garages and workshops

paul21December 4, 2009

We are in the planning stage for a new summer home/ cottage. The plan is that this structure will be more of a home than anything else, but it will have to be built on a slab and there are some size restrictions due to the proximity of the lake etc. etc. I would like to build a single car garage, detached from the house that would also have a workshop to accommodate my puttering with small woodworking projects , furniture refinishing and other tomfoolery. Any suggestions as to where to look for ideas, plans and such. Also any warnings garnered from your own experiences ?

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I don't know about books but I can assure you that a one car garage is insufficiently sized for "small woodworking projects, furniture refinishing and other tomfoolery."

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 12:39AM
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Thanks Mike, given that I've never owned a house that had a garage, I never thought about the car vs shop issue. I've always had a basement with lots of space for my toys, and the cars sat in the driveway. Now I'm thinking, I need a workshop, tool storage area more than anything. Something with versatility that will allow the furniture stripping ( infrequent ) , wood butchering etc. The car can sit in the driveway. So any shop plans out there?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 10:46AM
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There are lots of garage/workshop plans available online if you just Google "garage workshop plans" or the like. I don't have any experience with those off-the-shelf plans because, after searching extensively, we decided to have our plans drawn up by an architect for the following reasons:

1. We got exactly what we wanted - height, dimensions, window placement, door sizes (including the garage door), separate storage areas for household goods and outdoor stuff, electrical, etc. All of this is important if you are considering an oversized vehicle or boat, work benches along the walls and anything else a standard-sized building might not accommodate. We live in a community with large lots and I've seen where several people have built off-the-shelf or 'kit' out buildings only to expand and customize them later.

2. We wanted the pitch of the roof to match our house, which really limited our selection of ready-made plans. Our workshop/garage is 34' x 34' overall with a 6/10 roof pitch.

3. Considering the cost of the building, it really wasn't that expensive - around $1,100 if I recall correctly. Well worth it IMO to get exactly what we wanted.

4. The building codes in our area are pretty stringent and the architect obtained the building permit for us, which meant he had to make any required adjustments to the plans in order to do so. I remember he had to change the nailing schedule and I can't remember what else, but he was the one who had to run back and forth to the county offices until everything was good to go.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 9:58AM
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There are several questions to ask here before deciding...what type of work will you be doing in the garage. Does the garage need to be heated? I've seen alot of people put up those fabric covered garages and buildings to store items and use as a workshop. They're pretty simple and easy to put up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fabric garage

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 9:50PM
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