View Full Version : Dream Garage on a tight budget

02-14-03, 07:49 AM
I would like to believe my "workshop"/secondary garage is my Dream Garage...and no doubt we did it on a budget.

I recently found a stack of 35mm photos that we took during construction. I need to scan and upload them to my website.

Here is a little 411 on my garage.

I started out by selecting an otherwise very modest home in a very typical subdivision for the area. Although not zero lot line, there is not a whole lot of room between houses. My house has 20 feet of space on the one side between the house and lot line.

The back yard is about 45 feet deep from the back of the house to the lot line. We have a 5' minimum offset on the sides, and a 10' offset on the back for an easment.

I first went to the county building commision and pulled all the proper permits and verified the codes. This is CRUCIAL in a residential area. We set our plans to put the shop on the minimum lot line on the back corner of the property. The house overlaps it a bit, but we shifted the garage door off center so it lines up with the side yard.

From there I was working off a $10 set of blue prints from ACE hardware. It was for a 24'x24' garage. We modified the plans to shift the garage door to the extreme side of the front, added a stem wall, and of course other provisions for plumbing, etc. The stem wall is nice because I can we the floor down and not worry about getting the bottom of the walls wet.

I took the plans to a 84 lumber center. From the blue prints the lumber yard put my material list together. I hand dug the slab area, then had a concrete company pour it and finish it. I tied into the sewer and hot/cold water supply to the house and stubbed that out in the slab for the toilet and sink.

The lumber yard delivered my trusses pre-made, and a truck load of materials. From there I spent a few hours a day cutting and banging it together. After several months and with my Dad's ever willing help, and Nikki's support (making sandwiches, drinks, tending to small flesh wounds), we got the thing finished.

We topped it off with insulation, drywall, a window style a/c in the wall, cable, telephone, 110/220 (100 amp service), toilet, sink, and a oversized attic ladder/door.

It is all pressure treated except for the trusses, and the exterior walls are the concrete board in 8x4 sections. We drywalled it in, and installed an insulated garage door.

Total project was under $7,500. The nice thing about it being a detached garage is the noise, smells, shakes, rattles, etc, stay seperate from the house. It also allows me to close the door and walk away with a mess on the floor and not worry about it. I used a "used" sliding glass door as the personel entry point as I got it for free, and it lets a ton of light in the room. I used a left over 6'x5' window from my bedroom in the rear to also bring in light. I put NO windows on the side facing my whacky neigbor so as to not leave obvoius clues when I am out there late at night, etc.

Our house has a two car garage, and that stays mostly spic and span with just two cars parked. I don't work on things up there if I can help it.

So, there you go......

02-14-03, 08:18 AM

I enjoyed reading about the construction activities around your "dream" garage. I agree that a stand-alone building is better suited for a garage that will be used as a work shop. It also minimizes the potential mess that could be dragged into the main house. Did you decide to put any special surface on the cement floor? In all it sounds like a terrific place to park a Vette or two.

Regards - Remo

02-14-03, 08:30 AM
wow... $7500 for a 24x24 with electrical and plumbing (not to mention cable)!? that is exxxxccellent! I want to see pics!

02-14-03, 09:24 AM
Equally impressed!!! $7500 for materials is really inexpensive. You must of had help setting the trusses, shingling the roof, etc. I usually trade off work with my buddys. As for the wiring did you do that yourself?? Here you must use a licensed contractor for electical and plumbing. See my last post on electrical installations for dream garages.

02-14-03, 09:05 PM
Sounds like a great garage Chris, I wish the county would have let me put water and sewage in my new garage they wouldn;t. I too built a two car garage 24x24 is as big as they would let me build it. Did all the work myself, vinyl siding , roof electric, I did have help with the trusses two friends help me. I did sub out the concrete, had abit more money in mine had alot of concrete poured a new drive way to the existing house, in materials for the garage around 4000 for all the concrete 7800 the garage sets back about 45 feet from the existing garage

02-14-03, 11:17 PM
sounds like a nice setup. having another garage just for parking and one for work would be really cool.
I'm not even finished with mine yet and I need more space allready.
post some picts if you got any. would love to see em...

02-15-03, 02:24 AM
I did something similar, except that my wife and I built a new house and the local code only allowed for a 3 car garage and I knew I wanted a bit more space than that. The house design we picked out had an extra long driveway (rear entry), but the homeowner's assn. won't allow any "project" cars out in plain site. So I had them add an additional 2 car garage on to the existing garage.

From the outside of the house it looks like a two car garage, but when you open the garage door, you can see right away that it's over 40' deep. I wired in cable tv, a dozen flouresent lights and two ceiling fans. I've got a killer shop stereo with surround sound and a dvd player. The TV is on a wall bracket in the corner above the 80 gal vertical tank air compressor. On the side of the garage towards the back yard is a french door that leads out to the patio and swimming pool we had put in last summer.

I've also got a glass cooler (like you'd find in a convenience store) stocked with pop and beer (check out my pic's in the members gallery), 10 4x8 sheets of peg board along the walls for hanging tools and parts, numerous benches, cabinets, tool boxes, power tools, etc. etc. And to top it off, a 10' banner of a blue 69 vette that BF Goodrich used in their ad campaign a few years ago.

I've also got six or seven neon beer signs hanging on the wall for the ultimate "guy world" effect. The neighbors like to come over and hang out in the garage. Or maybe they just like to come over for the beer....I'm really not sure. I was able to insulate the walls before they put up the sheet rock, which keeps it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Above the back half of the garage, I have pull down stairs that lead to a decent sized attic storage area that I decked with plywood and wired with lights and an outlets.

02-15-03, 09:04 AM
WHen I built my detached, I had to make sure it pleased the county and H.O.A. - no plumbing and it could not have a "loft" as the county said I was zoned for one structure (for living) on my land and that's what I think they were afraid of - rental house...
I agree - the other utilities are essential however, no plumbing as county code would not allow for the previously mentioned reasons -
I feel pretty dang lucky to have what I built in a neighborhood:)
FWIW - being in an association - they had me put every trim piece and design element from the main house into the garage - EVERYTHING had to match...

Man I love hearing about garages :beer

02-15-03, 09:45 AM
Originally posted by Thumper
...The neighbors like to come over and hang out in the garage. Or maybe they just like to come over for the beer....I'm really not sure.
Start charging them for the beer, then you'll find out :D

There is just something so relaxing and enjoyable about hanging out, drinking beer, and watching someone ELSE wrench on their car. A fine garage just adds to the pleasure. And of course the free beer doesn't hurt either. ;)

02-15-03, 10:02 PM
Pictures always help.

In this shot you are looking from just inside the large privacy fence gate back at the house and shop. This will give you an idea of why I offset the door to the extreme side. The slab you see is wide enough to park two cars end to end and drive one in and out of the shop. I usually keep my car hauling trailer where you see it now. We also park the dually next to the house most of the time.

The door you see on the side of the house goes into the master bedroom. So, I have quick access to the garage.

02-15-03, 10:04 PM
Here you see the side view. I am standing on my back porch slab looking across at the shop. We put the pavers down to allow walking from the house to the side drive, to the shop without having to step on grass/dirt.

The bay bump out you see on the house is the kitchen area. It gives a good view of what is going on in the shop from the kitchen, so Nikki can keep an eye on me.

You will also see the sliding glass door I used for the side entrance. It lets tons of light in the shop.

02-15-03, 10:06 PM
Now we are inside looking back at the door and side corner. I alternate different shelves, and stacks of stuff over against this wall. I usually have few engines and misc. parts and piles of junk there. Right now while I have the Lotus stuck at my house, the 69 gets squeezed in that side.

We have a 30 amp RV plug over there, and plenty of power outlets.

02-15-03, 10:08 PM
This is the workbench area. I started it with left over counter tops from the first kitchen remodel, and the cabinets are throw aways from a remodel at my office. In this corner we have cable tv, fridge, power outlets galore, tools, storage, vice, and the telephone outlet is just out of the pic to the left. I spend most of my shop time in this corner making things, fixing things, breaking things!

02-15-03, 10:10 PM
Everything....and the kitchen sink!

Here is the toilet/sink corner. I also recently put the stand up air compressor in this zone.

It is a mess in this pic. I used left over folding doors from the house remodel as quick thin space saving privacy walls for the toilet and a door for the toilet.

There is super deep sink housed in the homemade cabinet. Again, these are throw away doors from a remodel at my office.

02-15-03, 10:13 PM
The catch all............junk pile

This is the 10' off set in the rear of the shop. I put a quick plastic fence on each side, and the little building there is a storage shed for my lawn equipment. You don't want that getting mixed up in your garage.

I throw old rims, fiberglass, metal, etc, back here for a future project of unknown descriptions.

You can see the "wall" a/c unit sticking out. Believe it or not, it will cool this shop during the hot summer months. I usually turn it on early in the a.m. if I will be out there on a Saturday, or I get Nikki to flip it on in the afternoon (around 3:00), to get it very comfortable by 5:30 or so.

02-15-03, 10:22 PM
This will put it in perspective.....

Here is a pic of the house from the street. The house garage is spic and span with only two cars.

The gate to the shop is on the far right of this picture.

It is well hidden from plain view, and Yes....the contruction on the shop had to match the house.

02-18-03, 03:48 AM
Nice place.How does it fel to be able to walk through your garage without tripping?I feel like that Staples commercial when I walk through mine.Also is that a Lotus?:upthumbs

02-18-03, 05:43 AM
Originally posted by paintdaddy
Nice place.How does it fel to be able to walk through your garage without tripping?I feel like that Staples commercial when I walk through mine.Also is that a Lotus?:upthumbs

Yep, that is a Lotus Esprit Turbo....If all goes well it will disapear this weekend. It has been a permanent fixture in my yard since around Thanksgiving!

My constant house "garage" goal is to keep the house garage as a pure parking pad. So, it feels great when I meet my goal and have it clean an tidy up there.

02-18-03, 07:49 PM
I kinda like this picture of the front a little better:

Do ya think maybe that Chris' friend Keith might be saying, "Well, three of 'em are Corvettes." :L

_ken :w

08-21-04, 05:38 AM
Chris has a real nice garage there allright, for the space he had, he crammed in a whole lot of stuff, no question.....
I have no detached garage down here, but up in Md, I had a 3 car about 45' wide, and 27 deep, spanning the entire back yard, which was ALL concrete, NO GRASS....not one blade....main work bay was wide enough for a 3' deep bench on the left, and a 2' on the right, and open both doors on the vette with comfy walk around room.....it was LOVELY.....only an 8' ceiling though, which is why I heartily recommend an extra layer or two of blocks under the 8' studs....get that ceiling up there....oh, it had a wall/room a/c unit, and of course a household 100k BTU gas furnace....roast me outta there in about 5 minits, loved it....


08-30-04, 10:02 AM
, and the exterior walls are the concrete board in 8x4 sections.

That's interesting, I'm going to add on to my shed and I just saw how cheap this stuff is in the paper this weekend. It was about half price of pressboard but it said interior on it so I was skeptical about using it. But I may consider this again.:cool