Updated: Apr 21, 2020

Time to get down to business. We moved to the new place immediately following the final VRRA race round of 2019 and the rig rolled directly off the trailer and into the new shop.

My impression was that the centre post was there just to support the header for the mezzanine floor. I took a quick trip to the attic to check the rafter construction. There was no access door so I had to figure out the best spot and cut one out. Once I got there I found that the rafters were good heavy-duty trusses and entirely self-supporting. The hated and badly-placed post could go!

However, I also discovered that, although the ceiling had insulation as advertised, it was not adequate depth and there were even some bare spots. Not a great surprise but I mentally added it to my list of projects for another day.

The next step was to turn off the electrical breakers and remove the switches, wiring and lights from the mezzanine area. (The wiring was a bit of a mash-up in the whole shop - more about that later). After that, it was pure demolition and for about two hours you didn’t want to be anywhere near the place. I made short work of it. Everybody needs a bit of demolition in their lives once in a while.

I salvaged a lot of the sheathing and lumber and stored it out back for future projects. I also got too involved in what I was doing and forgot to take enough pictures. This is the best one I have showing the mezzanine down and the ceiling exposed.

The next item was to install a pre-painted 5’ high steel liner on the wall all around the perimeter. The finished walls are tongue and groove pine which looks nice but isn’t very fire retardant. The steel liner will be easy to clean and maintains a bright and neat look. This had to be completed before the electrical renovations or the door installation could be started.

The top of the steel gets a J cap to finish it off nicely and eliminates exposure to the sharp edge. The bottom just butts onto the concrete floor. I have plans to seal it off later. That may be incorporated into an application of a self-levelling concrete product but that is a few projects down the road.

After the liner was finished, I also put the same product on the south slope of the ceiling. It had not been finished in pine like the north slope because it was previously the mezzanine storage area. So now one side is pine and the other side is white steel. I have plans to paint over the pine so at least it will all be the same colour.

The total cost of steel was approximately $1100.


The original 60” double walk through doors at the entrance were large enough to get the sidecar through but there was no way to get a full-sized vehicle in. I’ve always maintained that garages are for bikes since a car has a roof, windows that wind up and so forth. No reason for them to be inside taking up space where bikes should be. However, once in a while it’s handy to have a warm spot and a concrete floor for changing the oil or whatever. So a proper garage door was pretty high on my list of priorities and it was probably only 2 days after moving in that I thought I should get one ordered. Since I was new to the area I had no idea where to start looking. The only person we knew at the time was Richard, our real estate agent, so I asked if he could recommend a supplier.

He said, “Oh, just get Yves to do it."

“Ok,” I said. “Who and where is Yves?"

Richard pointed across our back yard, “He's right over there.”

I turned around and sure enough, Glengarry Windows and Doors back right on to our new property. That seemed like a no-brainer so I walked over to introduce myself to Yves Gauthier. Yves is a great guy, a new friend and is a wealth of information for all things local. And it turns out he also sponsors my other neighbour who is a stock car racer so we had things in common to talk about right away.

He came over within the hour, measured up our space and we got the door ordered.

I wanted a door that was 9’ wide and 8’ high because that seemed to fit the available space and still give adequate clearance for a vehicle and also the Razorback Racing cargo trailer. I also wanted to keep the door track sloped up on the same angle as the ceiling and Yves said he could accommodate that.

Step one was to cut the opening. I’m no expert in this area but luckily I know people who are. My good friend, Dan, showed me how to first support the area behind the opening with a temporary laminate wood beam running horizontally and then support it with telescopic posts. Once that was complete I roughed it in and the following weekend Yves came with his son-in-law, Kelby, and did the installation.

They are skilled and experienced and the door was installed quickly and correctly. It’s a quality Garaga unit with 2 rows of windows and an R-16 insulating value. It looks good, has a maintenance-free finish and should last for many years to come.

The door track was installed on the same slope as the ceiling to maintain the maximum headroom. I opted for the better quality opener that Yves recommended. It’s very quiet and has no exposed chains or belts to maintain. It also has a battery backup in case of power failure. After using it now for a few months I would say that it was well worth the extra. As my wife often says, “When you buy quality, it only hurts once."

The end product looks great and functions very well. I still need to finish the flashing and siding around the exterior but that is on the job list in the next couple of weeks.

Total cost for the door project, including the temporary jack posts and framing lumber, was approximately $3100.

Next on the list and part 3 – The Horror of a DIY Electrician Gone Wild!!!

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