OT - Tips for building a garage/barn

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: OT - Tips for building a garage/barn
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Budreau on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:29 am:

I am moving to a home doesn't have a garage or outbuildings. So I need to build a pole barn/garage. I'm thinking 48x30 should provide enough room.

Any tips/suggestions as I layout plans and get quotes?

I have a Model T and a Model A. I'll also park a modern car inside. I also like woodworking, so eventually I plan on framing a workshop in a corner. Plumbing would be nice, depending on costs. I don't have any other large equipment besides lawn/garden tools and mowers.

I've received comparable quotes ( ranging from $10,000 to $30,000. What's a realistic price for the midwest. I don't plan on adding windows, is that a mistake?

I'm open to any suggestions or tips! Many thanks!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth from NC on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:34 am:

Build it so the door is big enough to accommodate a touring car with the top up! I see a nice Tudor in your profile but these T's tend to multiply.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:40 am:

Build it twice as big as you think you need.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Young in Mays Landing, NJ on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:41 am:

If you're doing a concrete slab floor, consider installing radiant heat tubing, zip tied to the wire mesh, before the pour. The added cost of the foam insulation and plastic tubing isn't a whole lot and if you ever decide that you want to heat the place, a boiler or other heat source can be installed at that time. I have it... Love it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Budreau on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:42 am:

I would like a Hack/Depot truck sometime down the road. I figured a taller door would be a good idea. Didn't think about the need for a tall door incase I picked up a touring...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brian Holcomb, Watertown WI on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:44 am:

I have come to the conclusion that whatever you think should be big enough, Double it! I built a 40 X 60 in 2001. When it was finished, I stood in the middle and said "I'll never be able to use all this space"!!! Boy was I wrong. There is no space left! I wish it was 60 X 80 now. BTW I only had 1 VW bus and 1 model A in 2001. now I have 15 vehicles of various makes. 2 tractors, 3 motorcycles, and a loft area full of misc. crap!
"If you build it they will come"!!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Budreau on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:45 am:

@Dave Young: Have not considered that. Heat is a good thing to have in Indiana. Thanks!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Clayton Swanson on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:47 am:

last year i built a new garage 28x36, not big enough, how ever easy to heat was my thinking. during the project i found some used freezer panels on craigs list. 5 1/2" thick, 4' wide, 9 1/2 tall, 15 bucks apiece. thats the best thing i did. i cut them to fit loosely between the studs and then sealed around it with foam spray cans. also, put 2" foam down 4' around the concrete so the frost can not get under the floor and the floor should always be around 54 degrees whether you heat it or not. this morning was 9 below zero, and when i first went in the shop it was still 60. i heat with wood but do not load up the stove at night because it is just a waste of an arm load of wood, shop is warm with out it


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Budreau on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:48 am:

How many garage doors should I have? I was thinking one is enough... Plus with only one door, I'll have more wall space. Thoughts?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Budreau on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:51 am:

@Clayton: I planned on insulating the barn/garage myself to save some money. Originally I was going to just use padded/rolled insulation. Good suggestion to consider!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Greg Kuhnash Southeastern Ohio on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:54 am:

I second the idea of radiant floor heat. I have an electric boiler keep it set at 60 all year.
You can keep it lower if you like. Plan on leaving spaces without tubing for placing floor mounted items, like a lift. I have a very small bath room in mine, has a shower and toilet, with a utility sink, small water heater. The older I get the more I appreciate the bathroom. I also placed a mounting pad for an over head post lift near the wall, and a couple flush to the floor mount pulling eyes in the bays.
Plan on were your compressor and other high amperage items will be, cluster together and consider running an electrical sub-panel from your main panel, especially if your garage is large. Buying large guage wire is expensive.
The garage journal is also a good place for information.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nicholas Lingg - Tarboro, NC on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:55 am:

Never put the door in the center


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Budreau on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:58 am:

For those who heat their garage/barn - is it expensive? I worry heating a metal building with a cement floor can be costly! I do plan on insulating and the barn and will have some natural wind breakers (trees).

I'm really interested in the radiant floor heat idea!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Clayton Swanson on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:59 am:

while mine is 3 car size, i only have 2 doors. one stall is machines, mill etc, one stall for long term projects, and one with a drain in the floor for snow melt or washing. doors are 9 wide 8 high, wish they were 10 wide. building is 28 deep so i can have machines along the back wall too, but the 28 should be 30 as its huge for old cars, but put a full size pickup in and you have to squeeze around the stuff. also i goofed and put the door on the end stall too close to the corner. now that thats side has shelving you can hardly open the door on a car. 30 x 40 i believe is good for shop only. storage should be the pole barn


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Budreau on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:59 am:

@Nicholas (or others): Interesting tip. I don't really care where my door goes, but why should I not put a door in the center?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David A. Siver on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 11:00 am:

I agree with Hal, "double it", when I bought my retirement property there was an existing 40 x 60 outbuilding and I stood in the middle and said, "I'll never fill this up". Last year I build a 20' lean to on the south side. This year I moved an old fire hall/jail 14 x 32 on the property that I will remodel and put the "T" firetruck in when it is done.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Will Copeland - Trenton, New Jersey on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 11:03 am:

Some things to think about, You might want a hole in the floor so you can easily work under a car. You might want someday to install a car lift so make sure your cement floor is deep enough to support it and the ceiling is high enough to fit a tall cabbed truck. Make sure your doors are at least 12ft. You never know what you might want to put in there.Ie, Boat on a trailer. Have room for your tools, aircompressor and workbench plus cars and other toys like bikes and 4 wheelers, snowmobiles. On paper take measurements of cars and so on and plan a floor plan. Remember, It dosent matter how big you build it, It will never be big enough so leave room for expansion!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Budreau on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 11:05 am:

@David: Good luck with the fire hall/jail. Your firetruck would be right at home!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Wicker on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 11:07 am:

I'm I the same boat. Just got my lot ready to build. National pole barns had a special last summer (No Floor) 30x50 for $12,300 installed.
Check them out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Budreau on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 11:09 am:

@Will: I have never seen or heard of a hole in the floor. Can you explain? Is it a large recessed area to crawl into? Thanks!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 11:10 am:

Put in the biggest skylights you can find. The free light is wonderful.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Paul on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 11:12 am:

I second the "figure what you need and double it". Also, put a cement floor in immediately. Don't think you will pour cement at a later date, as you'll find that the pole barn fills up, and you won't have anyplace to put the "stuff" when you finally decide you need a cement floor. I built a 50 x 96 barn w/ 16 ft side walls. I built two lofts w/8 ft clearance underneath. It allows me to park my TT underneath and still provides alot of storage above (rather than taking up floor space).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Budreau on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 11:14 am:

Do you suggest overhead doors or slider doors?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Budreau on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 11:16 am:

@Fred: Thanks for the lead. I just sent in a request for a quote and indicated you referred me. Not sure if there is a referral program, but figured it's better to be safe.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 11:18 am:

Are there building codes to follow?

I think pits have been outlawed many places, as they accumulate heavy gases, like gasoline vapors, and can suffocate the unwary; or explode.

A lift is better, as it can be used for storage as well as working on the car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 11:25 am:

Concrete floors are very desirable, skylights too. I have two doors, one each end which cost very little but when you need it, it is VERY desirable. Mine is two story which almost double the space, downstairs is for cars etc and upstairs for parts storage and woodwork. I agree they are never big enough, you collect stuff to fill the room available.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 11:46 am:

Chad -- Here are a few ideas from my experience with a shop building. Standard garage doors are 7' tall. An 8' one doesn't cost much more, and it will accommodate any model T. My shop is 24 x 50, or 1,200 sq. ft. When I first built it, it was huge. Now I have narrow aisles to walk thru to get to the back end. No matter how big you build it, you will fill it up. There's something to be said for living within our means, or within our given space. If I had a bigger building, I'd just have more stuff in it, and I get by with this size building. I've been a woodworker for 40 years, so about half of my building is set up for woodworking. (My table saw outfeed table is usually covered with Model T parts.) I can get 3 or 4 cars in there, which helps me to keep a level head when faced with the opportunity to add to my collection. :-)

Some other points: I have one window located so that I can see anyone coming up the driveway, and three more on the south side to let in sunlight. I also have a 2' band of white translucent fiberglass at the top of the two long walls. That lets in a lot of light as well, and it isn't as likely to leak as a skylight in the roof. The roof metal is white, to cut down on heat gain in the summer. I don't have any good pics of the building itself, but I'll post a couple with it in the background.

bldg

b2

I heated with wood for a few years but found it not to be a very good choice, even though firewood is plentiful and cheap around here. The problem was that I didn't feel it was safe to leave a big fire burning at night, so it took a long time to warm things up in the morning. I sold the wood stove and had our heat/air guy install me a used furnace that he gave me a great deal on. I leave that set at 45 degrees at night when it's cold, so the shop is starting out a 45 instead of 32. I go in and turn the thermostat up to 60, and it's warm in half an hour or less. I used to build a fire and stand next to the stove for an hour while it got warm enough to work, a big waste of time. I have never used radiant floor heating, but I hear it's very nice in some cases. I think it would be a bit like my wood heating experience, since it is very slow to respond and would take a long time to heat your shop if the shop got cold overnight. And heating it 24/7 would be more costly. A gas furnace would heat it very quickly. BTW, my gas bill for the shop runs about $25-35 during the winter months and electricity is about $25-30 year-round.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brendan Doughty on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 11:49 am:

Consider wood floors. They have many advantages.
Cheap landscape timbers covered with 3/4" OSB.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed Baudoux on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 12:03 pm:

The main door facing north will allow you to work with the door open on hot days, without the sun shining on the floor. Once the floor gets warm, it takes a long time for it to cool down. If you warm up the concrete floor, and lock the place up at night, the shop will be too hot to work in the next morning. Make the ceiling at least 12 feet high, so you or the next owner can add a hoist, they are cheap.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth from NC on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 12:03 pm:

Hey Mike what IS that contraption on that T? The green makes it look like a purpose-built military vehicle, I'm just not deciphering the purpose. Cool shop BTW, I like the Ford sign.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed Baudoux on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 12:04 pm:

Also keep the door on the gable end. Once the snow slides off a metal barn roof, it is impossible to move it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Holland, Utah on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 12:08 pm:

Chad, Be sure to put in sky lights, they are great in the summer. Also, I might suggest, putting in a taller building, with a large insulated metal roll-up door. You never know what you may buy later. Maybe an Rv, also resale of a large shop with a tall door would be a plus. Granted, a lot of heat goes up, but a small fan will circulate that and you can build storage above.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth from NC on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 12:08 pm:

Oh, just a quick note - my wife would skin me alive if I had air conditioning and a bathroom in the garage cause I'd NEVER come in the house!

Also - with my dad being in the military I'm used to moving every 3 years. I've hung a TON of lights in garages over the years. Whatever you think you need in terms of lights, double that as well. Nothing is worse than being a shop that doesn't have enough light. And remember that it starts getting really dark really fast once you get up under the car or under the hood. Also, hand in hand with the lights is your power supply. Make doubly sure you have TONS of juice running to the garage and plenty of big breakers to distribute it. I've completely re-wired a couple of garages too. The only thing almost as bad as a dark shop is one that flips the breaker any time you're running the bench grinder and the compression kicks on.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brian Holcomb, Watertown WI on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 12:10 pm:

I agree with Mike, Think twice before putting in the fiberglass skylights. My parents pole shed leaks at the skylights. the contour/pattern of the tin is no longer made so now we can't replace them. I have the type that Mike has that go along the top of the wall. They let in plenty of light, but they do pose a problem if you're going to insulate the walls.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 12:12 pm:

That's Mike's airplane starter.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeff Hood on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 12:12 pm:

Make the door high enough for a camper, motorhome, or trailer. You may not have one now, but you might get one later. Better to have a tall door that you only open halfway than a short door that your car hauler or tow vehicle won't pass through!

Also remember that no matter how big your shop is, whatever you have now will expand to fill it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth from NC on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 12:20 pm:

Airplane starter . . . ok! I can see that now. What plane used that T to start up? I'm thinking of lots of propeller-driven aircraft from before WWII and it'd have to be a big bomber to be up that high and have the engine close to level. Really neat though. Can you put up more pics in a separate thread Mike? I'd REALLY like to see how the chain drive interacts with the transmission.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 12:21 pm:

Get doors that roll up above the opening, not run in a track parallel to the ceiling. Doors that parallel the ceiling block any lighting from above when they are open. Of course doors that hinge to the outside would be ok. I may do doors that hinge horizontally at the center like some airplane hangars. They doubled as shade and rain protection like an awning when they are open.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan B on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 12:21 pm:

Can you expand upon the perceived benefits of such a flooring system?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don Booth@ Bay City, Mi on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 12:29 pm:

If I may, I would highly recommend you put 4 or 6 mil plastic down before you pour the cement floor. I did this when we built our barn and it completely eliminates moisture seeping through the cement and rusting any thing in the barn. I found also that it helps keep the cement from cracking from frost/freeze cycles. My barn was built about 17 years ago and I have yet to find a crack anywhere.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Greg Kuhnash Southeastern Ohio on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 12:31 pm:

Chad,
You asked if heating is expensive.
My garage is 28x40 10ft ceilings. It is all concrete block construction with 4" foam insulation on the exterior covered with stucco, and 6" fiberglass in attic. Its all electric, dehumidifier, water heater, 7.5hp compressor, full size refrigerator, welder, lights, I am out there evry day in the evening, all day Sat and Sun. My average monthly electric usage is 800kw. I keep the thermoset at 60 year round. The big thing about radiant floor heat is do not skimp on the insulation under the slab, use the pink foam, other foams soak up water and become worthless, also you will need a thermo break with the walls and I ran foam around the extrerior of he building down to the frost line.
I have heated my home with wood for 32 years, but I would never consider heating a garage where there will be flamable vapors present with any heat source with an open flame.
Here we are pouring my floor, you can see the loops and pink foam isulation.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 12:33 pm:

Chad,

My $.02 worth:

You've certainly received some things above to think about. My suggestion is to be SURE you bring in enough electrical power and install a panel that will allow additional circuits to be added later. Over time you may want things that aren't in the picture now (large air comp, lift, welder, and so on).

If you're not electrically savvy, find a someone qualified to help you design the electrical system. Also, be aware that delivering adequate power may precipitate the need to increase the size of your current main service panel since in most places code prevents multiple electrical main service at one address.

Good Luck!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Greg Kuhnash Southeastern Ohio on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 12:36 pm:

Lets try photos again.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 12:37 pm:

Make it a two story building....all the footprint/foundation is done...just add the upper. Great for storage or even living.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jason Given - St. Paul, MN on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 01:06 pm:

I agree build it twice as big as you would like it, and bring out a LOT of power. My former boss has a nice pole barn. I think it is about 40 x 70. It is split in half. One side has a dirt floor and looks like any other pole barn on a farm. Big slider door and everything. In one corner he has a loft like area to store light items not used often. Along another wall he has industrial pallet racking. The rest of that area is where he stores other stuff like his garden tractors, a large old farm tractor (he does not farm), his boat, truck, snow toys, etc. The other half is really nice. Concrete floor, fully insulated, a wood burning furnace, different work areas for doing different types of work. He can probably park about four cars in this area (oversized traditional garage door) with plenty of room to walk around and work on them. He also added a trench like floor drain near the center so he can wash his cars inside in the winter. There is a French drain out behind the building. As for water he has a frost proof hydrant coming out of the floor along one of the exterior edges of the building. It is very simple but very nice. He says that when he comes home from work, he just starts a fire in the furnace, by the time he is done with dinner he can go out to the shop and work comfortably.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Seth - Ohio on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 01:10 pm:

Radiant floor heat is great once the concrete gets to the desired temp it will hold that for a couple days. It is great when you need to lay on the floor under or beside your car. Think about an air compressor in a separate room behind or beside the garage so you don't have to listen to all the noise when it runs. If you do heat the floor then be sure to run it out under the doors on the concrete apron in front of the garage door and a small concrete pad by the man door to keep ice from building up and so you don't have to shovel snow away from them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Budreau on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 01:26 pm:

Wow, all great advice. This isn't falling on deaf ears... err eyes.

Luckily the door will be on the North gable side, per some suggestions above. I never considered building up giving more more storage/possibly second floor. Good advice on the insulation and slab prep work.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Robison on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 01:42 pm:

I built a 30x40 pole building two doors on the narrow side. The doors were 10 foot tall. I'd recommend building 12ft tall doors. Though they are plenty tall for the things I have, they aren't tall enough for the cement trucks to back in. I had to rent a line pump truck to get the cement to the back of the shop an extra expense that could have been mitigated had I had some knowledge.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth from NC on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 01:47 pm:

LOL Chad, ultimately if you follow all of the advice, you will end up building an aircraft hangar that NASA might ask to rent. =)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Robison on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 01:48 pm:

The problem with 10 foot tall doors.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nicholas Lingg - Tarboro, NC on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 02:05 pm:

With the door in the middle your have half the work area on each side. Move it to one side you have twice the work area when you need it!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Huson, Berthoud, Co. on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 02:29 pm:

Chad:

I made the mistake of jut putting two doors like those in the picture above. I should have added a walk in door also. If I don't have one of my door openers with me I have to walk all the way to the back of the shop to get to a walk in door.

I also put one door in 14' High. Over half of the people around here have motors homes and I did not want the wife to loose a sale after I am gone. I could have got by with 12' with my motor home but many could not.

The guys are correct that you should build it good size or you will be sorry later that it is too small. My shop is 40' by 68". I have had 5 Ts
wide in my shop and I could get 4 Ts end to end.
That is 20 Ts. Several times I have had five of
my own Ts in the shop plus refugees from fires
and a 30 foot motor home.
I did not want to try and heat the entire building so I have added a 25'x 25' warm room so I can heat a small space. That give me two bays to work in
shop


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Patrick on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 02:31 pm:

I would suggest an electric travelling gantry crane spanning the width of the garage, and riding on I-beams mounted on opposing walls, the length of the garage. This would allow you to move your engine to any point in the garage. The crane would be mounted on, and travel the width of the garage on an I-beam spanning the width of the garage and travel the length of the garage on trolley wheels that would ride on the I-beams mounted on the walls all controlled by a push button control box mounted on a cable hanging down from the crane. We have one of these in our machine shop and it is most indispensible. Jim Patrick

The service technicians at our local Jiffy Lube works on cars from a pit in the floor that is accessed by stairs at one end. All their parts, tools and lighting are kept down there and were I to build a garage, I would seriously consider building a pit in the floor for working under the car. When not in use the pit, you could cover the opening with bar grating. For a better idea, you may want to visit your local Jiffy lube for ideas. I believe it is more than just a 3' wide x 10' long x 6' deep pit because when I have looked down there, it appears to be a complete room under the garage floor. Jim Patrick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Huson, Berthoud, Co. on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 02:33 pm:

five Ts

shop


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Huson, Berthoud, Co. on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 02:38 pm:

five Ts

shop


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 02:49 pm:

Doors aren't that expensive...put in many...you can always block them off. Think anything over 8' is excessive. What are you going to put in? Cement trucks have pumpers, chutes which reach everything from outside.
Don't forget the toilet and water service along with lots of electricity.
This barn is 30' x 40' and is too small. All the space available.



barn 2



barn


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 02:56 pm:

What John showed in his pics is what is commonly called a "carriage house". Check online for carriage house plans, you might get some inspiration from those.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Clayton Swanson on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 02:59 pm:

seth is right, lots of good ideas here but you will end up with a hanger with a hundred grand in it. i like it warm in winter thats why i like small shop and big barn. my 60x82 is full and alot of it should go away. you never said, do you really work on big trucks or campers etc? if not, the high ceiling and big doors are money to be spent on something else. my 9' side walls are enough for any project except a hoist. also, 2 used sliding patio doors turned on the side make lots of light and sun heat in winter days. good luck, building is fun, except the constant check writing part


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Budreau on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 03:15 pm:

Ha, Mike Walker made a good point. While we all wish for more space, having some size restrictions keeps us in check when considering buying more stuff.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Seth - Ohio on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 05:33 pm:

As for the cement truck not fitting in the garage door. When I build I usually do not put the center wall section in until I pour concrete or have any large items that belong in a shop or garage like big equipment. Once everything that normally wouldn't fit in a garage door is inside then you close in the end of the building.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 05:46 pm:

Build the biggest place you can afford and make the ceiling high enough to accommodate lifts. Once you run out of room you can put in a few lifts and use the lifts to get the additional space you didn't think you would need. Put in a regular entry door for you to use so you don't have to open the overhead all the time and put in as much power and as many outlets as you can. It will never be easier than it is when you are building new!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Thomas on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 06:34 pm:

Build two buildings. One that is heated and you will work in. One that is not heated and used for storage. Using a heated building for storage is a waste of heat. A radiant floor is only good if you are going to heat the building every day. You can keep it at 55-65 degrees, whatever you are comfortable with, but just like that heat from that wood burner in the corner, it is the "radiant heat" from the wood stove that feels the best. If you insulate, think about spray foam. 2-3 inches of spray foam not only insulates, but it seals air leaks better than another insulation you can put in. If you use a furnace (we call it scorched air) all the hot air rises to the ceiling. A radiant building, there will only be about 2 degree difference between the floor and the ceiling 16 feet up. If you use a boiler with sealed combustion, you will not have to worry about gas fumes and ignition from some wood burner. You can buy the lifts for about $1800, and they work much better than a pit.

I do radiant floors in farm shops here in Iowa. Lots of 8,000 sq ft. With foam insulation, good overhead doors, they are telling me it costs very little to heat. In fact most don't even turn the heat on until sometime in November, and turn it off in March.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 06:40 pm:

When a friend started to build a pole barn with 8 ' sides i tryed and tryed to talk him into going taller but could not! This will be the third winter their $60,000 fifth wheel will sit outside! Mine is 28x48 14'6" tall with a 12x48 inclosed lean two on one side.Hindsight being 20 20 i wish i had built 32x72 and 16' tall!! I have 3 6" pipes 6' down and 14' up on each side 12' centers.One 12" and two 15" I beams span the 28' and the beams bottems set even with the bottems of the truses.Two trolleys on a 6" I with two chain hoist with trolleys let me cover 12x28 up to about 12'6" lift hight 6,000# cap with no loss of shop height other than where it is at the time! 12' byond 4 trolleys on spreaders 12" I beam and a chainfall with trolley 10,000# capt.110 outlets on each post and 3 220 outlets and a 100 amp 220 feed from the house.Never use a pipe in a door way as water can run both ways.Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dwight Smith on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 07:21 pm:

You may want to look around at some of the kits that some lumber companies provide in pole barn or conventional framed construction. This will give you some design ideas and raw material cost. Knowing material cost will help in price discussion if you are not building it yourself. I see you are currently in Indiana, I believe most counties in Indiana will not permit a pit type floor drain since due to chemicals getting washed into the ground or sewer lines.

You have gotten a lot of great input from other's that have been there before and I agree with the comment to make it big enough and don't let another 4 or 8 feet stop you as it's not that much cost. I have a 24' x 54' with heat and air conditioning so I could spray paint year round. It's not big enough since my wife has taken up wood working, so I added a wall with and a roll type garage door to separate the wood shop from the paint area and added a air filtration system to control any dust. So, think ahead and allow for the significant others hobby since it could impact your floor space, speaking from experience. Good luck.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 07:49 pm:

Chad -- What did you say your budget is? $300,000? :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Derocher on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 08:21 pm:

Everyone is inside today cause it's to cold outside, so you are getting lots of great advice. My 2 cents - Put in one tall door, you will want to pull in a big trailer or motorhome some day. Maybe a window or two, but not that important. Lots of guys up here just heat a little shop area, not the whole place. A room 20 x 24 makes a nice office that will fit Lizzy. Concrete is nice, but wood floors are a lot easier on the knees, the boatbuilding company I worked for had oak floors that you could park anything on, weight is not a problem if done right. And you can do the in floor heat under the wood floors, my brother did his with treated 2 x 8's with the heat tubing running in sand [as a heat sink he claims], then an oak floor on top. Heats it with a small pump and a gas hot water heater. Wood heat is great, did it for 28 years till the insurance company we had for 25 yrs. cancelled everyone in Michigan with wood stoves in the garage...Check that before getting a stove. Now heating with natural gas and a space heater. Last thing as most have said, bigger is better, and a potty is always as the years tick by..Good Luck. Jim Derocher AuGres, Michigan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Husted on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 09:06 pm:

The most important thing is to get material lien
releases before you give them money.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mike_black on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 09:46 pm:

Chad,
If land and funds are not a factor, just call someone and have them build you a duplicate of the local car dealership service area. Otherwise, get a notebook with graph paper and start planning and figuring. First--check the size of the area where you want to put it and draw the lot with everything that's already there. Include the house, exterior plumbing and electrical. This will allow you to see what you have available and where. Plan for now, with possibilities for later. Tall walls allow for future needs (RV parking or maintenance, a lift, a loft, future lean-to addition, etc). You can close doors, but, you can't open walls. Possibilities are limitless, but, usually limited by funds, abilities, space, and time. Do a lot of planning, but, be flexible enough to change if you encounter a good deal on something. A few years ago I was planning/costing out a pole barn, when I happened onto a 60 x 100 metal building that had been taken down. I bought it and starting building. In one corner I have a 40 x 50 concrete slab with a lift for working, and the rest of the floor covering is asphalt millings and pea gravel for parking/storage. It will never be totally completed--always a work in progress. If you plan to hire it all done, get some farm magazines and contact some of the metal building places--you may be surprised. Good luck.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mike_black on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 09:52 pm:

Forgot to mention--first decide if you plan to be there the rest of your life, or if this is just temporary. If temporary, you have got to build for resale and make do with it!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Thomas on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:20 pm:

When you hit 5,000 square feet, look at steel frame. That is about the break even point, between wood frame (pole barn) and steel. Steel frame allows for a 5/12 pitch or better and then you gain lots of head room for a lift. If you got 16 foot sidewalls, put in all 14 foot doors, then you can get almost anything in there. No matter what you think, everything is for sale sooner or later, and if you have a building with 14 foot doors, lots of people are interested.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Weir on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 10:56 pm:

Consider putting the Air Compressor outside in a lean-to shed that has a door into the shop. If the shed is well insulated, the noise will not be noticeable in the shop. Leaving the door open when the shop is not in use will keep stuff from freezing.

From the Compressor, run the air line up then as you go to areas of the shop, slope the line down about 1/4" to the foot till the end of the line. When an outlet is needed, place a tee with the outlet up and with two 90º ells make a drop down the wall or post. This will allow most of the condensation run down the bottom of the line to the end of the line.

Paint ALL inside surfaces with a good gloss white paint. That will stop all the sucking sounds of the lite being absorbed by a dark surface.
Sincerely

Jim Weir


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob McDaniel(Indiana Trucks)Star City In on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 11:28 pm:

14 foot doors let cement trucks inside. I put my one overhead door in the north end right in the center so I can park cars by the walls on both sides of the main isle and get to them without moving the one that always ends up in front of it. Make it bigger than you need and close in a corner to make your work shop space but don't make the shop so big you will store things in it or you will run out of room fast. Projects and items not used in your shop should go in the other space that you are not working in and not heating. I also have a walk in door in the corner and no windows for now because of theft problems in the area and I don't know where I want a window yet so I will put it in later when I am done building my shop area.

Concrete is expensive but if you don't pour it now it will cost more later and then you will have things in the way so do it now. I never knew how nice it is to be able to move a car that wont run by my self till I got this building built. I now own a pallet jack and can move engines around on pallets or other heavy items. I only plan to heat the shop when I am in it because it may be days or weeks between my shop time so I didn't spend the money to put in the water lines. I know because of health reasons this wont change. I plan to never move again and also I know how to put in the doors and windows and wires and everything else I will ever need so starting with a shell with a floor in it is OK for me. I only paid to have the parts done that would have taken me a life time to build. Just remember to put in some 4 or 6" PVC pipes to run water lines and wires through and anything else you want later if you want them to come up from the floor and not through the wall.
Bob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob McDaniel(Indiana Trucks)Star City In on Monday, December 09, 2013 - 11:33 pm:

One more thing, take a picture of it when its empty, you will never see it that way again!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Cook on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 02:55 am:

I agree with Hal, build it twice as big as you think you need as Model Ts definitely multiply! This is the latest arrival. Chris. http://www.chriscook.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/IMG_2600.jpg


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 10:43 am:

Never met a man (T collector or otherwise) who wished he had built his garage smaller. If you collect T's you will probably end up with an enclosed trailer that is an extra foot tall so that you can park your T in it with the top up. That trailer will last a lot longer if it has a place in the pole barn to park it. I live one state over so you probably have about the same weather I get. Power overhead door is something you will really want when you advance in years and I think they seal better too. Its hard to keep rodents out but if you at least don't put gaping cracks at the openings you will have fewer of them to contend with. I suspect you live in a rural area if you are able to build a pole barn so think about the varmints a bit since raccoons can really do a bunch of damage to old cars and they can be stopped but mice are a bigger challenge.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 10:53 am:

Here's a picture of my "Model T Garage"

It will hold 4 Model T's. Presently have 3 T's and my wifes modern car in it. Also has solar panels on the roof to keep the electricity bill down.

Auto mechanics and woodworking don't mix very well. You need a separate area sealed off or in a separate building for each. The problem is that sawdust gets into the parts you are working on and grease messes up the wood. I know from experience when I was a teen and my dad worked on wood in the same garage I used to work on cars.

Good luck.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 03:21 pm:

I like the idea of a small heated building (or part of a building) and a large storage area without the expense of heat. My little shop happens to be oriented on a north-south axis with garage doors at both ends. That allows a breeze to move through during the summer. Most breezes here are from the north or the south. It's insulated and has a gas heater hanging from the ceiling. If I were building it now I'd probably go with a heated floor for economy. The old pole barn (unheated) has big sliding doors at opposite ends (east & west) and a swinging door on the south, also for air circulation during summer.

I agree with Norm on woodworking. That should be kept separate. The dust goes all over everything.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By george house on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 09:33 pm:

Regardless of 'woodworking' - don't include any of your abrading operations (bench grinder, bead blaster, etc) in the same room/building as your antique auto storage and restoration facility. Fine dust will get everywhere! Also, insulate at least the roof before you start filling the building with toys. It'll pay dividends both in the summer and winter.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By JIM WILSON, AMORY, MS on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 09:47 pm:

I have two ten foot garage type doors with openers. Walk thru door on opposite side. I have permanent stairway up to the attic. Roof support design is such that there is a large floored open area that is great for storage. Wish I had put epoxy paint on the cement floor.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 09:48 pm:

I got it :-)

We all need three buildings -
one for automobile storage,
one where we work on automobiles,
and one for woodworking!

If we are smart we have a second level in the auto storage building for parts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don Lyon, PDX, OR. on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 09:48 pm:

I cannot emphasize enough lots of natural light, whether skylites or windows high up on the walls. My building has no windows and no matter how many lights I keep installing it's not enough, Don.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeff Hood on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 10:19 pm:

You don't need to heat the entire floor. Heated floors don't warm the air, but since heat rises, you can be very comfortable working on a heated area. Just heat the area that will be your work area where your bench and equipment will be. Storage and parking areas don't need floor heat. One drawback is that you will not be able to anchor equipment or drill the floor where the heating elements or tubes are located, so leave a space around the walls or wherever you will mount machinery or equipment. Just heat the area where you will stand or sit to work.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By A. J. "Art" Bell on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 12:57 am:

And just a small suggestion for a big project . . .

In a building that size I would pre wire it for two ‘reversible’ ceiling fans.
If possible buy the ones where the reversing switch is remote mounted.
In cold weather have the fans blowing upward to force the warm air that
you have already paid to heat, but is trapped at the ceiling to flow across
the ceiling and down the walls.
This will save on your heating bill and not cause a draft when working near
or under the fans. In warm weather the fans can blow downward, and the
draft created will feel cool.
My shop is much smaller, conventional garage style and ‘over’ insulated,
(bylaw maximum 800 sq ft x 10 ft walls and 12 ft vault ceilings with 10x16 door)
and I have since found that even one fan running continuously on low speed
can do the job for this size building.

Regards
Art


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R. S. Cruickshank on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 01:55 am:

I don't like the idea of any heating unit with an open flame (gas/oil/wood) when I know that gasoline fumes are present. I don't have heat in my barn/shop today but I saw a friends shop with the new split system heat pump. It does heating and cooling without flames. I know that it would be difficult to get the economy of a heat pump in areas that frequently get into below 30 degree weather for long periods of time but that my be the price of safety.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Hatch on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 03:04 am:

Do not build a building of any size, sell your T, sell your A, sell your tools, sell your parts, sell your house, sell everything. Go to Fla, buy a condo overlooking the pool, buy a nice set of spy glasses. Oh, do not buy above the 7th floor. :-) Dan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Memmelaar Jr on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 07:31 am:

We just added to our home a "shed" because as I explained to the building department I have a lot of "garden tools" he laughed and asked me how large this shed would be. 10' x 30' is the size and its tucked neatly just a mere 2' from my existing garage. He was very helpful in giving me suggestions in case someday my existing garage "happened" to become the same structure as my existing garage.

Where we live there is not a lot of room on our lots, so there is a need to get creative.

Cost in total including materials and labor was just over 6K, with the bulk of it being the mason for the excavating and the concrete.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mike_black on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 08:27 am:

Chad,
John brought up a key point--the building inspector's office. Again, if you're just writing the check, get a good contractor, but, if you are doing it yourself, or being your own general contractor, you've got to find out the rules/requirements in your area. Get to know them well before you do anything!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 09:31 am:

I built a 30X40 and it aint big enough :>)
Wiring is 1 thing I should a did a bit more on.
A couple outlets Outside the building for plugging a battery charger for a modern car or something would a been handy.
220 outlets in more than 1 area of the shop for compressors and so forth.
Lighting,I screwed up on.I don't like florescent and this new stuff weren't common then so I have recessed can lights.Aint worth a peddlers da--.
So make sure you have good lights.
I have 10 foot doors and 12 foot ceilings.I wish now I had went 1 more block on the 4 foot block wall before the studded wall started.I could have put a second floor on part of it.
Another good reason for the 10 foot doors.When I carry in a "dead" project for repair with the tractor and fork lift attachment,it gives me clearance to in the door without worry.

Here is something I didn't hear about till a week late.When I bought my trusses for my roof, i could a got some that had a "fake" brace in the middle to meet building code but could later be removed and a second floor be put in the truss system.Would not have cost me 200 bucks more for that option and would have given me a million dollars worth of room that could have been put in at any time.
get a better grade of concrete than you think you need.Also if you may put in a car lift at some point,please note the recommended depth is 6 inchs under the lift system.
I put in 12 anchor pots when I had the floor poured.These are chain tie downs used for frame repair and such.best time to put them in is before the pour.
you can fabricate a couple and not spend anything but some scrap iron and chain.
Something I didnt know till later,if you want to have a large air compressor,think of putting a short shed roof and walls on 1 side and put that noisy thing out of the building.just make sure to keep it from freezeing if you dont drain it often.

Dust and grease dont mix,hard to do both wood and mechanical in the same place. or it is for me anyhow.
Shop around on prices.
1 example. To insolate this building in materials alone from Lowes was going to cost me over 1200 bucks.
The electrician handed me a card and told me to call these guys.It was a company and they sent 2 young fellows out with a big truck,and 750 cash later my building was insulated well. It was older material they had bought surplus and all weren't the same brand.But it was nos material and it works
I heat with wood.I had a chimney put in 3.5 cubes of brick with a 12 inch flue.
my shop gets so hot sometimes even in 20 degree weather i am in short sleeves and sweating.
SO it makes a difference to insulate.
it is kinda crowded in there now.
you cant have enough shop


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By samuel pine on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 11:22 am:

Absoulty can not live with out my 12 x 4 pit by
7 foot deep. Legal or not when got the permit when
inspected, a tri axle dump truck was parked over it.
bottom line is these appointed inspectors are gone
after time, they come snoopin now and i'm like
grandfatherd in. What your up to now may well
change in the future. Again Off set roll top
door.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By samuel pine on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 11:40 am:

Edit: so we cant edit; but use your brain in pits
for the safty natzis no common drop lites fooling
around with gas- many I know got blown up. blown
up shops. .think. when we do fool with gas
tanks, try a far away intense lite shinned on a
mirror. fumes need ignition just drop the drop
lite and the blub always breaks. thats ign. Not
needed just cover em with planks ..............


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dale Kemmerer on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 02:56 pm:

My shop/barn at home is 32 by 98 the front 32 x 32 is cement block construction and has a man door and a9 x 16 roll up door. this is where i do the woodwork. behind that is a 10 x 32 space that has 10x12 office insulated and conditioned.there is 10x20 where i park my tractor (if it's not full of something else)this space is open on the 10 foot side
Next to that is 32x56 car storage,frame construction, 10 foot ceiling ceiled and walls insulated. the ceiling is not insulated yet as I'm planning to run ductwork for possible heat later. when I get the duct work in the ceiling will be insulated to at least an R 38 possibly R50 this section has a man door, two 8x8 and a 8x16 over head insulated doors with openers. Oh and there is another man door in the back. This area is not particularly a work area. It currently has in it a 1909 T touring,a 1907 two cylinder rambler roadster, a 1907 4 cylinder rambler touring,1909 one cylinder Reo, 1907 two cylinder Reo, 1909 two cylinder Buick, 1910
model 16 buick, a 1911 one cylinder Reo truck, 1905 single cylinder cadillac, 1912 cadillac touring, 26 T roadster 1903 Oldsmobile and my wife's 29 model A roadster. There is a 23 4door T sedan in my trailer waiting for the snow to go away before it goes into the barn That will pretty much fill it up. I agree no mater haw large you make it it does fill up. but one must draw the line someplace.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mike_black on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 11:11 pm:

Chad,
You've gathered a lot of info here, but, what matters is what you want to do. IMHO, we have all kinds here on this Forum--some like to build, some like to drive, some like to show, some collect and hold, and some like to do research or just read about T's. Most are mixtures of 2 or more of these groupings, or travel through different groups as time goes on. In which group are you? If you just need parking space, your needs will be totally different from the guy who takes cars apart down to the last nut and bolt then cleans, blasts, re-woods, welds, paints, upholsters, reassembles, drives or shows a while, then parks it to start on another one. I've had nearly a dozen shops over the years and learned from each of them what was important to me. Do the best advance planning you can for the things that are most important for you. We could give you tips from now on--like, put a 220v plug near the garage door, so you can keep what you are welding on outside and not burn down your shop. In the end, only you know your own situation! good luck.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Thomas on Friday, December 13, 2013 - 08:27 am:

The fumes in a pit is very easily solved by what is commonly called a "propane drain". In other words, just put a floor drain in it, less the trap, and drain it out to daylight somewhere. The fumes go down the drain, just like water would, and problem solved.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Friday, December 13, 2013 - 12:13 pm:

Grandpa and Grandma bought a house—I guess it was maybe a decade before WWII—and it had a big enough back yard that in it, Grandpa could build a huge, 4-car garage; a dimly lit lair which, in the present day, might be called a "man-cave."

Oh yes, this was most definitely the exclusive domain of the XY chromosome. Nothing against the ladies, mind you, but this place reeked of cigar smoke, sweat and grease and there were even a few (gasp!) girly pin-ups. Upon a battered, old desk in one corner sat an equally battered, old cathedral radio which had been manufactured by General Electric when the general was still a lieutenant. Instead of playing dramas like “The Lone Ranger,” “The Shadow” and “War of the Worlds,” it very incongruously played, “I Wanna be Bobby’s Girl,” “Earth Angel” and “The Duke of Earl.” Nevertheless, the décor was definitely “Early Depression” and the countless license plates nailed to the walls testified of the establishment’s advanced age.



One of the neatest things about the place was the grease pit in the floor. Grandpa and Dad and I would remove our watches and rings, lift out the protective wooden planks and descend into that dank, damp grease pit—the holy of holies—where beer-swilling, cigar-chomping, MEN farted shamelessly, said very bad words, got grease irrevocably implanted beneath their fingernails and repaired and maintained the finned, rolling behemoths of countless aunts, uncles and cousins. Suffice to say, we didn’t eat quiche.

Anyway, since pre-war days and up through the sixties and seventies, we used that pit quite a lot and all kinds of work got done down there, including welding. We didn’t worry about poisonous or flammable vapors and we certainly spilled a few pints of gasoline down there, but nothing bad ever happened (though I’ll admit Grandpa and Dad did have the common sense to put out their cigars and leave them in the ash tray, on the aforementioned , battered, old desk). I dunno—maybe it wasn’t actually dangerous or maybe we simply got away with it. I recall discussing the subject of safety only once and only very briefly: That was the time I asked Grandpa why he had built that concrete pit instead of installing some kind of lift. His reply was, “Did you ever hear of a car crushing a man because it fell off the ground?”


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Cascisa - Poulsbo, Washington on Friday, December 13, 2013 - 12:18 pm:

Great story Bob ... Thanks.

Be_Zero_Be


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Art Wilson on Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 12:22 am:

When I was a teenager I worked at a garage that had a pit. The owner was paranoid about keeping it covered. The most dangerous time was when a car was partly pulled out of the garage and the driver goes to get a tool and walks into the pit. Easy to do. One time the owners son was draining a gas tank into a basin in the pit when the trouble light dropped and ignited the gas. The fire was between him and the stairs. He had to run through the flames to get out and was burned to where he had noticeable scarring on his face. It could have been a lot worse.

What I would suggest is installing a lift instead of a pit. The great thing about the lift is it can be stopped at any height. Good for changing tires, removing engines or transmissions etc.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill in Adelaida Calif on Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 01:02 am:

When I built my shop almost 20 years ago my friend that was doing the concrete work told me to use rebar not screen as the floor would last longer without cracking. He took me over to a job he was doing where he was demolishing a part of a floor for a remodel and the wire screen was all but rusted through. I used rebar and the floor has no cracks yet, even after a major earthquake!

Bill


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