Having Fun

The Doc's Dream Garage

When Bill initially remodeled his home, the budget was consumed... so his garage had to wait. Years later, he's completed his garage project and is enjoying having a space to enjoy his passion for cars.

The property sits atop a hill and is backed by a steep slope and greenbelt. This limited the footprint, so Bill constructed a basement for storage and to house his air compressor. The main floor provides parking for up to four vehicles. With plans to install a lift or two, Bill could even stack a few more cars. The concrete floor is stained in red and polished. Siding from the original garage was saved and reused on the rear wall, and some of the windows were reused to keep the historic look of the building. Bills' man-cave bathroom features the nose of a Gurney Eagle hanging above the throne. There is ample wiring for power, plus in-wall compressed air with hose reels. Upstairs is a finished room for office space. Fully heated, this garage provides Bill with a great space for working on his street cars year-round. With a connecting breezeway, access is warm and dry.

Photos: J.Hobson Photography
Jeff's Multi-purpose "M House"

When Jeff G. decided to build a new garage, he had to consider not only his personal needs, but also historical appropriateness. His house, built in 1881, is a designated landmark and any new structure needed to pass strict architectural reviews. From the looks of things, Jeff has succeeded in building a garage that's functional and modern, but looks right at home on the property.

Because a 3 or 4-door garage would have overpowered the main house aesthetically, Jeff wisely settled on a tandem design. The two BMW 3 series cars (which Jeff autocrosses) are easily accessible from the front, and his dedicated track car (an "almost street legal" M3) is nestled in the back shop area. Jeff chose a barn-like form, and intentionally created a design that rambled, as if it may have been added onto over the years. Two smaller wings, one for lawn and garden equipment, and one for sporting goods, are kept separate from the cars.

The shop area features an integrated lift, ceiling mounted hose reels, and separate "dirty room" for washing parts. It also incorporates a restroom and comfortable seating area (complete with flat-screen television). Why would a guy ever need to leave?
The Best Room in Gus' House

Now this customer is a confirmed Griot's fanatic! Almost everything in Gus' garage was found on our website and in the pages of our Handbook, including the checkered floor, stools, waste bin with vintage stickers, detailing cart, and wall-mounted wheel hangers.

Many homeowners might have attempted to camouflage the exposed plumbing and electrical conduit. Gus decided instead to highlight the features (along with the garage door tracks, openers, and ceiling light bases) by painting them glossy red. As a result, construction elements that might otherwise detract end up looking very integrated. Nice detail!

The garage also features a wall-mounted vacuum, air compressor, and retractable hose reels to keep everything off the floor and out of the way. Wall-to-wall cabinets give plenty of storage. The owner claims his favorite feature of the room is the air-conditioner, a necessity for shop work in southern Florida. When coupled with the insulated garage doors, Gus says his garage stays cooler than the main house. What a perfect place to spend some serious weekend therapy time!
Garth has twice the fun!

Garth P. had a couple toys he needed to put under a roof, including a cool vintage fire truck. One roof quickly turned into two, and now he considers his matching pair of barn-style garages "the best rooms in the house."

The structures were built using modified post-and-beam construction and a unique diagonal framing that not only looks trick from the inside, but also eliminates the need for plywood sheathing to give the building rigidity. The framing style also saves materials costs and cuts waste (the builder consistently has less than a .5% waste coefficient).

The larger building has space for a wood shop upstairs and a lift downstairs. Sliding doors give it a distinctive barn-like feel, and easy access to the fire truck. The smaller building has conventional carriage-style doors more suited to daily use of the cars and motorcycles. Both buildings feature unique design cues like plank siding and rooftop cupolas that are right at home in this beautiful rural setting.

Garth says the barns are great for getting work done, but also his favorite places to host parties. Now that's having fun in your garage!
David's Ferrari Retreat

Griot's Garage customer and Ferrari fanatic David S. saved for decades to buy his first exotic automobile, so the garage he built to house it had to reflect that passion.

David set out for a liveble look... a real home-away-from-home. To that end, he incorporated furniture, an office area, a flat-panel television, and fun memorbilia, collected since he was a kid!

Walls were finished with crown molding, and the rough structural lumber was filled, sanded, and painted. The insides of the garage doors were painted to match the walls for continuity, and the cabinets were finished with a high gloss paint for easy cleanup. For some Italian class, David created faux-stone Roman pillars from cardboard forms overlaid with fiberglass and also finished the step with Italian tiles. The garage is heated and dehumidifed. Under the flow-through tiles, the floor has a drainage system so that water does not accumulate.

David clearly knows how to have fun in his garage... our thanks to him for sharing the inspiring pictures!
Richard's Dream Garage

Richard Griot is a certified car guy. So when he set out to build his dream garage, everything had to be just right. In creating your own automotive sanctuary, a lot can be learned by looking at this project. Enjoy, and be sure to also read about Richard's Garage Tour event!

Richard's floor is two-foot ceramic tiles. The diagonal pattern gives the room a sporty look. Discuss your use with an installer and be sure the material is designed for heavy loads.

An island work area will provide both storage and work surface. Stacking storage units will maximize your wall space. Be sure to attach them to the lower cabinets and the walls for safety. Also consider safety when purchasing a lift... this is not a place to cut corners, so buy the best you can afford. In-floor lighting is an excellent way to illuminate your vehicle when it's up on a lift!

By mounting holders, reels and other items on the wall or ceiling, you'll keep the floor clean and clear of debris and obstructions. Consider powder coating garage door parts to carry through your color theme.

Garage bathrooms are a nice convenience touch. Use gloss surfaces for easy clean-up, and keep a towel dispenser close by. Add some class with tile work or use car marque items to show passion for your favorite brand. A large floor-level sink provides an excellent area to clean mops or parts.