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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will be having a detached one car garage built either this fall or next spring.

Given your experiences working on the MINI or other vehicles, what advice do you have to offer in terms of:

~ Layout (width, height, space around car)
~ Benches/Lighting
~ Tools
~ Other

Thanks for your help.

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Make sure that the garage is at least twice the length of the largest car you expect to work on. That way you can set up an engine crane to remove an engine/trans as a unit with the door closed. I'd prefer 8' on each side to make it easier to work with floor jacks.

MOST IMPORTANTLY

Make sure the ceiling is at least 15'. With a 15' ceiling, you can have a lift. Yeah, it may sound excessive, but I've seen them for ~$2500 new. That is a cheap price for the convenience you'll get. I have a buddy that has one and it rocks!

Build this way, and you have the ability to store at least 3 cars. (One on the lift, and two nose to tail)

Rawhyde
 

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MAke a good space for an air compressor, and have air lines run down each side of the wall. Will help you out tremendously if working on the car.

Thanks
Dan
Pilo Racing
 

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thepilo said:
MAke a good space for an air compressor, and have air lines run down each side of the wall. Will help you out tremendously if working on the car.

Thanks
Dan
Pilo Racing
Try putting the air compressor outside on a concrete pad in a small enclosure and run the air lines into the shop. That helps keep noise down and gives some more floor space.

Rawhyde
 

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If at all possible, have a ceiling height of 12 feet.

I've got 101" height and while it's better than laying on my back to work on my cars, the higher ceiling would allow me to raise the car on my lift, high enough to walk under them. If you have any plans to purchase a car lift, make your garage big enough that you can walk around the car and lift.

Floor? What ever you do, don't paint the floor with regular gray paint. Use only Epoxy type Floor coatings. The idiot that owned my house before me, painted the floor with industrial gray enamel. Every time I pull one of the cars in the garage, the hot tires lifts the paint right off the floor.
 

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Z1GZAG N said:
If at all possible, have a ceiling height of 12 feet.

I've got 101" height and while it's better than laying on my back to work on my cars, the higher ceiling would allow me to raise the car on my lift, high enough to walk under them. If you have any plans to purchase a car lift, make your garage big enough that you can walk around the car and lift.

Floor? What ever you do, don't paint the floor with regular gray paint. Use only Epoxy type Floor coatings. The idiot that owned my house before me, painted the floor with industrial gray enamel. Every time I pull one of the cars in the garage, the hot tires lifts the paint right off the floor.
Epoxy is good, but getting the concrete colored is even better. I did a lot of things wrong in my shop, but I did a few right...

When you order your concrete, you can get it dyed. Mine is red, but I've seen blue and green as well.

A few more suggestions:

Have a floor drain installed. Nice to wash the car inside year round.
Don't get a garage door. They are a POS. Get an industrial roll up door. When it is open, it rolls up into a tube and doesn't block the overhead lights. They are only about $500 for a standard garage door size.

Good luck
Rawhyde

PS I got the dyed floor in red. The rest of the cool stuff, I found out about too late. Learn from my mistakes...
 

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Don MINIo
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This thread is very timely for me also. Thank you!

Rawhide, you obviously speak from experience, and I've noted several for your recommendations. I don't think that I'll be able to swing 15' as mine will be a split-level (living quarters above).

I've been contemplating a drive-over pit, maybe 15' long by 3 or so feet wide. I would probably make it 5' deep. I can have a little step stool down there for when I need to get higher. The front wall of the pit would be sloped though like at a 30 degree angle so I can slide down. I was planning to put a drain on the pit floor, power in one of the walls, and a few cubbyholes for storage...

I hope this to be a project for next year. Great idea on having the air compressor outside. The ears can ring after a day of hearing that! Oh, also I'd recommend piping 220v in the garage, like for a welder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Garage Questions

Thanks for the input. Some great stuff!

(Probably the most important - fire extinguishers - is the one I would not have thought of until too late.)

Good point, too, about the overhead door. How are people who have a traditional door dealing with the lighting?

Also, how much space do you think should be allowed on each side, whether for a MINI with its doors open or a wider vehicle?

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TonyB said:
This thread is very timely for me also. Thank you!

Rawhide, you obviously speak from experience, and I've noted several for your recommendations. I don't think that I'll be able to swing 15' as mine will be a split-level (living quarters above).

I've been contemplating a drive-over pit, maybe 15' long by 3 or so feet wide. I would probably make it 5' deep. I can have a little step stool down there for when I need to get higher. The front wall of the pit would be sloped though like at a 30 degree angle so I can slide down. I was planning to put a drain on the pit floor, power in one of the walls, and a few cubbyholes for storage...
Hi TonyB,

I have heard a pit is not a good idea for a home garage. Collection of gasoline fumes can occur (heavier than air); I guess the quick lube places have venting for their pit (i hope). The garage may have to be off limits to children, too. 5' is a drop for young'uns.

A mid-rise scissor lift, like the one at http://www.ultimategarage.com/lifts.htm, is probably a better idea, but cost $$$; of course, with what you were planning, it might be a even trade off on the labor and materials to excavate and finish the pit

I'm in the same predicament with a split level. :mad: There'll be a detached garage with 15' ceilings when I can afford my dream house. ;)

hey,
duard

(Counting down the days for my MCS!)
 

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Don MINIo
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heyduard said:
Hi TonyB,

I have heard a pit is not a good idea for a home garage. Collection of gasoline fumes can occur (heavier than air); I guess the quick lube places have venting for their pit (i hope). The garage may have to be off limits to children, too. 5' is a drop for young'uns.

A mid-rise scissor lift, like the one at http://www.ultimategarage.com/lifts.htm, is probably a better idea, but cost $$$; of course, with what you were planning, it might be a even trade off on the labor and materials to excavate and finish the pit

I'm in the same predicament with a split level. :mad: There'll be a detached garage with 15' ceilings when I can afford my dream house. ;)

hey,
duard

(Counting down the days for my MCS!)
heyduard, thanks for the link and the good ideas. Yeah, I was going to put a heavy plate over the pit to prevent accidents, but it would be a hassle to remove. I must admit that I didn't consider the fumes...

A lift is also ideal for taking load off the wheels/tires, which I can use now while doing coilovers and brakes. That scissor lift looks like a very good option. I also might need to reconsider the garage split-level add-on. I might just put my gameroom down there instead, and do a separate garage. I have a little over an acre of land, so that is an option I suppose. Back to the drawing board ;)

Thanks for chiming-in.

EDIT: Wow, I just noticed, welcome to MINI2!!! May your wait be a short one :)
 

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garages, garages!

NHRef said:
Thanks for the input. Some great stuff!

Good point, too, about the overhead door. How are people who have a traditional door dealing with the lighting?
I'm stuck with my split level house as is. The roll up door sounds great, but will have a lower curb appeal and, more importantly in my case, a very low WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor ;) ). lol

Windows and skylights can address the light issue during the day (since you're planning a detached garage, you can squeeze them in). White and off white painted walls will help brighten things up as well.

I was thinking of getting one of those halogen setups you can buy at lowes or home depot. The two spots on a stand for a construction site. That and a nice drop light. It may get toasty, but I'll be using it mostly during the winter. Plus I can use the job light for painting, etc. Dual/multi purpose is the key for a small budget.

There's always a need for plenty of cabinets/drawers as well, but space is tight for me. I will probably only fit one wall with a set of drawers and cabinets. Nothing too fancy. Target and Lowes have a nice selection of low end stuff. The link I previously posted to the Ulitmate Garage has premium stuff and very nice setups.

I'll try to swing the mid-rise scissor lift. ;)

TonyB: thanks!! I should be taking delivery at the end of the month! I can't wait!

hey,
duard​
 
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Race Deck Flooring

you can add BMP/Promini's "Race Deck Flooring" it comes in 3 colors and fits together like a puzzle and is very durable. it wont crack or slide. Easy to clean too. Cool Diamond plate design. It is sold by the square.

Jason
 
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