Author Topic: The Bug House  (Read 2644 times)

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Offline Der Bugmeister

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The Bug House
« on: September 17, 2009, 04:17:55 PM »
Regulars on other sites will have seen these already, but in the interest of helping add some content here's my unfinished narrative on my completed build:

(It doesn't really have a name, at least not yet.  But people used to call our house "The Bug House" because I always had at least 2 VWs in the driveway and another in the garage.)

This is more of a retro-tale, since I finished the garage a couple years back...or at least I finished the structure.  I've still got a lot of work to do inside.  I haven't had more than a few months of playtime in it, though, as major house renos were the priority, and the garage quickly filled up with all the stuff that had to come out of the house.  On the plus side, part of the renos was the addition of a roughly 20 x 28 attached garage so I can keep all the house crap out of the manhole now.

When we were houseshopping back in '97, I had given up on finding the right house/shop combo, so we settled for a lot with plenty of room for expansion.  My wife was really cool when it came to understanding and supporting my need for a detached shop.  Still really cool, actually.  :-)

We wound up buying this place with a carport and I was without a garage for the first time in years.  Needless to say, all those years in garages helped me accumulate plenty of tools, projects and parts...and stuff.  So project one become enclosing the carport so I'd have something usable as a garage...it was about 16' x 17' with a 12' x 7' door and a mandoor.  Lost a lot of space to the thoroughfare as it was the main entrance to the house as well.

It didn't take long for this space to become a catchall area for house and shop crap, so there was barely enough room for the VW, nevermind actually doing any work:




Conditions were so bad that when I had to change the head gasket in my Kingcab, I could only get the cab into the garage, and closed the door on top of the box.  Argh!  Garage hell!




You can see larger versions of most of these pics, and many more in my garage build gallery.

After years of anticipation, the stars were aligned and it was time to get serious about building the shop.  I staked out the location to see how it would work there.  Wound up leaving myself 17' to the side property line, and the back right corner is at 10' from the back of the lot.  The property line angles away from that corner along the back, and my setback is 10' on all sides.

That's going to work out well later on for stage 2...the storage/compressor room.  ;-)

Moving the swingset was easy, but the tree behind my daughter was a 40 year old sequoia...




The tree came down well (had a good faller come in), then a portable saw mill cut it up for me.  Not much good for structural applications, as some of the growth rings were an inch wide!



My friend had a fun time maneuvering the stump out of the ground - those things retain a lot of water, and are damned heavy.  He succeeded, though...and I hacked away at it for the next few months until it disappeared in a fire one night.  Would have cost a fair bit to have hauled away.



Finally, the long awaited first scoops, and by the end of the day I had a nice hole in the ground.





I built the majority of the shop myself, getting some help from knowledgeable friends in the electrical and shingling chores.  Being the first time for tackling most of these tasks, I did what made sense to me, and it seems to have worked out well.  The foundation went well:






You can see my neighbour's shop getting framed up in the background...it's a nice one.  Something like 28 x 40 with a 20' roof extension on the far end.  11' doors for RVs, plumbed, wired, wood heat, etc.  Everyone joked that we were connecting them with tunnels, like that beer commercial that made the rounds a few years back.

Well...I hope I'm not going overkill on pics here.  If I am, speak up and I'll delete some of them...

So things went well with the inspector, got permission to backfill and didn't look back.  I didn't have any problems with the inspectors.  Had one for the first half of the job, then he left the area.  His replacement has a '69 Mustang, so we seem to spend more time talking cars than inspecting the building.  :-)



Couldn't resist driving the '57 in to get a better feel for the size and all...



I broke ground on this project in October, so by the time I started framing there wasn't a whole lot of daylight.  I spent way too many hours working under 1000 watts of halogen lighting.  Fortunately the neighbours were real tolerant of the noise, but there's a good amount of space between the houses and lots of trees.  Anyhow, this was my life for a while...



Finally, a wall vertical!  Built them in manageable sections, as I didn't have any extra hands around.  Looked pretty tall when they started going up, but I think that was mainly because we weren't used to having a big building in the backyard.



Didn't take long for the rest of the walls to go up.  Made the mistake of trying to frame the engineered beam into the wall then raise it...wind up taking 4 of us, plus double purchase block and tackle to get that part of wall into place.  17' long.








Trusses came, craned on.  The pics make it look like they're there, then in place, but it wasn't quite that easy.  Working in a lot of darkness and pouring rain, we had 4 people doing the first few, then me and a friend did the rest the next day.  It was an adventure... 34' trusses aren't light when they're wet.





Then the roof sheathing and shingles...fun job when it rains every day for almost 40 days...set records.  Had a friend help with some of the shingling.




Some shots of the outside with the framing pretty much done.  Shop is 30 x 30, with a 16 x 9 main door, a 36" mandoor in the front and another at the back.  The door in the back will eventually lead into the storage/compressor room which is yet to be built.  Two 4' x 4' windows, one above the workbench the other in the office.





And daddy's little helper.  It didn't matter where she was banging in nails, just so long as she was helping build the garage.  Her aunt and uncle gave her a tool box for her 4th birthday...had some wrenches, paintbrushes and measuring tape in it.  I added a pint-sized hammer for her...and now she's got a set of screwdrivers too.  My bro and his wife are both gearheads, and are determined to turn her into one as well...fine by me, I'll help!




Living in Canada's Lotusland, we usually don't get a lot of snow in the winter, but it gets cold.  The framing took place between November and January...

Tools and Garages

The Bug House
« on: September 17, 2009, 04:17:55 PM »

Offline rusty

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Re: The Bug House
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2009, 04:29:39 PM »
We like pictures! The sites are currenly single digits for bandwidth. So no problems at all.
Tool do job=Good tool

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Offline Der Bugmeister

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Re: The Bug House
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2009, 05:58:11 PM »
The images are at photobucket, so they shouldn't hurt the bandwidth at all.  ;-)

Offline goodfellow

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Re: The Bug House
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2009, 06:04:49 PM »
nice place "Bugmeister" -- well desiged and executed

Offline Der Bugmeister

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Re: The Bug House
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2009, 06:37:42 PM »
nice place "Bugmeister" -- well desiged and executed

Thanks :-)

Now I have to go through the next batch of photos and write the next "chapter"!  I can't get away with just cutting and pasting the same project indefinitely, right?   ;D

Offline rusty

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Re: The Bug House
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2009, 08:53:36 PM »
You may be surprised how big the load limit is here. But they show as thumbnails in the post. You have to click on the ones you want to see to full size them.

The pic of the bug surrounded and starting to be covered looks like my mess at the moment.
Tool do job=Good tool

A 'Veteran'is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made
payable to 'The United States of America,' for an amount of 'up to, and
including his life.'

Offline TR

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Re: The Bug House
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2009, 10:25:07 PM »
 Nice shop!....I really like the wide overhangs,kind of keeps it from "looking" too tall.

Offline lauver

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Re: The Bug House
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2009, 07:46:59 PM »
Good looking garage/shop. I'm looking forward to the finished project.

I'd also like to see some text and photo's of your 1957 bug restoration.  When you have time, maybe some before, during, and after photo's.
When my wife leaves me, my dog dies, and they repo my house, I'll still have my tools.

Offline TR

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Re: The Bug House
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2009, 11:11:49 PM »
 Y'all get a chance go to Der bugmeisters website....it's pretty cool!