A couple of months ago we bought a house in the country and I finally got my very own garage. You who have one knows how bloody awesome that is, and you who dream of one; yes it is bloody awesome.

But like it is with motorcycles, it is with your garage – you want to make it your own. Only thing is that it takes a heck of a lot longer to pimp your garage than slapping on some after market cans on your scoot.

In this case the old concrete floor was not insulated, full of cracks, and very uneven. One option was to just pour a new layer of concrete on top of it, but that would reduce the height to the ceiling and probably wouldn’t last. It wouldn’t prevent vapor coming up through the floor either, which risks that your tools can rust. There was no other way than to tear the whole thing up and cast a new floor.

Digging digging digging
Tearing up the old floor is a LOT of work, but it’s a no brainer that you can easily do yourself. Rent a jack hammer and whack the old concrete to pieces you can carry, then start digging, digging, and digging. You need to go at least 30cm below the level you want your new floor to be, depending on how much insulation you plan on putting in.

To ensure that you’re on the right level all across the floor, hammer some iron spears in the ground and tie a nylon string between them at your desired height to measure by.

In goes the Sundolitt insulation plates
When you’re done digging you can put in your insulation. I used some polystyrene plates called Sundolitt that you can get in various thickness.

Directly on the ground below the insulation it’s recommended to put some thick sheets of plastic to act as a damp proof membrane.

Wire net and heat pipes goes in
On top of the insulation you put some wire net to reinforce the concrete floor and for securing the heat tubes if you’re going to have a heated floor. Remember to make an exact illustration on where the heck those tubes are, if you plan on bolting stuff to your floor later.

Test your new floor with your bikes
There’s a million different opinions on how to pour on the concrete, what type of concrete to use, and if you should mix it yourself or not. The tricky thing is to get it level and even.

I strongly suggest that you team up with someone who has experience, or hire professionals to pour it on. If you hire a truck with premixed concrete, and you have a couple of people to help you, it takes no more than an hour or two.

Leave the floor to dry for 2-5 days (ask your concrete guy), then roll in your motorcycle to try your spanking new floor on for size.

Next up is treating the floor to achieve a blank washable surface that doesn’t dust or suck up oil like a sponge, which your raw concrete floor will do. After that it’s on to insulating the walls, repairing the ceiling, putting up light and electricity, painting, and…and…

Stay tuned and learn how you can make a pro shop out of your beat up old garage. And If you need elaboration on anything just speak up.

If you need inspiration on garage tweaking, check out The Garage Journal

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9 Responses to “Making a pro shop out of your beat up old garage – part 1”

  1. Fathead  October 31st

    Clean looking shovel head , Is that a 1979 1/2 looks like one but Its hard to tell . Oh ya nice garage , Like the oil catch basin . Good luck with your floor .

  2. Jesper  October 31st

    It’s a 73. Still a lot of work to do on the garage, but it’s going to be bitching.

  3. Pan Chopper Man  November 3rd

    Oh my aching back!!! What the fuck, dude. Are you… like …a work-aholic or something? Who th’fuck get’s THAT elaborate for a fucking garage for God’sake! I mean…
    I’ve got a beautiful garage/bar-room/bike maintenance area, and all I fucking did was… pour the floor, build the structure, shingle the roof, and move on in!
    All this extra shit is unnecessary!!!
    Your bike won’t give a crap!

    Oh, wait, …I get it… you’re doing all this cause you’re prepairing for when the ole’lady kicks yer ass out of the house. Yeah, you’ll have a nice cozy garage/appartment to live in.

    Smart thinking.

  4. Jesper  November 3rd

    As Yoda say, “there’s only do or do not”.

  5. Fathead  November 7th

    Hey Jesper Il tell ya what bro, That heat pipe in the floor is awesome stuff. When I worked at a bike shop they had that type of heat it made for a sweet work enviroment . Nice when you open Bay door and close it . It is still the same temp inside and no heat loss . I do remember that a took about a week for the floor to heat up and stabilize , it sucked back the Kerosine heating that sucker up . Good luck and if ya want to sleep naked on the floor , thats the floor to do it . Oh ya By the way Pan Man only sleeps in his garage when hes to shit faced to crawl to the house and sleep on the couch .

  6. Pan Chopper Man  November 13th

    Yeah Fathead, that’s why I put the couch out in the garage…all that crawling was wearing out my pants.

  7. MyChopperBlog  November 27th

    Very nice starting point for a shop, I am about to add a paint booth to my shop, but am having a hard time cleaning it out nad moving all the tools around to make room. It only takes a year or so to fill it up with benders, welders, and tools.

  8. goat  December 30th

    what does the heating in the floor?? electricity?

  9. Jesper  December 31st

    The tubes is going to be connected to the central heating system. So the heat is coming from hot water running in the tubes.

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