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I am building my dream garage. Right now it is just a concrete box. I want suggestions on everything from flooring to tools. What are tools or products you can't live without and what unexpected things do you have in your garage. Thanks in advance!
 

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What a fun topic to dream about! My dream garage would include:

2-post lift
Large compressor with shop air plumbed throughout.
Lots of light!
Multiple 220V outlets
Parts cleaning booth
Media blasting booth
Small metal-cutting band saw
Peg-board over the workbench for holding large, frequently used, and/or oddly shaped tools
Depending upon your climate: heat and air conditioning
Laundry sink with hot & cold water
Storage shelves and cabinets

Your dream may vary; can't wait to see what others will suggest. Good luck with it!
 

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If you wish for a lift, high ceilings will allow the car to be raised high enough to walk under. If your wish list includes a 2 post lift, extra concrete is usually needed where the posts bolt down. A four post lift doesn't need more than a typical garage floor.

Lots of light. Lots of electrical outlets (multiple circuits wired separately from lights - if a tool trips a circuit you won't be left in the dark). Consider 220V circuits for large air compressor, welder, etc.

HVAC. If you are in a cold climate (Aloha Alfa doesn't sound like it...) in-floor heat is a real luxury. I installed some mini-split heat pumps that provide heat & A/C.

Check out the forums at Garage Journal (but don't blame me for the time you spend there.
 

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I think that the best garage is one that is located in the backyard and large enough for all of your cars plus a machine shop, but I think that a separate location is better choice.
 

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I am building my dream garage. Right now it is just a concrete box. I want suggestions on everything from flooring to tools. What are tools or products you can't live without and what unexpected things do you have in your garage. Thanks in advance!
Upon checking our garage here. I saw a torque wrench and an oil-drain pan and some other basic tools with a tool box and a work bench that my husband is using. I think, those things I mentioned are necessary to make a task easier and everything can be well organize.
 

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Within the limits of a 2-car garage, I've made a pretty good workshop. I just need another space for the cars. I can fit just one car - while I'm working on it.

But I'll vote for lights as your first issue. I have 24 (!!) dual florescent lights** arranged in a 3 by 3 grid of 4-foot squares. Thats 48 40W bulbs (1920 W), which is about the max for a single 15 amp (14 gauge wiring, standard for lighting) ceiling light circuit on one switch. I could get more with a 20 amp circuit (12 gauge wiring, standard for outlets). I also installed four 120 V outlet circuits ( three or four outlets on each circuit, interleaved so no consecutive outlet is the same circuit breaker.

Even with all this light, when I open the double garage door on a sunny day, I still get more light from outside. My human-factors engineering prof said there is no upper limit for lighting in high risk (e.g.shop) work areas. It's almost impossible to get near-normal daylight levels in an enclosed space. The wide-spread grid (it covers essentially the entire ceiling) does make for near-shadowless lighting.

This took a separate sub-panel in the garage so I can get at the CCT breakers when needed. I strung a 50 amp sub-panel (6 gauge wiring) from the main breaker box to work from. I also have two 220V circuits, one at 30 amps (10 gauge wiring) and one for 40 amps (8 gauge wiring) to power my 5 HP table saw. [Note that the outlets for 30 amp 220v are different from those for 40 amp ccts!) All my major shop tool motors are re-wire for 220 volts to reduce heating and power factor losses. I have 3 or 4 outlets on each CCT since I never use more than one at a time.

I also got a 1200CFM ceiling mounted woodworkers air filter that really does collect massive amounts of dust.

Robert

** A lot of the 70's era houses in this area had florescent lights in the kitchens. I've remodeled dozens of them to install can lights - mostly LEDs - so I had a free source of fixtures. Since I have 9 foot ceilings in my workshop I could use non-enclosed light fixtures. However if you do use open fluorescents, get those $5 plastic tubes that slide over each bulb to contain debris if the bulb breaks. That way the one time you whack a bulb with a long board or tool, you won't contaminate your garage with the mercury that every florescent bulb contains.
 

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I just built a garage/studio...its bigger than average at about 900 ft2
Got most of it right..
I have 3 garage doors...two facing lane, one facing yard...I find this very useful...especially during summer..inward door wide open all the time.
Indoors its sheeted with half inch painted plywood...you can put a screw in anywhere...this is hugely convenient
I splurged on a stove type gas fireplace. Verona, that stays cool on all sides except front...this thing I am really impressed with and avoids the noisy roof mount gas unit that I almost never use.
Should have put power outlets in middle of garage...
 

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don't know if you can get them in the states but bishamon japan make a beautiful hoist
to give more idea on a perfect garage it would be good to know what type of work you plan to do yourself.

cheers ian
 

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I have a garage condo that I bought empty and unfinished.

I really like having the large garage doors. It was 98deg yesterday. I just opened up both doors and kept a fan on. Wasn't too bad. Also, it's nice when you paint something to get the fumes out quickly.

A good investment, but not inexpensive is a top quality tool box, with a broad selection of tools. I chased down a Snap On truck and had him set me up. He gave me pretty good deal as a package but still not cheap. It was well worth it to use good quality tools. Just a joy to use.

I really use the MaxJax 2 post lift quite a bit. It's just right for the hobbyist.

I purchased a wall of cabinets from one of the wholesale clubs and filled them up quickly. You can never have too much storage, do it right the first time.

Also, lots of wall space to hang pictures, etc...
 

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