Kev Quirk

Renovating the Garage

11 Dec 2023 | ~4 minute read

The next step in the reonvations at home, is the garage (my workshop). Difference being this time, is that I did it myself.

Since spending all our savings on the first stage of the renovations during our first year at the smallholding, the next step was to renovate the garage. However, since we had no money left, I decided to do it myself, rather than have a professional do it. I've always disliked DIY, but saving money is more important than my delicate sensibilities, so I got stuck in and sorted it myself.

Before the work

Motorbikes are a huge part of my life, and I love working on them almost as much as riding them. So one of the requirements for me when we moved was a decent workshop. I've always wanted a good workshop and our new house has a double garage. So I had the building, I just needed to turn it into the workshop I'd always wanted.

Before I started work, the garage was very dark, cold and damp. It wasn't a great place to be working on bikes, and I always found I had to have flood lights all over the place just so I could see what I was doing.

Here's what it looked like before I started (I'd already replaced the shitty strip lights with LEDs in this picture, but it still wasn't that bright):

Garage before I started work

As you can see, the garage is very cluttered, very dark and looking very sorry for itself. I had to fix it.

Making a list

There was a lot to do, so like all good projects, I made a list of what I wanted to do before I lifted a single tool. My list was:

I ended up doing all of the above myself, with the exception of the windows and door. We decided to get professionals in to do those, as there were some windows and doors that needed replacing on the main house too.

I don't get a lot of free time; between a busy job, lots of animals, 2 kids and 2.5 acres of land to look after, adding a garage renovation was going to be...interesting.

It transpired that I hardly got a full day to work on the garage, let alone a few days at a time, and so it ended up taking me around 4 months to complete. We got it done though, and it was actually a fun project.

Here's some pics as the renovation progressed:

Clearing out all the crap and new windows/door fitted
Clearing out all the crap and new windows/door fitted
Reboarding the loft space
Reboarding the loft space
Reboarding the loft space
Reboarding the loft space
Painting the walls
Painting the walls
Painting the new ceiling
Painting the new ceiling
Roof insulation outside of the loft space
Roof insulation outside of the loft space
Insulating the loft space
Insulating the loft space
Cladding the roof
Cladding the roof
Re-wiring the electrics
Re-wiring the electrics
Resin floor
Resin floor
Resin floor
Resin floor
Resin floor
Resin floor

After all this hard work, I added the shelving, unpacked all my stuff from the loft, and here's what the (almost) finished workshop looks like today:

Finished garage / workshop

There's still a small snag list of jobs to complete, like boxing in the consumer unit for the electrics, but for all intents and purposes, it's now finished and I'm so happy with it. I finally have the workshop I always wanted.

How much it all cost

Based on quotes we've had for similar work in the past, and speaking to a builder friend of mine, I estimate that the work would have cost somewhere in the region of £6,000 if we'd had a builder do it.

The materials cost me somewhere in the region of £2,500, which includes the windows and door. So overall I'm very happy with both the money saved and the result.

Sure, it would have been a higher standard of work if we had a professional come and do it, but it's better than anything I'ver ever had before and it's only a garage, so it doesn't need to be perfect.

The workshop is already paying dividends as my wife forced me kindly asked me to make her some nesting boxes for the chickens so she can move them into one of the stables for the winter. I obviously obliged:

Four wooden nest boxes for the chickens
Chickens in one of our stables

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