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-   -   ***Photos of our DIY Garage Build***(56k Warning)! (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=297607)

Lugnut2683 09-29-2005 09:00 PM

***Photos of our DIY Garage Build***(56k Warning)!
A dream my father and I have had since I was a little kid was to have the ultimate garage. Ultimately, we wanted to have a garage that would have all the necessary equipment and tools to allow us to build our own car. We've restored a car before, but our next project will be to build a 1967 427 Cobra replica. We agreed that we would wait until we had a "true" garage to start building our dream car:


Currently, we have a standard 2 car garage that is pretty small. Since this picture was taken, we have ended up having to use half of the garage for storage of shop and wood tools. We recently finished our basement, so it is no longer a viable space for storing shop tools and doing woodworking! So right now, it's only a 1 car garage, and is dedicated to housing my mom's car, rather than to function as a real working garage. This is another reason for wanting to build a new garage.

Photo of our current garage: (the El Camino is currently stored down by the creek in our barn! :( )


This thread will photo document the process of building our new garage. We estimate that it will be finished by this December. Since I'm currently at college for my 5th year, I will have to come home during the weekends to help with the build. The only part of the garage build which will be contracted will be the digging and pouring of the foundation. I'm not sure how often I will be able to come home, so my dad will be doing a majority of the work.

We have a New Holland tractor with a Bushog backhoe, and planned to do the foundation excavation ourselves. After some research, my dad decided that it would probably be smarter to have professionals precisely dig the foundation, as it is one of the most important steps in the building process. The company we contract to dig the foundation will also pour the foundation. The rest of the entire build we built by us, without any help from outside contractors. This includes framing, drywall, plumbing, electrical, etc.

At this point, we've already had the foundation dug and poured, so I have some catching up to do in posting photos. Please stay tuned, and I will update this thread continually until the completion of the garage!

Lugnut2683 09-29-2005 09:08 PM

Here is a pic of the garage we're building. The plan was ordered online through Behm Design. The garage is capable of housing 4 full size SUV's with room to allow workspace at the front of each vehicle. There is a second level which can be finished into an apartment, but we will keep it as a loft for storage purposes. One section of the second floor will be cutaway in order to allow clearance for a single bay hydraulic lift. We're not sure what kind of lift we're going to go with, but it will at least be a 2-post lift to allow removal of vehicle wheels during servicing.


Lugnut2683 09-29-2005 09:12 PM

I've asked my dad numerous times about how he plans to raise the walls for the second level, as well as deal with the large amount of building materials we'll have on site. When I'm not around to help, he'll need an extra set of "hands" to help him move materials and lift large objects.

His solution was to build his own forklift! Our New Holland tractor has a front loader attachment. He welded some hooks to the front of the loader, and bought forklift skids. The forklift skid assembly can sit anywhere in the yard, and when he needs to use it, he can simply lift it up with the front end loader, and viola... instant forklift!





2005_330xi_BMW 09-29-2005 09:18 PM

My Mom's water broke (with me kickin to get out) when my old man was finishing the framing on his hand-built 2 story garage.

Now, 23 years later he's building his dream car. Chopped 39 ford.

Great post man.

Mike Benvo 09-29-2005 09:20 PM

Can't wait to see it when it's done. Love the SS :thumbup:

cenarkBMW 09-29-2005 09:23 PM

Congrats on the soon to be "Garage-mahal" (Tajmahal for cars :idea: ) . That will be a great place to store and work on your whips. Definetly gonna subscribe to this thread. :thumbup:

Oh, and the forklift thing is a pretty common mod for tractors w/ front end loader. They come in very handy :)

Edison@JleviSW 09-29-2005 09:28 PM


Lugnut2683 09-29-2005 09:51 PM

Alright guys, I got some pictures uploaded.

So here's the story with the foundation:

We bought a very expensive laser level and have a lot of tools for surveying from various landscaping projects. So we mapped out the exact location and size of the foundation, and my dad has read up on all the requirements. But like I said earlier, he decided to contract a company to the foundation for him.

Turns out... if you want something done right.. DO IT YOURSELF!

Here is a crude drawing I did of the slope of our land where the garage is being built.


There is about 4' elevation change, so the foundation obviously needs to be dug more on the right side of this drawing. Plus, the elevation needed to be dug below the frost line.

Well the idiot who dug the foundation had no idea what he was doing, and did the exact OPPOSITE: He dug about 6' down on the right side, and only about 2' on the left side. He basically reversed what he was supposed to do. So one side is way too deep, and the other side is hardly below the frost line. Anyways, they fixed the problem, but now they have to use way more concrete than they originally planned. Luckily, we won't be paying for that!

It always seems that when you are nervous about doing a job right, you hire a professional, and find that they do a half ass job, and realize you can do the project by yourself with better quality. Also, building the garage ourselves is saving us more than 50% of what it would originally cost if we had someone else build it for us.

OK enough text, here are some photos of the foundation:








Lugnut2683 09-29-2005 09:55 PM







Those guys you see floating the concrete out there leveled it all by hand. We were worried about it being level, but checked it out with the laser level and it is PERFECTLY level :thumbup:

Lugnut2683 09-29-2005 10:01 PM

In the photo below, my father has dug a trench for power cables. This would've taken a full weekend, but with a backhoe, it only takes a couple of hours!


In this photo, the concrete has been sealed to protect it from oil, water, and the elements during the build. Later on, we will be doing an expoy floor coating, much like the speckled floor you see in a professional garage.


I forgot to mention and post a pic earlier, but the guys who did the concrete also buffed and swirled the concrete to give it a very smooth finish. The finish is somewhat similar to what you'd find in a warehouse like Lowe's or Costco.


As you can see from these photos, one of the great things about this garage plan is that there are no support posts in the middle of the workspace. Even if we were to do an apartment on the second level, the plan's use of large joists and seperate bay doors would still allow us to keep the workspace free of support posts. If you put just one car in there, you could easily turn it sideways or whichever way you want. This extra space will allow us to work on every car in the garage at the same time if we wanted to!

dave12345 09-29-2005 10:08 PM

good **** man good luck with the build....btw whast the budget lookin like haha :str8pimpi

Lugnut2683 09-29-2005 10:12 PM

Haha... let's just say, I'm glad I'm not paying for it, yet still have the privilege of getting to use it when it's done!

Bottom line... we are saving more than 50% on the build by doing it ourselves. Hell, the landscaping of our 10 acre yard alone would cost almost as much as the house if we had paid someone to do it, but we're a DIY family :thumbup:

tomalexm 09-29-2005 10:14 PM


X. 09-29-2005 10:39 PM

Wow, this makes me want to move somewhere that I can own a ton of land.

trippinbillies4 09-29-2005 10:48 PM

Aren't you done yet? :rolleyes:

Hahaha, just kidding! AWESOME looking garage, and I'm insanely jealous. Wish I lived next door so I could borrow it. :)

Nay330Ci 09-29-2005 10:57 PM

That looks like its going to be fckin awesome.

Lugnut2683 09-29-2005 11:03 PM

There are two things about this garage that I am most excited about -

1. The lift

2. Central air compressor system

It seems that every time I work on a car, I end up using my hand tools because they are just easier to get a hold of. The air compressor tools really make everything go a lot faster/easier, but it's always a pain to pull out the little 5 gallon air compressor, plug it in, have it charge up, adjust the pressure, and then hook up my tools. Then when working on my car, I'm jolted every 15 minutes the compressor kicks on again.

I think we're going with a screw type air compressor, like the ones Ingersoll Rand sells, because they are a lot quieter, and a lot more efficient. More importantly, because they run cooler, you can run them non-stop, 24/7/365 at full load without them wearing out! This way, we will always have reliable, constant compressed air always on tap:


Lugnut2683 09-29-2005 11:13 PM

The central air system will give us access to compressed air anywhere in the garage with a simple *click* of our tools to the pre-lined hoses throughout the garage. We'll probably utilize the air tools a lot more just because it will be so much easier to use them.


The central air system is what the pros use in their garages:


I guess all we need next is a fender roller and a paint booth, and I could start an E46 modding service! (I've already asked George, MITE46, how much those fender rollers are )

jaybonez99 09-30-2005 07:01 AM

What a great idea for a garage. Where in NOVA are you?

btw go HOKIES! Looks like you lived at Colligiate Suites. I use to live there back in 2003.

Lugnut2683 09-30-2005 07:09 AM


Yeah man, I've lived at Collegiate Suites since my sophomore year. Did you have that S2K down here when you were at VT? Because I'm pretty sure I recall an S2K in Collegiate Suites.

Back home in NOVA, I actually live in Purcellville. I grew up in Sterling, but moved to Purcellville right before I started college. We moved there to get away from everything, but it's becoming so popular now that the surrounding town and roads are just as crowded as the rest of Northern VA.

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