Go Kart Garage Retrospective

As a follow up to my previous post, Building a Go Kart Garage, I want to do a quick retrospective on the project in an agile methodology sort of way.

Things that Went Well

Teamwork - Kaleb and I made a pretty good team on this project. We were really good at double checking each others work and more than a few times this helped us from making costly mistakes. I helped drive the project along and he did most of the cutting and assembling of the garage.

Costs - Overall I feel like the cost of the entire project was pretty reasonable for the end product. An equivalent shed from New England Outdoor would go for around $5,000, which is about twice what we paid for materials.

General Implementation - For the most part we didn’t make any big mistakes that required undoing anything we built or purchasing extra materials because of a bad cut (see the Teamwork item above). Usually projects like this involve quick little one-off trips to the hardware store to get one more piece of wood or a new box of screws, but I think we only ran into that situation once.

Memories - It was a great learning experience for both of us and we won’t soon forget this accomplishment.

Things that Could Have Gone Better

Time of Year - We started this project in November in New England, which introduces two challenges: lack of daylight and cold. If we had done this in the summer the project probably could have been completed in half as many sessions. A few times we had to stop because it got dark and then a few times it was just too cold to work on it.

Transport - The Kia Sorento worked out really well and we managed to squeeze everything into or on top of it, but I feel like time was wasted securing stuff to the roof or making multiple trips because we couldn’t fit everything in one trip. If we had a trailer or had stuff delivered it might have made the process easier and involved less trips to Lowe’s.

Planning - The CAD models and YouTube videos were an invaluable resource, but one thing we failed to understand is how the dimensions of the garage didn’t work well with the standard lumber sizes. For example, the doors were each 52” wide, which gave the go kart several inches on each side, but the wood we used for the doors comes in 48” wide pieces. We ended up having to buy 4 pieces to do the doors, when we could have made them 4” smaller and only had to use 2. Similarly the roof ended up being just a little bit too big to match exactly with the standard 4’ x 8’ pieces of plywood and we ended up with a less sound patchwork of plywood.

In Summary

The project went very well despite some of the challenges we faced. The garage looks really great now that it is finished and everybody who has seen it has been surprised at what we were able to build. We learned a lot about building stuff even if there are things we probably didn’t do exactly right.