Adding a two and a half car garage

So we have finally decided to take the home improvement to the outside of the house.  Our next project is to add a two car garage to the left side of our house. I can not even express how excited that this has me at the moment.  I have wanted a cool garage for as long as I can remember.  My dad used to have his wood working shop set up in our garage growing up and I have fond memories of hanging out and making cool furniture and other things.

I won’t be using my garage as a workshop since the wife and I would really like to be able to park out of the elements but I should be able to use the extra half a car space as a make shift work area.  This will come in handy for all the different projects that I do in our home.  I am a bit torn as to how I should utilize the rest of the space.  I could either set up a work out area or I might set up a little sound proof room that I could use to record music.  Nothing fancy or big but a place where I could record alone or with one or two friends if the opportunity arose.  I will probably end up making the music room over the work out are since I can continue to use the basement for working out since I have it all set up down there already anyways.

Obviously, pouring a foundation and building a garage frame is a bit out of my wheel house which is why I am going to have the foundation and frame for the new garage done by sub-contractors.  I do plan on helping if they allow me to but that is yet to be seen.  I will be doing the siding myself and my buddy is gonna help me with the electrical.  I will probably have a garage door company install the door and opener since that seems like it might be a bit tough to accomplish on my own as well.  I will be sure to update as we make progress.

Wood garage door

Dark Wooden Garage Door with brick wall background

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My wife’s latest desire….Microblading

I know this is a bit off subject but I think we can squeeze it in because it is at least loosely related to “self improvement”.

When I first heard about microblading I initially thought it sounded like some kind of new skating trend or something but turns out I was way off.  I guess it is some kind of semi-permanent tattoo that the ladies are getting to fill in their thin eyebrows.  From the looks of it, it seems to do a pretty good job and actually looks pretty natural. Actually it does look pretty unnatural for about the first week but after it heals the brows look like any other full brow.  They say that this is because the pigment is still on the top of the skin which makes the strokes appear much darker than they will once healed.  You can get this treatment at some salons in metro areas and some tattoo shops are even jumping on board because the demand is growing.

My wife decided to make her appointment for next week and she is very excited.  To be honest, I am not sure how I feel about it.  I am kind of torn because I obviously would like her to be happy with herself and her body but I also think it is a bit extreme to change your natural features in such a drastic way. I suppose the fact that it is only semi-permanent should give me some solace but hey I feel the way I feel right?  I might get some flack from the men here but believe it or not, I can actually relate to disliking parts of my body and have even thought about going under the knife for a couple things over the years.  I have actually moved on from trying to fix all of my little issues and feel a better person for it so no plastic surgery for me.  I guess all I can do is be supportive in her decision but I will also probably talk to her about my reservations.  I love my wife with her thin eyebrows and all. 😉 If she wants to go through with it then I will be okay with it as well.  Check out the pic below to see what it looks like when freshly completed.

microbladed eyebrow

freshly done brow

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Therapeutic Bath Remod

I know it might seem strange but remodeling almost any part of my home is my therapy.  I love to have something to dive into and really engage in the process.  I am in the process of re-doing my master bathroom.  My day starts out with a quick 15 minute mindfulness meditation and a cup of coffee while watching the weather on tv.  I normally don’t sit around for too long because I have realized that sitting alone for me can take me to an anxious place if I have nothing to do.  By 8am I am normally fully engulfed in the days project.

Today’s project is replacing the sink in my master bathroom.  My wife and I have always hated sharing a sink.  We have a small house and bathroom but we happened to find a pretty cool porcelain trough sink that has two faucets.  It was a special order because it is so small that it probably would not sell very well in a retail setting.  I suppose maybe some of the tiny house people might be their prime target demographic since space is at a premium in those.

The removal and install all went really well besides one hitch.  When I shut off and disconnected the water lines, the shut off valve had a slow leak that just would not stop.  I have learned since then that this tends to happen when the valve is not turned off and on every now and then so I will keep that in mind in the future.  I was a bit freaked out that the valve would continue to leak so to be on the safe side I called a company named Canton 24 Hour Plumbing that I mentioned in my last post and was able to ask them some questions.  They were actually very helpful and told me that a simple valve replacement was something I could definitely handle on my own if I was at all mechanically inclined.  I was a bit shocked by that as you normally hear plenty of plumber horror stories.  Obviously, I had used these guys before so it was nice that they were willing to help even when no money was involved.

The cool thing about this sink is that it completely replaces the counter top so we didn’t have to spend a couple hundred dollars on granite. Teaser picture below.  Sorry for the partial picture, I don’t want to share the entire project until I have the entire bathroom completed. 🙂

Water from a faucet in master bath.

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From dirty carpet to majestic hardwood

So this past week has a bit trying.  My in-laws went out of town for 10 days and we are their go-to dog sitters, they have two dogs….. my grandmother also went into the hospital for heart surgery and they also asked us to watch their dog.  When you add in my dog into the mix that brings the total to 4 dogs.  Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad if there were not so many issues with the dogs.  My in-laws dogs are pretty old, one of which experiences seizures on a monthly basis and they always seem to land on a day that we have him.  When he has a seizure he sometimes urinates and this past one he bit his lip and bled all over the carpet.  He also has trouble making it outside to go potty.  My grandparents dog is literally only a few months old and is not yet potty trained.  My grandparents are well intentioned but they have been using pee pads to try and train her.  This makes it very confusing for the pup since there is no consistency with her going outside to go potty.  Even with the pads on the floor, she still will not poo on them and only pees on them 2 out of 3 times.  Oh and she vomited once on the carpet this week as well.

As you can see, we have had almost every bodily fluid spread across our entire floor.  This is especially frustrating since every bit of it has been on the carpeted portion of our house.  Must be more cozy, lol. Now that brings me to the point.  The dogs leave in a couple days and we will be hiring a floor cleaning company to clean our carpets as a short term solution but starting in a couple weeks I will be installing brand new hardwood all throughout the house.  Standard hardwood will make the clean up much easier so we think it is a good choice.  We already have one portion of the house done in wood so we are hoping to tie in the new floor with the old and then have that portion refinished to match the new.  I plan to install the tongue and groove on my own but will probably hire a pro for the refinishing since that is something that can literally take years to master.  We will be sure to post update pics as we finish more projects.  Thanks for listening and letting me vent…. I needed that!

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Come along with me

I know that this may seem a bit strange to see a site pop up that incorporates self improvement with home improvement but I have found that improving my home has been very therapeutic in practice.  I think this to be the case for a couple reasons.  One…. I happen to be interested in construction and remodeling and secondly, fixing up my old home has given me something to engage with when I was having trouble with anxiety.  I find it much easier to concentrate on something that I find interesting rather than trying to use television shows or internet.  Working on my home gives me something physical to do that gets me off the couch and into doing mode.

I have dealt with anxiety for the last several years and despite all the different self help books I have read I was stuck with it for a long time.  Luckily that changed recently when I read a different type of anxiety book that took a non-traditional approach to living/dealing with anxiety.  My anxiety was different than a lot of people because it did not seem to include much in way of actual thoughts.  At least that is how it seemed for some time.  The most invasive symptom was this strange whoop in my stomach.  Very similar to the flip you experience in your stomach when going down a hill on a roller coaster although much less intense than that.  I realize now that this is just a physical reaction of certain hormones that my brain is releasing and that it doesn’t necessarily have to be perceived as a “bad” thing. I can choose to react with little concern and kind of shrug it off and continue on with my day.  An important part of this reaction though is to find something to engage with after you shrug it off and when you sit on a couch in a room by yourself this can become quite difficult.  Queue the home improvement!

Obviously, fixing up your house is not always a possible option for everyone.  There are many hurdles that one might face such as cost considerations, local and state permits and physical/skill restraints.  I am thankful that I am generally healthy and handy so for me it has been a great option to engage my brain.  Now that being said, there are a lot of things that I do not feel comfortable performing myself so throughout this process I do call on the professionals now and then. For my most recent project I decided that moving the main plumbing line was probably not the best idea so I called a local plumber to do the job.  I am also leery about doing electrical when it entails anything more than connecting the positive, negative and ground. 🙂 I have already done quite a few projects and I may make posts about previous projects in the future but for now I am planning to create blog posts documenting all of my current projects as they are being done.  Come along with me and engage in the home improvement path to self improvement!