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Old 09-30-2011, 09:18 AM   #1
xrdad
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Default Keswick Shop Build

Well, the time is coming. We've moved into the new house and the garage is soon to become my priority.

Due to the layout though, I'm going to need some advice!

The shop is 19 X 19 and has a pass through (doors at front and back) to allow access to the backyard. I had 8' doors with high lifts installed and a liftmaster opener is on my wish list. The shop is 15' floor to ceiling. So far, not too hard, right?

Here's where it gets tricky. I spec'd a garage access door from the house. Because of the elevation, my door is 65" off the floor
I didn't expect or know this during the purchase, or I would have done something different. But it's there now, so I have to figure it out. I told the builder to leave the stairs out for now... If they had installed them, I would have lost a complete bay.

Here's what needs to happen in the shop: Access to the backyard through the 2 end doors must remain, I'm restoring my old del Sol in here and maybe even my Dakota. I'm learning to weld and to pinstripe. I work on my dirtbikes here, plus all my neighbours and friends cars. It's also my hideaway and thinking area. There will be sawdust, carbon from the torches, paint fumes and the rest.

In the process, a work bench and an epoxy floor are getting done.
Now.. how and where to start? Can't build the bench or storage till the epoxy is done, can't epoxy till the garage is clean.

I'll throw the first idea and hopefully, you'll see vision and will be able to help me figure out the pos/neg to it or even change my mind if you have a better idea


(I'll try to draw this out in sketch up later, but I have errands to run today..)
What about building a 'loft' over the back half of the one bay that does not exit out the back? Build it for an 8.5' ceiling height and fill the joists with lights and hooks and stuff. Build cabinets over the bench area. On the loft, I could store the dirtbikes? A narrow staircase along the wall to the door. A landing at the door, then a few steps up to the loft. A removable ramp to bring the dirt bike up (under it's own power). A closet up there for all the dirt bike related things.. oil, gear, parts...

I really don't want a post in the middle... can I support this with a beam?

Is this a crazy idea or a great one? BTW, I intentionally left the pass through side open, in case I ever get permission to buy a 2 post hoist. There is also a heater going in on that side.. I think!

The goal is like everyone else.. maximize the usable space, for least amount of money that results in the ultimate in flexibility and efficiency..
uh.. yeah. Something like that
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

How the heck did you get a CO on the house without stairs in the garage? Or is it a temp CO?
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

You need to talk to your building dept. about the door and strairs. I know code is 3' wide on steps. You can rip it out after you get your CO.
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

...hmmmm.....out of curiosity, what would you have spec'd if you had realized this issue with the elevation? What's the inside of the house look like in relation to this door's placement? Any chance of moving this door to one side or the other?.......My issue with the loft idea is that it seems you would be giving up 1/4 of your shop space for the sole purpose of accommodating this door issue.

Some exterior photos please.....maybe a sketch of the house floorplan as it relates to the garage wall...
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

Not sure what CO is, but I think I can assume it has to do with an occupancy permit. The builder gave me a $$ credit for the stair he would have had to build and installed a 'gate/guard' in it's place.. same as they did for the garden doors from the house leading to the future decks. This allowed the house to close and it's all official. Now I can build what I want and no permit is required to build the stairs.

So, 3' would steal a lot of floor space and when I checked yesterday, I felt that 18" wide would be enough for me. The stairs will get very little use and I'm the only one accessing the shop.

I saw the loft as a way to increase space, not lessen? If it were 8' off the ground, it shouldn't be in my way. And I'll still have the pass through side to let me build BIG things or add a lift in the future. My brother in law feels that one of those attic drop down stairs is the way to go.. but I bet that would be $$$.

Had I known about this elevation issue, I would have pushed the builder to reverse the house plan. The opposite end of the house is at grade level.
I apologize for the pics, as this is my wife's laptop and all the 'actual' pics and drawings are on mine. Disregard the stairs to the basement from the shop, they don't exist. The garage to house door is halfway between the foyer and the basement stairs, so about the only place I felt safe having it. (I'll update the pics tomorrow when my PC is back).

Regardless of the would have/should have/could have.... I stuck with what I got now. I could remove the door completely, make the door access a loft only, but I like the idea of a narrow stair down the side of the wall with built in cabinets/closets under them. I'm going to loose that wall (20") for my workbench anyway, so a stair down the side shouldn't be a big deal.

My real concern is with the dirt bikes. Do I spec the loft to park/store them on there or is that just too much trouble and will never do it? At this point, the loft seems like more work than it's worth and a shed would be less money, more efficient and more useful. If the loft is too hard to access, I know it won't be used.

Blah.. I may have just typed myself out of this idea.
Another idea I had was to just install a pulley system that would lift the bikes to the ceiling and let them hang there off the floor? Cool factor plus floor space! They weigh about 300lbs each. Not sure what kind of pulley I would need.
Looked at I beams and even considered cables strung from the rafters to hold up the loft and eliminate the support post I suspect I need. All great, but is it worth it? A shed will take everything I don't want in the garage and will be easy access. The cabinets and closets + the workbench should hide the rest and I keep the 15' ceiling open - the place feels huge with the high ceiling..

More confused today than yesterday
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

BTW, couple quick things.
Just realized the drawings do show the garage access door in about the right place. Also, if you want more detailed pics, check my 'New home in Keswick' posts.. lots more details there.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

Domino effect is getting tiring....

What started as a 'plan' has turned into a really rough draft and taking one step forward = two steps back

Not wanting to fill this thread full of useless info, I started new threads with specific questions/ideas. But at this rate, I'm going to fill the GJ with crap. I think the only thing to do is research the best I can and post where I end up. Then the members can tell me what I did right, wrong or otherwise...

The breaking point happened this week when I started planning my air compressor relocation/set up. Rather than ask again on GJ, I tried to pull info from the manufacturer and was going to post the 'correct' installation recommendations. I got the info off the compressor, checked what my usage/needs are and guessed at what they would be later... thinking air line size and routing was my major issue. Well, it's not.

I have a 5hp 26 gallon Campbell Hausfeld compressor, "extreme duty". It looks heavy duty, but has a total output of less than 6 CFM. Hardly enough to use my die grinder for any length of time. Being that I never made my shop time a priority, I've put up with it and ignored the problem.
But with the idea of building my new garage properly, how can I justify taking the time to install this compressor knowing full well it can't handle the jobs I plan to do? It will only lead to more frustration in the end.

Building a shop on a budget isn't easy. There's so much to know and do right (electrical panels, heat, insulation, flooring and storage) before I even consider the tools. But the tools come into consideration because the basics have to be spec'd properly to support them! ARGH!!!

I'm still dealing with my loft problem, sub panel install, furnace install, etc... and at the same time trying to finish the basement, play with the kids, fix my lawn tractor, del Sol, ride my dirt bike..

I guess this is a rant.
I'm discouraged with the process/progress and not sure where to turn. Time to take a step back (another) and figure out what to do. You look at some of the shops here and the best ones seem planned, yet the more I plan, the further back I have to go and everything I already have is wrong. BLAH! It's gonna be a long week.
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

and yet another fumble...

Spoke to my HVAC friend about the furnace I bought on Kijijji. Guys here have helped me figure out the install, warned about having inspected, etc... I thought I was ready and asked him to come by and check it out.

Well, he explains that installing the furnace in my garage is not in my best interest. By the time duct work is done, the cost and time involved to do this will have paid for a more efficient, simpler install, brand new garage specific heater. So much for my great find. Definitely not the 'you suck' I was hoping for

The good news? Finished installing the hardwood floors in the house. Phew.
Maybe I'll find some time to spend in my shop now.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:30 AM   #9
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

Picked up some cabinets recently for the build (< $40 each). They're taking up a lot of space right now with all the other unfinished projects

Spent a little time reading girlnagarage's thread and I feel a little more inspired to take some small steps towards getting this project going.

Some of the decisions that have been made:
The furnace IS staying (thanks Rick!) and I'll install it against the outside wall, near the ceiling. I'll leave just enough room to mount a plenum with filters above it, then run the outlet side into a square duct just above the cabinets, the length of the garage. The cabinets also run the entire length of the shop. They're 36w X 43t X 18d. That may seem big, but with 15' of ceiling height, they should look 'normal'.

The loft is a no go due to insufficient headroom. The beam would have been 12" to go from side to side without supporting it, + the 2x6 flooring that would have to go above it. That's not going to leave enough room to stand or store the dirt bikes.. after the $$ are calculated, it doesn't pay to build the loft.
Instead, I'll install 2 shelves above my workbench and a rope pulley to pull the bikes up and onto the shelves. I think that will solve my budget and floor space problem, at least for now.. and it should look pretty cool

The bench, after looking through GJ at all the possibilities, has been narrowed down to framed unit with a steel top. 2 more benches are going to be fold down off the wall (J. Olsen style).

So, with a rough plan in mind, I have to start somewhere. Over the holidays, I'll try to run the electrical, install the insulation and drywall the last wall. Then I can mount the furnace, the air compressor (keeping my small one for now, will wire 220 to it though just in case), and the cabinets.
With all that stuff off the floor, I can then load the cabinets for even more space.

In the process, I will be selling my tanker and steel case desks. They just aren't fitting in my plan. Oh, and speaking of plan, I added a 40 gallon parts washer to my tool list (Princess Auto special) and it will fit under a rolling portion of my 'new' workbench.

Here's a couple more pics... you'll see the disaster area in question and these should make for great 'before' pictures! Progress will likely be slow as the temperature here is fluctuating between 20 - 50F and there's no heat in the shop, and no storage left outside. Not much snow yet, still calling for a green Xmas.

Merry Xmas all!
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

If you already have a door from the house to the garage but the bottom of that door is 65" above the garage floor, I would be very worried about leaving that door where someone can open it such as a child or company that may not know there is a big drop on the other side. I would suggest the immediate installation of a keyed (on the inside) deadbolt lock and keep that thing locked except when your wife wants to unlock it and yell at you.

If your garage is only 19' wide (did I read that correctly?), the addition of any stairs is likely to prevent two cars side by side. This might be an opportunity for some very creative thinking and fab work. How about a small lift that operates on a couple of beams attached to the wall and the lift remains in the elevated position?
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:55 AM   #11
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

It looks to me like you're trying to shove 10lbs. into a 5lb. bag. I wouldn't like the idea of not having steps in and out of the house
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Ivers View Post
a keyed (on the inside) deadbolt lock and keep that thing locked
First thing I did.

Kev, you have no idea.. it feels like 20 lbs!

Maybe this shop can't support my goals?
Time will tell... my budget won't support either!
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

Here's my $0.02 (US!!) worth ....

I'm in agreement with Kevin, I think you should take a step back and review the size of the garage vs. your planned use. A garage that is 19' x 19' should never be called a 2 car garage. Builders are screwing folks when they design houses with 2 car garages that are less than 24' x 24' ... you will be barely able to open the car doors when you try to park 2 cars in a 19' wide garage.

Here's my suggestion ... forget about using this as a 2 car garage (it isn't). Consider this as a single car garage with a nice shop space. Use the bay closer to the house for your workbench, cabinets, storage, work area, and a decent set of stairs to the house door ... don't use if for parking a car. Use the outboard bay for parking a car (most likely the wife's car, if you want to keep peace!!).

Although it is probably the furthermost thing from your mind right now, your life/job situation may eventually change and you may wish to sell this house sometime in the future. No buyer will be interested in a house with some goofy non-code approved stairs from the house to the garage. Nor will the bank's inspector. Bite the bullet, build the right stairs, and live with a single car garage ... and enjoy the nice 9.5' wide shop space!
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

Thanks John..

For the record, I never said that I would actually park a car in here. It is all shop and unless it's broke, it ain't here. The exception to the rule is my del Sol if it ever gets rebuilt. And 19X19 will store several Sol's

My intent is to use the space near the door as a work space, while the rest of the shop will be where the problem car will be parked.
Long term was what I had in mind when I had the house built and the reason there is a through door into the backyard that just happens to be big enough for a real garage. You are 100% right though, it's a joke to call this a 2 car shop.

One option is to remove the house access to the garage altogether and eliminate the idea of stairs at all?!
The more I think about it, the more I'm upset with my builder for not reversing the plan when we had the chance.. The garage door would have been at a normal height if the home plan was reversed. Too late now, I have to decide the right way to fix this. Stair, no stairs.. hmmmmm.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:13 AM   #15
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

What about having stairs go down to the lower level?
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:50 AM   #16
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

I'm thinking a variation of an attic stair system that folds down when needed, and folds up when not. Like an extension system that folds up into the doorway. I am betting an attic staircase could be fairly easily adapted. This would leave your bay open unless you needed access.

Just a thought, and good for you being willing to share your thought processes here.

Jim
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:27 PM   #17
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

Hey buddy, you could always just add a stripper pole...
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:25 PM   #18
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

Check this out for a possible solution.

http://tulsa.craigslist.org/atq/2805866177.html
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:36 AM   #19
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Default Re: Shop Build - "The Keswick Kube"

Not much of an update, but still a move forward.

As explained previously, the 'man' door is just not going to work. It will be removed. Access will be through the main garage door (car sized). A new Liftmaster 3900 is on order and expected in the next 2 weeks.
In the meantime, 4 of the 7 cabinets have been installed. The next 3 will be done after the door is removed.

These cabinets are big, but look lost in my cube
So much so, I'm renaming this the "Keswick Kube" garage
15' high x 19' wide x 19' long... what else would it be?

Anyway, these Canadian made cabinets are 43" tall 36" wide (steel) and were original floor models. Now they rest on a shelf, screwed to the wall studs with strapping inside the cabinet and the shelf supports are good for 1000lbs per pair. I confirmed their holding ability because I had to kneel on them yesterday while I routed the gas line for the heater..

Oh yes, the formidable heater.
Even with the expert advice from members here, we didn't account for one thing.. budget!
The furnace needed B vent pipe, and a hole cut in my ceiling/roof with all the necessary caps and covers. Total estimate was >$600!!

I search GJ and Google and have not been able to find any reference to my new set up. I'm going with a NG fireplace install..

The good = sealed combustion, extremely low maintenance and reliable, very $$ effective. The unit belonged to my new HVAC guy who replaced it for a prettier model. It's a 0 clearance model on all sides but the front. I was able to exhaust it with a simple pipe/cap out the side of the garage as originally intended. Ceiling fans will get the job of moving the air around in the shop.

The bad = it looks funny.
Nice fireplace, but mounted on the wall 10' off the ground in a garage
It's safe, so that is good. I'll box it in later on hope the look grows on me. If not, well... when the budget permits a true shop heater, it'll be easy to move it and reuse the gas line and hole in the wall.

Hoping to have the final wall insulated, dry walled, heater and air compressor installed by the end of the weekend.

For vapour barrier, I've gotten 2 different stories.
For this application, do I vapour barrier or not? Doors are not open very often in the cold season, are open all the time in the summer.

BTW, I also spoke to Christine at Epoxy Coat and yes, finally, I will ordering my epoxy. I can't do the job till April though, as the temps here are too wild to even try. We've seen better than 50F this past week Normally used to 10F. Might have to plant banana and orange trees if this keeps up...
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: Keswick Shop Build

Keep up the good work XR.
Nice to see your making progress. Too bad about the door....
Garages and proper work space are sometimes all about compromises.
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