Detached Workshop Garage Design

Julian

Lifetime Supporter
The layout is similar to that I am working up for my shop, even down to the mezzanine although on mine all 3 doors would be on one wall. One of the biggest drivers I see to have a separate workshop (currently have a 5 car garage) is segregating the clean and dirty work. I'll probably use mobile welding curtains so it's a flexible space and not blocking light when I need it.
 


If you rotated the stairs along the back wall, or had them facing the other way, and maybe coming down into the middle of the floor, or closer to the wall with the two doors on it, you would then be able to get drive through access from the wall with the 1 door, all the way in under the mezzanine?
 

Howard Jones

Supporter
Instead of the full width, 6" thick slab can you simply pour a thicker footing for each mount point. Say 30 inches square and a foot thick and tied into the rest of the floor with a lot of re-bar? you might save a lot of concrete costs. Have a look at the lift floor requirements.

I have a friend in calif who did just that in an existing garage. He cut out the existing 4-inch thick floor in two places 3X3 feet with a concrete saw, dug the holes two feet deep, drilled sideways into the existing concrete, and installed a lot of rebar in the holes as well as tied into the existing slab. This was for a two-poster. It worked very well and saved demoing all the garage floor and re-pouring it. The lift company, as well as the county inspector, was ok with it. Just a thought.

I would put the stairs on the back wall also. Maybe build some cabinets under them. Or you could place the side entrance door under them.
 
6" overall is way overkill. but a thickened beam where your post will be is a good idea.

I already had my lift, so I welded a big H out of tube steel and welded 3/4 J anchor bolts to it and had the concrete guy rebar over it and pour it in.

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Also ran conduit to the lift and multiple points around the perimeter under the slab as well. To protect the bolts and give a little room to flex, I taped pipe insulation over the top 3". That's the blue you see.
 

If you rotated the stairs along the back wall, or had them facing the other way, and maybe coming down into the middle of the floor, or closer to the wall with the two doors on it, you would then be able to get drive through access from the wall with the 1 door, all the way in under the mezzanine?
I'm now evaluating the use of "rolling stairs" for access to the mezzanine, like the ones used in Home Depot for getting stuff down from an upper shelf. It occurred to me that the top of office/restroom could also be used for storage. A set of mobile, rolling stairs could then be used for access to both that and the mezzanine. Also, there is no good place on the mezzanine for fixed stairs that doesn't waste space, both on the mezzanine and below. If workshop floor space becomes tight, a set of rolling stairs could be stored outside the garage.

Has anyone used a set of rolling stairs for something like this? Did it work out well?
 
Not a bad idea.

I put a workbench and shelves under my stair, and in the last little wedge is and old 71 350 out of a vette, so I don't think it's wasted. But I do always seem to have a 6' step ladder open in the shop to get to stuff on the top shelves at 6' AFF
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A first suggestion was to build the mezzanine out of wood like the garage structure itself. A friend then suggested using heavy duty pallet racking for the mezzanine structure. The cross bracing on the pallet rack to support joists/cross beams for the mezzanine floor. Use tall pallet racks such that they become the shelving above the mezzanine as well. Thus all the weight for stuff stored on mezzanine shelves is carried on the concrete garage floor and not the mezzanine floor. The pallet racks also make for good workbench areas in the area below the mezzanine. Just add a cross brace to the pallet rack, put plywood on top and you have a workbench. Pallet racks are easy to erect and disassemble so the mezzanine structure could be removed without a big demolition project if someone wanted to use the garage for 35+ foot long RV storage down the road.

Has anyone done something similar with pallet racks? If so, what's your experience?
 
Has anyone used a set of rolling stairs for something like this? Did it work out well?
When we redid the kitchen the other year, we extended the cupboards all the way to the ceiling that are at 11'. A rolling library ladder has been installed. It is hands down one of the best things i have done to the house, and would do it again in a heart beat.
 
That's really cool...provided you have enough room in the kitchen and it's a straight shot.

I have the room, but 2 45 deg turns and 9' ceiling. I ran cabinets up to 8' and put indirect lighting behind crown on top and have to drag a breakfast table chair in the kitchen to get stuff down for holidays and special occasions.

I'm not sure how I feel about the pallet rack mezzanine. I think if the future owner wants to demo the mezzanine, in the grand scheme it's a very minor mod for him. I would think it's every bit as likely the new owner will like the mezzanine as drawn. If you kept the stairs and ran them the other direction (from middle to the right side of the plan) then part of the mezzanine could more easily be removed by a future owner for RV space without messing with the stairs.

The decision for me was skewed as I'm a commercial drywall contractor so a nice insulated and drywalled metal building with a steel stud framed mezzanine was what I did. But today, wood framed would be cheaper.
 
That's really cool...provided you have enough room in the kitchen and it's a straight shot.

I have the room, but 2 45 deg turns and 9' ceiling. I ran cabinets up to 8' and put indirect lighting behind crown on top and have to drag a breakfast table chair in the kitchen to get stuff down for holidays and special occasions.
The library ladder hardware kits are available in a model that allows them to go around internal corners, as well as be lifted off and transferred to another rail on another wall, or stored vertically against the wall. either where the rail in in question, or on another separate wall where its out of the way. The wheels have a locking brake on them as well which is adjustable. So it will roll from side to side with no weight on the ladder, but then lock in place when someone climbs it. The kids or the princess can reach stuff all the time now.
That is who we used, the shipped the custom made oak ladder from QLD to Vic and were very professional and easy to deal with.
 
The initial trajectory for the garage structure was to build it with wood walls and a truss roof. In talking to the builder that comes highly recommended by friends (and who 15 years ago built the house I just bought), he strongly recommends cinder blocks for the walls and a truss roof. Over the last couple of days I toured a few garages that he's built this way and they do look really bullet proof.

The main downside I can see is the insulation factor is better with insulated wood walls versus cinder block. The cinder block walls end up being pretty much solid masonry after the rebar is placed and middle cavities are filled with concrete grout. This is in Arizona where the cold of winter nights only last about 5 months of the year though. My neighbor who has a 50' by 50' garage built this way says the wood stove in his keeps it nice and toasty warm on cold days.

I do live in fire country, so masonry walls do have an appeal from a low fire risk perspective. The wood truss roof will be 16' up there so the main fire risk would be air born embers falling on the roof.

As to cost factor, the builder tells me cinder block construction is currently less expensive than stick built. I guess traditionally stick built has been cheaper but the recent skyrocketing price of lumber has changed that.

Does anyone have experience with a garage/workshop built with cinder block? Is there a downside I'm missing?
 

Neil

Supporter
If you're in Prescott, the insulation factor is not as important as here in Tucson. Here the problem is summer heat- if it is 112 degrees outside, the A/C will have a tough time keeping your shop cool if there are uninsulated block walls.
 
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