My quest to feature garages belonging to other enthusiasts takes me to Saskatoon, SK. Shaun Gullacher and I have been garage buddies for a few years. We became acquainted through the Obsessed Garage Facebook group page and have been communicating our fascinations with garages and detailing through texts and Instagram messages ever since. We had the opportunity to meet up this past summer when his family was in town. We took the kids to a play centre, dropped in on Chris at Carzilla, downed some burgers, and hung out in the RAD environment for a few magical hours. Since the summer, Shaun and his wife have begun construction of their dream home complete with the most epic of garages. The project is in full swing and I thought it would be fun to ask Shaun some questions about his project. Before I share his responses, here are the vitals:
What is the primary focus for your dream garage project?
Primarily, the garage will be used for keeping my two vehicles clean as well as accommodating my side detailing business. I will also use the space for minor vehicle maintenance (oil changes/etc.). The focus of the garage is to have a large enough space to comfortably park two vehicles year round and have enough room to move around the vehicles while they are in the garage. Getting kids in and out of the vehicles daily with out having to worry about doors opening and hitting the other vehicle or other items in the garage. Having the space to be able to unload those big grocery hauls from Costco on cold January nights in the comfort of a heated garage with the doors down.
I can certainly appreciate Shaun's desire to make his garage a warm and inviting space given the Canadian prairie winters we experience. I can also appreciate how handy it will be for him and his family to unload those sizable Costco hauls. We Canadians need to stock up on supplies to make it through the long cold winters!
What has been the most rewarding step in this process?
The whole process is really rewarding to me. Being able to see your dream garage being built and watching it advance through every step is pretty special. You are witnessing your dream come to a reality in slow motion. Almost makes it sweeter because you can truly soak it all up at each stage. It is like a kid walking into a candy store. They can't fully digest it all at once so much of the greatness is overlooked. It is like handing a kid a store full of candy one handful at a time. This all being said, stepping into your garage for the first time once it is framed and actually being able to physically feel the space is probably one of the biggest highlights in the process for me.
Shaun eloquently communicates the feelings I had when my home/garage was being constructed. I'm glad I was patient with the process and took the time to savor the experience.
What have some of the challenges been?
With having a custom home builder the biggest challenge I have had is getting them to understand the importance I put on my garage. It is fairly common that the finishing standards in a garage are not the same as the actual living space of the house. From the very first time I talked with the builder I made it very clear that I wanted the finishes in my garage to be of the same quality as the rest of the house. I have had to continue to remind them of that throughout the whole process. Just making them understand that I care about all the fine details of my garage just as much if not more as the rest of the house is very hard to get across to them. People just don't get it. The builder spends a lot of time in the house with us ensuring they are getting things right in that area. At every stage I have to request we go out into the garage to discuss things out there. It's like they almost forget about the garage. It is as though it is usually just an after thought for most people where they store all their junk. Why waste a bunch of time on it? Nobody cares that much about their garage.
I know how detail oriented Shaun is, so I completely understand how these frustrations materialize on a regular basis. I also know that Shaun isn't the type of guy to let those frustrations get in the way of him realizing his vision. I anticipate the garage will be finished to his high standards come hell or high water.
What wisdom have you acquired throughout this process that would be helpful to someone wanting to build their own dream garage?
Don't be in a rush. Think everything through (the initial effort will be worth it in the end). Take your time. In your initial planning always plan for the future. Think about things that you might want to do in your garage down the road and make sure you have everything is place to make that happen. ie: Extra bracing in the wall for hanging heavy objects, electrical/plumbing rough-ins in place for additional lighting etc. This is the 3rd new home build that the wife and I have done and i still don't think I will get it completely perfect. I will always overlook something but the idea is to limit it to as little things as possible. Some things can be done after the fact but then again some things just can't. I have spent countless hours thinking about all aspects of this garage and what I want the finished product to look like. In order to have all your rough-ins (electrical/plumbing) in the proper places you need to have a solid plan for the garage prior to the shovels in the ground.
From what I have witnessed throughout this build process, I can honestly say that Shaun has taken his time and considered each and every detail of his garage. While it is true that there will always be a detail that sneaks by, I will also say it is true that this garage, when finished, will be one of the most thoughtfully planned and expertly executed garages imaginable. I am sure Shaun will continue to share this project with others as it nears completion and I am hopeful he will share the detailing work he will complete once it is in full operation. To follow Shaun's progress, I suggest checking out his Instagram. He has a decent amount of progress pics on there with many more to come in the near future.
Here is a gallery of images taken from the onset of the project. You will see the garage floor plan along with a number of shots of the concrete work. Once framed, you will see a trench system has been incorporated into the pad which will undoubtedly help with water management. Schematics for his garage cabinets are also included and they look spectacular. Thanks to Shaun for agreeing to share his garage story with me and I look forward to posting more of his project once it is complete.