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Forum topic by justjkit posted 01-03-2016 02:16 AM 1179 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21 posts in 1329 days

01-03-2016 02:16 AM

A little background …

6 months ago I purchased my first home with my wife. I’ve had zero experience with wood working, or home renovations prior to buying this home. I lived in downtown Chicago in a high rise for several years and I think I can remember having to go buy a hammer and screwdriver set at one point to do some minor work around the condo.

I’m a semi-successful 32 year old marketing/IT computer guy. I was the winner of this years Chicago Innovation People’s Choice Award:

Computers have been my life since I was a child. Wood working, fixing things … never my cup of tea. Since purchasing my home, I’ve found a new passion .. something that I enjoy more than anything I ever have in my life. Building stuff.

It started with renovating the home. Then the wife wanted a $2000 kitchen island off wayfair. Then she wanted a $3500 dining table. And on and on and on.

Well, I’ve had most of the tools from the home renovation … so I started building. I used my computer design and animation skills and fired up autocad, autosketch and home illustration software programs and designed custom furniture that my wife wanted.

Somehow, I ended up building these things. Quite well. To this day, I still surprise myself at how well I can build things .. especially being such an amateur.

Ok, enough of the member intro. Let’s get down to the thread subject. My shop.

My wife is a creative genius. We bought a $219k home and in 6 months, rehabbed it with not hiring a single contractor, and built up nearly $150k in equity. The home belongs in a magazine. All the credit goes to her creative choices that I never thought made any sense at the time. We have the rustic/modern concept ideals.

We’ve decided to start building furniture. Well, I decided because I enjoy it so damn much. We have a huge home, however, the basement has already been converted into a gaming/entertainment area, with a separate laundry area.

This really only leaves one other area on my property to build a shop. Our 2.5 car garage. We’re in Chicago. It gets cold. I also like toys. We have a large truck. A big sedan. A motorcycle and a scooter … and then we have all the lawn equipment.

I’m a marketing guy. If we’re going to build furniture, and make a couple bucks while doing it, we need to utilize proper marketing techniques to make it happen. Today, video is king. Blogs, youtube, tutorials, etc. is how people learn. It’s how I learned.

My shop needs to be able to be beautiful on video. It needs to house all my toys and be able to be used as an office/showroom when clients want to come discuss projects as well as function as a wood working shop.

The purpose of this thread is to document my journey in building a wood working shop in my garage, while maintaining storage capabilities.

A couple of roadblocks …

1.) My wife and I both hate clutter. We need a storage solution for all our scrap wood, and other things that can be out of sight, out of mind. I need to build a proper rafter storage solution.

2.) It’s cold in Chicago. The detached garage needs to be able to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

3.) The home does not have an upgraded electrical system. I’m running on 120.

4.) I just renovated a 3500 square foot home to a mid-high level of quality. It wasn’t cheap. In spring, the entire exterior of the home, as well as the landscaping and large fence needs to be upgraded. It’s going to cost a lot more money before we’re done. I don’t have a huge budget for this shop.

Since it’s about 25 degrees this week. The first step is to insulate and drywall the garage. I agree with the comments that wood sheets instead of drywall are more functional .. I choose drywall because the “image” of the shop will play a key factor in the marketing and video side of things.

Today I started the insulation and drywall project. Insulation for the 2.5 car garage cost $110 from Home Depot. The drywall cost another $105.

I bought this heater due to the good reviews: however after insulating the walls (not the roof area yet), I was only able to get the temp. inside the garage from 30 degrees to 40 degrees. I didn’t want to go with a propane or kerosene heater but since I don’t have 240v, it looks like I’ll have to.

I’d love to hear suggestions on heating my garage without 240.

I was able to insulate using batts and drywall the entire garage in 6 hours by myself.

continued on next post …

-- Member intro and shop build:

8 replies so far

View justjkit's profile


21 posts in 1329 days

#1 posted 01-03-2016 02:22 AM

Photos of the garage before .. and through today…

-- Member intro and shop build:

View justjkit's profile


21 posts in 1329 days

#2 posted 01-03-2016 02:26 AM

Tomorrow, I’ll finish up sanding and reputty up the seams. The walls will be painted a greyish color.

I need to start thinking about my wood storage. I woud really like to use the rafters. I’d like to drywall the ceiling from the walls to 4 feet or so to the middle of the garage on both sides giving it a finished look, while still giving myself access to the rafters to store wood.

Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations on storage solutions using the rafters?

Again, I really want a clean, finished off look. What I am using now is not satisfactory. My initial thoughts are to use thin plywood on the rafters to create a “floor” up there. I also need to be concerned with the amount of weight I put up there.

Need some help here!

-- Member intro and shop build:

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2727 posts in 3374 days

#3 posted 01-03-2016 03:02 AM

You need to insulate the ceiling or the roof if you want to use the overhead as storage. About 70% of heat loss/gain is though the roof. ( I was in the heating business just north of you in Racine).

-- No PHD just a DD214

View justjkit's profile


21 posts in 1329 days

#4 posted 01-03-2016 03:07 AM

I figured that was a big issue. What’s easier for me? Those spray foam insulation kits or stapling batts up there? Should I go thicker than the 13?

-- Member intro and shop build:

View Holbs's profile


2218 posts in 2481 days

#5 posted 01-03-2016 04:29 PM

I live in Reno, NV. The nights during winter time drop to 10 or 20 degrees, but hardly ever below 0. Summer time, it hits 100 at times. I slapped up R-19 insulation batts for the ceiling and also installed those 4’ trays to keep air circulation from my roof ease hole vents). I have not yet drywalled the ceiling (probably will this spring or summer). I ran all my own 110v and 220v electrical outlets and overhead lighting. If getting into wood working, now is the time to hire an electrician or run your own. Same goes for in wall / ceiling speaker, cat6 network cable, phone cable, etc.
I at first was going to insulate right against the roof til I found out you need ventilation between roof & insulation for ice dams. So I went with ceiling instead. Knowing this excludes storage up in the rafters, but acceptable. Couldn’t imagine climbing a ladder all the time to pull out some 2×4’s or plywood. Considered installing attic ladder, but naw..I do not have the headroom you do for light weight storage.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View alittleoff's profile


541 posts in 1729 days

#6 posted 01-03-2016 05:03 PM

I think your jumping the gun a little. You’ve have to solve your electrical problem first. By all means you’ll probably need 220 volt wiring install by the way you describe the shop your wanting. Wiring after sheet rocking is going to be a lot harder and more expensive.

View AZWoody's profile


1456 posts in 1676 days

#7 posted 01-03-2016 05:25 PM

I have a question on the infrared heater and maybe some of you colder climate people can answer as I am looking for one for my shop.

I thought infrared heaters didn’t really raise the ambient temperature but only heated the person by directing the infrared heat to the person directly.

View Holbs's profile


2218 posts in 2481 days

#8 posted 01-03-2016 05:58 PM

“The reason we get warm from an infrared heater is because our skin and clothes absorb the light. It’s like the difference between being directly in the sunlight versus sitting in the shade. You feel warm in the sun because the light that hits your clothes and skin keeps you warm, but when you’re in the shade, the light doesn’t reach you as well.” From How Things Work :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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