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Earl E. Model 07-10-2003 02:45 PM

Building new garage/shop
I'm new to the board (any board for that matter), and may be needing info I could have found on previous posts, but I had no luck.
I'm about ready to start building a garage/shop detached from a home I recently bought. I plan to build 2 (clean) bays for parking and light work, and approx. 2 bays for projects and tools. Any suggestions as to width, length, layout, etc. would be appreciated. I also plan to buy a 4 post lift, so any comments about ceiling height, lift brands, etc. would be welcomed.

stea 07-10-2003 03:05 PM

As big as you can afford, you can never have TOO much space. Also go at least 12' walls if you plan to install a lift. My neighbor built his with 12' walls and installed a lift that allows him to park another vehicle under it. Pretty cool.

Earl E. Model 07-10-2003 03:34 PM

Thanks for the post. I know I'll build at least 10' high. I don't want to get too much taller than the house. I'm having some trouble envisioning how the interior of the garage would look with 30' depth vs. 24'. Do you know of any sites that show layouts with benches, tools, etc?
Have you heard any reports, good or bad, on the $1995 direct-lift? I saw one on display at NSRA Louisville last year and I can't tell any difference between it and $2995 lifts.

awsum34 07-10-2003 03:34 PM

I agree, go with atleast 12' celling's, Higher if you have a truck you going to be parking on it. Glad you going with a four post lift, because if you were going with a two post you will have to have your floor (cement flooring) atleast 6 inches think (for bolting it down). Also when you put you lift in make sure you have it far enough the garage doors don't hit the car while it's up in the air.
My four post lift is a SuperLift. rated at 7000 lbs.

If your not wanting to put cars bumper to bumper the average garage runs 22 feet deep, double car garage is 25 feet wide. You'll have little room for a work bench with a 22 foot deep garage.
I guess it all depends on how many cars you'll have it there at one time. You can figure you'll have a body in one bay and a chassis in the other. So that will take up 2 bays. Unless you go double deep on depth. Then a chassis and body can share the same bay.
I don't know what kind of work you'll be doing but for small area work figure 22x22 room for cabnets, work benches, drill press, and etc along the walls, with a work table in the middle.
Since it's going to a detach might as well put in cable, bath room, heat, a/c, ( just incase you get into the dog house with the wife. You'll have some place to stay).
I will have to agree, you can never have enough space.

awsum34 07-10-2003 03:38 PM

Just seen you last post . they were doing a shop on DIY on TV. last month. might go to and they might have it on there.

crazy larry 07-10-2003 04:55 PM

12' to 14' ceiling.
at least 30' deep(40' is better) by 60' wide.
and plumb it for water. and run some air lines in the can never have enough air outlets......think about what your gonna do with the air compressor, i've seen em sitting outside in the weather, ive seen em outside in a little shack, ive seen em inside in a little shack, and of course, mine just sits in a corner, loud as hell.........

edog1 07-10-2003 05:22 PM

I just had my final inspection on my 28x35 detached garage I built. Im not sure where you live but i would make a appointment with the building department to discuss zoning. It took me 4 months to deal with the zoning issues . I had to deal with setbacks ,and maximum height, and square footage of lawn space the building would occupy.
Get as much electricity to the shop as you can with 3 times the number of outlets you think you need including 220 outlets. You will also need a bunch of light to illuminate a large shop. I would also mounts flush mounts lights in the walls .
Plumb all your airlines and build a separate enclosure outside of your shop to house the compressor.
The concrete should be a minimum of 6 inches and have the concrete crew cut your control joint with a saw. I would also install some anchor pots. I put mine in the driveway in front of my shop. It works great for chaining cars to for repairs. Maybe think about doing some kind of epoxy floor coating it makes it look clean and reflect lights well.
Dont forget about heating and cooling the shop insulating
would help to keep it comfortable. Run your cable , phone , internet and intercom from your main house.
Try to make it as comfortable and organized as possible

woodz428 07-10-2003 05:23 PM

Just finished my new shop in february. It is 42'x96' with 15'8" ceilings (room for the insulation) and it is already too small, just so you know.

tm454 07-10-2003 05:26 PM

I have 30+X22X9"10" two big doors a two story. I plan a 40X40 x16" single story to accomadate a lift. I installed 8" floresect fixtures and some 4" at the work benches. I have a 12" beam with a crane running side to side for motor changes. I have filled 3 roll around tool boxes/ topnbottoms but that dosn't give ample storage for the phnumatic tools or the elect stuff either. I use two compressors, a 30gal portable and a 80 gal 220v hidden in one corner. 5ton jack, two 3ton jacks and smallet bottle and hydrolics for smaller jobs. And a 21/2 ton chain fall to help pull things my way! I stash a tig and mig welder a and plasma cutter at my dads and dearly wish I could have a lift!!!!! The garage has two 3 sided car ports and concrete floor and plenty of room out in the yard for doner cars.


jimfulco 07-11-2003 02:17 AM

Taller is most definitely better if you're getting a lift. My ceiling is 10ft., & I couldn't use a lift in there even if I could afford one. I've heard a story or two about people caving in their car roofs on 10ft. ceilings. A truck might hit a 12' ceiling. Try explaining that to the insurance lady. Also, on a lighter note, the bigger the garage, the less grass you gotta mow.

Earl E. Model 07-11-2003 05:59 AM

I guess size does matter! I'm a little surprised to learn that 12' ceiling is (almost) required. I hate to start making compromizes from the beginning, but I'm not too concerned about stacking for storage or parking. I just want to be able to get under the car(s) without the jackstands, lying on the back, etc. I was thinking that if I could just get 4' off the floor, I could work in the sitting position on an roll around seat.
As I mentioned before I'm a little hesitant about getting the garage taller that the house, due to codes and appearance .
My old garage was 24x30, with a 10 x10 add-on for the 220volt compressor, blast cabinet, and junk. So I know I want a least that, for my project space, plus parking for 2 cars.
I'm already starting to feel a little spoilled!--I know a guy here in town that has worked for over 20 years as a full time rod builder, using the basement of his house. He has built over 50 cars, sending them out for paint and upholstery. Several have been featured in the various magazines.
I really appreciate all the input - I want to get it right.

Kevin45 07-11-2003 08:49 AM

If you want to keep the height of the roof down to 10' go with cathredal trusses. I made a mistake of only going with an 8' height and really regret it. Bring your foundation up 2' (if you lay a block foundation) and build 8' walls on top of that. With the block up 2' you can still hose out a garage if necessary without damage to any drywall you may have if you finish off the walls. Make sure you sit and plan for everything you will need. Extra outlets, water if possible, bathroom if possible, cable tv, telephone, refridge. Even if you have some or none of these things plan ahead for if you have them in the future. My garage is 36' x 28' depth and I wish I had went a couple of feet deeper. When I have my extended truck in the garage with my compressor and drill press up front, there is only enough room to walk around and not much else. I can send you some photos if you want.


awsum34 07-11-2003 10:20 AM

If your onlu wanting to get your car up around 4 feet so you can sit under it. Then 10 ceillings will do. But sitting under the car will get old after awhile. Like Kevin said you could do the cathredal ceilling just over the lift. that will get your around 12 feet just in that bay.

gt2betubbed 07-11-2003 03:07 PM

If you are going to be building a garage, do it right the first time. Like awsum said, sitting under the car will get old real fast. It would be a shame to want the lift to go higher down the road, and not have the room to do it.

Earl E. Model 07-17-2003 10:23 PM

Thanks for all the help. I feel more comfortable now about what I need to do - GO BIG !

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