Advice on having a shop built (1 Viewer)

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Mar 16, 2003
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All,

I am in desperate need of having a shop built. We bought our property in 2012 when we moved from Arizona to western Washington and while a large shop was on my wishlist for the new place, it was much lower down on the wife's, and when it came time to compromise when we found a gorgeous 2 acres of land, it was the shop that I lost out on.

As I said, I have 2 acres of land, so there is plenty of space, and if things go as I am planning, I should be able to have some money put aside to start building a new shop in the next 6 to 8 months.

I am thinking that I want at least a 30'x40' building with at least 12' ceilings.

Beyond that, I am not really sure what I should be looking for. Steel buildings, pre-fab, stick built? What are my options?

I would love to get some feedback from others who might have done the same thing. What worked, what didn't work, what would you do differently?
 

e9999

You want to do what...?
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Also on my list...
I would design around functionality: what space do I really need (then get more :D), power, water, gas, foundations/slab, sewer, potential garage use, possibly convertible to extra livable room etc. Then worry about the envelope.
 
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I had a 30'x40'x14' steel building put up by a local builder. Floor is six(6) inch 4000 psi re-enforced concrete. Two roll up doors and a walk-in door. Roll ups are on alternate sides, one on 30' side and one on 40' side. Man door is off centered on 40' side, leaves room for small internal room/office/enclosed work space for smaller projects(gub stuff). Left room for a future two-post lift(dreaming). 40' side also has covered parking shed out to 16'.

When dreaming up your shop write in everything and then cut back to allowable budget - dream big.
 
Joined
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I had a 30'x40'x14' steel building put up by a local builder. Floor is six(6) inch 4000 psi re-enforced concrete. Two roll up doors and a walk-in door. Roll ups are on alternate sides, one on 30' side and one on 40' side. Man door is off centered on 40' side, leaves room for small internal room/office/enclosed work space for smaller projects(gub stuff). Left room for a future two-post lift(dreaming). 40' side also has covered parking shed out to 16'.

When dreaming up your shop write in everything and then cut back to allowable budget - dream big.
Sounds along the size I am thinking about. Can I ask what the ballpark of the cost of your building was?

My initial thoughts were that I would have 2 roll up doors, one on each of the 30' sides. They would also be on the same side to allow for straight through pull through. On the other side of the building would be the shop area. I am not planning on separating out any rooms. I am also thinking about both water and sewer, and based on where I plan on putting it, I am close to both my well and the lines to our septic system.
 

1911

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I think you'll find that a steel building is the best value.

Currently, I have a 30'x66'x12' steel shop, that was already built when I bought this property. I have been using it for 11-12 years now. My wife claims we bought this place because of the shop building - there may be some truth to it! It has been an incredible luxury to have room for Cruisers, tractors, bikes, tools, and parts, and still have room for a 2500 gallon water tank and a 15'x15' office built onto one corner. So, my advice is to make it as large as you can afford. Some other lessons learned and/or things I will do differently next time:

1. My two bay doors are 12' high conventional folding-panel garage doors. Besides taking a powerful opener to open them, they are hard to keep straight and lubed and quiet, and they don't seal all that well. Next time, I will use roll-up doors.

2. Like I said, I have 12' high walls and doors, with gables/attic another 3' above that. There's room for a hoist for my 40 hard top, but it would be a tight squeeze I think for a 2-post lift. If you ever hope to install a lift, consider a taller building. Along the same lines, specify a concrete slab thick and strong enough for the lift.

3. Where I live, good ventilation is a must for the summer; not sure about Washington state. If you need ventilation, be sure to put some ridge line vents in and may some exhaust fans under the eaves and windows in the building as well.

4. Be sure to install plenty of electrical outlets, including some 220v for a welder and etc.

5. Mine is insulated with roll fiberglass insulation. It works, but squirrels get behind the insulation and make nests and a mess. Next time, I will do spray-in foam insulation.

6. Lighting - put in lots of good lighting. Mine has multiple banks of 8' fluorescent tubes. They give good light, but are a PITA to change out (12' off the floor) and the ballast resistors go bad. Next time, I will use LED lights.

7. Mine doesn't have a bathroom or sink in it; next time I will spend the money for one. House is not that far away, but sometimes you don't want to walk through the house with greasy shop clothes/shoes on just to take a dump or wash up.

That's all I can of for the moment. We just bought a much larger piece of land that we're going to build a house on, and the shop building will go up first to store our stuff in while we sell our current place and then build the new house. The office and the water cistern are both going to be incorporated into the new house, so I have cut the size of the new shop down to 30'x50', and I have a turnkey quote for $36,500 from a local guy that was recommended to me. This includes the insulation, two 12' roll-up doors, ridge vents, man door, everything turnkey. If you want to save some money, you can get a kit from Mueller Metal Buildings (nation-wide chain) with all the materials for the same dimensions for only about $11,500 plus sales tax and freight - you have to do all the assembly and insulation.

Good luck with your project. It will be worth it in the end.
 
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That's all I can of for the moment. We just bought a much larger piece of land that we're going to build a house on, and the shop building will go up first to store our stuff in while we sell our current place and then build the new house. The office and the water cistern are both going to be incorporated into the new house, so I have cut the size of the new shop down to 30'x50', and I have a turnkey quote for $36,500 from a local guy that was recommended to me. This includes the insulation, two 12' roll-up doors, ridge vents, man door, everything turnkey. If you want to save some money, you can get a kit from Mueller Metal Buildings (nation-wide chain) with all the materials for the same dimensions for only about $11,500 plus sales tax and freight - you have to do all the assembly and insulation.

Good luck with your project. It will be worth it in the end.
Thanks for some great advice. 14' does make more sense than 12', and I suspect that it wouldn't add much to the cost. The quote you got sounds very reasonable, based on nothing more than my gut feeing. When I first started talking about it with the wife, and not really based on any particular research, I was thinking of a budget around $50,000. Not that I currently have that laying around, but it is something to work towards. :)
 

NCFJ

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My shop is 30' x 40' and I can tell you it gets small in a hurry. I could not imagine cutting in a bathroom or any other room. I have two roll up doors, man door and a big window on the front 40' wall. My lift just made it under the roof trusses at 12'-1". My shop was already here. Has 3 big factory take out windows across the back and another on the side. Lots of natural light, that is a big plus to me.

Figure out how many outlets you want, then double it. Put outlets in the ceiling, great for lights, pull down drop lights or extension cord. I still need to add a couple ceiling fans. Don't forget at least a couple outside outlets and provisions for outside lighting. Never enough interior lighting.

Put drains in the floor if you can.

One of the things that I love in my shop is that it has an I-beam running the 40' length, about 9' off the back wall. I run two trolleys with chain hoists. Perfect location for pulling motors and still have a bench against the back wall.
 

snobdds

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If you go metal, make sure you read up on how to deal with the condensation issue. Or, you might have a real humid and rusty mess with all your tools.

At the very minimum, closed cell spay foam the entire place. Even better is to put osb on the roof over the perlins, then either tar paper or Tyvex, then another row of perlins and then the mental. This puts the top and bottom of the metal in the same environment as the outside air and keeps the warm shop from air from condensing on the inside roof. Metal is fast and cheap, but if it's not done right, moisture will be a problem.
 

davegonz

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I just built a 28'x32' stick built shop. I would have gone metal had the wife let me since it was considerably cheaper, she wanted the shop to look like the house, so that's the way we went. I did make sure that the floor plan included a loft storage/apartment area upstairs. That way I can maximize the space without the extra cost of a larger foundation.

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X2 on the 14' ceiling, if you put a lift in you need the space. I just built a 50' X 74' X 14', I framed it with 2 X 6's and wood trusses myself.
There are two 12' and two 16' panel doors all on one side. dividing off 34' and 40', 34' will be shop and lift, balance storage.
Outside is all steel, floor is 4' 4000PSI, lift area is 6". I'm still wiring and insulating, will be pushing $50.

Wood was cheaper, it was $10,000 in labor to put steel up. I wanted to be able to hang cabinets ect. on the walls, it can be done with steel
but I wanted wood.

truss.JPG
 

Delancy

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If you go metal, make sure you read up on how to deal with the condensation issue. Or, you might have a real humid and rusty mess with all your tools.
Construction type doesn't matter, when dealing with unconditioned space, the moisture laden air issue remains the same and should be addressed in design. Thermal conductivity of steel will allow condensation to form, when there's no air exchange, if the entire cavity isn't sealed.

Numerous ways to prevent, from insulation systems that fully encapsulate the purlin cavity, pre-insulated panels, standing seam roofs with thermal breaks....list goes on, but for the average homeowner shop, this is what I've done, assuming the common 8" zee purlin cavity:

2" white metal banding on 2-2.5' centers (equally spaced in the typical 20' or 25' bay)

Thermal break secured to top of purlin and eave strut (essentially, 1/4"x2" self adhered rubber)

4" reinforced vinyl backed metal building insulation rolled parallel with purlins, in between purlins (tabs rolled and secured to bottom of purlin)

4" unfaced insulation roll perpendicular to the purlin.

It's not certifiable.

The systems that are, using the same basic installation technique, rate R-40, but at 45-50% material expense.

THEN....

Calculate HVAC to local requirements, with a simple addition of a 'cool to dry' thermostat, or more complex dehumidifier, and you can have a climate controlled environment for a fraction of conventionally constructed structure.
 

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