When it comes to optimizing a garage, no item looks cooler than a car lift. These majestic machines are the perfect item for DIYers looking to learn the anatomy of their vehicles. But finding the right quality lift for your garage can be tough.
The first thing home mechanics look at is cost. Some may have the means of buying any lift they want. But for the most part, these pieces of equipment are beyond the budget for many.
Will a Vehicle Lift fit in my Garage?
Length of a Garage
Before we dive into the two-post lifts vs. four-post lifts, let's see if your garage can fit either. A two-post lift is on average about 9 feet tall. This allows this type of lift to be installed in almost any professional at-home garage with a ceiling as low as 9 feet 6 inches.
Two post lifts can present issues for opening vehicle doors. This applies to vehicles parked under the lift, or next to it. Keep this in mind. You also have to keep in mind that lifts can have the motor within the posts or outside the posts. This will extend the width so be sure to plan your installation around this as well.
Garage Ceiling Clearance when Installing a Vehicle Lift
Here is where money starts to make its presence known. Without buying the lift.
With an installed lift, it may be necessary to raise the way the garage door opens. This is to clear the lift posts and any vehicle on the lift. The company that installed your garage door can address this but it will add to the cost of installation.
Will my Garage Floor Support the Weight of a Vehicle Lift?
This won't be an issue as most lifts don't add to the weight on the garage floor.
Voltage and Accessories to Run the Lift
While some lifts run on standard household current, other models need higher voltages and electrical work. Some even require a connection to a compressor for their use.
If you're going to be working on one or two cars (recreational use), a lower capacity two-post lift will be ideal.
If your plan is to use the lift to store a vehicle in a raised position, or need more stability/access to vehicle doors, a four-post lift will be more suitable.
As you can see, the cost depends on specific requirements.
We don't know your level of expertise when it comes to these installations. But for safety purposes, we're going to recommend investing in professional services. The following are some (not all are required) of the estimated costs.
Electrical work and compressor might not be necessary. This will depend on the make and model of the lift purchased, but if necessary, you will need to add those expenses.
Purchasing Your Lift
Once you've decided to proceed with your purchase, be sure to double-check the measurements. These measurements include ceiling clearance (including the top of the lift posts) as well as the height of the vehicle once raised.
You'll likely want to test the height on a normal-sized vehicle. But we recommend you consider the largest, heaviest vehicle you expect to raise. Then, be sure to allow a little extra buffer for measurement mistakes.
Be sure to add a compressor and electrical service costs to your budget. Once this done, you'll be ready to move forward with installation.