In my entire life, I have never had a garage. Well, not unless you count the “barn” as we called it at the house I grew up in. But I am speaking of an attached garage. When we were newlyweds we lived in an apartment complex in California. No garage. We moved to Okinawa when Gayle got a PCS assignment at Kadena AFB. We lived in a house with no garage. We transferred to Offutt Air Force Base and lived in a small home we quickly outgrew (with no garage) then moved into Air Force housing into a duplex which had a carport, but no garage. When Gayle got his final assignment before retiring, it was to Fairchild Air Force Base. He purchased a Cape Cod home for our family where we currently reside and the house had no garage.
It was my dream to add a garage to the house. When I planted arborvitae for privacy from the street, I left adequate space for a future addition – a garage. When I planted perennials along the fence I chose plants that would transplant into new areas after the garage was built. We have a beautiful tall pine tree on the left side of our driveway and with the tree in mind, I would think about the curvature of a new driveway into the new garage that did not require the removal of that tree. I would think about what the garage would look like: options for the front (would we enter from the front of the house, or the side of the house?) But after many years, 24 to be exact, that dream just became less and less important, until it was barely even thought about anymore.
So imagine my surprise when Gayle said he thought we should add a garage to the house! What? When he wants to retire in three years? It totally shocked me. I wasn’t so sure anymore. But he pursued and had a contractor, who also happens to be a close friend, Rob Wright, come over and we talked. He put a vision in my mind. Like not having to scrape windows in the winter. Gayle being able to work on projects in the garage instead of the basement. Freeing up space in the basement for a new family room. Whenever I am unsure about a decision, I pray about it. This was a big decision so prayer was vital. My concerns and worry left me calm and peaceful with the decision. Plans were drawn up, and we decided to move forward.
It was a shock when Rob told us we couldn’t build as large we wanted due to rezoning rules. Our garage would be considerably smaller. One car. Was it even worth it to build? He felt it would be, and the redesign included a longer garage to keep the functionality that we wanted. We decided to also add a new front porch with glass panels around the perimeter, a new wider sidewalk, replace the metal windows for new energy-efficient ones, and put on a new roof on the house.
In February construction began under the careful direction of our contractor Rob Wright. When all was said and done, he went beyond what we had discussed and added some very nice little surprises that were a delight.
By early May the garage addition was completed.
The house looks complete to me now, with it’s small attached garage even though it is well away from the property line. I certainly could have planted a continual row of arborvitae afterall.
To save costs, we are doing the painting, window installations, and roofing. We’ve had to delay the painting due to cold weather or rain but that gave us plenty of time to examine paint samples and experiment on the side of the house. Now the end of June is here, the summer weather will be predictably warm and dry. Perfect weather for painting…
Yesterday half the new windows were installed including the upstairs north bedroom window which I have kept covered for years.
Off came the covering, out went the window, and in with the new. A view opened up to me to the south, framed by arborvitae on both sides and the sky on top. Fill in that space with arborvitae and block the view of the countryside? No, I’ll keep my room with a view.