About Garage Plans Etc.
Hello, and welcome to Garage Plans Etc.! My name is Keith, and I live near Knoxville, Tennessee. I am an ASE Certified Master Technician that has worked in the automotive industry for over twenty years. I also have a BS in Business from the University of South Carolina, and I am a certified car nut. What does every car nut need in order to enjoy his (or her!) passion to the fullest? A garage, of course!
But not just any garage will do. Many garages that are built today, especially the ones attached to smaller homes, are not suited for anything more than parking. They are WAY too small for any kind of restoration or repair work, and typically don't have enough electrical outlets or a place to keep any of the tools and equipment required by a hobbyist. And you can FORGET putting a vehicle lift in a typical home garage!
So the solution most car nuts turn to is adding a second, larger garage, either attached or detached. When I started looking into the options that are out there, I found it is easy to get overwhelmed. There are A LOT of questions to answer and decisions to make.
- What size do I really need? For those of us on a budget, this is the most important question of all. If I build it too small, I will be cramped and frustrated when I am trying to do something I enjoy. If I try to build it too big, I may run out of funds before it is finished, or at the very least I'll have less money left over for tools, equipment, or other "toys". If I think I just "have" to have a 30' x 40' garage and I can't afford it, I may never get around to building anything at all.
- What is the best construction type and material for my needs? Should I be looking at pole barn kits, a stick built wood frame design, a steel arch building…?
- Should I save some time and buy a garage building kit? What kind of kit should I look at?
- Where will I build it? For instance, I have room for it across the creek, but then I have to build a big bridge to get to it. Attached to the house would be great, but then the deck is in the way and we use it too much. I could just lengthen the garage that I already have, but then the driveway would be too steep... (These are the issues I actually have where I live right now!)
After all those questions are answered and garage plans have been decided on, then "the devil is in the details".
- What kind of garage doors should I use? Double wide doors or separate single wide doors? Steel, wood, vinyl, fiberglass, insulated or not...?
- What kind of lighting is best, where will they be placed and how many do I need? What about wall outlets?
- What kind of floor coating should I use, if any?
- Do I need a garage storage system? Where will I put my toolbox, workbench, air compressor, drill press, bead blaster, parts washer, welder...?
These are all questions that I have struggled with, and when I went looking for answers online, I didn't find any resources that had information on all these topics in one place. Most websites are just trying to sell you something. No one had ever pulled it all together, with real world honest information that I could use to help me through the garage planning process.
I have spent hundreds of hours researching each of these topics over the years. I have gone through I don't know how many pads of graph paper, drawing out different garage building plans, sketching in cars and each piece of equipment, and creating building material spreadsheets on different sizes and shapes for a garage while trying to figure out a plan that I could afford.
I decided to create a website with what I have learned to share my research and ideas with others. I hope this website will save you some time, and possibly prevent you from making some potentially costly mistakes. And honestly, I hope this website will help me to pay for my next garage!
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But I digress... This is supposed to be a page about me. I have a wonderful wife name Christy who works at a construction firm, and two great stepchildren. Our oldest Kayleigh is in her third year at UT (GO VOLS!) with academic scholarships that nearly cover the full bill (can you believe how expensive a college education is nowadays?), and our youngest Cody is a sophomore in high school who is obsessed with sports.
I am interested in anything that has wheels and moves under its own power, but my passion is for muscle cars, street rods, and anything automotive that is out of the ordinary. Micro-cars, rat rods, vehicles that get extremely high fuel mileage, three wheel vehicles... if it is weird, I am interested!
I currently have a 1967 Pontiac Firebird that belonged to my best friend growing up, who died in a car accident in 1990 (David Rhea, RIP), and a 1994 Miata with a bunch of suspension mods that I don't get to take advantage of on the interstate during my daily commute. My first car was a 1965 Pontiac GTO, and I have also owned a 1970 Camaro that I built, a 1975 V8 Monza, a 1981 Camaro, a 1988 Firebird Formula, and too many other cars and trucks to mention. My stepson Cody will inherit the '67 Firebird one day.
I hope you enjoy my website, and I hope the information provided here saves you some time and frustration. Please feel free to send me your comments or questions using the contact form.
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