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Building the Best Car Storage & Workshop Shed

Richard Allison, IMG_4394eAlthough it may sound straightforward, achieving the ideal storage solution for your vehicles is something that has many factors to consider. Heights, door widths, concrete thicknesses, and shed depth all come into play. 


With the standard ute measuring around 5.4m, shed depth plays a huge role in allowing you to get the most out of your shed. 

If you intend to get two vehicles parked in each bay, you will need a span of at least 12.0m, in some cases even more. Depending on the size of the vehicles parked inside, 12.0m will have very limited room to walk around the cars as they will be parked bumper to bumper. A span 15.0m is ideal as this will typically give you plenty of room to walk around the vehicles, and will give you ample room for a workshop bench or storage racking at the back. 

Having room to walk around the cars inside the shed not only allows for ease of access, but also future-proofs your investment if you were to ever buy a larger vehicle or get a new bull bar installed. 


Legal road width in New Zealand is 2.55m, however it is always advisable to allow 400mm-600mm extra room on either side of your widest vehicle. If you are backing trailers into your shed, you may want to allow for even more width to make the job easier and limit the risk of damage.

For comparison, a 70-series 2022 Landcruiser has a width of 1870mm, however, it's important to factor in a safe distance between the wing mirror and the side of the door opening. To maximise the potential of the shed, many people decide to go with a 3.2m-3.6m wide door for their car storage shed, and in some cases even wider. 


Including a car hoist in your shed can seem like a simple add-on to the shed project, and while it can be, there are a few factors to consider.

Apex/stud height of the shed:

With car hoists measuring up to 3m high, it’s important to allow a minimum of 4.0m of internal clearance. Having a higher apex height allows for larger cars in the future as well as the ability to confidently and efficiently work within your shed space.

Some car hoists require a concrete thickness of around 150mm, this concrete thickness will give the dyna-bolts enough concrete to grip into and safely secure the hoist to the floor. If you are planning on a 100mm slab throughout the shed, then you will need to plan where the hoist is located inside the shed in advance. Then you can allow for 150mm thick concrete where it is required. IMG_4948e


Although it is done in many car sheds, the use of clearlight has a few factors to take into consideration.

Even with the clear light having a UV rating, it's important to consider how your car's paint will hold up to direct sunlight. This especially applies to older cars, where the sun can fade or damage the paint and even the leather inside the car.

Timber sheds are very easy to wire up with lighting which will protect your cars from damaging UV rays.


Timber framing provides multiple benefits when comparing it to other steel systems. Timber sheds are more temperature stable, meaning that the temperature fluctuates less and this results in reduced condensation forming. Timber is also naturally absorbent so it will help to prevent dripping from occurring inside your shed, which in turn, provides better protection for your vehicles. 

Timber sheds are also quieter than steel sheds as the noise from bad weather or even machinery doesn't echo through the shed as much. This leads to a quieter, more enjoyable working environment, no matter what the weather is doing outside. 


Coating the concrete floor in a clear sealant or painting it with an epoxy floor paint is a good idea. This will not only look great, it will also make cleaning your shed floor much easier. Oil spills from working on vehicles can be very difficult to clean up on an unsealed concrete floor as it can seep into the concrete, leaving a large stain that is almost impossible to remove. Sealing the floor will make oil spills much easier to clean up and result in a tidier working environment.Adam Butt

If you are looking at building a car storage shed, talk to the team at Alpine. We have built hundreds of car storage sheds over the last 30+ years and would be happy to help you design your ideal car storage or workshop shed. 


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