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Hey guys/gals, I just bought a new house and I'm planning my garage setup. Anyone have any helpful tips ot tricks that you have used in your garage? Is there anything about your garage that you would change if setting it up all over again? I guess what I am looking for are custom or trick ideas that I can incorporate into my garage. Oh, and any recomendations on floor paint? Home Depot has a 2 part epoxy paint that looks ok.....

Make sure you ceiling is high enough to get your lift installed. Other than that... lots of AC outlets.:)
Or you could go with a pit, although probably a little more difficult to put one in an existing garage...I put mine in while building the shop. Never the less, the point is - a lift or pit is essential if your going to do serious work yourself.
Old kitchen cabinets and counter tops work GREAT in the garage. If you look around you can find some for free or real cheap when people are doing remodels, etc.

Plus, you can go to the hardware store and get raw counter top material that has damage on it for a song. I was able to make an offer to Home Depot on the 14' or so of counter top that I installed in the back of the garage because there was a small crack on one end (not acceptable for putting in a kitchen).

Don't forget the kitchen sink! At the least, buy a good deep laundry sink and plumb it in. If the plumbing is already done, you can easily tap into another source. Worst case scenario, put a drier style duct on the ouside of the house and let is simply drain into the yard. Hey, this is better than walking outside, grabbing the garden hose, and washing your hands in the flower bed.

At the most, put a toilet in. I have had on in my last two garages and believe me, the wife really appreciates no more greasy prints on the master bath fixtures. I put up a light weight thin privacy surround around the toilet by hanging some old vented folding closet doors from my house remodel. Total loss of floor space is about 4' by 2' in an extreme corner.

Let there be light!!!!!! You need plenty of light. I was able to pick up some huge 277 volt in ceiling florecent fixtures from an industrial remodeling job for FREE. Took them home, spent $10 on each one at Homedepot on the 110 volt ballast resisters and installed them between the trusses in the actic for bright clean flush mounted lighting. Total investment was under $100 for all six fixtures.

Run a phone and cable outlet. Pick up a cheap cable ready t.v. so you can watch speedvision and other quality programing while wrenching. The phone is a given. Make sure and get a cordless that won't break your heart if it gets grease or paint on it.

Don't forget to leave space for a good small fridge. I have a small unit that we picked up from Walmart for around $70. It keeps my cold drinks cold. I need to put a small microwave out there, just keep forgetting.

Think out a good spot for the air compressor and wire good power to it. I was able to build mine into the lower corner cabinet. It gets just enough air, and is out of sight. I ran the water seperater and hose out the other end of the cabinet for a neat and clean look.

Hmmmmm, finally, don't forget the climate control! If your neighborhood ordinance will allow it, put a good window style a/c, heat unit in. At least in Florida, this is soooooooooo awesome to flick the a/c on around 7:00 a.m. during the summer, and let it run all day. I can pull my wrenches in style!
If I had it to do all over again I would build a 4 car instead of a 3 car.
nyernga said:
hey Chris..........are you sure thats a garage you're talking about? Sounds more like a home if you ask me.:L

a 4x2 bathroom? You don't eat mexican food much do you?:L :L

It may only be 4 x 2, but the walls are made from an old closet folding door so they are vented!!!!!!!!!!!
I hadn't thought of a fridge....good idea. I live in South Texas and it get's pretty hot down here to. I was planning a A/C unit....any recommendations on size? Oh and as close as I am to the border I know all about Mexican food!
I keep my compressor on the lower level of the garage and ran pipe up thru the floor to all three bays. Also installed overhead electrical reels that pug into the garage door openers for power. make it easy when you need a light just to pull down the cable and snap it back and it goes back up into the reel. don't foget you internet access, makes it easy to look things up when you working on a car for parts etc. Wish I had a bathroom in mine, maybe this summer
Currently building our house to we have done

A "Mezanen" A six foot high cat walk four feet wide for storage

12 foot 7 ceiling

a four car garage however 3 door (4th stall is taken by shop)

Put in wall Air lines VERY handy not triping over hoses and such

Look at a lift these car are totally inacessable at 4-5 inchs high

Also for the MRS if shes not much of a driver (MR's in some cases) mount a string from the ceiling with a street hockey ball on the end of it (this enables your loved one not to overshoot the enty in garage and smash into your Snap On tool box)
Just let the ball touch the windshield and youll never have a problem

Find a big fifty gallon drum and put it in the corner then find a solvent pump with a metal tub for your parts cleaner (MAKE ONE go find out what Snap On wants you'll freak)

Hang rubber surrounded hook on the wall for your delicate materials such as roof tops and spare hoods...

Just some things we've done hope this helps ya
I made these cabinets with mostly scrap lumber left over from building the garage plus a few new pine boards. Framed with 2x6s, the work surface was free from a local furniture company. It is like Masonite but much denser and about 2" thick. Comes in 5' x 12' sheets and took 4 guys to unload each. Very heavy. I used a double layer for about 4" total thickness. Also used it for the lower workbench shelves. I still have to mount the vice and some other things but it is solid as rock. Don't forget to lag your bench to the wall to prevent any chance of movement when you are agressively adjusting something.

I had a regular 93% gas furnace installed with 5 ceiling registers for even heating. It will also accept central air when I talk the wife into it. The lights are standard 4' tubes with covers so the tubes stay clean. Look better too and don't cost much.

I have a 80 gallon and a 30 gallon stationary compressor in the garage that my shop is attached to. This way I have a dust free supply of air to the compressor intakes.The hallway into the house has a half bath so I don't have to go into the regular baths. It is also right next to the kitchen in case of emergency. I have water in the other garage but not the shop. A sink would be nice.

I used regular Polyseal concrete sealer on the floor. It has lasted 11 years in the other garage with cars in and out daily. Not too showy but bullitproof and cheap and it keeps a nice gloss if you mop it. You can also recoat it whenever you want.

With so many members building or modifying their garages wouldn't it be beneficial to have a garage forum? There are so many good ideas to be shared and it seems that someone always comes up with a new Idea that is a time saver or a great convenience. Think I'll ask Rob about this.


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