as some of you may know, we’ve been slowly going through the process of building a new garage and loft above it in our backyard. this is the view that will be from the front of the loft.

when we bought our home a few years ago, we got it with the intention of adding a guest house above the garage in the back someday. the existing garage was tiny and unstable, so this had to be torn down. because the well has run dry for us after building our house, my parents’ have decided to build the garage and loft so that they had a place of their own when they came to visit, and we’ll have more space for our guests when my parents aren’t there. this process has taken some time, so far mostly dealing with city building permit stuff and architects and structural engineers. but after many changes, a plan was settled on and approved.

next came the tear down of the existing garage,

and clearing out the area around it that i’d come to refer to as “the dump”. really, it had old paint cans piled up, a toilet, a keg from the previous tenants, leftover construction materials, landscaping stones… all covered in a very thick layer of morning glories. so at least our junk looked a little pretty.

ok, not really. even morning glories can’t make a potty in your backyard look good. so it all had to go. other than a couple hours here and there that sean and i put in, my parents have done all the work themselves to this point. they built the home i grew up in, so they know what they’re doing. after the old garage was gone, the crew came in to dig down a foot or so,

then build some new walls

and pour the new slab and pad in front of the garage. its been so nice to have the big expanse of concrete for the kids to ride their bikes and skateboards on.

there’s a little slope between our back patio and the new pad in front of the garage. it turns out that its the best place to ride the skateboard!

this week my parent’s have been back again (because nothing gets done around here without them!), and folks, we have a structure!

the bottom level, the garage, was framed in only a couple days, then the floor was built,

the deck framed, and now the walls of the upstairs, the loft, have been built (no pics of that, more to come soon). i love framing, but it can be so deceiving. it goes so so quickly and it seems like the project is really moving, then it comes to a near halt as the next handful of steps are so slow. so patience will be a requirement soon on my part, especially since we have no deadline to have this project done.

so there’s a little glimpse into one of the many things that has kept me from being a regular blogger. but, oh, there is so much more….



  1. 1

    That is so awesome and so exciting! I can’t wait to see the finished product. How fun!

  2. 2

    I love watching the transformation! Amazing! And it’s so nice of them to build me a place to stay when I came up :) XOXO

  3. 3
    Cathi Hamen says:

    YEAH! congratulations it will look soo nice when all done! parents are the BEST!

  4. 4

    wow, they sure got a lot done this week! but i’m not surprised.

  5. 5

    so exciting! and i didn’t even ask how it’s going. shame on me. i guess we’ll have plenty of time to catch up this weekend!

  6. 6

    Wow, that is a big project. It’s true about the framing process being so deceiving. But I think your awesome parents have 3 little motivators for making their own deadlines.

    You have a great space there. Your house, its neighborhood, the view, the floor plan, your decorating – C’est Magnifique!

  7. 7

    that looks awesome. it is hard to see the walls go up so fast and then wait for all the inside stuff that takes such a long time.

    can’t wait to see more pictures.

  8. 8

    We are staying in a pirate room ( I know you’ve cautioned against those but my 5 year old son LOVES pirates.) we are checking in May 1st. I was pretty specific when asking if there would be construction and the cast member assured me that the construction would be at the neighboring Riviera but not at Carribbean. I got the email a few weeks ago and called again and was told, “you know the construction at Caribbean is done, right?” From looking at the pictures- it seems like that is not the case. And of course, there’s nothing in moderates open for our dates at this point.

  9. 9

    Great collection of ideas!! Wish I had this when I was planning Ethan’s party. Thanks for featuring the wrecking ball crane! It was a BLAST to use.

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