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Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham UberDork
11/26/18 10:54 a.m.

So back when i was in Florida building a race car in my second floor apartment, I was desperately searching for affordable shop space to work on and store the car. I had no success. I recently stumbled upon a startup that is trying to ease that pain, and I just thought I'd share since it really appeals to our world and might help include others who might be interested in participating, but don't have a shop yet.

It's called GarageTime. And basically it's kind of like airbnb for garage space. 

I thought it was such a good idea and potentially a productive tool for our world that I emailed the founder, just to literally say "great idea" and suggest directing it more at our grassroots world. Turns out he's a super cool guy with a 996 and he messes with motorcycles a lot too. 

I saw this as a really cool way to help (let's be honest: enable) others. Think the GRM Assist List except more sophisticated and you can make a few bucks on the side. I was in desperate need of some garage space in Florida and this site wasn't around yet to help. I would have jumped on it and it totally would have been an added bonus to work around a GRMer.

Anyway just thought I'd bring it up. What are your thoughts? I think I'm going to add my shop once it's a (finger's crossed) reality.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham UberDork
11/26/18 10:57 a.m.

Oh and the founder said he's planning on starting advertising in GRM so he's definitely into supporting our world.

Also disclaimer: I don't work for this company or anything. I realize that first post sounded kind of like a sales pitch. lol I just have an entrepreneurial mind and got really excited for what this tool could be used for in our world.

GameboyRMH MegaDork
11/26/18 11:31 a.m.

More like a "hackerspace" for automotive stuff, I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner, seems like it would be a godsend for city-dwellers. I've actually seen some electronics nerds familiar with hackerspaces discussing the possibility but they thought the liability and tool expense would make it impractical. I hope it succeeds though!

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham UberDork
11/26/18 11:56 a.m.

In reply to GameboyRMH :

Well many of the current listings are for community garages that follow the "hackerspace" model. But I'm more excited about it on the individual level. You can list your own shop as space for someone to rent and tinker. 

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
11/26/18 12:10 p.m.

In reply to Ed Higginbotham :

My first question is what about liability?

FuzzWuzzy Reader
11/26/18 12:11 p.m.

This is actually pretty damn cool. Almost reminds me of DIY garage shops that let you rent a lift for x amount of money per hour, with most of the tools you'll ever need. My favorite one has been on MCAS Miramar in San Diego. If I remember correctly, it was a whopping $6/hour.

In fact, looking more at it, it's essentially a collection of DIY garage shops, but gives the small guy w/ a well-done garage a way to make some money, too. With it giving a review function as well, this is essentially a Yelp for Motorsports.

AngryCorvair MegaDork
11/26/18 12:14 p.m.

yeah, some cock-knocker lowers the floor jack and smashes his foot, the torque wrench slips and he punches himself in the face, etc, now he wants to make a claim against my homeowners insurance and now the insurance company wants to penetrate me (and not in a good way) because i'm using my residence for commerce?   nope, not gonna do it.

captdownshift PowerDork
11/26/18 12:24 p.m.

i have a difficult enough time as it is keeping track of my 10mm sockets. 

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham UberDork
11/26/18 12:25 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

I totally agree and that's one of the first things I thought of. But I really don't think it kills the idea. It does say on their site through the app you "Set requirements such as acceptable behavior, liability waivers, and insurance requirements." I wonder if purchasing that liability insurance through their app is a feature coming soon. They also seem to use the renter review system like Airbnb, so there is a reason for folks to follow the rules.

Toyman01 MegaDork
11/26/18 12:29 p.m.

There are a few good friends that have the door code to my shop and permission to use it as needed. 3 to be exact. There is a extremely small chance that list will get larger but I wouldn't put money on it. 

Neat idea, but not one I would be comfortable participating in. 


Vigo UltimaDork
11/26/18 12:34 p.m.

Crowdsourcing  and peer-to-peer will spread to more and more types of commodities as more and more people find themselves unable to acquire the things they want for themselves. 

This certainly seems like it would work in some markets. As a vocational automotive teacher at a community college I already do something along the lines of what it would be to supervise a bunch of people using 'your' tools and 'your' space with varying levels of technical aptitude. Interesting to think about the possibilities.

dculberson UltimaDork
11/26/18 12:57 p.m.

It's a great idea, and I'm sure the demand is there at the prices I was seeing. A couple shops were in the $20-$25/hour price range including use of a lift and tools?!?! I can't imagine making my shop available to someone for $20/hr especially if it was a commercial shop like some of them I saw. Then again, I can't imagine a price that would entice me to do so while still making it low enough for people to actually be willing to pay it. Apparently there are people for whom $20/hr is enough.

I hope it takes off and makes everyone involved happy.

Dave M
Dave M New Reader
11/26/18 1:26 p.m.

I'd be all over renting out someone else's shop now and then...too bad there are none within 100 miles of me. Except for those on military bases - I guess I gotta enlist to get the garage goods!

MINIzguy HalfDork
11/26/18 2:06 p.m.

Very interesting and if I ever move into a city where I won't have a garage, this is a very helpful option. I wouldn't put up my own garage (not willing to lend others' tools and possibly not receive it back), but would certainly use the service when I don't have a garage (and I'd definitely remember to put back all tools).

z31maniac MegaDork
11/26/18 2:08 p.m.
Ed Higginbotham said:

In reply to AngryCorvair :

I totally agree and that's one of the first things I thought of. But I really don't think it kills the idea. It does say on their site through the app you "Set requirements such as acceptable behavior, liability waivers, and insurance requirements." I wonder if purchasing that liability insurance through their app is a feature coming soon. They also seem to use the renter review system like Airbnb, so there is a reason for folks to follow the rules.

Unlikely, that makes them more vulnerable as well. 

Anyone looking at this should first get some quotes for commercial liability insurance. I suspect hearing the numbers will shut that down for just about everyone.

docwyte UltraDork
11/26/18 2:39 p.m.

Not to be anti-social but I have no desire to let someone I don't know into my house, use my tools, garage and lift.  That's a recipe for disaster if I ever saw it. 

There's the liability that others have brought up, but what about damage to my tools, garage, etc?  Tools and other things in the garage getting stolen?  Work doesn't get completed in time and now I have somebodies car stuck in my garage, on my lift?

Sorry, but F that!  Friends only, on my invitation only.  Period.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham UberDork
11/26/18 3:08 p.m.

In reply to docwyte :

I mean that's fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I enjoy working on cars with others, meeting new people, and could totally use some extra cash. So it appeals to me.

GarageTime New Reader
11/26/18 4:06 p.m.

Howdy all,

This is Andrew from Garagetime and I'm really excited to be both a new magazine advertiser, and help make DIY workspace more accessible!

Since launching at the end of last year, we've helped hundreds of motor enthusiasts rent workspace, and by catering to auto enthusiasts (vs. those looking for a bargain) we've had zero thefts and zero incidents to date. The community that we're building is built on trust, transparency, and a shared love of motors.

A few things to note as we continue to build out our platform:

  • Many of our professional DIY garages hold commercial liability policies and are set up to handle DIY work
  • Most of our residential garages require the user to carry an active insurance policy that would cover an incident. These garages also often require users to sign a waiver before using their garage
  • Our garages are free to set their own rules: policies, overtime/broken-down vehicle process, use (or no use) of tools or lifts. We put the power in our garage partners' hands as risk tolerance and physical setup varies by garage
  • We have a 'request to book' feature, allowing potential users to explain their desired DIY job prior to a garage accepting a booking. If a user wants to perform a job larger than you feel is acceptable, or doesn't sound qualified to use your space, a garage may decline the booking without consequence
  • Garage locations are not disclosed unless a booking is accepted (some garages may choose to be publicly listed or identified)
  • We encourage reviews following a transaction (of both the garage and user). If a party is consistently getting negative reviews, there are issues, abuse of equipment, not following garage rules, etc., the user will be removed from the platform
  • We are working on an insurance policy at the moment that would cover all users and garages against injury, damage, and theft as long as a transaction is booked through our platform

We've had many success stories to date (from reducing the repair bill of what a local indy quoted by 70%, to helping riders stranded on road trips find the tools to get back on the road. I'm so excited to give the opportunities for those in cities and beyond to engage further with their vehicles. 

I built Garagetime because I didn't have vehicle workspace, yet saw underutilized garages in my neighborhood, and my neighbors looking for ways to offset mortgages, tools, and part costs. I hear your concerns and take them seriously as we continue to build a better platform. I understand we are not going to be a resource for everybody, but we're not trying to be. We are building a network of garages who believe in the conservation of resources, meeting other enthusiasts, and building a strong automotive community.

Feel free to PM me at any point!

Andrew Koretz

Dave M
Dave M Reader
11/26/18 5:09 p.m.

In reply to GarageTime :

Andrew, thanks for going after the dream with a business that is really cool! 

Now how some garages in and around Washington DC :)

Robbie UltimaDork
11/26/18 5:29 p.m.

This is cool, I'd be interested in listing my own garage. I'll have to look into it. Any resources? Or an FAQ for garage owners?

GarageTime New Reader
11/26/18 5:29 p.m.

In reply to Dave M :

We're trying!

GarageTime New Reader
11/26/18 5:32 p.m.

In reply to Robbie :

FAQ's here

New garage guide here

Email us with any other questions or concerns

captdownshift PowerDork
11/26/18 6:14 p.m.

Has there been any looking into or potential in reaching out to community colleges or trade schools in various areas about use of their space after hours? Obviously there'd be more hurdles on approval in getting setup in each case and an employee would need to be present, but the opportunity to promote their programs or even for potential job placement for program graduates could be a selling point. 


On the insurance end of things, in some states having paid memberships with a blanket policy on each member and liability waivers for them signed upon payment reduces potential exposure. I always thought it was silly that paying a flat hourly rate didn't provide the same protections in Maryland. The verbage in Maryland does allow for memberships to be in the form of debitable credits, which can effectively work towards rent/hourly rates as well.


Welcome to the board by the way. Thanks for your supporting this place. 

NOHOME UltimaDork
11/26/18 6:30 p.m.

I love the idea but hate the world we have created that keeps me from participating due to liability.

I want to go back to when "Sex sells" was the rule... this "Fear and paranoia sells" sucks.



Floating Doc
Floating Doc Dork
11/26/18 7:32 p.m.

It sounds like a good business model to me. I hope it really takes off.

I have a friend who manages the automotive hobby shop at an airforce base. They are well equipped, with multiple lifts, tools, AC servicing equipment, tire mounting, and more. There are two full time mechanics for support and advice; they do not do the repairs. 

I have no idea how it works as a business, but when I talked to him last night he said that they are paying money back into the department. I assume that means they're turning a profit. They also have a car wash.

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