I have a recently constructed 2 story garage. The second floor has several windows, 4 ft. knee walls, and a sloping ceiling. I origninally intended to finish the entire second floor to make it into a more useable space, but....it has become a catch-all storage space for stuff we don't want to throw away. Mostly things left here when my kids (and some of their friends) graduated from college and move out of their apartments.
I have wanted to use one end of the second story for a room where I could go and do what I want, nap, smoke cigars, play guitars, or just sit quietly and think.
For a different perspective of this project see:
Step 1: Getting Started
Last Christmas my boys were home and spent a few late nights insulating most of the second story as a surprise Christmas gift for me. I helped the finish the floor insulation in the cave area then thought about the next steps.
1. think and plan
2. ceiling insulation, wall off the cave end of the second story and insulate the wall
3. ceiling panels
4. dry wall
7. ceiling, floor, window and door trim
8. install door
Step 2: Ceiling Insulation and End Wall
Building the end wall was a little trick because of the sloped roof, and my construction abilities. I framed a door opening with doubled 2x4. The opening was sized for an old set of interior French doors that were purchased at a garage sale about 15 years ago for $10.
I insulated the ceiling with Kraft faced R30 fiberglass batts. I used rolls of R13 for the end wall.
Step 3: Ceiling Panels
I wanted a rustic feel and didn’t want to wrestle with drywall to get it stuck to the ceiling. I used tongue and groove pine “car-siding”, which is sort of a knotty pine. Before installing I had to disconnect the existing flourescent light fixture. It was remounted and connect after the ceiling panels were installed.
Each piece of car siding was 8 inches wide and 10 feet long, with a dummy groove down the center to make the eight inch panels look like two 4 inch panels. The ceiling has three sections due to the shape of the roof trusses, it has two sloping side ceilings and a flat center ceiling had to take care starting the first piece so that the last piece in the section did not end up too far off. Where the sections met was a small gap where the angle of the ceiling changes, I covered it with a homemade trim piece in which I routed a v-channel down the center. The ceiling was left unstained and unfinished. It has a light pine aroma.
Step 4: Drywall
Since this room is on the second story that meant I had to carry the drywall sheets up a fairly long flight of stairs. This prompted me to use the lighter 3/8” drywall, which I know is not preferred by most drywall experts, but improvisation and modification helped me here. I am not an expert and I am not good at finishing. I tried to use liberal amounts of mud (leftover, donated by my neighbor) on the joints, but still in the end the seams were visible if you looked for them. It’s my cave, my character.
Step 5: Painting
After sanding came painting. I decided on a shade of green to go along with the rustic wood décor. To the Dutch Boy Duraclean paint I added a Zinsser Rol-a-Tex fine sand texture to help cover up the drywall finishing deficiencies. Most of the pain was appied with a ¾ roller and touched up here and there with a brush. I think it worked fairly well.
picked through piles at the big box stores until I found useable board. For the floor trim I uses some left over ½” osb, stained, and with unstained scrap wood trim pieces top and bottom. Much of the trim required angles to be cut and even with a compound miter power saw I was off a little. I covered the crappy joinery at the ceiling with little wood stalactite looking thingys.
Step 6: Flooring
AFTER PAINTING ---
I found a clearance sale at Lumber liquidators on Caramel
Maple Laminate Flooring for $0.49/sq. ft. Never having installed laminate flooring before, I found it more difficult than I thought. I first install a thin cheap foam underlayment and taped the seams with duct tape. I began laying the rows of laminate flooring and tried to rig a tool to tap the short joints together once the long joints were mated to the adjacent row. Didn’t work to well. I found that joining all the pieces used for a whole row first and taping them to together in a more convenient area worked best. I then could tap the long joints together with a piece of scrap 1x4. After a 3 – 6 hours spread over several days the flooring was done.
Step 7: Trim
I opted to use rough sawn pine for the window and door trim, and 1X6 standard grade pine boards for the ceiling trim. I also used a lot of salvaged pine, which explains the many different hues. I stained the window and ceiling trim with a mixture of left over Min-Wax stain and the door trip with a different mixture of left overs. The rough sawn pine and standard grade pine is hard to find in a flat, straight, non-warped board. I picked through piles at the big box stores until I found useable board. For the floor trim I uses some left over ½” osb, stained, and with unstained scrap wood trim pieces top and bottom. Much of the trim required angles to be cut and even with a compound miter power saw I was off a little. I covered the crappy joinery at the ceiling with little wood stalactite looking thingys.
Step 8: Storage
Behind the knee walls was some unused space so I turned some of it into cabinet space. The doors are from old cedar paneling that came out of our living room when we did some remodeling. I painted them with the un-textured Dutch Boy paint. The hinges I found in a big coffee can full of junk on my workbench. The latch is simply a piece of cedar screwed into a spacer between the doors.
Step 9: Furnishings
An old leather chair, an old cloth upholstered chair, an oldcouch, an old coffee table, all of which were in the junk pile I moved to make room for the cave, my Grandmothers 1940 era painting of hunting dogs, European style Whitetail antler mounts, my hand made guitars, my Epiphone electric guitar and amp, a horse hair blanket and a pillow for naps.
Things to add???
Flintlock rifle to hang on the wall
electric space heater
widow fan or small air conditioner
Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2017