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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, Im a young wrencher and just last night signed the papers to my very first home, great feeling, but also a steep learning curve. The garage is (obviously being a gearhead) on the top of my to do list as I move in. I have an extremely short closing date in less than 2 weeks and need to learn and plan alot.

I am lucky to start with a 2 car 2 door garage. The interior dimensions are approx 19.5 X 19.5 and about 7.5 feet from floor to roof joists. It also has a breaker box panel, but I think Id like to redo all wiring. As it stands right now the entire garage is insulated between the studs, but the walls literally have thick cardboard holding the insulation in, so that needs to go.

Im hoping some of you DIY'ers can recommend some proven materials for the walls, I will be working in the garage alot, occasional welding/grinding, woodwork,spray bombing, part sorage, usual DIY racer stuff. Being this is my first house, the Ive got lots of youtube videos to watch, money isnt a huge issue as I having savings but Im pretty thrifty, but I am great with power tools and take my time to do the job right and look nice.

As of right now, I think something other than drywall should be used on the bottom 4' of the walls, possibly OSB, and either drywall or pegboard depending on cost around the top perimeter of the walls. Im new to construction, but do I just leave the insulation between the studs, put up a vapor barrier, and install my coverings?

Obviously I will need a bench, most likely will be a simple 2X6 construction, Im a little lost on placement, to have it all across the back wall, possibly an L in one corner, along a side wall. Any tips for placement and sizing, I need to mount my large vice osomewhere. Construction of the bench and materials seems straight forward enough. I like simple designs like this



When it comes to the wiring and lighting, that needs to be planned out I guess, I prefer the recepeticles up higher, any reaason not to? I plan on just removing the shotty looking stuff in there now right back to the breaker box and run my own receptacles and maybe 2 long overhead light bars with fluorescent lights, maybe just keep it simple with 2 regular bulbs? Budget depending.

All in Im budgetting the garage could hopefully be finished for $600-$700, Im thinking wall coverring may add up the fastest, as I said Im a new home owner and this is a little daunting but very do-able for me, just need a shove in the right direction to having a lasting garage to call my own.

Cheers guys!
 

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rodent aviator
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You definitely need to prioritize your list. Lots of stuff can be done as you go along, other stuff needs to be done right away before you get everything moved in. And everything will be twice as expensive as you expect.
 

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Recepticles every 4-6ft if possible maybe 4 ft off the ground. Lowes and Home depot have some metal adjustable shevles for around $149, they work real good. if you are going to store any luquid containers on them put a piece of cardboard or wood down first. I found out with a bottle of bleach that hot tempsmakes those bottles crack and leak.
 

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I just painted my garage floor with epoxy shield from rust oleum, we'll worth it and add it to the list
 

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As far as wall covering goes you really dont get any cheaper than drywall ~$8 for a 4x8 sheet around my area. I personally wouldnt worry about covering the bottom few feet with anything special. Use an exterior paint and if it gets dirty you can wipe it down. Drywall is much less flamable than osb too. If youre setting up a grinder bench or a carbide saw you could put a piece of cement backer board on the wall to protect the area.

For the wiring, step one is to find all the receptacles that box feeds. Dont disconnect anything you might regret not having later. Is this a detached garage with a sub panel or is it your main panel?

Think about lighting too. I just purcahsed some 4ft led fixtures from costco for about $35 ea. They are great. Not much more expensive than fluorescents and use half the power.

You have insulatuon so its fair to say you have cold winters right? Think about heating whike youre at it. Nothing zaps motivation for me like freezing cold tools and engine parts lol
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the ideas so far. I just figured drywall in a garage, atleast down to to floor would be bad for mould overtime. OSB gives a cheap look off to me. Painting the drywall is a good idea, they always have "mis-tint" gallons @ Home depot for 9 dollar /gallon if your not picky on color. Is some sort of plastic barrier a must? Is that attached with simple staples and would it go right to the floor and the drywall kind of sits ontop of it so the drywall doesnt touch the floor?

I am indeed in a cold environment, long winter.

The garage does indeed have it own panel, all the wiring I could see from the initial walk through just looked old, there was an oil heater with 2 huge tanks that appeared wired very poorly, random hanging switches, just looked sloppy, I wouldnt mind completely ripping out all wiring back to the panel I could find and simply re-doing it. I figure a spool (150m) of 14 gauge Romex is only $90, that would cover all receptacles and lights with leftover. And would need some heavier stuff for the 220 receptacle. Seems cheap enough to just start over and do it again proper and where I want it. I would like an outdoor motion sensor light, I have one in the basement now brand new someone gave me, would be a good time to look at how thats setup and prewired before I put up any walls.

I wish I could give the floor an epoxy coat, but its a fairly rough floor, good enough to slide a jack around, but would take gallons and gallons to fill the pores of the cement.
 

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My garage is nearly identical to this with the exception of it being only a single stall door. Mine measures 20 deep by 22 wide. Like said above, if you put a bench on the back wall your going to screw yourself for space. I have a bench and storage shelf built on one 20' wall and then my fab bench, welder, pellet stove, air compressor, tool box, etc. Along the other 20' wall. With my car pulled in theres about 4-5' of working space split between the front and rear of the car, not much at all. If im working on the front of car i have to roll the back up to the back wall and vice versa. Not trying to discourage you but it's going to be tight if your keeping mowers and yard equipment in there too, i do and it really sucks but is manageable.
 

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I did the bottom 4ft in the 12"x12" stick on "linoleum" tiles. Black and white checkered of course. 13yrs later it still looks fantastic.

Fire extinguishers ALL OVER THE PLACE. Thank goodness. I set a good size chemical fire once. I blow through 3 of them as fast as I could rip them off the wall and get em going. which was fast. I have them every 8' or so. I would have burned the joint down if I had taken any more time.

Sam's has LED shop lights that are as bight as the sun for $36/.
 

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If its an attached garage you need a minimum of 5/8" Sheetrock on the wall separating the garage from the house for fire protection.
 

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Hey guys, Im a young wrencher and just last night signed the papers to my very first home, great feeling, but also a steep learning curve. The garage is (obviously being a gearhead) on the top of my to do list as I move in.





Cheers guys!
Oh look! the last time you ever see that bench clean!
 

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El-conquistador, sir
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What ever bench you get make it 10 times what you want because it will be buried soon. As far as electrical boxes every 4 feet. I got these things called extension cords, pretty cool little inventions. Because unless you are 4 feet from the box on the wall, your going to use an extension cord anyway.
 

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Your budget is awfully low. Because of this, I would do it in stages and not worry about certain aspects. Plan it as if you were building a house/addition/garage from scratch. So the framing is up and you have insulation. Now spend a couple hundred bucks doing electrical rough while the walls are open. Then purchase and hang the drywall, which is fine going all the way down. That should eat up your budget right there.

Now tape, spackle, and paint. That will be another $500 project using good paint. Purchase lights, receptacles and switches. That's another $xxx depending on what lights you use. The problem is that with a 7-8' ceiling, you are limited on options or your need to use more fixtures. Next do the floor. That's another $500-1000.

Just be realistic about your expectations while working on a budget.
 

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I have the same size garage.

Don't to crazy with wall recepticles. A 2 gang per wall is plenty. Plus 2 220v recepticles.

Do go crazy with lighting. I have 8 8ft lights in the same size space. You can do 4 8ft fixtures though if tight on money.

Get shelves!! You will need to organize.

I suggest plywood walls instead of drywall. Properly painted its plenty fire resistant and it allows for mounting shelves and other stuff much easier,mand is way more durable than drywall. Some here may cry foul about the fire issue, but they are just whiney bitches.

Remember OSB sheeting isn't plywood. Get quality BC plywood. 1/2 or 3/4 if you can afford it, and lift it.
 

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With only 20'x20' the first thing I would do is get rid of the two single doors and put in a single 16'-18' wide door. I had the exact same set up you have on my first house and it was a major pain in the ass. You can only work on one side of the car at a time because with the two doors one side is always against the wall. With the single wide door you can pull in the center and get to both sides.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It is a fully detached garage guys. Im luck there. Good point that wood paneling would be easier to mount shelves to, but wouldnt you always want to hit the studs anyways? (reminds me I should buy a good stud finder for this project and throughout the house)

Im curious on the details of the vapor barrier though, is any plastic sheeting/barrier they sell good? Or is it even needed?

Im going to watch a LOT of videos on youtube about DIY wiring today, Ive only ever helped friends, never had to plan it myself. Ive also never wired straight from the electrical panel, so Im going to need some help going right from the panel, to the switch, to the light.

Or from the panel, to the receptical, to the next receptical, to the next etc

I think pegboard may be useful in a space like this, atleast one 4X8 sheet above the bench. Would metal pegsheet be worth the added expense over wood stuff? Assuming they even make it hear.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Im also thinking cabinets may be useful, could probably find sets on craigslists for semi cheap. Hides all the mess and keeps it from dusting?? Worth the cost? Or maybe they dont hold enough weight and make it look like a kitchen....
 

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Your wiring needs to be #12 romex. 14 is too small for 20 amp breaker. The big expense in wiring is the wire. Recepticals and covers are cheap. As for welding outlets I like 1 on back wall and one by the door or in your case between the 2 doors. That way you can roll the welder outside if the need arises. And lots of recepticals. 4 on each wall and one on each side and between the doors and wire them up so that the breaker covers 1 wall. 4 walls 4 breakers. Mine are labeled north south east and west. This way as you gather more stuff and cover up recepticals there are still plenty to use. And the amp draw on say a 7 1/2" grinder can pull 10 amps. Add a battery charger to that wall and its maxed out. Hence the breaker per wall. The floor you can go to harbor freight and get a concrete grinding wheel for your grinder and smooth out the concrete so you can lay down epoxy. I have used the Home Depot and lowes cheap epoxy. I've found that brake fluid and welding really deteriorate the looks quickly. My shop now has the more expensive stuff from local sherwin Williams store. It's lasted a lot better. Granted costed 3x more money if not more. I also like to use old metal lockers. Got some from where I worked before. Built shelves in them and they work great for storing paint etc. close the door and it keeps the sparks from grinding and welding away. Limited space you will learn fills up very quickly. So you have to be creative at storing things. If I had it to do all over again I would have put led lights in my shop. It's 25x30 and I have 12 8' fluorescents and a 4' fluorescent above the work bench. At night with door down I can work under the vehicle without much need for drop light. I also learned the color of the floor helped with that. The light gray floor is a lot better than the tan helping reflect light under the car. And with the doors up they will block a lot of light. So try to position lights so that when doors are open you still get plenty of light.
 
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