Decided to build a garage. Now the fun begins.

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South VA

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Since I moved to the farm ~10 years ago, I've wanted a garage. When I lived in Colorado, I had a two car garage; the only garage I've ever owned. It was awesome, albeit a bit tight for working on a car, especially when another was parked in there. But at 7400' elevation in the Central Rockies, a garage is a necessity.

After a lot of thought and planning, I took the plunge on Labor Day and ordered a metal three car garage building. Thanks to a Labor Day sale, it was 20% off of retail. Even at retail, it would be way less expensive than a wooden frame garage. Now I'm waiting for the concrete bid, which will likely be as expensive as the building.

Fortunately, since we live on a farm, it is exempt from the usual county building permit requirements. Nontheless, the building will be engineered, and certified to 140 mph wind load.

After looking at a neighbor's 30' x 35' metal building, I decided to go with 40' x 30'. Enough room for a 10' x 10' door and two 9' x 8' doors, and a bit of room at the end for a workbench, tool cabinets, compressor, parts washer, shelviing, and miscellaneous stuff.

The slab will be 4" thick, with a 12" thickened perimeter.

I also plan to have the concrete guy thicken a portion of the slab for a future two-post lift.

The plan is to use the 10' x 10' bay for my K2500 Suburban, as well as having room to drive our 1970 John Deere 2520 tractor inside; the other two are for my DD and my GF's 2011 Ford Ranger pickup. All three still have excellent paint (the Sub was completely repainted earlier this year), and having a garage will help preserve them by no longer having to park them outdoors.

Not sure what I'm going to do for heat and cooling, but the building will be insulated with what metal building companies call "double bubble." The next tier of insulation would have cost a bunch more, so I figured that some insulation is better than no insulation. Plus, uninsulated metal roofs form condensation, which in turn drips onto whatever is below. The double bubble takes care of that problem.

I'm meeting with the local electrical cooperative next week to get an estimate for running a new power line to the building. Because of the potential for later installing a two post lift, it will be wired for 220v.

Having a concrete floor and all weather protection will be a game changer. No more fighting with a floor jack on a gravel parking area, no more working in the direct summer sun, and no more being rained out. I'll be able to use my creeper, and my roll-around seat. I'll even be able to clean and wax vehicles on a sunny day. And my tools will all be in one place, instead of distributed among three locations on the farm. The gross inefficiency of my current setup for doing even minor maintenance and repairs will largely disappear.

I'm retired, and with every year that goes by I realize how short life really is. Having a garage, but with improvements based on my past experience in Colorado, has merely been a "someday" dream I've had since moving to the farm.

"Someday" has become today.

My guess is that it may take several months to complete, as the concrete contractor is at least two months out.
I'll post pictures and progress updates as things unfold.
 

TechNova

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Heat choice depends on how you plan to use the garage. I love radiant but don't have high enough ceilings in my shop. I have it at work and in my prior shop. Radiant is slower to recover than forced air if you plan to shut it off at night and bring the temp back up in the morning. I had a WiFi thermostat and would only drop the temp 10 degrees at night. Radiant heats the objects, not the air so it feels much better and there is no dust blowing around. In floor heat is great as long as you don't have to drill into the floor for equipment later. Hanging forced air will recover quicker and is easy to install. I have a Hot Dawg forced air that stays at 45 degrees and I burn wood when in the shop.
 

South VA

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Heat choice depends on how you plan to use the garage. I love radiant but don't have high enough ceilings in my shop. I have it at work and in my prior shop. Radiant is slower to recover than forced air if you plan to shut it off at night and bring the temp back up in the morning. I had a WiFi thermostat and would only drop the temp 10 degrees at night. Radiant heats the objects, not the air so it feels much better and there is no dust blowing around. In floor heat is great as long as you don't have to drill into the floor for equipment later. Hanging forced air will recover quicker and is easy to install. I have a Hot Dawg forced air that stays at 45 degrees and I burn wood when in the shop.
Someone suggested that I look into using a couple of mini splits, for heating and cooling, maybe with some overhead fans. In-floor radiant heat is awesome, but outside of my budget. Whatever I do, it will be an all-electric installation. We don't have utility-provided gas here, and installing a tank and so forth for gas heat would significantly increase the overall cost.

I'll be using the garage for repairs and maintenance for our small fleet of vehicles and equipment, including lawn mowers, a tractor, and a Kubota RTV. My guess is I'll be in there pretty often, but not every day.
 

95burban

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I just finished a 20x20 carport going off of my garage using 4x4 11ga post and 8x2 c channel. I now have roughly 1020sqft of combined work area now.
 

BuiltToWork

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My guess is that it may take several months to complete, as the concrete contractor is at least two months out.
I'll post pictures and progress updates as things unfold.
Congratulations!

I have two sheds and am out of room already. Sounds like you are going big, which is good - my ~20x20 shed is not big enough for my dually - it just barely fits to get the garage door closed.
I had a franklin stove type heat in my shed, but never used it. VA gets cold, but in my experience, I have never needed to heat it. Might be different with a metal shed.

When pouring the slab - think about:
1) Stubbing a power conduit out - 2" pvc pipe should do it, bury at least 24"
2) Stubbing a water line out underground and cap it - for future use
3) Stubbing a drain line out underground and cap it - for future use

That way you won't have to cut a hole in the wall later and all your conduits will be underground protected from freezing and damage.




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*Ignore the miata - this is the only pic I have of my other shed*

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South VA

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Thanks! I had already figured on burying electrical conduit, but hadn’t thought of the water and drain lines. I’ll have to give some thought to those. What would you recommend using those for - a sink?

We’ll see what the electrical co-op engineer says when she comes to give me an estimate, but I’m thinking they will run the power line either overhead or underground from the existing power pole, which is less than 100’ from the building location. How exactly it transitions to the meter base and then inside remains to be seen.
 

South VA

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Here’s a plan view that I worked up on my computer. I placed the entry door and a 6’ x 6’ roll up door on the left rear corner of the building, due to the site slope, and to preserve wall space for the work area on the right side of the building. The rectangles on the front right corner are where I’m thinking of installing a workbench and a parts washer. The circles on the floor are about where a two post lift would go.

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It not a huge amount of work space, but it should be enough. It’s about 5 feet from the right hand building corner to the right edge of the 10’ x 10’ garage door opening.

I’m trying to envision this thing as best I can; I really don’t want to screw it up and wind up with something that should have been just a foot or two different. Fortunately, I’ll be able to make changes to the building, such as relocating doors, up until the time the site is ready - a couple of months, most likely. So there’s time to fine tune the design if need be. Suggestions are welcome.

The roll up doors that typically come with the building are reportedly not so great, so I’m sourcing better doors from an overhead door company. A bit more expensive, but worth it, I would think.
 
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