Converting my garage...

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Forum topic by Thrakintosh posted 03-22-2011 02:20 AM 3412 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Thrakintosh's profile


52 posts in 3792 days

03-22-2011 02:20 AM

Topic tags/keywords: workshop garage question

Hi all,

Giving some thought to converting our garage into a workshop. It is a two car garage framed with 2×4s clad in ship lap on what seems to be a very stable sill and footing. There is a concrete slab floor that has heaved a bit and there is a floor to the second floor/attic that while stable and sturdy seems to be mostly in place to support a light load and (mre importantly) provide some lateral stability to the four walls.

I’m not planning on doing the work myself. At the moment i am merely interestd in researching what is possible given the space I have. I have no idea how to continue envisioning the process without some step by step visuals, a book, etc. Can anyone point me to a book or website that illustrates what goes in to converting a garage such as ours into an insulated space that can be used as a shop?



-- Adam - Red Hook, NY

5 replies so far

View swirt's profile


2780 posts in 2996 days

#1 posted 03-22-2011 04:49 AM

Fine Woodworking Tools and Shops No216 (Winter 2010/11) Had a pretty nice article about converting a garage into a shop. Had some nice tips for installing a subfloor and such.

-- Galootish log blog,

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3798 days

#2 posted 03-22-2011 05:11 AM

You need to check out your elecrtic service. You should have a 200AMP service, plenty of light and plug ins. If you live in NY, you need to insulate if you plan on working in your shop year round. A lot of people forget about these costs. I put a shop in my one car garge and did blogs on how I did it, if you care to look. If you look at my shop and shop projects it might give some ideas as well.


-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3126 days

#3 posted 03-22-2011 07:26 AM

There are lots of great projects and blogs about turning a garage into a workshop here on lumber jocks. At least half of them seem to have to deal with the wife either giving up or not giving up half the space for the shop. Why a woman can’t walk outside with an umbrella to get into her car so the man can have the whole two car garage for a workshop is way beyond me. With no cars in the garage, the posibilities for tools and projects is endless. A person could even make a few items for the wife for the house. This would surly smooth her over a bit while her car and your truck are out in the driveway. You probably don’t need a book to read. Just cruise thur the lumber jock shop headings. You will see some great garages, tightly organized into some great workshops with all the tools you will need. Just get those automobiles out of there as soon as possible.

And as ND2ELK said, bring in an electriction after you know what tools you want. You may or may not want to deal with a sub floor and wallls depending on cash flow and personal preference.

And don’t forget, now that you’ve kicked you spouse out of the garage and onto the street, you will want to smoosh her a little bit and ask for her ideads to fix up the shop. You know, the curtains on the windows. What kind of refreshments in the refridgerator?? You will want to have plenty of stools around the shop for her to sit while she spends hours talking to you about her day and her friends. And most importlantly, if there are any restrictions on the posters of the tool girls you want on the walls. It is really all about give and take. Good luck my friend…....those two car garages can work out great….............

-- mike...............

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3505 days

#4 posted 03-22-2011 06:39 PM

Adam…like those above have said, there is a lot of good info out there are building a shop in a garage. I basically did the same. My shop is in a 22X22 ft garage. My house is a walkout type basement so we built another garage under the main garage with the door facing the backyard. I have a epoxy sealed concrete floor with a Hot Dawg gas heater. I have insulated the entire shop with batting even though most of it is underground. Put windows in the door and covered the studs with 3/4 plywood then 1/2 pine panelling. This way I can screw cabinets etc right to the walls anywhere without looking for studs or using cleats and anchors. You can see pixs of it in my gallery. I ran a 60 amp service off the main box for just the shop. Also have 10 fluorescent (dual 48” bulb fixtures) for light. I am the only one using the machines with the dust collector and air filter so the 60 amp service works great no problems. Good luck with it.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2717 days

#5 posted 03-22-2011 06:53 PM

Adam, check out the workshop page and see what you like. I’ve seen Tom’s and Snowy’s before they have impressive workspaces. There are lots of them on this site

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

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