Garage Renovation – Overview

When we moved into our San Francisco house, its 91 years of age weighed on us. I’m convinced that I vacuumed 30lbs to 40lbs of spider webs from the garage alone. Cardboard boxes we had stored there as we unpacked would be damp from the cavelike environs. Once the door was shut, there was no ventilation and black mold flourished. It was a useless space in the condition we received it. Likely toxic too.

Almost a year has passed since I started to renovate our garage. Only one small project now remains: to paint the garage door. The following photos and annotations tell the story.

The before photo: For whatever reason, I did not take many photos of the garage before renovation began. It could have been because of how truly horrible the garage looked; it could have have been that I never thought they would be wanted. It wasn’t enjoyable to step foot in the garage. Moisture, mold, concrete effervescence, vague chemical smells, and general darkness were the sort of things you met when entering the garage. The only positive was that it seemed to be structurally sound.

The renovation plan: Generally, we wanted to be able to actually use the garage. That could mean a number of things. Our HOA CC&Rs state that a garage needs to stay a garage, and I agree that it would be a mistake to do any renovation that limited the structure’s use for its designed intent. Beyond that, we wanted a space that we could use as a home gym, storage, and workspace. A pretty tall order for a space that is approximately 200 square feet. Truth be told, we have no expectation that we would park a car in our garage.

A progress/after photo: This isn’t a photo of the completed renovation. Instead, it is a good photo of the difference between the specific before photo chosen and where the renovation was headed.

Since this post is an overview of the renovation, here’s the photo of the finished project:

I’ll detail the work performed to get to the finished project in separate posts.

A number of people provided actual physical labor during the renovation, including my wife (Melissa Frank-Huff), a good friend (Bill Henry), and Melissa’s father (Jerry Frank). They all deserve credit and thanks.

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