Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Pandemic projects: Couple makeover old garages into Tudor-style

By Cindy Hval For The Spokesman-Review

All homeowners have one – that nagging project that we’ll get to when we have time. It’s usually an area that guests don’t see, so we put it off until the right time presents itself.

For Bill DeLine, the pandemic offered the perfect opportunity to remodel the interiors of his garages.

“We live in a house that is over 110 years old,” the South Hill resident said. “Over the past 40 years we have pretty well done over every room, but I’ve always been a bit ashamed of our garages.”

He’s not ashamed anymore.

Over the winter he replaced the interior shiplap siding, shoring up the structures’ crumbling basalt foundations.

But Bill DeLine didn’t just slap up some sheetrock. Instead, he transformed the two small garages into a Tudor tribute.

“Our love for this kind of style comes from our time in England,” explained Bill DeLine’s wife, Susie DeLine. “Traveling has been our life.”

England holds a special place in their hearts, because for many years they owned a vacation home in Seaford in East Sussex.

The charming Old World appeal of thatched roof cottages with diamond-paned windows and half-timber walls delighted them.

So, when it came time to renovate the garages, Bill DeLine knew just the look he wanted.

Of course, before the fun of creating the half-timber look by painting and cutting cedar fence boards, and before the artistic satisfaction of making heraldic shields to hang on the walls, came the tedious long slog of removing the shiplap siding.

“Behind the siding, the basalt foundation it covers was crumbling, and pushing the boards forward,” Bill DeLine explained. “I had to remove each board individually starting at the bottom, remove the rubble, reattach the board, and pour concrete to fill the spaces behind.”

He worked his way up one board at a time.

“The second garage was much easier as it was added to the house later and had modern studs on the walls,” he said. “I did all the work myself except the lighting.”

Bill DeLine even created a “castle” door that leads to a storage area.

“It reminds us so much of all the low-ceilinged pubs and low-hung doorways in England,” Susie DeLine said.

While they usually do their home projects together, she said this one was Bill DeLine’s baby.

“But Susie helped me a bit with the design,” he said.

Once he got started it didn’t take him long to compete the renovations.

“The way my husband works when he has a project, is he starts early in the morning and works a 10-hour day,” Susie DeLine said.

In addition to the crusader-type shields, they added an old church pew, a flower box and some faux windows.

Now, every time they park their cars they have a fun reminder of their time in England.

“I love woodworking,” Bill DeLine said. “Making a lot of sawdust in my shop is a heck of a lot of fun.”