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Thread: NJ Shop Build - Basement Under Shop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    NJ
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    9

    NJ Shop Build - Basement Under Shop

    I am in the very early stages of designing a dedicated shop. One option is to locate it adjacent or attached to our house. Since that location is sloped, it provides the option for a basement under the shop. My question is for anyone with a similar experience. How have you best used that space? Dust collection, compressor, lumber storage come to mind. However, I can see initial issues with those that may mitigate their benefit. For example, dust collection would then have longer runs and moving material would be harder since it is not at ground level.



    I am hoping to post any information I learn in the hope that it is helpful to others by using the "NJ Shop Build" title.

    Appreciate the help,
    Sal
    Thanks,
    Sal

  2. #2
    I am building my shop on a very steep slope right now. The dust collector will eventually go in the basement. The lumber storage rack is there. I also have a garage door for keeping my truck when I am not at that residence. The overall shop is 26 by 36. It is nice to have double the space. Be careful about the floor loading. A shop can be quite a bit more than conventional residential live load. The basement makes wiring easier and lots of other good things. It costs a good bit more.

    TW

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    52,959
    There's a a current shop build thread here for a 'Creeker in TN that has a lower level.

    Don't assume that dust collection would have longer runs...they are just coming from under the floor rather than under the ceiling. DC, air, storage, lumber breakdown, etc., all come to mind. I have an upstairs to my shop and that's where my lumber storage is as well as a CMS to cut things down, for example.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Elizabethtown, PA
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    50
    All the things listed sound like great ways to use the space, also by using it for those listed you will free up that much more space in the upper level for other things (more tools... who doesn't like more tools!), extra space to have several projects going at once in different stages, the list goes on.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    9
    Thanks everyone. Appreciate the replies.

    Seems positive on the utility of a basement and I agree. Any negatives or other design points I should be thinking about ?

    Sal

  6. #6
    I would definitely add the basement area. You probably have to go to 4' for footings anyway. If you are on a sloped lot, it becomes much easier to access the area. If not you have to decide on how you get in and out easily. Access through the shop, to be able to handle material and equipment may require a rather large footprint. I would suggest a rather large exterior bulkhead to handle the big stuff and a smaller interior stair. I have found most of the normal basement bulkheads to be difficult to deal with being steep and narrow. I have taken a lot of cast iron boilers in and out of them.

  7. #7
    I think all above ideas are good but would like to add with all that additional space you should get an Alaskan mill and start drying lumber. Maybe setup a fan system for eliminating moisture.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    52,959
    One other thing that could go in that area...an office for project planning/design. And maybe a half-bath if that can work plumbing wise.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    4,315
    While we are dreaming for him put in a bride crane in the upper level. Or at least a rolling gantry. Then a have a hatch that can be lifted off and stuff can be hoisted up and down vertically between floors.
    Bil lD

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    52,959
    The hatch is definitely a good idea if lumber storage goes down there. I always wished for one in the ceiling of my shop space for the same reason...the lumber is upstairs and carrying heavy boards down a narrow stairway that has a turn at the bottom is sometimes a pain.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Elizabethtown, PA
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    50
    Jim, I watched some type of home improvement type show before where they added hoist type elevator for loft/attic storage. I would think a platform with guy cable in the corners to align it and cable or chains form the corner and a electric winch would be "do-able". The system used on the show was manufactured.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Purely for lumber, I don't think a hoist would be needed. Maybe a moveable platform that could be put under the hatch on the lower level to insure that the ends of the boards projected above the floor up top so one can grab them. Now for heavy slabs...yea...a hoist would be wonderful!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
    If I were to put a basement under my shop, would consider putting styrofoam under the floor and on the walls. That would go a long way to moderating the temperature in winter, and keep a lot of unwanted moisture out of the basement. Be sure to use closed cell foam.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Crozet, VA
    Posts
    267
    My new shop has two levels and I think it’s great. All the dust collection is on the lower level and comes up through the floor at each machine. As for lumber storage/ movement, I have a drive up double door on the lower level so if I’m moving a lot of lumber or full size sheet goods I put it in the back of the truck and drive around to the main floor to unload.
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  15. #15
    Sal, you’ve gotta post a pic. Sounds like a cool set up.

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