Basement Workshop From Scratch


NotAShakerMaker
 Share

Recommended Posts

I finally have the opportunity to build a basement workshop from scratch. I've never lived in a home with a full basement, so before I embark on my wildest fantasies, I thought I would ask the group for some guidance. The home is located in the Mt. Edwards area of North Carolina, just out side of Chapel Hill. Ledge, boulders and clay make up the landscape. Basement is laid concrete block with a floating concrete floor. No floor drains or sump pump.

I've been reading Fine HomeBuilding and other magazine articles on finishing a basement. I like the idea of laying sheets of 1 inch XPS on the floor and covering it with two layers of 1/2 inch plywood, laid and fastened at right angles to each other. I'd like feedback from the group: is this type of floor strong enough to support a typical woodworking shop?

Any votes for the traditional use of PTW sleepers with foam sheets between the sleepers and covered with layers of plywood?

Walls will be covered with either spray foam or 2 inch thick XPS sheets and then a 2x4 interior wall will be built so that there is a complete sound and thermal break between the shop and the foundation walls. This is a daylight basement with windows on two sides and a french door to the rear yard.

I have the height in the basement to install a Clear Vue 5hp dust collector, but am concerned about noise. I've followed their website for a couple of years and have read the users forum that noise is an issue. I think I can build a room within a room to help contain the noise, but wonder if that is a practical solution.

Noise in general is a concern, as this home is in a private community that has an all powerful ARB and POA. Several people have shops in their basements (outbuildings are not allowed) and have told me that noise control is essential. I seem to be the only one who considers scientific dust collection a priority.

Thanks for any suggestions or tips.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds as if you're on the right track with either floor model. Using the spray foam or xps on the walls will greatly reduce the thermal bridging to the concrete walls. I hope you have good drainage around and away from the house. You can put the DC in an insulated room with offset baffling to reduce the noise. A loose fill type of insulation would help on the noise reduction, too. Congrats on the new space!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had my shop in the basement for a while, the biggest noise issue I had was inside the house. I couldn't work early in the morning or late at night if the wife was in bed. The basement is only half underground, outside the house you could only hear the noisiest of tools. Unless your neighbors are a real PITA you might be ok with one of your current plans. Or box in the Clear Vue if you can still hear it outside.

Don't forget about upgrading the electric before you build the walls and spray the insulation. That was my biggest complaint about my basement.

I stayed with the concrete floors in my basement and current shop. I read about different floor system, but decided to stay with the bare concrete floor. Never had any regrets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I finally have the opportunity to build a basement workshop from scratch. I've never lived in a home with a full basement, so before I embark on my wildest fantasies, I thought I would ask the group for some guidance. The home is located in the Mt. Edwards area of North Carolina, just out side of Chapel Hill. Ledge, boulders and clay make up the landscape. Basement is laid concrete block with a floating concrete floor. No floor drains or sump pump.

I've been reading Fine HomeBuilding and other magazine articles on finishing a basement. I like the idea of laying sheets of 1 inch XPS on the floor and covering it with two layers of 1/2 inch plywood, laid and fastened at right angles to each other. I'd like feedback from the group: is this type of floor strong enough to support a typical woodworking shop?

Any votes for the traditional use of PTW sleepers with foam sheets between the sleepers and covered with layers of plywood?

Walls will be covered with either spray foam or 2 inch thick XPS sheets and then a 2x4 interior wall will be built so that there is a complete sound and thermal break between the shop and the foundation walls. This is a daylight basement with windows on two sides and a french door to the rear yard.

I have the height in the basement to install a Clear Vue 5hp dust collector, but am concerned about noise. I've followed their website for a couple of years and have read the users forum that noise is an issue. I think I can build a room within a room to help contain the noise, but wonder if that is a practical solution.

Noise in general is a concern, as this home is in a private community that has an all powerful ARB and POA. Several people have shops in their basements (outbuildings are not allowed) and have told me that noise control is essential. I seem to be the only one who considers scientific dust collection a priority.

Thanks for any suggestions or tips.

Hi Neighbor,

I live about 5 miles from you in Cary NC. I built a basement shop about a year and a half ago and would like to invite you over to see it and discuss several of the issues I encountered in the adventure. Give me a call if you'd like to get together. Mike Mendelsohn 919 933 7375

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I'm working out of my basement as well, but I haven't yet done anything with the walls or floors.

Please keep us posted on your progress.

One of my bigger issues is getting the wood in and finished projects out.

(No exterior access.)

Just something to think about.

John

I'm dealing with a basement that is not as wonderful as I thought it was. I also have not done anything with the walls and floors. (I don't feel like doing that much tuck-pointing on the walls, or pounding on the floors with a sledge and chisel for hours to patch all the cracks.) I've seen the plans on the foam and 2x4 flooring, and I like that idea, assuming you have the ceiling height to work with. The benefit of the wall modification is the chance to add storage right from the start. The drawback is you don't know where your shop will evolve to just yet.

having the french doors out the back will help with getting projects out and wood in. I have a door with direct access, which helps, but the ceiling height is so low at the bottom of the stairwell that I need to do full size projects that disassemble. I will get to play Number 5 later.

I read somewhere that building a separate room for the DC system with 2x4 framing but 2x6 spacing is better. Using insulation batts, you weave it in and out to cut down the sound more than provide heat. (the walls are 6 inches between drywall/plywood, but the studs are only 4 inches, and every other is attached to the inside wall, while the other set is attached to the outside wall.) - What I do not remember is where I read this, which direction (up/down or left/right) the insulation runs, and whether or not there was a top to the room. I'd place the room somewhere close to the back doors, so you can empty the DC without tracking it through the house... a lesson I learned too late.

I like the idea of planning the conduits now. I'd even go as far as suggesting two conduits: one for 110, and one for 220. And definately a sub panel for wiring, and possibly another one for lighting.

The problem I have with my basement shop is that there were things that I am not allowed to remove, that take up much of the space I was thinking would be available to use. (Some are obviously needed, like the washer and dryer. Some are wanted, but have no other home, like the train table. Some are not needed, but I am not allowed to explore them too closely. And some, nobody really knows about, so they got shoved into corners and spaces, and have now exploded out into common areas.) Storage is essential.

I've never had to deal with HOA's, but I did have a picky landlord when I lived in an apartment, so I understand having restrictions. My recommendation? Learn to love hand tools. Not just for the noise levels, either.

Do you have access from the driveway to the back doors so you can get tools and supplies to the shop, and products from the shop?

Let us know how your shop turns out!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share