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We Finally Got us a Garaj Mahal

Room to breathe.

That's all Sarah and I wanted when we bought our starter home in December of 2007. This was three years after we got married and struggled through efficiency apartments, tiny rental houses, and duplexes.

When we first moved to central Illinois, we happily rented a nice 2-bedroom on the north side of town on a quiet dead-end street. We had a huge living room, a full basement, and a decent 1-bay garage but we always had someone right on top of us and zero room for automotive projects. Neighbors are fantastic until you hear them dancing at 6 A.M. on a Sunday, or you smell their fish frying... or they trip over your floor jack in the driveway while you're under a car changing oil.

We later bought a nice little Cape Cod fixer-upper and did the American Dream thing. (Sweat equity is overrated, by the way.) After a lot of help from our loving families, a few hundred trips to the home improvement store, and a decade of projects... we turned our Cape Cod into a lovely…

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