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Double-deep dream garage

Liz Gabel only suggested it once: “Honey, it’s time we think about rebuilding the garage.” Nine months later--after studying countless garages and projects at garagejournal.com--husband Jeff started building the double-deep garage of his dreams.

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  • Fixing the big squeeze

    The analogy of "10 pounds of potatoes crammed into a 5-pound bag" accurately describes Jeff Gabel's old life, where he squeezed three cars into a detached garage.

    Clearly, it wasn't working: Jeff stashed tools and tires in the basement, in the garage, and even on the stair landing. To get in and out of the cars, Jeff and his wife, Liz, each had to turn sideways. Something had to give! So when Liz suggested it was time to build a new garage, Jeff went straight to the drawing board.

  • Jeff's little bump out

    Jeff outfitted a 4x10' media wing with a flat-screen TV on a swing arm, an intercom, Wi-Fi, car magazines, and an amp to power the four wall-mounted speakers.

  • Room for work and recreaction

    A panoramic view of the rear garage shows the overall layout of Jeff's space, which, despite occasionally housing an additional car in the left bay, allows plenty of room for him to work.

  • Hidden storage with class

    Jeff concealed storage closets behind sliding frosted glass doors hung on a continuous track. This allows him to easily slide the doors to reveal the storage areas and a bathroom.

  • Now with parking for four

    Jeff's new garage looks similar to the old garage from the front, yet now conceals three new wings with their own garage doors for kids' bikes and garden tractors, as well as parking for four cars.

  • Two garages back-to-back

    An insulated double overhead door separates the front and rear garage sections and displays Jeff's collection of European racing posters. The door retracts into the ceiling of the front garage bays, maintaining maximum clearance above the lift.

  • Garage door retracts into the ceiling

    The two-deep layout of the garage helps the structure match the scale of the nearby main house. The archival race posters hanging on the door retract with the door when it is raised. The door appears as a fourth wall when lowered.

  • Floor plan

    "The design detail is a pure function of being an artist and having the ability to visualize the entire space in my head, and then draw it on paper."

  • Terrific tire storage

    A homemade system of threaded steel pipe and flanges (bolted into preplaced wall studs) stores up to 10 tires, while two rolling platforms allow easy movement of an additional eight tires closer to the lift. The top rows of tires are seasonal. Jeff hangs wheel felts and extra floor mats from ordinary pants hangers.

  • Two-dozen plus can lights

    The ambient lighting in Jeff's garage includes twelve 4" eyeball cans and fifteen 6" cans.

  • A pair of pendant lights

    Two vintage industrial pendant lights on dimmer switches and with wire guards hang above a 6'-long workbench where Jeff works on his car components.

  • No such thing as too much light

    Whether he's tinkering under a car or doing detail work at the bench, Jeff relies on bar-style work lights with magnetic clips to provide additional illumination, this 13-watt fluorescent Craftsman (model #73941 and magnetic mount #83020). Two permanently mounted undercabinet fluorescent fixtures also illuminate Jeff's workbenches.

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