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Technical When is your shop/garage finally big enough?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bangingoldtin, Oct 28, 2020.

  1. Let's face it-our "passion" requires a lot of equipment, tools and space. Over the years, I have had a 28' x 32' shop (full), a 36' x 46' shop (full), and a 28' x 40' shop that I currently have (still full). A recently acquired second project stored offsite due to lack of space. What size would your "dream" building be?
  2. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 4,581


    I'd say about the size of a football field.

    My current shop is 30 x 60 and is not nearly big enough.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
  3. MMM1693
    Joined: Feb 8, 2009
    Posts: 524


    Mines 40 X 54 and wish I would have went to 60. Have the room to go bigger and maybe rent storage space to help off set property tax increase. Someday...
    UNSHINED 2 and ratrodrodder like this.
  4. ratrodrodder
    Joined: Feb 19, 2008
    Posts: 77

    from Baltimore

    Nature abhors a vacuum, so if you build it bigger, you'll find a way to fill it. A football field seems like a good start to me, though.

    How many airplane hangers does Jay Leno have filled now? 3, 4? I know most (ok, likely very few, if not none) of us have Leno-type money, but it's something to strive for, right?
    VANDENPLAS and MMM1693 like this.

  5. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,374

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Its big enough while I'm paying for it, then it gets pretty small after that. :rolleyes:
    seb fontana, lemondana, dan31 and 3 others like this.
  6. Dave G in Gansevoort
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 235

    Dave G in Gansevoort
    from Upstate NY

    No building is ever big enough! When I was young and single, my mom let me use 1/2 of the garage and thebarn for my dirt modified racing. The garage was 24x60 so I had 24x30ish. Mom used 1 12x24 bay for her car (rule #1 it NEVERsits outside!), and a little of theend bay for lawn mowers, garbage cans, yard tools. There was a huge wood working bench, and some storage shelves. So of course I used some of that space.

    In reality, I got to use about 2/3rds of that garage. The barn was small, 16x18, but could be heated in the winter, so that was homebase for the cars (only 1 at a time...). Tight but adequate, sorrt of...

    1st garage of my own, 12x20, attached to our first house. Ended up with 3 cars and lots of parts... Oh well.

    Next house had a 20x20 out back. Not bad, but had 4 cars and the Mini's trailer. Wife's car had to be inside in the winter so...

    Moved to upstate NY,1st house had 20x20 attached and BIG basement, only drawback, everything went thru the kitchen to get there.

    So newhouse 2 years ago, had a 24x30 attached built on it. Nice but last year I added a 12x20 shedish structure, and want more space...

    Bottom line, there's never enough room!
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  7. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,932

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    For practicality purposes, if you are doing a body off build, a minimum of a 2- 2 1/2 car space is needed.
    Now if you are building, and have multiple cars with tools/equipment, etc., your needs will increase accordingly.
    I can currently house (secure/under cover) 8 (2 on dollies), the space is nice but as others have said, the more space available, the more space to fill up, therefore regardless of the size of shop, it seems we always want more.
    VANDENPLAS and 62SY4 like this.
  8. Now that is good long range planning!
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  9. 4ty
    Joined: Dec 11, 2018
    Posts: 118


    After 45 years here dealing with a one car garage built in 1924 and extended 3 feet sometime and two small lean to attached sheds I finally got a 24x24 modular two car garage to keep the 40 in. It's full and tight with all the stuff I've accumulated since 1961. For instance, a 1/2 ton chain fall I acquired in 1961 that I can't seem to let go of, screwdrivers, sockets etc.
    Thinking of a "small" shed now for the snow blower and lawn mower. Almost went with a 20x20, wife saved me from that mistake.
    Paul in CT
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  10. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,999

    from oregon

    May be purely coincidental but my shop seems to get bigger every time I clean it up.:D
  11. I doesn't matter how large it is you will never have enough room, My shop is 30" x 40" and it's not big enough but I can't see me adding on at this stage of the game.. HRP
    X-cpe, VANDENPLAS and bchctybob like this.
  12. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,282


    40 by 60 is a good shop size for me.
    triumph 1 and VANDENPLAS like this.
  13. 32X30, two story and parking for two more in the house garage. How big is big enough? Maybe the Astrodome. Maybe.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  14. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,620


    Mine's 30x40 with a loft. It's plenty big, I just have more crap than I can manage. I'm fixing that.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  15. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,418


    I get creative on how to stash 3 cars in a 2 car garage if I have to. Those roller skate things that you put under the tires help.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  16. Vics stuff
    Joined: May 24, 2014
    Posts: 320

    Vics stuff

    I built my dream shop of 60 X 100 with heated floors. Not to big either with what I have going on. My shop is actually organized and can find everything and room to work around on my equipment and projects.
    Not sorry either.
  17. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,633

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    mine is only 24 by 30, it is as large as I could get zoning to pass. Not nearly enough as I have to get the better half's Miata in there for the winter. My neighbors all say they wish they had something that large
    so I guess I should be happy. At least I was able to build a second story on it to keep her obsession with
    lawn furniture out of the work space.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  18. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,605


    Trouble with a huge shop with 12-16 foot ceilings is the cost to heat it particularly if you live in a place that gets real winter weather.
  19. I would say it is finally big enough when we decide we don't need to keep so much crap. I have had shops as big as 40x80 and as small as a single car garage that I had to push my project outside to even work on it. So far, I seem to be able to fill them all up. I currently have a 42x60 with a 12x60 lean too on the outside and it is pretty full (and in bad need of some organization). Oh, and that 40' semi trailer I bought a few years back to move and then store stuff in until I could build a shop is also full. :oops:

    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
    rpm56 and VANDENPLAS like this.
  20. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 4,581


    Last year we bought a 12x16 premanufactured shed. We are able to get the lawnmowers, snow blower, wheelbarrow, garden tools, etc., etc., etc. in it and now we can actually get one daily car inside the garage. For several years we didn't have any vehicles inside except for motorcycles and project cars. Highly recommend you proceed with the shed. Oh, yeah, we got a model with a "loft" and it lets us put Christmas and other seasonal decorations etc. up there also.

    OK, now back to shop size discussion.
    j3harleys and VANDENPLAS like this.
  21. My shop is plenty big enough. It just needs to be temperature controlled. I HATE working in the cold.
  22. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,483

    Jalopy Joker

    kinda like the old saying for racing: how fast do you want to go? how much money ya got? - as stated, many build rides in a small single car garage, others have airplane hangers and more - recently made a trade for a '63 Nova SS - other guy had just completed a new "barn", and was already full with 8 Hot Rods
  23. When you realize 90% of the shit you have in it you don't need and will never use and get rid of it.
    RJP, rpm56, jvo and 3 others like this.
  24. We just moved into a house with a 3 car attached garage, which seems HUGE after moving from a two car. It is big enough for me, but what keeps me thinking of another building out back is that I'm really getting tired of laying under a car on my back.

    So, however big I'd need for a 2 post lift and one other parking spot with high enough ceilings.

    Like someone said earlier, I'm going to buy a shed, to get the lawn tools and home goods out of there. That should hold me over until I can afford a shop out back.

    I'm lucky in that my attached garage is very deep. Lots of room to work in front of the cars. There is another parking spot out of frame to the left of the Off -Topic-mobile in the pic.

    guthriesmith likes this.
  25. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,374

    from Missouri

    I have 1250 square feet in my basement and need more space as I am moving my shop from town home with luck the first of the year. So I have been on this fence on how big it has to be. I know I don't want something that I would have to get a job to keep it climate controlled.
  26. My grandpa used to tell me all the time:
    When it comes to garages start off as big as you can because they always get smaller and when it comes to women start off small because they will always get bigger.

    My first one was 30x30
    Behind 20x20
    Next one was 26x 36
    Behind 30 x24
    Then I got jammed up with a 1 car- well Fuck that and rented an 11x35 & fuck that too and so across town I rented a 24 x 40.
    the 11x35 held Just stuff and the 24x40 (across town fuck that) was the shop. It wasn’t ideal but worked. I was looking!
    I stumbled on a really really 30x100 with loft, office, restrooms, 3 phase power, 21’ ceiling, gobs of outside parking for stupid cheap.
    So that’s 3000 sq feet - I walked in there and thought what the hell am I going to do with all this. Land lord said “do whatever you want, have a licensed electrician do any electrical work and don’t call me unless the roof is leaking” that was a nice shop. It took me a while but I managed to over stuff it.
    So I sub leased 3000 more from my neighbor and spread out a little making it nice. Then my other neighbor who became a good friend got bad news from the doctor, I took over his leases and bought out his shop contents, that makes 9000 sq feet total now. Too much, too big, too much walking, to hard to keep track of what’s where.
    So next is the current and last one. Ever move 9000 sq feet of crap? Fuck that I’ll never do it again and that’s why this is my last one.
    72x60 shop (still building out and unpacking 2 yrs) with 72x30 overflow building ( still clusterfuck), and 2 lean too @ 12x36.
    Dan Hay likes this.
  27. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 1,162


    I'm probably the odd man out, but I don't subscribe to the "bigger is better" approach when it comes to shop size. I have a 32' X 48' shop building and it has a divider wall 2' off center, so I have 32' X 26' and a 32' X 22' spaces (outside dimensions). My "shop side" is the 32' X 26' and it's big enough to have a car under construction with room left over. Around the perimeter I have my equipment. On one side is my air compresser, fairly large band saw, mill/drill, drill press, bench grinder, iron worker, lathe, parts washer. Back wall has a storage cabinet, a workbench that's too long and 75% just becomes a place to put clutter, and modest roll-around tool box with top box. The other side wall has a 40 ton press, storage rack for rearends and other axles, bead-blast cabinet, 54" metal brake and another storage cabinet. If I were to add anything, it would be more wall-mounted storage cabinets with doors on them.

    The other side of my shop (32' X 22') is the "storage side" and has a 4-post lift (which I'm thinking of selling to free up floor space) where I have a car under and one on the ramps. If I were to get rid of the lift which I only use for "storage" I wouldn't have to mess with moving the car from underneath to get to my T roadster which is on the ramps, and maybe I'd drive it a little more. There are various storage shelves and a steel rack for tubing, angle and such.

    I didn't mean to bore anyone with such details of my shop but my point is it doesn't take a garage-mahal to have enough room to work and keep things, but it does take organizing and staying relatively tidy. And no, I don't put everything away at the end of every day.

    Beanscoot likes this.
  28. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,629


    I dream of having 10,000 square feet. I'm at about 1150 or so now. That's not enough.
    Always said if I won the lottery, I'd have a garage that'd make the big NASCAR teams jealous.
    The idea of a football field size building appeals to me. Then I might be able to find my stuff again.
  29. the oil soup
    Joined: May 19, 2013
    Posts: 186

    the oil soup
    from Tucson,AZ

  30. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 589


    My current shop is 30 X 40 and right now it's packed tight. If you are building a shop I would say build it twice as big as you think you need. In a short time you will wish you built it bigger.
    Wanderlust and triumph 1 like this.

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