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Thread: New Garage Considerations

  1. #1

    New Garage Considerations

    We plan to build a stand alone garage for our new home. It would be great to have a workspace for minor projects on the weekend cars to be stored there including one starting with a Z and ending in an 8. Any design considerations from others who have their ideal garage space?
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  2. #2
    DSC Off StuM's Avatar
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    New garage

    Ed, I have a separate three car unit on my property, supplementing my primary home-attached three car garage.
    Some considerations for you:

    - Build it with sufficient interior roof height in case you want to add a four or two post car lift.
    - Consider a powder bath. Or, at least a large utility sink.
    - Build in plenty of lighting and plenty of extra duplex outlets all around.
    - Consider 240V outlet(s) for things like air compressors, other future high voltage needs.
    - Plenty of extra side/back room for shelving, etc.
    - Floor coating for looks and stain prevention.
    - Fire detection/protection system and/or auto-release extinguishing bottle.

    Enjoy,
    StuM
    2013 M3 Lime Rock Edition coupe (sold)
    2011 Audi R8 V10 Spyder (sold)
    2011 6.2L Raptor
    2002 BMW Z8 (sold)
    1967 Corvette 427 roadster
    2013 Maser MC convt
    2014 BMW i8 (pending)

  3. #3
    Team Z8 JoshB's Avatar
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    I don't know if you want to go the expense but when I built my semi detached garage I put three bays two cars deep for two bays and a single for the last bay.The area behind the single was the mechanical room ,stairs and storage for the motherinlaw apt above. I figured since the space was big enough why not have it pay for itself. I hit the break even point for construction at ten years and I have the added security of someone on site all this time since my location is hundred of yards from any neighbor. My tenant has the single bay which is walled off from my area. As far as the garage leave enough room on the end or side for workspace, shelving, a large deep sink, a tool chest,and storage for the hardtop.plus every thing stated in the previous post.
     
    2002 Silver Black/Red

    Dinan stage 4 software
    Dinan low restriction carbon fiber airboxes
    Dinan high flow air mass meters
    Hamann headers
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    performance package
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    cdv modifacation
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    Custom crossdrilled/slotted rotors
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    custom Sachs clutch /pressure plate
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  4. #4

    Garage building

    Not filled with Bimmers (a very nice collection though!) but a great time lapse of one being built:

    Woozy Garage Build 2009 from Joey M on Vimeo.

    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  5. #5
    That's great feedback on the garage design considerations! We're meeting with the architect next week as the plans begin to take shape.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  6. #6
    Z8Mania
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    In addition to the excellent advice already given, I think you have to really consider how you will use the space. You say you will have a workspace, but what about a space for washing or maintaining cars? How much of a priority will displaying cars be? Will you have automotive lifts? I absolutely agree, get the highest ceiling you can- it can only help you. Also consider how the garage doors open into the space because that can limit your height. They now make side mounted motors which make it easier to have a car lift.

    In addition to electrical, Id say you should make sure to at least run the wiring/ infrastructure for HVAC, security, phone, ethernet, fire etc. Some people do air systems that reduce/ nearly eliminate dust. And lighting is critical. But again, your use will determine the kind of lighting.

    Also echo the thing about the sink- even if you don't use it, run the plumbing. You can always add it later. It turns out, its a very useful thing to have.

  7. #7
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    In addition to the above, consider what type of lift(s) you might have in the future. 4 post lifts don't usually require more than the standard thickness of concrete for the floor, but a two post lift will require a thicker and perhaps higher compressive strength pour in the area of support. Much easier to get this done at the time of initial construction!
    Also, run air lines to wall outlets in various locations, even one at or near the front doors- this will make all work from checking/filling tires to using pneumatic tools more convenient without needing rolls and rolls of retractable hose.
    Don't forget about pre-wiring for your sound system. Nothing beats locking yourself in the garage with your auto treasures and turning up the music!

  8. #8
    Z8Mania
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    Yes- absolutely great advice Ken. To that advice Id say if you are going that far you might want to consider at least the wiring for TV.

  9. #9
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    And don't forget the bar, and the dancing girls! Can I come visit?

  10. #10
    Z8 Happy
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    All great ideas. I might suggest CAT6 cabling as well. Wireless at a minimum, but some devices like ethernet connections for IPTV, etc. Can I get concession rights to the crap game?
    AKA Mark from SoCal

    2003 Alpina - Black/Black
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  11. #11
    Team Z8 tomfakes's Avatar
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    There's a house close by that has the 8 car garage in the basement of the building, with a lift to take a car of your choice into the living room for display purposes.

    Just an idea....

  12. #12

  13. #13
    Damn, over a hundred pages of insane garages!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  14. #14
    More great feedback! I like the idea to entertain in this space too, but the only dancing girl will likely be my daughter. I provided the architect a preliminary list of "Must have" and "Nice to have" and with this garage feedback I'll be able to dial in the requirements for this space.

    For initial drawings
    Garage must have:
    • Sufficient ceiling height for a 2-post or 4-post car lift
    • Storage area for tools and supplies


    Nice to have:
    • Area to chill with the guys (deck/patio)
    • Bathroom with shower


    For detailed drawings
    Garage must have
    • Large utility sink
    • Good lighting (LED)
    • Plumbed for compressed air and outlets
    • Wired for sound system
    • Duplexelectrical outlets
    • 240V outlet(s)
    • Epoxy flooring rising 6" on walls
    • Wiring for internet/tv service
    • Consider foundation thickness for type of lift
    • Side mounted garage door lift


    Nice to have:
    • TBD
    Last edited by EDEZ8; July 21st 2013 at 23:53. Reason: Additions 7/21/13
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  15. #15
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Get the side mount door lift for sure, to provide max height for a car lift. I have the high ceilings and the door opener, but not gotten the four post lift yet... Someday?

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    Ed,

    Here in Western PA I need to put radient heat (hot water) in the garage floor to keep the cars in the 55 to 60 degree range during the cold weather. With a well insulated structure, the insides never went over 75 degrees in the summer due to the earth's temperature below the floor. I added a simple de-humifier drained to the outside and ended up with good temperature and humidity control.

    Have fun with your new garage!

    Regards,

    Phil
    61115 Topaz/crema

  17. #17
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    Regarding the garage door- if space or design problems occur trying to fit the side opening doors into the plans, you can still use a traditional door. The two changes from "standard" installation that must be made are 1) a jack-shaft type opener and increased spring size which attaches to the top bar/spring mechanism rather than extending horizontally from the top of the door and 2) a 45 degree angle rather than the traditional 90 at the top of the track. This setup allows the door to retract vertically along the wall above the opening rather than cutting off your height at 10 feet. Financially, this installation added only a few dollars over standard installation when done at the construction stage and gives me unobstructed height for the lift to be raised to full height with a car on it. The other advantages of the jack shaft opener are that it is a DC motor, is virtually silent, locks the door upon closing with an automatic side bolt, and has the option to run off a battery in case of a power failure.

  18. #18
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    A few more, if you haven't heard enough already: R-18 or better Doors for ease of Heating and Air Conditioning, A Refrigerator, Air Compressor, Shower, Storage loft, Epoxy Flooring run 6" up the walls for water protection, an outlet for each Car for Battery Tenders, a good Sound System with Outdoor Speakers and De-ionized Water Filter.

    Joe
           

  19. #19
    Z8Mania
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    Very nice Joe! And great advice fellas! I definitely would stress ethernet/ Cat6 connections- you can run so many things over this- its a jack of all trades wire. They make wire bundles that contain 2 of Cat6, RG6 (pardon me if my memory is off) thats the cable/ sat tv wire, phone, high level speaker wires, etc. Its a good idea to get as many services out there as you can because you never know.

    Also I would strongly advise on the side mounted door openers because they allow you more height flexibility (the center mounted opener will block your height) and also those center hung openers collect dust and when you use them they shake the dust off and on to your just cleaned pride and joy.

    You have to decide how important climate control is to you. There is just controlling temp and then there is controlling humidity and then there is controlling all of that and even dust too.

    I like the radiant heat idea. I didn't do that, but I would have if I could. I have the Modine corner mounted heaters- the problems with these are that they blow dust around.

    Also consider AC. Its nice to have- but- I don't run it in the summer unless Im working on a car thats already cool. I dont like the idea of bringing a hot car into a cool room- that can create condensation.

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    I keep the temperature at 77degrees and lower it remotely when I am going to spend a fair amount of time there.

    Joe

  21. #21
    I'll be using radiant heating in the home, but given the relatively mild winters in the SF Bay Area I wasn't planning for such a system in the extra garage. The 220v feedback above reminds me I'll need it in the main garage too just in case we're all driving electric cars in 15 years!

    Just a little bit of a tangent, on my last trip to Switzerland a friend showed my his radiant heating system for his home. It consisted of a heat pump that was used in parallel with solar panels to heat water that was stored in a well insulated 1,000-L storage tank. This hot water system was then used to heat the home. I hope to find such an energy efficient system here in the States. Another tangent, this same friend took me for a drive in the mountains in his recently purchased 993 Turbo, the last of the air-cooled turbo coupes. Amazing ride for a 14 year old car!
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  22. #22
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    You realize you mentioned electric cars and air cooled 911 in the same paragraph!

  23. #23
    Team Z8 tomfakes's Avatar
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    I have a friend who got the first Leaf in the state - the press all came around to see this new magic car, and film it for the evening news. To keep his green creds he had to park his Bentley Turbo R out on the street for the duration!

  24. #24

    Cheers to that!

    Quote Originally Posted by Norcal View Post
    You realize you mentioned electric cars and air cooled 911 in the same paragraph!
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  25. #25
    Team Z8 riverflyer's Avatar
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    Joe, impressive setup and nicely detailed. I like the generous space between cars.
    I built a 35x50 space and it usually holds 3 cars, and assorted wheel sets, extra seats, exhausts etc, but in a pinch it has held 7 cars. I have a 2 car by the house for the daily kind of rides.
    What is the space above the garage?

  26. #26
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    It is 70X42. The Garage you see in the pictures is 8 Cars. There is a 2500 Sq. Ft. Apartment above and a seperate 1 Car Garage which you see and enter from the Street side. It is in a residential Area.

    Joe

  27. #27
    Team Z8 JoshB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOEA2 View Post
    It is 70X42. The Garage you see in the pictures is 8 Cars. There is a 2500 Sq. Ft. Apartment above and a seperate 1 Car Garage which you see and enter from the Street side. It is in a residential Area.

    Joe
    Having seen Joes garage a few years ago when he graciously gave me and my then girlfriend (now wife)a tour I can attest to it's cleanlyness and great design. The coolest part of the tour is he has sketches of a lot of his cars signed by the actual designer (ie Fisker) It also looks like you have added/ replaced a few things Joe!
    2002 Silver Black/Red

    Dinan stage 4 software
    Dinan low restriction carbon fiber airboxes
    Dinan high flow air mass meters
    Hamann headers
    Supersprint exhaust
    performance package
    custom short shift linkage
    cdv modifacation
    Quaiffe differential/military grade gear polishing
    19 inch 3 piece HRE mags/Toyo tires
    Custom crossdrilled/slotted rotors
    ceramic brake pads
    stainless brake lines
    Dinan caster plates
    Dinan duel mass flywheel
    custom Sachs clutch /pressure plate
    Dinan pedal set

  28. #28
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    The Apartment is now being used by friends of our's who lost their Home in Mantoloking. A neighbor asked, almost two years ago, if he could store a 1963 and 1967 Vettes for six months. They are still there. It's keeping me from seriously considering the Mc Laren Spider.

    Joe

  29. #29
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    Random Thoughts from My Simple Garage Build

    1. Plan to do a lot of research before you enter into any contract. My undergraduate degree is architecture and it is the most wonderful education and profession in the world, but if your architect does not know what a Liftmaster 3800 is (I'd bet you, but it would be unfair to take your money) you have a lot of work to do. It is the standard side mounted garage door opener that is within reasonable budget limitations. Chances are your contractor will not know either, so if budget is a consideration, price all this stuff out. Your architect can take your "program" and produce a nice design, but the devil really is in the details.

    2. Measure your cars and your dream cars. Look at lifts. I went with a a Direct Lift PP8 Plus. Why? Because I could raise it to above my head and park my daily driver under it and walk out without having to duck. It is like a garage within a garage. They also installed it turnkey locally, without all the shipping and trailer hassle. Those things are really heavy. It works like a 2-story garage. Then figure how tall the car will be on top of that, and how big the gap has to be above that if you want to put a Z8 hardtop on a ceiling lift. After all was said and done, my interior garage height as 12' 6". Also, I don't think I needed it, but I put 5" of concrete, an extra interior floor beam, and spec'd thicker rebar and more post tensioned strands of it than the engineer recommended. But the greatest miracle of all was that it started raining as they finished the slab and didn't quit for three weeks. That is called curing to max strength. It needs that time for the chemical reaction. I don't care what anyone says, don't let that concrete "dry" out for 3 weeks to a month. I also spec'd concrete bolts pre-mounted in the curing slab, because otherwise they would just use concrete nails to mount the wood floor plate....not my idea of a stable 12' wall. All this extra protection was less than $2000 more as I recall. Details, details, details...just remember if a contractor can use a $.53 part that is wonderful, and a $.52 part that is terrible...well let's just say that they won't be there to supervise the subcontractor buying and installing the part, and the sub likely does not share you values or aesthetics.

    3. With a lift, you don't want light right above it, you want it on the side, so the light will shine down into the area below the lift. My contractor (I did my own design) thought I was nuts when I drew up two lined-up 8' double fluorescents (16' of light) each on the side and middle of the garage, and two four footers over my work bench. But the light is essential, and gosh is it wonderful to see so clearly.

    4. In addition to power for the work bench and lift (figure out where the lift motor will mount), I put power at the inside corner of the garage, near the door. It ended up my hardtop lift and garage vac were best mounted there. The hard top lift fits the hard top neatly over the trunk, and the vac can be used on the car inside and outside the garage. I also put power and a hose bib on the outside.

    5. Bugs...You may not have the problem where you live, but with the walls up and open inside, and all the dirt freshly dug outside the foundation, now is the best time to pre-treat for years of protection. I did this part myself and found epestcontrol pretty helpful. If not call your exterminator. Contractors don't think of that, and architects surely don't.

    6. The area that the architect can help the most is the relationship between the house and the garage (particularly if it is detached), and dealing with codes and ordinances. Ironically the part that satisfies me the most is everyday when I walk from the garage, through one door into a small vestibule and out a french door into an interior garden that leads to the main house. It is the most relaxing feeling to move from the working world to the peace of home.

    Here are a few shots from the build. Nothing fancy, but hey, its a garage!
                     
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  30. #30
    Thank you Charles for providing your perspective on some of the more practical considerations in building a garage. Your points are right on the mark!
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  31. #31
    Z8Mania
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    Great advice Charles. You are right. One worry I have when I see those pictures is the ramps- are they really designed to hang like that. The lift looks remarkably similar to the Backyard Buddy lifts I have.

    FWIW, I've become a big tire cradle fan- I hate flat spotting- even when its temporary and they even help keep the car stable on the lift!

    Ed you definitely want to measure and remeasure and be sure. Also, I have taken to using tire cradles on my lifts. These are like gel cushions for your tires- never a bad thing for when a car sits, and a side benefit is the tires sink into them, it makes the car a lot more hesitant to roll anywhere. They add about 2" of height to your car on a lift though. My procedure is to get the car within about 6" of how far up the ramps I want it, then I put the TCs down and drive her on gently. Once she's resting on the TCs I put her in N and no brakes of any kind I rock back and forth- if she doesn't move, shes on nice and good. Then I put her in gear and a nice 80% pull of the e-brake and shes ready to go up. Now I have 3 systems to hold her in place and I can add wheel chalks if I feel its necessary.

  32. #32
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    Jerry, they are designed to hang like that, and boy are they heavy. I would not have a back if I had to take them on and off all the time. They make some lighter weight ramps, but they would be a hassle to take on and off all the time. If for some odd reason they fell, they would just hit the concrete. That was one of those measuring things too, to make sure not only the lift, but the ramps too fit inside the garage door, but there was also enough room in front of the lift to use the workbench, even with the ramp down.

    Those tire cradles look interesting, but seem pricey at $250. Must be special material. I have air tires and drive my car every two weeks, so I am not sure the tires will flatten in that time.

    After a bunch of lift study (there is even a thread on the board, and I researched the Garage Journal Blog), I put them in 3 types. The Back Yard Buddy that slide up and down with a square box on the outside of the post with mechanical locks, the Direct Lift which slides on the inside of the post with mechanical locks, and the same, but with air activated locks, presumably a bit heavier looking and the best. There is a lot of discussion about American vs. Chinese steel, the size of various components, and even the type of ramp pattern, but for most basic uses like we have, both the Back Yard Buddy and Direct Lift types work just fine. I would steer clear of the really cheap ones, but in the end I got lucky that the one I got was taller and a bit narrower than others so it left plenty of room in the garage, it fit the Z8 perfectly, and it was a local and turnkey. But generally, there are a lot of good lifts out there, including the Back Yard Buddy.
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  33. #33
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    I haven't gotten a lift yet, but did do some homework. The back yard buddy and many similar lifts are inferior Chinese steal, I think. As I am in a seriously earth quake prone area, I need the absolute strongest lift. Not sure what that is yet? Rotary four-post? And not a two-post? Input/advice?

  34. #34
    Z8Mania
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    No- BYB is made in the US of US metal.

    http://www.backyardbuddy.com/side-by...omparison.html

    Im sure there are other well made lifts like what Charles has but I can vouch to you all that the BYB lifts are well made. I have a few of them, the oldest is 8 years old- never a problem. And they are SOLID.

    Good info Charles. I've seen lifts with ramps like that before but it scares me. Its just the look of it. If you say its good, I'm sure it is.

    On the tire cradles, the way I look at it is- They are the price of 1 fancy tire. They protect my other fancy tires. I think the price is a reflection of the materials, and the fact that the people behind them are not a big business and likely don't do the big volume needed to bring the price lower. I've been using those since before I had a lift so its been a long time. No complaints there either.

  35. #35
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norcal View Post
    I haven't gotten a lift yet, but did do some homework. The back yard buddy and many similar lifts are inferior Chinese steal, I think. As I am in a seriously earth quake prone area, I need the absolute strongest lift. Not sure what that is yet? Rotary four-post? And not a two-post? Input/advice?
    I am not sure there are many stories about the posts themselves crumbling on any of the non-cheap lifts, so I think the steel issue may not have "legs". Put it this way though, a lift that is sub $1500 may really be a problem. The horror stories I have seen are where the locks come out of one post and too much weight is put there. After my locks are set, I don't let the hydraulic fluid out any more, thinking it will help if somehow the locks fail. But I am not sure that is true. The other problem could be if a quake is serious enough to cause a post to move at the bottom, so bolting down may be a priority to avoid it jumping. Or you may not call it jumping, but rather walking and that may be a good thing (see below).

    The Back Yard Buddy (BYB) has that "box on post design", which looks like the box may provide 360 degree support. If the post wiggles a bit the post can brace itself against the box. But the box has to move up and own, so it does not bind the post tightly, so it will still wiggle. BYB also is purposely designed without holes in the floor plates. But it is a solidly made lift, American/Canadian Steel, etc...However the comparison to the competition they have are to the sub $1500 lifts.

    Other lift companies claim they use thicker steel than BYB, or the ladder locking system won't break like BYB tabs, or like The Direct Lift, use heftier lifting components. I am not convinced that those claims are any better, but I saw 4 post ones in use in commercial places in Texas, and some look well used and old.

    If you read the Garage Lift thread you will see I preferred the Bendpak HD7P or HD9. I just could not find a supplier that could tell me where I could see one (ie a 4 post) in Texas. They are headquartered in Santa Paula, CA. A lot of commercial places use Bendpak (look around in garages and you will see 2 posts), and they have an air lock system. I think they are heftier and can be bolted. Go see them if you can. I just wanted to see a 4 post, as I did not like the idea of hanging the car without suspension support for long periods of time.

    Also, do a search on "Bendpak Earthquake" and you will find a number of sites including Garage Journal. Also search just "Garage Lift Earthquake". There is a Ferrarichat post that talks about how BYB is designed to walk in an earthquake. Others that talk about concrete thickness necessary to bolt them down. After a while I bet you will get a feel of what sounds right and what is puffery.
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  36. #36
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Great info guys, thanks. It's been a few years since I looked around so my stats are very rusty!

  37. #37
    Z8Mania
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    Some other thoughts- Im no engineer, but its possible that in an earthquake you don't want something so tightly locked down. For example, have you ever looked out the window while you are on an airplane and notice the wings actually bend? Or that skyscrapers are built to flex in high winds? Or maybe the opposite is true. Bottom line is that is definitely something that merits careful consideration.

    Also check with your homeowners/ auto insurance about lifts. It seems most do cover you so long as you are not using it for commercial purposes- but its worth checking out.

    As to price, this is certainly one time you don't want to get the cheapest option.

    On the whole installing thing, the key is to find a good local installer. If the lift company is not local, just have the list company ship the lift to the installer. The installer will then bring it to you.

    GFB theres an earth quake, I think I would not operate the lift until it could be inspected by the installer/ qualified personnel.

  38. #38
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    Quick thumbs up for the BendPak HD9. It is a light commercial grade lift (Rotary is a related company) at home-use pricing with a double lock system. I got to see them in use at a local repair shop before purchase, and was impressed that after several years of use, the owner was expanding and ordering more of the same. Interestingly, as Jerry suggests, the company recommends to not bolt it down for home use to allow for self adjusting when the floor is very level. I guess there should be extra precautions for the earthquake areas to discourage the lift from adjusting itself down the street.
    I've had mine for 6 years, and have had it dissassembled and reinstalled once for a move with no problems. An installer was recommended by their customer service rep.
    Another advantage is that the customer service is AAA+ with many car enthusiasts working in engineering. They even redesigned their rolling jack for me to accommodate the low height and wide track of my track car's jack points (at no extra charge).
    I remove the ramps because I'm tired of walking into them and cutting my head. They are removed with one hinge pin and I just stand them up by the wall when not in use. BendPak also supplies locks that will keep them straight out rather than hanging down if you prefer to keep them attached. A light weight alternative, aluminum ramps, is also available.

  39. #39
    Z8Mania
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    Nice Ken! I didn't realize those ramps were not aluminum- they must be very heavy.

  40. #40

    Update

    Little did I know when I started this post nearly a year ago our home design would still be work in progress (We're on version 6.1). We settled on an attached four-car garage and workshop with a 12 foot ceiling to accommodate a floor lift. The plans for approving the design are to be submitted shortly (fingers crossed) and with this blessing from the county the detailed construction plans will be developed. The above information will be invaluable when we enter this last phase before breaking ground.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  41. #41
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    Hey -

    I have a four-car garage, along with 12 - 13 ft. ceilings. I have four lifts, and two garage doors.
    Your setup will not necessarily get you where you may want to be. Mine is usable, but only with some constraining limitations.

    Twelve feet provides minimal clearance for two stacked cars. One of the cars must have a relatively short height - Z8/E30/etc. at most. Even at that the car above or below that "short" car cannot have a height more than a 5 Series BMW. ANY SUV makes it impossible to use a lift with a 12 ft. ceiling.

    A rear wing-type spoiler may limit the effective usable clearance for the car above or below the spoiler. Especially if the car is a Lamborghini - the spoiler is higher than roof, and at or beyond the very end of the car. (This realization instantaneously becomes a WTF? moment, trust me. )

    If the garage doors have any components or parts, including the door, that are fixed - or will move - above the lift area when open, they will eat up at least 8" inches of vertical space, and possibly more. Ceiling light fixtures will cause the same problem.

    Clearance in a 12 foot situation with two cars is pretty tight. You will not be able to walk through the garage without ducking. ALSO - opening hoods and trunks must be done carefully at all times. Trunk lids with spring/strut loading have to be held before they are opened. The first time that your spouse hits her/his head and/or dents the trunk lid will be a marital moment. The first time that you do it will be even worse.

    Side clearance is another concern. A standard two-car garage width will lose some effective width due to the lifts and the practical usage aspects.

    Entrance into the lift areas and onto the the lifts is a big issue. You must have a straight path onto the lifts. Entry on the diagonal or at the end of a curved path can be a big problem, to the point where it may not be possible with some cars and/or situations. This means that there should be at least twenty feet of clear space immediately in front of any lift. This can be shortened somewhat, but only at the cost of maneuvering the car in short forward/backward trips to "walk" it into position directly in front of the lift.

    As you can probably tell I have been through this. There were many aspects/considerations/problems - and solutions - that were unanticipated and fairly surprising, even after a few weeks of obsessing over the design. I promise that this will be true in any first-time experience with lifts at home.

    If you would like any more details or thoughts or suggestions (ugh), please post.
    Above all - good luck.

  42. #42
    Thank you Hunter for the reality check on the garage. It sounds like you have a great collection of cars when you include a Lambo as a car to be considered in designing your garage floor plans.

    In my mind, one of the four spots in the garage will have a lift for servicing and storage of a TBD sports car. Having a five car limit with one spot for my wife's car feels like a reasonable idea for constraining my car addiction. There's a workshop bay next to the spot with the lifts so I'm thinking we should be okay on access. Then again, I'll go back to the final drawings when available.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  43. #43
    Z8Mania
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    I'm not so sure I agree with the 12' ceiling being so bad. I have two garages. One is an attached 3 car garage and the ceiling is 10'6" from the floor. I would say this is the minimum for comfortable existence. Backyard Buddy told me in the past that 10' is the bare minimum. With this height I can stack an M6 convertible (53.9" +1.5" for tire cradles) - not the lowest car ever, and a 7 series (58") (FYI Z8 is 52" high)with no problems EXCEPT the aforementioned issue with the trunk. You really do have to be careful about it and I've already dinged the trunk on part of the BYB lift mechanism. Its not the end of the world for me because the 7 is a daily driver and it has taken on other dings from parking lots etc. When the M6 is on the ground I can open its trunk with zero issues. A car with a long hood will present issues in terms of how high you can open it. By no means is it perfect and I would prefer to have more height but the point is I think 12' ceiling height is good. Also consider how much depth you have and how much height you have with the garage door open and also where the door mechanism is located. The ceiling mounted type will cut into your clearance. For that reason I prefer the side mounted ones. I should say I removed the light fixtures above the lifts so I have the use of the entire floor-ceiling height. With the M6 up there on the highest setting, to take the lift down the lift has to go up maybe 3-4", it gets close to the ceiling but it doesn't touch. I wouldn't put the 7 on the highest setting- that would go to the second highest.

    In my non attached "toy box" garage I have 15' ceiling heights and that is nice to have. I put in a taller lift in one bay which can fit an SUV under it- the lift itself is about 2' wider and 3' longer to better stabilize the extra height of about 2' more. Because the lift posts are further apart it makes it easier to open up trunks and engine covers, but it also makes getting in and out of the car while in the loading process trickier as the posts are closer to the entrance of the garage. I like to stop just before I get it up on the ramps to make sure its lined up just right.

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    "In my non attached "toy box" garage I have 15' ceiling heights and that is nice to have."

    Joe
     

  45. #45
    Z8Mania
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    Love it!!!!!!!!! So true. My ceiling is like that too- so you have to consider the sides.

    Another reason to not get the central, hung from the ceiling garage door motors: they can shake dust over your precious...

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    Z8Mania -

    Useful write-up and description of your situation. I'm glad (and a little envious) it works for you so well.
    Mine and others I've been involved with are more like what I described.

    FWIW - I calculate about 4.5 feet each minimum for two cars. That works out to be 9 feet right there. Add to that the height of the upper mechanism (sits between the cars) at a minimum of .75 feet, plus a small allowance of .5 feet for the spacing of the lift latches that lock the levels in place, some necessary clearance between the two cars of .5 feet, the need to raise the upper car a few inches above its final level to enable it to drop into the lock, and then add .5 feet for door hardware ... *poof* there goes your 12 feet!

    Yep, it's doable. But it's really tight - I was trying to encourage EDEZ8 to go higher in his planning if he has the opportunity. It's sobering to think that a new house, with far more space than what was built only twenty years ago, will be too small for our cars! It really restricts usage: I can use my four lifts in only one configuration for all of our cars . The Z8, for example has to be on the upper level, above the 1M, in one bay. Neither car can go anywhere else due to various issues. And it's the same way for every car and all four bays.

    I am fatally jealous of those 15' heights. Anyone want to trade??

  47. #47
    Z8Mania
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    Absolutely having more height is better. More space is better. If I could do it again I'd have bought a place with room for a car barn. Lifts are not ideal. They do not lend themselves to spontaneous driving. You really have to think it through. But its better than not having anything. I was wrong when I said my attached garage is 10.5' its 10' 8".

    I suspect some of the issue you and I are having where I say I can make it work in 10.75' and you say even 12 isn't enough might be due to the location of the lift stops if we are using different lifts. So with that in mind, here's a clean version of the spread sheet I made.

    I'll walk you through it.

    First I have my measurements in inches.

    Ramps off floor is simply how high the lift ramps sit off the floor- I had a BYB lift already so I measured it and I also backed this up with BYBs own info off the web.

    I removed the specific car names to protect the innocent!

    Garage height is simply 128"

    Rail + Door off ceiling is how much height I lose doe to the door railing and how far down the door sits. This is important because some cars will hang off the back of the lift- or if you have a car with a huge wing it might be a high point on the car. Not all cars are like the Z8 where the rear end is really sloping down. And this also is interactive with how far into your garage you can place the lift.

    Heres what I can tell you from my experience with lifts in two bays of a three car garage where the floor to ceiling height is less than 12'.

    First, its absolutely essential to remove anything that restricts height. So centrally mounted garage door openers- the ones that are most common- should be replaced with side mounted openers. Thats the single biggest space issue. Next is ceiling light fixtures need to be moved to areas where the car won't be raised.

    Second, the railings for a typical garage door usually are set further out than the standard BYB lift- so the railings are not an issue for the car. But the garage door really can be an issue. One way around this is you can program the garage door to not open as high. The lower the door opens the less it will slide into the garage when fully open. If you do this, I would suggest your garage door company also put in some physical stopper just in case the door system forgets its programming. In my case I needed to do this in my toy box garage because I don't have quite enough depth to allow the back of the lift to be completely away from where the door opens. Even though I have 15' ceilings in there, the door itself doesn't go that high up. Since my SUV goes under there, I set the door to give my SUV about 3" of clearance and this allowed me to have the door open (from memory) probably something like 8" lower. The SUV still fits under it, the sports cars easily fit, and now I can put anything on that lift at its highest setting. In my attached garage I don't have this issue, but thats how I would solve it, just make sure your tallest car that would go in there will fit.

    Third, at least with my setup, the two tallest cars I have are the M6 and the 7 series. I can put the M6 on top and set the lift to its highest setting. This gives good- not amazing- but good enough clearance for getting in and out of the sedan without having to really think about not banging your head on the lift ramp just above. However, if I want to put the 7 on top, I have to use the second from the highest setting and the M6 fits just fine below but then one really has to remember to keep bent down and step out. Because of this, I rarely put the 7 up there, and if I want more flexibility, I just leave the 7 outside. Its my daily car and while I do detail it a few times a year and keep it clean, its usually dirty because thats how it is with a daily driver.

    Also consider I am adding 1.5" to each car on the lifts via the tire cradles. I like using the tire cradles on the lifts for two reasons. At first, my focus was just protecting the tires from flat spotting, which still can happen with modern tires, though they are temporary flat spots. But then I realized the tire cradles perform an important safety function. Since the tires sink into the cradles just a little, it makes it much more difficult for the car to move. Of course, I leave the car in gear and with the e brake engaged, BUT, its nice to have an additional layer of security when you have a ~5,000lb mass (in the case of the 7 and M) up in the air.

    Just sharing my experiences.. I think we might have hit upon a very important factor for Ed- or anyone else- to consider: the actual location of the lift stops- I bet each manufacturer is a little different. That could become a big factor.

  48. #48
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    You could use overhead "roll-up" garage doors similar to those used for commercial garages. The "roller" could be mounted way up at the top of the walls so it would be out of the way. That way you won't have any rails in the main part of the garage way of anything. There's also another plus - you can make the doors 12' high if needed without compromising the interior garage.
    Thanks,
    Terry
    ALPINA #480/555
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    I had a great laugh here - seeing someone else wrestle with exactly my issues. Like viewing a selfie.

    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    If I could do it again I'd have bought a place with room for a car barn.
    No ... TWO car barns.

    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    They do not lend themselves to spontaneous driving.
    An excellent statement that people should understand in considering lifts - they don't so much as solve problems as redefine them.


    Everything you wrote is exactly correct. Members and guests here need to read, reread, and rereread it carefully (and glance at my comments, too ).
    People need to note that the seemingly small details of your situation vs. mine vs. theirs are critical: not having light fixtures directly over the cars and especially not having ANY garage and/or opener hardware over the cars is the ONLY way a situation like yours works. Even in my 12 foot ceilings, I had to move some hardware. Everything seems to become a problem - even the one-inch additional height of a sharkfin antenna can render a setup impossible. Grrrrrr ....

    The nature of the lift and location of its stops is a good point and, again, something that would never be considered until ... its too late. Ugh.

    Thanks.



    (someday I might be willing to detail the experience of my 670SV being orphaned for months due to a lift "issue" ... )

  50. #50
    Thank you Hunter, Jerry and Terry for the additional thoughts. The detailed spreadsheet assessing the space requirements is extremely helpful in planning for a car lift.

    As was mentioned above, I originally wanted a stand alone garage for enabling a higher ceiling height, but other constraints dictated otherwise. As a young man, I enjoyed working on cars and with a Triumph TR4A as my DD it was a prerequisite for getting around. My needs for the lift are to tinker on a yet to be determined car but a big Healey or older air cooled Porsche often come to mind.

    My neighbor is an real estate agent and he recently sold a new executive home in Portola Valley for $5+M. He had two deals fall through because the house only had a two car garage with no available space on the 1 acre lot for a second garage. Seems a lot of folks are collecting high end cars and want to have them nearby.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  51. #51
    Z8Mania
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    Terry you are right. But the problem with those kinds of doors is they don't look as good in a residential application- or at least I haven't seen any that do. I have really nice wood doors. If I were in a more industrial situation, such a door would be ideal.

    hlmiii You are of course right too. Its definitely better to have all the cars on ground level. Its not so much the taking a car off the lift to drive it, its the putting the car back on. You cannot do this when you are in a hurry. So suppose the Z8 is up on a lift... in my case its likely up there these days and covered because the garage ceiling in my attached garage has some protrusions into the sheet rock which every now and then produce small amounts of debris (from my electrician moved the lights and we never covered up, Ive been meaning to get them filled in or at least take some clear packing tape and cover them!).... any way... if I have to go out for something and want to drive the Z8, I have to move a car, unplug the Z8s battery tender, lower the lift, attach the ramps, gently vacuum the cover so I get any debris off the cover for when I fold it up- and by fold it up I mean roll it into a ball that will go in the trunk lol- disconnect the tender, roll the Z8 down, then depending on weather etc, if I want to put the other car back in the garage, I have to raise the lift which means taking the ramps off, raising the lift, bringing in the other car....

    Now to be sure when you have these problems its a sign that life is good. I simply am illustrating that you really have to think about what you are doing. You are moving heavy machinery around where you can get hurt, so this is not to be done when you are tired, flustered, in a rush, etc.

    I think lifts work best in a situation where you have a car or cars that are older/ collectible/ type cars such as a Z8 or say a classic muscle car or P car or maybe horsie car. Those cars can go up on the lift, under a cover, and you plan to take them down on special occasions. My system is basically to take a car down and thats what I drive for a few weeks and then I rotate them. This way Im not constantly operating lifts. Ive also gotten fairly good at judging how each car lines up for the lift.

    My mini fantasy is to find a small commercial building with some kind of loading or warehouse area where I could store cars which would not be too far from home and move my cars and office to it. I actually know of such a building but the owner wants 2x more than what I think would work for me and my price was a bit of a stretch just because it would allow me to achieve this dream...... In my fantasy I would outfit such a garage with all the mechanical stations needed to do basic work on a car- and for our roads, I would definitely get a top of the line road force balance machine! LOL.

    PS one nice thing to add to the garage is a threshold seal for the doors... Helps keep out rain etc...

    Threshold Seal, 16-Foot - Griot's Garage

  52. #52
    Z8Mania
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    Ed, LMK if you want the actual xls. The site didn't allow for that upload and I didn't think to just change the extension to something allowed. I think even if you are not into cars these days any house beyond something entry level needs to have 3 spaces.

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    Word, Z8Mania.
    Correctly stated all around. And it matches every lift usage I've encountered.

    My mini fantasy is to find a small commercial building with some kind of loading or warehouse area where I could store cars which would not be too far from home
    Yes, this is the real solution.

    It is what I have done - about a year ago I found a four-bay standalone commercial building, with commercial doors, etc. Room for four cars in each bay. The other two bays were already converted to offices. Dream scenario in real life!

    It seems costly and silly, but when you figure in $350 - 450 per month per car for storage or $250+ per month for off-site personal storage, the $$$ total up large and quickly. Why not put the money into an asset that can be recovered - or even appreciated - down the road.

    I still use my lifts, though. It's difficult not to have some of your favorite cars sleeping beside you ...

  54. #54
    Z8Mania
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    Well done!!!! I agree, its best to keep them at home, but if such a storage facility isn't too far away then its not too bad. I know a guy who has a ton of cars and for a while was keeping most of them at a storage facility where he had to pay about what you are talking about- one day I worked out the math, he was spending a huge number in annual storage fees!!!!!!

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    hi,

    We are currently evaluating a new detached garage as well... does anyone have any experience with roll up doors - like they have in commercial garages - eg - Roll Up Garage Doors Vancouver, Overhead Door | Smart Garage

    Although a fair bit pricier, they seem to be the perfect combination of compact and secure.

  56. #56
    Z8Mania
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    I agree they look like they are compact and probably perfectly secure too, but I would know these are more commercially oriented products and that would just bother me.

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    I used Raynor Doors. They have an 18 R-value and look good.

    Joe

  58. #58

    Dim light at the end of the tunnel

    After 11 months of give and take with local government agencies and a public hearing to discuss the project, the initial drawings for the house and 4-car garage were approved last week. With this green light to allow for building plans and the resulting permits, the following list was provided to the architect for the garage:

    Garage Must Have

    • Large utility sink
    • Duplex electrical outlets
    • 240V outlet(s) for future electric car
    • Wiring for internet/TV service
    • Side mounted garage door lift
    • Flooring to support 4-post lift http://www.backyard-buddy.com
    • 2X 16-foot double doors


    Garage Nice to Have

    • Plumbed for compressed air and outlets
    • Epoxy flooring rising 6" on walls
    • Clear or frosted glass garage doors (garage is not visible from street)

    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

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    Congrats! Air Conditioning is nice. I have a Compressor with a long hose reel. If you have the height, put in 10 foot Doors.

    Joe

  60. #60
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    In floor heating

    dave

  61. #61
    Living in the San Francisco Bay Area where our new home is to be built, we are not planning to heat or to cool the garage space. For the house itself, we are using radiant (floor) heating and a central fan to cool the house at night. From an energy perspective, these are the most efficient systems currently available and the least disruptive to the interior design for placing ductwork.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  62. #62
    Team Z8 riverflyer's Avatar
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    Ed,
    I agree with you and it sounds like a great design. I don't hear or cool my garage and I don't think it varies more than 20 degrees for 90+% of the year.
    Look forward to pics, John

  63. #63

    Pictures of model

    Quote Originally Posted by riverflyer View Post
    Ed,
    I agree with you and it sounds like a great design. I don't hear or cool my garage and I don't think it varies more than 20 degrees for 90+% of the year.
    Look forward to pics, John
    Our architect is old school, and his draftsman builds cardboard models of the homes he designs for his clients. Here's a few pictures of the model for our proposed home if you are interested. This home design centers around four mature oak trees (see third picture down). The image with the model Z8 (1:43) is of a similar scale to the home (1:48).

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    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

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    Sorry if already mentioned...... Outlets in ceiling above lifts. Buy a couple of "garage" books and steal (ideas) away!

  65. #65
    Awesome Ed!!! Wanna adopt me?
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  66. #66
    Thank you Dave for the tips, and thank you Andrew for the kind words.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you Dave for the tips, and thank you Andrew for the kind words.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  67. #67
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Ed... You been holding out on us. That house looks amazing!

  68. #68
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    Great House Ed! Wish you all luck with the build!
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  69. #69
    Thank you Ton and Ian. The work of our architect is polarizing, you either love it or you hate it. With the recent design review approval, I felt more confident in posting these pictures as being representative of the house to be built. Now onto the building plans, permits and then the build itself...
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  70. #70
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    Wow, really nice. The one thing I have been appreciating more and more was putting electrical outlets on the side walls by the garage door. I am sure you are doing it for a possible future electric car, but in the meantime it is great to not have to haul around extension cords for things like vacuums and portable air compressors to fill tires. I see you have a 12' ceiling. Be sure to get that Bank Yard Buddy with enough clearance under the ramp so you don't have to duck!
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  71. #71

    Update: Building Permit

    After multiple submissions to local county departments over the last two years, our building permit was issued last Friday. Excavating of the property isn't allowed until May because of rain creating uncontrolled water runoffs, but we'll prep the site for the next couple of weeks. If I had to do it over again, I would have pursued a remodel of an existing home that would have been easier to push through the approval process rather than a green field project. Oh well, onward and upward in 2018!
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  72. #72
    So fun to revisit this and see its actually happening. Since you first posted this I have been putting a lot of time into architectural photography, and have been blessed to stumble into some visionary talents. Architecture is an incredible art and architectural photography is a very precise area of our craft, one I think you'll enjoy putting your new glass to work on.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  73. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    So fun to revisit this and see its actually happening. Since you first posted this I have been putting a lot of time into architectural photography, and have been blessed to stumble into some visionary talents. Architecture is an incredible art and architectural photography is a very precise area of our craft, one I think you'll enjoy putting your new glass to work on.
    With your well trained eye for light I am sure you are producing some amazing results. If you are interested in seeing more work of our architect Fred Herring, his most recent portfolio can be found here: http://herringandworley.com/portfolio/
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

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    Hey Ed,

    great to hear that you are so close to breaking ground. How long will the build be - 18 months or so?

    I have been using the car lift in our new garage extensively! Not sure if you have the height, but if you do, you must get one of these! So easy to do mundane things like clean the inside of the wheels in addition to all the mechanical things one would want to do.

    Hopefully you and the family can make it up to Vancouver and we can have you over.

    Good luck with the process!

    PW

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    Quick q for those who already have an amazing garage... I was at my Land Rover dealership the other day and they had these great hanging fabric drop cloth type things with the LR logo. I asked and they do not sell them. I was wondering if anyone knows where to get these and what they are called... basically about a 4x4 or 4x8 cloth with the logo in the center. Just looking for some nice decorative touches that are not too gaudy.ThanksPW

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