Garage Plan Ideas

Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
263
Location
North Alabama
In the planning stages for a free standing garage and would appreciate some input from people that have done it.

Initial thoughts:
-1 story
-2 roll up doors. One 10hx8w that leads into a lift. One 10hx16w that leads into flat space.
-A footprint of around 34x34
-I'm guessing the ceiling needs to be 14' over lift. Could be loft storage over the rest.
-Pretty basic. HVAC Climate controlled. Power/air outlets at the beltline all the way around.
-Compressor in it's own space
-At least 3 220 outlets
-Fluorescent lighting
-Large screen TV/Computer screen/sound bar
-Vent fan on one end

Trying to stay away from having a bathroom, although it would be great, due to the fact it would likely have to have it's own engineered septic system.

Goal is to able to do all general mechanical work, paint and storage for auto/boats.

Something like this, minus the 3rd garage door on the right.



I'm thinking there are lots of guys on this board that can help me do it right the first time. Thanks in advance!
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2012
Messages
79
Location
Alaska
No problem with any led bulbs, don't buy the tubes that go in an existing florescent fixture because the ballast is still working and you lose the efficiency of having LED. I wired a off grid shop with duplex outlets and then put 2prong plugs on 20w and 50w LED flood lights. Makes it easy to move the lights around to suit your needs. Used similar to these https://www.amazon.com/IMINOVO-Waterproof-Security-Equivalent-Floodlight/dp/B073XNFSHV/ref=sr_1_34?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1507771060&sr=1-34&keywords=50w+led+flood+lights&th=1
Remote cabin has all LED bulbs and recessed LED lighting, can run it all on a 2kw Honda.
 

1911

chupacabra
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
5,725
Location
Parker County, Texas
-A footprint of around 34x34
Make it as big as you can reasonably afford; you can never have too much shop space, but will probably wish you had more at some point.


-I'm guessing the ceiling needs to be 14' over lift.
The one I bought (highly recommended here on Mud): http://dannmar.com/car-lifts/two-post-lifts/d-10-acx.html
only needs 12' 6" of head space, but make sure your roof trusses (if any) won't be in the way. My shop building was constructed with I-beams, so there are no roof trusses in the way. My walls are 12' high and the peak of my roof is about 15' 6", and the lift fit easily with room to spare. Photos of it and the lift on my build thread here, if you want to see them: Building a new house and shop


Trying to stay away from having a bathroom, although it would be great, due to the fact it would likely have to have it's own engineered septic system.
The shop at my last place did not have a bathroom; it became a priority for me to have one at the new shop. I was fortunate that since we are building both the shop and the house from scratch, I could plan so that both run into the same septic system. You can make a pretty long run to your existing septic system, as long as it is even barely down hill - only a very small grade is required for it to drain sufficiently.

Best of luck with your build in any event. Having a dedicated shop space is one of life's great luxuries in my book.
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
263
Location
North Alabama
Thanks for the input, 1911. The planning that had to be done for a project like yours is daunting.

What was your lighting plan/preference?
Is there a benefit to having automatic doors on tracks other than convenience?
 

1911

chupacabra
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
5,725
Location
Parker County, Texas
What was your lighting plan/preference?
I was going to go with LED banks as suggested, but my electrician talked me into the banks of narrow fluorescent tubes you see in my build thread. They put out a TON of light; four of those light up the whole shop quite bright. I hope they last for a long time though; I hate replacing ballasts in fluorescent lights.


Is there a benefit to having automatic doors on tracks other than convenience?
I was going to use simple roll-up doors, but my builder convinced me that the panel doors are more secure, seal tighter, and they can be insulated - a roll-up door cannot be. I had the inside of the doors sprayed with foam insulation.
 

Lil'John

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Mar 24, 2006
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Nor Cal in the garage with a Cruiser
I'm looking at going with a two building solution... okay, technically two and a half: basement, two car unpowered storage garage, and 'larger' work garage.

I've been working at getting the basement in the house setup as a temporary 'machine' area and storage(I've got build thread). It is 44'x11'. Things I've learned from it:
  • I put outlets on one wall about every four feet at 4' high. This is working out awesome so far. They are all rated at 20amp(10 gauge wire)
  • I put outlets about 3 inches from the ceiling for Costco LED T5 style lights. They are switched at the entrance. For ~$30 each, they are awesome and seem to be holding up well. Like the above, about every four feet.
  • I have one 220V outlet for my welder at the far end near the double door. Near the door allows me to weld outside easily and extension cord lets me get the whole basement
  • I have been putting up a TRUCK-LOAD of racks similar to the homedepot style(2' deep, 8' wide). I've got seven bays of it. Four of them are going to be work benches. Above each workbench, I've got the Costco LED light.
For the unpowered 2 car storage garage, this will be used to store projects that are done or yet to be started. It will be about 20' wide by 24' deep with an 8' roll up door. I may include one rack near each car for parts storage related to the project and nothing else.

In front of that, I will have the work garage. Current plan is ~30' deep and 40' or 50' wide. 15' of it will be an open pass through to get to the storage garage with a second story for storage. The 15' next to that will be two story with 8' ceiling for 'machine' shop type work. The last 15' will be single story for a lift. I will follow a similar setup to my basement. A 220V outlet for a welder/plasma near the front opening with enough extension cord to reach everywhere. It will get a 220V 'outlet' for a heavy duty air compressor. Outlets every 4' and LED through outlets. I may consider 4' deep racking. But I dislike 4' deep because of 'clutter' factor.

In my 'old' house, I have a 14'x20' garage. Things I've learned there:
  • Once you add in 18" of storage on one side and 30" of washer/drier on the other side, it is WAY too narrow for comfortably working on a car. I think ideal space is 12' for a single car. Around 20' to 21' for two.
  • 20' deep is also way too close. I've got a foldable bench at the front of it. When it is out, I end up with maybe 18" in front of a 68 Mustang or FJ55. I think 24' is nice.
  • 7' door is doable except with any taller vehicle. My FJ55 without a rack would barely squeeze in(springover with 35s) I won't consider anything under 8'.
While the general mantra I read is 'buy as big as you can', I don't see the following axiom brought up:
"Nature abhors a vacuum"

This is SOOOO true as it applies to garages/shops. The more space and storage you have, the more crap you will collect.
 

PAToyota

Keystone Cruisers
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Joined
Oct 4, 2009
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1,810
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South Central Pennsylvania
While the general mantra I read is 'buy as big as you can', I don't see the following axiom brought up:
"Nature abhors a vacuum"

This is SOOOO true as it applies to garages/shops. The more space and storage you have, the more crap you will collect.
Along those lines, plan out storage and organization and get that situated early on in the construction.

As I was finishing up the build of my main workshop I ended up going through a divorce and my grandparents passed away. I inherited a bunch of stuff from my grandfather, which I just piled into the workshop and then I had to deal with the divorce. Fortunately, I was able to keep the house and shop, but didn’t have the money or time to put into it for awhile. It took forever to work through getting things organized after that - something I’m still dealing with to some extent.
 

Rigpig

 
Joined
Feb 15, 2005
Messages
1,188
Location
Vancouver Island...Stuck in Fort Mac.
I started building my shop about 4 years ago(32'x36') and i'm still at it, work and life get in the way. Like others said, build it as big as possible cause it will fill up quickly!
Here's a couple things i've done and should have done, looking back on it now.
Do yourself a favour and plumb it for a bathroom and cap the ends for future considerations. I have an upstairs loft/office and am now plumbing the upstairs for a small bathroom and am thankful that the rough-in was done.
I also installed an exhaust fan and ceiling fan. I have an I-beam the full 32' about a third of the way into the shop with chain blocks on rollers and its been extremely handy.
My inside ceiling height is 13' and managed to squeeze 2-10x12' tall doors. Just tall enough for a future lift and boat access inside the shop.
I'm a "sparky" by trade and went with T5-HO's for lighting and it is bright. I also added some LED's for primary lighting and low amp draw. I installed chain "pull pots" in the floor for winching/puling something into the shop.
Anyhow, there is a lot of good information from the others that have posted up.
Good luck and throw some photos up, i'd like to see the progress.
Cheers!
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
263
Location
North Alabama
The current plan is a footprint of 32'deep x 40'wide. A 10x10 door to the lift and a 10x16 door to the main area. I will hopefully mark it off this weekend and then can start taking out the trees.
 

Stumpalama

Forum Junkie
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Joined
Nov 5, 2004
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NOVA
I started building my shop about 4 years ago(32'x36') and i'm still at it, work and life get in the way. Like others said, build it as big as possible cause it will fill up quickly!
Here's a couple things i've done and should have done, looking back on it now.
Do yourself a favour and plumb it for a bathroom and cap the ends for future considerations. I have an upstairs loft/office and am now plumbing the upstairs for a small bathroom and am thankful that the rough-in was done.
I also installed an exhaust fan and ceiling fan. I have an I-beam the full 32' about a third of the way into the shop with chain blocks on rollers and its been extremely handy.
My inside ceiling height is 13' and managed to squeeze 2-10x12' tall doors. Just tall enough for a future lift and boat access inside the shop.
I'm a "sparky" by trade and went with T5-HO's for lighting and it is bright. I also added some LED's for primary lighting and low amp draw. I installed chain "pull pots" in the floor for winching/puling something into the shop.
Anyhow, there is a lot of good information from the others that have posted up.
Good luck and throw some photos up, i'd like to see the progress.
Cheers!
Dan! Good to see you still lurking!
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
1,530
Location
Bend, OR
Someday when I build mine I'd really like to have a lot of natural light. Even just a garage door with windows would help brighten it up significantly.

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A bathroom if you are able to pull it off would be nice to have as well. I can think of many times where it would have been nice to take a shower and change clothes before even entering the house. A utility sink would also come in very handy.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Messages
1,092
Location
Gilbert, AZ.
No personal experience here but a few from me (I've spent a decent amount of time considering the same thing "some day"):
  1. Jack Screw garage door openers - keep your ceiling space freed up for other needs/wants. I'd recommend staying away from the myQ technology piece - personal preference but the less tech/software the better.
  2. Head over to Garage Journal for discussions/ideas/advice. That forum is dedicated to exactly what you're seeking.
  3. Nail your insulation, heating and cooling needs and budget early. The last thing you want is a pretty garage that is unbearable to be in during parts of the year. Don't skimp on insulation, radiant barriers as well as blown-in cellulose have their places but just be sure to know/understand what makes best sense for you geography and climate needs.
  4. LED - plenty of really good options at this stage and you don't have to fiddle with ballast conversions any longer (e.g. CostCo sells direct replacement LED that fit inside fluorescent tracks).
  5. Lots of electrical outlets and nothing wrong with a dedicated circuit (or two) if you plan on any heavy machinery.
  6. TVs and/or audio - nothing wrong with pampering yourself.
Lots more to it than that, sorry if any of these are redundant (didn't thoroughly read suggestions from others). Good luck, I'm jealous!
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
263
Location
North Alabama
Thanks, tlin. I’ll check out Garage Journal and dedicate some serious research time to my lighting choices. Cutting trees tomorrow.
 

swelltimes

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Joined
Aug 9, 2012
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Western MA
My old man just built a shop with a space for a lift. Tall ceiling, couldn't tell you how high.

The one thing I wish he had done, and that I hope to have in a future shop, is a system of I-beams for a rolling gantry.

My current shop is *super* old, but it has a chain fall in it, and I use it a bunch of times per month. It's on a fixed point in the ceiling, low enough that I have to tie the chain up tightly if I need to put my 40 in there.

Long story short: put in some I-beams running front-to-back in your shop, then have a gantry installed that run perpendicular to those beams. Put some time of winch / chain fall on it. You'll find so many uses for it!!!
 
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