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Old 07-08-2016, 09:15 PM   #1
owdlvr
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Default Canadian Triple Garage

On and off over the years I've lurked here on the garage journal. I suspect it was Jack Olsen's garage that originally brought me here, but I've stuck around for some of the threads and certainly the 'how tos'. Despite owning a few classic cars, and enough tools to be a professional mechanic, I've always rented my shop space...so having a 'build thread' didn't make much sense.

This week, however, I've signed the paperwork on what will become my new garage & shop in the fall. It's currently just a shell at the back of the property, 2 of the 3 bays are poured concrete while, oddly, the middle one is not. Metal roof, zero insulation, no electrical and only one garage door installed. BUT, it's a shop I can make my own, and ends my days of renting. With a little work, it should be a fantastic spot.

Here's what I'm starting with:

Bay #1 is currently secure, but bay #2 and #3 just have tarps for doors. Bay one's door opening is 9ft wide and 8ft tall. Bay two's opening is 9ft wide and 10ft tall. Bay three has an opening of 10ft11" wide by 11ft tall. I suspect the previous owner never finished the doors because the openings have been made in a custom size.




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Three Bays, with a supporting post in between bay "two and three". The shop currently has a floor to ceiling wall in between bay one and two.


Inside Dimensions (and potentially approximate)


Interior Ceiling Heights:


I'm currently in the planning stages, as moving in is going to be quite the problem. I have enough tools and cars that I really need the shop finished and secure before I can move, but I also want to save the money by doing the work myself. I don't live close to my new shop, so zipping over for a couple hours of work each night isn't an option. Climate wise, I need to have the shop insulated and heated for winter, but it doesn't get so cold here that I can't be doing that in October/November.

Unless there are other suggestions, my thoughts are to focus on the garage in the following priorities:

1) Floor
- the middle bay needs the concrete floor poured, and since I have the opportunity I'm going to make sure the slab we put in is appropriate for a 2-post lift. No heat going into the floor, as there is no water out to the shop and I'd rather put the budget elsewhere.
- Bay's 1 and 3, which have been poured, are finished with a broom finish like you see on a sidewalk. I'm probably going to rent a grinder to make both bays smoother, in an attempt to make it better for rolling jacks and engine stands around.

2) Doors - Need to close up bay 2 and 3. Options are (I think) ordering custom doors, re-framing the openings for standard sized doors or deferring the spend to a few years down the road and making some hinged carriage doors to keep the budget down. Option three I think is a last-resort, because doors that swing out in to the driveway area will really limit that space. Definitely would like some garage-journal input on what might be my best move here.

3) Electrical - has to be run from the house, trenched, and then installed from scratch in the interior. I've got a rough schematic of what I *think* I need in the shop, will post that up a little later.

4) Lighting - Because of the sloped ceiling, I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with the lighting. My current shop (800sq ft with 8ft ceilings) uses all fluorescent lighting. I know the downsides, but I don't think LED is in the budget, especially with the amount of lighting I will want/need in this new shop. So planning on fluorescents. Not sure if I should mount them flush to the ceiling (and thus on a slight angle) or use lights that hang off of chains.

5) Insulation - Roof and walls all need to be insulated. Having never insulated a space before, I'm not sure what I should be doing or using in either.

6) Wall covering - Wall covering, for my shop, is completely a budget question. My personal preference would be to drywall the whole shop as I like a smooth, white, wall surface. But on the other hand, I understand the benefits of being able to hang anything off of plywood/OSB.

7) Floor Paint - Current shop has epoxy painted floors, and after 10 years I have a pretty good idea how well (or bad) it will hold up. I'm okay with the slight stains and marks that happen, I just want a painted surface to avoid the large permanent oil stains bare concrete will certainly end up with.

In an ideal world, I'd finish all of the above before moving into the space. But time and money may not allow for that, so I'm going to have to figure out how I piecemeal it, or shuffle stuff side to side and away from the walls to get it all done. My home improvement or building knowledge is about a 1/10, currently, but I learn quick. I didn't know how to build engines, rebuild transmissions or restore cars before I started...but I can read manuals, I'm careful, and I'm willing to learn to save the money from paying someone else. I figure a house & garage can't be that different!

Hopefully that's a good introduction, and some things to start a discussion or questions on this new shop build.

-Dave
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

Assuming you can still rent your shop space, you are probably going to have to work weekends on this...acquire materials and plan thru the week, then work Sat & Sun.

I would prioritize getting the concrete poured first, steel trowel finish will be more like what you want I think. Seems like there isn't much forming, just compact the subgrade, apply vapor barrier, dowel the edges, and setup reinforcement. The pour could happen pretty fast.

Next, your garage doors and electrical setup (for basic lights that aren't Li-ion powered) Theoretically you could run on a heavy extension cord (thinking #12 awg) with a couple of temporary fluorescent or CFL lights if necessary, but getting the proper subpanel setup and circuits setup would be a high priority.

I would get those three items above done, then you can work thru the winter (as fast as you can go) on insulating and drywalling. Paint the floor at the very last moment.

Now you are ready to move things in.

Best of luck to you, looks like a nice space to complete and call your own!
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Old 07-08-2016, 10:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

Yup, I think you pretty much nailed it. Only difference is I will probably use a GC for the floor, doors and getting electrical to a panel in the garage. Once that's done, I'm good to move in and deal with actually wiring the shop and completing it on my own.
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Old 07-09-2016, 01:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

Sub'd, in for updates.
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Old 07-09-2016, 03:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

So I'm primarily a classic car guy, focusing mainly on Volkswagen Beetles. Based on my email box this morning I'm probably going to be adding an MGB to the collection as well. I've been playing around with layouts and shop ideas, trying to map out the best setup going forward. The wall that closes off Bay 1 got me thinking that perhaps I should have a 'clean room' and a 'welding/grinding' room, since I know how dirty the shop gets with grinder mess flying around. Then I got to thinking that I'd really prefer to have the milling machine in the dirty room (due to flying chips), but ideally you don't want the milling machine in the same room as the grinder swarf. I'm also going to have to think about adding a lathe down the road, because I'm moving far away from the two I currently have access to.

Eventually I came up with the layout below. I'm thinking Bay 1 is more of a storage and 'infrequently used' items bay...at least at first. It make sense in my head to have a storage area apart from my work area, and it does seem to give me more working room over the other layouts I played with. I considered pulling the wall down in between the two bays to open the space up completely, but I realized if I plan the storage bay out well enough, it could also be the area I use to paint parts and assemblies. Again, this will probably all change once I've worked in the space for a while...but since I'm not closing until late summer, and not moving until mid-fall, one has to spend some time dreaming.



For electrical, I started laying out what I think I want so I could start pricing it out, and making sure I'd have enough amperage. The diagram below suggests far more electrical outlets than I think I'd ever need, it's more of a "always have one when i need it" affair. I've included 220v in four spots, for a future 2-post lift and a future lathe...which I'm not 100% sure where I would put. My milling machine and welder are both 110v, so less of a concern that way. The workbench has a switch and double the outlets as I anticipate putting outlets below and above the work surface, some cabinets above, and a below-cabinet light on a switch. I figure I'll put one box high up on the centre post between bay two and three for a clock or other accessory, and then a lower (24-36") high outlet for general use. Might skip the bottom box and instead put a reel up high.



The lighting probably looks really odd...but I've sort of based it on my current shop. I've got my current shop, which has low (8ft) ceilings, setup with three 4ft fluorescent T8 lamps above each car. With the air-cooled Volkswagens (engine is in the back), the best upgrade I did was to place one of those lights right above the entrance door. With the garage closed, I have light that shines right inside the engine bay. For this new shop setup, I've done the diagram with two 4ft lights in each position, as I occasionally wish I had a little more light. My thought is to setup the lighting so half is on one switch, and the other half is on a second switch.

Bay one is setup so that I have future lighting over where I think I’ll put my lathe and also more light for painting / finishing. Again, could be overkill but I’ve found a supplier for used T8 housings, $10CAD per unit. Will definitely look into the costs of LED units before I pull the trigger though.

Thoughts on the lighting?
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

Having those oversized door openings may come in handy. Maybe you could resize the one to be a standard size but leave the last one larger in case you want to moving something bigger into your shop sometime.

The garage doors on my detached garage are custom size and custom track design, I tried going to big box hardware store to get them but the cost was prohibitive, so instead I just went to a commercial overhead door place and it was no problem at all.
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

Looks like I found a door solution that will fit a fairly reasonable budget. Going to go with a polyurethane insulated commercial door, 1-3/8" thick with chain-hoists instead of motors. The doors are R12.6, without windows, and close enough in appearance that having one door of a different type isn't going to bother me. The commercial door option does mean I get to keep the big openings as well, which is nice.

This is the door, but I'll be ordering without windows. I might put an exhaust port in the one door, though I suppose that's something I can always add down the road.



-Dave
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

Now THAT is a sweet blank canvas. Enjoy the process! Looking forward to watching it progress.
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Old 08-24-2016, 04:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

Well, last monday I closed on the house. Any normal person would start fixing the walls in the house, removing the 'grandma' window coverings, and laying down a new coat of paint...but this is the Garage Journal, obviously the priority is NOT inside the house!


The first priority is the concrete floor. Inside the three car shop, the outer two bays were completed by the previous owner. They've both been finished in a light-brush finish, similar to a sidewalk. Both have been parked on with vehicles that have leaked oil. The middle bay, however, was plywood. What? Yes, plywood over a 2x4 lattice. You can see the edge of it in my pre-purchase photo above. Well, that simply has to go!





Tore out the plywood floor, which was quite rotten, in preparation for my General Contractor who's going to pour the garage floor. On the plus side I worked out where the random drain pipe at the back of the garage is going, on the negative it works out that it goes to a sump in the middle of the floor, and then outside to simply drain into the ground (not the municipal sewer). The shop has no water service, so that's not a big deal. We're going to cap off the drain and fill the sump.



We also discovered that the area surrounding the drain, which is at about the correct distance from the door for a lift, as *some* concrete poured in it. Getting the 6" I requested in the middle for the lift might not be possible, and even the 4" minimum could be a pain in the neck. Normally spending the money now to chip out the old concrete and prep the depth would be the smart move, but I dug under the edge of bay to the right and it seems to have 4" plus of concrete the whole way down...so I'm not totally hosed.

The garage door guys came a few hours later, and measured up my two non-standard openings for doors. The framing work around the openings was a little questionable, but as I'm going to go with commercial doors we determined it really isn't up to snuff. The general contractor will be adding some framing work to the concrete job and header boards above the garage for the springs. I'll be going with a manual chain-hoist on both doors to save some dollars. Doors will be a Steel-Craft brand Model TD-138 Insulated Steel Overhead Door. http://steelcraftdoor.ca/therm-o-dor/ R value is 12.06, and hopefully being a commercial door they should last me a while!


Quote for two doors (8'9" x 10' and 10'10" x 11') is $3000, installed. Getting the floor poured is costing me roughly $1400, with poly vapour, 4500psi concrete and a smooth finish.

It will probably be October before I get to finishing the floor, but the plan is to diamond grind both bay one and three before acid etching the entire floor. I was really hoping to go with the Armorpoxy line of products, but they won't answer any emails nor reply in the threads I've posted in. Would have been nice, as I'm looking to start with a vapour barrier, then do an epoxy and clear-coat. No flakes, no anti-slip, just one uniform colour. Anyone got any thoughts or options?
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Old 08-24-2016, 04:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

Really nice project and plan to fill it with beetles..I suscribe

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Old 08-24-2016, 07:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

Great project-have fun.
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:23 AM   #12
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

Made the trip out to the new house today to drop off one of the Beetles, an Audi Coupe quattro and another load of the spare parts collection. Got to enjoy for a moment the fact that I'll finally have all my vehicles, my spare parts and my tools in one location when this is all finished. No more storage unit, buddies house and my home garage!

The GC was in this week and poured the missing centre section of the floor. While he was at it, he re-framed the front garage door openings to spec, and built the header boards. Last thing he did was climb up and fix a missing soffit piece he saw on my house. All in, $1595.00.






This beetle is by far the worst of my three, and desperately needing a restoration. It was bought by my dad when I was four (33yrs ago), and at the time he did some accident repairs and had it repainted so my mom could drive it while she returned to University (after having us kids). I picked the colour as kid. I can remember the best part about fighting my sister for the front seat was you got to be the one responsible for scraping the ice off the INSIDE of the windshield as mom drove in the winter.

A few years, and breakdowns, later the car was retired to my grandparents cottage...by which time I was definitely referring to it as "mine". Dad taught me how to drive stick in it when I was 13, and Grandpa was letting me drive it to the general store (on back roads) when mom and dad weren't around. A few years back I shipped it out west, where I discovered it's far rustier than cars I can buy here. I tossed in storage to deal with it "one day". With the new shop, I'll have enough room to keep workspace for my other cars, while blowing this one apart for a full nut-and-bolt restoration. Good deal!
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Old 08-26-2016, 10:27 AM   #13
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

I love the color of the Bug. When I was about 7 years old I left my bike in a bad spot and it got run over. My Dad rebuilt the bike and I chose the same color for the repaint.

I don't know if you have Costco in VBC or would have to cross the border, but the 4ft LED shop lights are a great value. I used them in my barn and very happy with them, lots of others here have done the same.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:45 AM   #14
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

More progress...

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Old 09-13-2016, 08:41 PM   #15
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

Looking good love the old bugs...
sweet deal on the work so far..

Cheers Randy...
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:19 PM   #16
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

The framing on the back wall is intriguing. Wounder what the two areas I can see framed up with queen posts and headers and then closed in were for?

Most likely the center bay was going to be a wash stall until the money ran out.

Overhead lights at the workbench and mill should be forward of the user to eliminate shadows on the work piece caused by the user's body.

I used OSB on my shop walls and I will be using reflective white metal on my ceilings. Drywall is nice but I would not use it on the lower four feet of a shop wall.

In terms of what you need to do and when I think you have your ducks in a row.
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Old 09-14-2016, 08:51 AM   #17
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

Do you mind sharing the source of the commercial doors that you are looking at?
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:36 AM   #18
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Apologies for the slow response, it's been a pretty busy couple of weeks. I just got my 1958 Beetle back from RWM&Co, having had the entire roof and engine lid repainted due to a fire. Since I "was in there", I had a new headliner installed, and then redid the interior and prepped it for a driving event. You can still smell the fresh paint off-gassing, but that didn't stop me from taking it on the Hagerty Fall Classic, roughly 700 miles of twisty roads through Washington state! Thanks to a buddy Geoff saving my butt on the final prep, the car performed flawlessly. Just over 1000mi round trip from my house, including the event, over the last four days.









Quote:
Originally Posted by Bib Overalls View Post
The framing on the back wall is intriguing. Wounder what the two areas I can see framed up with queen posts and headers and then closed in were for?
Not sure? Windows? Based on some of the other structures around the property I suspect my shop was originally something else at another location...or parts of it were. The previous owner was definitely a man who re-utilized things he found valuable.

Quote:
Most likely the center bay was going to be a wash stall until the money ran out.
Now that is an incredibly observant, and likely correct, assumption! Darn, now I should have tiled it :P

Quote:
Overhead lights at the workbench and mill should be forward of the user to eliminate shadows on the work piece caused by the user's body.
Lighting over the Mill will be set once the mill location is finalized. On the drawing the light is set back just so it doesn't 'overlap' and confuse people. For the work bench, I anticipate I will want to set it up like my current shop, with cabinets over the bench. We have short ceilings in the current shop, so lighting above the workbench isn't possible (the cabinet doors would hit them) and thus the lights are behind the user. We also don't have under-cabinet lighting. Both issues I plan to correct in the new shop.

Quote:
I used OSB on my shop walls and I will be using reflective white metal on my ceilings. Drywall is nice but I would not use it on the lower four feet of a shop wall.

In terms of what you need to do and when I think you have your ducks in a row.
Yeah, still working out what I want to do with the walls. I've always had drywall, don't hang a lot of stuff on the walls because every shop has been shelving...but we'll see. It's going to end up a budget call I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean Buick 76 View Post
Do you mind sharing the source of the commercial doors that you are looking at?
On the garage door front, I hear that they have just been installed! The guys forgot to send me some photos, and I won't be around for a few weeks, so I'll have to see if I can get a buddy in town to swing by for me. The whole process has been fantastic, the communication has been spot-on. I let them know from the beginning that I would be absent through most of the process, and they've gone the extra mile to make sure I'm "in the loop" on the whole process, and they completed the install well before the deadline I had set for them.

Confirmation that I've chosen the right guys? Today when he messaged me to say they had finished the installation (on a Sunday!), he asked when I would next be at the house to see them. Apparently my deposit is enough, and we'll take care of the rest only after I've seen the doors installed and I'm happy. That's good customer service. Pacific Overhead Doors is who I ordered them from. Sean is based out of Calgary, but did everything for my B.C. home.
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Old 09-19-2016, 04:00 AM   #19
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

Wow, really nice 58 and a 1000-miles round trip in a beetle is a great drive
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:57 AM   #20
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Default Re: Canadian Triple Garage

Thanks! I'm really quite happy with the '58. The original plan when I bought it was to assemble it, and flip it. But then while I was doing the assembly I got a call from a Director friend who needed it for a TV production (Man In The High Castle). I prepped it all black with as little chrome as possible, and rented it out for a number of days in season one. Now that I've done a bunch more to restore it, and after that 1000 miles, I think I'm going to keep it and not flip it. It's too much fun!


On the garage front, the square-D electrical panel is in, as is the 1.5" conduit which allows me to run internet/alarm/whatever in future. I ran 100amp service to the shop, I think this panel should be big enough, eh?



The garage doors have also been installed. I'm afraid I don't have a larger photo yet, or anything from the inside. Just this quick phone snap a buddy in town sent me. The two doors on the right (which I just had installed) aren't an exact match to the door on the left, but in this case...close enough. The exact matching doors were an additional $2500. No thanks, I'd rather spend that inside the shop.



-Dave
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