View Full Version : plan a garage

02-06-2009, 05:41 PM
theres lots of very impressive garages out there that could double a recreation rooms or dens, but a real garage in my opinion needs enought room to work on a car or two and enought space for storage all the tools that requires.(AND THOSE TOOLS) IM constantly cleaning mine and putting tools away, or Id never find a darn thing, but its never going to look like some places I see on line that appear to be advertizements for expensive cabinetry, more than a working repair or performance shop.

Im always impressed with those garages that have the expensive stainless or wood cabinets, and tile floors, they look spectacular, but a decent shop has several tool boxes and a lift of some kind even if its just a kwiklift

or on the low end several good jack stands and a couple floor jacks
now IM not about to say any garage is better or worse than the next one, we all build, buy, or use the best we can afford, but a real SHOP, will look WORKED IN, not sloppy or dirty, but there sure will be signs that theres been a few cars in and out of it and at least a trash container full of parts packaging and busted/worn components some place near bye, and indications the tools got used and the floor jacks have been rolled across the floor.
an epoxy coated floor and great lighting are a huge advantage to getting the shop looking clean and bright, and a clean bright shop makes things easier to work on, but don,t let JUST a shops appearance alone be your only indication of the quality of work that gets done,the MECHANICS SKILLS DO COME INTO PLAY HERE AS WELL AS THE SHOPS APPEARANCE, if its a dumpster you can be reasonably sure you don,t want work done there, but if you can eat off the floor and shelfs Id doubt theres much actual work going on either. and shop tools like welders,grinders,drill presses, and jobs like engine assembly and radiator repairs, and tune ups generally leave some indication that work was done recently!
keep in mind guys generally do the best they can,and are proud of thier shops, but thier budget may not allow some of the nicer touches, like tile, or cabinetry.
what you need

as much floor space as possiable, that can be securely locked up

decent tool storage

a flat dry floor

protection from weather

as many quality tools as you can buy, beg, or borrow

decent referance materials and safety equipment

hopefully a lift

good lighting

almost everything else is optional

these pictures were taken of my shop as we were just stuffing crap from the storage into the new shop to get it in out of the rain the first day we had electric, I worked and saved and planed for 35 years to get my dream shop!
naturally its a bit neater now but theres alot more tools and shelves also,plus motion sensors , alot more lights ,phones,cameras, redundant alarm systems and intercom etc, pictures give you some idea of size if nothing else

02-06-2009, 06:11 PM
I'd love to have a larger garage/shop. But unfortunately where I live that is just not possible. But if I ever hit the lotto... well let just say the house will attached to the garage and not the other way around. :D:D

02-07-2009, 03:22 PM
Pat's dream garage has become our nightmare :(

Hopefully in the next week or two we will have the final inspection and then work on the concrete to actually to be able to drive the vette in in :eek:

It will take I'm sure almost a year after that to actually fix the mistakes of others. All I can contractors in CA suck :cry:

02-11-2009, 09:13 AM
I had problems with contractors,almost every one wanted to substitue cheaper materials or do shoddy work, untill I detailed exactly what I wanted done and insisted on dates, and budget info be listed and aggreed to before they got a contract, but I minimized it by only useing guys with decent local referances from guys I knew personally, and having detailed lists of the exact work and dates and costs listed BEFORE I signed for work,to begin, orders, only the septic tank guy proved to be a total $%^^&&*& scum sucking scam artist, and he came with three recent referances, that said he did good work previously
if you don,t take the effort to specify the specify the time frame, total cost, the work process, the exact work to be done and exact materials to be used, on every step of the project, in a contract you both sign before work begins, you can be sure the contractor will try to do things cheaper and faster and expend less time on details...OH VERIFY the materials, deliveries, and whats being installed, contractors are not above ordering extra, materials billed to your account, that never get delivered to your site!
or having them delivered and trying to (LEAVE WITH THEM AS THEY CLEAN UP AND LEAVE, after they complete thier jobs!)

02-17-2009, 03:11 PM
Another level of protection you can use is to make sure they are bonded. Like Grump says, if you have a very specific list of materials/specs in your contract it helps tremendously. A "bond" is basically a gurantee that the work will be done and done correctly. If they fail to delvier, then you can file against the bond and get some releif (it can take a while; it's not like insurance claims).

One final note... make sure they give you a full lien release BEFORE you give them final payment. The release should include wording covering all subcontractors and suppliers.

There are a lot of shady characters out there. The more work going on in a given area seems to generate more of the crap contractors.

Kat - did the use real sand in the concrete and not "beach sand?" This is an important distinction in coastal areas...