In this blog post I will take you through the second half of preparing my single car garage so that it would be suitable for use as a workshop. Fitting out the workshop will come later. This is a great DIY project and one with a some decent lessons if you have never done this before.

So the next step was to insulate and line the walls. As luck would have it, I know a tradesman who installs loft insulation from time to time. He was kind enough to give me any surplus insulation he had lying around. Over the course of a month or so, this amounted to around 2 complete packs of insulation, meaning I only had to buy a third in order to completely insulate the garage walls. At £30.00 per roll, this made a huge difference! He knows who he is and to him I say “Thank You”.

Once I had the insulation, I needed to buy some plywood for lining the walls. I took some advice from friends, who suggested going for 1/4″ Plywood. But after a trip to my local B&Q to look at what they had in stock, I quickly decided that 1/4″ Plywood would be too flimsy for my liking. After all, I want a sturdy surface for tool/wood storage and one that would hopefully last a number of years. So I had a look at 1/2″ thick Ply, which to be honest seemed great, but the cost was obviously much, much higher. As a compromise I opted for 9mm (3/8″) thick Plywood. Much sturdier than 1/4″ Ply and overall around a £75 saving on using 1/2″.

I wanted the highest grade possible; I will be spending a lot of time in the garage and I want it to look as good as possible. The best deal I found was at Travis Perkins, where I was able to get 10 sheets of 9mm hardwood ply for around £200.00.

The delivered 9mm Plywood

The delivered 9mm Plywood

After the plywood was delivered, it was time to make a start!

Each sheet of ply should be 1.2m wide, but just in case the dimensions were out, I waited for the ply to arrive before fitting any of the cross batons to the frames. I was able to use the height of each board to mark where the centre of the baton should be, then fix the baton in place so that there would be additional fixing options for both the plywood and other fittings later on.

The next step was to cut the plywood to length. Although the rough dimensions of the walls were 2.4m x 2.4m, this may well have been the external dimension of the bricks, as the internal dimensions were a little smaller. So the sheets of plywood, which did measure 2.4m x 1.2m had to be trimmed in order to get them to fit. I did this before fitting the insulation as offering up the boards two or three times (in order to get a snug fit) while the insulation was fitted and exposed would likely make for a messy situation.

After trimming the boards to size (using my Panel Saw), the basic method was very straightforward, cut the insulation into strips and simply wedge it between the beams. Cutting the insulation around 1-2″ longer than the gap meant there was enough compression in the insulation that it held itself in place:

First Panel of insulation fitted between the beams.

First Panel of insulation fitted between the beams and the batons also fitted for extra support.

Once the insulation was in place, the next step was to affix the plywood to the frames. To do this I used a 1″ screw at every intersection between an upright and a horizontal beam. So around 10 screws per board. Luckily I had a whole box of these screws “in stock” and had had them for years – See Here.

First Panel in place with next lot of insulation fitted as well.

First Panel in place with next lot of insulation fitted as well.

I made provisions for 4 additional power socket points as I no doubt will have need of them in the future.  In fitting the insulation and the ply, I started with the rear wall and worked my way forward, repeating the steps as above, the only difference between the upper and lower panels is that the upper panels needed extra trimming to adjust the width as well as cut outs for the power socket housings.

Back Wall Finished

Back Wall Finished

Second Wall Completed

Second Wall Completed

Third Wall Completed

Third Wall Completed

All But last Panel to go!

All But last Panel to go!

With the last panel I had to change things up slightly, as this is where the consumer unit for the garage is, so I have fitted a smaller plywood panel there and will need to build a door mechanism for the consumer unit area once I have had an electrician wire up the sockets.

The Final Panel leaving the consumer unit free

The Final Panel Leaving the Consumer Unit Free

And with that panel the conversion is well on  it’s way. The walls are now insulated and every wall will now facilitate having either tool storage, cabinets or other features mounted to them. I may add a liner to the floor to reduce concrete dust build up and more importantly to protect any tools that may be dropped, but am unsure at this stage whether to look at plywood again or laminate flooring.

I have to be honest and admit that I am relieved to have this done and dusted. Now that this is done, I can begin to focus on some “proper” woodworking projects. One of the most pressing projects that will need to be completed soon is, of course, a workbench!

Thanks for reading.

~Alistair

 

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