DIYer's dream garage setup

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  #1  
Old 05-24-12, 07:21 AM
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DIYer's dream garage setup

As many on here, I am a huge DIY guy. I have opertunity to design my new garage over the next year, with construction starting next spring.
So... with a year to plan out the untimate DIYer's garage, I thought I would start a general chat thread about the what setup / arrangement others would do with the following limitations. Obviously I don't have millions to tool the garage, but layout, ideas, tips and tricks that you guys have seen or done would be great.

The limitations are;
footprint: 32ft deep, 36ft wide (hight is non-issue)
Local Temp range: -35'C to +35'C
No natural gas
Will need to store yard tools
Will need to store/work on Car during winter months
Would need to be heated during winter
Can not be ugly as sin on the outside (wife's requirements)

I'll be looking to use the garage to work on cars (daily driver, toy car, classic Iltis jeep), wood working, home DIY projects, detailing cars/motorcycles and someday down the line, Fiberglassing and painting (automotive parts).


Now that that is out of the way... I was thinking potentially 2 bay doors offset to the one side, with a man door on the other side. The end with the man door would be more of a workshop area.

How would you layout a DIYer's garage with the above limitations?
 
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  #2  
Old 05-24-12, 09:59 AM
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My 2 car garage is 26X24 and 2 story. The car bays have enough room for a small workbench, storage cabinet and a place to park my lawn tractor, lawn mower, lawn spreader, golf clubs and a small compressor. Lots of "stuff" hanging on the walls. However, with my truck and my wife's SUV in the garage there is hardly room to turn around. If I'm working on my truck I usually park my wife's car outside. Originally I put my workbench and rollaround on the side under the stairs but I have since moved it to where they are in front of where I park my truck.

The upstairs has about 350 s/f of usable space. I have two workbenches, 2 storage cabinets, table saw, jointer, router table, drill press and a bandsaw. Ironically, I seldom do any woodwork anymore and it sees less use than I expected. I'm toying with cleaning most of the woodworking stuff out.

I designed and built the garage myself (except for the concrete foundation). At the time I thought it was going to be huge. I was wrong. If I had to do it again I would make it larger just so I could add more stuff. I would also eliminate windows because they take up wall space that could better be used for hanging stuff. One other suggestion - you can't have enough outlets and enough light. Don't skimp on the power. The garage is unheated and uninsulated although it is sheetrocked. If it is too cold to work in the garage - I don't work in hte garage. I have a kerosun space heater in the workshop and I've supplemented that with electric space heaters on really cold days.
 
  #3  
Old 05-24-12, 10:13 AM
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This is why I'm going big.
I'm going to be in this house until the kids move me into an old age home, so I want work space and toy space.

The one issue I am having is I would like to be able to park one vehicle in the garage that will come and go every work day. During the winter, this means snow and road crap coming in with it.
Being that I would like to have a "clean" area for detailing, painting, etc, I might have to make the workshop end the clean room and the far bay door the come and go area.
 
  #4  
Old 05-24-12, 01:38 PM
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I would arrange the bays so you have plenty of room to swing your doors wide open so you can get in and out of the vehicles easily. I would put windows in. You can't beat the feeling of natural light. Actually, maybe you can do a couple skylights as well. I do at least one window in each wall. It doesn't take much to really brighten the place up. You can also make them real tall.

I'm a woodworker, so that's really the only part I can comment on. Put everything on wheels. This way you can stow everything against the walls when you need the cars in the garage and pull it out when you need to work. You can even put your workbench on wheel if that would help you arrange the space. I would also dedicate a space for some kind of vent hood for your future painting.
 
  #5  
Old 05-24-12, 01:51 PM
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I don't have a garage and don't really have the space to build a nice garage but I can tell you what I would do if I could. I think if I was going to build a garage it would have to have room for at least two cars plus some stuff. I too would want it heated as unheated space is really useless at other times of the year. So to heat the space up I would buy those ceramic heaters you can put in the ceiling that a show called Hometime here in the U.S. has shown me. Where you get them I can't say but they say they keep an area nice and warm and can be controlled by a thermostat so they are out of the way and can't be tripped on. I would also want everything to be portable so everything would have to be on wheels including any saws I might have in the garage. As for wall storage there is a hook system you can buy that fits on the wall and you can slide the hooks back and forth to suit your needs. The hooks are made of metal and the thing the hooks slide on I believe is made of plastic that is easy to clean and very durable. Of course too you need plenty of electrical outlets and need to make sure you consider all of the power requirements of each item you will have. I also would have the floor professionally epoxied as a professionally coating will last longer and put in some insulation in the walls.
 
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Old 05-25-12, 08:31 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

One thing I learned really quickly with my old garage was to put electrical outlets beside the bay door(s). One on each side. That way, if you need an extra light or something at that corner of the vehicle, it's there. Also makes powering items just outside the bay door easier.

As for the windows... Definately going to be putting in a few.
I'll Probably put one in each bay (opposite wall from the bay doors). I will definately make sure to have enough room between or above the windows to hang my ladders. I didn't have this space in my previous garage and had one extension ladder hanging across a window as a result.
Not too sure about the sky lights. Great idea, but I am kind of thinking of using the roof for solar pannels (in the future) to run the house utilities (well pump, boiler, sump pump).
I do however need a lot of light, at least in one area where I am detailing the cars.

For heating... I'm still trying to figure out what would be the best (cheapest to run) method. The setup I had at the previous house was a 220V forced air electric heater that I would turn on only when I was going out to work in there. If I do the same thing here, I'll probably built retractable (folding walls) to seporate the bays. This way I only heat what I need. The down side is I'll loose wall space when open. Might also consider a heavy canvas for deviders instead. These could be a bit easier to store then hard walls.
 
  #7  
Old 05-25-12, 02:16 PM
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You should absolutely insulate the heck out of this garage. My brother just had a two car garage built with living space above. The put 6" of XPS on the outside of the building and roof for insulation. He hasn't turned the HVAC on yet because work is still being done. So when it was cold out during the winter, he had one of those plug in electric baseboards running so the guys could do the tile work etc. So that's a max of 1500 watts and it was only heating the living space, but it was more than the building needed. It was cycling on and off. So if you put your money into goo dinsulation up front, you won't have to worry about heating costs. A space that is always heated is far more comfortable than a space that is heated when you need it.
 
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Old 05-25-12, 02:25 PM
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If you plan on being on the floor in the winter working on the car, radiant heat is really nice to have.

That said, it takes a lot of time and energy to heat up a cold slab....
 
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Old 05-25-12, 02:52 PM
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It may have already been said...but outlets every other stud (or every third stud) can really make things easier. My Dad built a garage and that's what he had..all 20A circuits. Don't remember if he ran 2 circuits to every other outlet or not.

I'd also suggest at least one heavy 240V outlet for a welder or similar if you are in to that.


Lay it out on graph paper and plan for air lines connected to your compressor. Much easier than running hoses.

Just my thoughts....
 
  #10  
Old 05-25-12, 04:14 PM
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I had another thought on the heating and cooling aspect a ductless mini split system with a compressor outside. They are great for garages and put out a great deal of heat and cooling. Here is a link to what I am talking about CUE18JKK-CSE18JKK - Panasonic 17,100 Btu 18 SEER (230 Volt) Wall Mount Air Conditioner Heat Pump Kit . This company sells the Panasonic brand and there are many other brands out there. Not sure how well they will do in Canada but they use them as far north as Massachusetts here in the United States as I have seen them on This Old House and they seem to like them. Anyway it is another option for you that you can think about. These also have remote controls by the way that you can set to a certain temperature.
 
  #11  
Old 05-25-12, 04:15 PM
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I didn't mention that my garage is detached. That was a deliberate decision on my part. I built it that way mostly because of noise, safety and code issues. My wife semi objected but she was over ruled.

Again, with the windows I just don't think they are necessary for light. Ventilation is another matter. I have 5, six over six double hung windows, 3 down and 2 up. If I were doing it over I would not have any windows in the car bays. The wall space is too valuable to waste. I would keep the 2 windows upstairs for ventilation.

My shop upstairs is insulated. The car bays are not.
 
  #12  
Old 05-25-12, 06:16 PM
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For heat, hands down, would be in floor radiant heat. When you heat the cement floor up everything will feel warmer as the heat will rise around you. The good thing with in floor heat is you can heat the water/glycol in almost every way. Electric, gas (propane tank), wood with an outside boiler (your in Canada, you must have a wood source ) or even solar. If your working on cars the floor will be warm to lay on. When you open the garage door you may lose some heated air but the mass of concrete will not lose the heat. Even if you cant afford the heating appliance up front, I HIGHLY recommend installing the tubing in the pour. It is, for sure, a DIY job. Oh, and put 2" of XPS between the slab and the ground.

A/C can be a mini-split or just a window shaker.

For power, I would recommend a 100 amp service. It will run everything you need unless you heat with electric. If that is the case, a 200 would be better. I would surface mount everything in EMT. It may look "industrial" but it would be easily modified and would not take away from any R-value or your insulation. If your good with a bender it can look like a work of art.

IDK if you could swing this but a bathroom would be pretty handy.
 
  #13  
Old 05-25-12, 07:17 PM
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I think you are well over $100,000 now for your garage/shop.
 
  #14  
Old 05-25-12, 10:43 PM
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This is a picture of my dream workshop The New Yankee Workshop Webcam Archive. I found this after a bit of digging around. It is a webcam archive of the New Yankee Workshop. Talk about expensive tools and not to mention about every tool you could ever want in a wood shop. If you added this to a garage you would be talking about plenty of money. Too bad the show is no longer on I couldn't do even half of what he did but really enjoyed watching a craftsman at work. Not everything is pictured here but you get to see at least some of the tools.
 
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Old 05-26-12, 08:11 AM
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I think you are well over $100,000 now for your garage/shop.
Nah...I figure it to be just a hair over $90k
 
  #16  
Old 05-29-12, 04:46 AM
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Tolyn Ironhand,

Definately like your suggestions, but the budget isn't there for $100K plus.

The first phase will be to build the completed shell, with floor and foundation. I do like the radiant floor heat as I know from experience, once the floor warms up, it's a lot easier to work in the garage.

In wall compressor piping will be a must for sure, with a couple retractable lines (probably one in the ceiling between the two bays on the one side).

I'm still on the fence about 2 or 3 bay doors. I was originally thinking 2 bay doors off set to the one side (left side if you stand at the road), with a man door on the right wall (workshop area). I kind of like the idea of a bay door for the workshop area (3 Bay doors total then). This would allow me to easily roll in a project vehicle or larger quipment/lumber. The only setback is losing a wall to the bay door.


I'll start drawing up a basic layout and post it up to see what you guys think.
 
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