The light at the end of the carport

You know how I keep saying that we’re STILL working on the carport turned garage? I’m a veritable broken record these days. Well, I’m happy to report that some unseasonably cool July weather and the three day holiday weekend gave us the last push we needed to get this thing done!

Let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane. We employed a contractor to do some heavy projects around the firehouse before we moved in, including laying a bunch of concrete (hello super huge patio) and building a carport. Our intent was to turn this into a garage. Last spring things were looking a little bare…

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We installed five tons (literally) of steel last summer, which gave us most of a fence but still zero privacy. Nothing says “home sweet home” like chaining up your barbecue grill…

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After we installed the section of ipe fence, Aaron turned his attention to framing the walls of the garage. This included building two doors (one on the east side of the building and one between the garage and firehouse.)

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The only major regret we have so far with this entire renovation is that we told the contractor we wanted ” a standard sized garage.” We should have gone for an extra deep garage to allow for some storage. In lieu of that, we planned to install a shed to house a few things we don’t want to keep storing inside, like our lawn mower. Thanks to the addition of the garage doors, we changed the plan slightly and decided to add more storage to the garage itself. Aaron framed a bump out that fits the bill perfectly.

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It’s a bit more apparent from this aerial view.

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In all the framing only took around 2 weeks thanks to some mild spring weather. What took FOR EV ER was adding the ipe. We used the same method as we did to build the ipe fence, but there was a just a lot more: more square footage, more biscuits to cut, more measurements (around both boors) and a lot of odd cuts thanks to the sloped roof and uneven base.

The rainy spring weather that quickly morphed into muggy summer didn’t help either. Little by little, Aaron chipped away at what had become a monstrous, tedious project. Just shy of 3 months after the start of the project, he added the last one.

That still left us a few tasks before we could official call this thing “done.”

For one, the boards on the east side (which went up first and get a lot of sun) were looking a little light. Un-oiled ipe will turn a silver color and this side was well on it’s way.

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We knew this would happen, but we had read that power washing would bring the wood’s deep color back. So we gave the whole garage a bath (which is a good practice anyways) before oiling it.

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Then we coated the exterior in ipe oil. We split this task, each taking a turn with the roller to cover large sections then following up with a small brush to get in between the boards. It sounds really tedious, but it’s much faster and easier than staining or painting. It is, however, very messy.

Here’s how it looks going on. You can instantly tell a difference. It’s very rewarding… and very messy. Just plan to be coated in oil.

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Here’s how the wood on the east side looked.

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Here’s a look at another section:

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Power washing brought back a lot of the color on the east side. If we did it over again, I would have taken the time to oil that side before it sat in the sun.

The only thing left was add two sections of roof to the carport garage, which we special ordered from Home Depot after some exhaustive research to try and match what was already installed.

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Whew! We’re so glad to be done. Come back tomorrow for some radical before/after shots.

11 comments

  1. Ann

    It absolutely looks worth all the effort. Here’s to more unseasonably cool weather for any remaining outdoor projects!

  2. Megan

    That just looks so. damn. cool. You’ll have the prettiest patio ever, with that gorgeous ipe wall setting off cool furniture and plants šŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: Ipe-wrapped garage |

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