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Thread: New Garage Build... Suggestions?

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    Senior Member Bob Moyer's Avatar
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    Question New Garage Build... Suggestions?

    OK... so... I'm putting in a garage in the backyard.

    The big issue is... I'm a corner lot, in suburbia, and can only fit a 20x20 in the space I have.

    I have a 20x20 on the front of the house... and that will become the wife's garage for her car, and the kid's garage for their bikes, scooters, etc. The back garage will be 100% mine.

    So, it's not going to be as big as I'd like, but it will be better than I have now. I'm looking for ideas on setup. Here's a few key points:

    • No... I can't go even a foot bigger. I'd love to, but I'm really at the max at this point.
    • No center drain.
    • Interior dimensions will be 19' and change.
    • You can see my stable in my sig line. There's also a small 4 wheeler and a 500cc Polaris at this time, too. That said... one of the GL1800's will be sold as well as, most likely, the R6... also, the two 4 wheelers.
    • No cars will be stored in the garage, except to do oil changes and other common maintenance.
    • There will be an upstairs living area... so I can't put an air compressor in the "attic" space or anything like that.



    So... what are your thoughts? If you were able to build a garage space from the ground up... what would you do?


    2009 GSXR 750 (Race), 2001 YZF426 (Dirt), 2014 GL1800 ("Sport" Touring), 2013 Super Tenere (ADV), 2015 CB500F (Daughter's), 2012 Zuma (Daughter's)
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  2. #2
    My big pet peeve with most garage spaces (including my own) is lighting. Don't skimp on lights. For a 20x20 space I'd say you're going to need at least four, and it looks like your plan only has two. Other than that, a spot for a tire changer might be useful for you, depending on your riding habits.

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    Senior Member Josh Henke's Avatar
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    My only thought right now is to have a lift (or ramp) for one of the ATVs. Park the other under it. Depends on how often they're used, but would be cool. The sides of the stand/lift could be used to hold things, maybe spare wheels, tools, straps, etc.
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  4. #4
    use as much vertical space (walls/ceilings) for storage, dont clutter your floor space with items that are not frequently used.

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    Senior Member Alan Etheredge's Avatar
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    Ditch the 4" car stop, flat floors are golden. If you put anything on/against the back wall (e.g. work surface) you're left with an awkward narrow trip/fall hazard and it'll be a PITA for anything with wheels. The step-up does nothing but limit your flexibility for use of the limited space.

    Many more electric outlets on separate circuits; consider above counter-top installation height for all.

    Indoor outlets but very near the garage door on both sides can be very handy for work in front of the garage.

    Outlets in the ceiling can be surprisingly handy.

    At least one box wired for 220 on a dedicated circuit; Use a blank cover, install the appropriate receptacle if/when needed; one near the garage door for outside access could be handy.

    A floor-drain can be mighty handy ... could be plumbed adjacent to the utility sink.

    Bottom line .... be more generous in planning for things that are behind drywall or under concrete .... that's the stuff that's a PITA to add later.

    Given any thought to HVAC? Even if not in the initial budget, consider wiring, framing and brick veneer pass-through for lines to accommodate a future near-ceiling split unit in the rear wall.
    Last edited by Alan Etheredge; 01-05-2016 at 04:32 PM.
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    Senior Member Bob Moyer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions so far guys!

    Comments so far:


    • Yeah... I was already planning on ditching the 4" car stop for a "flat" surface.
    • I will be putting LOTS of lights in. More than is depicted.
    • Good call on the power outlets above counter height.
    • I don't think I would have a need for 220 and all my maintenance is light duty stuff. No welding & such.
    • Good call on the floor drain... I was originally going without one, but since there will already be a drain with the sink, then it may be do-able to tie into that.
    • I currently have an air compressor in the attic of the front garage. So... I'm definitely looking to have a compressor "out of the way" in this one.
    • It will have 9' ceilings... and I plan to use as much of that vertical space as possible.
    • I was thinking of using a smaller garage door and offsetting it so that I could build a wall of cabinets and a workbench along the wall with the sink on it.
    • Oh yeah... it will be insulated and I will have a mini-split to heat and cool it too.
    2009 GSXR 750 (Race), 2001 YZF426 (Dirt), 2014 GL1800 ("Sport" Touring), 2013 Super Tenere (ADV), 2015 CB500F (Daughter's), 2012 Zuma (Daughter's)
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Alan Etheredge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Moyer View Post
    I don't think I would have a need for 220 and all my maintenance is light duty stuff. No welding & such.
    Just remember, that's cheap and easy contingency now but an expensive big hassle to change in the future ... looks like you're building for the long haul ... imagine the un-imaginable ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Moyer View Post
    It will have 9' ceilings... and I plan to use as much of that vertical space as possible
    If using a standard height overhead door, consider extending the vertical track and mounting the spring assembly above that so the raised door is as close as possible to the ceiling .... it'll make the space feel less confined when the door is open and provide welcome interior clearance on occasion. It is a non-standard installation but works just fine, you still only install door panels to fit the opening.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Moyer View Post
    I was thinking of using a smaller garage door and offsetting it so that I could build a wall of cabinets and a workbench along the wall with the sink on it.
    Were it me I would not do that. I'd go with the widest door possible 'cause once that's done it's what you'll have forever. There's no rule that says you have to actually use/keep clear all the available opening width .... let interior fixtures project beyond the opening all you want, those are things that can/will change over the years, but that door width is forever.

    It's good to think about how you'll layout the interior 'today' but for a 'shop' space I'd try to not build too specifically for your current ideas and activities .... those will evolve much more easily than the structural space. Speaking as an Olde Phart IMHO in the long haul you'll wish for flexibility to accommodate unimagined change in the way you use the space more than anything.

    Alan Etheredge, Associate and Interested Observer ~2003-2019
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    I have 15 LED 4'x6" lights in my 30'x20' garage. I think its just right on the lighting. I daisy chained them in a zig zag pattern with 2 light switches so only half would come on if I didn't need them all. I installed a 2-ton Mitsubishi mini split heat pump and it works great. You could put in a subpanel in the garage. Put in a 220v! its easy and cheap. Just cap it off until you need it. You could also put in some exhaust in case people want to smoke in the garage. You could put in a crush-proof exhaust hose system. It can attach to the exhaust of your vehicles and vent it so you can run the vehicles with the garage door down. Put a lot of electrical outlets. Possibly put in ceiling speakers with bluetooth connectivity for music. You could put in a TV. Epoxy coat the floors.
    Last edited by Thomas Cocker; 01-05-2016 at 06:21 PM.

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    Senior Member Dennis King's Avatar
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    240v is a necessity whether you think it our not.
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    i'd want alot of glass upstairs. but that just me.
    id add more power in the garage. id want a 50 amps just sitting there for later.
    power outlets every 8ft wouldnt hurt.
    def flat floors. youll cuss that step for sure.
    between the floors....id use webbed trusses, 1-1/8 tongue-in-groove flooring and be sure to glue AND nail it.

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