Brian's TGP Garage Studio Build Thread

2020 is the year I take back my garage.

I don’t think it’s ever had a [ running ] car parked inside of it for more than a couple days in the 10+ years I’ve lived here. And, since the garage is MY space to do with as I please—and has been, more often than not, a source of frustration and shame—I have decided to make getting it organized a priority in 2020.

The goal is turning my garage into a place where things get done, be they higher quality podcast episodes (with guests), recording videos of things being worked on at my work bench—including having a vehicle parked in the garage with the door closed—and just making this a space that feels more usable and efficient.

Here’s what it looked like at its best, the night @racedinanger and @BradD came over for a podcast.

As you can see, it’s already started relaxing again. This view from where I record podcasts.

I flipped this image from the Garage Storage Zones article I found to better match my space.

Those zones are as follows:

  1. Welcome Home/Transition
  2. Bulky Storage/Recycling
  3. Thin & Thoughtful (near car doors)
  4. Large/Bulky & Infrequently Used
  5. Frequently Used Outdoors by the Door
  6. Workbench
  7. Overhead

With that in mind, here’s the sketch I’ve worked up.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this yet. I’m more than likely going to build some robust, wooden shelving for the left side so I can get away from stacking totes and stuff over there, but I’m not sure if they’re going to run as far as they look in the sketch.

I’ll take some better pictures tonight, but notice the washer, dryer, and water heater on the left. There are two of those larger, hang-from-the-rafters shelves on either side of the garage door opener in a straight line out from the washer/dryer. We hang clothes on them to dry, which limits what can go on the floor beneath.

:arrow_up: This is where I’m starting with this project.

Not seen is the sheet rock wall behind my work bench area. Much as I love my giant, Mitsubishi Wake Up And Drive banner, it’s a tremendous waste of space and will have to go somewhere so I can hang more shelving.



Here’s the back wall behind the always completely covered and nigh unusable workbench.

And another angle…

I’m thinking overhead shelving, task lighting, and a drinks cabinet to store some my scotch and rum.

Okay. So here’s the washer-dryer-water-heater area where I’m going to start this shamwow. (Peep that primo, GBXM IPO shirt from 2011!)

Here’s another view.

I know I can make the shelf over the appliances bigger/longer, but can I relocate the clothes hanging rod overhead without blocking access to the appliances? I’m not so sure. (And we could almost always use more than 4ft of hanging space.)

Part of me wonders if I couldn’t rig up some kind of suspended clothes rod that retracts up and out of the way but that seems a bit too complicated.

Oh! And notice the window. Maybe I could install a window AC unit and plumb some ducting to the work bench for a nice cool breeze. Not sure I want a window AC unit on the front of my house though…

My 2 cents:
Definitely get the clothes up above the washer and dryer. You just might need a stool to reach them, but that’s not such a big deal.

Also you have chemicals all over the place, pick a shelf or a bucket or a box, and get them all in one place, and that should not be next to your water heater or dryer.

It also seems like with some 2x4s and totes you could get quite a bit of the less often used stuff up into the rafters but still accessible without too much headache with the right ladder.

Biggest thing though for me when cleaning up is start with the floor. It’s impossible to clean if you can’t move, it’s impossible to move on a cluttered floor, so pick a section of floor to deal with first!

What’s your must haves and your nice to haves?

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Well played! I hadn’t even considered must have vs nice to have. At least, not consciously anyway.

My overhead clothes solution idea is a sort of triple bungee cord affair. I don’t have a sketch handy, but imagine a rigid version of a swing. (Replace the seat with a 6ft rod and the chains with bars hinged at both ends.) I’m thinking a couple bungees pulling things up at all times, with one in the middle hanging down as a pull cord that could then be hooked to an anchor to allow easy reach to the rod and get things up and out of the way when not needed.

As to keeping chemicals away from the dryer and water heater, I agree, but the washer sits between them, meaning I’ll have to look elsewhere for anything beyond cleaning supplies.

Right now, my rakes and shovel are piled in a rats best between the water heater and the door. If you see the yellow dolly below the still plays with cars sign in the bench picture up there, that’s the area I’d like to move this things. I’m thinking push the bench further away from the door and add a little bench for changing shoes, some hanging wall storage for long tools, and maybe a shelf for yard chemicals. Not sure how far I want to push the bench though. Garage depth is important.

Methinks I should break out the tape measure…

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Okay, so I broke out the tape measure and got some rough measurements of the laundry space.

  • First, starting with the clothes hanging requirement (orange).
    – 51" height, ensures pants do not touch bottom
    – 35" depth, ensures shirt sleeves do not touch walls

  • Next, overall washer/dryer/heater zone (green).
    – 114" width, from the window to the corner just past the water heater
    – 60" depth, for washer/dryer, ensures dryer can open without contact
    – 67" between top of washer/dryer and bottom of rafter beams

I could relocate the two overhead racks to over the washer/dryer, but they would have to be raised considerably, reducing the amount of space on them. (Damnit. I wish I’d seen/thought of this when I was out there with the tape measure.) That might allow for storage of random holiday/interior stuff in bins overhead, though I’d also need to relocate the overhead light which would then be blocked.


Marie Condo a bunch of stuff and it will make starting easier.


That’s the plan.

Starting to see some of my personality disorder stuff coming through, too. I’m all excited about planning this—but where’s the action, right? And why am I also spending more time thinking about incorporating a liquor/drinks cabinet and bookshelf into my workbench area right now?

Need to tag this #todo so I can come back to it later.

(Psst! On Discourse, tags work like sub-forums. Check out #montero for example. You gotta tag the first post in a topic, but you can link to those “subs” inline like I just did here. It’s pretty neat.)

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@humming thanks for the accountability call, brother. Needed it today.



Dryer duct had come apart. I’ve got a periscope style inbound from Amazon so I can keep things offset from the wall connection.

Super nice bonus, now I’ve got a 30" x 30" x 8FT tower shelf idea for that corner by the window.


Not happy with the paint stack, but it’s all together now. Plenty of room for another shelf above the washer dryer. Maybe the paint could go there? (Over the clothes, though? Hmmm…)

And, since I’ve got a guest coming over this week to record a podcast, I decided to clean up the desk a bit while I was in there. Not sure how I like that orientation yet.


My garage desk has a neat trick, too. :wink:

Not as much progress as I would have liked, but I’ll take it. Thanks for the support, fellas.


You made some good progress!
Just FYI saturday February 8th is a BOPA/household hazardous waste event and it’s more or less on our side of town at 40th Street and union hills. I’ve got a bunch of stuff piled up for that event.

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Just in case you need a waterproof pelicanish case for something Home Depot has these on sale right now. Seem to be of good quality.

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Pretty sure i just saw my new recording booth.

I could hang thick curtains under the overhead rack, making a nice, relatively quiet space. Close them around the monitor, and I can stand or sit with everything in view. Might even be able to do halfway decent video too.

And it’s close enough to the window I might be able to duct in some AC or actually feel my little space heater.

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I can see progress… errr… Progressing! Nice work sir. Keep at it.

I keep my paints, cleaners, etc in overhead cupboards, separated by purpose.
Something like this:

I’ve put up a lot of them overtime, and they don’t seem to take much space because of their shallow form factor.


That’s pretty much what I was going to suggest Phil, a dedicated secure cabinet for chemicals and paints. While Brian’s daughter is probably old enough know better, it’s nice to keep that stuff out of the reach of kids and organized in one place. Also gives a bit of fire protection possibly?


The minute I saw the cabinet, I was reminded of how every factory floor or workshop I’ve ever been in has kept the flammable things in metal cabinets of some kind. I’m not worried about P getting into the chemicals—knock on wood, she’s never stuck anything in an electrical outlet or expressed any interest in the stuff under the sink—but it’s good practice all the same. I’ll have to look into these for sure. Brake parts cleaner, WD40, starting fluid (ether), etc. All serious chemicals. All should be treated as such.

These of course are identically available in metal, except at 4x the price.

Also… All are lockable, regardless of cost. My kids (dogs) can’t reach em so no locking necessary for me.

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Might I suggest adding a vent to the cabinet you plan on storing the chemicals in. The fumes from those various containers will make a fun smell when you crack open that cabinet.


Not to high jack, but I bought this case after Rob posted it. I put my camcorder gear in it. It’s mint for $20.

I was about to do this too, gotta make another trip to Home Depot!

I already have “pelicans” for both my Blue Snowball and H4N. Not sure what else I might need one for—but I’m sure I will.

This just in! Father-in-law has offered to buy back the leaf blower he got me for Xmas (because he forgot he already bought me one a couple years back) for $100. That brings my Home Depot/Lowes budget to an immediate $140 for supplies!

I can’t wait until we’re talking about how to make plutonium from common, household items in my garage. :wink:

Seeing @humming’s toolbox audit reminded me I’ve got this can of worms sitting in the corner, just waiting to be opened.

Check out all the unused lumber in the corner next to it. That’s gonna come in way handy when I start building shelving. :construction_worker_man:

Also, after having a podcast guest IN the studio this week, I want to expand my shower curtain recording booth to fully enclose the desk between the two overhead racks so as many as 4 people can be on the show.

I wonder if I can get green backdrop curtains and hang them from pvc rails…

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