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  • Inspire me – garage bike cave / office ideas
  • Premier Icon gastromonkey
    Full Member

    After finishing the house it’s time to move on to the garage. We have a double garage without a dividing wall so it’s quite a large space. I want to tidy it up and make good use of the space. I am planning to store the bikes on the wall, have a workbench and area to work on the bikes and other DIY jobs, storage for the lawn mower etc and as working from home seems to be here for a while a desk and set up to work from home.

    So go on STWers show me what you have done and inspire me.

    Premier Icon rossburton
    Full Member

    I saw a friends new garage: he basically covered the walls with OSB and hangs all the bikes on the wall, built lots of shelving for stuff, has all the tools in roller cabinets, and basically is a proper man cave. I thought a tool wall was The One True Solution but I had to admit that maybe a roller cabinet with all the tools in works better.

    If you build a workbench, remember to make it bigger than you think you need. Mine is almost two metres long and now that I’m mounting a second vice to it I wish it was another metre longer…

    Premier Icon drnosh
    Free Member

    errr. You will need a quadrouple garage.

    Premier Icon NZCol
    Free Member

    A desk in a garage will be fffffreezong! I’ve a large double with bike storage on back wall, tools and bench and it’s block with insulated roof and it’s Baltic.

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    A desk in a garage will be fffffreezong!

    I work at a desk in my garage. Little gas heater warms it up in the morning from now till winter then in winter it’ll need to be on one bar most of the time likely….. although spending money insulating it was money well spent

    2 part epoxy foam all round

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    As above – it’ll be absolutely brass working in the garage unless you do a proper conversion. We’ve done exactly that recently having had the back half of our garage converted into an office as I’m WFH full time and it could go on a fair bit longer.. and even long term I’m hoping to be WFH 3 days a week.

    Our builder, who is a good friend of mine from school, did the work once Boris said the trades could go back and the office is essentially another room in the house, just accessed from the garage via the kitchen. We needed building regs for this (not that the cooncil have sent the certs yet!). I would say be realistic about how much time you’re going to be working from home now and in the future and work out if the investment is worth it. For me, it’s been amazing as I no longer have to move around the house from kitchen, living room, bedroom etc. around my wife and daughter when they’re home. But the best thing about it, is locking the door on a Friday afternoon and not going back in until Monday morning (well, most weeks..).

    As someone mentions above though, you’ll sharp use up the space and may not have as much as you want/need. We had a weird long garage which was wider at the back where the office is. After the conversion it left us with a ‘normal’ garage maybe a little bigger than a standard single.. There’s a couple of biggish shelving units, turbo trainer, boiler, MTB, BMX, towbar rack, washer, tumble, jetwasher, shoe rack and some car washing gear and that’s it pretty much full*. Certainly no where to put a decent workbench.

    *My idea of ‘full’ may be different to yours.. I like to have space to move around and it needs to be kept neat and tidy so I can get to the office without climbing over stuff.

    Premier Icon Jakester
    Free Member

    Here you go:

    Premier Icon sharkattack
    Free Member

    If you want your bikes on the wall I’ve just bought two of these from Halfords for £6.99 each

    I got sick of dodging into the bikes when they were sticking out into the walkway. Looks like this now…

    They’re cheap, tiny and if it can hold that tank up it’ll hold anything. The next one is going directly underneath it.

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    Nice solution to getting the bikes out the way. I had something similar in our old house using an old roof carrier. I can’t quite see in the photo – Is there one of those red things under each wheel and then something on the seat post?

    Premier Icon sharkattack
    Free Member

    No, just one on the pedal and they’re just big enough to hold a DMR Vault. I was expecting to find the bike on the floor the next morning but it’s been up for a week now. I had some old brackets lying around and I put one under the front tyre as it was a bit front heavy and sliding down the wall. Now it’s solid.

    It’s nice that when the bikes aren’t there there’s nothing sticking out taking up space or hanging around at eyeball level.

    The thing sticking out at the saddle is a rear light.

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    The red things go under the pedal.

    What’s the benefit in covering the walls with OSB? I’ve seen loads of people do it but I don’t understand why it helps.

    If I was doing my garage again I’d paint the walls (currently bare breeze blocks) and floor (bare cement) in the hope that it’d be less dusty. I’d go for lots of high quality storage racks along walls (and possibly a centre isle for your double garage). Then a nice sturdy workbench, the bigger the better. Make it out of 2×4 and ply and it’ll be rock solid and last years.

    Premier Icon rossburton
    Full Member

    OSB walls means you have a flat surface you can easily screw anything into without faffing with blockwork.

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    Ahh right I see. Thank you.

    It’s a great solution because bikes are bloody awkward things to store, especially with the uber wide bars on a lot of modern bikes. I might get mine up on the wall in the office.. it’ll force me to keep it clean but it’ll be touch and go whether it would smash me in the head if it come loose while working in there!

    I’ve wondered about taking the front wheel out, turning bars sideways and mounting one of those thru axle bracket things on the wall. It would have to be at the perfect place and angle for it to work mind.. with the back wheel on the ground and the bars turned.

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    Also – getting the walls painted and flooring sorted for me was great, pretty much sorted the dust issue which is helpful when on the turbo and there’s a bloody great fan wafting the air around!

    Premier Icon sharkattack
    Free Member

    I’ve covered two of my walls with OSB.

    This is subjective, but it looks cool. I’ve screwed the support for a long work bench directly to the wall so I didn’t have to cut a dozen legs. I’ve got plans to mount tool boards, storage buckets and stuff straight onto the wall. It’s really easy to just quickly attach things to it rather than drilling and plugging breezeblocks.

    This is how mine is developing. There’s now a bench vice on the short bit.

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    OOoof I’ve got garage envy now, Sharky.

    I’ve wondered about taking the front wheel out, turning bars sideways and mounting one of those thru axle bracket things on the wall. It would have to be at the perfect place and angle for it to work mind.. with the back wheel on the ground and the bars turned.

    If you don’t mind removing the front wheel, you can hang from the rear wheel on the wall (+/- a second hook for the removed wheel) which intrudes into the room a lot less than a full bike. See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO0MDs2QBeA

    Premier Icon rockthreegozy
    Full Member

    With the OSB do decent woodscrew suffice for most fixing tasks and how thick is the board you are using?

    Premier Icon sharkattack
    Free Member

    With the OSB do decent woodscrew suffice for most fixing tasks and how thick is the board you are using?

    I’m no expert, I’m just using a massive box of assorted woodscrews I bought at Aldi! All the boards are 18mm thick. I’m actually surprised by how solid it is, the bench is bombproof. The surface is 9mm MDF that I’ve varnished.

    I didn’t really plan ahead I just picked some long bits at Wickes and eyeballed it all. The floor isn’t perfectly level so I realised there was no point measuring all the legs to match as they wouldn’t sit at the right height. I did splash out on a spirit level so the worktop is bang on.

    The LED panels are still my favourite bit. It’s like really soft daylight in there.

    I’ve just ordered some magnetic knife racks for mounting bike tools on the wall. Then I want something for organising the millions of nuts and bolts I have, probably wall mounted buckets. I’ve got a Halfords trade card so I can save big chunks of money on most tools and I’ve wanted one of those tool chests for ages.

    OOoof I’ve got garage envy now, Sharky.

    Thanks, it was pretty bleak when we moved in. Just an empty white box with one tiny, dim lightbulb.

    It’s originally a single garage with a car port. Luckily the previous owner binned the up-and-over door and fitted a roller door right at the front. So it’s now double long but standard width. More than enough for my needs as it keeps all the bikes out of the main area.

    Premier Icon rossburton
    Full Member

    Oooh, I didn’t notice the LED panel. Yes, interested in those. Where did you get that from?

    Premier Icon pdw
    Free Member

    This is how mine is developing.

    Nice. What’s the work surface in the 2nd photo?

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    Thanks Superficial, that’s a really neat solution. As always, I’ve been over-thinking/complicating this and the simple solution is always the best solution!
    Cheers

    Premier Icon sharkattack
    Free Member

    Oooh, I didn’t notice the LED panel. Yes, interested in those. Where did you get that from?

    Got them when they were on sale in B&Q and fitted two big ones where the original dangly bulb was, then a small one up front behind the garage door.

    Nice. What’s the work surface in the 2nd photo?

    9mm MDF varnished and screwed onto the 18mm OSB. It turned out bloody heavy and took my bodyweight test easily! If I wreck it I can just replace the MDF part.

    Premier Icon the00
    Free Member

    Not what I’d do, but it came up on YT yesterday. There’s bound to be some good ideas on there

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    I did a bit of a conversion on my double garage and it’s still a work in progress. Mine’s 1 big space with 2 separate garage up and over doors and a large concrete block pillar right in the middle of the garage.

    I built a stud wall down the middle to separate it into two single garage size / shape spaces. I insulated the stud wall with rock wall type loft insulation as it seemed the cheapest way of doing it vs solid kingspan type stuff. I then put in a suspended ceiling with a big layer of loft insulation above that. The wall in one side is shared with the house – for that I battened it and put in 25mm polystyrene type insulation and then plasterboarded it. The garage door on that side has a stud wall built in front of it which is getting plaster boarded this weekend with the board that has a layer of insulation on the back of it (25mm). That side of the garage is laminate / rubber floored and setup as a gym. The rubber matting is about an inch thick for a free weights area and then there’s a treadmill and cross trainer.

    The other half of the garage is for bikes / other stuff – although I’ve just built a shed to get the kiddie garden toy crap / lawn mower / garden tools etc out of the garage. I’m about to build another stud wall in front of the other up and over door on that side, but I’m not going to insulate it – either going to plasterboard it or panel it in wood so I can hang stuff on it. Not decided what yet.

    If I wanted to put a work desk in it I think I would have stud walled over a quarter of the garage in one corner and really thoroughly insulated it – using kingspan / cellotex in the walls and loft insulation above the ceiling. The floor would have a layer of dpm on it (assuming it’s not an insulated garage floor) and maybe a thin layer of floating insulation before putting a proper chipboard floor down. With a small heater in there I think that would be quite
    liveable over the winter that way.

    I’ve got a bike on the wall too – I found putting a bit of 38×63 timber under it made it more stable / easier to hook up. It’s got a similar pedal holder to the red one above and works pretty well. Thinking about getting another to replace a holder that’s got a bike vertically at the moment.

    Premier Icon sharkattack
    Free Member

    I stopped watching ‘inspirational’ videos from America and Canada. All their garages have a bigger footprint than my whole house and garden.

    When they plan to build their ‘dream garage’ they can actually do it because they’ve got the space. In the UK it’s about squeezing whatever you can into whatever space you have and sacrificing anything you can do without. I’ve waited nearly 40 years to get the space I have and watching pro riders in their giant barns is a bit depressing.

    Premier Icon Hob-Nob
    Free Member

    When they plan to build their ‘dream garage’ they can actually do it because they’ve got the space.

    This is the challenge – we’re very fortunate as we bought a house with a double garage & an insulated annex all as a standalone building.

    With a home gym, a load of bikes & outdoor kit, it’s still bloody full! My theory is, it will never be big enough, or work in the way you want, and will inevitably get covered in mud/water anyway 🙂

    Premier Icon kid.a
    Free Member

    Mine is a single detached garage (3x6m), it’s small but I love it!

    We just bought the place this summer, it’s our 3rd house. I’ve always wanted a garage/outside space. The house previous to this, I used the old brick coal shed at the rear of the house to store my 4 bikes, plus parts/tools/kit, kids bikes, lawn mower etc. It was insane how much I managed to store in there. But you needed to empty the whole thing to get something out.

    The garage now, it’s a new build place. So it was a blank canvase, a very bloody dusty one at that! The floor was horrible, new (6 months) concrete that never stopped dusting. Everything in there was dusty and gritty.

    I’ve had a upvc personel door added in the side to access from within the garden to avoid having to open the up and over door everytime I’m in and out of there. Added power and lighting (this was a job and a half! but so worth it!). Painted all the brick walls white and then sealed and painted the floor. Love it.

    All the bikes now hung vertically in line, using those PlanetX bike hangers. Makes a massive difference not tripping over them, and keeps them in better condition too. Fixed a flat screen TV to wall for indoor training. After waiting on their list for 11 weeks, I’ve got my Concept 2 rower which I’d wanted for a long time. I can’t use the rower mind you, I’ve herniated a disc in my back somehow somewhen! Damn it. But it will get used when I’m healed.

    Next on the list is to build some shelves/workbench similar to yours @sharkattack. I’ll get some pics later

    Premier Icon a11y
    Full Member

    @sharkattack your pic’s making me rethink what to do with my bare brick inside walls and dust issue. Torn between sealing with watered down PVA and keeping the natural brick look, or painting them white to increase light. I thought I’d decided on the PVA route but yours looks superb painted and now I’m unsure…

    Those that have painted their walls white – did it make a decent improvement to brightness in the garage or not?

    Premier Icon kid.a
    Free Member

    Those that have painted their walls white – did it make a decent improvement to brightness in the garage or not?

    Yes, much much better. Pain in the ass to paint though!

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    My painted concrete blocks (in white) made a huge difference to the gym space area. Just makes it look nicer and brighter. Tempted to paint the ones in the garage side of my garage to brighten that up at some point too.

    Just used white masonry paint and a big brush – I thought it was fairly easy to do. Maybe smaller bricks might be more time consuming.

    Premier Icon sharkattack
    Free Member

    Those that have painted their walls white – did it make a decent improvement to brightness in the garage or not?

    Yes, massively! It’s no substitute for good lighting but it’s perfect for bouncing the light around.

    I fitted the LED panels first when I still had half bricks, half dirty white breezeblocks. A few coats of cheap emulsion made it much brighter. It’s toned down a bit now with the OSB and bench in but still very pleasant.

    Premier Icon a11y
    Full Member

    Yes, much much better. Pain in the ass to paint though!

    Damn, that’s another job on my list then. I could seal with PVA with all my shelving etc in place, but if painting it’d be too noticeable if I did that, I’m too much of a perfectionist. Just don’t know if I can be bothered with the extra dismantling work!

    Premier Icon a11y
    Full Member

    Wish I’d painted BEFORE kitting it out with shelving etc, but focus was on getting it usable rather than presentable at the time we moved in! Winter project perhaps (after the kitchen…).

    Premier Icon j4mesj4mes
    Free Member

    @kid.a how did you seal the floor? I have the same new build issue

    Premier Icon tomtomthepipersson
    Full Member

    Here’s my garage. It’s definitely work in progress and needs a damn good sort out. It’s a detached double, with an up and over door and currently houses all our bikes, a work bench, a gym, all the gardening junk, shelves etc.

    When we were having some work done on the house I had the electrician add some more sockets and rig up 3x LED batten lights to make it a bit more inviting. I’ve made a start painting the walls (one coat of white masonry paint on some walls so far – and the brick work is pretty rough). It’s dusty as hell so hopefully getting the rest painted will help. I need to seal the floor too at some point.

    There were huge gaps all around the door but I’ve sealed things up pretty well with various rubber strips, self-tapping screws and filler. Might add some sort of foil/bubble insulation to the door and the roof.

    Premier Icon WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    This is one corner of my double garage. The yellow ‘lightning’ marks where the cables run behind the upcycled pallet wood. Gives us somewhere nicer to sit when we return from the night ride and need to drink beer.

    I also made a rolling workbench that has space under it for almost all of my tools. The fixed work benches against the wall were always in the wrong place or had a wall blocking the material I was working with. Cheap Ikea shelving units for storage and home made push-fit with flexi pipe on the end for dust collection to a vacuum cleaner near the main door.

    Premier Icon Scienceofficer
    Free Member

    Talk about squeezing in what you can into what you have – the back of my single garage has previously been taken by a utility room conversion, so I effectively have a big outdoors cupboard with an up and over door.

    The floor is 2.4 x 2.8 and I converted it into my bike store and workshop last winter.

    I had to wall mount all the shelves to preserve as much floor space as possible then insulte one wall, the door and put a ceiling in.

    It’s so tiny I can’t get it all in the picture standing inside with the door closed.

    garage1

    garage2

    I have 4 bikes in there. 2 under the bench which is lifted so they’ll fit, and two on the other side out of shot.

    The just enough space to work on one bike at a time and I need to be religious about keeping the floor clear otherwise it becomes un-manageable very quickly!

    Gratuitous vice shot.
    vice

    Premier Icon rossburton
    Full Member

    I also made a rolling workbench that has space under it for almost all of my tools

    How are people storing their tools? I don’t have a huge amount of tools but they are accumulating. I’ve a four drawer chest from Halfords with mostly small bike tools in, a cheap plastic toolbox with random rarely used bits in, and a tool wall above the bench which holds saws/screwdrivers/files/hammers/spanners and so on. Whilst the wall is convenient when I’m at the bench, if I need to be somewhere else (away in the garage, or the drive) then I need to carry what I need out. I’m wondering whether a better solution would be a drawer unit/chest on wheels under the workbench? I’d need a huge one if it has to take the saws, so maybe they should stay on the wall.

    Help me STW, I’m dithering and I can’t decide.

    Premier Icon Scienceofficer
    Free Member

    This is mine.

    tool kit

    Tools walls look great, buy they take a lot of space when its at a premium already.

    Its been honed over the years and serves as both my home kit (designated place at end of work bench) and away kit too.

    I realise it falls some way short of those mad foam filled things, but its intended to fit as much as possible into the space.

    Big stuff fits on the shelves above and around its bench home.

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    Thanks again @Superficial. That’s my full susser neatly into a space in the garage I didn’t think was big enough for a bike (well a bike less a wheel..). Next question, is it bad for dropper posts to be in the down position when stored?

    OP – here’s some pics of my garage/paincave/office/utility now all the work is complete. We’ve been in the house 6 years now and I finally feel like it’s done.

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