Building a workshop/garage - the odyssey

I get a lot of light through the six windows in my garage door. The windows also look much nicer than a wall of blank steel panels.

My grinder is on a movable stand. I’s usually sitting just inside the overhead door, against the wall. I move it about 4 feet outside when I’m using it so it flings debris outside the garage.

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There has been quite a bit of talk about roller systems for 4 post lifts so that they are portable. My only experience has been with a bend pak.I bought the roller mechanism thinking it would be handy to move it around. I never use it for 2 reasons. First of all it is a big job to move it and air and electricity hookups need to be moved as well. The second reason is that unless you bolt down the hoist there is quite a bit of sway in the system which is concerning. Rolling it outside to use it would be out of the question unless your outside pad is perfectly level. After a year I just bolted it down in the most convenient location and used the casters for other projects. It was a waste of money as far as I was concerned. Others may have different opinions.

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Is yours a four post lift or two? My friend had one in his business (restoring classic cars) and we regularly moved around his four poster on the cast kit with zero difficulty, of course no vehicles on it at the time.

Ya know Bob, what you really need is something like this, reproduced in stain glass, to take up the space above your new garage door! :grin:


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Rob, that is an outstanding idea. Much better than the version Welsh used after their PhotoShop guy managed to invert the picture for the cover of their 2021 calendar.

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4 post. Moving around is not terribly hard but the problem is that as soon as you move it you need to check for level again. Then you need to get it hooked up to 220 again and also to an air supply if you have air controlled safeties. Then it really should be bolted down in the new position. Mine is a bend pac which is a medium to high quality lift and with a vehicle at full height it would sway 2 or 3 inches back and forth if you pushed on it. I felt that to be a bit too exciting for me so it got bolted down securely.

You gotta admit… that is a priceless screwup!



I didn’t see any mention of skylights. I have a pair of Solatubes in my ceiling. On a bright day they offer a ton of light with very little intrusion into the attic space and very little heat load. I wish I had put in four of them. So far they have also been leak free, unlike skylights of old.

Rick OBrien
65 FHC in FL


Good idea Rick! We are in the design process for our new house and hadn’t even thought about these for the garage.

We have a few in the house too. One in an interior laundry room and one in each walk in bath. They make a huge difference.

Also, your HOA may have done you a favor re: the walkway. My shop is a separate outbuilding and I often wish I had a covered walkway when it’s raining.


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Nonsense, that is clearly just a Right Hand Drive E-Type. You can see that the steering wheel is on the right side so everything else on the car is the mirror image of a left hand drive car.:grin::rofl::upside_down_face:



put the air compressor in a closet, pipe the air intake to the outside.

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What I wanted but couldn’t get it past SWMBO

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Run your main air lines in type L copper pipe.

Use a good high pressure flex line from the compressor to your first pipe run.

Install an air dryer in your system.

If you can budget it get a rotary compressor it is quiet.

To keep things nice behind the bench look at FRP on your walls.

Put outlets in the ceiling and all along the walls. You will find an use for them.

Add some 240v outlets including a 50 amp for a welder.

Not much need for a sink in the bathroom when you have a sink right on the other side of the wall. Better to use the sink space/wall for floor to ceiling enclosed cabinet for storage.

The “attached” garage via trellis/breezeway is exactly how we satisfied code at our previous home.

garage (523)

Not sure where the OP is located in Texas but I’ll bet there’s some humidity, particularly in summer months. If the shop is to be air conditioned, putting the intake in the conditioned air results in dryer air (to start with…less work to be done by any dryer, including refrigerated). It makes a big difference here in St. Louis. IMHO.

Liftmaster JackShaft door opener eliminates the chain guide between the rails for the garage door.

I live northeast of Dallas and it gets painfully hot here in the summer. I just got done planning with my HVAC guy yesterday how the garage will be conditioned. He will install two Carrier mini-splits, one on the first floor in the open garage space and the other up on the mezzanine level. The sizing of the space with high walls is such that it could have been done with one larger (BTU) unit, instead we decided on two somewhat smaller units for somewhat of a backup to each other. Given that the mezzanine (loft) is open, the cold air will likely fall over the edge and help keep the first floor cool in the summer.

In my existing three car garage attached to the house, the one unit has been able to keep the garage at 73 year round (except during our winter apocalypse of 2020, when it fell to 65).

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Already part of the plan! Thanks.