Finding ideal or even adequate workshop space in an existing home can be difficult. In most cases, homeowners choose to build a new, detached garage structure. Luckily, there are many workshop style garage plans available today. This style of garage has certain aspects which support use as workshop space:

Ceiling Height – Detached garage structures usually have 8 to 9 feet ceiling heights. Even 10 feet is the IRC limit for framing wall bearing-height. Greater than 8 feet is ideal because standard 4 x 8 panels can be flipped over in the long dimension without slamming into ceiling lights. This is true for 8-foot lumber lengths. Building a new detached garage give you the freedom to choose wall height. Attached garages and those tucked in and under the house will either be greater height or minimal heights, respectively.

Automotive Lift Height – For the lift clearance the ceiling height is usually 12 feet or greater. There are a few stock garage plans that accommodate the use of a lift. Manufacturers’ data should be checked before planning the garage.

Parking Bay Size – A standard size garage of say 22 or 24 feet square provides ample space for walk-around car door openings (although the area between cars can get tight with car doors opposed). Vehicle size plays into this, as well. Larger garages say 26 feet square or greater, provides extra spatial relief, easier walk-around.

Workshop Space – Size of workshop space and proximity to parking bays is strictly up to user preference. With many garage plans available today, it should be easy to find many options. The shop area can be isolated with the wall or left open to blend with other areas. Back end or side location is equally valid.

Special Features – To enhance the workshop functionality other considerations might include built-in toilet/shower/sink room, swing or beam crane, fire protection system, HVAC, expanded electrical capacity for welding, etc. and ample lighting.

Narrowing the choices and options will involve your understanding of zoning issues, available lot space, budget, lot features and amenities making your garage plan selection much easier.