Another " heat in garage " thread

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Nomad, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Hello all, I am planning on building my final layout in the garage and am in the process of insulating the garage now. I am wondering what you people with the colder winters use for heat for your garage based layouts?
    I live in Washington state and the temp can get down in the 20's with ice and snow, plus I have poor circulation and need to keep the temp at least 70 degrees to be comfortable. The garage is 24'x24' with a 12' ceiling detached from the house. I need to share the garage with a car, so maybe a wood stove is out of the question?

  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I am assuming it would not be heated all the time, only when you want to be out there working. Part of the problem with a wood stove (or any other heat) is that it will take a while for the garage to get heated up to comfortable temperature. What would be nice, is to have something you can switch on from inside the house an hour or so before you plan to be in the garage. A wood stove would require you to head to the garage, build a fire, and maintian a fire.

    24x24 is proably too large of a space to heat with one of those 1500 watt space heaters. Maybe two electric heaters placed near the layout. Your circuits need to be beefy enough to handle them. You could also try a pellet stove - much less work than a wood stove and can be turned on and off via a thermostat.

  3. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I'm thinking a little propane heater. There is no need for exterior venting and those little suckers get hot fast. Plus, you can hook them up to a thermostat if need be. My parents use two of them in a 3,000 SF ranch house and they get the job done.
  4. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Please use a carbon monoxide detector in the garage if you do use any device with open flame (heater, stove, propane torch, etc). They cost about $30 or so. RV manufacturers are required to install them because of the propane burning devices.

    Personal experience: when the wind is from the right (wrong?) direction on a cold morning, just starting the car even with the garage door open has sent CO soaring to unhealthy levels. But at least I know the detector is working.:thumb:

    just my experiences
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Loren, you mentioned that the garage is 24 x 24. Do you only share the garage with one car? how big is the car and how big is the space to be taken up by the layout? Typically, the problem with using a garage is that the door is so big that as soon as you open it you let all of the heat in/out depending on season. You also let in all of the bugs, dust, and whatever environmental "stuff" is there that you would really rather not have invading your layout. If there is room to do it, I think a better solution would be to put in a wall separating your layout space from the rest of the garage. If you can, re-frame the door for a smaller one car garage door rather than the two car door that you probably have now. With insulation in the new walls, you now have a 12 x 24 space to heat and possibly cool in summer, and your btu demands are reduced considerably. I'm not sure where Elks Plain, Washington is, but if in eastern Washington, you probably have much warmer summer temps than out on the coast. The ideal might be to pick up a small, window "shaker" heat pump that would provide heat in winter and reverse to provide ac in summer. I think Washington and Oregon still have the least expensive electric costs in the country due to the electrical power provided by the dams on the Columbia.
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Thanks for the replies, guys. I have found out wood heat of any kind is out, it voids my insurance. I am not sure about propane heat, need to check into that more.
    Russ'es idea sounds the best, but there is no way I can afford to replace the garage door, so I need to do a lot of measuring and see what I can do with it "as is".

  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you can't replace the garage door, what type of door do you have and how much space does it take up inside the garage when open? My garage door extends into the garage about 4 feet when open. You can build a short stud wall parallel with the door but inside a few inches from the inside edge of the door when it is open. In the case of my garage door, I could put a wall about 4-4.5 feet into the garage. That would mean a layout room in one side of the garage that is 12 feet by 20 feet. You could then put a work bench on the outside of the wall if you don't having the door open when you use it.
  8. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Is there any way to add a regular door (Man door) to the side of the garage??? Also - I think Russ is on the right track here.. we need more information!!! :D :D :D

    For example.. Leave the "Left" side of the garage for the car, close off the right side for the trains..

    I have a 10 X 10 workroom, which is a converted garage. the 10' door isn't really insulated. I use 1 electric ceramic heater... It takes about 10 minutes to heat the room. If you get 2 of them you should be fine. ALL newer models have a tip switch, when they start to tilt (10 - 15 degrees) like when I knock it over :D It shuts off immediately! The insurance company recommends them....

    Only other thing you have to decide, is how big to make the area and where to put the door. And remember - you can have the door open "in" toward the trains or "out" toward the garage door or the car.....

    Attached Files:

  9. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Ok guys, this sounds better all the time!:thumb:
    Here's a couple of pics of what I have to work with.
    The area on the left is where the trains will need to be. There is a man door in the near left corner where that door is leaning up. I figure I can go 20' on the left wall, and out to that center beam, about 11'. The garage door track is 7' from the floor, so I think I could put a ceiling underneath the track and then raise the ceiling beyond that so it's not so cramped in there. What do you think?


    Attached Files:

  10. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Oh Yeah!!! Sounds great!!!!
  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If your door goes up into a track that is 7 feet above the floor, you could install a stud wall right behind the garage door and a lower ceiling below the track with the ceiling going higher just past the end of the track. If you use a pocket door in the wall for access to the train room you won't have it swinging into the car or the layout space. I think you could possibly get a layout room 12' x 23' in that area!
  12. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    A seven foot ceiling isn't bad. That is what I have and it is less to heat. Mikey has been to see my layout. I don't know if he remembers the low ceiling or not.
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If the door tracks are at 7 feet, he would end up with a ceiling height at the door end of 6 feet-6.5 feet. That isn't too bad if he is under 6 feet tall. If he is 6 feet tall or over, he might want to pad that part of the ceiling with foam rubber.
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Thanks for all the replies. After due consideration ( and a lot of measuring and thinking ) I am going to wall off the back of the garage. That will give me a 24 'x 8' area that will be 7' high. And leave me some of the shop area to park the yard tractor and stuff.
    Now, if any of you are carpenters, I could sure use some help figuring out how to build this thing. I am way over my head on this one.

  15. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

  16. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Thanks for the link Mikey, that's a big help. But, I am wondering about the back wall. How do I fasten the studs to it?

  17. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    You can drill into it and use plastic anchors... On the floor too!!!! Or you can rent a Hilti Gun - Nail Gun that uses 22 ca. charges to "shoot" nails....
  18. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Ok, thanks. I will check into that.

  19. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The picture look like your back wall has some boards going across the wall. You can use 3 inch deck screws (won't rust) drilled through studs at an angle and into the boards to hold the studs in place.
  20. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Piece of's just 1:1 scale benchwork set vertically! :mrgreen:

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