The Garage: A multi-use room

The Garage

So like most people my garage is in a constant state of chaos. It is pulled between a place to keep stuff, a workshop, and storing a car. So a bit of background. We have an 1.5 car garage that is about 60 years old. It has the foot print of  a two care garage though with one of those weird garage porch things on the side.  It has been reinforced to keep it from falling apart and the door needs replacing. If I could afford it I would raze the garage and build a new one. It is that bad.

Some of the problem stems from the fact that the garage was designed to hold a car and I want to do more. I want it to be my wood and metal shops, bike storage, canoe storage, garden shed, and hold a car.

Trying to fit it all in is an adventure. There was a time when we could fit a car in with 4 canoes. The canoes (most of them at least) have moved to a rack on the back of the garage, so there is only one inside now. Hopefully the 5 will become 4 and they can all go outside. We recently remodeled the basement and almost all of my tools have moved to the garage. Additionally it has all the other garage stuff like garden tools, lawnmower, oil, windshield washer fluid.

Since it is such a big task, and still a work in progress, I am going to do a multi-post and break each section down. Look for them to come soon.

This article is one in a series of articles entitled: The Garage. To see all the parts so far CLICK HERE.

Man Gas is Expensive

So we are up something like a buck thirty per gallon  from this time last year. The commute to my new job has knocked a few MPG off what I used to get. In the Vibe I used to do 33-34 most of the time, but I have been getting more like 30. This is the worst I have consistently gotten. With gas prices crazy high I have been doing some mild hypermiling and cutting my expressway speed down to 60 or 65. At my fill up this morning I calculated 33.6mpg for the tank. Not too bad. Continue reading

A better Yakima fit tool

If you have bikes, boats, skis, or a bunch of cargo a roof rack is often the best way to carry it. The problem is that it can be confusing. Depending on your car you have to figure out what hardware you need and if you can even put a rack on your car.

Yakima has a cool iterative fit guide, but it is flash based and really aimed at selling the things that attach to the rack on the car you already have. I like to use the Dealer Fit Tool. It is much quicker than the regular guide and gives you all the measurements and even pictures for most cars. It also allows you to see options for older Yakima hardware, and can tell you what you can carry.

Most cars only have minor changes most years and big updates every few years. The Dealer tool groups the years so you can help narrow down options. For example: the Chevy Malibu 1997-2004 only has 25″ between the bars, which isn’t enough (in my opinion)  for a canoe.  However, the 2004-2007 and the 2008-2011 models both have 32″ between the bars, so they could work. It can also tell you quickly that the 2008-2011 models are rated for 25 more pounds than previous models so my be better if you want to carry two canoes.