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May open a Do-t-Yourself Garage. Any thoughts?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by EnragedHawk, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 1,108

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    I know this is on the OT side, so mods if you want to close it, no worries.

    I’m playing with the idea of opening to do-it-yourself garage. A place where you can rent out garage space, and have access to car lifts, engine hoists, welders, and all kinds of tools.

    Obviously there is tons of liability, red tape, and other crap to deal with, but I’m curious to know what you guys think of this idea. I have a lot of ideas regarding how the place should be run, how to protect property, and how the tool renting process should work, but here are a few questions I’d really like to get answered:

    How much would you be willing to pay per hour/day/month?
    What kinds of people would use this type of service?
    Think there is much demand for something like this?
    Seen places like it before? What were they like?

    I’m interested in all input, positive or negative. I’m going to talk to a bank next week about a piece of property I’m interested in and a business loan.
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  2. I Drag
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 884

    I Drag
    Member

    I'm curious to hear about how this would work.

    What happens if someone takes his car apart, and can't get it running. Now its stuck in a bay, ringing up hours. Now what?
     
  3. Cortney
    Joined: Aug 11, 2008
    Posts: 371

    Cortney
    Member

    I think it's a great idea! Would be good to have a positive shop with people willing to share knowledge and just build community with people in your area! Go for it!!
     
  4. ididntdoit1960
    Joined: Dec 13, 2011
    Posts: 1,016

    ididntdoit1960
    Member
    from Western MA

    Like Darnell's in Christine......when I said you could rummage through my shitpile - I didn't mean you could build your whole fuckin car from my junk...
     

  5. There have been several previous threads about this very subject..I remember reading them and there was some really great info..Try the "search"..
    But ,it seemed the overall reply was the insurance,liability,licensing issues ..
    Still ,it looks like there would be lots of people that would/could use such a facility..
    I know ,personally there have been times I would gladly have rented a lift for a day...
    Stan
     
  6. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 7,241

    BJR
    Member

    I do not think it would cash flow. In a cold climate you may get people in the winter, but they would be gone in the summer. Also when you have to rent space and tools to fix your car, you do not save that much over an independent garage doing the work. They had one in Minneapolis in the late 60's and it flopped in less then a year. I don't think it would be any different now. Not trying to rain on your parade, just my 2 cents worth.
     
  7. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,218

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    It was tried many years ago down here in Los Angeles, lasted about 8 months before it closed.
    Too much liability--- You gave the customer the meens to hurt themselves.
    If it was/is a good idea, somebody else would have it already as a chain and sell franchises
     
  8. SoCalExile
    Joined: Nov 23, 2012
    Posts: 9

    SoCalExile
    Member

    There's one or two on every Army base.
     
  9. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 1,108

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    Actually, I had an idea for that. I was thinking it would be cool to have a shop tow truck for a couple of reasons; one, it would be nice to be able to pick up a potential customer's car, and two, it could be used to take cars home or to another shop when owners have gotten in over their heads.

    It could just become part of the renting process.
     
  10. plodge55aqua
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,711

    plodge55aqua
    Member
    from Alberta

    I had two friends that had no idea what they were getting into. back in the early 80s.. try a U wrench Shop... No storage was in place.. you could rent a space by the hour, day, week, or Month.. they spent more than earned..
     
  11. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    There were actually places where a guy could rent lift time and other equipment many years ago. I frequented one such place and having the lift sure made undercar work a lot easier. Most of those places catered to the working guy who was trying to keep his back and forth to work car alive, as opposed to project cars.

    What probably killed a lot of those places doing that was the liability. We live in a sue happy society and if someone cuts their finger or their precious car is damaged they will be trying to sue the pants off of the owners, regardless of how many release of liability forms you have them sign. Even the pick and pull junkyards are skating on thin ice because they are allowing you on their property with the always present possibility of someone getting hurt or killed.

    The other problem I see is TIME. Our projects and the work we perform on them are not usually simple in and out jobs. Our cars take a long time to build or work on and would someone be willing to pay enough to make it feasible ? People are also going to hurt or ruin your equipment, it just happens. Some people do not treat other people's stuff like they would treat their own.

    The other issue is theft. You can bet every lowlife thief in town will be trying to figure a way to get in there and rip you and your customers off. If someone's car or parts were stolen while on your property it wouldn't be pretty.

    Not trying to throw a wet towel on your enthusiasm, just laying out some pitfalls as I see them. We don't even invite friends to our shop because of the potential for problems. Hate to be that way, but the world is very strange any more.

    Don
     
  12. Greg in Jax
    Joined: Jun 27, 2010
    Posts: 209

    Greg in Jax
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Army (and other service) auto craft shops have run like this for decades. You are about an hour from Ft. Hood; try contacting the auto craft shop there to ask how they run it. All of them charge an hourly fee for bay use, that varies according to what you want. Regular flat bay, lift, welding bay, machine shop equipment usage, etc. They also offer assistance from trained mechanics for $XX per hour for guys who need help. If you don't get the job done, you have to roll it outside and pay for outside storage by the day. What they DON'T have to worry about is liability: You sign a waiver when you sign up to use a bay that declares that they have none. Since both they and the user are bound by military regulations and the military justice system they do not have exposure to the kind of problems that you could get into in civilian life if someone got hurt and got themselves a sharp injury attorney. You would want to be darned sure that you have the liability and insurance issues covered. Aside from that I think that it is a potentially good business. Just think about how many guys have a car and no garage in which to work. Good luck. Greg in Jax
     
  13. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,602

    arkiehotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  14. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,036

    KoolKat-57
    Member
    from Dublin, OH

    I know that this has been tried in a few areas. For the most part I think that you will have to charge almost standard shop rates to make it a viable money maker. Yet the owner of the vehicle will still be providing his own labor. You would also have to speak to insurance companies and attorneys for contract and liability release forms!
    The other problem is scheduling rentals, yet still keep the bays rented with little down or empty bay time.
    Great Idea! Just see a huge nightmare from the legal aspect.
    Good Luck I hope you can make it work.
    KK
     
  15. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 1,108

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    That's one of my bigger concerns; another reason I'm curious how much guys would be willing to pay for something like that.

    I'm thinking of this as a sort of second job though. I graduate from college in a couple of weeks with all of my certifications to be a middle school math teacher, and I'm honestly not sure that's what I want to do for the rest of my life. If I could get this shop to survive long enough to pay for itself (land and building), I could shut it down later on and keep it for myself to use.
     
  16. Greg in Jax
    Joined: Jun 27, 2010
    Posts: 209

    Greg in Jax
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Some very good points from Don's (above mine).
     
  17. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    I do wish someone would rent out a paint booth on an hourly basis. Now that would be cool and I would gladly pay $100 and hour if I had a booth to paint my cars in. Doing it in the parking lot sucks.

    Don
     
  18. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 11,040

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    We have one in town and we leave a big pile of the shop cards with phone number so when thay cant figure it out we get some work. I remember one in town when I was in school and I use it to put headers on my car. I thought it was a good idea. Would be afraid to hear what ins would be for something like that now it this sue happy world.
     
  19. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 1,108

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX


    Yeah, I figure if I talk to the bank and become more serious, my next stop is a good lawyer. As far as time goes, I do see that being an issue. I figure for the most part, people would want the shop for one to two day jobs like swapping a rear end or installing a muffler system. And no worries about the towel, I brought this up here because I need to hear what I'm not thinking about.
     
  20. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 1,108

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    Also something I wanted to add!
     
  21. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    I have to say the same as someone above noted in that I see these crop up in cycles around the Phoenix area, but they never seem to stay in business too long. About 6-12 months and they are done. A year later someone else gives it a shot...
     
  22. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,218

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Then you have to worry about the EPA with people dumping fluids all over the place and in the trash, then there are those that will rent the lift for the minimum and then drag the car out the gate to finnish it on the street, and since you cant baby sit everyone you will get the lowlife's in there doing who knows what. People will bring in beer and now have to worry about drunks working on cars.
    I am uterly shocked when I attened the races at B'feild CHRR and such and have to make a run to the head in the morning and what other people do to the facilitys, I meen how were these people raised and these are car people.
     
  23. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 1,108

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

  24. I believe they are currently operating in Denver, Colorado...

    I have never used them.
     
  25. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 1,108

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    Thanks to all for the input. I really appreciate it.


    As far as theft goes, I have been considering a way to lock up each bay. Perhaps some type or metal curtain that can be pulled around and locked by the renter? I also thought about bays separated by full walls that can be locked with a single door. It would look more like a storage unit then, and it would take up more space, so I'm not sure that is a reasonable option.
     
  26. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,218

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Oh yeah, then there is the one guy changing the in tank fuel pump on his daily and a guy next to him welding an exhaust pipe hanger.
     
  27. TexasSpeed
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 4,622

    TexasSpeed
    Member

    It's been discussed on here before.. More cons than pros, it seems. I've always thought it would be a cool endeavor to take on.
     
  28. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 1,108

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX


    Hahaha, now there's a scenario I hadn't considered yet.. geez... :eek:
     
  29. hotrod40coupe
    Joined: Apr 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,562

    hotrod40coupe
    Member

    I have thought that a good way to approach this is to build a "Condo" for cars. You could have a complex with several 2-3 car garages with bathroom facilities, and offer options like lifts, pits, and a variety of features that are car friendly. Have an "association" that oversees things and then sell the units individually.
     

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