Join Date: Aug 2007
Member # 98875
A few things I've learned from our home ownership experience.
1. Hard for us to know or tell since we don't know what the land looks like you're placing the house on, but consider your east/west orientation. Things like north winds swirling in porch areas, summer west sun heating up the bedrooms throughout the afternoon, and where you'll spend most of your outside/relax time compared to how typical storms blow into your area or what part maintains either the most warm sun or most shade (obviously depending on your region). Our house original builder did not consider this at all. We enjoy being outside to relax, but the back of our house faces west/north-west so it's hot as balls 5 months out of the year in the evenings and catches the wind when the winter storms start rolling in. Also, my in-laws house is spectacular, but their utilities have to always be on because it is not set up in any way to open windows and catch a spring breeze. Even when most people are able to leave Their windows open for a month or so, they are paying for the A/C to keep the place comfortable.
2. It again is somewhat dependent on orientation, but your garage needs air movement. Big doors on both sides or at the least lots of windows on the back wall. Orient the back wall so that it catches the brunt of the winds that kick up in the area, which allows you to keep the doors open when working, but that also gives you the flexibility to open/crack the windows as you please to create a draft through the shop. Seems minor at first, but nothing is worse than needing to work on a project, but dreading going out there because you sweat through your shirt in the first 30 min you are there. Also, as others have pointed out, at least one long bay for the whole full sized vehicle idea. Never know what you'll want in your future to drive and you can never have enough space in that regard. Leave plenty of room to park, close the doors, and still get a jack under the back axle or work bench and walk around space around the front. Me personally, I would make it the further most bay from the house, and put a 5-6 foot roll up door on the corner opposite the garage door, but on the side wall, not straight out the back. This gives it the ability to park a mower or ATV's in that area and still park a vehicle without having to juggle it all when you want to get stuff out.
3. Detached garage. Even if just slightly. The breeze way can be a good location for a chest freezer or mud room or both, but here's my reasoning/personal experience. Fumes are horrid and even worse on attached garages. Try to get a running rich motor swap dialed in while not exhaust fuming out the house, or do some basic painting in the garage without smells traveling. Won't happen. This of course can be counteracted by creating a breeze in the garage (see point #2) but even so, extenuating circumstances arrive and rarely with warning. It'll also help with sound deadening as others have mentioned.
4. Love the bathroom close to the garage entrance. I don't agree, it doesn't look afterthought but actually like a genius addition. Nothing worse than being dirty and oily and needing to step inside for a quick "break" and having to walk the entire house to make it happen. Just remember that that bathroom will likely be used that way a lot, so outfit it accordingly. Don't make a fru-fru bathroom and don't put in "pretty" towels and such. But also while you're on that mindset, consider other similar conviences for the garage (at least if you're the tinkering type or you hang out there a lot). Things like beer fridges, big trash cans, etc aren't novelties if it means the difference of not getting the house dirty from dirty hands every time you need another beer.
4. This is another orientation scenario, but keep in mind your driveway and how it runs in comparison to your doors. My family DESPISES unloading groceries. We go once a month, which means lots of unloading at a time. If I had to walk them through half the house because the nearest parking to a door was the first garage bay, I'd be livid every time. If your driveway will allow it, and with your current house plan, I would contrive a way to park near the front door for such loading/unloading times. It'll still be a walk, but not nearly as bad. Also, another inevitable scenario is having to back a trailer up to one of the garage bays. If you have a "cool looking" curvy driveway, you will hate life. If you have to swing out or basically do anything other than have a straight shot to you garage doors, you will murder babies and kick small dogs. I don't have to back a trailer to my garage very often, however it almost always is needed right after a good rain where pulling out in the yard isn't an option without tearing things up. What kind of moron builds curvy, sweeping, driveways. I could punch the person that designed this place.
5. Your wife WILL park in bay #1, no matter what you plan. Plan for things like work benches, fridges, air compressors, welders, etc. and their electrical needs to be somewhere other than in that area. And leave plenty of room for her to park and you to easily walk past her vehicle to go in and out of the house to the rest of the garage. May not be an issue, but I don't know what she drives and with my wife's 3/4 ton, I would feel agrivated every time I squeezed past it just to go inside.
6. Kids toys. If you don't have an outside storage building, these will end up in the garage. Plan a location for them so it doesn't sneak up on you and wipe out half your usable space. My kids have so many large outdoor toys in the garage, my two car is a one car garage.
7. Hard to tell, did you leave enough room in each bay to open your vehicle doors when all bays are full? How about between the bay's and outer walls? Major PIA if you didn't.
8. This last one is just a recommendation because I seem to always have a project in some sort of disrepair in the garage. I would consider building a carport in front of the garage bays. Guests will appreciate not parking in the sun or rain, but even more important, when the garage is full due to projects and wife's cars, your not forced to stay parked out in a hail storm or damaging sun.
As you can tell, I don't have much to say about the inside and much of what I would have pointed out, others have already mentioned multiple times. But, with that said, my family and I don't spend much time indoors and we seem to thrive on vehicles in states of disrepair. An adequate garage/shop space can really be a game changer when it comes to being happy with day to day living. At least for us it does.
Oh, one last. 8. Tool room/storage area. I don't just mean a general area you'll keep them, but rather a designated storage area that allows the ability to organize and keep them out of the way. If I had the ability to build at the moment, my garage/shop would have a dedicated tool room. Wasted space for some, but I despise searching for tools or having to confine my work area because of tool storage. And just shoving tools into a cabinet or box isn't a good solution. It's too hard to keep tabs on what tools are missing or need repair when they are out of sight/out of mind. The room doesn't have to be much, hell with a good rolling cart it doesn't even need to be convient, but it is a welcome addition.
Last edited by Desert YJ; 06-10-2016 at 10:09 AM.