Since we moved into our new (to us) home in September, we’ve been in serious need of some additional storage for some of our everyday items. Other more pressing projects took precedence, but I knew from the start that I wanted to create a really great storage space in our garage entry to our house. And as Jon’s to-do list (and work schedule) got more intense, I realized that if it was going to happen, I needed to make it happen.
I’m not a total stranger to power tools. I spent time in the theatre set shop in college, and when Jon and I got married, I think I had more experience with tools than he did. I built a storage bench for our first home with my dad, and then Jon and I built our dining table together a few years back. But I was definitely feeling rusty. And had definitely never built anything on the same scale as the mudroom I was dreaming of.
There were several tricky issues to work around. For one, the garage floor isn’t level, so I had to build a base that would be a level foundation for the storage bench. Also, I was trying to utilize the space behind the stairs that lead into our home, which influenced the style of bench I ended up building. I started by taking lots of measurements, and then sketching it all out to scale on graph paper.
I had used a pocket hole jig on our table project, so a quick refresher was all I needed to figure out how to join my boards at right angles. I had the staff at the hardware store make the longest cuts for me when I purchased my plywood (I used 1/2″ pre-sanded plywood for this project) and then made the smaller cuts at home. It was incredibly empowering to take on this project start to finish by myself! Jon did help minimally when it was a two person job, but I really owned this one, and I loved it!
My timeline was about two weeks not including the prep work of demolishing the existing shelving, painting the garage, and building the base. I prefer to work quickly, and have a tendency to lose steam if I don’t get through a project pretty fast, so this definitely took a high priority, and other things in my life were put on hold (like, you know, making dinner for my family and doing laundry).
The cost breakdown for the project is below, but I imagine similar projects vary quite a bit depending on the price of wood where you live. (Also, I have heard that wood prices have recently gone up significantly.)
Overall, I’m really happy with it coming in under $500. We recently got a bid for a similarly sized built-in cabinet area that was over $4,000, and that from a company known for great rates.
I learned a lot doing this project, but mostly learned that I can figure things out! It was fun to be fearless in tackling a different sort of project than I’m used to, and I have to say, I think I’m hooked! I definitely see more woodworking projects in my future!