Can We Build It? God only knows…

Posted: April 1, 2012 in DIY, family, humor, Life, Relationships
Tags: , , , , , , ,

He saw us coming from a mile away. We weren’t the only ones wandering through the home improvement store that morning with hand-scrawled building plans and a valid credit card but when the guy in the blue vest standing behind the counter saw the determination on my husband’s face, he knew he had a live one.

This building project we’re considering is my husband’s vision. My job is to find a way to make it happen. His job is to explain it in such a way that we can get a quote to take to the bank so I can do my job. The home improvement merry-go-round at the Thompson house never stops, and this year the painted pony we’re chasing is a new garage to replace the single stall version we have now.

A garage was the big selling point when we first bought our house. “We can put your car in it in the winter. No more scraping windows!” Hubby said enthusiastically.

I stupidly swallowed the bait. In 16 years, my car has spent less than 60 days in our garage, which has been taken up with motorcycles, snowblower, lawnmower, off-season patio furniture, tool boxes, coolers, a wall-length workbench (which doubles as a doghouse), three cabinets that Hubby is going to “do something with”, a small propane furnace that threatens to suffocate us every time we turn it on, and a rusty refrigerator that a friend brought over after HIS wife told HIM to get it out of THEIR garage. It lived in ours for several years as a beer cooler and liquor cabinet until it developed a suspicious fuzz problem and had to be put down. We need a new garage.

I have yet to meet a married couple who are on the same page when it comes to building projects. Oh, you may think you are but not only are you not on the same page, you’re not even reading the same book. The “vision”, as it was explained to me, was for a simple two-stall garage with a little extra room for a workshop. The “vision”, as it was explained to Mr. Blue Vest, was a little bit different.

“How big are we going here?” he asked. Hubby gave him the dimensions which turned out to be roughly the same size as our house, minus two feet on one end. What? We need three windows and a steel entry door, he continued, and one garage door that’s 10 feet wide and one that’s 9 feet wide. Huh? Sheetrock, electrical for a 220 hook-up, overhead lighting, lumber for a workbench, an air conditioning unit, oh, and a heated floor. Now, wait a minute, I said. Heated floor? That’s a carrot that was dangled in our home improvement discussions before when the basement bathroom was installed. I lost that battle. Our current floor heating system down there is a 50-year-old pyromaniac space heater that habitually toasts bathrobes and carelessly tossed pairs of underwear. But the garage was getting a heated floor?

At that point, I stomped off, and went to the only part of the store with things hanging from the ceiling I could swat at in frustration: the lighting department. If you find yourself stressed in a DIY store and you decide to go this route, swing at the plain white light fixtures. If you accidentally break one, they’re cheaper.

Hubby eventually wandered over, quote in hand. Dodging the swinging pendant lights, he waved the sheaf of papers at me and said, “Holy crap, the garage I want could be kind of expensive.”

I sent a Mission-style chandelier swinging with one poke. “Yep.”

“We probably don’t need some of this stuff, huh?”


He scrutinized the figures, crossed out some options, and did some quick math. Folding the quote in half, Hubby surreptitiously slid the paper across the shelf to me.

“How’s that figure look to you?”

I curled back the corner of the page to see the number circled on the bottom. “I think I can make that work. Let me talk to my people.”

“You folks have a nice day!” The blue-vested minions called as we walked out to the parking lot. My husband waved and said, “See you soon!” I just kept walking.

The visit wasn‘t all stressful. Here’s a little item I found on my trek through the store I thought you might find interesting:

I asked a passing clerk where I could find them just to see if I could get her to say, “Stalkers in aisle 7.” But she wouldn’t play. Poop.

  1. Hahahahahaa! Oh, Kelly, I do love the smell of a DIY store in the morning. It smells like…potential.

    Sadly, by the afternoon, I smell something distinctly different. But that’s another story–

    Good luck with the garage, and thanks for stopping by at my place.

  2. “How big are we gonna go here?”

    I almost miss my dear dumb ex husband reading this post. But, yes good luck to you. 😉

  3. […] When we cleaned it out to move it to make way for the Shangri-la that will be our new garage (“Can We Build It? God only knows”), it was obvious that not everything was going to make the “we’re keeping this” […]

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