What I’ve Been Busy With… #Adulting

So aside from being busy with jtooned.co and other regular life things, the past 10.5 months, our lives have really just revolved around our new place. If you scroll back enough, you might remember that we sold our first house back in August on 2020. Since then, we’ve gone to multiple design appointments to put the house together – which is really the most exciting part of it all other than physically moving into it afterwards.

Our original possession date was supposed to be April 30th but due to COVID, many of the restrictions pushed our date to July 7th. Many of the trades had to take turns going into the house rather than just all going in at once to get things done. A bit frustrating to say the least, but it is what it is. Fast forward, and we’ve been busy just trying to get the house put together. You’d think that there isn’t much to do when moving into a new place but you would be very mistaken. Things like getting new furniture, decorations, creating appointments for things like getting internet installed, air conditioning, security, etc. Other things like having to put up TV’s and building old furniture… It’s just a lot of little things piled up that take up a lot of time.

Outside of those things, I’ve really been itching to get the garage done. I really can’t stand an unfinished garage and hate the look of drywall and mudding all over the place. Over the last week, I’ve been working here and there trying to get the mudding and sanding all done prior to this weekend for paint. Mudding and sanding is probably the worst part of getting a garage ready to go – it’s messy, tiring, and there’s very little gratification that comes from it, so it can be hard to stay motivated LOL.

Here’s a shot of me about 90% done the mudding and sanding. I had a few more spots on the ceiling but that was it. Part of me was hating myself for not just paying the builder to finish it off completely but the cost was roughly $7000 to do a full two-coat mud/sand and finish with paint. Even now when I think about it, that’s way too much money (for me) and I’d rather spend the time to do it myself and spend a little under $1000 in materials and supplies, despite how much I end up swearing and hating myself for it.

One of the things I did with the garage was slope the ceilings upward to get to 13ft ceilings. I really wanted to get high ceilings to give me more room to play with. Unfortunately, reaching those 13ft ceilings was not so fun. Diana’s brother, Victor, has been a huge help in getting the garage done. Luckily he has access to a scaffold which is really the only way to reach the ceiling because my dinky ladders were not tall enough.

Victor is also pretty handy on the electrical side of things – something I don’t really dip my feet in – I’m just not comfortable with electrical stuff so thankfully he knows the ins and outs. Some of the other changes we’ve had to do is relocate two of the lights to fit the new overhead LED panels properly.

Here, he cut out the original light box and relocated it about 6″ so that we can fit the full lighting fixture after paint is done. The overhead lights are 1’x4′ and if we hadn’t moved it, the garage door frame would’ve blocked it.

Tomorrow, my Dad is coming and we’re gonna tackle the paint (finally) and hope to get it done this weekend. I’m excited to see it finally come together on that front.

After paint, the next thing that will be done is the Polyaspartic floor coating. Unfortunately, they’re extremely booked up so my appointment isn’t until September 17th – right in time for winter. That should be the finishing touch on the garage until I start getting to work on furnishing it afterwards. Stay tuned for update pics after the paint!

One other thing that I’ve been super excited about was getting solar panels installed on the house. I’m not going to rave about it here but I will say that it’s probably my favourite mod on the whole house – yes, even more than the garage. We were able to max out the roof with 31 panels. Above, you can see the size of the panel for comparison if you’ve never actually seen how big they are.

A few shots of them installed on the roof…

Last one!

Next update from me will hopefully be a paint-finished garage!

DIY: Garage Work Bench

So I’ve been putting this project off for a pretty long time even though I hated the look of my shit on the ground or on ghetto cardboard boxes every time I went into my garage. At first I wanted to buy a work bench but I couldn’t really find anything “off the rack” from any stores that would fit the area of my garage nicely. I’m kind of picky with height, width, look, etc… Of course, when you’re looking for something specific, you’ll never get it… That’s my kind of luck, anyway. Other options were either too pricey or just didn’t quite fit in with how I wanted it.

I decided to just build it the way I wanted to and be done with it. The other good part of it is that it saves me a few hundred bucks – and I’m OK with that. It doesn’t have to look extremely pretty since it’ll get abused but I lean towards the “made to fit” rather than the “make it fit” idea for things like this. Since I was on vacation for the rest of that week, I decided that I had better get started before I procrastinate even more.

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We went to Home Depot to pick up a few materials… I got eight 2x4x8’s. One huge piece of MDF that they cut down for me to my measurements, and a few braces to hold the 2×4’s together. As you can see in the pic above, all my shit was on the bottoms of upside down cardboard boxes and it was painful to look at. It even started caving in the center which is why everything is so messy lol.

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This was the space I was working with. It’s difficult because the corner you see there isn’t as easy as you think it is to work with if you want to maximize the space. If I wanted a work bench, I’d have an awkward space on the left wall. If I wanted to put a shelve there, it wouldn’t fit nice in that 20″ corner either…

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Here’s the general layout of the bench. I decided to go ahead and build the bench conforming to the corner and left wall. This eliminated a whole bunch of wasted space that would have potentially been there if I went with a generic work bench. I set the height of the bench to be 40″ tall from the ground. Standard is 42″, but since I’m no basketball player, I shortened it slightly. It ends up being the perfect height for me when standing.

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The first part of putting the rear 2×4’s in as braces is really the only hard part. It’s important to get all of those boards even and lined up, otherwise your whole desk will be uneven. I think I used the level 3-4 times just to do the sanity check. The next part is attaching cross members out to the width of your desk.

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And of course after that, you attach the rest of the desk to secure it all in place. You also see I have the level there at all times in case something moves lol.

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Behind me, Diana is busy building the cabinet we bought to go beside the bench. Every time I point the camera at her, she stops working and poses or gives me dirty looks. Rest assured though, the cabinet did get done in a timely manner…

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The next part that is crucial in the stability of the table is triangulating the corners. All I did was take extra pieces of 2×4’s and used a miter saw on both ends to fit nicely into the corners. I reinforced all the weak corners that would sway if you were to ever knock it or hit it somehow. Adding just 5 of them increased the structural rigidity significantly.

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I then added the legs to support the outside. Easy peasy.

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See. Every time.

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I apologize for not having pics of attaching the piece of MDF and creating the bottom shelf… We took a break in between and I forgot my camera inside. It’s really just cutting the MDF out to the size of your desk. Not rocket science :).

Diana also did finish the cabinet and also painted the legs of the desk to match the colour theme of the garage…

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And one more up close shot of the desk. That’s pretty much all I’ll do for the desk – I’m leaving the top MDF exposed because whether I cover it or paint it, it will see damage and it’s easily replaceable if needed. Although it’s not a nice as a store bought one with fancy drawers and finishes, this provides a built-in look which I prefer more.

Crunch Time!

Sorry for the lack of updates lately… I’ve been pretty busy with work and now I’m pretty much down and out with the cold, thanks to Diana.

I haven’t been up to much lately… Parts have been put on hold for a bit until I can spend more of my days doing something with them. It all kind of works out though cause by the time I get all the stuff I need to finally put her down on the ground, it’ll be pretty much time to take out!

In the meantime, I have been adding things here and there in the garage – little things but still better than blank walls. I’m hoping to get shelves and benches this year to finish it off nicely but until then, this is where I’m at. I’ll hopefully have somewhat of an update by the end of next week with another piece to cross off the list. Nothing exciting so don’t get too excited πŸ™‚

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Put up a TV in the corner as well. It’s not hooked up now but once the nice weather comes, I’ll be hooking up a Google chromecast to it to stream to my hearts content while working on the car.

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Also put up some artwork of the LS460 two years ago. Hopefully adding more soon!

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I also put up the only three Hot Wheels that I have lol. An Evasive S2000, AE86 and I found this FRS at the dollar store a few weeks ago to add.

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I miss this nice paint!

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And the nice headlights with the shitty shovels. It’s so depressing seeing the garage all muddy and shitty right now haha

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I also sat in the cockpit for a bit and found out I could easily pop out a part of the dash. I’ll be wrapping this soon too, I guess. I did have left over material from the last project but I’m literally short only about an inch to wrap it all. Kind of annoying but this time I might go as far as just wrapping the whole dash if I find it in myself to attempt removing it all.

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And one last parting booty shot before I go. I would say another month and a half before it can come out and the weather co-operates! Crunch time!

Project: Pimp My Garage

I’ve been wanting to paint the garage for the longest time but the wedding was putting the project on hold. One weekend we had nothing to do so I decided to just get it done and out of the way before the cold weather came. I called my dad up and he was down to help and so we began…

To be honest, I thought we would get this done in a weekend but all the extra mudding and sanding we had to do took up a whole weekend alone. The builders had already done it but it wasn’t the best job so we decided to do it again just to save us the trouble down the road. We ended up finishing with two weekends along with the bonus of sore necks and arms. Woot woot.

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This was just as we were starting to put the second coat of mudding on. Check those cracks in the floor… The house is half a year old and it’s cracking left right and center. Kind of lame that it does that and the builder won’t do anything to fix it either. Some of the cracks were big enough to fit a loonie in too (which I think is grounds for getting the builder to fix it…)

2This was after we finished sanding the second coat – Diana painted the stairs and the wood siding. Starting to come together… I also spent a few hours on my hands and knees filling the cracks with filler and using my hands to make sure it was all in there and then finally leveling it all out so it wasn’t bumpy or rough. Better than before, that’s for sure.

3And voila! One pic from yesterday after I had scrubbed and washed the floors so it’s still wet and (unfortunately) accentuates the filling I did in the concrete. I still have to take some cleaner over it to get some of the paint spills off, but that’s a task for another day.

Note: painting ceilings is the biggest bitch to do. My dad was a trooper and did the whole ceiling too!

I also decided to go straight down to the floor with the paint on the edges and add a little accent line around the walls of the garage. Now I am shopping for work benches, shelves and flooring. I think it’ll have to wait until next year though… This season is almost coming to an end.