Challenges in a smaller garage

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Challenges in a smaller garage

This is a discussion on Challenges in a smaller garage within the Off Topic/Fun forums, part of the General Forums category; I'm downsizing to a developer-special two car garage because my wife and I retired and are moving to a condo townhouse closer to family in ...

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Thread: Challenges in a smaller garage

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    Rising Star Baxter's Avatar
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    Challenges in a smaller garage

    I'm downsizing to a developer-special two car garage because my wife and I retired and are moving to a condo townhouse closer to family in Wisconsin.

    The new garage is about 22 feet square. And we need to fit two cars, the Little Red Ninja, two of those giant trashcans that the robotized trash trucks can pick up (one's recycling), two bicycles, and all garage-y items such as the shop-vac, pressure washer, hose reel, etc. This will be a challenge. But I think we can park the Little Red Ninja between the cars and walk around the front or sides to get into the cars, with the trash cans off to one side. We experimented as we've moved part of our belonging in already, and the Old Girl is now parked in her new home. (We've returned to ND to keep up our house and yard while it's still on the market, so there's a good case of self-pity on each day it would be good to go riding.)

    My other issue is that my workbench is now in the basement, and I need to get some sort of bench or table in the garage for occasional light use--really just a work surface, no need for anything that can withstand pounding or hold a vise. So I'm thinking of mounting a fold-up workbench to the wall and having some pegboard above it. I'm thinking of something along these lines: https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Bench-c...ay&sr=8-2&th=1 It can fold down and be out of the way most of the time, but I can get a work surface when I need it.

    I can also just get the hinged brackets and use my own shelf/tabletop, that could work as well. See https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P5K4B5S...a-ff62a9822dac

    Does anyone have experience with using a fold up, wall mounted shelf as a workbench?

    I've also put the walls to work with additional shelving and brackets for as much stuff as I can imagine will be in the garage, including some high up shelves that can be used for the things we need but use infrequently. Any other thoughts for maximizing storage and function?
    2007 Ninja 650R. IBA: 2015 SS1000; 2016 SS1000/BB1500 combo

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    Up-And Comer CrateCookie's Avatar
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    We hang our bicycles from the ceiling above the car hoods. Only hitches are cars have to back out to get them down and either bikes be down or car on driveway to work under the hood.

    Also, we park our cars in a wedge and the Ninja goes between them up front.

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    Obo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baxter View Post
    The new garage is about 22 feet square.
    I first read this as 22 square feet and not 22 feet square and thought this has to be a trolling post
    Baxter likes this.
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    complete with extra "stuff"

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    Rising Star Baxter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obo View Post
    I first read this as 22 square feet and not 22 feet square and thought this has to be a trolling post
    Ha! 22 feet wide by 22 feet deep. Only a 16 foot wide door.
    2007 Ninja 650R. IBA: 2015 SS1000; 2016 SS1000/BB1500 combo

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    Rising Star Baxter's Avatar
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    CrateCookie, this was supposed to be a reply with quote:

    The former owner had one bike hook for horizontal mounting on the wall in the back of the garage, and one bike fits on that while the other fits very well underneath the wall-mounted bike. So I might keep this feature. Some relatives have hung their bikes from ceilings, it seems to work well. One has a recumbent trike https://www.icetrikes.co/ that he raises with a pulley device. That might be tempting.

    I think your wedge idea is what we are going with--the cars squeeze into the 16 foot wide door and then splay toward the outside walls so that the bike is accommodated between them, so far forward of the cars that the front doors can still be opened.
    Last edited by Baxter; 05-28-19 at 02:42 PM.
    2007 Ninja 650R. IBA: 2015 SS1000; 2016 SS1000/BB1500 combo

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    Obo
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    For your folding workbench here's a great set of plans if you want something foldable and sturdy when the need arises.

    1.png

    I'm a fan of simple built over metal cantilever spring hinges, but as long as it works for you it's all good.

    Free Plans ? Remarkable Woodworks

    There's a video on Instagram of it and there may be stuff on his other social media channels as well..
    2004 Kawasaki ZR-7S
    complete with extra "stuff"

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    Rising Star Baxter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obo View Post
    For your folding workbench here's a great set of plans if you want something foldable and sturdy when the need arises.

    1.png

    I'm a fan of simple built over metal cantilever spring hinges, but as long as it works for you it's all good.

    Free Plans ? Remarkable Woodworks

    There's a video on Instagram of it and there may be stuff on his other social media channels as well..
    That's a practical use of space and looks good and sturdy. A few decades ago I would have wanted something like that, perhaps arranged with a wall mounted frame that keeps the folded table top a few inches off the wall so a pegboard could be mounted over the table. But now I'm not going to have more tools than just what I need for occasional home repairs, and bike maintenance or installing new farkles. I've already sold or gifted the bigger tools and equipment to family and friends who needed them. And if I do want to make something, nearby family have a full woodworking shop that I can use.

    All of the adults in the family who are handy already have good tools of their own. But I've had my eye on some of the high schoolers in the family who are interested in how things work and learning to do things for themselves. So far, it only looks like one nephew and one niece in that age bracket are interested in being handy. I want to gift them some of my better hand and power tools when they move out and set up their own homes. I have my Dad's drill and circular saw, both better quality than most you can find at a reasonable price, and I want them to go to someone who will appreciate them.

    As you can probably tell, I've been thinking too much lately on ageing even though I've just barely retired and my wife and I don't have any meaningful health issues. I really need to be riding my Little Red Ninja instead of thinking about how easy it would be to install a wheelchair ramp in the new condo.
    2007 Ninja 650R. IBA: 2015 SS1000; 2016 SS1000/BB1500 combo

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    Up-And Comer damonrider's Avatar
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    I second the ceiling mounts for the bicycles. Wall space is too valuable in a small garage to have a bicycle there. I only have one stall, so my space is even more precious. I don't know how high your ceiling is, but you might consider adding a two foot or so shelf near the ceiling since that is all unusable space anyway. That really adds storage space and helps get things off the ground. I also first read that as 22 square feet, haha!
    "I like life on the road. It’s a lot easier than civilian life. Enter moto."

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    Supreme Being twowheeladdict's Avatar
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    Smaller cars?
    Skill is what keeps you on two wheels.

    Situational awareness combined with skill is what keeps you out of harm's way.

    ATGATT combined with Situational Awareness and Skill means you might live to ride another day when that deer runs into your bike or that drunk blows through that stop sign.

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    Obo
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
    Smaller cars?
    Now there's a radical idea for downsizing
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    complete with extra "stuff"

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    Rising Star Baxter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
    Smaller cars?
    I picked what I thought would be a small enough car when I replaced my Camry about 4 years ago--I went with a compact Civic. Now, I'm thinking that I missed an opportunity to go small enough. Probably should have bought a Fit, New Beatle, Mini Cooper, or something subcompact.

    My wife has a midsized Subie Legacy. I don't see her going smaller when it's her turn for a new car next year.
    Last edited by Baxter; 06-13-19 at 11:11 AM.
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    Rising Star Baxter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damonrider View Post
    I second the ceiling mounts for the bicycles. Wall space is too valuable in a small garage to have a bicycle there. I only have one stall, so my space is even more precious. I don't know how high your ceiling is, but you might consider adding a two foot or so shelf near the ceiling since that is all unusable space anyway. That really adds storage space and helps get things off the ground. I also first read that as 22 square feet, haha!
    I put up some wall-mounted shelves, with a good two foot deep shelf up high--I have about 9 feet of height in the garage. I'll probably be looking into ceiling mounts for the bikes once we get the rest of our stuff to the new place. But for now, we're alternating between "camping" at the new place and returning home for yard work (an acre and a half) and other maintenance while we're selling the olde heap. So we don't have all of the stuff we're taking with us there yet and it's difficult to judge exactly how much storage capacity we'll need. I tend to err on the side of more. Anything car or motorcycle related will be in the garage, but we're shedding any and all yardwork or landscaping tools so that'll lighten the storage needs. Still, we want to have a lot of storage on the main living level where the garage is because we are anticipating the next 30 years. Those basement stairs are easy in our 50's but may become difficult to manage in our 80's.

    But there's also a basement storage room. I have two 8 foot long "Extreme Garage" brand shelves, one 6 footer and also a four foot set of shelves. The basement storage is actually two shelving units greater than we have had in our house. My workbench was easily set up in another basement space next to the furnace and hot water tank.

    I've tried out the bike in the front middle of the garage with a car first to one side and then to the other, and I think it will work. But since we've only "commuted" with one of our cars, it remains to be seen whether I can maneuver the Little Red Ninja between both cars while parked.
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    Up-And Comer CrateCookie's Avatar
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    I've found it easier to back the bike in instead of going in the garage head first. Once you get past the narrow part at the entrance, it gets easier. That's compared to it getting progressively tighter as you're trying to back out in the morning. Also, made a "measuring stick" that's the width of my mirrors to see if a car needs to move in case my wife parks too close to center. I keep the stick next to the door for the rare occasions it looks close.

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    Rising Star Baxter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrateCookie View Post
    I've found it easier to back the bike in instead of going in the garage head first. Once you get past the narrow part at the entrance, it gets easier. That's compared to it getting progressively tighter as you're trying to back out in the morning. Also, made a "measuring stick" that's the width of my mirrors to see if a car needs to move in case my wife parks too close to center. I keep the stick next to the door for the rare occasions it looks close.
    I'll give that a try when we have both cars there.
    2007 Ninja 650R. IBA: 2015 SS1000; 2016 SS1000/BB1500 combo

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