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The Budget Garage

Have something large that needs to be protected but you’re on budget? That’s where the Budget Garage comes in.

As you may already know we bought a Porsche 944 turbo project. If not, you can find out more about our Porsche 944 turbo here. Since we don’t have a proper garage, the Budget Garage was the perfect solution. We needed a temporary place to keep the car safe and dry while still allowing us room to work on the car and giving us access under the car. That’s where the budget garage comes in as a temporary home for our 1989 Porsche 944 Turbo.

Step 1 – Build The Platforms

Material needed for step 1:

We started by building two large platforms made of 2″ X 16″ X 12′ lumber and 3/8 oriented strand board, or OSB.

We needed three 2″ x 16″ x 12 ft. boards for each platform, so six – 12 foot length boards altogether. Two of the 12 foot, 2″ x 16″ boards were cut into 12″ lengths to give us 15″ of working room under the car. Once we added the two 2″ x 16″ x 12 ft. boards along the top and bottom of our 12″ upright pieces, we gain an additional 3″ for 15″ total (2″ thick lumber is not true 2″ thick, it’s only 1.5″ thick). Check your local area lumber to confirm true dimensions)

After those were cut we ripped the OSB. Only one 4 ft. x 8 ft. x 3/8″ board is required per platform, so two total. We ripped the OSB in 15″ widths, 8 feet long as 15 inches is the total height of our platforms.

Two OSB sheets ripped into 15" widths
Two 4’x8′ OSB sheets ripped into 15″ widths & two 12′ x 2″ x 16″ boards cut into 14″ lengths.

We secured the 2″ x 16″ boards together with 3″ long wood screws and wood glue.

We double upped the 2″ x 16″ x 14″ boards where the wheels were going to be parked gluing the 2″ x 16″ x 14″ boards together.

After the frame was built we screwed and glued the OSB to the sides for horizontal strength.

Step 2 – Place The Foundation

Materials used for step 2:

  • 3 bags of gravel
  • 8 – 10 patio stones
  • 15 ft. x 23 ft. Vapor barrier

We then used our platforms to mark out where we needed to put our patio stones. The patio stone are being used as our foundation to make sure nothing moves for the time this car will be here. We made sure we had patio stones directly under our double upped 2″ x 16″ x 14″ sections which is ultimately where the wheels of the car will be parked.

We found our lowest point and put the gravel on the surface so in case any water got in, it wouldn’t disrupt the patio stone placement. We then put the patio stones on top of the gravel, digging out the high spots so our platforms could set level on the patio stones.

We placed a vapor barrier that was 15 feet wide by 23 feet long between the patio stones and platforms to try to keep as much moisture out as possible. We cut it long so we could wrap it up along the sides.

Step 3 – Build The Deck

Materials needed for step 3:

  • 15 – 2″ x 4″ x 10 ft. boards
  • 11 – 2″ x 4″ x 12 ft. boards
  • 5 – 4 ft. x 8 ft. x 3/8″ OSB sheets
  • Pack of 1.5″ deck screws

We then got to work on the deck surrounding the platform so we had a place to walk around the car. This was done with 2x4s and 3/8″ OSB. We used roughly fifteen 2″ x 4″ x 10 ft. length boards and eleven 2″ x 4″ x 12 ft length boards to build the frame as seen in the pictures.

We screwed the 2x4s directly to the platforms and built out to our required dimensions, roughly 3 feet each way.

We used various lengths of 2x4s to act as legs for the deck and dropped them down to patio stones for stability.

Then we used Five 4′ x 8′ x 3/8″ OSB sheets to lay down on top of our frame for our deck.

Porsche 944 turbo temporary garage 951

At the back of the garage, behind the car, we built that deck frame in a way where it could be removed separately. We wanted to build it so everything didn’t have to be disassembled to drive the car out.

We screwed a couple of angled 2x6s at the back to support the platform. We also screwed a couple of 2x4s to the back of the vehicle platforms to catch the other side of our drop in platform. Not shown here is what the final version looked like. We removed the 2x4s on the vehicle platform so our drop in platform can be angle downwards towards the car allowing easy access under the car.

All we need to do is remove 8 screws out of a 12 foot 2×4 that runs along the back, then our drop in platform can be removed.

Step 4 – Build the Pop Up Garage in a Box

Materials needed for step 4:

ShelterLogic Round Style Auto Shelter 10' x 20'
ShelterLogic Round Style Auto Shelter 10′ x 20′

Building the pop up garage was pretty painless, a second person is very helpful when trying to connect some of the cross sections though.

Once the garage was completely built we screwed the legs of the garage to deck making sure at least one 3-4″ screw was used securing it to a 2×4 in the deck frame in case of high winds.

We left one canvas door off as we butted the garage up against our shed which has a double door on it.

To get the car up onto the platform we used 2x10s supported with steel ramps and various lumber.

The final product:

Final notes:

We left a tarp draped over the whole garage to give the garage a second layer of protection. Also if you live in an area that gets snow, I highly recommend putting two rows of at least 1×2 strapping along either side of the center beam to help support the weight of the snow. If you don’t put in the strapping and you do get snow you could be looking at premature failure of the tent canvas.

To be continued… next lighting, electrical and heat.

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