All in! New Shop

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Hello all! After 5 years of working in my mom's basement, and 2 years after buying my house, I've bit the bullet and started building my stand alone workshop (detached garage if you ask my wife)! I'll try and keep the post up to date as the build progress' (sp?). I'm sure I'll have a lot of questions and I welcome any recommendations or questions from the community. Wish me luck!

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here are some more pics of the site as the week went on. I had about 10 trees that needed to come down, 3 of them about 80' oak trees. I bitched about taking them down, but finally relented to find one of them hollow in the center! Can't believe that didn't come down during the hurricane.

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==> No layout set in stone yet.

The clear story is great... Don't change that.... That's the one thing my shop lacks is lots of natural light.

Before you do the slab, put the floor layout into one of the shop tools and see what you get.

Also, most folks push-off the 'finishing' question for last... You may want a bump-out at the rear for either cyclone, compressor, finishing station or some other item that is best isolated from the 'shop proper'... Cheaper to do one slab with a bump-out even if you don't frame it yet...

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If you are willing to share, I would love to know an estimate of what you expect it to cost you.

COST breakdown:

Foundation (slab dimensions)

Structure (manufactured - modular, panelized, pre-fab or stick-built?)

Plumbing (if any)


Type of structure really seems to dicate cost.

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That is awesome that you had the guts to take the big step. It'll be beautiful. I'm getting started with mine but haven't quite signed the deal yet. I can't take that final step like you did. :-)

A couple of y'all were asking for info. Here's how I'm doing it and my details. Maybe it'll help a little.

I looked around at a couple different shops in the area to get estimates on installing a shed, ideas of what would be the best way to install one, and how much it would cost. I'm going to have to get a tree removed, also, and then get my ground leveled out a little. To get an accurate price I actually had Tuff Sheds come out to my house and measure it all up. (They're online)

For a 12'X20'X8' with the windows and sky-lights (and extras to make it pretty enough for my wife to let me have it - lol) it's going to run me about $7,300.

It's a pier and beam set on bricks with beams every 3'

Wooden walls with reinforcement

Shingles for the roof

Assembled on site

No electricity

Warranty = Work for 10 yrs; Parts for 30-50yrs

This is close to what I'm getting


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==> For a 12'X20'X8' with the windows and sky-lights (and extras to make it pretty enough for my wife to let me have it - lol) it's going to run me about $7,300

$25/sf in the right ballpark for a nice shed... Obviously a shop like the OP is erecting is going to be more $/sf...

For those thinking about detached workshops, you are better off looking at overall $/sf then breakdowns --- unless you plan to do a lot of it yourself...


You can get a quick sanity check by calling your township tax assessor's office or local real estate office for average $/sf for detached garages... They know that stuff cold... Depending on the part of the country, a detached garage is probably in the $50 - $80/sf.

A big part of $/sf is location... Something that could be built for $60/sf in one part of the country may be $90/sf in another. There could be are local/HOA/etc requirements that could easily push you well over $100/sf.

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On the topic of building a workshop.... anyone know of a piece of software (not Sketchup) that would be good for home design? I'm talking floor plan type of thing and of course the exterior view,

If you are looking for an inexpensive CAD program, we have had some success with the HGTV branded software you can find at any big box store / walmart etc. I think it runs about $30-$40 and is relativley robust for structures. It won't let you do things that are unique to a shop like DC, but for the stucture and basic electrical/plumbing, its pretty nice.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello again!

Sorry for the delay in posting anything but the shop build is...delayed! Between the 15 degree weather NYC area had in January, and the consistent below-freezing temps since, the footings never got poured. So I have a nice square hole on my property that is slowly getting filled in with snow and mud. Yay.

On top of that my dog Buddy (that's him in my avatar pic) was in really bad shape and needed heart surgery. So the shop-build funds took a bit of a hit. But as soon as the temps come up a hit, the mason and I are ready to go.

And Buddy is doing fine and recuperating

TripleH - thanks for the advice. I never even considered a separate finishing area. Hmmm

JBS550 - from clearing the area to completion, I'm estimating $35,000. However I don't have a general contractor and all the framing, electrical, roofing, insulation is being done by myself and some of my more talented friends. If I stay within that cost I'm at $47/SF

Thanks for all the interest and insight! Till next time. JC

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Batfish - I'm putting a 6' picture window and two regular windows in the back wall. The front of the garage faces east. I'm limited to 100 amp line coming off my house panel. What's the blocking for?

Sjeff70 - thanks. He's a great dog. Hopefully a few more years left in him.

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  • 2 weeks later...

TripleH - thanks for the advice. I never even considered a separate finishing area. Hmmm



This is one thing that I am REALLY kicking myself for not doing right away.  I have a room framed in upstairs to do it, but haven't pulled the trigger yet as it was always one of those spaces that could have turned into 2 or 3 different possibilities depending on how things went (growing pains of a small business)....


Now I'm pretty decided that out of all the options this is something that I REALLY need.  My next hurdle is trying to figure out how to essentially turn the room into a spray booth (without actually buying a booth and installing it into the room..) 


A separate area for finishing is VIP (or at least has become one in my experience)  :).  It provides more options for what you do in a day.  For example what I run into is an issue with being able to do any finishing and still keep working on other projects without creating dust that same day.  


Probably more of an issue with a commercial shop as productivity keeps food on my table, but even still..  Something worth thinking about...


Spring is coming!  You gotta be excited!  Great building :P !!

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