View Full Version : 8 foot ceiling or 10 foot ceiling?


ineedagarage
02-06-2011, 06:25 PM
The front of my 28x40 garage will be just 40 feet from the back of my house. In order to match my house should I go with a 8 foot ceiling? Or will a 10 foot ceiling garage not really look out of place? I plan on getting a 4 post lift but I will be using scissor trusses so even if I do go with the 8 foot ceiling I will have 10 1/2 in center which should work fine. Opinions would be great thanks.

CUSTOMMANCAVES.COM
02-06-2011, 06:27 PM
Half of my shop is 8' and the remainder is 17'. My advice would be to go as high as possible. 8' isn't tall enough for serious work.

bczygan
02-06-2011, 07:37 PM
Absolutely as high as you can get it. You are detached. It is a different use. One way to make the scale of the higher garage look right is to use a taller door in the higher wall. Also gives you better access for boats and tall trucks on trailers or vans with tall roofs. It will look great.

IDASHO
02-06-2011, 07:49 PM
8' or 10' you ask?

uh, duh....

13' ceiling :spit:

ambenz
02-06-2011, 08:05 PM
I had the same issues but decided to go 10" ceilings.
You can always add things to the side of the garage to make it appear less massive.

This pic shows my garage in relation to the house. Took me a while to get use to the difference but now I don't even think about it.

http://i790.photobucket.com/albums/yy187/GrabberNemo/FallFling2010/FF04.jpg

rodm1
02-06-2011, 08:07 PM
Try lifting anything out of a pickup or trailer with a chain hoist or come along and you will won't at least 10ft. if you get a lift 10ft will be low.

e-tek
02-06-2011, 08:08 PM
You'll never regret a bigger garage - unless it's your neighbours!

kb2tha
02-06-2011, 08:09 PM
I would go 10' without giving it a second thought. Because the garage is behind the house and in the background, I believe that will help minimize the taller garage.
Ken

4.0 Rambler
02-06-2011, 08:15 PM
Bigger is better

PassnThru
02-06-2011, 08:16 PM
It's a detached structure so don't put so much importance in matching your house that you give up functionality. In my instance - I have 8 foot walls that sit on about a 5 inch curb. However, my roof pitch is about double the house so it is taller. So don't forget the roof pitch - it will also determine the overall height of the structure. Mine doesn't stand out even though it is noticeably taller.

Zengineer
02-06-2011, 08:20 PM
I have a 9'6" garage and an 8' shed... after living with both a bit I'd never, ever build a shop with an 8' ceiling. I smash things into it all the time.

9'6" seems good, yet to hit it.

stingry
02-07-2011, 10:01 AM
Here is my shop that I am building. I also wanted the architecture of the shop to compliment that of the house but also wanted a practical shop. Here's an exterior picture

http://garagejournal.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=749&pictureid=6761

It has 10' ceilings but due to the 3' overhang, the exterior wall only shows 9'. Instead of scissor trusses, I used coffer trusses for the area over my lift, giving me a 12' ceiling. Coffer trusses are shown below

http://garagejournal.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=749&pictureid=7636

As stated above, I do not believe 8' ceilings are tall enough for a working shop. 10' seems to be a good compromise. Good luck with your build.

Cheers
Steve

Bigmac0603
02-07-2011, 10:26 AM
Hell, I have a single story house with a two story garage. The garage dwarfs the house and to me it looks perfect.

Chris

BLUBAYOU
02-07-2011, 10:27 AM
An 8' ceiling isn't good even if you don't have a lift. Many materials come in 8' lengths and the ceiling just gets in the way moving things around (ladders, plywood, pipe, 2x4's etc). I would go 10' (or more) and try to be creative with roof pitch and overhang, door size, etc. If the garage is set back from the house, it shouldn't be a big problem since it will appear smaller relative to the house anyway.

I built my garage foundation a bit lower than my house since my lot allowed it. I have 11' walls, a 9' or 9'6" door height (forget at the moment) and used the same color paint as the house but different siding (vertical board and batten style vs. horizontal on the house). It goes with the house, but looks like its own structure. I built my door from cedar, too, so it catches the eye more than the wall height would.

There are many tricks to make a garage look like it belongs, and sometimes making it look LESS like the house is good. The direction of the roof-line helps, too. Turning it 90* to the house roof may work, depending on your design.

Old Moparz
02-07-2011, 10:39 AM
Go with the higher ceiling or you will regret it. The overhead doors on mine are 8' high & the ceiling inside is a couple of inches shy of 12'. You can change rafter angles, soffit height, or ceiling joist & wall height to alter the appearance if aesthetics are critical to you.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v502/OldMoparz/Garage%20Photos/HD-9Assembled3.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v502/OldMoparz/Garage%20Photos/Garage97to98B.jpg

Falcon67
02-07-2011, 11:27 AM
With it being 40' behind the house, a 10' ceiling with -say- a 9 1/2' eve may well look the same as the house when looking from the curb. The perspective angle and the distance should make them look close.

Nice hint on the eve drop - my next shop will be next to the house, and I can pick up about 6"~12" from the lot level difference and a 9' even may look like an 8' eve on the house. Add 12" in the main work area with the rafters and bada-bing, 10' ceiling.

rwhite692
02-07-2011, 12:31 PM
Go with 10 foot at the walls, without a doubt.

tfi racing
02-07-2011, 12:50 PM
My last shop had a 10' ceiling and I thought that was great until I built the current one with a 12'...If you are building new,8' is a waste of time and money,go as tall as your budget and zoning allows,you won't regret it.There are many tricks that can be used to make the building blend in better visually.

Packard V8
02-07-2011, 12:59 PM
Is there anyone, anywhere who really doesn't think size matters?

I know a Brit who does brilliant machine work in a closet. Would he like to have a bigger shop, of course. If I ever build another house, the freakin' basement would have 10' walls.

jack vines

snorky18
02-07-2011, 01:02 PM
To the higher is better crowd:

Aside from clearances for using a lift, or engine hoist, what's the advantage (or is there one) of going over say 12-13'?. How do you utilize the extra height?

Question
02-07-2011, 01:04 PM
Heres mine, 10ft ceilings in the garage, house has 8ft ceilings. Remember that the house is usually a foot off the ground so the actual difference is only 1 ft. What I did was make the contractor extend the soffets so that the fascia on the garage matched the house. People have said that it all looks like it was built at the same time. OBTW I do also have a lift... works great...

http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp49/iamq_bucket/MVC-818F.jpg

JMURiz
02-07-2011, 01:09 PM
10' will look fine, mine is only 16' from the back of my house and you don't notice...as long as you scale the garage door to match...use a 8' high garage door and 10' side walls.

drooartz
02-07-2011, 01:18 PM
You will never find someone on this board who will tell you to go with the smaller option -- and for the most part they're quite right. :)

Just to play the other side, I will add in that you really should build your space based on what you need it to do, not just on the max size you can build/afford.

For instance, my current attached garage is roughly 21' wide x 20' deep x 9' tall (8' wall on about a 1' stem wall). If that was my workshop space (with no daily drivers in it), it would be all the space I'd ever need. I'm into British sports cars and motorcycles, all of which are very small. I may some day get a mid rise lift or platform, but don't want a full lift. I can only afford one car and one bike at a time.

The money I won't spend building a larger space I'll use for improving the car and bike. So plan for what you need, but also realize that maximizing space can also maximize the money you spend -- and you may even wind up spending more than you need, money that could be better used elsewhere.

jam0o0
02-07-2011, 02:07 PM
it's all about what you want to do. if all you do in your garage in park cars then 8' is fine. if you wanna park a truck make sure the door is an 8' or bigger. if you wanna work on cars on a lift then 10' could work. if you wanna work on trucks on a lift then 12' is minimum. if you need to park an rv then a 13' foot door might not be tall enough.

for me i can't do much in a 9'. my trucks (both) are 8' high. i can't even change the tires in a 9' tall garage if it has lights. and it's gotta be 10' ceiling if there is a standard garage door. just to get in.

darkk
02-07-2011, 02:19 PM
We did a 30 X30 garage addition with a full second story. Garage inside is 13 foot ceiling with 4 post lift,second floor is 11 foot vaulted ceiling.

Falcon67
02-07-2011, 04:39 PM
To the higher is better crowd:

Aside from clearances for using a lift, or engine hoist, what's the advantage (or is there one) of going over say 12-13'?. How do you utilize the extra height?

Take out the lift and my answer is "Not much". Good maybe for storage shelving or picture hanging. I did a lot of work in a 8' tall box no problem. That includes pulling motors, etc. Ceiling height is not an issue with a typical engine hoist. It's also less volume to heat or cool.

Note that for a MaxJax, 8' or 9' is plenty. For something like a BendPak 4 post, 10' isn't near enough. My race car is 54" tall. Add in my 6' 1" and you end up with 11' to clear. Pickup, Jeep, etc - figure 12' easy, maybe more.

Grinder Bill
02-07-2011, 04:46 PM
...ever try and handle a sheet of plywood in a room with 8' ceilings...?

ineedagarage
02-07-2011, 05:15 PM
Thanks guys for are the help. I will be doing 10 foot for sure. I have another question should I go with a 9 foot tall garage door or 8?

billcole
02-07-2011, 05:33 PM
I would go with the bigger door for sure makes it look better. I wanted a 10.5 but it ended up cheaper to go 11.5' because of the stud compared to block cost. My wife did not want the garage to look bigger then the house so she was not happy at first, but after about a month she was like it looks fine. Garages are like tv's they shrink after a couple of weeks.

Falcon67
02-07-2011, 05:53 PM
...ever try and handle a sheet of plywood in a room with 8' ceilings...?

You ever dance with the devil in the pale moon light? About the same thing. :lol_hitti I have a piece of 1/4 lauan against the wall now - no worries about it falling over.

Charles (in GA)
02-07-2011, 06:00 PM
Tallest door you are comfortable with. There are lots of vehicles that are a tight fit in 8 ft and if you want to back a truck or trailer inside to unload something, that something may not clear the door header.

Height is good, it allows for work space for flipping over long pieces of pipe, wood, steel, whatever you happen to be working with, it also allows for use of a engine hoist, or portable gantry crane (if the crane is 12 ft, you will have less than 10 ft usable since the hoist and trolley hang down from it), you also will have cooler garage in the summer with high ceilings, and more room to hang ceiling fans and lighting and not interfere with your work.

Charles

NUTTSGT
02-08-2011, 10:59 AM
10' walls and 9x8 garage doors.

PAToyota
02-08-2011, 11:55 AM
Having gone 10.5' I'd go nothing less than 12' if I had to do it over again. I've got 9' tall doors and haven't really wished for anything more than that. But it depends on whether you're into Porsches or Peterbilts...

38Chevy454
02-08-2011, 01:04 PM
I have 12 ft high walls, 10 ft high doors. All about 25 ft from the house. My garage is about 2 ft lower than the house, but it looks fine to me. There is enough separation distance that it is not a problem.

stingry
02-08-2011, 02:48 PM
I have 12 ft high walls, 10 ft high doors. All about 25 ft from the house. My garage is about 2 ft lower than the house, but it looks fine to me. There is enough separation distance that it is not a problem.

I have always wondered why have 12' ceilings and only a 10' door. Other than room for a lift and headroom for the overhead door tracks, is there any other reason for this. Seems to me like a lot of extra space to heat plus the additional construction costs. Not picking on you specifically 38Chevy454 but was just wondering???


Cheers
Steve

bill9860
02-08-2011, 04:45 PM
agree - as high as you can go. To mathc my house I had to go 11'. So I had trusses made that kicked up to give me 12.5'. From outside looks just like the attached garage

38Chevy454
02-08-2011, 11:54 PM
I have always wondered why have 12' ceilings and only a 10' door. Other than room for a lift and headroom for the overhead door tracks, is there any other reason for this. Seems to me like a lot of extra space to heat plus the additional construction costs. Not picking on you specifically 38Chevy454 but was just wondering???


Cheers
Steve

10 ft high is all I need on the doors, bigger doors is just more heat loss. 12 ft high inside as it was not much difference in price than shorter and I have plenty of inside clearance. It also makles it real easy moutning the OSB sheets on the walls. With regular sectional type doors, you do need some radius for the door to go up and then horizontal. Sure I could have maybe gone 10.5 or 11 ft doors, but 10ft was std size and as stated is all I need. It also has to do with outside appearance, I have a reasonable header space above the doors outside to help balance the look.

PAToyota
02-09-2011, 11:10 AM
I have always wondered why have 12' ceilings and only a 10' door.

Typically higher ceilings inside are to accomodate a lift. So your tallest vehicle through the door is going to have to go higher than the door when you lift it.

For me, my 9' doors accomodate anything I want to drive in, allows me to back the pickup with a load into the garage, and also gives me enough room to carry things into the garage with the Bobcat with the lift arms partially up.

If I had a higher ceiling than 10.5', I'd likely go to a 10' door but I don't see myself going for more than that even if the ceiling was in the 14' to 16' range or higher.

rickycobra
02-09-2011, 01:48 PM
10' the taller the better for overhead storage.

Groovy
02-09-2011, 05:23 PM
I have 8 foot and it sucks but I turn my plywood sideways so no worries new build will have12 foot walls

55chevrolet
02-09-2011, 06:10 PM
hi,it seems shops never too big or tall, they fill up fast, mine is 18.6 high .I am building a mezzanine in to use extra space ,Its nice to have everything inside ,just my own opinion though,

christopizza
02-09-2011, 08:25 PM
I have a garage with 9'3" ceiling or so -- I have a four post lift and it only works in there because I work on little british cars. The extra height really helps with 8ft lumber I cut on my table saw.

I'm working on my detached garage plans. I'm planning on making a short wall around the perimeter of the foundation - maybe 12 to 16 inches. I was going to make it 10ft total height, after reading this -- I don't think I'll shorten the 10ft studs at all.

Thanks!

BLUBAYOU
02-11-2011, 09:21 AM
that's how mine came to be 11' high. I was going to build a 10' ceiling, but since we ran one course of block under the wall it ended up at 11' using 10' studs, a 2x bottom and double 2x top plate. No point in cutting the 10' studs down!