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2 Car Garage - Thoughts on layout...


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Reaching out to others who have had the very great luxury of a 2 car garage in the past, specifically one with a 2 post lift in it, but general opinions are welcome.

In a nutshell, after over a year of arguing with the city, being told what I can and cannot do, and spending thousands on permitting to be able to build garage that is a useful size (I was going to be limited to 380 sq/ft! Ha!) I am pretty close to pouring a pad. Just need some final approvals. It's nowhere near as big as I would like at ~575 sqft, but I wasn't going to get anywhere with city if I asked for more, so I figure it will be fine. It has to be!

For general reference, this is where it will sit in my property:

 

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(It is the proposed accessory building, note how the driveway is on the left of my house, meaning the straight shot into the garage will be the left bay.)

Couple other views:

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And the floor plan:

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So, there will be more follow up questions, but the principal ones are this:

I am leaning towards putting the 2-post lift on the left hand side of the garage for a few reasons:

-straightest shot from down the driveway

-farthest from the work area at the far right of the building, behind the man door = furthest from weld spatter, grinding sparks etc...

 

This is balanced by the downside of not having maximal 360* access to the car on the lift. But, there should be at least 3ft or so even on the wall side of the leftmost bay....

Lift in the middle bay has the reverse ups and downs, clearly. Closer to potential damage from the work area, but better all around access. More difficut to get in and out of as well. (Much of the rest of the backyard will be a garden and social area, so ideally I won't be driving through it all the time.

My general idea around it has been this:

-the garage will be used for working on cars or other projects or winter storage of cars (Legacy and Datsun on an under the lift, probably, leaving some room for work in the winter)

- so ready, daily access is much less important.

 

Final question: My plans call for 8' wide garage doors, which are already expensive enough, but there is *just* enough room to squeeze in 9' doors. I personally kinda don't think they'll be necassary, as the Datto is tiny and the GT is under 7' with with the wing mirrors pulled in, but I'd be curious to hear of anyone else's experienced in that regard. I kinda think for the cost, staying with 8' should be enough...

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Edited by KZJonny
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I can understand about wanting a lift, but with your limited space, maybe MaxJacks, except you won't have the full height. But you can move them to the corner when not needed.

 

I thought about a 2 post lift in my garage, but figured for how often I wouldn't use it, yet had to walk around it all the time, I bought Quick Jacks. 

 

Sorry you don't have more room. 22ft deep is a little short. Have you thought about selling and getting a house with more space ? 

305,000miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

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1 hour ago, Max Capacity said:

I can understand about wanting a lift, but with your limited space, maybe MaxJacks, except you won't have the full height. But you can move them to the corner when not needed.

 

I thought about a 2 post lift in my garage, but figured for how often I wouldn't use it, yet had to walk around it all the time, I bought Quick Jacks. 

 

Sorry you don't have more room. 22ft deep is a little short. Have you thought about selling and getting a house with more space ? 

You're not wrong... But at the same time I am building the garage specifically to house the lift, as in; I had to get a By-Law variance for the building ($1600 CAD), which required a survery and grade plan to be submitted (~$2500 CAD) just so it would be tall enough to hold a 10k lb BendPak. This garage is essentially a shell to hold the lift I bought, which is fully paid and waiting for delivery.

I already have a set of QuickJacks, and they will live in whichever bay does not house the lift.

In a nutshell, moving isn't an option. I'm single, and while I do okay for myself, I bought a "needs some love" starter home ~4+ years ago when the market was just starting to getting a little bullish by spending all of my savings. As it stands now, even selling my place with all the work I've done to it, and with interest rates climbing, I'd be moving to something smaller, probably on a smaller lot if I tried (=smaller permitted garage, and another 18 months of argueing with the city. (+ a repeat of the above expenses).

The "value" of my house has doubled in the past 4 years, but so has literally everything else. I'm pretty much gonna die in this place, and it's already a little big (850 sqft) for one person and a couple of cats.... Haha!

I'm still leaning towards the left bay, so the lift won't "split up" the rest of the space in the garage if in use. Should leave enough space to do work on the "side" of the cars, like brakes and suspension. I figure it can't be worse than how I work right now anyway, where I'm squeezed into a 2' space between the car and my house in the sun and rain when I need to do that kind of thing. I also can only work on one side at a time, having to turn the car around to do the other side....

 

The bigger reason for needing to decide soon, is that I should be pouring a pad in the coming weeks, and I am going to put footings where the lift will stand. Technically it only needs 5" of the required grade of concrete over aggregate, but I talked with my cement guy, (the only person aside from me doing any work on this particular project), and he said it's not a big deal to rebar and pour a couple of footings right onto the compacted earth. Tied into the rest of the pad with a pile of rebar, it's a little overkill but when it comes to lift I'm okay to go a little overboard. It is however, much easier and cheaper to only pour the two footings I need, rather than 3 a choose where I want the life later.... hah!

I'll probably diary the process here as it goes (been through your build thread MaxCapacity, thank you!) in case anyone is doing the same thing, in a very DIY kind of way. I have some previous experience doing framing and carpentry, so that part is within reach, but the concrete is something I can't afford to get wrong. Pretty much everything else I think I'll be doing myself. No insulation or interior in the foreseeable future, so it's a pretty bare-bones shed... Might even be able to use it this Autumn if I hustle.

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Then the left side makes the most sense.

Looking forward to seeing progress. Hope yours goes quicker than mine did. My builder texted today, they got the permit to replace the roof shingles on the house. Should be done a few weeks...

305,000miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

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Good new for you then. That'll be about the finishing touch?

I meet with my friend and former employer who is a contractor tonight to have a quick chat about getting this things rolling. With any luck, I should have forms set up for the pad within a week or two, and pending inspection have that poured before the month, we'll see.

I doubt somewhat that mine will be faster than anybody else's, since I'll be trying to shoehorn in time to build and finish on top of everything else going on. But, at least I should be able to get the frame up and sheathed before winter, even if it's just finished with polywood and  air barrier It'll be a clean and dry place to store the project cars for the salt season.

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Made some changes to the framing plans, hopefully making putting up the building a little easier.

Had to have the gable end truss design adjusted to suit. Hoping the city building inspector is fine with the changes, ha!

Bonus is that the price on the trusses is down 10% from when I got the first quote last year. Didn’t see that coming!

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10 hours ago, vitaliana said:

The project looks quite good and is correctly done for a 2-car garage. The layout for my 2-car garage, which is already ready, looks like this. I worked quite a lot on it, but the result is beautiful. The most challenging thing for me, and I assume it will be the same for you, was finding suitable doors for this garage. But everything is possible. I found some garage doors at the sale on https://advantagegd.com/garage-door-sales/, and the specialists recently installed them. Otherwise, you won't have any problem. Everything will be fine.

Thanks for the confirmation, glad your garage worked out as well!

I'm a long way from Calgary, so I am using a local shop to provide the doors. I just wish I had bought them last year and stored them somewhere, since they've gone from $2500 for both to $3700 since last fall!

Did you install 8' wide doors? I am leaning that way since they are considered a "standard" size, and a fair bit less expensive that 9' wide doors. I figured if I can't back my car into an 8' wide garage door and not hit things, then it's probably time to give up driving!

These are the doors I believe I will be using:

17459201_garagedoor.JPG.341ea7874ec232a62a99eeed14469cb8.JPG

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831544246_planwithlift.thumb.JPG.50fed44422f9ce09a886476ffe1ee8fc.JPG

 

Playing around the drawings a little, it looks like I should have nearly 2.5' between my car on the lift and the wall on the left (west) side of the building.

 

Not perfect, but given what I have to work with, I think it will be okay. I don't have more space than that currently, and probably less. That space is also in my driveway up against a brick wall.

I would consider a single, more central door, but there does need to be room in here for 2 cars in the winter, and very possibly a couple of motorcycles, and 3-4 bicycles..... So, I think this is making the best of the space.

As MaxCapacity points out, it would be great to move somewhere bigger, but I'd probably take a bath on taxes, and moving, so Ima stay put. Really, for a single person with a car problem, this should be nearly all the space I need to do some regular maintenace, a little fabrication and clear up some space in my house. Considering my house is ~850sqft and this will be 572sqft, I think I've at least got balance of [everything else in life]:[car stuff] about right, haha!!

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Sorry for the delay. I was away in PA at STPR rally.

 

My doors are 9FT wide. Glad we did that. Backing the Outback out seems close at times. But we're both old... LOL.

 

Yes, the good doors had a big price increase April 2021. My builder gave us a heads-up and told us to buy the doors before the 20% price increase.  My doors are R-19.

Today I finally got around to painting the outside of the three exterior doors on the breezeway and rear of the garage. Seems I've been busy, or it's been too hot, or I've been on a trip, or haven't felt well. Amazing how long things can take. I have to go finish power washing my sister's house tomorrow. 

305,000miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

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Do you plan on having a window in the back wall of your garage ? That would give a nice cross flow of wind when needed. On the side window in mine, I bought a pleated shade that will come down from the top or up from the bottom from blindster.com Mines in the side wall, but it helps vent the air.

 

 

DSCN9882.JPG

305,000miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

Engine Build - Click Here

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No worry on timing at all. I'm having to make decisions on the fly these days, and at the moment I am not sure I'f I'm going to get garage doors, or just buy some plywood and screw it up once the cars are in for the winter, haha! Things have gotten so much more expensive since I planned this out and wrote a budget, it's killing me. That and the project creep on the GT served to empty my wallet.

Realistically tho, I think I'm going to save the change and stick with the 8' doors. Barring breakdown type stuff that might change my requirements, I only plan on pulling the GT out in the Spring, and swapping the OB in to keep it out of the way. The Datsun is only like 61" across, so and 8' door is plenty enough, I would hope, to miss hitting anything. This is a workspace and car storage area, not a daily use 'parking garage'. It will also be unheated and uninsulated for the foreseeable future (forever?!), so while I did get insulated doors, they are something like r-9 or r-12? Really wasn't worth the money to go more than that, I was just told they make less rattling noise if they're filled with insulation, and that was the lowest r value available in doors that were steel front and back.

I actually do have 2 fairly large windows I was able to scavenge from a house being torn down a while back, which can't be more than 7-8 years old, so pretty modern. Each is ~ 3 x 5' which should be enough, when both opened to allow for a pretty good breeze. They will both have to go in the righthand (East) wall, since the other sides are too close to the property line to be allowed to have windows. (Until I get the building signed off on, then I will do whatever the hell I want.) I just do need the framing and window location to be up to code for the time being.

 

Since I am also going to the trouble of installing the lift, and need vaulted ceilings to do so, it also leaves a tonne of space to install the biggest ceiling fan I can find to help keep things moving inside the building. Much of this will have to be stuff I can scavenge and pick up second hand for cheap, but it should all come together.

The goal for this year is to get the building up and sheathed in plywood, with air barrier everywhere, and get the lift and some lighting in. The exterior and roofing will have to wait until the Spring, I think. Only so much cash to go around.....

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Oh, lighting, I found something like these, https://www.harborfreight.com/8000-lumen-adjustable-head-screw-in-led-shopgarage-light-57640.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=12144968772&campaignid=12144968772&utm_content=133111028096&adsetid=133111028096&product=57640&store=321&gclid=CjwKCAjwyaWZBhBGEiwACslQo10_ffvBRaWtltcTHHwjpVMwnMr4S3xYtT-Q3kiFVWFL9l3KqwKmyhoC0R4QAvD_BwE

 

I have six in normal screw in sockets in the ceiling. Gives great light for not much money. My son got them from Costco in a 2 pk for around $30.00 I even have them in the basement.

 

Sorry for the upside picture...but that was taken at night time.

IMG_2069.JPG

305,000miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

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Also, thanks MaxCapacity.

I’ve seen those before, but never tried one out. That looks like pretty good light spread. 8000K lumens is impressive, COB led’s have comE a very long way.

I’ll have to do some looking around. The half of the garage over the lift will Have ~13’ ceilings, and will be the principal work area, so it will have to well lit. Probably going to build an ‘attic’ storage area over the second bay work area, so the height will be more like 10’.

May call for different lighting fixtures, but definitely good to see those before I figure out where to place the lighting fixtures, and what type they’ll be.

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Ready for concrete pour. Should be on Friday… pretty stoked now.

Costs are up across the board, so it might just be framing and plywood sheathing with air barrier until the Spring, but even that will be a nicer place to keep the car than under a metre of snow in the driveway!

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Yus. Prices on dimensional lumber are down a bit, or at least, as low as they're likely to be for the next little while. Could drop again mid-winter, but that's becuase less building is going on, and I will definitely not be out framing garage in January. I do like in one of the "warmest" places in Canada, but that doesn't mean mid-winter is a time when you are working out of doors most days.

It's the peripheral stuff that is killing me. Copper is still up 200%, and have fun even finding a sub panel for any reasonable price.

Can't really complain too much, but it's a death by a thousand cuts kind of thing as everything is blowing right past the budget I figured out right before the pandemic kicked off. The building will be fine without siding an metal roofing until the Spring, so long as the air barrier is installed properly, so the wind can't get under the edged and peel it back. That''ll mean all winter to save up a little money to order that as the weather warms up.

No more speed parts for the car for a while tho. Just got a new set of tires last week since the ones on there are pretty sad, last nice thing the old girl will get for a bit, aside from a new home.

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