11 Steps on Building a Workshop In the Garage (Home Workshop)

Apart from parking your car and storage, you can use your garage as a home workshop. Building a workshop in the garage will take some modification. The secret is to make improvements and make the space ideal for the type of work that you want to do. A home garage can be transformed into a woodworking shop or an auto shop.

When it comes to building a workshop in the garage, you need to consider how you are planning to use it. A home workshop can be used for hobby woodworking or auto repair. You can also use for your small home-based woodworking business.  

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Steps on building a workshop in the garage

1. Determine the ideal size

The first step is to determine the ideal size for your home workshop. If you are planning to set up a workshop, think about what you are going to use it for. Woodworking workshops need more space compared to auto repair workshops. For woodworking workshops, you will need to set up machines for cutting wood, and the large planks of wood will need a lot of space.

For beginners, a good size for a workshop should be at least 10 by 13 ft. It is also advisable to leave an allowance of 2 ft to take care of the walking space in the garage. This size of floor space will also be enough for you once you decide to do woodworking professionally. If you want to go small and you have very limited space, you can build a workshop floor space of 8 by 9 ft.

building a workshop in the garage

2. Garage workshop floor

Your workshop floor makes all the difference in your garage. It is important to think about the type of floor that you want for your garage, depending on how you will use the space. The floor should be strong, functional and easy to clean.

When working on a workshop, you will have to deal with the accumulation of dust, oil spills and other functions. It is important to look for a floor that will be easy to clean like epoxy. Epoxy flooring is ideal for workshops because of the ease of cleaning. In the case of oil spills, it is easy to wipe off the oil without much effort.

Installing epoxy flooring is quite affordable, and it is also strong garage flooring. A strong floor is important for your workshop because the vibration from the machines can damage your floor. Using epoxy in your garage floor is usually the best option for most workshops.

Using garage floor mats can also be helpful in the workshop. In areas where you are likely to experience oil spills, using garage floor mats will help you to trap the oil and make it easy for you to clean. In case you have a concrete floor in the garage, adding garage floor mats or tiles will be helpful to make the space easy to clean because concrete can be a porous material.

When choosing flooring for your garage flooring, make sure that it is strong, easy to clean and affordable. It is also advisable to avoid slippery garage flooring because it can cause accidents in the workshop.

3. Come up with good home workshop plans

Creating a good workshop can make all the difference in the work you do. It is advisable to create a layout that will allow you to do work efficiently. Here are three things to consider when it comes to creating a good workshop layout:

  • Location and size of machines – when creating a garage layout, consider the location and size of your machines. It is advisable to buy machines that can fit your workshop. You should also consider the position of your machines in the workshop when coming up with a layout.
  • Workbenches – apart from machines, you will need workbenches. It is important to set aside work areas in your garage that you can use to cut your wood, polish and do other tasks.
  • Storage – Storage is also an important factor when choosing a workshop layout. You need to set aside space for storing tools in the layout.

4. How to create a good workshop layout

Start with a basement workspace

When creating a workshop layout, your work surface is everything. Create a work surface where you can cut your wood and also assemble your items. There are different types of work surfaces that you will need for your workshop, such as a table saw, cut off saw, work table and workbench. Here are some ideas on arranging the work surface in your workshop:

  • Workbench – it should be placed near the window on a wall. It is a good idea to have a beautiful look as you continue working.
  • Cut off saw – look for the longest wall and make sure that it has space on both sides. You should be able to cut long chunks of wood without any issue.
  • Table saw, and work table – both of these can go to the centre of the workshop.

Come up with an organic flow

An organic flow in the workshop will make your job easy. Think about how you do things in the workshop and come up with an arrangement that will help you to bring efficiency and reduce manual work. For instance, the first step in every workshop is to cut the big chunks of wood in a small space.

It means that the cut off saw should be stored next to where wood is stored. Next to the cut off saw you should have other saws like jigsaws. It is all about making sure that the floor of work is as smooth and as coordinated as possible.

Plan your elevation

Planning your elevation is always a good idea. You need to have an abstract plan on how you are going to plan your walls. Apart from your garage saws and other tools, you will need to have ventilation, lighting and also power station. With proper planning, you can be able to fit everything in your garage without any issues. Make sure that you get enough shelving and cabinets to store all the tools that you will need for your workshop.

5. Electrical wiring

If you are planning to use your garage or basement as a workshop, the existing wiring might work. You will need to change the electrical lines to match the demands of a workshop. For a woodworking shop, you will need to power your tools, charge them and also do get some lighting.

It is important to have sufficient electrical outlets and also lighting to make work easy in your workshop. When it comes to upgrading your electrical wiring, it is advisable to hire an electrician to help you with the process.

Basics electric outlet for powering your tools

  • Electric wiring should be the last thing – it is always advisable to do electrical wiring as the last thing. Once you have established where you will place all your power tools, you can decide about the electrical outlets.
  • It will take two 20-amp lines to power two power tools (table and circular saws). If you want to power commercial machines such as welding machines, then you need more power.
  • If you are using hand tools like drills, a 15-amp line is sufficient.
  • For garage workshop lighting you will need a 15-amp line to keep the space well-lit.

Basics for lighting your workshop

  • Overhead lighting – overhead lighting is important for every garage space. You need to have good ceiling lighting to make the space well-lit. If you have a high ceiling, make sure that you get the best lighting for a high ceiling.
  • Cabinet lighting – apart from overhead lighting, you will also need cabinet lighting. Cabinet lighting should be installed under the cabinet so that you can be able to view your tools without using any other types of lighting.
  • Workspace lighting – workspace lighting can be useful for your garage. With this type of lighting, you can illuminate your worktable so that you can see what you are working on.
  • Portable lighting – you will also need garage lighting so that you can take to different areas of the garage whenever you need to work.

6. How to organize basement workshop

Tool storage is an important factor in the garage. You need to make sure that you have enough storage space for your tools. With proper storage in your workshop, it will be easy to keep everything organized to avoid loss of tools. If you want to avoid rust and theft of tools in the garage, having proper tool storage in the workshop can be very helpful.

Tool storage tips in the workshop

Wall storage

Using wall storage is the most effective way to store tools in your garage. It is an affordable way to keep your tools organized. Wall storage is the best form of storage when working with limited space. It helps you to save on the floor storage, and you can keep track of all your tools. Here are some of the common types of wall storage:

  • Prosalat wall – a proslat wall is a good storage option for tools. You attach the proslat panels to your wall, and you can later use hooks to hang your favourite tools. With a proslat wall, you can store even the heaviest types of tools. A proslat is made using PVC, and it is the best type of material for tool storage on garage workshop.
  • Pegboard – installing a pegboard is also helpful in keeping the workshop organized. When it comes to pegboards, make sure that you get the right size of pegboard. There are a variety of pegboard materials but still is the ideal material for garage workshop. A steel pegboard can carry the weight of all the garage tools.
  • Hooks – using hooks is beneficial in the workshop. You can use hooks to store some of the tools that are easy to hang. Make sure that you use strong hooks so that you can support the tools that you would like to store.

tools on workshop

Cabinet storage

Using cabinets is a smart way to store your garage tools. Garage tool cabinets are the best because they are lockable. If you want to secure your tools using cabinets is always a good idea. Steel cabinets are the best for tool storage. The good news is that you can get chests that can double as cabinets for small tools.

Storage bins

In case you have small tools and accessories like nails, storage bins can be beneficial. You can use storage bins to keep small tools and prevent loss. It is also possible to use storage bins for tools that you do not use regularly. For proper tool storage, buy different sizes of tools, bins and containers to keep everything that you want.

Tool chest

You can also find tool chest for garage tool storage. Using tool chests will keep tools organized. We have tool chests that come with a workbench, and they are the best for garage. Tool chests that have wheels are the best for the garage because you can move them to any part of the garage where you want to use them.

7. Heating and cooling

Heating and cooling the garage workshop is very important. Since most of the garage workshops are not insulated, you need to look for a way to heat and cool the space. If you are going to spend a lot of time in space, comfort should be your main goal.

Vent-free garage heating

Vent-free garage heating is the most affordable way to heat your garage. If you are looking for a short term heating solution that will save you money, it is advisable to consider vent free garage heating. When it comes to vent free garage heating, here are some two heating options to consider:

  • Portable infrared heaters – portable infrared heaters are the best for garage heating. You can move the heater to your work station to stay home. An electric infrared heater will be the best because it is easy to use and you do not have to do any venting in the garage.
  • Woodburning stove – a wood-burning stove is important for your garage. If you want to heat your garage workshop cheaply, using wood is a good idea. However, you have to look for a way to get rid of the smoke and also keep monitoring the woodstove.

Vented garage heating

Using vented garage heating is also a good way to heat your workshop. However, with vented heating, you have to make a little bit more investment. You will need a heating expert to come to your garage workshop and do the installation. Vented garage workshop heating is expensive, but it will be cheaper and efficient for your garage in the long-term. Here are two heating options for your garage:

  • Radiant heating – radiant heating is the most common way of heating the garage. With this method of heating, hot water pipes are installed in your garage wall and floor. The hot water in the floor and walls keep your garage warm. For radiant heating, you need a garage expert to do the installation. It is a durable method to heat your garage space.
  • Natural gas heating – with natural gas heating, you will need to connect gas to your garage workshop. You can use natural gas to heat the garage, and it will end up being affordable and efficient in the long run. However, when using natural gas heating, you have to be careful. Natural gas is prone to leakage, and you have to keep monitoring the garage to avoid fire accidents.

NOTE: Do not use forced-air heating system in the garage. If you are going to heat a woodworking garage, it is important to avoid the spread of dust. A forced-air heating system is not the best for a workshop because it spreads dust in different parts of the room.

8. Basement workshop ventilation 

It is important to think about air quality when setting up a garage workshop. You need to make sure that you have a good supply of fresh air. In a woodworking workshop, there is a lot of dust, and it is advisable to protect your lungs from damage.

One of the ways to improve air quality is to add a window. A window in the home garage can be helpful in bringing in fresh air when working in the garage workshop. Make sure that you keep the window open when working so that you can get fresh air.

Using an air filter in the garage can also be helpful when it comes to purifying the air. Install an air filter system in the garage ceiling to keep the air in the garage clean. When buying an air filter system, make sure that you buy one that is enough for your garage size. Buying the right size of garage filter can make all the difference.

9. Adopt a dust collection system

Adopting a dust collection system in the garage can be very helpful. If you are running a woodworking garage, there are chances that you will have a lot of dust in the garage. It is important to have a way to get rid of the dust for health and also hygiene purposes. Using a dust collector in the garage can help you to get rid of the dust before it escapes.

When looking for a dust collection system, make sure that you look at the features. A good dust collector should have a compact design. It should also be easy to manoeuvre so that you can remove dust to all parts of the garage. When working with a dust collector, make sure that you have a mask. Wear a mask and goggles to make sure that you do not inhale all the dust around you.

10. Buy the basic workshop tools

You can only call your garage space a workshop after stocking it with the right tools. Buying basic tools can help you to start creating projects. It is advisable to start with the basic tools and get more tools as you go on and determine your needs. Here are some basic workshop tools for beginners:

  • Toolset kit – The best way to save money is to get a toolset kit. A good toolset will have everything that you will need in the garage. It has a majority of the important hand tools for home repairs and projects.
  • Chop saw – used for cutting wood in a straight line. This is a basic saw that can be used to cut all types of wood. Just like the name suggests, a chop saw is used for chopping wood.
  • Miter saw – if you are interested in cutting wood in angles or corners, a miter saw is a right bet for you.
  • Circular saw – this is the most versatile saw in your workshop. It is hand-helps and can be used to cut wood as well as other materials due to different blades.
  • Electric hand saw – for beginners who want to do woodworking as a hobby, an electric hand saw is important for your workshop.
  • Drill – A power drill is necessary for your workshop. You will need to have a strong and powerful drill to help you with most of the garage activities like drilling nails into wood. Using a drill helps you to save time and also energy.
  • Wrenches – Wrenches come in a variety of sizes and designs. You can use them to tighten bolts and nuts when working on wood or other materials. Wrenches are affordable to buy, and you can get them in a variety of styles.
  • Utility knife – You will need to get a utility knife in your workshop. A utility knife is important for cutting some of the small items in the workshop. You can get a set of utility knives if you want to get a variety of knives.
  • Screwdriver – Using screwdrivers can be helpful in the garage. A set of screwdrivers is important for repairs around the home and can also be used to fix screws for items in the garage.
  • Hammer – A basic hammer is simple to buy and can be used to fix nails in the garage.
  • Tape measure – Make sure that you get a standard tape measure for accurate measurements.

11. Garage workshop entertainment

If you have decided to create a garage workshop, you are likely to spend a lot of time in the garage. It is important to have some form of entertainment to beat boredom. Buying a job site radio can be useful in the garage. Unlike the normal radios, Jobsite radios are resistant to dust and all the vibration. With a good job site radio, you can be able to listen to music when working. Mounting a television on one of the walls might also be a good idea to watch movies as you work.

The type of garage workshop that you create will depend on the type of work that you will be doing. Woodworking workshops are a little bit different from auto workshops. Take time and personalize you workshop depending on the type of work that you will be doing.

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