: what size garage to build ??? 24' x 30' ?

the walrus
Aug 21st, 07, 9:56 PM
Just bought my first home! and now I need a garage, but would like some advice on what size I should go. My lot should accept just about any reasonable size but my budget can't get carried away. I would like permanent storage for the Chevelle with room to work on it without shifting it around and repositioning it in the garage every time, with a clear spot that I can easily drive it in and out of, I would also like room for another car to be pulled in a worked on, again without shifting averything around inside. Would like to have a decent work bench, couple cabinets, set of drawrs for tools, a fridge, room for a snowmachine, motorcycle, snowblower and still not feel as though I am tripping over myself. I was hoping that a 24' wide x 30' deep should do, one 16' door, one man door and two windows. Opinions welcome - again budget is a limitation. thanks.

Aug 21st, 07, 10:13 PM
check the search on this subject. Lots of info out there.

I have a 30x36: love it

Aug 21st, 07, 10:16 PM
figure out how big you think you're gonna need - then double it

Aug 21st, 07, 10:21 PM
The biggest you can afford..

Aug 21st, 07, 10:34 PM
We are about to finish up a new 30 x 40 x 12. It will suit for the time being, but nothing is moved in and it's already not enough.

Aug 21st, 07, 10:49 PM
Don't forget to figure height too. I have a 9 foot walls and wish it was taller to fit a lift. I did'nt think I would get one but now I can't because of the height. I have a 24x32 and it is a little small for an extra car with the chevelle apart.

Aug 21st, 07, 11:12 PM
I built a 30 X 60 for a guy and hes got his Prevost ( RV ) a 69 Impala convert, 29 T bucket on a lift, His 49 Merc and an Escalade in there. Its tight but he's still got a 4 pc bathroom, compressor, and a nice workshop to boot. The height is 16' to finished ceiling which allowed us to put in a mezzanine for storage and deep cell parabolic fluorescent light fixtures.........

Aug 21st, 07, 11:30 PM
Windows let people see inside... careful where you put them.

Aug 21st, 07, 11:38 PM
I built mine 24x26 and wish it were bigger. No matter how big you built it, it will end up being too small. One thing I did that I'm glad of is using a coiling roll up door instead of a typical garage door.

Aug 21st, 07, 11:42 PM
Everyone that responded to your post has lived through this and speaks from experience. You cannot build them to big; you will always want more space. However, like a lot of us you run out of money first.

You live in Canada? Gets cool there for about six months out of the year, so a large part of your cost will involve being able to heat the space. Think about two x six or even two x eight-inch walls and then insulate as much as you can. Most construction here Minnesota uses truss for the overhead, cost of going to a vaulted ceiling is minimal and adds a lot of openness, and allows for ceiling fans, these help a lot with the heating, a vaulted ceiling also improves lighting. Speaking of heating put it in the floor.

Electrical, important you cannot have to much of this, lighting, outlets (20 amp min), 220V compressor, welding, heat and A/C.

Most important place and build the garage so you can add on to it when funds allow.

Build a shed to put all the other stuff into, the blower, snow machine, lawnmower and all that other stuff take up a lot of floor space and collect a lot of dust.

Easy for me to sit here and spend your money however, I learned my lesson the hard way.

Aug 21st, 07, 11:46 PM
For what you are describing, I'd build it wider and have two 12' doors. And just go ahead and get the taller ceilings!

What you have would be good for restoring one chevelle and having some clutter (bikes, snow blower, etc). But, that idea of parking another car in there with ease shoots those dimensions to **** in my opinion. It becomes a no brainer that you'll need something wider, or deeper.

Most people will quote you an estimate for free. That will get you a ballpark. Also consider a metal building. That might be harder to insulate though... not sure.

Aug 21st, 07, 11:56 PM
I built a 24x30 about 3 years ago, like everyone said, it's not big enough now. But I'm happy with it. I can have 2 cars in there and room to work around them. I have a workbench on the back wall and a full size fridge and my toolboxes, also a small bathroom and wash tub. I put central heat and air in it after insulating and finishing the walls. Its not fancy but comfortable to work in and hang out. Build a small shed for the snow machine and other things. Its not a show place like a lot of these guys have but it is a working garage, I do paint and body work in it. I have about $25000 in it.

Aug 21st, 07, 11:58 PM
I'll post some pics of our new one tomorrow when I get home to give you an idea of 30 x 40 x 12. I'd do it now, but it's kinda dark out and the electric is not in it yet.

Aug 22nd, 07, 1:26 AM
2 cars with room to work on one and store other stuff. 24 deep minimum, 40 width. one entry door, 2 - 9 or 10 wide overhead doors. no windows, they are only good for thieves.

I left a 24X40 which I restored and built a lot of cars in over 25 years. I could park one car and have room for a ground up on the other car plus room for equipment and tools. When not in a big project, I had a decent work area, room for two parked cars and a 12' wide stall for the lawn tractor, small trailer and all the lumber, steel and junk guys like us hoard.

I built a "garage" as I wanted to keep neighbors happy. If possible, save money and build a pole barn. for the same money, you might be able to go 26 deep (much better) and 40 wide. Three overhead doors and no windows. Space the overheads a couple feet apart and not just 12 inches or so.

Don't close off the rest of your yard by building at the side of the house or in such a way as you have no way to use more of your yard for future expansion. think about expansion now and plan for it. If you are planning to stay where you are, slow down if you have to, to build what will make you happy in 20 years! Don't scrimp on electric and lights, either.

I have been down this road 3 times and am now trying to buy some land next to me to do a 24X40 pole building.

Aug 22nd, 07, 3:37 AM
30X30 with 10 foot walls minimum- but 12 is nice if you should ever get a lift.
if money is an issue, build a basic uninsulated shell at first, then add insulation as money allows. over the course of a few seasons, you can have yourself the warm cozy work environment you've always dreamt of.
but you will quickly run out of room no matter how big you build it- car stuff is like air in that it expands to fit the space it's in.

Aug 22nd, 07, 3:43 AM
If you stay with one overhead door, it will be easier to heat.

Don't go over 16' wide, the 18 footers that I know of, are a problem, especially in any wind.

Somebody mentioned a shed, this is also a good idea.


chevelle malibu 64
Aug 22nd, 07, 11:09 AM
The house I recently bought has a 24 x 30 deep garage. Like everybody else has side, I was it was bigger. I can turn the chevelle sideways and pull another car in. I can pull the wife's van in no problem. We don't park the daily vehicles in there, too much other stuff right now. It also has a 30 feet long 10 ft wide carport on side. It allows extra space there. Plan to move one of my chevelles there. If you can't afford bigger then maybe build a carport on the side. Can put future projects or daily driver there and in the future be able to enclose it in. That is the plan for me anyhow. Also a standalone shed if you can do it where you live. Keep some of the clutter out of the garage.

Aug 22nd, 07, 11:23 AM
Build as big as code and budget will allow! My 26x62 garage is getting too small. It helps that I have 20x24 storage building out back, but I wish it was 40x80 (for now). As for my garage if I could have gone wider I would have. My last one was 30' wide and that was nice for working on the toys.

66 Malibu Man
Aug 22nd, 07, 11:33 AM
I built A 28x40 with 2 10'wide x8'high doors on the 28' wall. That way you can easily hold 4 cars. 2 wide by 2 deep. Its not a problem getting any cars out. I have even squeezed 3 across the back once.Tight squeeze! With 4 cars you can do some work. If one is apart you will get 3 with some room to work. Just the way I did it.

Aug 22nd, 07, 1:16 PM
I've got a 24 X 34 - The biggest zoning would allow. I went with 10' celings & really like it although it's not tall enough for a "storage" type lift. I also put barn roof (not sure of the name) trusses and I have a 14 X 34 storage loft up there. If they limit the sq. ft you can usually go up.


Aug 22nd, 07, 1:20 PM
Use of 16' and bigger doors usually require a laminated beam above the door, increasing cost. Single doors don't require more then the standard 2X's nailed together with the code here. Little stuff like this can save a little here and there. The price of the doors also can be more, though.
It is wise to get all this advice now and not make mistakes the rest of us have allredy done!

Aug 22nd, 07, 1:53 PM
I am in the process of planning a shop too. The biggest I can get away with looks like it will be 28' deep x 30 wide' with a 12' ceiling. Depth is my limiting factor because I need a 10' setback from my fence and 30' setback from the center of the road running in front of my house.

I could build it bigger, but I'd have to switch locations. My front yard is large, but I don't want the shop to block my view of the mountains from my livingroom. Priorities..... Will 28'x'30' be big enough? Probably not, but I figure it will comfortably hold 2 Chevelles without a lot of fuss- but not much else.

If a Chevelle is about 7' wide I'll have 16' of space to play with, width wise. A Chevelle is about 17' long so I'll have 11' of length left over. I'm hoping that will leave me with enough room to be comfortable with careful planning in locating work benches, an air compressor, tool boxes, wood stove, etc.

Right now I have a tiny 2 car garage, measuring about 20' wide x 24' deep with an 8' ceiling, and a shed measuring about 10' deep by 16' wide. I plan to use the shed for storing lawn equipment, snow blower, irrigation pumps, etc. The garage will hopefully remain available for the daily driver and a little more storage.

Typing this out makes me think I should go wider than 30'. I might be able to get away with 34'.

Oh boy.....:D

Aug 22nd, 07, 2:57 PM
28'x30' will be big enough for now. They tend to get smaller with age. If you are a packrat then 80'x160' won't be big enough.

Murphy's 4th law: "The amount of junk you accumulate equals the square of the place you have to store it". In other words double your storage space and quadruple your junk!

Aug 22nd, 07, 4:45 PM
i was able to get 5 cars in my 26X48 shop- 3 in the back with enough room to get into any of them to move it around, and 2 in the front. i could have gotten 6 in there, but then i wouldn't have been able to get in thru the side access door.
but 2 cars in the back worked out nice and left a lot of room to pull 1 car in the front and have all sorts of room to play with all around the car.

Aug 23rd, 07, 9:52 AM
I added an attached garage 10 yrs ago.
It started out as a 24 x 30, then I decided to go to 48 , then 56, and then 65 and I wanted to go out to 80 or so, and the wife put a stop to it.
Final size was 24 x 65 x 10 1/2 ceiling . I can put six cars, three motorcycles lawn mowers and a bunch of other stuff. However, all that is really packed.
Since my boys have moved away, I have half of it for me chevelle and work shop. Amounts to around 24 x 34. I would say that that is really the minimum if you are planning a restoration. That is also without storing lawn equipment or anything else. I have two 17foot doors that are steel insulated, no windows. These doors are very strong and have sagged very little when they are up. I plan to put braces on the backs which will take all the sag out. Their insulating quality falls in the not bad catagory, but could be better. I have a drop down bug net for my Chevelle bay that zips up to keep bugs out in the summer nights. I have a 150 watt Fisher stero, dvd and DSS with a refrigerator for beer.
I have 4 bays that have 4 outlets per bay. 230 volt for the compressor and welders and an overhead electric heater which is not very cost effective, but, compared to fuel oil or propane is not too bad.

good luck on your garage, hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy mine.

Aug 23rd, 07, 9:59 AM
I went from no garage to a 24x36 3 car garage plus a 30x36x14 workshop with a 12x30 loft. Four years later I'm out of room. It doesn't take long. Sad thing is, I have 5 cars, and 3 of them are sitting outside. Go as big as you can, you'll never regret it.

Aug 23rd, 07, 4:21 PM
I had a 20'X24' and tore it down and built a 22'X40'. It didn't matter becuase my wife and daughter filled it with so much crap I still can't move around in it!! Build it as big as you can, but the amount of crap you accumulate will always fill the available space.

Aug 23rd, 07, 4:36 PM
I started with a 24' x 24' garage. Knocked the back wall out and added 26' x 30'. Then built a 12' x 16' shed, still not enough, so I built a 30' x 50' facing the other one.

Then you can wheel stuff back and forth in between them, makes them user friendly.


Go as big as you can to start with, but if you can put two up, and only heat one you will be better off. It will keep your main shop cleaner and easier to work in, you won't have the in and out traffic.


Aug 23rd, 07, 5:53 PM
The biggest you can afford..

How true that is. 24x30 would be big enough for awhile but at least how my life goes the garage fills up with other stuff so I would build as large as your budget so you wouldn't have to add on as soon in the future. A typical 2 car garage would be big enough to work on your cars but not much room for storing without getting to cluttered.

Aug 23rd, 07, 6:05 PM
Go at least three cars wide and at least 30" deep. That way you will still have enough room for you and your wife and it won't look too gawdy in the neighborhood, unless it is bigger than your house. :D That way you are keeping everyone happy and will still have enough room to work.:beers:

They are never big enough!!!

Aug 23rd, 07, 6:10 PM
I would also put windows in. It gets old not being able to see outside even in the winter. Just secure them. I added windows in mine after i built it.

Aug 23rd, 07, 6:21 PM
Or put in skylights, that way they can't see whats in there.


Aug 23rd, 07, 6:54 PM
figure out how big you think you're gonna need - then double it

Not matter how big you build it, it will eventually be too small. I had four spaces but turned the far right door into a paint booth. The other three spaces are full. And I am not a pack rat. Just a rat addict.

Aug 24th, 07, 12:34 AM
Not matter how big you build it, it will eventually be too small. I had four spaces but turned the far right door into a paint booth. The other three spaces are full. And I am not a pack rat. Just a rat addict.

You better get the hose out and break those two on the left up, that's just indecent. :D

ak 67SD
Aug 24th, 07, 2:27 AM
i agree with the go-big philosophy, the incremental cost isnt much once you are building something anyways... unforetunately i could only build 660 sq.ft. where i am, so i went 22'wx30'd, this lets me turn my car sideways and store it in the front in the winter, and still fit 2 more cars. I personally would go to an 18' wide door over the 16', it just gives more room to get in and out, and if you go higher than 8' walls, then go to an 8' high door... the extra cost for the door is negligible. most people i've heard that had 2 doors wish they had one single.
-definitely consider using an attic truss for additional storage in the attic (and roof pitch) or consider using a scissor truss for a vaulted ceiling if you ever plan on having a lift. 2x6 insulated walls are a good investment if you plan to heat the garage, consider in floor heat if you like that level of comfort or a gas fired unit heater (220 heaters can do the trick too, if you dont mind using hydro). also consider insulating the edge of the slab (2" sm) and overhang your studs over the slab/insulation.
-allow for additional venting in the garage and attic area (i.e. elec. box fans). if you are pulling wire from the house, consider running another conduit for other wiring (i have cable, internet, alarm, phone wiring in a spare conduit).
-you are in a cold climate so use a mix of incandescent and flourescent lighting so that you have light if you dont heat it inside...
-consider putting a switched outlet for your auto opener, i didnt, but i like a little bit of peace of mind when i'm out of town i kill the power to the opener and dead bolt the overhead door (i kill the power in case a relative tries to open it).

theres a few things i can think of off hand...

Aug 24th, 07, 9:02 AM
You better get the hose out and break those two on the left up, that's just indecent. :D

I've had several comments on that :D

I promise, there is nothing going on.................. :D