How to Set Up a Car Workshop in Your Garage
There are plenty of reasons you might want a workshop in your garage. For example, maybe you’re restoring an old car, or you’re a performance car fan. If your hobby improves your car’s performance with things like aftermarket exhaust systems, you’re going to need room to work. When you set up a garage workshop, you likely want it to be versatile because you might be doing other things out there, aside from working on your car. The following are some tips to set up a car workshop in your garage that’ll work for you.
Think About the Space and Your Budget
A good workshop design comes down to solid planning. Take a look at how much space you have, versus how much you think you need. Measure your garage and ensure your car will fit, as well as the storage that you need. A good rule of thumb is to have around 13 to 15 feet for each car you want to store or work on in the garage.
You also have to consider your budget as part of the planning. Give yourself some padding because inevitably, unexpected expenses will arise.
Integrate the Basics First
You want to start building your workshops with the basics, and then you can move on from there. For example, you need an abundant storage space in a garage car workshop. You want to have cabinets and cupboards where you can put less frequently used items and shelving for the things you use the most, so they’re easily accessible.
While the standard choice is to put your workbench on your front wall, you might want to do it along the sidewall instead, particularly if your garage isn’t much deeper than the car’s length. Everything in your workshop should be on wheels so you can rearrange as you want or need to.
Having good lighting in a garage workshop is imperative. When you have good lighting, you can do a better quality of work and reduce eye strain. Natural light is optimal, but if you don’t have windows or want to work at night, consider fluorescent fixtures. You want to have a light above your workbench. If you paint your garage walls white, it will help a lot with lighting and visibility.
Many garages aren’t equipped with sufficient electrical outlets for a workshop. You should aim to have 110v power outlets every ten feet as an estimate. Extension cords take up valuable space and can be a hazard. You can consider installing a sub-panel, especially if you’re going to have heating and air-conditioning in your workshop. A sub-panel will provide you with adequate power to avoid outages when you’re in the middle of something. If you do trip a breaker and have a sub-panel, you can reset it in your workshop, so you don’t have to interrupt your work to go in and reset it. You want all of your electrical outlets to be easily accessible and reachable. Along with outlets for charging your tools, you might also consider the outlets you’ll need for a TV, heater, AC unit, and lighting.
Heating and Cooling
We’ve touched on the concept of heating and cooling your workshop a couple of times already, and this is a big one. You want to be comfortable so you can spend more time working. Garages usually aren’t insulated, and your garage doors are also probably lacking in insulation. It’ll make for a freezing winter and a hot summer. You can insulate your garage and then use space heaters and portable AC units. You can also add a window AC unit if you prefer.
If you have concrete garage floors, you’ll probably find that they stain pretty easily, and you may end up tracking a lot of dirt into your home. The better option in terms of cleaning and maintenance is an epoxy finish. If you’re going to be standing for a long time, you might add rubber floor mats easier on the joints.
Finally, your workshop needs to be well-ventilated. Sometimes just opening a window isn’t enough, and again, not all garages even have a window. You should use a ceiling exhaust fan and also perhaps a dust collection system and air ventilation system. Adding these to your workshop will keep you safer and help keep your workshop, clothes, and interior of your home cleaner and free of dust and other particles.