The Garage: Interior Work Begins

Letting the garage age gracefully seemed like the right approach. It’s been ten months. My intentions all along were to build a workbench and work area in the area to the right of the garage door, but let’s not rush matters. Treat the garage like a fine red wine… But, then, the urge hit and it was time to start making the garage mine, make it work as was needed for happiness at the cabin. And so it begins.

There was a space of about five feet by fourteen inches behind the side door and next to the garage door. The whole space was not needed for shelves, but maybe about twenty-eight inches would be good leaving room for a trash can or whatever else would fit into the remaining thirty-two inches. And I was using the studs that made the wall as the anchor for the shelving. That was roughly twenty-eight to the second stud. There was a method to the madness. Two two-by-fours were added – one attached to the left side right next to the door, allowing room for the door to open. The other had to be secured on the right side by connecting with the stud on the wall with one-by-fours (versus securing to the garage floor). Once the shelves were in, everything would be stable enough.

The bottom shelf would be at the level of the wall base, which was essentially two two-by-fours secured to the floor along each wall. While I created the one-by-fours to hold shelves from the front to the space between studs, I decided to use some leftover plywood from the garage construction that were cut in ten-inch widths. It’s a start. And the shelves sat on the one-by-fours at about twenty-six inches wide. So the first one is in, leaving about three inches or so under the shelf. Good.

Because of what I wanted to store on the bottom shelf, I wanted it to be nineteen inches tall. So the measurements were done and the one-by-fours attached with everything leveled. The test: Put what you want on the bottom shelf, in part to test the height and, in part, to beam at a successful job. How did this not fit right – it’s taller than expected? Well, the one-by-fours were installed from the bottom of the measurement, making the shelf about twenty-two and a half inches, versus nineteen inches, high. That’s fine – at least it isn’t too low.

Now I’m thinking the next shelves – up until the top one – would be sixteen inches high each. So the second shelf (and first of the sixteen inch ones) is installed correctly – it’s sixteen inches from the shelf to the bottom of the next shelf. When a plan comes together, wow.

The next shelf from the bottom is to be sixteen as well. So, the measurement is made and – what? – there is a cross truss (my term for it) supporting the wall that is right where the shelf would be on the left side. The shelf is moved down. We’ll have a twelve-odd inch shelve there instead and then just split the remaining space to the top between two shelves. But, after securing the twelve-odd inch shelf, the next shelf at half the distance left hits the cross truss on the right side… It seemed to make more sense that the taller of the two, since they cannot now be equal, is the lower, so the one-by-fours are above the truss. And then the top of the shelving is another shelf eight feet above the floor.

In summary, then, we have five shelves (excluding the top one) that are all different in height. It’s obviously a custom job. And then the miracles. First, one unit full of little drawers holding various screws, nails, etc., fit on the taller of the two upper shelves, but would not have fit if they had been even in size as originally intended. Second, the space below the first shelf was just tall enough for a plastic container to slide under, which also was not part of any original planning… A miraculous custom shelving unit… Golly. Now what?

I know, I know – you want more information. And here it is: They are twenty and three-quarter inches and eighteen and a half inches. Let’s move on to the big area…

Now, where are those trusses?