Area51 Location Mike's Garage:



It has been a super busy summer at our new house in Torbay, one of the perks of our new digs is that there was already a new 12x20' detached garage on site! Ideally it could be bigger, but with the layout of the property I can easily build an extension in the future. The previous owner completely finished the outside and had some rough electrical completed inside. First when I moved in I painted the rough concrete floor with a two part epoxy paint to cover rust spots and make the floor easier to sweep & clean.




Once dry I used the garage all summer but left most of my tools in storage so the garage would be cluttered when it came time to finish it.




Because I planned to insulate and finish the garage interior, I installed a pair of roof vents, soffit vents, and Styrofoam through vents along both eaves to let the attic breathe.




In September my house chores were finally complete I got the green light to continue work on my brand new Area51 location. With a floor plan in mind I completely rewired the shed. I added an extra 4' fluorescent fixture for a total of 3 weatherproof fixtures and installed a pair of 4" LED pot lights over my workbench, there is nothing worse than working in a shadow at the bench. I prewired a bunch of power outlets around the garage, one outside, a welder plug , a compressor plug, Burglar Alarm and some outdoor security cameras.





With this complete I installed my strapping and R30 bat insulation in the ceiling and R12 in the 2x4 walls. I stepped my wall heaters & electrical panel out an extra 3/4" to fit 1.5" SM foam insulation behind each device. This is the disadvantage of 2x4 walls vs 2x6, but in the end it worked out well, I have no drafts and I trimmed out each device with strapping so that the covers still fit nice and flush.



For heat, I decided to install two fan forced wall heaters, one at the front of the garage and one in the rear. This gives me 4000w (combined) of quiet, even, efficient heat as I'm heating both ends of the garage at once.





With vapor barrier installed I was on to sheeting. I pondered for awhile of what to use, drywall is way to delicate, plywood would be a nice fairly smooth finish but at $20+ per sheet it was quite a bit more than 7/16 OSB at $10 per sheet. After seeing how well the paint in Long's garage turned out last year using OSB  that's what I settled on. Next I installed nice Pine door & window trim, spruce heater & electrical panel trim, as well as a crown molding made from 1x2 strapping, then latex caulked all seams for a clean look.





Then I was on to paint, I picked up a 5 gallon bucket of good quality primer from Hickey's Building Supplies and rolled on about 5 coats, using every drop in the bucket. The OSB soaked up a lot of paint, but by the 3rd coat I was getting a nice even finish. The ceiling was left Primer White which is fine for a garage, the trim was painted a durable satin white, while the walls were finished with a satin kitchen & bath latex in a blue/grey color. I used BHER Premium paint for the color coat and I was really impressed that it covered perfectly in one generous coat, its certainly a quality product.




With Painting complete I began building a bench for my 9' Stainless Steel Counter top (thanks Mark French!). The bench is sturdy and consists of two frames, one for the top, one for a shelf. It was screwed to the wall studs in the back and supported by three 4x4" posts in front.





The top was covered in 3/4" plywood left over from my trailer rebuild and finally topped with my fancy stainless counter top.



With the construction work finished I assembled the steel shelving removed from my old shed. Once complete I painted the steel shelving and the frame of my bench dark grey.







Next I set about installing hooks for storing extension cords, straps, etc. I installed a series of tip out bins on the wall next to my shelf to store small stuff such as screws, nuts, bolts, nails, springs, etc. I also came up with a tidy storage solution for my grease guns which always leak a little grease/oil. I mounted 2 hooks on the wall, and directly below installed a plasterer's mud trough which looks great and does a perfect job of preventing mess over everything below.




Finally I went to the storage unit to pick up my 60 gallon air compressor. This is a 220v, triple cylinder model that pumps out a blistering 18.5 CFM, it was previously installed at Mom's house in my very first Area51 location 15 years ago. I had to make some minor repairs to the compressor, but once plumbed in it ran fantastic!




Now that my new Area51 location is complete I am able to easily access all my tools, operate air tools, weld and be warm & dry while making repairs.


Cheers, MIKE

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Copyright 2011 Michael Smith