The Garage Overhaul, Part 2: I’m Plastered

During the initial messy job of tidying up around the workbench, The Husband stated, with some amount of disdain, that he did not like working in the garage because it was smelly, dirty and had spiderwebs everywhere. I tried not to laugh because that was precisely one of the things I was trying to rectify. But you’ve got to deal with the situation in order to change the situation. You have to do some unpleasant things if you really want to reach the end goal. The garage ain’t gonna clean and beautify itself.

I am constantly thinking of how to lay things out as I go and making spreadsheet plans for some parts of the garage. I think this will be our biggest project of the year. It’s going to take a while.

This garage project proves more than ever that you have to make mess in order to deal with mess. While I mulled over how to build the tool wall I decided I should probably deal with some of the other mess. The plasterboard really needed to be installed on the walls as it was sitting in the middle of the garage, preventing us dealing with some of the other mess. There aren’t any good places to store plasterboard in a domestic garage. It’s just awkward. It also needed to get onto the walls so I could begin planning the chicken storage area. But to get the plasterboard on the walls I had to pull stuff away from the walls, making mess and narrow walkways.

I’d be quite happy if I never had to install plasterboard again. I think what I dislike about plasterboard is its delicate filling and propensity to get damaged when you put it down on the ground too hard or accidentally hit things with it, like a light bulb. That got damaged too. Plasterboard does not like to be manhandled. I miss timber. The Husband asked why we couldn’t line the walls in plywood and I replied that I would prefer to, but it would cost twice as much. Plus, you know, we already had plasterboard sitting in the middle of the garage, which I had acquired for an even cheaper price, so we might as well use what we had.

The first piece was a combined effort, which did not go very well, emotionally speaking. Also, we put it on facing the wrong way. Glued on, I might add. After that I did the plasterboard measuring, cutting and fixing myself. It was difficult to manoeuvre but I did what I had to do to get the job done. Thankfully, The Little Fulla turned out to be really helpful by helping to hold the pieces of plasterboard I was cutting, helping to hold the plasterboard against the wall, passing me tools and clamping the stack of plasterboard pieces that he thought weren’t standing safely enough. It turned out some of his motivation was to get video time afterwards, but he still kept coming back to help. And that was certainly better than the attitude I was getting before. He likes using tools and seeing how things work so it’s good doing a project that he can help with.

Plasterboard in the beginning. It was not a good start. I’m glad I started in the back corner. This is where I will be building a large wooden shelf for my chicken equipment.

The Little Fulla helped me to take down some pre-existing, patchy plasterboard from the wall behind the freezers that didn’t cover all the wall properly and was attached with various-sized nails, ranging from too small to hulking big, with a few fence staples thrown in for good measure. As I pulled the freezers out from the wall I found the mouse that I knew had been lurking behind them. The senior fur child, Nala, had been found in the garage on many dark evenings, sitting very straight and very quietly, staring at the freezers hoping to catch said mouse. I called her over and tried to show her where the mouse now was, but that seldom works with cats; they like to hunt their way. Later, when we were inside, Nala announced with her token loud meow that she had caught a mouse. Both Nala and Simba have caught a number of mice and rats lately.

We found the mouse’s nest behind the old plasterboard. The Little Fulla straight away stomped on the nest, which, fortunately, was not met by any baby mice shooting out, then swept it into a dust pan and took it away, almost before I could blink.

I was able to re-use two big pieces of plasterboard, which was rather helpful. After de-plasterboarding, sweeping and re-plasterboarding the whole freezer wall I vacuumed the back of the freezers before pushing them back. We have The Oracle, Leonard and then Kelvin, who is a fridge.

The plasterboarding behind the freezers is done.

The Husband, who was by now at least somewhat impressed with my effort, helped me lift the shelf unit that used to be on the tool wall up on top of the freezers. Then he announced that he didn’t want to get any poop in his cut (he cut his finger on his knife during lockdown, causing us an unexpected family trip to A&E and requiring four stitches) and then he promptly disappeared into the house. Never fear! Once the shelf was up and sitting on top of the freezers, I just had to find the right-sized pieces of timber to use as shims to boost the shelf up level with the top of the wall. I had to wait until we could acquire more long screws to attach it into the wall, but it’s done now. While I was up on the ladder I wondered why the roof was suddenly dripping on my arm and then on my pants. Then I realised that the water had come from the direction of the doorway via a small boy with a water gun and a big smile on his face. There’s never a dull moment with that dude around. Lately, he’s taken to giving me frights, which, I have to say, he learnt from me.

How to hold up a big heavy thing by yourself – use shims to prop it up to the right height.
The shelf that used to be on the tool-wall-to-be fits just nicely right here. I don’t know exactly what it will end up holding, but the egg cartons fit in it nicely.

I put the last piece of plasterboard on the back wall. I’ll need two more pieces (or one and a half) to get the walls fully lined, but for now, I have done the plasterboarding! It is nice to have a bit more space in the middle of the garage. And the garage smells and looks cleaner already.

There’s just a little bit of wall left to be plasterboarded: behind the tall cabinet, under the window and on the right side wall. My current back wall plan is to get rid of the cabinets and build a timber storage shelf along there.


The next thing that will probably be done is making a shelf to hold two chicken cages that will go above the big cage at the front of the garage. This will focus the chicken hospital/broody centre in one place and allow me to get stuck into dealing with the things in the middle of the garage by getting the small cages out of the way. Bit by bit we go.

Things have never been so clean along this wall. I want to make a shelf/platform above the big cage to hold two smaller cages.

What do you think?

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