How High Does the Ceiling Need to Be for a Car Lift?

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A professional car lift can completely change the way you use your workspace, making difficult storage and maintenance issues a breeze, but how do you know if your shop can fit the lift that you’re interested in? Ceiling height is generally the first consideration, but we’ll also take a look at what kind of space considerations you need to make. While lifts often can help a small garage feel larger, it’s definitely possible to purchase a lift that just feels like it’s always in the way when you’re moving about the shop. Remember, we at Mechanic Outlet offer all of the top brands and our friendly customer service representatives can assist with any specific questions not covered in this overview.

Ceiling Height

For the most part, if you have a garage or workspace specifically intended for automotive work, the builder has already made lift height considerations for you, but we know that a lot of mechanics fashion their own workshops for their hobby jobs. Typically, a 12-foot minimum clearance, floor to ceiling, is required for your general two-post lift. A higher ceiling height is required for some of the four-post storage lifts and anything designed for larger trucks. For personal or hobby shops, many people purchase or reference Behm Design plans. To help place this in context, many of their plans utilize 12-foot-high framed walls, while others use 8-foot to 10-foot framed structures with extended upward foundation walls. Be sure to check with your local authorities to ensure you can erect a structure with framed bearing walls exceeding 10 feet, and get up to speed on local codes that may change the way you plan out your space.

Width & Space

While ceiling height is definitely the first spec to align with your workspace, it’s important to select a car lift that won’t handicap your ability to freely move around your garage. The absolute minimum width that will allow for a lift is around 11 feet, but many mechanics fail to allow for 3 or 4 feet of clearance on all sides to allow for easy access to any area of the vehicle. Any drawers or cabinets will need to be given even more clearance, and for this reason we recommend that your lift is placed on a wall without any rollout cabinets or drawers. Other organizational units can be employed in these voids that allow for more convenient access to your tools.

With your height and width considerations out of the way, feel free to browse our great selection of car lifts and car lift accessories. Contact our friendly Mechanic Outlet staff with any specific questions and don’t forget to check out our convenient financing options before making your investment!

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