Garage height...8 feet or 10 feet?

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I am about to start building a 24 X 28 stand alone garage/shop. I decided against doing a course or 2 of concrete block and then 8ft walls and I will just frame it from the pad up. So that leaves me with the decision of 8' or 10' ceiling height. I know more space is generally better, but if the space is for casual car repair and wood working, is 10' really needed? anybody out there do 8' and really regret it? It's not so much the cost that I'm worried about as I am doing this myself and 10' will mean more work and I want to be sure its worth it. thanks for you help.
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snipped-for-privacy@mail.com wrote:

Only you can decide whether it's worth it to you, but I'd never consider anything less than 10-ft if I were building for shop use. 8-ft is simply too low for a shop ceiling, imo.
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

Ditto. Minimum 10 ft. Tony
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====================================== As a woodworker with close to 40 years in that hobby I can tell you that a 8 foot ceiling works just fine about 90 percent of the time...BUT there have been enough times and projects over the years that leads me to suggest that you drop a few extra bucks now and put in 10 foot ceilings...Just a lot easier swinging full sheets of plywood around...
I also play with cars...AS A hobby...everything from my own normal oil changes to complete frame off restorations... spend way too many winter evenings laying on cold concrete playing under a car....and I should have purchased a lift 20 years ago...
I put in 12 foot ceilings in my garage and put in 3 lifts...a couple of 4 posters and a 2 post lift...
Was it worth it YOU BET....
10 and a half foot would have been enough so I could walk under a car without banging my head but the wives Mini Van made me go to a12 foot height... actually 10 foot would work but you may have to duck under an exhaust pipe or muffler ... you may never know when you just may have a desire to do more then casual work on a car...
By all means go at leat 10 foot....
Bob Griffiths
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wrote:

I built with 10 ft. and haven't been sorry. I would say if there is any doubt, go with the taller ceiling height.
Ken (MI)
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my opinion is to go tall but thats up to you. i have 12 foot ceiling in my 30x50 and it comes in handy quite often. lucas
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Think of it this way every sheet of plywood, 2x4 or lots of other stuff comes in 8' lengths, try manoeuvring that around when you installed a ceiling that is just shy of 8' when you add ceiling material etc. I wouldn't even consider 8' and 10' is the minimum. Now in I do know of a shop that had the roof trusses changed so that the section where the car pulls in is over 12' and the rest is 8' WORKS GREAT. Also in my area of Ontario I would put a few rows of block down first to help keep blowing snow and rain out.
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Most residential garages (attached) are 9 feet + due to the even top plates and the drop from the living area floor joists and 8' ceilings. Most garage door tracks are set up for this height. You see 8 feet in garage-unders. They are very cramped and the garage doors require special low-headroom tracks. Go 9'-4" or better.

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A few years ago, my wife and I built our own garage, also 24'x28'. Originally, I had planned on a slab foundation, with 8' high walls framed on top.
I decided against the slab foundation because there was no "easy" way to provide a slope to the floor and still have a level perimeter for the walls. Water dripping off the cars would either sit in the middle of the floor, or drain towards the walls and potentially rot the sills. Hosing out the inside would have been difficult, as I would need to stay away from the wood walls. And, a slab would have put the exterior siding too close to the ground, especially on our slightly sloped site.
Instead, we poured a 2' high concrete perimeter wall and footing ourselves, and then hired a crew to come in and pour the sloped interior slab for us. It was a bit more expensive and a little more work, but I've had no regrets. In addition, if the slab should ever crack and need replacing, I can easily tear it out and pour a new slab. That wouldn't be possible with a slab foundation.
I then framed my 8' walls on top of the perimeter concrete wall. With the thickness of the slab and a little overlap for the plywood siding, I ended up with around 9-1/2' of interior ceiling height. But, I was still able to use standard 8' materials (studs, plywood, sheetrock, etc.) which kept the material costs the same.
I've used our garage mostly for woodworking, and the occasional car repair. I can't imagine having an 8' ceiling now. I can easily flip an 8' board end to end, or rotate a sheet of plywood on edge, without hitting the ceiling. It also allows me to stand 8' lumber supplies on end against the walls. This takes up a lot less space than storing them horizontally. I can stand my 16' extension ladder (8' when closed) against the wall instead of wasting wall space to hang it up. Even when working on cars, it's easier to move my tall halogen worklight around without banging the ceiling. And I would have more room to work if I needed to use a hoist to pull an engine.
Remember that whatever your ceiling height is, you'll still have lights, garage door tracks, and maybe garage door openers sticking down below the ceiling. My door tracks are just over 8' high, and I HAVE banged into them several times when swinging boards around.
The only thing I would do different is pour a small curb for the side entry door. Mine sits right on the slab, and any water that finds it's way inside runs up against the wood frame of the door. I forsee having to replace the door sometime in the future because the threshold will probably rot out. A concrete curb, even just an inch or two, would have prevented this.
Anyway, go for the taller ceiling. You won't regret it.
Anthony
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On 13 Jul 2005 05:11:50 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@mail.com wrote:

I have been a woodworker for 40+ years and into cars for almost as long... my woodshot only has 8 foot ceilings and thats fine 90 percent of the time...BUT I have had problems ....I would spend a few extra bucks and eliminate that 10 percent right now....
My Automotive work is more then casual...and my garage has 10 foot ceilings and I wish I had put in 12 foot ones... I have a couple of 4 post lifts and a single post lift in the garage and can walk under any of my cars when they are raised up to just below the ceiling.. but I have to tilt my head a little or bump my head on a muffler etc... not really problem...but can cause me to have a pin in the neck ....much better then a pain in the a$$....
I am in my 60's and spend way too many winter evenings laying under a car on cold concrete...wish I had spent the 2-3 grand on a lift 30 years ago...Prefer 4 post to 2 post even though they are more expensive..but the 2 post is a must have if you do a lot of brake work or tire rotations etc...
They work out so well I .I insisted my sons build garages with 12 foot ceilings only because they each will inherit one of the lifts...
Just my opinion...
Bob Griffiths
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I would go with 10'.
I would also lay up the 2 courses of block because it makes hosing out the interior so much simpler.
Colbyt
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I couldn't agree more - lay up a couple of courses - at least one - not only for hosing down but if there is any grass and soil present on the grounds or any deciduous trees the bottom plate of the walls will not be subject to rot after a couple of years when leaves are not raked and hold water from rain or snow. The couple of courses give you all the headroom needed to drive a van or SUV into the garage for loading and unloading. The extra cost for the door is paid back in utility value.
<%= Clinton Gallagher METROmilwaukee (sm) "A Regional Information Service" NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com URL http://metromilwaukee.com / URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com /

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My brother works on '32 Fords. I think he has reworked his garage to give more head room.
For my part, I always use a course of block so a garage can be washed out.
TB
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snipped-for-privacy@mail.com wrote:

I would consider 10' minimum.
I would also put in the two courses of block. Why don't you want to do that? It will keep the wood structure further away from ground moisture and insects, cause less problems if you want to hose out the garage etc. I also many be required by local code, which is the first thing you should check before building as it will tell you where you may or may not build and what construction details are required. It would be really bad if after you finish the roof, find out that you were required to have those concrete blocks and now have to jack up the building and add them.
--
Joseph Meehan

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Think about smacking into the fluorescent light tubes with long 2x4s as you move them around. Maybe.
And, about the lack of cinder blocks: Unless you're using treated lumber at the bottom, you might wish you'd done a course of blocks at the bottom. At my previous house, the garage was build right on the pad. I never liked the looks of the wood at the bottom, especially since a hard rain on one side always caused seepage under the wood. Granted, the garage didn't have siding, but still.....a course of blocks would've been a good thing.
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I have a detached garage that is 9' I would never think about anything less. Handling lumber, clearance for the door opener, ducting for a dust collector, hanging lights, etc. You already know the answer, just do it.
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On 13 Jul 2005 05:11:50 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@mail.com wrote:

Everyone seems to agree, 10' ceilings are the way to go. I have them & wouldn't consider any lower. I also like my 9' door.
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Mine is 10' 3" with a 8' X 16' door..for the reasons all the others gave. I agree with the foundation theory: footers and stemwalls with the sloped floor poured after. Thats how our last two were done but it was easier as they were "attached" & done when the house was built
R
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Go for the 10' height. And don't forget to install a 8' high garage door. I just built this house and installed a standard 7' high garage and then bought a hi-top van................which won't go in the garage. I made up two small wheels to put on the rear of the van so I can get it into the garage when I work on it.
--
JerryD(upstateNY)

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Considering my needs for a small workshop, and intermittent SMALL car maintenance usage, 8' high walls were fine.
Dealt with the overhead ceiling height requirements for the garage door hardware, trolley, rails, stops, by framing a ceiling area for just that. The rest of the ceiling is 8'.

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