Whether it’s your post-retirement passion project or a side hustle to make some extra cash, setting up a home mechanic’s garage is a great way to save time and money by avoiding routine trips to the local mechanic shop.

While your mechanic's garage doesn’t need to be anything fancy, you will need some essentials to get started. Check out the guide below to see what you need to start performing DIY car repairs.

Table of Contents

Top 5 Things You Need for a Home Mechanic Garage

Floor Jack & Jack Stands

The first thing you need is a floor jack and jack stands. A floor jack is a mechanical device that raises cars off the ground. We recommend investing in a hydraulic jack because it’s safer, more efficient, and more reliable than alternative options.

Jack stands, on the other hand, store cars for a prolonged period to prevent the tires from developing flat spots. They’re essentially a safety backup in case the floor jack fails while you’re repairing a vehicle. Jack stands are relatively inexpensive, easy to set up, and easy to store when they’re not being used.

A floor jack and jack stands are essential components in any mechanic’s garage because they preserve tires and protect you from injury.

car on a jack

Air Compressor

An air compressor is used for tire rotations, car restorations, and more. It operates various pneumatic tools, including an impact wrench, a grinder, a paint sprayer, and a sander. Be sure to get one with enough volume to complete daily tasks. Using the right air compressor for the job will prevent short-cycling during operation and ensure adequate air pressure.

You need an air compressor to complete daily tasks more efficiently with stronger air pressure.

air compressor in garage

Car Lift

A car lift does just what you would expect: it lifts cars. Car lifts come in various sizes and models to fit your unique repair needs. The two most common types are a two-post car lift and a four-post car lift.

Car lifts are important because they enhance visibility and comfort when you're completing repairs. That’s right; no more lying on your back and rolling underneath cars for hours on end.

man repairing car on lift


From larger objects—like tires and car jacks—to smaller objects—like wrenches and hardware, you need ample space to store all your everyday tools and materials. We recommend using a rolling toolbox for optimal convenience and organization.

Having proper storage offers a few key benefits:

  • Improves efficiency
  • Reduces frustration
  • Simplifies projects
home garage storage


    Proper lighting in your workspace enhances visibility by preventing shadows. This is especially important when it’s dark outside and when you’re working in a space with limited natural light. One tool you should consider using is a retractable wand light. This portable light can be used to inspect underneath the car and under the hood.

    Adequate lighting helps to:

    • Ensure a safe work environment
    • Accelerate the repair process
    • Improve repair outcomes
    • Reduce eye strain
    home garage lighting

      Tips for Planning Your Automotive Shop Layout

      Here are our top shop layout ideas to ensure a seamless setup.

      1. Choose a Space

      Decide what space you’ll be using as your mechanic’s garage.

      2. Measure the Area

      Whether you’re using a single-car garage, double-car garage, or covered patio, be sure to measure the dimensions before buying or setting up any equipment.

      3. Clean the Area

      Sweep the floors, clean any windows, and wipe down the walls. It’s better to complete this task now rather than down the road when all your equipment and tools are already set up.

      4. Create a List of Required Supplies

      Before buying anything new, take inventory of what you already have. Purchase the essentials first, then fill in the gaps along the way. Some tools you may need include:

      • Toolboxes
      • Tool chest
      • Mechanic’s tool set
      • Work bench
      • Shelving units
      • Small Parts Organizers
      • Push broom
      • Shop vac
      • Magnetic sweeper
      • Storage cabinets
      • Air compressor
      • Pneumatic tools
      • Floor jack
      • Jack stands

      5. Get to Work

      There’s no better time than the present to get started on your very first project: Working as a mechanic is a learning process. You learn from your mistakes and your successes alike, and you improve your techniques with every project.Start small, then work your way up.

      6. Clean Regularly

      While keeping your workspace clean and tidy isn’t a difficult task, it’s often overlooked. It’s easy to make a habit of working in a messy space. Putting in a little bit of time to pick up after yourself each day will make the job significantly easier in the long run.

      7. Take Inventory

      Keep tabs on what tools, equipment, and other supplies you need along the way. Replenish items as needed.

      home auto shop layout

      Powering Your Home Mechanic Garage Setup

      Now that you have some inspiration for automotive shop layout ideas, it’s time to consider how you plan to power your equipment. In all the hustle and bustle of planning and setting up your at-home auto shop, it’s easy to overlook essential items—like a phase converter.

      The thing is, automotive machinery often requires more power than everyday household appliances to function properly. A phase converter takes your single-phase utility power and converts it into stronger, more reliable three-phase power.

      If you want to power your at-home mechanic shop equipment with no interruptions from start to finish, you need to invest in a high-quality phase converter. This one device will help your equipment operate at peak performance.

      The #1 Name in Phase Converters

      Phoenix Phase Converters has reliable, affordable solutions for all your power needs. From single-phase to three-phase, our premium phase converters can withstand the power demands of your at-home mechanic shop. We can even customize your rotary phase converter for your particular power needs.

      Browse our phase converter collection to find the right device for your new venture.

      Browse Phase Converters