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Old 08-21-2014, 05:17 PM   #1
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I'm just putting some feelers out.

I'm going to be building a garage on some raw land in the next 12-24 months. I was wondering what everyone has for input, besides the 'always build it bigger than you think'.

I'm a modest guy, so I'm not going to go crazy. But I'm considering all the things people have done or would do different if they could.

A few notes I have...

-Fit 2 cars, mid size.... or 1 full size truck and a motorcycle.
-2 doors versus 1 larger door...cheaper to replace if one goes bad, less exposure to outside with one 9' door open versus one 12' (or 14') door.
-Radiant floor heating using proper pex inside of the concrete, above rebar before pouring concrete. - 2 zones, one for work space side of garage and the other for parking since there is no sense in heating vehicle parking space when not being used as work area.
-Fully functional bathroom including hot water heater (tank or tankless), sink, toilet, and leave space and run plumbing before concrete pour for shower down the road.
-100A Panel or more ...relevant to hot water heater choice
-Abundance of outlets
-2x6 Framing
-Insulated walls
-Spray Foam or finish ceiling and use fiberglass for attic
-Possible Stucco, or cement board siding....otherwise Metal Siding - not vinyl or wood
-Metal or asphalt shingle roof

I'd like to keep the dimensions as small of a footprint as possible, so it is cozy...but not crammed. Taxes are normally high and go by square footage, so any extra space is wasted money each year.

Would I be hanging myself by opting for minimal garage space and adding a metal carport later on for additional vehicle protection from the weather (hail, snow, and UV rays)? It would cost a bit more to build a 3 car garage for the additional trusses, insulation, shingles, lumber, extra concrete, along with additional taxable square footage which goes up every year with the economy. My thoughts were a nice $1,200-$2,400 all metal carport next to the garage could be added if needed years from now, allowing me to spend less now.

Anyone have things to add to my thoughts? What parts do I have wrong or sound confused on?

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Old 08-21-2014, 08:37 PM   #2
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9' ceiling 10' would be better so you can stand up a sheet of plywood or any other sheet goods.

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Old 08-21-2014, 10:41 PM   #3
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Get one big door. With two small ones, your only option is to pull straight in. You can't turn while you're pulling out, you can't park anything crooked, you will ding your car on the post.

Wire several 220a outlets, in case you want a big air compressor, or other badass tools.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:11 PM   #4
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Garages? Now your talking my language. Look at the link in my signature....mine is 2-story.

Rule #1. It's never big enough.

I'm guessing you live in a cold area, hence wanting the radiant heating. Unless your in a real cold area, proper insulation will negate the need.

If you're building on raw land, if space is not a real issue, I would go with a front foot print of a 3 car. 1 Single door and 1 double door. If you think you will have a truck, a single door is a tight fit.

If you think there is any chance you might want a lift, go at least 10' ceilings.

Plan on at least 1 to 2 man doors.

Unless your worried about security, plenty of windows. If your worried about security, no windows means you have something they want. Regardless, they will get in. So, add plenty of light.

If you don't have a height restriction, go 2-story. The second story is great for storage. ...and a man cave.

Make it deep. If you have 2 vehicles in there, you want at least another 10' of working space in front of it.

Electrical....100A is overkill. Unless you're running an oven for powder coating, 60A/240Vac is plenty.

Outlets...every 8' and about 50" from the floor. That way you can lean a 4x8 sheet of something against the wall and not block it.

It's never big enough.

Don't get hung up on fancy floors just now. A few years from now when you run out of projects, then do the Epoxy thing.

Allow for at least one hard wired Ethernet connection. Ignore the guys who say wireless will replace wired.

If your walls are going to be over 8' high, consider 2x6 construction. Allows for more insulation and makes for straighter walls.

Drywall does wonders for temp control.

Roof? Unless you're in love with metal...keep it simple....traditional dimensional shingles will give you plenty of life. I remember what the roofing guy told me when I was trying to decide on 30 year of 40 year shingles. "After 25 years you're going to be tired of the color of those shingles."

Look at my garage and come back with more questions.
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:23 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input.

Yes, it can get cold here and radiant heat or floor heat is nice because it keeps your items and feet warm which means the world when working in it. Maybe that is a bad idea and instead I should get infared heaters that heat objects and not the air?

I'm not fond of a second story, because of high winds. I'd like to keep the building low profile and have little wind load. For windows I was considering a couple or few on each side but nothing crazy.

So I did so far gather a big door > two little doors
Don't build small but instead build extra and don't use a carport later
9' or 10' ceilings? I was confused by ToolSeeker where he said 10' so you can stand plywood up...well isn't 9' ample for that? :P
I could never afford a lift or make it worth the cost...

Last edited by AlphaPilot; 08-22-2014 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaPilot View Post
Thanks for the input.

Yes, it can get cold here and radiant heat or floor heat is nice because it keeps your items and feet warm which means the world when working in it. Maybe that is a bad idea and instead I should get infared heaters that heat objects and not the air?

I'm not fond of a second story, because of high winds. I'd like to keep the building low profile and have little wind load. For windows I was considering a couple or few on each side but nothing crazy.

So I did so far gather a big door > two little doors
Don't build small but instead build extra and don't use a carport later
9' or 10' ceilings? I was confused by ToolSeeker where he said 10' so you can stand plywood up...well isn't 9' ample for that? :P
I could never afford a lift or make it worth the cost...
I said the same thing, and now own three lifts. Even if I made $0 on them every year, they'd be worth what I save in knee and back damage alone. Build 10' ceilings just in case, not that much more expense or work. It will be an enormous expense and work to grow the garage 2' taller in the future if you don't do it now.

I like your list except:
radiant floor heating
2x6 wall construction
shower

Those are unnecessary. I can understand the toilet/sink to clean up a bit before going into the house. The shower may get 5 uses in its entire lifetime. Hot water heater seems a bit overkill too, luke warm water is just fine to wash your hands/arm/face before going into the house for a real clean up.

Ethernet - run two. HDMI and ethernet I always double up because they are so sensitive. Now you always have a backup in case something happens to the original one already run in your conduit for very little extra cost. I have a cheap laptop in my shop, prevents me from the 250' walk into the house every time I need something and hooks up to the stereo system to play Pandora One so I don't have to bother with antenna/reception. Whether it's writing notes, accessing AllData, general searching, etc. laptop is invaluable out there (same reason you're installing a toilet).

Definitely a fan of the 3 car, 1 big 1 small door idea to give you some flexibility. As previously stated at least one personnel door so you can go in/out without letting a huge amount of heat/cold in/out and in case of power out/garage door failure. Not a fan of windows in garages. Stupid waste of valuable wall space, security risk, don't offer much light by comparison to another lighting fixture. Much better ways to spend a couple hundred bucks (PER) in a garage. Glass does not have long-term survival capability in a shop. I like 2-stories but don't think its right for what you're trying to do.

My tips from 3 garages:
1. You can never have enough space.
2. You can never have enough light. Seriously, install enough that it doubles as a tanning booth. Off the shelf 2 ballast T8 6 bulb 4' lights are 1.94A for the whole unit, that's nothing for a small sun mounted to the ceiling. There are many other options too.
3. Lots of convenience outlets are overrated in my mind. I put dedicated receptacles for the big equipment that will never move and 99% of time I use my 25' 13A ceiling mounted cord reel. In a garage, you rarely have more than one tool running at once and the reel is just more convenient. I was smart and did build some receptacles directly into my work bench so when I'm working on that I will sometimes use them but it's 99% cord reel.
4. My best move ever - 99.9% of us have cheap oil-less air compressors (or realistically that's what max budget would ever allow your typical 33gallon stand up 6hp 150psi jobber). They are loud as hell. On a new construction, perfect opportunity to build a very small (4x4 or so) exterior housing for it. Insulate the crap out of it, toss the compressor in, wire it, make sure it gets good intake/exhaust for cooling, plumb the pressure line into the garage through the wall. You not only save the sqft that the compressor eats up, you keep the racket down significantly. It may not seem like a big deal, but after you have it your neighbors, people in your house, and you working in the garage will all have a lot more sanity.
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:22 AM   #7
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I would disagree with not needing a bunch of outlets. While it's true that normally you'll only use one outlet at a time, I find it extremely annoying when I'm using a corded drill, belt sander, Dremel, and whatever else, to keep plugging and unplugging them all the time. Maybe I'm a tool-princess, but that gets on my nerves. If my workshop wasn't a decades-old picker's cabin that is included in my rent, I'd change it up
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:26 AM   #8
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I think a radiant floor for a garage is over board and wasted. It will have to be heated through the winter to keep from freezing and will take hours to bring up to working floor feel. You'll be keeping all that concrete warm as well, or sinking a lot of money into insulation.

Depending on how much plywood work you want to do and planning on how you mean to cut it, ceiling height isn't that important. Standing a plywood on 8' side is convenient but for a dream shop. If you want a table saw that can handle a full ply, you need more space side to side. You'll want excellent dust control and somehow keep the car from the dust?

For auto work, and no plan for a lift, I would want minimum 3' on the sides of the car and/or a driveway that has slight slope for drainage but is fairly level - level for the jack stands.
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort View Post
I would disagree with not needing a bunch of outlets. While it's true that normally you'll only use one outlet at a time, I find it extremely annoying when I'm using a corded drill, belt sander, Dremel, and whatever else, to keep plugging and unplugging them all the time. Maybe I'm a tool-princess, but that gets on my nerves. If my workshop wasn't a decades-old picker's cabin that is included in my rent, I'd change it up
That's why I have the cord reel. It has 3 plugs on it and most of the tools I use are generally not a good idea to keep plugged in even when off. A 4 1/2" angle grinder with a fiberglass wheel on it will cause a lot of $ damage if accidentally powered on while laying on ground/table.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carpdad View Post
For auto work, and no plan for a lift, I would want minimum 3' on the sides of the car and/or a driveway that has slight slope for drainage but is fairly level - level for the jack stands.
I'd want a lot more that that. Your average jack handle is probably in the neighborhood of 6'. Nothing more annoying than taking a half hour to get two jack stands under a car because you don't have enough room to pump the jack.
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:11 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=AlphaPilot;1392621]Thanks for the input.

Yes, it can get cold here and radiant heat or floor heat is nice because it keeps your items and feet warm which means the world when working in it. Maybe that is a bad idea and instead I should get infared heaters that heat objects and not the air?

I'm not fond of a second story, because of high winds. I'd like to keep the building low profile and have little wind load. For windows I was considering a couple or few on each side but nothing crazy.

So I did so far gather a big door > two little doors
Don't build small but instead build extra and don't use a carport later
9' or 10' ceilings? I was confused by ToolSeeker where he said 10' so you can stand plywood up...well isn't 9' ample for that? :P
I could never afford a lift or make it worth the costů

9' would be ample to stand it up but to move would be tight and stand a chance of bumping the ceiling. What I meant was 9' would be better than 8' and 10' would be better than 9'.
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:29 AM   #11
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A couple of thoughts. Make the overhead doors high enough. You may have a half-ton pick up now, but.......... Definitely go 100A service. If I'm arc welding and an air compressor kicks on, so be it. My garage has wiremold around most of it with receptacles every 4 feet. Nothing is more of a pain than unplugging one thing to plug in another. Think about having 4-5 battery chargers plugged in, a couple of bench grinders, etc. Allow for some cord drops from the ceiling in strategic places. Plan enough size for each bay to get completely around a vehicle and enough space between bays to fully open a car door without banging into the next vehicle or the wall. Pre-pipe air lines with at least one service chuck on each wall and one outside (blow off the lawnmower). Put a freezeproof faucet outside near the overhead doors. Slope the floors to a drain trench or floor drain with a grease/dirt trap. I'd install floor pex heat in a heartbeat. When you are working on something, it's much better picking a warm wrench off the floor, rather than an ice cold one. Not sure if you get snow, but having a heated floor with a drain to melt and get rid of slush that falls off of your vehicle is surely nice. The floor will dry super fast too. Storage trusses: yes. Metal roof, longer life and lighter weight. Have more lights than you think you need...... you need them. Switch them from each entry door. Plain concrete finish. A dropped wrench won't hurt it. Neither will steel wheels on a floor jack. Minimum of 20 feet of workbench solidly fastened with at least one 6" vise mounted towards the middle.
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:03 AM   #12
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Obviously go bigger.

I also wish my garage were designed in such a way for a chain hoist or something in the ceiling. It'd be nice to be able to lift a 1000 lb object out of my truck.

And I think that you do need lots of electrical receptacles. And I'd plumb for air too.
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:24 AM   #13
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I would build a 2 door building wide enough to fully open car or pick up truck doors either side. Too narrow is mighty aggravating. That width might be in the 28 ft. range and the length probably 38 ft.
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:38 PM   #14
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chain hoist was what i came to post also, so I'm going with a roof top putting green and driving range on the side as my suggestions instead
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:05 PM   #15
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I love my son-in-laws garage. Wide 2 car garage, separate doors. In the back is an area the width of the garage and deep enough for a 3rd car. One of the bays is open at the back where he can drive the 3rd car thru. He restores old cars, so often has a car there.

Plus he vented the grill so he can grill out there in the winter. A fridge and comfortable chair are out there and we hardly see him in the house. Lol. Every man should have a place like that.

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