New Shop Lights

Our three-bay garage has never had very good lighting. There were a pair of 8′ fluorescent tubes in each of the outer bays and a single bare bulb in the center bay. I’m only installing LED lighting in the house, so I knew I didn’t just want to add more fluorescent fixtures. Since we’re adding a car lift and getting the garage door re-tracked right against the ceiling, I also knew I wanted something flush with the ceiling.

After researching options, we decided on installing recessed lights. I bought the brightest lights I could find and installed them roughly 5′ apart in both dimensions. They should provide ample lighting for our project.

Started Install of Car Lift

We had a concrete company come in and dig a 2′ deep hole, 6.5′ long and 10′ wide. They cut away part of the foundation so that the new slab could extend farther toward the wall to give us extra edge distance on those critical lift anchors.

Finally, they poured a new 12″ thick, steel reinforced slab recessed 5″ below the garage floor. There is 14,000lbs (3.5 cubic yards) of concrete in this hole, so the lift isn’t going anywhere. They also faced the rough exposed surface of the foundation. I have to let this cure at least 28 days before I can drill into it.

Received Lift

We received the lift today. It came by freight truck and it looked like it took a bit of a beating during shipping.

I needed to rent a forklift to unload it since it weighed over 2400lbs. My kids had a lot of fun riding around the neighborhood on it after I finished unloading the lift.

Update: The lift had a small amount of damage, but Greg Smith Equipment was great about sending replacement parts out.

Ordered Car Lift

After researching various options, we decided on a single-post lift to maximize floor space and minimize obstacles in the garage. I ended up ordering the Atlas SP6000 lift from As the name implies, it’s a 6000lb lift, so it’s far stronger than we need for either of our sports cars.

The single post lift has a baseplate that must be bolted to a concrete slab. If you bolt it directly to the garage floor, then you have to drive over the baseplate to get the lower car in and out of the garage. We’re pretty tight on vertical clearance, so going over the base would raise the lower car 2-3 inches that we just don’t have. The base would also really get in the way of scooting around under the car on a creeper or a stool. The biggest problem we faced though is that the base needs to go fairly close to the side wall and this would put the most critical concrete anchors too close to the edge of the slab. For all of these reasons, we decided to pour a new slab that is recessed below the garage floor. This will let us extend the slab closer to the wall and make the floor under the lift smooth.