It was a perfectly good workshop garage. But it wasn’t. Walking the century-old concrete floor felt like hiking a boulder field at the toe of an Alaskan glacier. Quarter-inch thick drywall (gift from previous owners) was falling off the walls from water damage due to a formerly leaky roof. A full workshop electrical system with only two circuit breakers elicited a buzzing sound reminiscent of PSD tinnitus. In winter, the heater ran constantly due to cracks in the doors large enough for a small cat to squeeze through. Hello kitty!
If it wasn’t for needing to put my office out there, I’d have left it. Like many a homeowner construction project, this one has gone on longer — with all manner of unplanned delays — than I ever thought possible. Family medical issues, jury duty, rain… all conspired to something like 1863 and I’m running around Gettysburg trying to survive. Tubes of electrical conduit make good rollers under your feet; especially exciting when a table saw blade is whirring a meter away. Yesterday, doing electrical work, I got zapped not once but twice. Battle? Who says?
In any case, it’s all coming together. Over past few days Lisa donned her painter hat, fired up the airless sprayer, and gave the antique building a new coat. I’ve begun joking about how many trades I can do in the space of just a few weeks. Electrician is the current hat, but do I qualify if I got shocked?
Overall, I’m glad we embarked on this. We’ve laughed and we’ve cried and the desk is getting installed out there in just a few days. Tomorrow, I might even build a ski rack.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.