QUITE ON DATHS GARAGE
Not much has happened online or in my workshop during the last year, compared to the beginning of the corona lockdown where I worked on many different projects. Of course nice projects come and go in an unpredictable pattern, and sometimes I have more time for projects than other times. But the last year has been affected by an annoying disease caused by meningitis. Fortunately, nothing life-threatening, but it has taken up all my energy so I did not have any left for hobby projects or writing on DathsGarage.com. Another reason is that I bought a house, moved in and started on a lot of renovation projects. A little more than a year ago we moved into the house and started the renovation projects.
SEARCHING FOR A HOUSE
Back when the corona pandemic spread in Denmark the media speculated about if house prices would drop. I hoped this would be the chance for my family to gain a foothold in the housing market. Unfortunately it did not take long before the opposite happened and the average price rose around 10-15% instead. Suddenly it seemed like everyone wanted to find a bigger place when they had to work from home and had nowhere to go in the weekends because everything was closed.
We had been looking a bit at different houses in a small town outside of the city we currently lived in. Most of them had a lot of things that had to be fixed or else they were out of our budget. Originally we were looking for a house from the 1920s to 1930s, because I love the architecture and the idea about having a multi-story house, but most of them needed a complete renovation.
THE PERFECT MATCH
Just after we agreed to set our house searching on standby we received an email from one of the real estate agents about a drawer case that they had just got that wasn’t put online yet. We agreed on seeing the house the next day even though we did not have high expectations about it. It was a house from 1961 in very original condition. But there was something interesting about the floor plan, the newer extension and the fact that the house had a full basement with a garage.
The next day we saw the house and agreed that with some money (a lot, we figured out) and a lot of hard work this could become our dream house. Afterwards we made an offer on the house and to our big surprise we ended up buying the house.
Unfortunately everything was slowed down because of my meningitis disease and the fact that I was hospitalized for around 10 days. But my wife kicked in and managed to finish the house deal, take care of our family and get everything to work at home.
After we signed the deal we had a couple of months before we could move into the house. In the meantime I started doing a budget and time schedule for the most important renovation work. This included paint and new floor for the bedroom and to divide one of the living rooms into two bedrooms for our kids by building a plaster wall, removing old wallpaper, putting up new wallpaper, paint and new floor.
Another task would be to pack down my small basement workshop so it would be ready to move to the house. Even though the workshop is small the task is definitely not simple because of all the stuff that I have down there. A lot of the tools, computers and electronics stuff could be packed in moving boxes but a lot of the servers, tables and furniture had to be moved as it stood.
Most of the smaller stuff was crammed into my car in moving boxes but the rest had to wait for the rented moving truck.
TIME + HARD WORK + MONEY = ALMOST PERFECT
The basement of the house is more than perfect for all of our hobbies. There is a small viktualierum (Danish for storage room for food), a storage room for my wifes kitchen supplies and machines. Then there is the big 40 m2 garage which will become my main workshop but where I will leave room for a car to be parked. Next to the garage there is a smaller 16 m2 room without windows that will become perfect for my vintage computer and gadget collection. At the other end of the basement another room at 20m2 will become my Lego working and display room.
The only catch about the basement is that right now it is completely filled up with tools, materials, furniture and memorable from the previous owner. This has to be sorted into stuff that can be sold, stuff that must be thrown out or given away and the rest that I want to keep myself.
Another challenge is that the three rooms will need to be upgraded to a better standard which means that I will paint the ceiling, upgrade the old fluorescent tubes with LED panels, remove all the screw holes in the walls before painting, look at some moisture problems in the walls, and at the end paint the floor with durable epoxy paint.
The problem with all this renovation is that it is going to cost a fortune but my hope is that by selling a lot of the stuff in the basement it will be possible to minimize the expenses for materials. I also need to make a plan about where to move all my stuff in order to empty the rooms that needs to be renovated.
THE GREAT GARAGE SALE
Even though the previous owner had a lot of great stuff in the basement a lot of it had to go before I could make everything like I wanted it. I started out by sorting out the stuff I wanted to keep myself, throughout the stuff that had absolutely no value and then organize the rest that I wanted to sell.
In the beginning I agreed that people could show up and sort through everything and buy what they wanted. The only problem was that people spent several hours digging through everything while telling a lot of interesting stories about themselves and their hobbies but in the end they only bought for a couple of hundred DKK. I quickly realized that this wasn’t the way to go. Several people also asked me about a price for the whole lot but weren’t willing to pay a lot. Instead I started to sell off boxes with similar stuff in smaller or larger lots. That helped a lot and I found some buyers that filled up an entire trailer or van. I earned a lot of money and freed up a lot of room. I had a rather offensive sales strategy so after a lot was put up online for sale I quickly lowered the price to get it sold.
After about half a year everything I wanted to get rid of was either handed over to the recycling station, given away or sold.
THE RESSURECTION OF THE BASEMENT
- Empty the wall from shelves, tool boards, hooks etc.
- Empty the floor or move the remaining stuff around
- Clear the ceiling from old fluorescent lamps
- Getting rid of screw holes in the walls and ceiling.
- Paint the ceiling
- Install 60×60 LED panels (to have a nice lighting for the rest of the process)
- Remove loose plaster from the walls
- Paint the walls, cables and pipes.
- pgrade the floor by applying self-leveling concrete and paint with epoxy paint.
The process of renovating the basement was long, hard and dirty so instead of describing a lot I will show you a lot of images instead. I did not have much experience with craftsmanship about house renovation so I read a lot of DIY forums and learned a lot from Youtube. Both about which products to choose and the steps involved in each process.
Most of the LED panels, paint, filler mass, self leveling concrete, epoxy paint and shelves I bought, ended up being financed by all the things I sold from the basement.