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Thread: 25 x 25 garage / 2-post lift & garage door placement?

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    Registered User 7T1240's Avatar
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    Default 25 x 25 garage / 2-post lift & garage door placement?

    I am in the process of designing a garage with about a 25' x 25' pad. The way it is currently configured, the garage door will be on one of the gabled ends. One of the items on my wish list is a lift, probably a 2-post symetrical, and the current ceiling height is drawn at 12', with the possible addition of scissor trusses to allow a bit more overhead clearance.

    Question: For those of you who have built garages on the smaller side, how did you configure your garage door and lift placement to resolve the issue of avoiding interference between your garage door and a vehicle raised on the lift? Specifics on garage door manufacturer, type and placement of opener and track configuration are of particular interest.

    Thanks, Gary S.

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    Registered User 240ZX's Avatar
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    Just use a roll-up door!

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    Registered User 7T1240's Avatar
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    Default Ah, to live in SoCal!

    Hey 240ZX. Is there such a thing as an insulated roll-up door? I see you are in Southern California, where an insulated door might not be necessary, but it's desirable where I live.
    Gary S.

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    I have a roll up door. I don't have a lift but if I did the door tracks would be in the way as well as the door when it's rolled up. Unless the lift is mounted behind the are where the door tracks end which in my case is about 10 feet into the garage. I could see it working with the door closed if your lift was centered between the track and the screw drive/motor.
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    Suggestions
    1) modify the door track to follow the roof line-requires two custom angle tracks(can be fabbed from included tracks with a hacksaw), and modification to rafters,but it has been done before with an insulated door.
    2) A beavertail trailer type door from a trailer manufacturer.
    3) A barn door, or hangar door.

    Will
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    Are you against the idea of making a sliding door? I've seen a couple really nice setups like that.

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    what about just adding a few feet of vertical track on the sides thereby extending the upright tracks so that the curved track is closer to the roof?

    if you're on the gable end, you should have the height to do this. the door would just go up higher 'flat' before the sections started to fold at the ceiling line.
    you would probably have to use longer helper springs to make up for the increase in travel.
    Bart

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    Hi Gary:
    1. Is there some reason you must use a 25'x25' layout?

    2. Is this a secondary garage to work on your car only - or your only garage that must be shared with other vehicles?

    3. What size garage door do you have in mind? A standard 8'x16' " or.........

    4. What construction type are you planing on using? Wood Frame, Steel, Block???

    In general I agree with 240ZX - just use a Roll-up door, instead of the more typical Sectional Garage Door. The Roll-up Garage Doors seal more completely to the garage door opening in the building - so insulated or not they would most likely provide beater heat retention/ cold rejection in the Winter..

    A 12' ceiling height is plenty for the use of a lift for a Z - the typical lift only raises the bottom of the tires about 6' off the floor - and the Z is what? around 4 1/2' tall... so even with the hood partly open you shouldn't have any issues..... The only problem with scissor type trusses is they eliminate over-head storage space.

    If I had it to over - I'd make a garage at least 30' deep - that way you can park two First Generation Z's in there end to end in ony bay - three if you put one on the lift.... But more importantly - you have room at each end of the car to get around the car easily and still have room for things like work benches, tool boxes, compressors etc. at the ends of the car. 25x25= 625 sq. ft and so a 21x30 would also provide about the same total in a more work friendly layout...

    FWIW,
    Carl B.

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    Thanks to all who have replied...some good thoughts and suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beck View Post
    Hi Gary:
    1. Is there some reason you must use a 25'x25' layout?
    I believe city code says something about an additional structure not being more than half the lot width, our lot being 50'. Thus the 25' width. The depth is at least in part restricted by my wife (who is a co-contributor to the garage fund). She wants a little bit of back yard between an existing deck and the proposed garage to do a patio/courtyard/garden.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beck View Post
    2. Is this a secondary garage to work on your car only - or your only garage that must be shared with other vehicles?
    3 vehicles - '71 Z-car, '91 Miata, '78 911SC, for winter storage and wrenching. My initial thought on the 2-post was for both work on the cars and an over/under storage situation. I also believe there is a possibility of putting a car on casters (say, the Miata) and pushing it into a corner for storage. This might allow for a different lift setup - say a scissor lift.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beck View Post
    3. What size garage door do you have in mind? A standard 8'x16' " or..........
    Actually I've been thinking about going 18' x 8'. The double wide door would make it easier to back out of the garage into the alley, where my neighbor's fence sits directly on their property line opposite the proposed garage door. And the 8' height is kind of at a salesman's suggestion, citing possible future resale value to SUV owners with bike or ski racks on top.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beck View Post
    4. What construction type are you planing on using? Wood Frame, Steel, Block???
    Right now my current interest lies in SIP's (structually insulated panel sandwich of OSB/expanded polystyrene/OSB). Plans are sent off to a regional factory, they cut the SIP's to size including all rough openings, and then ship you 4 walls. But, until final drawings can be sent out to the SIP's manufacturer and a couple of stick-frame builders for estimates, I won't know for sure if the SIP's method is cost effective. The SIP's manufacturer is quoting about $5.50 / sq. ft. for the pre-fab. walls. The company is R-Control
    http://www.r-control.com/sips.asp

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beck View Post
    (snipped)If I had it to over - I'd make a garage at least 30' deep - that way you can park two First Generation Z's in there end to end in ony bay - three if you put one on the lift.... But more importantly - you have room at each end of the car to get around the car easily and still have room for things like work benches, tool boxes, compressors etc. at the ends of the car. 25x25= 625 sq. ft and so a 21x30 would also provide about the same total in a more work friendly layout...

    FWIW,
    Carl B.
    This is a good point. I could look at building right to the back of the property line to get the additional 5', but we put a 5' apron there to make it a little easier to back into the already tight alley. I think I'll buy some stakes and play around with some of these configurations this weekend.

    Thank you for all the good thoughts and information.
    Gary S.

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    [QUOTE=7T1240;212004]...snip
    I also believe there is a possibility of putting a car on casters (say, the Miata) and pushing it into a corner for storage.

    QUOTE]

    Hi Gary,

    I see you are really serious. Good. Caster work very well, if the engine is out of the car. With the engine in, it is a 2 person job at least to move the car. If you are down, I'll volunteer my Silver 240z for you to try it out. I don't recommend it. I have a neighbor who has a great garage/shop. He is a muscle car guy. 3 cars deep, 2 cars wide, 2 lifts in the back. 8 cars total.

    I may be wrong, but I think the 4 post lifts are recommended for parking under. The lift can be on castors as well. They have a bolt that can create a physical barrier to the lift dropping while something else is under it. I think they are less expensive as well. Although, they don't provide so much access to the under side of your cars. I look forward to hearing about your plans. Send me a pic when you've got something.

    Best regards,
    Bryan
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    I have a 4 post lift and a high lift door, it is within 2 inches of the ceiling. I only have 10.5 foot ceilings and I can still get most of the cars all the way up and get underneath the door, depending on which way the car is pulled on. For example the X5 has to go in reverse so the door can go all the way to the windscreen. With the 12 foot height you should not have a problem. The only disadvantage of the two post is the fact it can not move. My shop is 24X30 and if at all possible make the garage/shop as large as possible, there are many times I wish I had more room. For the rest I think you are fine. HTH, cheers Richard.

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    This is coming up more and more as the price of these things have come down to the stratisphere some of us can afford...

    Just a comment for the guys interested in the sissors lift type, a buddy of mine sold me his first sissors lift and bought a second that will lift his car high enough so he can walk under it. But he didn't want to deal with the ramps he had built so he could still park his car in the garage where the lift was located. He cut out his concrete and built a form in the shape and depth of the lift and cut a channel over to the lift motor. Then had the concrete poured. Now his sissors lift is recessed into the floor. It is a thing of beauty. Only problem is now I am going to have to do it!!!
    Here are some pics of the process...
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    Last edited by conedodger; 12-15-2008 at 10:32 AM.
    Rob
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    I haven't seen it come up yet, so I thought I'd remind you that you must have 6" thick concrete under your hoist. A friend of mine built his garage with a 6" floor and after many years when he finally got a hoist, the floor cracked within a few months. He took down the hoist and had a contractor come in to cut up the floor. They found that the original contractor had skimped and the concrete was only 4-5" thick rather than the 6" he called for. Once they repoured it to 6" he hasn't had any problems.
    Jeff
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    Quote Originally Posted by conedodger View Post
    This is coming up more and more as the price of these things have come down to the stratisphere some of us can afford...

    Just a comment for the guys interested in the sissors lift type, a buddy of mine sold me his first sissors lift and bought a second that will lift his car high enough so he can walk under it.
    A scissor lift is fine until you want to change a clutch or work on the exhaust. You can walk under it, but you can't access the bottom of the car very well. Two post is the way to go for most of us I think.
    Jon

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    The people I know that have them have the high lift tracks, so there's no interference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdefabri View Post
    The people I know that have them have the high lift tracks, so there's no interference.
    Not familiar with high lift tracks. How does that work?
    Jon

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    On the Garage Door:
    Have the architect / specifier check into Vertical Lift Tracks for the doors. These are commonly used in Industrial applications, and have a corresponding Residential use, but my knowledge is from the Industrial side. These used to be called Guillotine tracks, because as the name implies the door comes straight down like a guillotine. Depending on the amount of room above the door, you can roll the door up with the minimum deviation from straight up, up to the "standard" home 90.

    This same method gets used for Walk-In Cooler/Freezer doors.

    FWIW
    E

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    Hi Richard and all. I was pretty surprised to see this thread resurface. I began this thread (April '07) when I was in the planning stages for my garage. Things got rolling pretty good about mid-September of '07, and the building was pretty much roughed in by November of that year. Electrical was completed by about March '08. This spring and much of the summer was spent finishing the exterior and interior. Most recently, I powered up the hydronic floor heat about a week ago.

    We ended up going with 26' x 30' dimensions. The door is an insulated 18' x 8'. Wall height was set at 10', with the ceiling height being about the same. Much like conedodger suggested, I poured a pit with buried conduit to fit a scissor lift. We also incorporated radiant floor heat in the concrete pad. I did use the SIP's panels alluded to earlier in the thread, and had R-48 blown into the attic. The building holds heat quite well.

    Pictures as follows:
    1. The house we tried to emulate the style of when designing the garage.
    2. Garage mandoor, board and batten detail.
    3. Arch top windows.
    4. View from alley, garage door open. The pit for the scissor lift is currently covered by the reinforced plywood seen under the Nissan truck in this picture.
    5. Hydronic heat system, circulates propylene glycol / water mixture through hot water tank and into pex tubing in the concrete slab.

    Generally, I'm really happy with this building. Right now the Z is tucked in there with a '91 Miata, a '78 911SC, and a '96 Nissan truck. It's a bit tight, but I'm not complaining...just happy to have stewarded this project from planning to construction and near completion. Thanks to all of you who made suggestions here and elsewhere - many great suggestions were incorporated into the end result.

    Gary S.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmortensen View Post
    A scissor lift is fine until you want to change a clutch or work on the exhaust. You can walk under it, but you can't access the bottom of the car very well.
    Why is that ? It would seem, from the pictures that the two drive on ramps are not connected together - wouldn't that leave the entire undercarriage open to work on???

    FWIW,
    Carl B.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmortensen View Post
    Not familiar with high lift tracks. How does that work?
    Enrique pretty much explains it in his post. In my neighboorhood, which is a development, the builder put in these high lift tracks that basically go straight up until there is a small bit of clearance between ceiling / door / tracks. At that point, the tracks arch backward in traditional fashion, but they don't extend as far back as a traditional.

    In my garage, I have one high lift door, one traditional lift door. The high lift is the door closest to where you enter / exit the house. This was due to the possibility of traditional tracks being too low and potentially harming the homeowner if not paying attention (e.g., you'd ram your head into the tracks). Not really a likely occurrence, given that my garage is really big, but since the house is elevated, I guess it's possible if you are really tall (I am not!).

    7T1240 - nice job on that garage!
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdefabri View Post
    Enrique pretty much explains it in his post. In my neighboorhood, which is a development, the builder put in these high lift tracks that basically go straight up until there is a small bit of clearance between ceiling / door / tracks. At that point, the tracks arch backward in traditional fashion, but they don't extend as far back as a traditional.
    Got it. I thought the high lift tracks had something to do with the scissor lift.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beck View Post
    Why is that ? It would seem, from the pictures that the two drive on ramps are not connected together - wouldn't that leave the entire undercarriage open to work on???
    By Rob's description this one is a bit bigger than your traditional scissor lift which lifts the car from the body between the wheels. The "normal" scissor lifts that I've used usually lift to about 4' and are fine for doing brakes and suspension and that type of thing, but aren't good for much else, because the lift mechanism is in the way of getting under the car, and it only lifts the car 4'.

    If this is a drive on and you can walk underneath it, then it is less useful for suspension work because the car is still on it's wheels when it is lifted up in the air. Most of them have braces from side to side, I don't see that in the pictures, but even if they're not there the scissor part of the lift itself and the lack of room between the two tracks are going to be a limiting factor when you're trying to pull a transmission or a full exhaust system. You sometimes need to finagle a part around to get it out or you may need to get into a weird position to access a bolt, and 4 post lifts don't really allow for that.

    Go check out 10 auto shops and you'll see the same thing everywhere: 2 post hoists all the way around, with the possible exception of one drive on 4 post which is undoubtedly an alignment rack. At least that's the way it was at almost every shop that I worked at. 2 post is really the way to go and allows for the most access to the underside of the car. The only thing it doesn't allow for is alignments and other things that you might do with the suspension loaded, setting corner weights or removing swaybar preload, etc. I worked at one Porsche shop where we had an alignment system that worked with the 2 post hoist: it had 4 stands which were set up under the wheels and had slip plates on all 4 corners to settle the suspension. You would think that it was the best of both worlds, but it was really impractical to set the stands perfectly level, just due to the imperfections in the floor and the fact that every car would get pulled onto the 2 post hoist in a different spot, meaning that the stands wouldn't end up in exactly the same spots on the floor every time. Still, for a home owner with one race car type of situation, that's probably the best solution IMO, and it wouldn't be too hard to build the stands.
    Jon

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    Registered User conedodger's Avatar
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    I only use mine for maintanance. You have to remember Jon, 3/4 of my "herd" is rear/mid engined and aircooled. The sissors lift works wonderfully for them. I bought my 240Z basically mechanically done. So, I don't really need to get at the transmission etc. If I did I can crawl into the sissors area. A bit creapy but the thing does have safety gaches to keep it from coming down on me.
    All of that said, I would prefer a two or four post that I could lift one and park another under. In fact two would be perfect. But I am dealing with a 58 year old home and it would require pulling out the concrete and replacing it and raising the garage door. Too much bother.
    Someone around the Z world dealt with garage doors a few years back. He bought my newly built engine and drove up to get it in a garage door installation truck.
    Rob
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