Progress: Transforming the Breezeway into a Mudroom (Part 1)

2 min read The big chunk of work for this fall is transforming the long narrow breezeway into a cosy and effective mudroom plus a little bonus garage storage.  

This is phase one of … well many.  I’ve pushed the project a little late in the season so before I get started on constructing the new mudroom structure within the existing breezeway I’ll be closing off both ends.  To the street side, that means the new and permanent extension of the garage wall.  On the back yard side I put up a quick temporary wall of translucent plastic to secure the garage and keep it somewhat weathertight.

The breezeway separates the house and garage, shades the dining room and kitchen windows and constantly tempts me to store junk.  The new arrangement will connect the house and garage, bring the laundry up to the first floor, add to my garage storage space and generally solidify the the visual presence of the house from the street.  Here are the before and after plans and …

Here also, by the way, is a much better execution of a house-to-garage breezeway in a remarkably similar house to mine from the same era.  This one is both shorter and wider and makes a passable outdoor room.  Mine is a very poor comparison.  So … I’m going to get rid of it.

So step one was closing off the house. I took inspiration from my instagram friend @pickwickdiaries with their adorable triple windows next to the garage to add a little extra natural light to the new space.

My original plan was a more simple one – frame up the opening with studs and fill in the gap with some of the salvaged garage siding.  When I went to get started, however, I found that the siding on the garage didn’t align with that on the house and the idea of choosing to misalign with either seemed sloppy.  I changed gears and switched my design to the slightly more labor intensive rain-screen wall.

It has the same framing, OSB sheathing, a carefully lapped tar paper membrane layer, vertical furring strips aligned with the studs behind and parallel cedar slat siding at the outside.  Getting the cedar up, neatly spaced and screwed, took quite a while but was actually super fun to do.

While I worked outside at the front of the house, Roxie kept an eye on the street for me.