New shop/garage

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Blog entry by BMichs75 posted 06-15-2014 01:23 AM 1904 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Me and my wife are close to finalizing everything on the purchase of our first home. Unfortunately there is no space for my shop. There is an attached two car garage but not nearly as large as I need for the tools I have acquired over the last 12 months. The place I am renting now has a sizable 26×34 garage that I use for my shop. Therefore I am planning a shop build. I am thinking of a 30×40 or something close. I worked in residential construction in high school and have a very close relationship to my old boss. I am planning on doing as much of this construction as I can to help save money. My boss is also coming up to help. The garage will be block and stick construction (pole barn will not fit the style of our house or our neighborhood). Also I do not have a bottomless wallet and would like to keep the build as cheap, but quality, as possible.

My question is: is there anything I should be thinking about when building this shop/garage? It has to be a functional 2 car garage but my plans are to only use one bay for my work vehicle. Any wisdoms, wish I could have dones, wish I would have thought ofs before I commit and build? I live in Ohio so hoping to have heat/heat abaitment of some sort. I would appreciate any advice.

-- Brandon

10 comments so far

View Tim Royal 's profile

Tim Royal

327 posts in 2829 days

#1 posted 06-15-2014 02:27 AM

Here goes. My previous home had a 34×34 garage/shop with a full loft and it left me with some thoughts (though definitely no complaints). If I had designed the shop from scratch to the same square footage I would have designed it at a rough minimum depth for a full size pickup and as the guy who built my shop did not do I would make it substantially wider than it is deep with the two car garage completely on one side and a good deal of open floor space on the other. For example a 30×40 garage is 1200 square feet, but so is 24×50 and this gives you a lot more contiguous open space and plenty of room for 2 cars in a standard 22×24 large 2 car setup.

-- -Tim Royal -"Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." -Thomas Merton

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30662 posts in 3681 days

#2 posted 06-15-2014 02:35 AM

All I will say, build it as big as you can. You will always appreciate the extra space.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View BMichs75's profile


102 posts in 3001 days

#3 posted 06-15-2014 02:37 AM

I really like your idea on width, but unfortunately I have a width restriction because by house and property line are confinements. Also depth wise I don’t want to go much beyond 40 foot because there is a large oak tree that I really don’t want to lose about 50 foot back from the driveway. But keep the suggestions coming. Thank you.

-- Brandon

View curliejones's profile


190 posts in 3609 days

#4 posted 06-15-2014 02:39 AM

Jim gave me a nice idea; one that I did not use, however. He is a full-timer and built in a trough into his concrete floor. The trough is a foot or so wide and is covered with steel plate in short sections so he has access to it. He uses this to both provide electrical power and also for his dust collection. It keeps him from having to step over wiring, dust hose, etc. If I remember, it runs about 2/3 the length of his shop and is near the middle.
I have been working on my shop for about 2.5 months and have different demons here in the Gulf South. I am doing what I can to fight heat. The shiny metal roof was put on a week ago and since then I sheathed the walls and installed double bubble foil reflective insulation. My roof sheathing,osb, has a foil facing and I put the foil insulation over a layer of tar paper before stripping the roof with 2×3 furring strips for the tin. The tin itself is Galvalume and highly reflective, so I have 3 layers fighting radiant heat. Once the day heats up, I can really tell a difference in the shady shop. I will install a couple of small window ACs but I’m trying to only need them sparingly, mostly to dehumidify. Best wishes on your build – it is amazing what a handful of good clamps can help you accomplish when you are working alone. I keep a couple of pipe clamps around as well as a pipe clamp/spreader for moving stubborn framing lumber. I am handpicking my lumber and use Irwin quick-clamps while it is stored on site to keep it from moving around and being fit for rockers. Again, enjoy the journey!

-- Like Guy Clark sez - "Sometimes I use my head, Sometimes I get a bigger hammer"

View Tim Royal 's profile

Tim Royal

327 posts in 2829 days

#5 posted 06-15-2014 04:16 PM

One more lesson learned that I loved about my shop… 220 access in loft/attic where both the air compressor and the dust collection were housed and kept accessible. Since the loft/attic was insulated there was almost no noise in the shop or outside from these tools.

-- -Tim Royal -"Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." -Thomas Merton

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 4445 days

#6 posted 06-15-2014 08:19 PM

When you get the size figured out, go shopping here

A little bling never hurt any shop. Even a wood shop….................

-- mike...............

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4147 days

#7 posted 06-15-2014 10:04 PM

I’d say put the cars outside and use both bays as your shop… lol. I do agree with Monte. Use as much space as you can, cuz, you’ll be saying, “I shoulda”

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View AandCstyle's profile


3306 posts in 3600 days

#8 posted 06-15-2014 11:02 PM

I am a huge proponent of in floor radiant heat-no cold feet, cold tools or condensation on your TS. Also, go for 10’ ceiling.

-- Art

View BMichs75's profile


102 posts in 3001 days

#9 posted 06-15-2014 11:22 PM

Definitely 10’ ceilings. Art I’m worried about the price of the in floor radiant heat. I really like the idea of warm feet and no condensation on my iron tops. I was thinking of a hot dawg for the heat source. anyone have any experience with the hot dawg system?
Keep the suggestions coming.

-- Brandon

View Tim Royal 's profile

Tim Royal

327 posts in 2829 days

#10 posted 06-16-2014 07:14 PM

Wholly agree about the 10’ ceilings, but can’t speak to heat as I had a central heater, but never used it and never really understood why it was installed (N. California).

-- -Tim Royal -"Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." -Thomas Merton

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