didn’t want people to be able to see me working in the garage at night.  After I put the blinds up, I thought they looked great but they made the rest of the wall look terrible by comparison.   I started pricing out what it would cost to cover the wall with sheetrock… And of course it wouldn’t make sense to put that up without insulating the wall… And once both of those things were done, I might as well put a fresh coat of paint on everything.  As I started pricing the project out, I figured, I might as well just do everything all at once.

What planning was involved ahead of time? 
 Not as much as there should have been… I believe I made the decision to take on this project and just started buying supplies.  I figured I could go one step at a time and teach myself along the way.  My issue is that I was always so excited to get to the next step, that I would dive right in before really knowing what I was doing.  As a result, I didn’t do a ton of planning but figured things out along the way.

What expertise did you have to go into this project?
I had zero expertise.  I remember as a child, I would always try to ‘help’ my dad with his home remodeling projects.  In reality, I’m sure I would just get in the way or ask silly questions.  He is incredibly handy and I’m actually disappointed that I have not done more to this point in my life to learn more ‘handyman’ skills from him.   Because my low level of construction knowledge, I had to rely heavily on my dad’s instruction when he would spend a day during the weekend helping out.  In between days when my dad was able to help out, I would view many youtube instructional videos.
How long did it take from start to finish?
 I started the project on March 19 and finished on May 18.  Total hours invested were 112.5.  Total days I actually worked in the garage were 33.

What was favorite part of this project?
 My favorite thing about the project – and it is a very small detail – was putting the plastic outlet covers/garage door opener back on the walls after they had been painted.  All of a sudden the garage had a very sharp and clean look.  Putting the finishing touches on the project pulled things together and started to make the effort feel ‘worth it’.
What was the most difficult part?
The most difficult part of the project was doing anything above my head… taping/mudding, sanding, and painting a ceiling that was 10.25 feet above the floor was no easy task.  When working above your head, it is very difficult to apply any constant pressure.   It was also tiring for my arms and VERY frustrating to move the heavy/cumbersome ladder every 2 minutes.  Nothing was more frustrating than putting a coat of joint compound on the ceiling and looking at the finished product, knowing I would need to do it all again for a second and third coat… and then sand… and then paint.  Any day/night I was able to work on a vertical wall was a ‘easy day’ by comparison.

Did anyone help you along the way?
My dad was very helpful in many ways.  In addition to helping out on weekends with physical labor, he helped to educate me throughout the process.  As I mention above, I didn’t know as much as I should about construction and building… So he was very helpful in explaining some of his techniques or ‘tricks of the trade’.  One trick he had that was VERY helpful was drilling two by fours into the exposed wall studs to rest the full sheetrock panels on when fastening them to the wall (especially up high).  By doing this, the two by fours would hold the weight of the sheetrock while we just needed to slightly guide each one into place and screw them in.  Tricks like this one made the vey daunting aspects of this project much more manageable.

Any advice to someone who is thinking about finishing their garage?
That is a good question.  My first thought is ‘DO IT’.  This or any home project is immensely valuable in the knowledge you gain alone.  In addition, you are increasing the value of your home by doing it.  As far as providing tactical advice, I would say to spend extra time planning how you will handle the mess.   For my project, the drywall dust after sanding was overwhelming.  I would try to sweep it but it would just make a cloud of dust everywhere… I would try to suck it up with the shop vac but it quickly clogged the air filter.  For someone starting a similar project, I would suggest looking into a wet sanding technique to try and limit the dust as much as possible.  Another option could be to purchase a joint compound designed to limit the dust during sanding. 


  1. Jeff, great job on the garage. I love the before and after pictures. You can tell a lot of time and hard work went into this project. You and your dad should be very proud!!! Carol

  2. Thank you Carol! I'm glad you enjoyed reading about this project! I'm happy we have the before pictures to look back at to see the progress.

  3. Nice job Jeff! I hope I get a chance to see your house and garage this summer. Amah

    1. Thanks Amah. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out as well. We look forward to you coming up to see the house.

  4. Do you hire out??? Lois

    1. Unfortunantly at this time, I only have the resources to take on projects in the Madison area. I will let you know if that changes in the future.

  5. Awesome job, Jeff!!!! What is the next project!!!!! John

    1. I think the next project will be adding some edging/mulch/flowers against the back exterior wall of the house. Hopefully we'll have success with that project as well! Thanks for reading!