My brother Jeremy has always been a tinkerer. He married a lovely girl, Allison, who fully supports his desire to build, modify, and design things, and who's taste and style compliments him almost perfectly. You've never seen a couple so impeccably matched. Jeremy and allison bought a little fixxer-upper house just before they got married, and started to work on it. Over the past 6 or 7 years, they've turned a completely rough-around-the-edges house and knock-down-destined garage into masterpieces, and haven't gone into debt doing it. Buying a cheap house, and using your time, skills, and imagination might be a good idea for some of our readers.....read on for inspiration, and check out our late-night walk through video.
Lots of people simply deal with the house they can afford, and maybe paint the walls and hang a few pictures. Jeremy and Allison Jabaay think about a project for a while, then knock the entire thing over and start over....or at least take a bunch of walls down.
A house should be able to fit the lifestyle of the owners, and be functional. Jeremy likes to play with cars, build cool projects, and sit by a fireplace and have a beer with buddies. Allison has a hobby-job after hours of cutting and selling custom vinyl on Etsy, so she needed some space for that, and also plays with cars a bit. Her style is reflected in many aspects of the garage, as she had a vision of how it all should look. Allison chose many of the detail pieces, and I love her taste and choices. Jeremy does a lot of the back end work, but Allison plays a huge role in much of the overall outcome of their projects, whether it be the garage itself, of a table inside of it. They've always got a project going on, and I assume it will always be that way.
Jeremy designed this garage completely himself on CAD, and had a racer friend who is an architect approve and stamp the plans, so the village would give him a building permit. Because the Buildings and Structures on the property would be taking up such a large percentage of the land, the village asked, for drainage purposes, that he have a permeable driveway (such as stone). Jeremy and Allison then were sent down another road, before even getting into the fun part of building a garage, and had to decide what do about this problem. Permeable paver stones were decided on, and after the garage was built, they redid the driveway, completely themselves.
You might ask how two young people paid for this project. Are they rich? Did they win the lottery? Rob a bank? Did they land high power corporate jobs?
Nope. None of those.
Hard work, careful planning, and frugal living are the keys to a project like this for the Jabaays. They paid for this project as they went, since they kept their bills low by driving old cars, not living above their means, and doing almost everything themselves or with the help of friends or family. Jeremy works 4 days a week at his real job, which does leave him time to spend on large projects , but it doesn't change the fact that he and Allison built this with their own two hands, and thought it up completely themselves.
The house itself recieved a lot of attention after the garage was mostly complete. the roof was originally framed with 2x4's, and poorly done, in 1912, and Jeremy and Allison decided to have a party in the attic, during which all attendees cut the roof off and threw it into a dumpster. a new, taller roof, with the pitch matching the garage, was framed, along with a new porch/front room overtop a poured concrete foundation (note the slightly different colors in the foundation in this above pic). Future plans call for dormers on the large sides of the house roof , and living space to be added upstairs.