Reply by clin

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Posted on 16ftx12ft detached Workshops

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1056 posts in 1474 days

#1 posted 08-20-2018 09:11 PM

I’d make it bigger if possible. My shop is 26’ x 12’ (single garage bay). And it is pretty tight.

I’d think in terms of an out-building rather than a shed. Build it properly to code, even if that’s not required for some reason. It will cost a little more, but 2×4’s, plywood, and shingles aren’t cheaper just because they are used on a shed.

Insulate it well. Just like you would your house. It’s not very expensive to do it right, but will be much less expensive to heat and cool later. And will be much more comfortable if you don’t actively heat and cool it.

I use a mini-split to heat and cool my shop. It is so efficient I didn’t see any change in my bill.

Put in an electrical sub-panel. A single 120 V circuit would be marginal. At a minimum you’ll have lights, a machine (table saw) and at least some form of dust collection, even if just a shop vac.

Put in more electrical outlets than you think you could ever need. It is just so easy to do while the walls are open. You’ll only use a fraction of them most of the time. But, it’s nice to not worry that the cabinet, you’d like against a certain wall, will cover the only outlet on that wall.

I put electrical outlets high and low. High to be above the workbench, low to be below any workbench. As mentioned, setting the high ones above 4 feet keeps from covering them with sheet goods. I have my outlets spaced roughly every 4 feet along the wall.

Some 240 V, even if you don’t have a need now. You may want a larger machine like a 3 HP table saw. Think of where you’d put a big dust collector, even if you don’t have immediate plans for one. Run 240 V to that area.

Put a few outlets in the ceiling. A room filter is something you may want some day, and who knows what else.

Water and a sink can be a handy thing to have in a shop. I got lucky with my garage conversion and was able to tap into the plumbing on an existing wall. Very glad I did.

I like lots of light. This is more important the older you get. It’s usually straight forward to chain more fixtures together as you need them. But just keep it in mind that if you are a young, you will want and need MUCH more light when you get older.

Money is an issue for most of us, so I can understand that building the $100 K dream shop is not likely in the cards. But, I’d still build the basic structure as soundly as possible. That way you can improve on it as the years go by.

-- Clin

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