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Old 11-15-2011, 07:08 PM
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I'm building a car-guy's garage...suggestions?

I'm rebuilding my house from the ground up, and I can only fit a four-car garage on my property (poor me!), so I'm doing an attached two-car garage for the wife and daily driver, then I'm going to do an air-conditioned detached garage for all my stuff. Knowing that there are smarter people out there than me, I'm going to post my list of items and see if anyone has any cool suggestions that I haven't thought of.

Garage will be 22' x 22'. 18' ceilings. Lots of flourescent lights. I already have tools, so I'm more interested in ideas for the layout. Here's what I'm going to do:

• Four-post or two-post lift
• Floor covering of either epoxy, stained concrete, or tile
• Space for air compressor with air hose routing to the center of garage ceiling
• Clothes dryer (worth the space I lose?)
• Lots of cabinets, shelves, and counterspace
• Space for utility sink
• Space for tool box
• A lot of electrical plugs in groups of four at floor and counter level
• Space on table for vice and cutting wheel/polisher
• Used oil container for oil changes
• Transmission jack
• Space for mini-fridge
• Wired for music and TV

It's gonna be a killer garage. I don't plan on welding or getting crazy with hard-core machines. But I do plan on working on the cars there. What else am I gonna need? What am I forgetting?

- Brian

1989 500SEL Euro
1966 250SE Cabriolet
1958 BMW Isetta 600
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:10 PM
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Enough amps in the feed to charge an electric vehicle. Even if you don't use it, the next owner of the house may thank you.

Devote one of the bays to machines and have the wiring available -- even if you don't want hard-core machines now, addictions change with time and money.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:16 PM
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I would want a parts washer too. Its nice to thoroughly clean parts before you put them back on. Much easier than trying to use a sink, no clogs, no mess, no environmental hazard.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:20 PM
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I am getting 220v put in the front of the garage for whatever needs arise down the line. Parts washer is a great idea.
- Brian

1989 500SEL Euro
1966 250SE Cabriolet
1958 BMW Isetta 600
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:20 PM
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As part of the answer above, I would want to make sure it had power, plumbing, lighting and drainage.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:29 PM
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Steal Bodhis garage and call it a day
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1982 300GD Carmine Red (DB3535) Cabriolet FOR SALE
1990 300SEL Smoke Silver (Parting out)
1991 350SDL Blackberry Metallic (481)

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Old 11-15-2011, 07:31 PM
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Well, let's see. Based on all that we learned building our new shop...

1) More electrical outlets. In more places. And everywhere that you're thinking of putting any, double the amount you're planning on. No plugs on the floor (see #3), put them on the ceiling instead and get cord reels.

2) Washer, dryer, and utility sink with hot and cold water. If there's space, a dishwasher, get a portable one that can hook to the sink. Never use it for dishes, but for tools and parts.

3) Build it so that it can be hosed out. Preferably at least a couple feet up the wall.

4) Skylights. Can't say enough about these. Most days we don't even turn the lights on.

5) I'd try the stained concrete, the epoxy isn't holding up in the high use areas.

6) Two post lift. The type with positionable arms, not the drive on ramps. Takes up less space and is more versatile.

I'm sure there are more thoughts, but those came to mind quickly.

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Old 11-15-2011, 07:31 PM
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Wire the garage for an alarm system. Check building codes for rules or insurance breaks on sprinkler systems. How large a driveway or concrete pad in front or on the side? Insulated doors to help with the A/C? Internet drop or wi-fi? Phone line? Dedicated electrical sub-panel w/ 220v line?

What else are you going to store or need on the property that may call for an out-building: rider mower? Excess Christmas decorations? Sports stuff? Bikes/Motorcycles? Work truck? Boat/jet skis?

If there's "extra" space in your detached garage, stuff will find its way there. I'm assuming standard Texas construction: slab, no attic storage, normal-ish closets.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:46 PM
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Floorplanner - Garage

floor planner website I use all the time-- I'm an architect hobbyist

There's drains, double sinks, a bunch of cabinets etc... All that's missing is a bed! I used the BMW (looks like an E38) as the model as I figure take up as much space as possible. Even at that, I think 22 by 22 looks like a perfect size for everything to fit nicely!

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Old 11-15-2011, 07:49 PM
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I would definitely do the four-post lift; more stable and versatile than the two-post, and with your ceiling height you'll also be able to park another vehicle under it (2 or 4).

Rather than just a clothes dryer, one of those efficiency units with a washer and dryer stacked would be ideal.

A small shower in the corner -- since you're already doing plumbing -- is a good idea, since you can clean up before trekking back into the house, and you can use it as an emergency eyewash (or bodywash) station if the need arises.

A good exhaust fan with a hose inlet for engine exhaust can be useful, too.

Piped air for the compressor is nice, so you don't have to have hoses running everywhere (and overhead reels for that can be costly); if you can swing it, build a small enclosure for it outside the physical shop dimensions and pipe it in, those things are noisy. Your ears and sanity will thank you.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:55 PM
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Forward Manufacturing

I've got one of these and have been real pleased with it.

Get the one with the extra headroom since you have the clearance.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:03 PM
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Plumb air to any potential workbenches.

Potential for a loft type area where you can hang out and overlook the garage?

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Old 11-15-2011, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Can't Know View Post
I would definitely do the four-post lift; more stable and versatile than the two-post, and with your ceiling height you'll also be able to park another vehicle under it (2 or 4).
If by four post lift you mean one of the drive on style, with two large flat surfaces that raise with the car, they are really only good for oil changes and transmission work. Without costly upgrades, they don't lift the vehicle off of it's own wheels, so brake and chassis work is ruled out. And even with the optional little lifts, chassis work is hampered by the "ramps" being in your way. They are also only suitable for lifting average sized cars and trucks, not very versatile for other work. A two poster can work as a hoist, can lift pick-up beds off of frames, can lift bodies off of frames for that matter (useful for restoration projects). A two post lift with adjustable arms can often lift smaller vehicles also, golfcarts, Smartcars...

There's a reason the pro's use two posts (except for alignment racks), and a reason that homeowners looking for extra parking use four posts.

Definitely put the compressor outside. And plenty of drying capacity for the air you'll be using.

The shower was another good idea. The safety features are great, and the convenience is great. Also a big plus with the wife. Or a big plus for you if the wife kicks you out.

Someone mentioned internet. Another must have. Consider a small "office" area that's sealed off from the other parts of the shop. Computers and printers are pretty much part of the toolbox these days, but don't care for the same enviroment. Also a good place for the fridge you mentioned.

The exhaust extraction fan is also a good idea. As is some sort of large fan for clearing the whole place out. We have swamp coolers for our shop, and they will flush out the air fairly quickly, but something like a whole house fan might be good. Smoke/odors/fumes can make a shop unworkable, or even dangerous.

Concrete pad outside, leading up to the doors is also a must.

Plenty of good ideas.

Oh, and a dog. You need a good dog to go in the shop. That way you have someone to complain to when things go awry. Otherwise you'd just be out in the shop talking to yourself like an idiot, and no one wants that.

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Old 11-15-2011, 08:55 PM
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You'll need 220V if you're going to run a half decent compressor or a 2 post lift.
If you are going for a 2 post lift then you may need to give the concrete some time to cure before installing it so talk to your builder about that.

I really should move properties and do the same. I spend too much money on rent for my hobby shop. Almost as much as my mortgage.
With best regards

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Old 11-15-2011, 09:43 PM
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Gotta give the Girrrls some where to play!

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