Garage to Studio

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by misol, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. misol

    misol TPF Noob!

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    I am really considering converting my garage. its pretty standard. Double car width, one wide garage door. One regular entry door with a window. I would need to:
    Insulate
    Drywall
    add a ceiling
    several over head lights
    refinish the floor (would love wood but want to resell our home in 5 years so should stuck with something garage like, but nicer then concrete)
    Add an A/C unit

    Has anyone done this? Could anyone offer advice on other things I need to consider? What about flooring?

    Would I need to look into rules about zoning? Or as long as I dont hang a sign or have massive foot traffic, would I be able to skirt that issue?

    All advice is so appreciated!
     
  2. bhphotography

    bhphotography TPF Noob!

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    It is very easily done, here are a couple suggestions:

    - Leave the ceiling as high as possible. You will want to put your lights up high.
    - If you paint, paint it matt black or matt grey, that way the ceiling and walls wont reflect light
    - If your looking for the wood idea, try a click floor. Only do the area you would be taking photos in. It can be removed later and re-used in your new home. I would highly suggest a vapour barrier underlay to keep the moisture from the concrete from getting to it.

    - Also, if you can, add a change room / washroom to the studio if you are going to be working with models.

    Hope that helps!
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    +1 on the ceiling. Eight feet won't cut it.
     
  4. gian133

    gian133 TPF Noob!

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    yes.
    if by click floor you mean snap together wood floors then yes. snap together floors are super popular these days and super easy to install yourself.

    and idk if this would effect the lighting but maybe you could leave the ceiling joists exposed and paint it all black. it would give you a cool industrial look and make it easy to hang from.
     
  5. misol

    misol TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the ideas. There is one step in the garage, so I wonder if the snap stuff would work with that.

    Thanks for the ideas about the ceiling. I guess cause its such a hot climate, I thought we would need insulation up there, not to mention lights (regular room lights) and to some how make the garage door opener disappear. I cant really envision it without a ceiling in. Maybe it wont work. How do people set up studios in spare rooms it regular ceiling heights dont work?
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Regular ceiling heights work but are very limiting. If you're using a 60 inch umbrella or sofbox and want the middle of it 6 feet up, that can't happen with an 8 foot ceiling.

    As far as the garage door opener? Simple, remove it, since the room is now a studio and not a garage anymore.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You want as much height as you can get...but you can also learn to work with what you have.

    As for the opener...I wouldn't get rid if it. The best thing about using a garage as a studio...is that you have an 8' by 20' window any time you want. That will give you much softer light than any softbox or umbrella could.

    As for dry walling the ceiling...there are pros and cons. If you are going to cool the space with AC, then yes, an insulated attic space will really help with that. Plus, a nice ceiling can be used to bounce light off of.
    On the other hand, a ceiling might bounce light when you don't want it to...and having some open space between the rafters might give you room for lights...you might even be able to mount some lights up there and not have to use light stands, freeing up some floor space.
     
  8. misol

    misol TPF Noob!

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    thanks so much. I have alot to think about. I am pretty excited about the idea. Hubby isnt sold but once I get the plans worked out, I might get him on board. I think I could sort it out. Perhaps I could leave part of the ceiling exposed in the area I will have my set up. I dont know, I am having a contractor come take a look soon and see what the logistics would be.

    Any more advice is greatly appreciated!
     
  9. Breanna

    Breanna TPF Noob!

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    My garage "studio" often houses 2 cars, 2 trash cans, boxes, and lawn equipment :lol:
    I don't have any desire to do anything more, but best of luck on your conversion! Def. leave the door on remote. I love love love being able to take advantage of that awesome natural light!

    (don't mind the FILTHY muslin)
    [​IMG]
     

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