Customizing a Garage Workspace Area
| Reference Number: KB-00841 Last Updated: 09-30-2013 07:39 AM
The information in this article applies to:
I would like to create custom storage and workspace in a garage plan. How can I do this?
Using the Cabinet tools and library fixtures and furnishings, you can create a space in your garage to meet a variety of needs. Work areas for vehicle maintenance, storage, gardening or other hobbies can easily be designed using the same tools and basic techniques.
To plan your space
The primary purpose of most garages is for parking vehicles. Before adding a work space, it's helpful to figure out how much extra room is available.
- Select File> Open Plan to display the plan in which you would like to create a garage work area or File> New Plan from the menu to open a new, blank plan.
- Select Library> Library Browser from the menu. In the Library Browser:
- Browse to the Vehicles, and click on a vehicle that best describes one kept in your garage.
- When you move your cursor into the drawing area, it will display the Fixtures icon .
- Click once in the drawing area to place the selected vehicle at that location.
- Click on the vehicle to select it and use the Move edit handle to make any needed adjustments to its position.
- If you know the exact measurements of your vehicle, click the Open Object edit button.
- On the General tab of the Furniture Specification dialog:
- Specify the vehicles Height, Width and Depth (or length).
- On the Materials tab, you can select materials and colors that resemble your own vehicle.
- Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.
- With vehicles in place, it will be easy to judge how much room you have to add cabinets and other storage furniture.
To place garage cabinets
In many garages, cabinets are built into the wall rather than resting on the floor.
- Select Build> Cabinet> Base Cabinet from the menu, then click in the garage to place a base cabinet at that location.
- Click on the base cabinet to select it, then click the Open Object edit button to open the Base Cabinet Specification dialog.
- On the Front tab:
- Click on the toekick in the cabinet preview diagram on the right side of the dialog box to select it.
- Click the Delete button to remove the toekick.
- On the General tab:
- Specify the Floor to Bottom height as 4".
- You can also adjust the Height, although in this example it is left at 36".
- On the Door/Drawer tab:
- Click the Door Style drop-down arrow and select "Plain Doors" from the list.
- Click the DrawerStyle drop-down arrow and select "Plain Drawers" from the list.
- In version X2 and prior, this setting was on the Front tab.
- On the Materials tab, select appropriate materials for the cabinet's various components. Then click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.
- Create copies of this customized cabinet by selecting it, clicking the Copy/Paste edit button, clicking the Sticky Mode edit button, and then clicking in the drawing area.
- In Chief Architect 10 and prior, double-clicking the Copy/Paste edit button allows you to make multiple copies of the object instead of just one.
- When you are finished making copies, click the Select Objects arrow tool or press your Spacebar.
To place wall cabinets
- Select 3D> Create Orthographic View> Cross Section/Elevation from the menu, then click and drag a camera arrow directly at the front of the cabinets you created.
- In the cross section/elevation view, select Build> Cabinet> Wall Cabinet from the menu, then click to place a wall cabinet at that location.
- As with base cabinets, you can specify a wall cabinet's door style and size in the Wall Cabinet Specification dialog. See step 3, above.
- In a cross section view, you can also adjust the cabinet's height using the edit handles.
- When your wall cabinet is specified as needed, select it and use the Copy/Paste and Sticky Mode edit buttons to make as many copies as you need.
To add electrical service
Most work spaces will benefit from well-positioned outlets, switches and lights.
- Select Build> Electrical> 110V Outlet from the menu, then click on the wall in to place an outlet at that location.
- If you click above a cabinet, the program will automatically place it 6" above the counter surface. You can define this default height in the Electrical Defaults dialog.
- Click the Window drop-down menu and select your plan's floor plan view from the bottom of the menu to return to that view.
- Select Library> Library Browser from the menu, then browse to the Lighting and select a style of light for your workspace.
Fluorescent lights are often used in garages; however, Track Lighting and Under Cabinet lights may also be appropriate choices for a work area.
- Click on a light to select it, then move your cursor into the drawing area and click to place a light at that location.
- Select Window> Previous View from the menu to return to the cross section/elevation view and see the results.
- Click the Select Objects arrow tool, then click on an outlet to select it and click the Replace From Library edit button.
- In the Replace From Library dialog:
- Click the Replace selected object radio button.
- Click the Library button to open the Select Library Object dialog.
- Browse to Electical> Outlets> Wall Mounted> 110V and select Switch w/ Duplex.
- Click OK to return to the Replace From Library dialog, then click OK to close this dialog, as well.
- Select File> Close to close the cross section/elevation view and return to floor plan view.
To customize the floor
As well as being useful, a custom garage can have details that give it a sense of style. One common addition to garage shops is a custom floor finish.
- Select Build> Primitive> Polyline Solid from the menu, then click and drag a rectangle in the floor area of the garage.
- Click on the rectangle to select it and click the Open Object edit button.
- On the General tab of the Polyline Solid Specification dialog, specify the Height as 1/16" of an inch above the height of garage floor, and specify the Thickness as 1/16", as well.
- Specifying a height just above the floor will ensure that the polyline solid, which will be used to create an area in the center of the floor with a checkerboard pattern, can be clearly seen.
- In this example, the garage has a floor height of -12", so the polyline solid is assigned a Height of -11 15/16".
- On the Materials tab, select a material for the polyline solid, then click OK. In this example, Materials> Flooring> Vinyl> Check-Black is used.
- Select 3D> Create Perspective View> Full Camera from the menu.
In Chief Architect X1 and prior, use 3D> Create Render View> Render Full Camera.
- Edit the position of the camera as needed so the polyline solid and its checkerboard pattern can be seen. Most likely, the selected pattern will not meet the edges of the polyline solid perfectly; however, this can be corrected.
- Select 3D> Materials> Adjust Material Definition , then click on the surface of the polyline solid to open the Define Material dialog.
- On the Texture tab, adjust the Origin values so that the pattern of your custom material lines up with the edges of the polyline solid.
- You may have to experiment a bit with these values to get the pattern properly aligned.
- If you want, you can also adjust the size of the pattern by changing the Scale values.
- You can also select the polyline solid and adjust the position of its edges so that they all align with the selected material.
You can finish your garage plan by adding additional lights and other electrical objects as well as fixtures such as tools and storage items.
A variety of garage and shop related items can be found in the Garage Items and the Lawn & Garden Tools libraries in the Exterior category.