LumberJocks

How big is big enogh

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by agallant posted 09-16-2015 05:15 PM 905 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View agallant's profile

agallant

530 posts in 2351 days


09-16-2015 05:15 PM

My last shop was 16X18 and though small at times it was enough for a full size saw with 52” rails, CMS, Drum sander and a bunch of other things. The new house we bought has nothing. My wife wants me to buy a 14*36 premade shed for about $8K and just be done with it. I am floating the idea of building a 24X36 gaurage myself which would be a huge investment of time but worth it in the end. What are the thoughts on this? Part of me wants the premade shed because I can just wire it up and move in and the other part of me is saying build the huge shop. How much is enough? The lot is .5 acre so there is something to be said about not covering most of the land with buildings.


13 replies so far

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7482 posts in 1472 days


#1 posted 09-16-2015 05:38 PM

I dont know where you live, but you MIGHT want to anonymously call the building and codes dept of your town or county and ask some “generalized” questions about such things as size allowances, lot setbacks, and construction materials/methods.

That said … build it as BIG as you can possibly afford now. No matter how big you build, you WILL outgrow it before you realize it. I went from a 30’ X 40’ pole barn to my current 24’ X 35’ building. Think “double-wide” mobile home. It used to be a portable school classroom, and I really wish I had bought the 24’ X 44’ one that was also available at the time.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View KCConst's profile

KCConst

67 posts in 1363 days


#2 posted 09-16-2015 07:01 PM

I suppose there’s a reasonable limit to the size of any workshop but there are many factors to consider. As the owner of a too large shop, I can tell you that I need more room. My work expands beyond traditional woodworking into metals, welding etc. but there is never enough room. Like JoeinGa says no matter what you’ll outgrow it. I sometimes find it hard to store long lengths of wood. Do you have that need? Will it be in the workshop? Maneuvering a 2×12x16’ board from saw, to jointer to planer etc. is a pain unless you have some room. Likewise anyone dealing with plywood needs a place to store and access the materials. One of the other questions you probably should ask is how you will handle dust and sawdust control, central vac? etc. the entire picture is really messy without some planning, but at least you you’re having a discussion. A workshop can also be a place to repair the lawn equipment ;-) change the oil ;-) fix the wife’s sewing machine ;-) keep all the extra stuff that she doesn’t want “cluttering up the house” ;-) good luck in negotiations.

-- "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do" Wooden

View Richard's profile

Richard

1898 posts in 2155 days


#3 posted 09-16-2015 07:22 PM


I dont know where you live, but you MIGHT want to anonymously call the building and codes dept of your town or county and ask some “generalized” questions about such things as size allowances, lot setbacks, and construction materials/methods.

That said … build it as BIG as you can possibly afford now. No matter how big you build, you WILL outgrow it before you realize it. I went from a 30 X 40 pole barn to my current 24 X 35 building. Think “double-wide” mobile home. It used to be a portable school classroom, and I really wish I had bought the 24 X 44 one that was also available at the time.

- JoeinGa


+1 on this , My daughter wanted to build a Studio Apt. in the back of her house and the City said she would have to have a two car garage for the house and a separate parking space not on the lawn for the studio. Not going to happen as she can’t expand the house garage due to it being to close the side of the lot already , unless she wanted to take out the kitchen to make garage space.
But yes as Big as you can now is the way to go.
Joe , I bet that extra 9’ of length would have made a big difference.

View Clarkie's profile

Clarkie

380 posts in 1306 days


#4 posted 09-16-2015 07:27 PM

Like the other guys said, build it. The sheds are never big enough and as soon as you look good at them, you’ll see the shoddy work and crappy materials used. I wanted one for the longest time, wife kept saying, “you won’t like it”...sometimes when we listen they make beautiful sense, lol.

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4169 posts in 3207 days


#5 posted 09-16-2015 07:39 PM

Depends also on if you plan to live there long term.

You might want to look at building it as a “detached 2 car garage” and then you have that space as a selling feature if your buyer is not a woodworker, but has a boat, or a classic car or other item they are currently paying to store somewhere.

Lots of 24X24 garage kits – - a 24X24 garage from Menards with a windows, a 36 inch entry door and a 16 foot garage door is 4500 dollars. (Model 1950065) – - then you have to get concrete and put it up/hire a crew.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4822 posts in 2513 days


#6 posted 09-16-2015 07:50 PM

Where I live ANYTHING above 100square feet needs permit and foundation!
That sucks big time

-- Bert

View jerkylips's profile

jerkylips

273 posts in 2035 days


#7 posted 09-17-2015 02:27 AM



Depends also on if you plan to live there long term.

You might want to look at building it as a “detached 2 car garage” and then you have that space as a selling feature if your buyer is not a woodworker, but has a boat, or a classic car or other item they are currently paying to store somewhere.

Lots of 24X24 garage kits – - a 24X24 garage from Menards with a windows, a 36 inch entry door and a 16 foot garage door is 4500 dollars. (Model 1950065) – - then you have to get concrete and put it up/hire a crew.

- DrDirt

A friend of mine is adding a 3rd stall to his 2 stall attached garage. Total cost is going to be around $25,000 (ouch!). He was told outright by the builder that he will get a tiny fraction of that back if they sell the house. I’m not sure that resale should be a big consideration. If you get the exact perfect buyer who wants what you have, then you might get lucky – but most likely you’re paying for YOUR use of the space & won’t recoup it if/when you sell.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3688 posts in 1730 days


#8 posted 09-17-2015 03:07 AM

I’m thinking You need a 30’x 40’ garage with 10 ’ ceilings. In that you could have yourself a 10’x10’ finishing room with a decent exhaust fan.

View JeffP's profile

JeffP

573 posts in 856 days


#9 posted 09-17-2015 11:16 AM

This has been pretty well covered, but I just wanted to add a few misc. observations…

” keep all the extra stuff that she doesn’t want “cluttering up the house”
If this is in play, there certainly is no such thing as big enough. The only shops I’ve ever seen on video that looked “big enough” were shop only, with zero encroachment from the above quotation.

The ONLY way to keep that at zero is to have some other space for that stuff to go. Another building, a basement, an attached garage, a high-cube shipping container…someplace.

Second, I think “too big” is actually possible if you try to line the whole bloody thing with machines rather than making work zones out of it. Case in point…my sister’s kitchen. If you want to make yourself a snack, plan on using up the calories you’re about to eat just walking between the sink and the fridge. Just walking around the island takes 5 minutes out of your day (seriously, you could land a crippled jet on that thing). So, too big is possible…but it would be a good problem to have. ;)

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View PaulHWood's profile

PaulHWood

337 posts in 1718 days


#10 posted 09-17-2015 12:45 PM

Boyles Law applies here. Just as gas fills the space it is given. A woodworker will fill all available space.

Build as big as you can afford

-- -Paul, South Carolina Structural Engineer by trade, Crappy Woodworker by choice

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

394 posts in 684 days


#11 posted 09-17-2015 12:48 PM

a 24 by 36 package with 2-9’ doors, an entry door,vinyl siding would be around 8k around here. slab needed.
imo its a wise choice to stick build a 24 by 36 over prebuilt. i wonder how much a 36’ shed would rack during shipping.
whats the headroom in the shed?

View LarryT's profile

LarryT

17 posts in 1541 days


#12 posted 09-17-2015 01:29 PM

This is an unending discussion. Obviously, we all think bigger is better. I had my son, who was starting a,
contracting business at the time, add a shop onto the end of my house. At 16X20 it is the size of a large
garage stall. Even for my hobby workshop, I many times have found this restrictive. This is not a typical “garage shop.” It is more like an added room connecting to the garage. Building it this way meant all codes for residential construction had to be met. I also had to pay the electric power company to move the underground service cable, since it ran around the end of the house where we build. I have a very nice shop now with 240 v. electric service, heat and air conditioning to remove some of the humidity in the summer. However, it did cost nearly $20K. for a 320 square foot addition! If you can do it, a separate building is probably a more economical alternative. Or you can build larger for the same budget.

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4169 posts in 3207 days


#13 posted 09-17-2015 02:04 PM

A friend of mine is adding a 3rd stall to his 2 stall attached garage. Total cost is going to be around $25,000 (ouch!). He was told outright by the builder that he will get a tiny fraction of that back if they sell the house. I m not sure that resale should be a big consideration. If you get the exact perfect buyer who wants what you have, then you might get lucky – but most likely you re paying for YOUR use of the space & won t recoup it if/when you sell.

- jerkylips

True – and because of space – my shop is a 3rd stall add on. However my point was a ‘garage’ is more sellable than a “big shed with electricity” – - easier for a broader audience to see value in the building. Lots of gear heads and/or have kids getting cars and sometimes there are covenents/HOA requirements to not park in the driveway or on the street.

My add on was far far less than 25K. We spent 4K on concrete for the footing and driveway, ~2400 for materials, and 1400 for the framing crew after the building supply dropped the materials in the driveway, than ~450 for the roof to be shingled and tied in.

We hung the sideing and did the electrical rough in ourselves. so we got the whole thing done for less than 10K, but that was 2004.
Ours is estimated to be break-even, that the realtor said difference between 2 car and 3 car would be 8-10K in selling price. But we were also one of only 3 houses on our block WITHOUT 3 car garage.

I think when our house was built it was SUPPOSED to have the 3-car garage… as the house is not ‘centered’

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com