Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: would this shop improvement be "worth it"?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
    Posts
    752
    Blog Entries
    1

    would this shop improvement be "worth it"?

    Good morning SMC!

    After a lonnnnnnnnnng search for a property that would offer some enhancements that our family is seeking, we have decided that our existing property with some adjustments applied is the more feasible option.

    One wish list item was to increase the workshop size. Here's our plan that would accomplish that in our existing location, and I am looking to gut check with the crew here who understands these things.

    My shop is in my 2 story barn. The main portion of my shop consists of two connected sections... one side is machines, the other side is assembly/fasteners/small tools. The machine side is 12' wide x 20' long, and the assembly side is 8.5' wide x 17' long. Aside from these two spaces, there is a 13' x 14' room where I apply finishes, and 10' x 11' room that holds lumber.

    The assembly area is where I feel the most "small shop pain" right now - running out of space on tasks ranging from staging parts through final assembly. My assembly table is 30" x 60" and must constantly be moved so that I can work around all sides, and is constantly just a little too small to hold whatever I'm working on. And the main culprit is that there's a set of stairs that take up a ton of room and squeezing the room.

    So here's our idea...
    - We have wanted to turn the finished 2nd story into an apartment for friends/family/airBNB etc.
    - We have also wanted a shop bathroom and utility sink..
    - We would add a set of stairs to the exterior of the building, thereby eliminating the interior stairs in my shop
    - We would bring out water and sewer lines for full bath in the apartment, and toilet/utility sink in the shop

    Net results
    - Assembly area would now be 12' x 17' (instead of 8.5' x 17')
    - Shop would gain toilet and utility sink
    - A much bigger assembly table would now fit AND allow for me to walk/work around all 4 sides
    - A 12 foot wall section would now be able to accept a counter top, cabinets below and storage above (vs. nothing today)
    - The upstairs apartment would gain full bath
    - We would look to use the underside of the new exterior stairs as a narrow shed to increase lumber storage options


    What do you think? My gut reaction is that the combination of apartment (with dedicated access that doesn't interfere with workshop) + shop toilet and ON grid utility sink (vs. current off grid sink) + bigger assembly area + more counters/storage = nice upgrade... but of course, $$ is also involved.

    edit: The "existing" layout pic should show "off grid utility sink" and the "new" layout should not (since a real sink will instead be installed)... mixed that up when I took the pics below.

    existing barn floor plan 2020.JPGnew barn floor plan 2020.JPG
    Last edited by Bob Riefer; 10-04-2020 at 10:23 AM.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Yorktown, VA
    Posts
    2,598
    Looks like an improvement to me. Have a sit down with your code enforcement/planning folks early on in the game to make sure they are OK with the proposed residence/rental and how you propose to access it. I remember some tough rules requiring that structures be brought up to code when adding apartments.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    54,731
    Seems like a nice improvement to me!

    Can we assume you are on "city" water/sewer? Because if not, you may be in a whole lot of hurt for the bathroom accommodations for this building relative to septic improvements. SE PA is really very hard-line on septic.
    --

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

  4. #4
    I would move the DC to the middle "shared" wall / or move that planer . I usually start w/ the DC .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    2,076
    I couldn't read labels on your drawings. Not sure if it's the drawing or my tablet.

    Have you accounted for abatement of noise from the shop to the apartment above?
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
    Posts
    752
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Calver View Post
    Looks like an improvement to me. Have a sit down with your code enforcement/planning folks early on in the game to make sure they are OK with the proposed residence/rental and how you propose to access it. I remember some tough rules requiring that structures be brought up to code when adding apartments.
    Very good advice. I had a previous career in construction sales and project management, so I would give the same advice quite often.

    In this case, the township requires only a permit (no variance) around the installation of bathroom and stairs (while the addition on our main home will require a variance, but is likely to be approved).
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
    Posts
    752
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Seems like a nice improvement to me!

    Can we assume you are on "city" water/sewer? Because if not, you may be in a whole lot of hurt for the bathroom accommodations for this building relative to septic improvements. SE PA is really very hard-line on septic.

    We're lucky enough to have public water/sewer on this property, so we'll be tying into that. The trickiest part will be finding someone that can dig the trench under our walkway and driveway (vs. tearing it up and patching)... If you know someone with that specialty, I'd be very interested in an introduction.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
    Posts
    752
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by james manutes View Post
    I would move the DC to the middle "shared" wall / or move that planer . I usually start w/ the DC .
    The DC functionality and setup is very recent and fairly optimized already, so no plans to move that at this time. Also, none of the machines would move as a result of these improvements, so I doubt I'd fuss with that much at this time.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
    Posts
    752
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Tymchak View Post
    I couldn't read labels on your drawings. Not sure if it's the drawing or my tablet.

    Have you accounted for abatement of noise from the shop to the apartment above?
    Hmmm.. pics working well here on a few laptops, but I don't have a tablet to try it from. Sorry!

    As for noise abatement... The use of the term "apartment" is very loose in this case. We wouldn't be planning for a full time resident up there at any time. It would primarily be for friends/family to use, and my plan would simply be not to woodwork on the infrequent days that someone is up there. That said, we do hope to use for airBNB in the future... which may or may not come to fruition. The township is very disinterested in our barn and bathroom as long as it is solely for our own personal use... but becomes very interested when rental comes into play. So we'd likely slow step into the rental game.

    Edit.. I will say though that my family uses the upstairs space frequently while I am woodworking and they rarely notice the noise at all. A few layers of sub flooring, carpet pad, and carpet must be helping me out to some degree.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    54,731
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Riefer View Post
    We're lucky enough to have public water/sewer on this property, so we'll be tying into that. The trickiest part will be finding someone that can dig the trench under our walkway and driveway (vs. tearing it up and patching)... If you know someone with that specialty, I'd be very interested in an introduction.
    Trench to either side and horizontal bore under the walkway and driveway. You'll want to send communication conduit through at the same time as hardwired is the best solution for an outbuilding and if you do the AirBnB thing, having Internet access is a given requirement for most travelers in this day and age. Your shop will benefit, too.
    --

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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,143
    Will those stairs be covered to keep snow and ice away?
    Trenchless is the search term to use.
    Bill D.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
    Posts
    752
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Trench to either side and horizontal bore under the walkway and driveway. You'll want to send communication conduit through at the same time as hardwired is the best solution for an outbuilding and if you do the AirBnB thing, having Internet access is a given requirement for most travelers in this day and age. Your shop will benefit, too.
    Yup, that's the ticket. We would greatly prefer this approach as we just recently finished sidewalks and driveway. And, I totally agree with running comm cables out while we're digging (and probably leaving a pull string as well just in case).
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
    Posts
    752
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    Will those stairs be covered to keep snow and ice away?
    Trenchless is the search term to use.
    Bill D.
    Considering the rare snow/ice that we get and that we will primarily be using the space for our own friends and family (and can simply choose to be careful or avoid usage 2-3 time per year when it's bad weather) I think that covering the stairs is likely to be on the early "chop" list if finances reach push/shove point. Totally agree it would add value, but perhaps not often enough for our light usage.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  14. #14
    Are all the walls on the shop interior bearing?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
    Posts
    752
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by George Yetka View Post
    Are all the walls on the shop interior bearing?
    I'm guessing you're going down the path of removal or changing of walls to improve usability.

    If the building was brand new, I would answer that the walls are NOT bearing. BUT, the barn is 1902 vintage and has been jacked up, winched straight(er), among other structural fixes.... so, stick framing between post-frame, and addition of interior walls, helps the overall strength of the structure.

    Also, all the walls are insulated with electrical running through them... so less than desirable to move.

    Overall, the shop flow and utility works really nicely and has settled into it's current state over about a decade of consistent project use. The only persistent issues have been limited room for assembly, and lack of water.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •