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Gavin (CliffToCoast)

Garage must/wish haves?

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I'm putting together plans for a garage build and would like to tap the collective experience here.  For those that have built or used a multi car garage....what would be on your list of must haves or things you would do differently? Our rough shape is two offset rectangeles. First time around for me designing/building a structure so all comments welcome.  Intention is to have smaller rectangle housing one car & high single level with the larger adjoining rectangle to house 3 cars (& with stackers 6) plus loft storage/accom.

 

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A lot of insulation so that it's not too hot or too cold

Projector screen TV so that you can watch F1 or preferred motorsport while working on cars, or alternatively Youtube videos showing technique how to do whatever mechanical task currently working on

Water tanks with filters for car washing so that you water with no additives when washing

Covered and lit car wash bay so you can wash car at any time

Lots of powerpoints so that you can keep cars on CTek's without extension cords running everywhere

plumbed in air with multiple connectors so that you can easily access air when needed to clean, power tools, inflate tyres etc from virtually anywhere in garage

 

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Fantastic - keep it coming.  Love the wash bay idea, drainage & compressed air.  Will likely be residential grade insulation (as upstairs may be accom one day).  Big screen for youtube 'how to' is a great idea....something I'm always doing when working on cars.

 

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Probably sounds stupid, but a pull out annex like you see on caravans so you can move the car outside but under cover while working in the garage on another car or project.

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I am in the final stages of the build of my garage. Had a long time to think about it but still forgot one thing - annoyingly. 

It’s a 3 car garage with a scissor truss ceiling which is plenty high enough for 3 lifts (if required) to accommodates 6 cars. I also made sure that it’s deep enough to allow a long set of cabinets and work benches without compromising parking space.  i also included enough room for a dedicated memorabilia wall/storage for helmets, gloves, plaques, etc.

Directly attached is a covered space for two more cars with one being a wash bay with drainage, compressor and overhead water supply so hoses don’t cross over the car while washing. And then there is a open parking bay next to that where I plan to put a retractable awning. So overall, space for 9 cars assuming I go ahead with the lifts which will be a future decision.

All protected by hydraulic bollards because there are a lot of not very nice people out there.

And the one thing I forgot! Enough well placed power points for battery tenders so that I don’t have extension leads running all over the place.

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Couple of fire extinguishers, first aid kit, refridgerator full of liquid refreshments (to prevent dehydration of course)

You could hang power outlets from the roof

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Make sure you put in a double garage door instead of just singles so you can easily get a car trailer in and/or move cars around. Also make sure you have enough height (keeping in mind the trusses) for hoists, even if you aren't considering them now. Basically build it as tall as you can get away with, as mezzanines are good too :D

Insulation is a must, along with the plumbed in air lines (although air tools have pretty much been totally replaced with cordless now).

If you can. Put EVERYTHING on wheels. Work benches, etc are fantastic on castors as you can pull them out when you are working on them and put them away when you are done, and if/when you find a better layout, you can easily move things around. 

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In floor scissor lift for detailing and minor works

Air compressor line near the scissor lift

Hot and cold water to run through plumbed wash bay pressure washer

Ducted Vacuum point 

Properly graded wash bay area or at least have bunding to prevent water going everywhere

Make sure materials being used can withstand water

 

I already have a wash bay in the basement (needs bunding floor isnt level unfortunately)  but would prefer overhead plumbing for hose rather than dragging out a 30M high pressure hose. I am missing all of the above :) Never thought I would get so heavily into the car maintenance stuff and now regret not having the scissor lift, air lines and ducted vacuum point. My pet hate is extension leads. hoses and vacuum hoses being dragged around. Even if you dont use it, its cheaper to run all the services during construction regardless of future use. 

 

If you really want over the top inspiration check out AMMO NYC and Obsessed Garage for ideas - both over the top characters

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35 minutes ago, hugh said:

Mirrors and a disco ball. 

 I've got a disco ball available

 Have a look at this for starters

 Jack is a member here too 

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Good well thought out lighting so there is no dark spots in the garage.

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As many roller door as there are cars. Don't make the mistake I made and have a six car garage with one roller door.

Seriously contemplating putting roller doors on side of garage to get the bikes out at least.

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3 phase power, PA door, cross ventilation, windows (and curtains or other shades), toilet and hand basin

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I've built/set up a few home garages now...

  • Lighting - lots of options now in LED strip lighting, but also consider a strip at 1' level for when you've got cars on a hoist.  Have your sparky add a lighting circuit with plugs so you can constantly update/upgrade lighting as it gets better and to facilitate easy replacement.  Also add switched options for less/more light as needed.  Don't forget light over work benches.
  • 15amp power points!  Small expense for added draw items like a welder and compressor.  You can also run caravans etc...
  • 3 phase if you're feeling exotic or running a plasma cutter :D
  • Retractable power lead (on a spring coil) so you can run power outside easily.
  • Ceiling fans (for comfort) and a powered wall exhaust/extractor fan so you can run cars briefly without NOX poisoning (you can box the area and use as a fume cabinet).  Really consider ventilation overall!
  • I used to add plumbed air, but as Jeff suggests, it can be a bit superfluous with the battery gear available now.  But it's great for blowing out the work space (though I now use my 32v garden blower most of the time).  A single air source on a retracting coil is probably all that's really needed these days.
  • Slab drainage as others have suggested
  • Seal the slab with quality 2-pac to enable cleaning and in a lighter colour to reflect light up and under your cars.
  • Big TV and fridge.  Also a bluetooth speaker for tunes etc...
  • If you're getting exotic, a lift embedded into the slab would be sweet AF!
  • Smoke alarms (but make up covers for times when you're making smoke such as welding)
  • Plumbed water/sink. 
  • Toilet and shower is a genuine bonus! 
  • Wall mounted whiteboard for 'lists' (helpful for when you're servicing or got multiple projects on the boil)
  • Shop laptop and internet

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2 hours ago, Fishcop said:

Seal the slab with quality 2-pac to enable cleaning and in a lighter colour to reflect light up and under your cars.

Great list. I would like to add that depending on the work you are doing, don't go with a flat colour. The flakes you add on are a great idea and after living with mine for a few years now I regret going flat grey. It looked great at first, but with the amount of work I am constantly doing it has marks all over it now.

If you are planning on mostly just parking cars, and doing some minor maintenance then it probably doesn't matter. I realise I probably give my home garage a little harder time than most ;)

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You could have two single roller doors with a removable plinth. Had this at a previous house.  fantastic !

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Be alright out the kitchen window for bringing the the tucker upstairs after shopping :)

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Depending on your overall insulation needs - Don't forget to also insulate whatever doors you fit to your garage.

Mine is a single car garage with a North facing panel lift door which cops direct sunlight. In summer you could stand inside, a metre away from the door and it felt like you were standing next to a bar radiator. You end up running your aircon plant extra hard just to cool off all this internally radiated heat.

Some 'Foil Board' insulation solved that predicament.

Depending on how fussy you are - also pay attention to overall sealing around the roller/panel doors as these can end up allowing a substantial amount of dust & debris in.

For the door/floor seal I utilised this great product (no affiliation): https://www.weatherstop.com.au/collections/garage-door-seal-kits

The perimeter of my panel door is also equipped with a fire ember brush seal to prevent the ingress of dust/debris.

All of the above solutions are quick, easy and cheap to apply so anybody can do it - While the dust mitigation is welcomed the addition of these simple products also allow your air con to run a lot more efficiently.

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Enough power for an electric car charger of the biggest type available.  Someday there will be an electric parked there.

Don’t forget some space for seating.  Always good fun to work while the peanut gallery throws suggestions.  Close to the bar fridge is a good idea.

 

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Whirlybirds-roof top ventilation.

I have two on my roof and they do make a difference.

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