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.
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
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....
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.
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
Go 9'-4" or better.
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
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.
On 13 Jul 2005 05:11:50 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org 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...
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 /
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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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