1957 Chevrolet Sport Cruiser Renovation

Getting ready for the teardown...

First things first...

When starting a project like this, there's nothing worse than having to hunt for a tool.  Cleaning up my garage was certainly a top priority for me, but even before I considered where to put my tools, I had to figure out where to put my limo.  If you read The Donor page, you saw that I put together a temporary extension on my garage so that I'd have enough room to tear apart the Caprice.  Well, the limo is a whopping 23 feet and my 10 foot extension would barely cut it.  It was time to take the formal plunge into construction mode so that I'd have a better chance of getting the limo done right.

A quick search through recommended contractors and I found one who understood my requirements and could make up the details as we went along.  The first step consisted of me deciding how much of an extension I could have.  Now, I don't live in a newer neighborhood so I don't have CC&R issues, but I still have the city permitting process to deal with.  There were two items in particular that were potential issues with doing my garage extension - setbacks and footprint.  Our setbacks are 20 feet from the front (which is vaguely defined) and 5 on the side.  No problem with the side since we're just extending the existing side forward, but that front setback was an issue.  I was hoping to add about 15 feet total to the garage and had to settle for 12 1/2.  Not too bad and this still gives me just about a 33 foot garage or 10 feet more than the limo.  That should be plenty of room to do the damage I need.

Garage before the extension (notice the driveway has been ripped out already)

My contractor and I got some plans together and after several revisions and ultimately getting engineering diagrams (which required us to switch to a truss system) we had approved permits in hand.  At this point, things started to go a bit quicker.  The next day, a worker came out and started cutting out the driveway in the place where the new addition would go.  A couple days later, the footings were poured and we passed inspections as appropriate before beginning the framing.  All framing, trusses and walls were put in place over the course of a week.

Coming along nicely! 

Perhaps the longest step was putting on the new roof.  I can understand that this is not an easy thing to do, and in this case, we had a couple interesting hips that needed to be altered so that we avoid water issues come the rainy season (we live in the great Northwest after all!). 

Just slap some siding on and move the door!

The rest of the construction really took very little time.  And the best thing about all of it (besides getting a bigger garage) was that it forced us to repaint the house!  The previous color was just awful and I'm so glad it's finally changed (sorry, no pictures yet).  It seemed only appropriate that our new color is called "Gentle Rain" (again, a Seattle reference).

On to the fun part!  The weekend after they finished construction, I had another party.  This time it was a garage warming/limo teardown party...

Have a question or comment about my limo renovation?  Please e-mail me at timsell@msn.com