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Thread: The ultimate garage?

  1. #1

    The ultimate garage?

    I am no where near ready to start my garage yet, but I have been doing a lot of thinking about what I want. I was hoping to draw this up in the coming weeks and I would like to get as many ideas as I can. I have lived so long without a garage that once built,I want this one to work really good.

    Here are a few ground rules, but generally I will listen to every suggestion:

    I want it to be a 2 car garage
    It will be attached to the house via a breezeway
    I have unlimited room (acres) with very few building codes
    Its on a 6% grade with the ground sloping away from the house
    I do NOT do much mechanic work on my own vehicles
    I DO work on snowmobiles a lot
    I am an organization and clean freak
    Plan to add on a snowmobile shed (4 place) sometime in the future

    Some ideas of mine thus far:

    bathroom bump out
    oil change pit
    turn table floor so my wife does not have to back up car
    chain saw area for repair and maintenance

    So my question is, if you could build the ultimate garage, what would it have? What have you seen in other people's garage and said "I want that?" Any ideas?????
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Tokiwadai, Japan

    I'll give you my $.02 on two items now...

    "oil change pit" You don't work on your cars, and your snowmobiles can easily go up on a stand, right? Waste of $ and space, IMO.

    "turn table floor so my wife does not have to back up car" Have you thought about how much space will really be needed for a rotating floor? Everything that could get in the way would always have to be out of the "circle"...and your wife would have to be able to "spin" it. I suggest you have a drive through bay for her to use...

    Since you have space, why not go "3 car"? 1 drive through for your wife, one for your car, one for the snowmobiles/bathroom?

    This should be an interesting thread...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    London, Ontario
    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Johnson View Post
    I have unlimited room (acres) with very few building codes
    turn table floor so my wife does not have to back up car
    Those two seem to be in conflict. If you have unlimited room, then unless you also have unlimited money, I don't really see the point in a turntable. Those are pricey pricey pricey toys. I wouldn't be surprised if it was cheaper to just put a door in the back of the garage also, so your wife could just drive right on out the back and swing around the building. Of course, that would involve a lot more snowplowing in winter...

    My ideal garage would be LONG. I drive a minivan, and I really would like to be able to open the hatch and load/unload without being forced to have the big garage door open. In part, that is a privacy issue, as I don't really feel like advertising to the whole street when I am packing our van for a trip. But mostly, it is a comfort issue, as during inclement weather it is a pain in the neck to unload groceries and the like.

    My ideal garage drains well. Unlike our present garage where there is always a pool of water about 2' shy of the door in winter with ice-melt in it, thanks to sloppy concrete work by the builder.

    My ideal garage is well lit, so I can check the oil and so on without squinting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Floydada, Tx
    Well, if you plan on working on snowmobiles and chainsaws, I would install a couple of small exhuast fans to vent the fumes. Tall walls(10') allow for more clearence for taller items and/or storage. Seeing how you live in nice warm climate, 2x8 walls w/spray insulation. Skyligths for natural light and windows. My biggest thing would be in floor heat, laying on cold concrete is not fun. O.K., that should do it for now.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Quote Originally Posted by Al killian View Post
    ...laying on cold concrete is not fun...
    Do you lay on the floor of your garage often Al? Maybe you need to be nicer to the Missus so she'll let you come in the house at night.

    Travis, I'll echo the other guys' comments about the drive-through vs. the turntable. The turntable has a lot of "nifty keen" appeal, but it's not as practical or versatile as the drive-through.

    Not sure how the price would compare, but would a hydraulic lift (the kind that lifts from both sides of the vehicle) be a better choice than a service pit? You'd still have access to the floor space that way if needed. With a pit, the floor space is lost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Johnson View Post
    ...What have you seen in other people's garage and said "I want that?"...
    I can think of lots of things...Corvettes, Mustangs, Ferraris, Maseratis, the list goes on and on.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    A couple of things ...

    • A friend has a two car garage that he only does woodworking in. He insulated under the floor very well and installed low pressure, in-floor heating - it's fabulous - warm feet while you work!!
    • A "pit" is very usefull .... as long as the water table is lower than the bottom of the pit ... make sure that you have a fan running steady in the pit ... gas fumes sink, accumulate and explode ..
    • Ten foot (or higher) ceilings are nice ... wouldn't it be nice to turn, tilt, etc, 4x8 sheets of stock without damaging the ceiling?
    • An overhang of 6 or 8 feet at the rear (outside) over a concrete pad, so that you have a place to stack wood, steel, pipe, etc, stuff that should be out of the weather, but doesn't need to be inside.

    Just a few thoughts...

    cheers eh?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    I have what many would consider the ideal garage. Three car wide, with a two car door. 40' long. Downside: it is the place where my wife wants to keep a more than forty year accumulation of 'stuff' which is stacked head high. We can barely walk inside much less put vehicles in there. (I did make room for my ATV )
    I would suggest, for you, a three car wide with two car door, high roof with stout beam from which you can mount an electric chain hoist. Some insulation, good electric service and a way to heat. Lock it, lose the extra key to keep your wife from storing 'stuff' in it.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    All sounds good to me!

    With a well designed pit, you don't loose any floor space, you just make it so there is a removable floor over the pit, 2" thick slabs of oak work well!

    If you do the pit, a sump is a must, and the fan, is a good idea, also some caged fluorescents lights along the edge of the pit, to up light the bottom of the car/truck.

    I'd also put some of those electric heater strips in the concrete near the entrance and exit of the garage, if it is on a slope.

    Bathroom is a good idea, with a large "Mud" sink, as we used to call it.

    Some kind of area or room to hang your snow machine outerwear so dry off after use!

    Take the time and make the effort to place the building so that the sun shines on it the right way, and make the eaves so they over hang enough to allow the sun into the windows in the winter, but not in the summer, this will with heating and cooling.

    On the side of the building that does not get any sun, put some windows WAY HIGH up on the wall, near the ceiling, these should open with a chain or something, so in the summer you can open them to let the hot air out of the rooms, and in the winter you get free light from them.

    How is that for a start?
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Salt Spring Island, BC Canada
    Travis if you put in a drive through you will loose that ceiling and wall space of that part of the garage on both sides. That seems a bit of a waste of space to me. Why not build a 2 or 3 car garage and have a drive through car port attached to the house side so that the wife can unload groceries and such without sacrificing the garage space for that? Ok I found the perfect garage plans for you Travis, check it out.

    Well you started it with the turn table idea

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    DSM, IA
    My BIL's uncle has a nice collection of Harleys that he stores on hydrolic lifts so he can still get his truck in the garage and also easier to work on...maybe something to think about for your sleds? A bathroom would be nice, I've always wanted a urnial in mine. I would spend some time looking at some of the "ultimate garage" books that are out there to get some really cool ideas.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
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