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Old 03-06-2012, 06:23 PM   #1
Blaise W OP
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Garage Mahal, first step!

A garage is equipment, isn't it? Moderators will plug this where it belongs if this is not it.

As a long-time bathelor I have wanted for a long time to have a man-cave, garage-mahal, or what ever you'd like to tag it. Finding a spot was the problem, and I looked near and far, literally, for a place that it would fit in, while not breaking the bank for property and taxes. I found it! I live in a pretty nice part of Houston, but you'd never get away with a big garage cum residence here. I didn't want to move far away from my friends and family, so I persevered and identified a very small, unique street just about two miles from here, same zip code, with mixed construction; older residences and some metal buildings for auto repair, etc. It is an area that is redeveloping and is just outside the inner loop where prices are sky high. This spot is near a railroad, so I'll have to get used to that, but I don't think it will be a problem the way I sleep. I can hear the same trains from my home here, but I'll obviously be much closer in the future. I found this lot one day and made an offer the next; accepted. Now it is off to the races to get finished by the end of the summer. Sadly, some of my travel plans may be interrupted, but so be it.

I have two lots, platted as one, and the dimensions are 130' x 116, located next to last lot on a street off of another that is little traveled except by locals and folks who work at the nearby millwork plant. That building is a beauty from the 30's or 40's, modern styled for then, and a virtual landmark. My plans are to build a single long metal building, 36' x around 110', with loft space if not room for a second story. It all depends on dollars, but since the residence will be just the end two bays and the rest garage space, it shouldn't be too much. Fingers crossed. Construction cost here in Houston is pretty good, thankfully. As a retired architect, I'll spiff up the metal building skin a bit, use commercial storefront for the doors and windows, and commercial doors and frames inside. It will be fairly contemporary in appearance. There will be a bay for my travel trailer, and plenty of space for cars, trucks, and most of all, motorcycles. Oh to have room for work benches and tools, wall storage, loft storage, and whatever. Gotta have a shop bathroom and shower too, with space for a guest room. The residence will have two small bedrooms, one bath, and a common kitchen,dining room, living room. That's all I need folks!

Close on the property probably next week, then clear and grub the lot, make sure two huge pecan trees are healthy, get rid of the other trash trees and get my metal building company working on the real plans. They are estimating off of a sketch for now. OK, I'm excited, and just thought I would "share". If you guys were doing this, what acutremonts would you put in that glorious garage space?
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:39 PM   #2
KJUtah
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All Hail! The Garage Mahal!

That is AWESOME! I Have had the same plan for years, although marriage got in the way of it for some time. Well no more;~)
I was divorced last summer and have been looking for the ideal property that sounds just like what you have found. I live in the Salt Lake City area and need to stay in the area as I have a little girl that needs to stay local.

I have been looking for both an acceptable lot or even something existing in a light industrial area....I have always told my friends "I need a 3,000 SF garage with a 200 SF home;~)

Keep us posted on your progress....
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:10 PM   #3
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The wife and I have been wanting to make an inner loop compound similar to what you describe for almost a decade now and have found it to be cost prohibitive. We were thinking east side before the Metro rail line started laying tracks now that has been ruled out. North side maybe? I am looking forward to your progress report.

What would I put in there?

Shop shower for sure, an industrial sink is handy from time to time, swing and trampoline for the wife, place to wash dogs, wood storage area/room, small machine shop, small wood shop, wood fired stove for the two days of winter we have, kinetic sculpture (I tried to sell the wife on putting a Ducati in the living room once that way, didn't work as planned no duc), an auto lift if it is in the budget (or sunken bay if you are brave and can afford it), stereo, projector, and some sort of beer fridge or kegerator.

I forgot some sort of moveable chain hoist mounted to the ceiling/rafters.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:08 PM   #4
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what would i do?

Me too, I'd do a woodburning stove, if power goes down due to ice storm, you're covered. I built my shop with HVAC heat pump, and if the emergency element kicks on, well let's just say it would have paid for the stove and bought delivered firewood. Shop shower/sink - a must, a motorcycle lift is oh-so nice (thank you very much). But I didnt think of the chain hoist - I'd go a step further and make a sliding rail for just the front portion of the Shop for pulling a truck engine or loading/moving machinery with an electric hoist! Only need about 2000# capacity here. I'm too old to pull on chains! The beer fridge in shop is nice - I've got one but if your humble abode is 20 steps away under the same roof, why bother. I'd go with a hot-tub. Think of the chicks you'd impress! (besides, they like drinks from a blender........) Congrats on the new property purchase! Building/Designing Shops is fun!!!
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:15 AM   #5
#328
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I forgot something...

Not sure if your new place will have alley access (I know a few neighborhoods in Houston do) I would put doors that open at the fore and aft of the property specifically to be able to pull in from either side. The other benefit would be to add a giant shop fan that would allow you to blow out all of the hot air during the summer. Or on days when the weather is nice like the past two weeks you could open both doors and have a nice breeze while you work.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:46 AM   #6
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I agree on the shop sink and shower/bath for the major grunge removal.

I'd also want a motorcycle lift (Handy?) but I'd want it built into the floor so that the floor of the lift is leveled to the shop floor - I'm short so I can't reach the ground if on a lift!!

I like the idea of the sliding rail hoist for easy bike teardown or auto engine removal as well.
I also didn't see anyone mention full sound system built in to the shop, and a computer work station for getting on advrider to get help when stumped!!

Full Spectrum lighting with electronic ballasts as well - I'm getting older and need good lighting to see stuff any more!

Good luck, post pics when you can!!

Dave
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:52 AM   #7
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This is truly livin the dream.

Best of luck with the project.

Looking forward to the pics.

C
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:40 AM   #8
Dan Alexander
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I find my kitchen works well. Fridge and stove are there for food or drink, sink and dishwasher for cleaning parts and the shower is upstairs. Easy entry through the patio door and it's got heat and A/C





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Old 03-07-2012, 12:02 PM   #9
usafe7ret
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I'd plumb it for compressed air outlets in the shop area, as well as a good electrical service panel to run a nice size compressor and also a mig/tig outfit. A nice flat-panel TV on the wall and some nice service flooring mats in the non-grease/oil areas would be fun.
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:44 PM   #10
Blaise W OP
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Great ideas all; keep them coming. There will be a garage door in the back wall for ventilation, but it will be too close to the back line for much access. I'm squeezed between a giant Pecan tree and the back fence. Lots of outlets for everything, shop shower and bathroom absolutely required, and I'll have as much "loft" storage for five guys. I've thought about putting a floor pit in one bay, like in the old time garages, but we have a real high water table so I would have to have a sump pump. Still, maybe I will. That might cost more than a good used auto lift though. I'll have a fireplace or wood stove in the house, but probably not the garage. Would like to, but getting wood is an issue. We used to have a family ranch where there was an endless supply just for the cutting, but no more. When I did construction in WA state we collected all wood scraps and cut them up to feed into the shop heater. It kept our heavy equipment shop nice and toasty. Hmmmmm.

I will have to get a SmugMug account set up so I can post pics and let everyone follow along. Got a bid for clearing and grubbing today, and the building estimate is coming along. Want to finish by Fall and do the finish work this winter. There will be plenty of room for inmates passing thru Houston on their way somewhere else. It's a great town for business and to make a living, but for scenery, not so much. Still, it's home, and I'm a native. 'Have to throw a party when it's all done.
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaisew View Post
but we have a real high water table so I would have to have a sump pump. Still, maybe I will. That might cost more than a good used auto lift though. I'll have a fireplace or wood stove in the house, but probably not the garage. Would like to, but getting wood is an issue.
I understand the high water table and know of a few basements in the bayou city. The sump pump only works if there is power. The only time I had an issue with water in our basement was after hurricane Ike knocked a few trees into my house which added new new water features. Our power was out for 17 days and I decided on day two to make 35 trips with a 5 gallon bucket from the basement to the front lawn.

Wood may not be an issue, there are plenty of pallets left out in Heights on the curb. I imagine any neighborhood where they are building new townhouses to be the same. Transportation on the other hand can be a PITA if you don't have a truck or van capable of moving them. Additionally I remember reading in the paper that the COH was thinking that a significant portion of the trees (5% maybe) may need to be felled this year due to the drought last year.

#328 screwed with this post 03-08-2012 at 12:37 PM
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaisew View Post
There will be plenty of room for inmates passing thru Houston on their way somewhere else. It's a great town for business and to make a living, but for scenery, not so much. Still, it's home, and I'm a native. 'Have to throw a party when it's all done.
Is Houston actually on the way to anywhere???
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:59 AM   #13
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Check out the long running thread Show us your garage / man cave in this forum for inspiration and ideas.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:23 AM   #14
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Kidding? Houston is on the way to EVERYWHERE.......as long as you're coming from South America.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:35 PM   #15
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Kidding? Houston is on the way to EVERYWHERE.......as long as you're HEADED TO South America.
fixt and or headed east/west on 10. Kind of boring however it parallels the Amtrak that runs east/west.
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