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Thread: Having a shop is getting closer, I hope others are too.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Edmond, Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,750

    Having a shop is getting closer, I hope others are too.

    Hi All, I have wanted a shop for most of my life, but never had one, as I have mentioned in the past on this forum. Friday the trench for the footing was dug, and rebar put in place!

    I carefully considered the advise given on this forum about my potential hybrid shop size, (https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....-Workshop-Size), in which almost all said that what I was considering was pretty small for the tools listed.

    Since then, Steven also suggested that I build a bigger shop than he has.

    I listened to the advise, and my interior shop dimensions are to be about 23' by 40'. More than I had planned on having and spending, but I am glad that it is going that way. Thank you all for the advise on the size, and other advise given.

    My wife and I have always lived well within our means, driven older cars, etc., so when I retired it was a very pleasant shock to find out, that we had enough money for the shop and tools that I wanted.

    So far it has been a bit of a battle, and 5 different contractors either didn't even come up with bids, got out of the contracting business (two of them), or had to be rejected because of unfavorable references or suggesting poor building practices (two of them), and it finally came down to me being my own contractor.

    I worked for a carpenter when young, and know a bit about construction, so knew some building practices one of them described, as normal for him, were of the "cutting corners" type. (He did have a relatively low bid.) When I mentioned that I thought one of his standard practices was less adequate than what I wanted, he told that he would build it any way that I wanted. That didn't give me "a warm fuzzy," though, as I thought I would have to watch them every second to make sure that they didn't cut any corners. That same contractor did not want his business listed as the contractor on the permit form, rather he wanted me to list the contractor as "myself and a friend are building the shop." That was the final red flag for that guy.

    (While being my own contractor, I hope I am not like the guy who is his own defense lawyer who has a fool for a client.) At any rate, the work is finally underway. Having to take over the project myself, and weather condition, etc., have greatly slowed things down.

    This got me to wondering if any of the rest of you are also working on, getting, building, or setting up a shop? If you are let us know!

    Regards,

    Stew



    Last edited by Stew Denton; 02-25-2024 at 5:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Dayton Ohio
    Posts
    950
    Quote Originally Posted by Stew Denton View Post
    Hi All, I have wanted a shop for most of my life, but never had one, as I have mentioned in the past on this forum. Friday the trench for the footing was dug, and rebar put in place!

    I carefully considered the advise given on this forum about my potential hybrid shop size, (https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....-Workshop-Size), in which almost all said that what I was considering was pretty small for the tools listed.

    Since then, Steven also suggested that I build a bigger shop than he has.

    I listened to the advise, and my interior shop dimensions are to be about 23' by 40'. More than I had planned on having and spending, but I am glad that it is going that way. Thank you all for the advise on the size, and other advise given.

    My wife and I have always lived well within our means, driven older cars, etc., so when I retired it was a very pleasant shock to find out, that we had enough money for the shop and tools that I wanted.

    So far it has been a bit of a battle, and 5 different contractors either didn't even come up with bids, got out of the contracting business (two of them), or had to be rejected because of unfavorable references or suggesting poor building practices (two of them), and it finally came down to me being my own contractor.

    I worked for a carpenter when young, and know a bit about construction, so knew some building practices one of them described, as normal for him, were of the "cutting corners" type. (He did have a relatively low bid.) When I mentioned that I thought one of his standard practices was less adequate than what I wanted, he told that he would build it any way that I wanted. That didn't give me "a warm fuzzy," though, as I thought I would have to watch them every second to make sure that they didn't cut any corners. That same contractor did not want his business listed as the contractor on the permit form, rather he wanted me to list the contractor as "myself and a friend are building the shop." That was the final red flag for that guy.

    (While being my own contractor, I hope I am not like the guy who is his own defense lawyer who has a fool for a client.) At any rate, the work is finally underway. Having to take over the project myself, and weather condition, etc., have greatly slowed things down.

    This got me to wondering if any of the rest of you are also working on, getting, building, or setting up a shop? If you are let us know!

    Regards,

    Stew



    That sounds like a good sized shop. Wish mine were that big. Wait! No I don't. I have too much stuff as it is. My only suggestions are to use lots of insulation. and make the roof strong enough for solar panels. Put in plenty of LED lighting. Have enough doors and windows so you can open them up for fresh air. Stew, you need to post progress pictures. Have fun.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    706
    Congrats on getting the new shop, Stew!

    You know we like pictures here so please post 'em as often as you can. It's always fun to follow build threads of any kind but especially shop builds.

    And good luck with it!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Connecticut Shoreline
    Posts
    339
    Congratulations on retirement and the new shop construction! I'll be interested to follow your progress.

    I am pretty much in the same boat. All of my life I have wanted a nice shop, but made do with garages, shared with cars, outbuildings shared with lawn equipment and raccoons, and spare bedrooms. I bought an old house early in the pandemic just before home prices skyrocketed (lucky). While there's no ready made space, I intended to build a shop/studio (I also do artwork) above and behind the detached garage once I retire (2-3 years).

    But now I am not so sure. Right now I am turning an unused bedroom into my shop. I do like the convenience it being a few steps away, heated and well lit, and climate controlled. When I bought this place, my son also bought a house about 10 minutes away with a beautiful shop space already in place. I gave him all of my woodworking power equipment for his shop, when we all moved. Once I am retired I will spend a lot of time there setting up the shop with him, but one that I can use when needed.

    Things have changed a bit though, I really have turned to hand tool (only) woodworking, and the type of things I make are typically small. So I think I am going to fully commit to making the space I have now as user friendly and comfortable as I can. The only power tool that I really miss having on site is a drill press. I'll look around for a nice, small benchtop one, or maybe even a cool old post drill. For the rest, I can go over to my son's place when I need to do something. So I may just keep my little space here and forego the big shop.

    But I may change my mind.

    DC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Mid West and North East USA
    Posts
    2,909
    Blog Entries
    2
    Congratulations Stew Denton! I hope the project is as enjoyable as having a shop will be. It is nice that building materials are available and affordable again.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Millstone, NJ
    Posts
    1,616
    Speed is the main thing your paying for in hiring the whole job out. But if you have the time you can usually end up with something better in the end. Good luck on your journey.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    4,487
    Quote Originally Posted by Stew Denton View Post

    This got me to wondering if any of the rest of you are also working on, getting, building, or setting up a shop? If you are let us know!

    Regards,

    Stew



    Been in the same shop since 1977.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    27,420
    Blog Entries
    1
    My shop is a 25X25 stand alone garage that was here when we moved here. Now it is a bit crowded.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    243
    Congrats on the shop! Please post photos.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    2,474
    One more congratulations! What a great size shop. Does your wife know she is going to have to come over and drag you out of it if she wants to see you? Pro tip- don't mention that part.

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