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Old 12-29-2011, 01:55 AM   #1
StarWolve
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Default 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

First of all, I would like to say thank you to everyone on this forum. I've taken a lot of ideas and incorporated them in my 24x24' attached garage, but I have definitely outgrown this space. (Plus, my wife would like to park her car in the garage someday.) I have been planning a 40x60 detached "workshop" garage, just for my toys, projects, and a place to park the truck occassionally. The nickname for the project is "Carter's Doghouse".

Here's a rough design for the layout that I came up with using Google Sketchup:


I left some of the walls out for visibility, but this is the basic layout. The front room is a small office, which will look out over the yard and pond. The 2nd room is for mechanicals (furnace, compressor, water pump, etc.) and the 3rd room is a small restroom. I plan on one large garage door in the middle, 2 man doors on either side, with room to add a "car port" style attached roof on either side of the building, or expand the garage further should I need more room.

There will be more motorcycles than what is shown (I have around 8) and I think I will end up moving the 2 post lift back a little further than what is shown to make parking easier. The wooden structure behind the bikes is a storage shelf, but I'm not sure if I'll need that if I can create some overhead storage. The rear left area behind the weld curtain will be for welding/fabrication, and the rear right area near the black workbench will be the main workshop area for the bikes, with at least 2 bike lifts. I have the lathe and welder now, but I'm planning on adding a milling machine, horizontal bandsaw, drill press, and other tools along the back wall.

This is just a preliminary drawing, but I'm trying to plan out how to do the roof. I know I'll have to go with about 13' of clearance to get a 2 post lift in there, so I was thinking 10' or 12' sidewalls (plus the block height) should be enough. If I got with a 10' wall, I will have to use a scissor truss in the front to get more clearance. The advantage to a 12' wall would be that I could use a regular truss and still have enough clearance for a lift. Anything higher than 13' will just be wasted space, and make it difficult to change bulbs or access the attic area.

Another option I am trying to incorporate is truss storage area, possibly just in the rear of the shop. Since the rear area will not require as much clearance, it should be possible to incorporate a storage area into the "attic", and possibly even lower the ceiling height to gain overhead storage clearance. I could easily work with a 10' clearance there, and also add support columns as needed. It would be nice to have a set of stairs going up to that area, but I'm not opposed to a pull down ladder for access to that area. I could also add some storage over the rooms in the right front, which might be beneficial for storing often needed season items, such as snow tires, etc.

I'm open to ideas, but my main concern right now is how to do the roof. Another thing that needs to be taken into consideration is the pitch. I live in upstate NY, in the snow belt near Syracuse. Most roofs here have a 6/12 pitch minimum. I would like to go with a steel roof if possible.

I have 2 contractors in my friends/family, and I'm going to be sitting down with them in a few months to go over my plans, but I'd like to know what you guys can suggest to maximize the potential layout for this build. I will also post a few more pictures from different angles soon. Right now I'm stuck in Afghanistan, so I have plenty of time to make changes to the plan. I am planning on clearing the land for this build in the fall of 2012 and starting construction in the spring of 2013.
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

Nice drawing and planning you have going there.
I have a 40' x 60' detached shop. It has an open floor span with no truss supports. I also have the office area and a full bathroom on the right side of the shop with a full kitchen (open to the shop) on the back side of the bathroom. So it is very similar to your design.
I am very happy with the set up except for one thing. I have a 12'6" ceiling and I wish I had a 14'. I have the BP 9XWHD and I am able to lift my 2002 GMC 2500hd high enough to work on with plenty of clearance, but I also have a loft above the office / bathroom and I only have about 4-5 feet of clearance for storage. So storing and removing items from up there can be a back strain since I am bending over and walking at the same time. This would also make it so you could eliminate the wood shelving you had in your drawing.
I would go with at least 14'. and put your truss access over the loft for ease of access.
I would not make your trusses so they can accommodate storage. Reason being if you go with the clean foot print you may compromise the trusses, also if you are needing the attic for storage then that means you have outgrown your floor space and need more and then it makes it very difficult to get things up there or down from there due to clutter below.
My shop has two large doors (12' wide x 10' tall) and the ability to remove the center piece making it a 26' wide opening. Two doors makes it nice if for any reason I have one of the bays occupied I still have an alternate to use. This is also another reason for the 14' ceiling so that you can pull an RV inside as well with a 12' tall door.
As for changing lights, with the money you are going to spend on this and tools I would also invest in a movable staircase. I found one at a local auction for $60 and it is one my best investments for the shop. These are the ones that have wheels to roll around and then spring pads that engage with your body weight. Makes it handy for items in the loft area as well as getting into my vehicles that are on the lift.
One more item is a full length floor drain system. I only have one 4" drain in the center of the shop and the shop is sloped just right but for ease of washing and melting show it would be nice to have the other.

In short:
14" ceilings.
loft.
two bay doors.
full length floor drain.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

Great suggestions akdiesel. My Uncle, who is a contractor, keeps telling me "It's easier to go up than out." So I agree that it might be easier to go 14' and move all the storage to over the office area in a loft. However, with the pitch that might be required, it bothers me that I can't use all that overhead space. I also have a 12' Werner A-frame ladder (craigslist, $100) so reaching a 14' ceiling won't be a problem. The ceilings in my attached garage are 13.5' and it works great.

On the 2 doors issue, I'm still on the fence. I think that it might be useful for getting the bikes in and out - basically the center bay for the lift, and the left bay for the bikes and other toys. If I eliminate the shelving on the left side, I think this would be much more feasible as the bike could be stacked along the left wall, leaving more room to move things in and out.

On the full length floor drain - agreed, 100%. I''m thinking a "trench" with steel grate over the top running right down the middle of the garage. I'll have to figure out where I'm draining it, but I'll probably have to put in a small septic tank for the bathroom anyways. I know that it can be a pain when a nut or bolt falls and rolls into there, but a quick sweep with a magnet will fix that, and the advantages outweigh that small problem. I'll have to put that into the drawing tonight.

Do you have any pictures of the removeable section between your doors? I've never seen that done, so I'm intersted in how that works.

Last edited by StarWolve; 12-29-2011 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

Here's a few different views:








I like using Sketchup - but sometimes I do go a little overboard. I couldn't find a good model for my 1956 South Bend 9" Lathe, so I started making a rough version of. Here's the work in progress:


I'm going to make a few changes to this garage design tonight... Mainly to see what it will look like with 2 doors, no shelving, and taller walls.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

Here's my build, maybe you can take some ideas from my shop.
I'm also in the process of building my office and bathroom, I wil post pictures later.


My Build:http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ighlight=40x64
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

Half Baked - I've looked at your build a number of times already! It looks great! The similar dimensions caught my eye, and I was also interested in pole barn vs. stick built construction. I'm still not 100% sure which way I'm going to go, but since I plan to insulate and finish the interior, it might be better in my case to go with traditional framing instead of a pole barn style.
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:55 AM   #7
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

The center column has the door tracks on it so the doors must be up in order to remove.
This is the only photo I have right now but you can get the idea.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

I have the same size 40x60. One big door on the front (12x14) I wanted to be able to bring our camper in. If you think you will be moving a lot of cars in and out two big doors may help or side load it (doors on the long side) I do not use mine for multiple cars at this time. I do have a 6x7 roll up door on the side and have pulled mowers etc in that way. The intent for the side door was for easier access to the porch. Having the lift just inside your main door is going to limit you if you have that car up for extend periods. I plan on a 4 post lift but will locate it in the 20-40 section of the garage. This will allow for extend stays on the lift but still allow for a car etc to pull into the first section. This works for me.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

Several points:

Seriously consider building a separate room for the machine tools. Because of the oil on the ways they collect airborne dirt and worst of all abrasive fallout from the welding area. I notice that you are taking snow melt off the vehicles as a factor (I don't think the motorcycles will contribute to this, but you could be a hardier soul than me) and that, or moisture from wet vehicles will encourage rust on the machine tools. If you don't wall them off, at least cover them when not in use.

I believe that you have locked in the location of the office because of a view. My experience makes me put my main workspace in an area that can use the full dimensions of the building. Forty feet seems like a long distance, but a large vehicle can use up most of it by the time you consider working space, supporting tools, and the inevitable clutter.

I have found that alternate access points to be invaluable. By that I mean vehicle-sized doors that allow access from more than one wall. The most usable design I worked with was a 60x80 shop with doors (16x16) on each 60-foot (gable) wall and three doors (two 16x16 and one 24x16) on one long wall. No matter what was in the shop, you could access the rest of the shop. You could pull big and long stuff in one gable end and out the other. You could put a project in the center bay and park a crane truck next to it from any side.

I strongly suggest the higher ceilings and storage above the closed rooms. Make the structure very strong, since iron and steel add up even if you are only adding an armload at a time. I have a 4-foot high mezzanine that I use for storage in a shop with 8-foot ceilings underneath. I hate going up there and being hunched over, so it has become "dead" storage. It really encourages me to keep stuff I shouldn't, so consider that. Put some 12" wide shelves on the shop side of the walls of your rooms for items that you need access to regularly. The narrow shelves keep you from putting stuff on them that really should go overhead.

If you have the full-length floor drain and are working near it, throw a rubber mat over it to keep the small parts from falling in. I had round drains scattered around the big shop and wish I had used a long drain with a grate. On a similar vein, specify in writing the slope and layout of the slab and drains when you hire the concrete finisher. Most will slop through the job and leave you with "bird baths" or water flowing the wrong direction. Have your grating in hand before you write the specs, and have it available for the contractor to measure and see how it fits.

Put PVC conduit under the slab everywhere you might even THINK you could need power, communications, security, or water now or in the future. Make it one size larger than you will ever need, since you will always need "more power" as time goes on. I run PEX tubing through PVC conduit if it goes in or under or up through concrete. Use long-radius sweeps and the PEX will bend right around like it was wiring. I run compressed air over the top since with big enough pipe it there is no drawback to the longer distance, but wiring needs to go the shortest route because of voltage drop.

I use a high ceiling and suspend my lights using chains and fed by rubber covered cord. That way they are more accessable and I can adjust the height if necessary. I put a plug at the flourescent fixture rather than on the ceiling so I don't have to go all the way up to change out a fixture. It's easier to work on them on the bench.

Be focused on keeping your floor space clear. If you want storage, consider putting shelves, etc. high enough that you can use the space underneath.

Always secure your shelves, etc. and the contents against shifting in an earthquake. An acquantance nearly got killed in New Zealand recently when his pallet racks full of motorcycle parts fell over in their big quake! Quakes happen even in areas that don't have them, ask the folks in OK about that!

Just some food for thought. Have fun with the project!
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarWolve View Post
I plan on one large garage door in the middle, 2 man doors on either side, with room to add a "car port" style attached roof on either side of the building, or expand the garage further should I need more room.
A couple of ideas from my build/experience:

1) If you even THINK you will do a lean-to/shed-roof/car-port expansion in the future, do yourself a favor: take some time NOW and put in some ledger/band boards on the exterior walls. These are the boards where your exterior roofs will tie back into the main structure. This is what the rafters will nail to. There is very little cost/easy to do it now and flash it appropriately to keep water out. It's a PITA to add one in later after your walls are closed up. I did this for my machine shop and I think everybody should at least consider this as a route for cheap(er)/easy expansion. It also allows you to build the roof FIRST, then concrete later when you have the money.

2) Segmentation: You have an office. As mentioned before, you will also want to segregate into a "clean" side and a "dirty" side. In my shop I have a 2-bay section for fab work. A separate lift bay, and a separate area for the machine shop. All can be closed/sealed from the others to keep gunk/weather out.

3) Exterior doors: I can't put my finger on it, but your door plan really seems awkward. I would shoot for multiple large bay doors.

4) Door height/width: Not sure what you are going to be doing, but there are a couple of times I have dragged home machinery and been VERY happy I could back the WHOLE trailer into the lift WITH a bridgeport on top of it. I have a 10' high door that is 10' wide. Normally that is MORE than enough. In retrospect, I wish I had gone with a 12' wide door, so if you EVER use trailers, factor them AND the payload (SITTING ONTOP of the trailer) into your door size.

5) Ventillation: I also planned to be able to drive all the way through my garage with a trailer, so I put a 10' door on the rear. I didn't think of it at the time but this has been THE BEST investment ever for ventilation. Remember if you can cross-vent the work space, it'll be a lot more comfortable to work in.

6) Bathroom: you're already planning on septic... so go the extra step for a crapper and a shower. You will be happy when it's done.

7) Compressor room: When planning your bathroom also factor in a mechanicals/compressor room nearby. This gets the noise out of the shop and keeps the stuff like the water heater/near the bathroom. Insulate for temperature and sound.

hope that helps.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

I have a 42x60 pole building with 24x24 addition. The addition has 13' ceiling. I built an office and bathroom in half. The rooms have a 2x4x.250" rec tubing framed roof with 3/4 plywood on top. I use that area for motorcycle,atv,sled storage by lifting them with a platform on a tractor. Also up there is a pressure washer and water heater in a tray tied to the drain. No stairs as I don't want it to be a junk collector but is a real safe place for the off season machines.

The main shop is 16' and I have used almost all the storage on the top 8' of wall. I have my compressor,boiler, and 5-4x8 lockers with the bottoms 8' off the floor. I am going to add a tire rack over the man door. The main shop has a crane that travels the length under the lights and ceiling fans.

You never know what you will want so I would not skimp on the height.

Something I found out about later was running conduit to the sump so a person can use an aquarium aerator to keep your sump from stinking when not getting fresh water added in summer etc.

I would personally add another overhead door or move the hoist to get a second vehichle in if one is disabled on the hoist but that may be dependant on your own anticipated uses.

I think the pickup and bikes look out of scale and crowded to what the finished project will be.

Edit: Just noticed the comment about RV's. Many will not fit in a 12' door. I personally would not go less than 14' door but that is me and my needs/climate.

Last edited by Sureshot; 12-29-2011 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:57 AM   #12
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

Thanks for all the comments guys. I appreciate them all, and I'm working on some changes to the plan now based on some of these.

I would like to clarify - the reason that I'm going with the door(s) on the gable end, is that the rear end of this garage will be "in the woods" so to speak. I actually started this design by looking at a local highway garage which had a pull through barn with doors at both ends for all their trucks and equipment. The offices and break rooms were similarly situated, but on a much larger scale than my garage. The ventilation would be better with another door in the rear, but in this case it's not possible. I think that the 2 man-doors in the center would be helpful for cross-ventilation, though.

The garage is basically going to be situated in the woods behind the black trailer in this picture. This view is from the roof of the house:


As far as the machine area - I've been trying to figure out the best way to keep the equipment as far away from the welders as possible, but I know I won't be machining every day in there. What I was planning on doing was "enclosing" the welding area with weld screens, and covering the lathe/mill with welding blankets when not in use. Unless I built a separate room for the machinery there will always be some time where I'm grinding or welding on a bike near the equipment, so it's easier just to cover it. The same goes for the bikes that are parked in the garage - they will need to be covered when not in use.

In my plan, the "mechanicals" room is the one right next to the small bathroom. I plan on a toilet, and the sink will be the utility sink outside the bathroom in the garage. I plan on insulating that room as much as possible, to keep the noise down from the compressor.

With a view like this, I definitely want the office where I can look out into the yard, so that really can't change.


I need to plan on a few outlets in the center of the workshop area for the work tables, and I think that if I'm starting a new build, heat in the floor would be the way to go. I'm still not sure on the heat source, but we use coal and oil in the house, so it would be nice to keep it the same for ease of delivery.

As for the doors - I plan on moving the lift back enough that I can park my truck without the truck doors being near the lift posts, as well as far enough back that if have a truck on the lift I could still get a bike or tractor out. But I think I will add a 2nd door in front of the bikes, and get rid of the storage behind the bikes. That also reclaims that wall for storage cabinets over the bikes to hold riding gear. I was originally thinking 10x10' doors - I do have a motorcycle trailer, but no RV's and no plans to ever own one. And honestly, once I have the garage, I'll be selling the bike trailer since I only use it for bike storage now. A 10' will probably be the way to go, as it will make it easier to clear a vehicles on the lift. (If the lift is close enough to the door to interfere.

I hope that the pickup and bikes are the correct scale - those were models downloaded from Google's 3D warehouse - I'll have to look up the dimensions and verify that those are correct.

Thanks for all the great ideas. I'll work on some changes, and post the results here. It's much better to have constructive criticism before "construction critisicm".

Last edited by StarWolve; 12-30-2011 at 03:23 AM.
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:45 AM   #13
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

Ok, now you are just rubbing it in. jk. Nice piece of property.
Yeah those pieces of equipment you have in the drawing are a little bit big for the size of shop.

Just for reference I have approx 38' 6" x 58' 6" interior space. I can park two standard cab long bed trucks with hitches front to back and then those same truck size of 4 side by side with room to open the doors. This is also with the bathroom and office taking up the right hand side.

Not sure if you have done it yet or not but get a two 100' tape measures and layout your shop in the location you want and mark your dimensions. This will give you a good idea for sunlight, wind direction, approach angle from your driveway, and just how much space / trees you will need to clear.

The mechanical rooms, bathrooms and office are a great idea, but as for walling off areas in your open space for protecting equipment, I would not this for the reason that you will quickly loose space and be limited to those locations for those particular items. A standard 2x4 wall will be about 5" of floor space, not to mention and obstacle.

As for power in the middle of the shop, I would also simply build your tables / bench to have plugs and hard wired extension cord, and simply plug it in when needed and roll it up when done.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:45 AM   #14
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

akdiesel - agreed on walling off - what I meant by that is using welding screen dividers that I can easily move around as needed to keep the sparks from hitting other areas of the shop.

For power, I could go the opposite direction and run retractable extension cords from the ceiling over the fab tables. For the smaller work carts, I usually try to put a strip outlet on each of them just for that reason.

When I go home on leave, I will be walking the site with tape measures to see what the best layout will be. I also removed the vehicles from the drawing already, got rid of the shelving, and am working on the changes discussed here. Great ideas from everyone, thank you.
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:46 AM   #15
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

I would skip a couple moves, it looks basically good but move the walk door so you enter the shop before the office, only need one door to office. No point in trudging thru there every time you want to go to shop, letting cold directly into that small room.
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:53 AM   #16
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

Actually there are several changes I would make to this layout, if I wanted office I would go 50 wide, add another front door for hoist, move those storage shelves to the back, probably skip the divider wall. The hoist needs to be along a wall instead of out in the middle of the floor.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:15 AM   #17
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

I am building a bit smaller (30' x 40') but have an office and bathroom similar to your plans. I had the slab poured with a 2" raised area for that so washing out the shop with a hose will not get any water under those walls. The back half is level and the front slopes about 1-2 degrees to the front 16' door. I agree with the post for drains and wish I would have put one in. My back half has an open ceiling for a four post lift and then sacrificed a bit of ceiling height in the front to allow a 12' x16' bonus room above for a future pool table I hope... My build so far is linked in my signature.

Happy building!
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:10 PM   #18
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

FltEngCPO - great idea on the raised floor for the office area.

sberry - I don't think I can go 50' wide. (Unless I hit the lottery) I moved some things around and made some changes last night, and I was actually debating moving the lift myself. I added another door to the left side of the garage (where the bikes were parked) so there's 2 doors in the front. I think the lift might be better in the left bay, so that the "main" door to the garage isn't blocked when a project is up on the lift. The problem them would be that the bikes have to be parked in the center bay.

There's another option, though. The "finished" bikes could actually be parked in the attached garage. Once I move all my tools and equipment into this new garage, there will be plenty of room in the attached 24x24' garage for the bikes and my wife's car. Then I also don't have to worry about mixing a "dirty" and clean work area, as there won't be any "finished" vehicles parking in the garage except for my truck.

I've also been considering moving the man door. I was thinking of moving it to the left between the center overhead door and the current location.I could also possible make the office slightly smaller if I put the office access door where the 2 windows looking into the garage are. This would eliminate the "hallway" through the office, while still providing a view from the office if I used a door with a glass pane in the top half. I really don't need a large office, just a big desk and a comfy chair.

Back to the drawing board - or Google Sketch Up rather. I know I'm never going to be able to incorporate every idea someone suggests into the final design, but I really do appreciate the ideas so far.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:30 AM   #19
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

I made a few changes. Raised the ceiling to a total of 14', added the floor drain, added a 2nd door, moved the lift to the left bay, redesigned the office area and door, added a loft storage area, got rid of the shelving, and cleaned up the sink/fridge area.

Suggestions welcome - you guys have been great so far at helping me improve this design. I'm probably going to start building a few different roof designs to see how it will look with several different pitches. I also need to add some more tables and equipment into the rear fabrication area, but I think I like this design much better than my original.

Moving the lift over will be a better use of the space - and I can easily park my truck without working about a project on the lift. I will probably end up parking all the "finished" bikes in the attached garage if I go with this design.









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Old 01-03-2012, 12:18 PM   #20
blm77
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Default Re: 40x60' Detached Garage - design questions and preliminary planning

Are you using that free version of Google Sketch Up? I checked ones and it seems very limited, or I just didn't go far, but from your drawings looks like it is possible to make a decent design.
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