I wish I Would Have....

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Forum topic by Hermit posted 11-03-2014 10:35 PM 2294 views 3 times favorited 42 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Hermit's profile


248 posts in 2438 days

11-03-2014 10:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop setup building

Greetings everyone. I will be starting the framing on my new shop soon. I have been researching, and reading all I can on shop set-up, planning, etc. For all of you that have built your own shop, moved into an existing shop etc. etc…..I am looking forward to your responses on the topic of “I wish I would have”. Knowing what you know now, what do you wish you would have done differently when setting up your shop? Thanks in advance!

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

42 replies so far

View Bob Kassmeyer's profile

Bob Kassmeyer

278 posts in 4038 days

#1 posted 11-04-2014 12:40 AM

Put in a rest room, I love my coffee. Good thing it’s only about 30 feet to the back door. Could also have been larger but I’m happy with what is there.

-- Bob Kassmeyer, Nebraska

View TheFridge's profile


10863 posts in 2599 days

#2 posted 11-04-2014 12:46 AM

Or at least a funnel running outside. Like my shop.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View JKBogle's profile


40 posts in 4051 days

#3 posted 11-04-2014 01:29 AM

I was going to do the same thing with the funnel. I wish I would have installed a steel beam overhead for a sliding hoist. I also wish I would have made arrangements for TV service.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1335 posts in 3048 days

#4 posted 11-04-2014 01:05 PM

Haven’t built a shop yet, but I had an awesome feature that I lucked into at my last rent house. It was a large single car garage with full size garage doors at both ends. Opening both doors handled dust and fumes better than any dust collection setup ever could. If I was making a lot of dust, I would just open the doors and let a draft thru to clear out the air. It was also nice to open them up on good weather days. When the shop got filthy, I could just use the leaf blower to clean it out, making my own sort of wind tunnel, in one door and out the other. I loved that feature and would encourage anyone and everyone to do it if possible.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2880 days

#5 posted 11-04-2014 01:15 PM

Water, bathroom, dedicated finishing area with heat, additional 240 plug-in’s, lots of shelves. All my outlets are 4’ from the floor, that was a good decision.


View firefighterontheside's profile


21426 posts in 2969 days

#6 posted 11-04-2014 01:24 PM

Insulated better from the start, but I was on a very low budget.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Tedstor's profile


1691 posts in 3746 days

#7 posted 11-04-2014 01:31 PM

A utility sink would be great. 220v electrical service. MORE LIGHTING, more windows, sky lights, etc. A large entry/exit door. Cover large sections of the wall with chipboard.plywood rather than drywall- easier to hang stuff. Good ventilation via exhaust fans.

View Gunslinger's profile


17 posts in 2500 days

#8 posted 11-04-2014 01:46 PM

All of the reply’s are right on target, yet it all depends on how large of a shop you plan on building and the layout for your equipment. Of all of the things you are going to do in constructing your shop layout and planning will be the most important; before you even put a shovel in the ground. Everything from sighting the building to even identifying the landscaping. One note for the electrical in which I wish I had done was, if sub panels will be needed, plan to install conduit in the slab before poring to make it easier as well as neater in the space. Of course, the bigger the better.

-- AL, Alabama

View bigblockyeti's profile


7304 posts in 2834 days

#9 posted 11-04-2014 01:49 PM

Higher ceilings (mine are only a little over 9’) and laying out where all machines would go before hand to run dust collection duct work.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Bill7255's profile


428 posts in 3398 days

#10 posted 11-04-2014 02:09 PM

What I wish I had done is foam insulation. Had more money to put up something better than OSB walls. Of course the standard is build a bigger shop

What I did do and glad of it

Put in the bathroom.
Put in radient floor heat.
12’ ceilings.
Installed a drop ceiling. Got the tiles free from a renovation. Should help with heat and looks great.
Large overhead door
Load bearing truss for light HF electrical hoist. Mostly for lawnmower changing blades.
Large sub panel with space for additional electric
Several ceiling electrical drops. May install a couple more.
Outside electrical outlet near overhead door.
I ran most outlets in conduit external to wall instead of behind the wall. Easier to access and eliminates cold air coming from behind the outlet.
Paved driveway to the shop

-- Bill R

View ChrisK's profile


2053 posts in 4194 days

#11 posted 11-04-2014 02:15 PM

+1 on the sink. Even a small one is better than none.
+1 on the 220V
+1 on more lighting. Use two or three lighting circuits. Bench lighting.
+1 on high ceilings.
+1 hoist would not hurt.

Easy doorway to use hand truck or to roll tools in or out. The threshold on door is a little too high.

Wall space for storage.

-- Chris K

View Case101's profile


107 posts in 2905 days

#12 posted 11-04-2014 02:34 PM

more outlets they you think you’ll need, bottom of outlet minimum of 48” above floor(in case you lean up plywood you can still get to outlet). Wire with 12/3 for a 20amp circuit. put every other outlet on the opposite circuit. with 12/3 you can get 2 circuits out of 1 wire. By putting opposite circuit on every other outlet you can use 2 high current items at the same time without blowing the circuit breaker.

Just my $0.02

-- John, New Jersey

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

837 posts in 4946 days

#13 posted 01-05-2015 11:06 PM

I’m in a garage shop so I crave windows and skylights!

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View BasementShop's profile


69 posts in 2413 days

#14 posted 01-05-2015 11:29 PM

If I were to do mine over…

I’d have put in the French cleat mounting system to have more flexibility for moving things around.

I was able to get an old reception ‘island’ from work and put it up for walls. It is dark mahogany and I wish I had used plywood instead—it sits about the workbench as a backstop but it sure is dark—and painted it white. And then put everything on French cleats.

My shop has a work bench at standing height and one at sitting height. It turns out that a lot of tinkering, sorting, planning, and even assembly takes place at the lower height and I can park on a chair while doing it. Consider a spot to sit.

I put a swing arm lamp with extra light near the seating area and cuss about every third time I sit down that I don’t have an illuminated magnifying lens on a swing arm. I built a Fresnel lens into a frame that I can look through but it lacks the utility of a swing arm setup.

I’m working in an unfinished basement’s future bedroom so I don’t have freedom to call it a permanent shop, but if I were building a shop in the backyard, I’d consider being able to hose the sucker out from time to time—whether sloping the floor to the door for drainage or putting in a floor drain—along with putting a tall baseboard up that could handle the wet.

I’d also put in a vote for thinking of using the overhead for storage. Do yourself a favor and consider hanging lights under the rafters so you can store supplies or wood or whatever overhead and not have it interfere with your lighting.

Other ideas can be had from Pinterest, by the way, if you have time to browse through some ideas from others.

Congratulations on your future shop!

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 4100 days

#15 posted 01-05-2015 11:34 PM

Radiant heat in the concrete.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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