Constructing My New 30 X 30 Shop #1: Site Selection and Shop Orientation

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Blog entry by helluvawreck posted 08-28-2013 02:33 PM 2880 reads 1 time favorited 48 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Constructing My New 30 X 30 Shop series Part 2: Clearing Site and Preparing Foundation for Pouring »

This whole year has not been very productive for me. A little over a year ago we lost our plant to a fire and since I’ve always worked hard long hours for over 40 years it certainly knocked me for a loop. I was planning on working another five years or more. However, after much soul searching my brother, his wife, and I decided that since we were in our sixties and had all worked so hard for many years that we really didn’t think we had it in us to start over from scratch. We decided that it was best to just retire.

Since I wanted a shop at least 25 X 25 and there was no where for a shop that size where we lived we had to start looking for a house with a shop or at least enough land to build one on. After much hunting we finally found one and moved in about six months ago. It has taken me this long to decide exactly what I want to do and I have decided to build a 30 X 30 shop with 10 ft high walls.

There is an older small red barn on the property (pic above) that will make a great place to store some lumber, jigs, and hardware, among other things, and it is roughly 15 X 24. I have decided to place my shop near the back of this barn.

The picture above shows the barn by looking across my back yard. My shop will be a short walk from the back door of our basement. I have an office in the basement where my computer and all of my books are and there is also a bathroom connected to my office. So my shop will not be far from my office and bathroom. The shop will not have any water.

The site of the shop (above) will be a few feet behind the red barn and turned to an angle so that it can be more easily worked in with the existing gravel driveway. Since the driveway will need to have access to the back yard and basement this orientation of the shop will give me a good easy way to walk back and forth from the shop and basement.

As you can also see (above), the shop location will also be easily accessible from the driveway and garage on the main floor of the house.

I will be able to easily back my pickup to either the barn or the shop or continue on to the basement.

From the picture above you can see the garage and driveway. From the corner of the drive to the garage, the shop will be down from the right of the picture about 50 feet or so.

The picture above gives a better view of the section of the driveway that passes in front of the shop location and going back toward the basement. By removing the tree and two bushes near the center of the picture we will be able to turn the driveway more directly toward the basement.

The next segment will show the beginning of the construction of my shop. Thanks for reading.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

48 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30578 posts in 3304 days

#1 posted 08-28-2013 02:42 PM

This will be great to follow. Love new shops.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View madts's profile


1950 posts in 3305 days

#2 posted 08-28-2013 02:47 PM

Good luck. Looking forward for the next sequel.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View ellen35's profile


2749 posts in 4398 days

#3 posted 08-28-2013 03:15 PM

Great project. Looking forward to your progress.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 3526 days

#4 posted 08-28-2013 03:27 PM

Building a shop from scratch is a dream to me. You’re going to have a great setup. Looking forward to following your progress. Have FUN!

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4269 days

#5 posted 08-28-2013 03:46 PM

things are looking really good charles, im excited for ya, i know how badly you want to have a shop back into your life, it sure will be fun to build, maybe you will be into it before christmas….take care and enjoy the journey…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Tugboater78's profile


2796 posts in 3158 days

#6 posted 08-28-2013 04:04 PM

Sounds good, will follow the progress. Hoping i can build something of similar proportions myself soon.

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View patron's profile


13716 posts in 4307 days

#7 posted 08-28-2013 04:10 PM

good idea
fresh life
new shop

here is how far along today i am on mine

enjoy !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4198 days

#8 posted 08-28-2013 04:15 PM

Making me jealous. Seriously nice piece of property you are on there! Great start for a new shop. You are on a roll!

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View murch's profile


1380 posts in 3590 days

#9 posted 08-28-2013 04:52 PM

You got a lovely looking place there. Hope the shop turns out to be all you hoped for
and the sawdust flies for many years to come.
Looking forward to the next installment.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View shipwright's profile


8636 posts in 3764 days

#10 posted 08-28-2013 04:55 PM

I did the same thing when I retired Charles (30 X 40) and have never regretted it. I love the place.
I worked in all kinds of different shops over the years and finally got to incorporate all the things I wanted but never had into one great shop. What a thrill!
If I had to make one suggestion it would be a raised floor with DC and electrical under it. As we get older concrete gets harder and harder to spend hours standing on and having my dust collection out of the way and big tools plugged in at their locations really cleans the place up.
Have fun designing and building your new shop!
The journey is just as much fun as the destination.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10955 posts in 5018 days

#11 posted 08-28-2013 04:58 PM

I think it’s absolutely WONDERFUL that, after many years of working very hard, you will be able to have your DREAM Shop & Home, and enjoy your retirement!

... and, to be able watch it happen, will be OUR pleasure as well as a lifetime Record of the event for your scrapbook!

We’ve been Buddies for quite awhile… You & I have been here quite awhile… there is only ONE very strange thing happening!

I have looked everywhere, even your website, and I have come to the conclusion that you do not want anyone to know what your Name is! . . . LOL

So, for the record, would you please let us ALL know Who you are? . . . LOL (very very BIG Grin!)

You’re doing GREAT!

Thank you for sharing your new experiences in developing your New Dream Shop!



I looked through my PM’s… 753 days ago, you sent me a PM… and signed it ”Charles aka helluvawreck”

So, Charles, thank you very much! (oops… did I blow your cover? Big Grin) LOL


-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4300 days

#12 posted 08-28-2013 05:04 PM

It looks like you will have a great retirement Charles. That is a beautiful property. The wood storage barn is a big plus. I have a lot of platters and other wood storage in my shop, but it sure takes up a lot of otherwise useful space. I’m looking forward to watching your shop build. Try not to economize too much, your new shop will be the best investment of your life, even if you never sell anything you make. A nice big plastic water container with a tap mounted on the wall and maybe with a basin under it will give you all the water you need.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3238 days

#13 posted 08-28-2013 05:25 PM

Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Productive Retirement.

Enjoy your New Life in Retirement and be Safe building that new shop.

I’ve been retired for 5 years this fall. I remember the 1st day of retirement at home with the LOML and the erroneous statement I so proudly made. “Babe, with the extra 50-60 hours per week I now have, I should be able to make short order of that ‘Honey Do List’.”

SWMBO took that as a challenge and replied, “That is just Monday’s List.”

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3238 days

#14 posted 08-28-2013 05:30 PM

The 1st week of retirement my son e-mailed this to me.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View doubleDD's profile


9984 posts in 3009 days

#15 posted 08-28-2013 06:58 PM

Congratulations on a new beginning. There is always room for dreams when they are part of your life. Building the shop will be as much fun as retirement I’m sure.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

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