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detached garage ideas

Subject: detached garage ideas
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 07:33:29 -0500


You didn't mention location (state) or size but I'll assume about 25'x25'
and if it's retirement living, I hope in a warmer climate.

Intended use of the building determines most of this.  If its for car
parking and storage only and unheated,  I wouldn't bother with insulation.
But if creature comfort is important I would.  I have a 25 x 25 detached
garage that I use for a shop.  First two years was uninsulated and as
expected  hot in summer and cold in winter.  Last year I added 3.5 inches
in walls and 7" in ceiling  then covered all with 1/4" plywood..  WHAT A
DIFFERENCE.  In the winter it's comfortable with only the solar heating
(this is Alabama with 30 degree weather)  In the summer it's cooler by far.
I use a 30" attic fan in the gable vent in the attic.
There are vents in each end, so the fan pulls a cross breeze.  Soffit vents
every 6-8 feet in overhangs.  Also painting the walls and ceiling white
over gray brightened it considerably and reflected much more light.

As for outlets, again mine is shop use and I have 100 amp service with
double 120 v outlets every 6 feet on the wall and a double 120 on each side
of the center support column.  (and I still need an extension cord
sometimes) 220 volt for welders and 220 volt for the compressor. Outside
outlets - two 120 v on the driveway side and one on each of the other three
sides of the garage. I would also consider outside floods on each corner.
For a garage I would think 120 volt outlets every 6-8 feet of wall would be
sufficient.  For lighting I have 4 - 8' double tube fluorescent fixtures
with three more 4' double tubes over grinder, drill areas.
(NOTE - if in a cold climate and unheated area, fluorescent flicker and dim
too much...use incandescent lighting.)  For a garage you could do with
less... probably 1- 8' over each stall.  Phone connection is an easy
addition for convenience.

You didn't mention plumbing, but at least cold water and a mop sink is a
nice addition.  Gives you a good place to do the dirty clean up work or
wash up after yard work without tracking up the house.  Best idea I had
after putting in insulation.  Mine was plumbed for water and drains before
slab pour and I use a separate tank and leach line for the drain
(55 gal drum buried in gravel pit with 20' of field line.  Never had a

Another good addition was pull down stairs to attic/loft.  Much easier than
ladders and gives you quick, safe access to a lot of storage area...  also
consider flooring at least part of the attic area, beats trying to balance
boxes across the rafters.

Outside access - of course two roll up doors . - screw drives are quieter
and stronger I think, but in a detached garage, noise won't be a problem...
my Sears chain drives are doing just fine on the attached garage...low
maintenance and dependable
A man door is a nice convenience if room permits, or at least an outside
control for the garage door (with combination switch or key).  Aluminum
windows with natural or painted finish are low maintenance and good enough
for garage.  I would want at least one in each short wall (12" or less) and
two in walls over 20 feet.

Depending on value of contents... connection to alarm system is a
consideration.  Mine is on windows and walk door.

I would also consider paint on floors BEFORE repeat BEFORE you even put a
shoe box full of stuff in it.  After you put one thing in there it
multiplies and you'll never take it all out to do the floors.  Epoxy based
floor paint with a good acid etch before should hold up fine for this.
Makes clean up a lot easier and lighter colors will brighten the interior.

That covers all but the entertainment center and bar I think....  but I'm
considering that for mine :-)  Of course later they'll put in the pool for
the grandkids and you'll have to add on to hold the filter system, all the
float toys and the cabana... but that's another post.

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