Reply by Dan Lyke

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Posted on Ballpark figures for building a woodworking shop from the ground up?

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Dan Lyke

1519 posts in 4091 days

#1 posted 12-06-2012 12:40 AM

So I don’t have a total accounting, in some ways I don’t wanna know, but I’m pretty sure I came in under $20k for my workshop, 16'x20' external dimensions, with a living roof, climate control, and extra sound insulation. The electrical service is overkill, all the wires are at least 2 ga thicker than they need to be and there are sockets everywhere. The roof can support 120 lbs/sq.ft. in pretty severe earthquake conditions (In Texas you may be able to engineer for 10 lbs/sq.ft.). The walls use a drainage plane assembly that was derived from South Florida post-Hurricane Andrew code modifications. The foundation beams are half-again wider than my engineer said I could probably get away with because I wanted to be absolutely sure the city didn’t ask me to do a soils test so I did those calcs with the worst possible seismic assumptions.

Except for pouring the foundation, I did the work myself with help from my Dad and friends. So if you do the work yourself, you should be able to come in way cheaper than my extreme overkill.

Size-wise, it can be a little tight, I work with a Festool saw on rail system rather than a tablesaw, but I’ve got a number of projects working through it. Sure, I’d love a 30×50 pole barn, but other issues, like walkable distance from downtown, took precedence. If you’re already used to half a one-car garage, you already know what trade-offs you’ll have to make.

If you don’t care about insulation and your jurisdiction is cool with electrical service to it, I’d go see what steel carports are going for. You’d be surprised at how inexpensively you can put up something basic. Pulling numbers out of my butt, I’d bet you can get covered space for less than three thousand bucks.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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