Building a new shop - Question about sourcing the framing materials

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Forum topic by Bikerdan posted 02-26-2018 11:02 PM 2671 views 1 time favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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62 posts in 1755 days

02-26-2018 11:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop building detached garage build framing lumber

I’m building a detached shop (16’ x 22’) and I’m about ready to order the framing materials (trusses, studs, sheathing, nails, etc…). I thought about going through one of the local home stores but wasn’t sure if that’s the best way. I’ve seen a couple of places online where you can order lumber too. Basically, I wanted to run this past you guys and see your recommendations. I know a lot of you have built your own shops and I’m sure your experience is super valuable.

So what should I do? What should I look out for?

Thank you all for your help!!!

22 replies so far

View Andre's profile


5253 posts in 3266 days

#1 posted 02-26-2018 11:17 PM

Usually stick build, except for roof trusses as they need to be engineered as per insurance and building code.
My last shop was a package from U.F.A. , they are more rural based and provide great service and quality!
Depending on your construction experience, package deal from most lumber suppliers might be best way to go for a small structure.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View tmasondarnell's profile


155 posts in 3249 days

#2 posted 02-26-2018 11:24 PM

When I built my shop (16×24), I sourced all of the materials from the Orange Borg. It was easy and quick. I ordered on a Tuesday, they delivered on a Thursday or Friday.

I did check a couple of local/independent yards. To be honest, they were are generally more expensive—especially in the quantities I was buying.

In terms of customer service, it was hit or miss. The guy at the Borg was pretty nice and helpful. Some of the guys at the independences were not fun to deal with.

I did not do trusses (I did rafters on a mono slope), so I nothing to offer there.

I would not stress it too much. Most of the material is essentially the same—#2 SYP is a graded product and everyone will need to meet the same grade. For framing materials for your shop, I bet you are looking at ~$1k-~$1.5K. I would not expect that you would see a difference of +/-10% no matter where you go. Go with what is easiest for you.

View Bikerdan's profile


62 posts in 1755 days

#3 posted 02-26-2018 11:43 PM

Thanks guys.

@tmasondarnell—When you started working with them, what was the experience like? Were they helpful in determining the amount of materials needed or did you just tell them exactly what you wanted?

View Knockonit's profile


1236 posts in 1662 days

#4 posted 02-27-2018 12:06 AM

Find a local llumber yard and have them quote the entire package, frame lumber and trusses, then get seperate prices from individual vendors, might surprise you.
Just make sure truss manuf. is and meets local engineering requirement of code. and has stamps for paperwork.

good luck, a new adventure in the making, hope to see it come alive in the next few months

-- Living the dream

View Bikerdan's profile


62 posts in 1755 days

#5 posted 02-27-2018 12:18 AM

Thanks Knockonit! Thanks for the tip about the stamped paperwork. Totally excited to get this build going. Currently working in about 1/4 of a 2 car garage and it’s a little cramped. :) .

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

3044 posts in 1622 days

#6 posted 02-27-2018 12:19 AM

Dan ~ what is your construction plan? do you have a sketch, plans, drawings, examples – or what.
wood or concrete floor. will you be the GC or will you hire one. have you applied for a permit yet?
who will do your electrical and plumbing?
in my experiences, the Pro Center Desk will bend over backwards to insure you have
good quality materials and prompt delivery to keep you as a customer.
I have stick built two shops and the wife and I fabricated all of it with the exception
of the concrete slab, trusses and roofing. I wired all the outlets and lights.
with two or three people and some nail guns, it goes pretty quick. we used T111 siding on both shops.
accuracy and double checking all measurements are critical in all phases of construction.

here is my last shop:
we had a little get-together of 125 people before my retirement. A Gathering of Craftsmen.
24×34’ building with 10’ ceiling and 7/12 roof pitch. two 8’ sliding barn doors with windows in the doors.
R-12 insulation with drywall and insulated attic with a plywood floor.
so the main door was 8’ high by 16’ wide. big 4’x4’ windows on the opposite side of the building.
during the summer – open everything up and enjoy the cross breeze. This shop was in in S.E. Georgia
so it was not too hot or too cold during the summer and winter.
a number of people here can answer your specific questions when you ask.

when you break ground – please start a “Blog” about your project – it will be very interesting to follow.

-- I am a painter: that's what I do, I like to paint things. --

View Hermit's profile


248 posts in 2785 days

#7 posted 02-27-2018 01:06 AM

Dan, I wrote a blog on my woodshop build. You can check it out if you want. Will give you an idea of costs. Any questions feel free to ask.

-- I'm like the farmer's duck. If it don't rain, I'll walk.

View MrRon's profile


6322 posts in 4703 days

#8 posted 02-27-2018 01:11 AM

Go with a local lumber yard. They will usually give you a contractors discount if the amount is substantial. The lumber will be better than the big box stores. They will be knowledgeable as well. Make sure you do 10’ ceilings. I built my 24×48 shop and sheathed it with 3/8” plywood. That was a mistake, I should have used 5/8”. My roof is metal over factory made trusses. All told, the cost was around $6000 plus a concrete slab. It took me 5 days with the help of my son to build it. Big sliding doors on each end allow me to drive a truck in and access for building materials. A wood deck on one end allows me to work outside when the weather permits. Another mistake I made was to not have the concrete floor machine trauled. It has a rough surface, but a smooth floor would have been better. Whatever you do, DON’T skimp on materials. I found out the hard way.

View ArtMann's profile


1483 posts in 2276 days

#9 posted 02-27-2018 03:30 AM

I agree with MrRon. I am just about to complete construction on my third new house and second shop. My experience has been that Home Depot, Lowes and similar big box stores do not carry the same quality of framing lumber that reputable independent lumber yards do, regardless of grade markings. Neither are they as knowledgeable when you need technical advice or help with subcontractors. Of course, not all lumber yards are good either but it is worthwhile to seek one out if you can.

View Robert's profile


4989 posts in 2940 days

#10 posted 02-27-2018 03:17 PM

Studs and sheathing the BORG’s are OK. But you have to handle the material twice to get it to the jobsite.

Trusses have to be made by a truss plant. Most are affiliated with a lumberyard.

+3 go with a contractor supply that will deliver to the site.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Bikerdan's profile


62 posts in 1755 days

#11 posted 02-27-2018 03:53 PM

I wrote a blog on my woodshop build.

Thanks Hermit. I like what you’ve done. You gave me a couple of great ideas! I’m so excited to start this project and make this shop ‘mine’. Thanks for your post! I will for sure start a blog to document the project. :)

View Bikerdan's profile


62 posts in 1755 days

#12 posted 02-27-2018 03:55 PM

Thanks everybody for your suggestions. I have a local builders’ supply that I’ll check out. I kinda like helping out the local shops anyway. We’ll see if they can at least come in close to the others.

View MrRon's profile


6322 posts in 4703 days

#13 posted 02-27-2018 04:54 PM

Thanks everybody for your suggestions. I have a local builders supply that I ll check out. I kinda like helping out the local shops anyway. We ll see if they can at least come in close to the others.

- Bikerdan

My local lumber supply actually came in less than the big box stores. I saved about $50 on an $800 order. Make your list first and check the prices at the big box store. Then go to your local yard and ask for a discount. You may be able to save a few dollars.

View Bikerdan's profile


62 posts in 1755 days

#14 posted 02-27-2018 06:41 PM

MrRon – Good pointer. Thank you. Also, for anyone interested in more detail, I will be blogging the process. I have created my first entry. Please feel free to give me feedback on what I could do better. Thanks for your help!!!!!!!

View Jon Hobbs's profile

Jon Hobbs

147 posts in 2164 days

#15 posted 02-27-2018 08:09 PM

Online prices can look mighty tempting. Until you factor in the shipping costs. The further the supplier is from your location, the higher the shipping costs. Shipping usually closes the gap between online prices vs. local prices. Unless there’s an appreciable difference in quality, it rarely pays to buy heavy lumber online.

Sometimes, the construction suppliers aren’t very keen on working with the DIY’er. While your $10,000 workshop might seem like a big project to you, and therefore, you should be a valuable customer, the reality is, your “big” project isn’t that big compared to the contractors they’re used to dealing with. Plus, yours is a one-off project; you’re not likely to be a repeat customer at that level of $$. While the supplier is dealing with you, they’ve got a contractor on hold itching to place his 10th $100,000 order of the year. Who do you think wins the customer service derby?

Not a reason to avoid the local construction suppliers, but don’t be surprised if they don’t roll out the red carpet for you. Of course customer service is a crap-shoot these days no matter where you go, so….

Most big-box stores will deliver to your construction site for $60-80.00 The upside is, you don’t have to handle all the material twice. The downside is, you don’t get to hand pick each and every stud, sheet and box of nails. The upside is, you don’t have to hand pick each and every stud, sheet and box of nails :)

-- Jon -- Just a Minnesota kid hanging out in Kansas

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