September 1, 2015

Creating the Ultimate Garage Workshop

To some of us however, the garage can be a special place where true creativity and creation can thrive. For those that find happiness in getting our hands dirty, whether from woodworking, machining, or working on our cars we’ve all had dreams of building the ultimate garage workshop.

Fortunately, transforming a garage into the ultimate workshop isn’t as hard as you might think. With careful planning, a clear vision, and a bit of money set aside, your garage can go from just being a place to store your lawnmower to a handyman or gearhead’s paradise.

Here are some tips on how to make your garage an ultimate workshop.

Creating the Ultimate Garage Workshop

The Planning Phase

One of the first steps when planning out your garage workshop is to know how much space you are able to work with. For example, if you want to turn your garage into a mechanics dream shop, do you have enough space to comfortably fit a car?

A garage best suited to handle cars will need to be bigger than a wood-working shop. A good rule to follow is to have at least 13-15 feet of garage width per car. You will also want 22-26 feet of depth, which will make adding storage and workbenches easier.

Planning out the interior can seem a bit overwhelming at first. Electricity, plumbing, lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, flooring, counters, cabinets… The list goes on and on.

Those are just the basic items that most garage workshops have. But of course you can add to that list depending on what your idea for an ultimate workshop is!

No matter what type of garage workshop you are going for, be creative! Match your own style and personality for the ultimate form and function. You can also design with themes in mind, such as an industrial look that takes advantage of stainless steel or a rustic appearance with aged wood cabinets and tables. The only limiting factor is your imagination!

What Do You Need to Build Your Workshop

You want to be careful about buying too many items and creating a cluttered workspace. Not only can it be frustrating to work in, but it can be a safety hazard as well. Here are some guidelines you will want to keep in mind:

Make sure you have enough workspace. As mentioned previously, try to avoid cramped spaces. If you garage is going to be a dedicated woodshop, you won’t need quite as much space (depending on the amount of equipment you have, of course).

  • Don’t forget storage! Make sure there is enough storage for all of your tools and equipment. You don’t want to leave tools or supplies all over the place. And no, the top of your workbench doesn’t count.
  • Use proper and ample lighting. You don’t want to operate dangerous machinery or tools in a dark area, or blindly work in tight spaces. If you do, you’re just asking for an injury or worse. Make sure the whole garage is properly illuminated and you have lighting above your workspace as well.
  • Durable surfaces are important. Make sure any workspace you use can handle everything you’ll throw at it. Using material that will break or wear down quickly will quickly empty your wallet. You want something that will last, such as heavy-duty vinyl rubberized mats or specialized garage tiles & floor paint.

Your workshop will need a sturdy workbench, cabinets, shelving and overhead lighting, no matter what type of work you do. You can get creative and make all of these items yourself or purchase pre-made ones.

Your workbench should have a hard and heavy top for maximum durability. If you want to use a wood surface, consider using a hard wood such as oak or maple. Hard woods are more expensive than soft woods (pine for example) but are far less easily damaged.

Some hardwoods, like red oak, have a tendency to splinter if they are subjected to prolonged impacts. So you may want to avoid those if you are planning on using a hammer extensively. Plywood, metal and MDF are all other options you can consider when choosing a workbench top.

When It All Comes Down To It

It’s all about your budget. And if you do heavy renovations in your garage, you will want to make sure everything is to code.

Building your ultimate garage workshop will likely be an investment in yourself and the value of your home so it may be best to set a budget with the long-term in mind. However, that doesn’t mean you need to buy everything at top-of-the-line quality and prices. Even if you have a limited budget, you can still create the garage workshop of your dreams by being creative! If you have the time and skills, why not build your own workbench for a fraction of the cost of buying new?

You can find good materials for a cheap price and make the perfect workbench for yourself. Same thing goes for cabinets, desks, shelves, etc. Get your plans in motion, your budget set and create a workshop your friends will be envious about.

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