Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Man Cave Part I - Planning

Hooray!  I know I'm not the only one relieved to put the chaos of the Holiday season behind.  Time to ring in the New Year and all the projects it will bring.

With most of the urgent honey-do tasks checked off, it's time to create a dedicated environment for future make-worthy projects.  Yes, time to create the MAN CAVE!

Heh.  I feel like such a rebel using a banned phrase for 2012!

Unfortunately, unlike folks who live in some cowtastic parts of the world, Mama monkey and I aren't fortunate enough to have a typical basement to renovate for this purpose.  We do, however, have a three-car garage, one bay of which I've appropriated for my own fantastic, albeit Lilliputian retreat.

The garage is one large room with a large roll-up door in front of two parking spots, and a small single door in front of the third.  The plan is to carve out most of the third bay into a room (formally a storage room) that can serve as part shop, part office, and part tinkering space.  The garage door would be left in place, as would a few feet behind it to serve as storage for sporting equipment and parking for my classic Italian scooter.

Keeping the garage door poses a few tricky issues, as I want the cave to be a closed area that maintains a fire safety barrier from the rest of the garage.  The door track overhangs at about 8 feet, so the last few feet of the cave would need a dropped ceiling a little lower than the full height of the garage.  To do this and make everything fit, I needed to sketch out a few things, which I was able to do easily using TealPaint on my mobile phone.

After a lot of fiddling, I figured out a layout that seemed to work best.  Power tools would be kept at one side of the cave, with saws mounted on a mobile tool cart (future project) where it could be wheeled outside through an existing side door for most work.  A new solid-core door would be added for access to the rest of the garage, as would a smaller door leading to the scooter parking.  To pass through some light from the garage door windows, two rows of glass block (with 1-hour fire rating) would be added to the adjacent wall.

I roughed in the walls with 2x4 lumber nailed to a pressure-treated sole plates screwed into the concrete floor below with TapCon fasteners.  It still doesn't look like much, but it was nice to finally get to the point where you can start to get a feel for how the space will work.