What would you change about your shop?

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Forum topic by ABwood posted 06-03-2019 12:08 AM 549 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19 posts in 75 days

06-03-2019 12:08 AM

My wife and I have another 12-18 months here in Maryland. Then we are headed to NC. Plans are to build our retirement home and we are starting to look at plans. Of course, a custom workshop will either be an added wing or the basement. What do you all wish you would have done differently when you designed your shops? What are your must haves and can do withouts?


16 replies so far

View diverlloyd's profile


3525 posts in 2274 days

#1 posted 06-03-2019 12:24 AM

I like just about everything in my shop. A separate area for lumber storage would be nice. My drive way is half assed asphalted so it being fully concrete would be nice. A full separate metal shop would be nice but that is being worked on at our next house. I wouldn’t mind a/c in the shop but that would make me lazier and sweating is good for you. Size wise my shop is a two car garage(25’) with another separate single car shop(10’)area it is also 25’ deep, with 10’ ceilings. The garage door gives great access and ventilation when open and the dog can come and go as she pleases. She is trained to stay out of the way when I’m out in the shop unless I’m sitting down.

View sras's profile


5108 posts in 3546 days

#2 posted 06-03-2019 01:11 AM

My shop is 14×24. I would make it bigger – maybe twice as big…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View JCamp's profile


985 posts in 967 days

#3 posted 06-03-2019 01:26 AM

I’d suggest 10 foot ceilings and a covered lumber storage area

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View CWWoodworking's profile


528 posts in 596 days

#4 posted 06-03-2019 01:32 AM

Space. Figure out what you need. Then double it.

Edit. Seen you implied that it will be connected to house? I personally would not want it connected to my house.

View TravisH's profile


675 posts in 2352 days

#5 posted 06-03-2019 02:36 AM

I think the first place to start is be brutally honest with yourself about requirements. I find many people have a tendency to go way overboard in regards to their hobbies. That said one can’t take it with them but what really is the point of building a mega shop if you don’t actually use the space.

I currently have a 12×16 shop and definitely wold like it to be bigger as floor space gets eaten up quickly with power tools.

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1577 posts in 2147 days

#6 posted 06-03-2019 02:49 AM

AB, make your shop square 40×40 with 10’+ ceilings. Rectangles cause you to have to walk around something. Hang all electrical and air hoses from the center line of the ceiling with 25’ retractable cords and hoses spaced at 15’ each… Concrete floor. Insulated. Minimum windows as they take up valuable wall space. Skylights to give added light. I’m sure you will get a lot more info, so weigh all responses. It’s your money, so I can design all I want, right?? .................. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Woodknack's profile


12842 posts in 2797 days

#7 posted 06-03-2019 05:31 AM

Bigger and more windows.

-- Rick M,

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16141 posts in 3035 days

#8 posted 06-03-2019 10:52 AM

More windows.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View OSU55's profile


2356 posts in 2406 days

#9 posted 06-03-2019 12:11 PM

Only you can decide how big it needs to be based on tools, lumber storage, and what you plan to make, and whether the shop is just ww or for other things (I work on motorcycles, cars, guns, and about anything else). HVAC makes time in the shop much more enjoyable. At least a window or 2 is nice. Seal the floor so liquids dont soak in. Plan dust collection. Plan storage of tools, hardware, everything – then add more room for it. Plan benches, assembly tables, infeed-outfeed tables etc based on how you do things.

View MrRon's profile


5564 posts in 3660 days

#10 posted 06-03-2019 10:31 PM

Insulation!!! When I built my 1200 sf shop, I skimped on the insulation and as a result, can’t air condition my shop. The AC is there, installed, but I don’t run it due to the lack of insulation. At the moment, the shop is 95°, so I can’t spend much time out there. I do have a small air conditioned room in the shop that is used for my metal working, but the rest of the shop is HOT in the summer and cold in the winter. I’m not getting all the use out of my shop that I should have. I should be using my shop despite the weather. Now due to less income during my retirement years, I can’t afford to install insulation; lessons learned. Don’t make my mistake.

View ABwood's profile


19 posts in 75 days

#11 posted 06-03-2019 10:49 PM

Thanks guys. Some excellent replies.


View OSU55's profile


2356 posts in 2406 days

#12 posted 06-04-2019 11:46 AM

Since the shop will be under or connected to the house, DO NOT plan to tie into the hvac for the house, use a separate system/method for the shop, yes even for a basement shop. As Ron said insulate well.

View OleGrump's profile


307 posts in 761 days

#13 posted 06-04-2019 12:47 PM

Other than floor space, your three important requirements are Large windows, insulation and PLENTY of electrical outlets.

-- OleGrump

View PPK's profile


1430 posts in 1226 days

#14 posted 06-04-2019 03:28 PM

Other than floor space, your three important requirements are Large windows, insulation and PLENTY of electrical outlets.

- OleGrump

I’ll take it one further. Electrical outlets on the ceiling, and those drop cords. I love having the power dropped from above. It eliminates cords on the floor, and is so much more convenient.

-- Pete

View LesB's profile


2123 posts in 3860 days

#15 posted 06-04-2019 05:04 PM

Good lighting. The LED lights are outstanding but be aware some of them put our RF signals that can interfere with AM/FM radio, if you are like me and listen to the radio while you work.

Plenty of 220v outlets. That is one thing I overlooked when I built my 24 X 40 foot shop 20 years ago, which by the way is now “too small”. I also did not plan well enough for wood storage.

-- Les B, Oregon

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