Jump to content
keithb7

Building a Garage...Input Appreciated

Recommended Posts

My wife and I are moving. We sold our house and found a nice home we like on half an acre. The house has a 2 car garage and plenty of parking on a large asphalt driveway. The 2 car garage is not going to cut it for me. We contacted the local city development department to confirm, we can build a shop. Up to 1500 or so square feet. . The max roof height we could have is 16 feet.

 

I am looking for input from those who have built a shop. I have some ideas but no real life experience building one. So far here is what I am thinking:

 

I'm thinking 3 bays. Centre bay with a taller roof line so I have room more clearance for a hoist. 

Lightly sloped floor and drains so in the Canadian winter, any melting snow can easily drain away. 

Tie into natural gas line and have a forced air heater in garage.

Water and small hot water tank. A laundry type sink for hand washing.

No need for a toilet. House is close by.

240V available for welding and hydraulic hoist

3 bays with insulated garage doors

Florescent lighting through out

Few windows. Not needed. Keep the thieves out.

Does it make sense to water proof the first 4 feet of the walls from ground up? In the winter time, if needed could wash items in garage and dry?

4 post lift or two post? Which is better? Why?

 

I found a pic of this garage on the internet. We like the look of it. The centre bay seems like a good choice for a hoist.

 

-m5wnFyWFt4qPZJ-K5Mpl-rzVASP1vdpowS2pKWm

 

Here's my property. We're moving in soon. I am thinking bottom right hand corner of photo is where I'd build the shop, as shown. Pulling into shop doors by turning right.

J7pN_ytqy4at3lf5eDAHg0Z5m7US0qaYIcGyAnAv

 

Your comments on what you wish maybe you had done different are appreciated. What have I overlooked? I don't think I need a paint booth or a man cave. Just a beer fridge in there and room for cars and tools! Thanks in advance. - Keith

Edited by keithb7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even here in No. Cal. my friend found out rather quickly- build as big as possible within your max budget- insulate to the max (he did and very glad)- Plumb the stubs into the concrete slabs for bathroom setup( cheap at this point,expensive later if you or next owner wants this) -pour concrete deep enough for a good car/truck lift (not a cheapy!).

Looks like a beautiful location!

Best to you,

DJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for a lift within the max 16' height and given you will need x roof slope for snow in your area, I see you are basically already needing to dig a hole....I have a lift bay aligned center of the gable ends...my walls are 13 feet ceiling height, 5 on 12 pitch and I have busted your roof max already...BUT as in the one picture you have shown, if you can work the shed dormer on the roof in to where is open to the area below....you golden...cathedral truss comes to mind...

 

Edited by Plymouthy Adams

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I put white metal liner (metal roofing for inside) on walls and ceiling for my garage. Brightens the place up.

 

What I wish I would have done but wasn't financially feasible at the time is LED lighting. Was installed at work and what a difference compared to florescent lighting. Cost has come down and my Brother in law installed it in his new garage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

another item I did not see on your list is an air compressor and plumbing the air about the shop with multiple drops.  If this is in your mind, I would suggest a small independent building out and away from the shop to place the compressor so to remove the noise of the away from house and work area...I have mine out back and plumb my air into the building...I have a huge water separator on the output of the compressor and water separators at the four air tap/drops inside the shop with built in drains.   As for the lift, I went with the four post as I can move it about if for some reason I should need to.  As for lighting, I will be moving away from florescent soon and install the LED's....much better light, and hopefully less trouble.  I admit I have had good luck with my fluorescent but prices of tubes is going up and up for any that have any working life to them.

Edited by Plymouthy Adams

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To replace the shop that burned to the ground four years ago, I went with a steel building with 10' walls and open ceiling. I was told I could only go 8 ' walls but when the agreed that the wall height was measured from the foundation and I said then I will put in 24" cinder block foundation, they relented. The open ceiling is golden. The building is 38' L X 18' W with 10' walls. I have a roll up door in one end. Oh, welder and torch are by the rollup door. Fire protection a must, height a must. 

 

I built an office in one end with a old school wall for odds and ends.

IMG_8393.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with many of the others, 2 stage 5 hp compressor minimum, 200 amp panel minimum, LED lighting (I get tired of changing the burned out tubes) Gas heater, insulate top and sides, lots of storage including room for multiple tool boxes. I would add a bathroom with a shower. Use a quality floor covering to help keep it clean and looking nice. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish I had asked this question back in 1994 when I built my first shop.  If I had, I would not have needed to build my second shop.  My new one is a 2 bay shop made to house a 2-post lift.  I went with the 2 post so I could pull the suspension without interference or the need for additional lifts.  Got to admit, I may still get a 4 post sometime in the future (easiest oil change, vehicle stacking).  Figure out who's lift you are going to buy and ask them about building requirements before you build.  My lift folks told me that I needed 14' of clearance from the top of the slab to the ceiling and that the slab will have to be at least 5" thick.  Once again, your lift company will have the specs.  The company I bought mine from installers - two guys working about 8 hrs, using lots of tools I did not have.  I am glad I paid them to do it.

 

My shed has drive (or tow) through access to the lift.  I plumbed air from the compressor in one of my other sheds to the new one.  Plan on where you want the compressed air and how you are going to run the lines (not PVC).  I put a 240 V plug on each end of the shed (middle of the shed, between roll up doors) so that a welder could be run where ever it is closer.  I also installed electric plugs every 10' on the side walls, about 4' up from the slab.  That way plugs are about work bench high, and I don't have to bend over to plug something in.  If you can afford to build your shelving now, plan them out as well.  Make sure they are heavy (and large) enough to hold tools or parts.  Leave access to the electric plugs.

 

I put in LED lights.  They were not that expensive.

 

Finally, decide how much of your new shop (and shelving) will be converted to general storage by your wife and kids (guess how I know this one...).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with the plumber, radiant heat in the floor from a small steam boiler, and rough in plumbing for a bathroom.  You have no idea how handy a sink is to wash up before entering the house.  There was a motorcycle shop in Door County Wisconsin that when I asked to use their bathroom they said I had two choices, go around the end of the building to pee or I could use the funnel and the hose in the corner.  Crude but handy.  You must not be old enough yet where you have a need to pee every half hour.  Much handier if you don't need to leave the shop.

A friend of mine also put in a shower so that he could really clean up when he was done working.

 

Dennis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dennis_MN said:

You must not be old enough yet where you have a need to pee every half hour. 

 

I pee into a small can, then I territorialize the door sills to keep the cats out!  Stops the armadillos also, don't know if it stops the Roos down under. LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, pflaming said:

 

I pee into a small can, then I territorialize the door sills to keep the cats out!  Stops the armadillos also, don't know if it stops the Roos down under. LOL

 

I'd think you could save a step and simply pee on the door sills.  Maybe you live in an area with neighbors--never mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, pflaming said:

 

I pee into a small can, then I territorialize the door sills to keep the cats out!  Stops the armadillos also, don't know if it stops the Roos down under. LOL

 

Does that not make all the neighbors/stray  dogs want to go do the marking there also?

Bad deal!

DJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lots of what I'd do is listed...but JIC

 

BIG as possible

TALL as possible

LED lights

Ceiling fan (or space/power/controls for some in the future)

In floor heating

plumbing for at least a sink

POWER POWER POWER, can never have enough outlets and I'd do 20A 4-plex, also 220V in a few places

drive thru 

epoxy the floor

stick construction not pole barn

metal roof

gutters

space to have an "office" or sitting area to relax/refresh or problem solve

BIG doors

cable/internet access (gotta get on here somehow :P )

security cameras

paint the interior WHITE

storage space

floor drain

airlines, or plan for airlines

lean-to on the sides if possible for more storage out of the snow/rain

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, pflaming said:
 
"airlines, or plan for airlines" !!!!
helioport or landing strip?  LOL

 

Depends on whether your flying car has vertical take-off and landing capibilities...

terrafugia-transition-flying-car-980x620

 

airport-626x383.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ggdad1951 said:

lots of what I'd do is listed...but JIC

 

BIG as possible

TALL as possible

LED lights

Ceiling fan (or space/power/controls for some in the future)

In floor heating

plumbing for at least a sink

POWER POWER POWER, can never have enough outlets and I'd do 20A 4-plex, also 220V in a few places

drive thru 

epoxy the floor

stick construction not pole barn

metal roof

gutters

space to have an "office" or sitting area to relax/refresh or problem solve

BIG doors

cable/internet access (gotta get on here somehow :P )

security cameras

paint the interior WHITE

storage space

floor drain

airlines, or plan for airlines

lean-to on the sides if possible for more storage out of the snow/rain

 

 

 

That's exactly what I would do too, but I'd add a large exhaust fan if you plan on doing welding or painting in there. I'd also make it so you could store parts above the ceiling. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will heartily third the radiant heat.  I live in northern Maine, I don't have it, know several folks and shops who do, and really wish PO who built our shop had installed it.  I would also highly recommend LED lighting, I have standard fixtures in my garage that I installed LED bulbs in, what a difference!  We also upgraded the fleet garage at my office to LED shop lights last year, simply awesome results.  I'd plan LED from the outset, can be expensive, but worth it in the long run.  (Saves $$, and amperage for other appliances.)  Being familiar with melting snow in a shop vs. sub zero outside temperatures, both at work and at home, I would recommend a floor drain or drains.  A garage door frozen to the floor is no fun and shortens the life of the weather seal.  You'd have to open the doors at least slightly to drain off a sloped floor, open doors let heat out, and cold in.  All of the commercial and fleet shops in this area have floor drains, as does our shop.  The garage under our house has floor drains, too.  Probably a good reason for them.  Good luck with the garage/shop project!  A good workspace makes our hobby even more enjoyable.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sky lights, if not too expensive.  No lighting is cheaper than natural lighting.  Oh, & I get why some would say no windows, but I would go nuts in a closed up space like that.  (Maybe put bars on the windows to deal with the security issue.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/8/2018 at 9:27 AM, Bobacuda said:

Finally, decide how much of your new shop (and shelving) will be converted to general storage by your wife and kids (guess how I know this one...).

See, I didn't know about this one. (I guess because I don't have a shop at all.)   I thought that "claiming it's part of the house" or something was limited to an attached garage.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second the 9' wide doors, minimum. I put 8' in mine, and regret it every time I use them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×