How to Make Cheap Utility/Garage Sink?

pricklypearcactusOctober 21, 2010

I realize this is not kitchen-related exactly, but I am hoping I can pick the brains of the budget kitchen and sink experts here. I want to build an affordable utility sink in my garage.

I would like to do a single bowl stainless sink with some sort of cabinet base for storage somewhere in the range of 24-36" wide. I will need a faucet, preferably with a single control. And I will need an affordable countertop material. This will be a DIY project. The utility sink will be used for everything from gardening cleanup, paint and tool cleanup, mechanic cleanup and more. I would like products that can be cleaned and scrubbed vigorously and don't get ruined easily. I do not particularly care about the appearance. And I would like to make this as affordable as possible.

Thanks in advance for any product suggestions and ideas.

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How about a traditional utility sink? They're inexpensive and don't require any additional cabinetry, etc. If you're not wanting something that big, I would hit the Habitat Restore and try to find a used sink base and sink and faucet. You can "splurge" on a preformed laminate countertop from Lowe's or HD.

Here is a link that might be useful: Utility Sink

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 4:17PM
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I took a couple of old cabinets that we took out of the kitchen, bought a cheap chunk of laminate countertop (stock from Menards) then I put a double bowl untiltiy sink next to it. This is probably one of the cheapest ways to do this. From what you want to do, a regular sink is not going to be big enough. I know this first hand, as I'm a major DIY'er.

You don't mention your water supply, but I would suggest also hooking up a regular garden hose with sprayer for the untilty sink. Regular spray nozels for sinks don't have the power you need to really clean things.

This isn't the best picture of the setup, but you can see it in the background. BTW since I use this for food, I don't use it for paint or chemicals, I use the laundry tub in the house (or the hose in the yard) for that. But hopefully this will give you an idea of what I'm talking about. The laminte is mounted a bit high so I can brush it off right into the sink.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 4:39PM
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Fori is not pleased

Is it canning season, Macybaby? =)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 6:43PM
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From Home Despot's website
Continental Cabinets Unfinished oak 36" sink cabinet $105

4' Tempo Laminate Countertop $43.00
optional end-kit, if needed $11.95ea

ASB ABS 22"x25" acrylic drop-in sink $58.00

Glacier Bay 2-handle side-sprayer kitchen faucet $36.95

Your drain and p-trap assembly still need to be figured out, but you get the idea. :^)
Best of luck,

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 7:10PM
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macybaby not to hijack the thread but what do you use for a stove? I've had the begining of a set up like yours several times but never got around to the water. I made do with the hose for washing and running into the house for cooking water. Maybe some day.

Cheap sink. Look at plastic white laundry tubs. they come with legs or a cabinet. They are cheap and they look like they'd be just what you need. I look at them every trip to Menard's. someday I'll have one and I can work in the garage with my messes.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 7:45PM
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macybaby, love your setup!!

I've been wishing for a utility sink for cleaning the chicken's waterer (now done with a hose in summer or in my beautiful new kitchen in winter, gross!) and gardening use. However, my garage in not heated or even insulated, so I can't have a regular water supply there, I don't think. Anyone know a way to do this? Some sort of anti-freeze sillcock connected to the faucet?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 8:40AM
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With my setup, I also don't have it in an insulated building with heat (live in South Dakota). The plumbing consists of a hose attached the the frost free hydrant on the other side of the building. It goes up over the door, around the side and then hooks into a 4 way valve with shutoffs. One goes has a hose hooked to it and goes to the spray nozel. Makes a great pot filler, and gives me the spray pressure needed to blast veggies and butchered things clean.

The second vavle goes to the on-demand water heater. This is mounted so it's easy to take down and bring in the house for the winter. The third valve goes to the cold water side of the faucet in the laundry tub.

This system has a grey water drain, which is OK where I am. I have a septic system so try not to run any harsh stuff into in anyway.

Pinch-me, I have a four burner coil cooktop (under the cover the canner is sitting on). The lower height of the cooktop area is great for working with tall pots and the canners.

This is a picture of the cooktop before I cut the desk down and moved it to the center of the room.

I've been amazed at how great it is having this "out of house" work area. I'd encourage anyone in putting in a sink/work/cleanup area in a garage or shop. It's so nice not worrying about getting some peelings or drips on the floor while you are in the middle of things.

However I insist my husband use a bucket when he's bringing in something that might leave blood drips on the floor.

Stacyneil - could you install a frost free hydrant? The waterline is buried below the frost line and the actual shutoff is under ground also, so the hydrant itself never freezes (even when it about -20F out).

That is what I have in the shed - No Way would I be bringing in the animal water containers into the house to clean in the winter, and I have a utility sink in the laundry room too.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 9:58AM
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Thank you all for these great ideas. Do you think an acrylic sink would hold up for dirty DIY projects (paint, possibly thinset, definitely vehicle grease and grime)? Maybe that would be best for now and if it doesn't hold up, I could replace it with something more expensive in the future.

I live in Utah and while the garage isn't insulated (that I know of) or heated, the water supply and sink would be on an interior wall backing up to my family room and/or new pantry. There are already water pipes in this wall from my current wet bar setup and I'm intending to tap into that. I still need to discuss with a plumber, but I think it should work. I'm trying to put together the total costs of the project to determine feasibility. Another option might be trying to put a utility sink somewhere in my basement, though the cost would probably be considerably higher since there is not currently plumbing there with the exception of my water heater.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 10:14AM
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Circus Peanut

Is there a Habitat for Humanity near you? The ones up here in the Northeast usually have dozens of large stainless sinks, faucets, and countertop remnants for a pittance.

I went there to get my basement utility sink (large enameled number, indestructible) with faucet, chunk o' used laminate counter, cut a hole, built a sturdy table frame from 2x4's, and voila, all for no more than about $50.

Here is a link that might be useful: Utah Re-stores

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 10:31AM
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Thank you for the extra info and photos! Do you disconnect the whole thing in wintertime? I would want to be able to use it in winter, so still not sure it would work. (Although, likepricklypearcactus I may be able to punch supply lines from the house through the adjoining wall of the garage... prickly, will you let me know what your plumber says about that? Wouldn't the water in the pipes and faucet -no matter how close to the wall- freeze and expand in winter?)

I really want to make this work.. macybaby has me totally inspired now.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 10:52AM
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Sophie Wheeler

You can't have any pipes from the garage penetrate into the home. No cutting open the wall to tap into that drain unless you make a fire safe utility room with drywall and a fire rated door. It's a BIG fire safety issue. And you can' do a gray water drain unless it's legal in your location. With the items that you plan on using the sink for, it wouldn't be legal to just dump that wastewater out into the environment anywhere. It needs to join up with your sewer.

The only proper way to do this is to have a licensed plumber cut into the garage slab and tap into the home's drain. If this isn't done correctly, it's be a big red flag when resale ever comes around.

I chose to cut into my slab. It wasn't that hard to do DIY with the right tools.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 10:52AM
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Wow, hollysprings, that is definitely not good news for me. I had no idea. I will definitely report back what the plumber says. I should clarify that I don't intend to dump quantities of paint or thinset or anything else down the drain. More a matter of once I've scraped everything I can into a garbage container, I often have to clean off tools. Can you clarify what you mean by not being able to penetrate the garage wall into the home? I don't think there is any fire barrier there now, just drywall and insulation. Is there somewhere I can read up on these kinds of codes? I definitely do not want to do something unsafe.

I'm not certain whether the pipes would freeze. I need to ask the plumber. We have other sinks where the pipes are in exterior walls. It seems like it would be no different. But I'm definitely not a plumbing expert.

I had no idea there were re-stores nearby. But there are two on that list within reasonable distance. If the plan works out, I'll have to check them out. I should have guessed there would be some nearby as I donated a few items. I just had the truck come pick them up and didn't even think to ask where they were located. That's a great idea! I never even thought about building an open sink base, but that's genius. I don't need something fancy, just functional.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 1:44PM
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