New Garage Build, please advise.


docshelby

GT Owner
Apr 8, 2008
45
Metro Detroit
Starting plans for new house. Attached, will be, while not my dream garage, should be a pretty nice space for most car guys. The largest footprint the builder sees feasible is 22' x 40' x 12'.
So I need advice on hoists that will fit the GT, floor thickness, power, gas/heat, lighting, and things I haven't even thought of. Great information hitting the search button, but would like to get a fresh perspective.
Thank you very much, for you input, appreciate your time!
 

PeteK

GT Owner
Apr 18, 2014
1,173
Great Falls, VA
"Give up all hope, ye who enter here!" (Apologies to Dante Alighieri)

Plenty of stuff in the various threads, which you know if you already did a search. I'll put in my piece:

Get a two-post lift with overhead cross bar. Much more useful if you do your own work because you can access everything under the car. You can buy these amazingly cheap at Greg Smith Equipment. $1600 will do it for all your needs, unless you need to pick up something that weighs more than 9000 lbs.

Minimum recommended floor thickness is 4", but I would specify 5" to be safe, since concrete contractors do not usually take care to meet that minimum in all places. It needs either rebar or 10ga welded mesh.

Height: You will need at least 11.5 ft, preferably 12 ft.

Lifts are typically 240 volt, so you need that in the garage at a dedicated outlet for the lift. A large air compressor also runs on 240 volts, but the good 120-volt ones are enough for most uses. I suggest a 100-amp branch circuit panel in the garage too. Although you probably won't use 100 amps at one time, you want to size everything to that capacity. At a minimum, 60 amps.

Lighting: your choice, but these days I would go with the LED "shoplight" fixtures. They are competitive in price with fluorescents, and will last a lot longer and use less juice.

Heat: You live in Detroit. Heat in the garage is a necessity, unless you don't use it during the winter. Natural gas if you have it.

With a 40' width, I would not try to squeeze 4 garage doors in. I would go with 3 doors, and make them 10' wide instead of the usual 8' residential garage door. you also need one regular door to the outside, both for safety and so you don't have to open the main garage door just to get in and out (and let in the cold air during the winter).

Something I found real useful for putting along the walls for storage is NOT shelves--crap just falls off shelves--but used office side-file cabinets. They can handle a lot of weight, and the drawers keep stuff from falling out. Workbenches and tool boxes go along the walls too.

Gotta have at least a small refrigerator and a flat panel TV in the garage too!
 
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twobjshelbys

GT Owner
Jul 26, 2010
4,906
Las Vegas, NV
Are you allowed to run sewer/water? I would expect so since it's new construction. If so, you definitely want a service sink for washing greasy hands. And if you can get plumbing then a 3/4 bath wouldn't be a bad idea either. Then you can watch the game in the recreational area without having to head to the main house for the head. You could make the garage entrance go through the laundry bath could be right by the laundry room, but I'd still have the sink in the garage.

I'm not sure about a over pour on the whole floor. A 4" pour is really 3.5" (the 2x4 on its side for form). Get the design in place early and lock down the lift locations and put some extra spread footers under the lift pads and you'd be able to avoid the over pour for the rest of the floor. 3.5" is plenty for the normal floor if you use 4500psi pour (your building code will tell you what you need minimum). Require them to put the vapor barrier down!!! Otherwise your concrete sealer will eventually fail. A good compacted base will also allow you to relax the concrete thickness. In other words, don't use thickness to overcome a good design.
 
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Iconic GT

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Dec 30, 2017
355
Texas
I recently built a man cave for our cars. Not sure how mini splits will work in the north but here is a link to heater and ac. The ac will aid in keeping humid air out. in Texas, it’s a must.


Very efficient and quiet and a fraction of the price from a Mitsubishi.

Expoxy flooring or stained concrete with high polished finish.... lots of cool options here!

The other consideration may be your interior walls for art and signs. The FORD image site has some killer artwork and you can get in wall mural configurations. There 30% off now!


post pics... I will be building another in a matter of months.
 

soroush

Ford Gt Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Aug 8, 2007
4,903
I just finished my garage again after a big flood we had here couple years ago

use common sense when planning for things

figure out what you will be doing in the space,
if you work on your own car have a space designed for that with tool cabinets and storage in the same space that will satisfy your needs
of course a lift.. I prefer a 4 post lift as they are much more residential friendly and you can also use it for long term storage of a car (two post you really should not do that) w large, wide track 4 post and two rolling jacks you will be able to do 99 percent of work on any part of the car.

design your work space to maximize storage ( you can choose cabinets and or shelving units or both to suit your needs and space)

depending on how big the over all garage will be you can designate a separate area for just parking cars and you can display your wall art or other art there,,

leave a space for sink so make accommodation for a large sink you can use a restaurant style sink or whatever suits your needs and or space available.

an area preferably in the clean part of the garage for a fridge would be nice, think commercial fridge, they are cheap enough now.

you can even think about doing a sitting area if the garage is big enough, ( that was one luxury I couldnt afford in my build) but I think a sitting area would be very cool

go big on lighting its never enough. more is definitely better, if you design overhead cabinets and counter make sure you put some lights under the overhead cabinets there are tons to chose from flourecent is my choice, LED is another great choice.

now is also the time to think about running compressed air lines in the walls and terminate them with manifolds in different spots around the work space and perhaps you can make a little shed for a large capacity compressor outside the garage which can be plumbed in (no noise inside the garage when compressor is on) you can even wire it so you can turn it on and off from inside the garage

do the same with electrical, make sure you have plenty of outlets and plenty of 240.. specially if you decide to run the compressor as I suggested the space there should have both a 110 and 240 available

when you choose a lift buy a 240V not 115 (takes a lot longer to raise the car, may not seem like a big deal but if you work on the car a lot it becomes a pain (ask me how I know)

also plum a 240 outlet above in the ceiling where the lift will go you can power the lift directly from above no need to have wires hanging any where in the way

in the same way ( on the ceiling) you can have retractable electric reels hanging from appropriate spots around the work space, you can even do the same for air reels.

as for heating and cooling by far the most bang for buck are wall/window units.. not the best looking but two 24000 btu units should not cost more than 700 bucks each and since you are designing from scratch you can opt to put the units in a wall that is not attached to the house, both can be on the same wall just on either ends of the wall that should give you enough coverage for your space ( I would position them high up on the wall maybe a couple of feet away from the ceiling so you will need 240v outlets in those spots as well) the large btu units usually use 240. the backs of the units will just stick out and you can run drain lines to the ground from the outside . they also come with remote controls so you can easily turn them on and off even if they are way up high.

there are so many other things to think about I could probably write a book the possibilities are endless but the proposition of building a new garage is exciting do your research well ahead of time once you build it it will be difficult to make a major change.

only other thing to add is if you want to go big have your contractor install a heavy duty header beam in the ceiling( that could support a 1000 lbs) towards the front of where the lift will go, to which you can attach a wench to that way you can use it to pull an engine out if you ever need to .. a heavy duty wench is very cheap and beats having a big clunky engine hoist laying around ..

hope this helps.
 
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soroush

Ford Gt Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Aug 8, 2007
4,903
ie
 

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Biginch Blake

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Nov 4, 2008
829
Rockville, Indiana
Best advice I can give is don’t attach to house, if it attached to house the wife thinks she owns part of it. “And that’s all I got to say”. LOL 👊
 
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twobjshelbys

GT Owner
Jul 26, 2010
4,906
Las Vegas, NV
Also there will be different rules if this is also shared space for the daily drivers and what the goal for the rest of the space is. ie man cave vs wood shop.
 

1997spider

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Jun 11, 2018
34
Washington D.C.
I just completed a project. A 2 car garage in the DC area. I went with 2 (side by side) single post lifts by American Custom Lifts. They also have a variety of others, 2 post, 4 post, etc. However, we love the single post as they take up much less space and are easy to get around. We placed the posts on the outer walls which takes up very little space. You can remove the bottom "drip" pans to work on the car if you like. You can see their specs and requirements on the website. I did a ton of research and have been very happy with them. I did have an issue with hydraulic fluid leaking from one of the lifts, but they sent out a tech and it was fixed quickly and have not had a problem since then.

Here is their site: https://aclifts.com/lifts/m-1-single-post-car-lift/

We also added heat/ac through a wall mounted Mitsubishi unit and it works great. We have a unique situation with the way our lot slopes which ended up creating 19 foot ceilings in the garage and the unit works great. We used a local garage company to install wall slats and a workshop/bench with a sink and industrial faucet.
 

GTdrummer

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Mar 13, 2010
1,970
Richmond Virginia
Figure how much lighting you think you need—then double it.
 
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Pat Milliken Ford

*Supporting Vendor*
Supporting Vendor
Feb 15, 2017
278
Redford, Michigan
I just built a 30 x 40 garage with 12 foot ceilings a couple years a ago. You are welcome to come check it out and get some ideas! I live in the Milford area.
 
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spartan

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 11, 2017
723
Bloomfield Hills MI
That's a good idea @patmillikenford . Awesome garage full of red Ford cars.

Lots of good advice.

I'm building a new house with SIPS. Structural Insulated Panels. They are quite efficient.
 
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fjpikul

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Jan 4, 2006
10,015
Belleville, IL
Soroush, would you please give me the name and number where you got your "wenches."
 

BAT

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Oct 11, 2012
860
Central Mitten
Good stuff above. I did my detached garage about 5 years ago and learned a lot on garagejournal.com
 

DakotaGT

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Dec 9, 2012
1,249
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
There are hundreds of threads out there, and millions of photos concerning garage/man cave ideas. Some great advice being given, above. I logged many hours scouring the internet, writing down the best ideas and sorting the photos that captured my fancy best, before meeting with an architect and builder. Very happy with my results, but I will repeat what was mentioned above- regarding overall size and lighting, you can’t overdo it! A small bathroom (and preferably a shower stall, too) is a “must” in my book. Flooring choice is critical; lots of great, fun options out there these days. Good luck and keep us posted, with photos!
 

PeteK

GT Owner
Apr 18, 2014
1,173
Great Falls, VA
...only other thing to add is if you want to go big have your contractor install a heavy duty header beam in the ceiling( that could support a 1000 lbs) towards the front of where the lift will go, to which you can attach a wench to that way you can use it to pull an engine out if you ever need to .. a heavy duty wench is very cheap and beats having a big clunky engine hoist laying around ..

hope this helps.
In my considerable experience, "wenches" aren't cheap!

And in addition to the other excellent suggestions, this: Paint the floor white. Not gray or mottled or cream or anything else. Just white. It will double the available light in your work area. It also makes finding the little bits you dropped and the little spring that shot out of the switch you disassembled (don't ask me how may times that's happened) much easier.
 
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twobjshelbys

GT Owner
Jul 26, 2010
4,906
Las Vegas, NV
Can you clarify dimensions? is 40 the width or depth? Because if 22 is the depth it's not very deep - my pickup truck won't fit in my garage that is about 22' deep.
 

soroush

Ford Gt Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Aug 8, 2007
4,903
Soroush, would you please give me the name and number where you got your "wenches."
do you want the number for "wenches" that hang from the ceiling? cause those are extra..
 
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fjpikul

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Jan 4, 2006
10,015
Belleville, IL
No expense spared.
 
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TO AWSUM

Ford GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jul 4, 2007
1,286
Niceville FL
I was thinking that is a strong wench to lift 1000 lbs.