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Metal Garages: Building a Workshop For Mechanics

Kenneth Aguilar


Prefabricated metal garages make perfect workshops for mechanics. Whether you’re building an auto shop for business purposes or you need a separate garage for your workshop, metal buildings are one of the most practical and affordable options out there.

It’s not difficult to build a metal garage that meets the needs of a mechanic workshop, but there are some things to consider during the planning phase.

Considerations for Planning Your Metal Building for Mechanics:

  • What's Your Total Budget?
  • What Equipment Do You Still Need?
  • What Size Does Your Metal Building Need to Be?
  • What and How Many Doors/Windows Do You Need?
  • What Are the Local Permitting Requirements?
  • Do You Need Any Interior Elements? 

1. Planning Your Metal Mechanic's Workshop According to Your Budget

Your budget is the most significant upstream factor impacting everything about your new metal garage. Your budget will determine the largest metal garage you can build, the type of foundation or pad you pour, and how extravagant you can get with finishing work on the interior and exterior of your new workshop.

It's all about balancing your building costs and equipment needs.

One thing that can help? Alpha Structures now offers financing up to 20,000.00 dollars, as well as a rent-to-own program for mechanic workshop of your dreams. This way, you can have the structure itself financed to free up your budget for concrete work or any other odds and ends you may need for your workshop.


How soon are you hoping to install your metal building? Talk to one of our  specialists about available dates.

2. Equipment You May Need for Your Mechanics Garage

You may already have all the equipment you need, but it's never a bad idea to make an itemized list so you can make sure you’re considering essential finishing elements like fans vs. AC, a heater or pellet stove for the winter months, and plywood vs. drywall to cover your insulation, improve your heating and cooling capacity, and offer more options for hanging shelves or your favorite posters. 

  • Air compressor
  • Workbenches
  • Shelving
  • Jack, jack stands, and pole jacks
  • Oil drain and oil caddy
  • Battery charger and jumper
  • Engine hoist
  • Brake lathe 
  • Strut compressor
  • Overhead fans
  • Heating Units
  • Mini fridge

3. What Size Should Your Metal Mechanic Garage Be?

The size of your metal building is subjective and based on your individual needs. However, the easiest way to determine your minimum dimensions is first figuring out how many bays you need, and at what size. If you only need one bay door at less than ten feet of clearance, then you can get away with a shorter clearspan. If you need extra space, you can save money by adding length (depth) to the building. For example, a 20' x 30' x 10' building could be sufficient. If you need two bay doors, you might need to go wider. 

Twelve feet by twenty-one is a common size for smaller, carport-style single-car garages. So, if you want a two-car garage or a single bay with ample room to work in, your garage needs to be at least 24 feet wide. If you need multiple bays, a sideways orientation can save you a substantial amount of money. This way, you can keep your clearspan to a minimum and have your bays along the length (depth) side of the building. 

Some common, cost-effective metal garage sizes for mechanics are:

  • 24' x 30'
  • 24' x 40'
  • 24' x 50'
  • 24' x 60'
  • 30' x 30'
  • 30' x 40'
  • 30' x 50'
  • 30' x 60'

Of course, metal workshop sizes are entirely customizable and can go as wide as an 80-foot clearspan. However, that would not be nearly as cost-effective as making the building 80-feet long, for example.

4. How Much Do Metal Workshops for Mechanics Cost?

Although a quick online search might suggest a certain price per square foot, it's often unclear whether these quick search-result prices include costs beyond the building itself, such as the concrete pad or footings. For this reason, it's best to go by clearspan. The wider the clearspan, the more money you'll need to invest in your building. First, factor the price of the building itself, then include the cost of concrete and additional finishing touches.

A few standard factors that impact the price of your metal garage are:

  • The current price of steel on the global market
  • The gauge of steel you choose for the metal tubing and panels
  • How many doors and windows you add.
  • The roof pitch and truss style 
  • If you decide to have insulation added during the installation, and which insulation you use

At Alpha Structures, we've found the most bang for your buck tends to be 24' x 40' x 10'. Before the recent steel market increase, the cost of a building with these dimensions started at $10,900.00. 


5. What Permits Do I Need for My Metal Mechanics Garage?

Every state and township is slightly different when it comes to permitting. Additionally, the requirements will be different for a commercial mechanic shop and a private, residential one. 

Alpha Structures will provide you with engineering blueprints to present to your city planner. It's also a good idea to have a site plan ready. However, the onus is on you to pull permits if you need them. Alpha Structures does not require proof of permits for metal building installations and assumes that you have done your due diligence on the matter.

Although there is a lot to think about when planning for a metal garage to be used as a mechanic’s shop, it isn’t overly complicated. Figure out your budget—decide on the size, add-ons, and other elements you’ll need; get your deposit locked in so you can get specific engineering plans from Alpha Structures, and then pull permits and pour concrete. 

If you need any help planning your metal garage, reach out with a phone call or contact us through our quote form, and we’ll be in touch to answer any questions.


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