Home Shop building recommendations?


At my previous home I had a ~30 X 50 building with concrete floor that I
used for my home shop. Moved to the country maybe 5 years ago and don't
have a shop building or garage, just a car port and a wooden storage
building.
I'm trying to come up with the most cost effective home shop building I can.
I don't want to have to depend on any income from the home shop but I think
I can get some business if I get my shop set up. Part of my motivation is
that my son is now 11 and I'd like to teach him machining, controls, and
automation. The con is that every dollar I put into a shop is a dollar not
paying off something else, but may be dollars well spent (perhaps my shop
building would pay for itself and give my son some valuable experience).
So what type of building is most cost effective? (All metal, pole barn with
metal or wood skin, or ?) Would anything (wood, metal?) be good for a
smaller building for now but be expandable later if I needed more room? I
assume I need a concrete floor for the machines (I have 3 mills and 2
lathes, plus a press, welders, saw, and wood shop tools) would it be
advisable to save money with a part concrete, part rock floor?
RogerN
Reply to
RogerN
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I just listed on ebay several piles of books that may well have some recommendations that are helpful to you, see these links:
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look at the titles in the auctions - several of the pamphlets and books were about low cost construction techniques, the emphasis was on houses and barns, but a shop is a lot like a barn.
I also have sitting here the "Sunset Ideas for Storage In Yoru Home" - dated 1958 (first ed, first printing) - don't know if I'll list it, but if anyone is interested, contact me off the list - it's got all sorts of ideas for built in storage, and cool photos of what was "modern" in 1958
bill
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have a shop building or garage, just a car port and a wooden storage
Reply to
Bill Noble
A lot depends on how much of the work you want to do yourself, and how long you want it to last.
A wood-frame shop on a concrete pad with 'real' footings and the same roof as your house will last as long as your house. A pole building with a poured concrete floor won't last as long without work, but it'll be just as nice at first (and anything can be maintained indefinitely).
Past that, if you have time and energy you can build it out of whatever you can scrounge up -- there was at one house in Boring, Oregon that was built out of the stub-ends of 2x4s, laid like bricks. The local stud mill threw them away, and the homeowner worked at the mill and got them for free. The house lasted for years until a fire unrelated to the construction method burnt it down.
The point being that if you're going to do the work yourself you can save some bucks by letting your choice of methods be determined by what you can lay your hands on (and, if applicable, what the county will let you build with).
Reply to
Tim Wescott
I think the cheapest by far is a metal skin pole barn you construct yourself. Around here, the big box store have kits on sale all the time. I'd build it square, 30 x 30 for example, and leave room to double the length.
Concrete is EXPENSIVE. In my barn, I got 12" diameter tubes and put big machines on footings made with sackcrete and a mixer. Then packed class 5 gravel tight and level. Finally rubber mats to walk on. You hardly know there's no concrete floor. FWIW, I also have a concrete floor heated shop in the basement and garage.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
I have the same problem as you. Shrug...but then I live in Californias high desert..so we dont get much rain or snow.
Build the building out of corrigated sheet metal, and pour the floor in sections as you can afford them. First goes under the machine tools, then expand it by sections under the rest of the shop.
You can, as I did, position the machines in a good working order..and pour a small slab under each machine, leaving the rest to be filled in as time and money permits.
The most important thing is the frame of the building and the roof. Pipe framing with a corrigated metal roof works well, and then simply hang Harbor Freight tarps as the walls and replace them as needed. I should mention that used garage doors, particularly the old solid non folding types are commonly available (cheap!) and make decent enough walls with minimum framing needed to hold them in place. Which is what Ive been doing.
Gunner
"Somewhere a True Believer is training to kill you. He is training with minimum food or water,in austere conditions, day and night. The only thing clean on him is his weapon. He doesn't worry about what workout to do--- his rucksack weighs what it weighs, and he runs until the enemy stops chasing him. The True Believer doesn't care 'how hard it is'; he knows he either wins or he dies. He doesn't go home at 1700; he is home. He knows only the 'Cause.' Now, who wants to quit?"
NCOIC of the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course in a welcome speech to new SF candidates
Reply to
Gunner Asch
It's hard to beat shipping containers.
Reply to
Joe Pfeiffer
What's the weather like where you are?
The need to maintain a suitable work environment will dictate how much you've got to spend on a building envelope. The floor should almost certainly be concrete or something similar so as to provide a rigid base for the heavier equipment.
Also, how large will your projects be? That'll define the requirements for walls, ceiling height and footings.
Reply to
Paul Hovnanian P.E.
Just added a 21x60 foot 'annex' to my shop. Had the grading (leveling and compaction) done for free by my neighbor. Had the slab poured last year (4" thick with edges deepened to 12") for $ 1,400 concrete and $ 1,500 labor. Last month my neighbor cut all the lumber for me for 7 posts (6"x6" - 14 ft. long), 10 rafters (2"x10" - 18 feet long). 50 purlins (2"x6" - 12 ft. long), 50 girts (2"x4" - 12 feet long). I suspect that the lumber at retail would have cost about $800±. The metal skin (29 gage) costs $ 1.71 per foot for a 3 foot wide piece. Example: a 10ft long piece, 3 ft wide, costs $17.10. The labor to erect all the lumber and metal skin came to $ 1,500. These are prices for the Portland, OR area.
Stretched out the above for 2 years because of finances. Enjoyed the slab for a whole year before the building went up. Finished produce = 18'x60' building 12-14 feet high.
Ivan Vegvary
Reply to
Ivan Vegvary
Paul, which specialty license(s) do you hold? I am a R.C.E. and an L.S. Ivan Vegvary
Reply to
Ivan Vegvary
Pole barn with slab, metal building with slab, stick frame on slab, stick frame on footings, etc. All have merit, depends a lot on your local weather conditions (frost, rain, snow, heat, wind) and local suppliers of both materials and labor. Around here, pole barn construction runs around $4 a square foot for materials plus slab, plus labor. Everything else goes up from there.
I guess I'd suggest a hard nosed system analysis. How many square feet to you need? Dead storage space vs machine shop space vs vehicle work space vs garage (active storage)? What temps do you have to deal with? What temps are acceptable for winter work (machine shop needs to be warmer than vehicle work space, etc) What kind of wall height do you want (high for trucks, low for keeping it warm in the winter). And on to heat, power, water, communications, etc etc.
RogerN wrote:
Reply to
RoyJ
I built a shop abut 8 years ago. If I had it to do again I would make it at least 20 X 40 instead of 20 X 20.
I too live in the desert. Buildings here have almost zero rain and water consideration. Heat is a factor but with 12" insulation my shop never gets below 55 degrees and 85 degrees year round. And I have AC to make it more comfortable. A small space heater for the really cold days. Like below 70. We are spoiled.
I used 12" steel studs, 10' high, for the walls and the same materials for the roof. I used OSB and stucco with 1" foam for the outside walls and OSB inside. 12" insulation throughout. There is no way I would not have the walls as thick. I would also make the wall height 12'.
From the dimensions you listed you have enough space for a roll up door to get big things in and out. With a 3' door for day to day use. You may also want to consider some alternate egress for any possible problems.
I would not use any wood at all. When I built my shop metal was 60% of the cost of wood. Also with metal there is almost 0% waste. And a big thing is no possible termite damage. The metal pieces can be ordered to any size. My studs were all within 1/64" in length. I had less than 1% waste. Everything was specified and all was delivered within a week.
Just my thoughts. I can write about things like this forever. More about electric and other utilities if you would like.
Bob AZ
Reply to
Bob AZ
True indeed. But the average price of a 20', here in california, is $1200, plus $500 shipping. I can build a nice 8x20' building for well under $1700.
Gunner
"Somewhere a True Believer is training to kill you. He is training with minimum food or water,in austere conditions, day and night. The only thing clean on him is his weapon. He doesn't worry about what workout to do--- his rucksack weighs what it weighs, and he runs until the enemy stops chasing him. The True Believer doesn't care 'how hard it is'; he knows he either wins or he dies. He doesn't go home at 1700; he is home. He knows only the 'Cause.' Now, who wants to quit?"
NCOIC of the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course in a welcome speech to new SF candidates
Reply to
Gunner Asch
I think a metal shop with C and some big steel here and there and a skin. I'd insulate... I have insulation and chicken wire under it holding it up.
The only downside is the skylights - have screen over them. Humming birds like to strand themselves there looking up at the bright lights.
I have to open the shop doors again - and just leave. The skylight darkens - the sun comes in the front door and the bird flies out.
I'd reinforce the concrete - if not with steel - then with the in-cement fibers. Mine was not and equipment has cracked the dome center fake thick concrete.
Martin
RogerN wrote:
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
I did it 20 years ago with wood frame and 29 ga. barn metal. I did it last year as a all metal used pipe for pole barn poles, with red iron, and 29 ga sheets. I certainly like it better. Neither building was insulated, it was just too expensive for my needs.
Wood frame buildings are prone to rot from cheap sheeting leaks that develop over the years, not to mention insects and rodents. I would never do it again.
The biggest factor is balancing your budget with your estimated for needs for concrete and insulation. Gravel can save tons of money, but you are going to need some concrete somewhere. I would certainly pour the entire parameter with concrete and come in at lease a few inches at floor grade. It will make it much easier if concrete the gravel areas later, and give you a good seal for your sheets.
Reply to
Tim
As far as weather, I'm located a little South West of StLouis in the Southern part of Illinois. Winters are a little warmer than Chicago and we have high humidity. Summer is too hot and winter is too cold, there's maybe a month is spring and fall that the weather is comfortable.
My previous building has a problem with the wood rotting around the door frame and coming loose from the concrete floor. I guess if there is no other drawbacks an all steel building would be nice as long as rust isn't a problem.
I'm thinking about maybe a 30 X 50 building on a 30 X 30 concrete slab. Have a dividing wall and use 30' X 30'for the shop and the other 20' X 30'for mowers, tractors, storage.
I'm interested in doing home machining plus perhaps making some molding machines, one to injection mold plastic and one for rubber parts. The idea would be to make my own molds using my CNC mill and then mold the parts. I think I could buy rubber from the tire plant I work at for a reasonable price. They'd probably give me some scrap to experiment with. So, depending on how things go, the shop could grow... or shrink for that matter. A 30 X 30 shop in a 30 X 50 building sounds like a good start that I could change as needed.
I'm wondering if I should have a company do it all or be my own contractor and form out concrete and building separate?
Thanks for the replies!
RogerN
Reply to
RogerN
...
In this part of the country you'd hire the building separate from the concrete, no question. Up here (MN) they run construction specials in late fall. Everybody trying to get one more job before winter shutdown.
Be sure and plan for doubling the size of your building. Ain't no such thing as a shop or barn that's big enough.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
Another possible is a semi trailer that lost its DOT rating. A friend got an old reefer for $900. Already insulated and the air conditioner installed. They look a sight though, might fit in Gunner's yard
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
Actually..Ive got a 20' Aluminum! seatrain down in Fullerton, that needs to come up to the homestead. Ive been planning on making room for it, and I have the spot picked out. I just dont have the $350 that they want to haul it up empty...which means that Im gonna have to figure out how to get the contents home as well. And its packed...tight
"Somewhere a True Believer is training to kill you. He is training with minimum food or water,in austere conditions, day and night. The only thing clean on him is his weapon. He doesn't worry about what workout to do--- his rucksack weighs what it weighs, and he runs until the enemy stops chasing him. The True Believer doesn't care 'how hard it is'; he knows he either wins or he dies. He doesn't go home at 1700; he is home. He knows only the 'Cause.' Now, who wants to quit?"
NCOIC of the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course in a welcome speech to new SF candidates
Reply to
Gunner Asch
Ask your farmer neighbors, if you have any. They often have a good idea of the least expensive way to get space covered. Cost effective can be sliced so many ways, depending what you want to do, or can stand - ie, I built my shop from structural insulated panels, which are pretty easy to erect for a single story with a crew of friends/neighbors and no crane. Cost more to buy than some other options, but will cost far less to heat in the long term. Make a very strong wall and the walls went up in two days with inexperienced labor. Regular truss roof with regular insulation - panels on roof require more framing, and pretty much need a crane to put in - cranes being expensive.
Pole barn is typically considered the cheapest way to get space covered, though the cheap steel arch buildings sometimes compete. If you can handle really funky, a steel hoop plastic-covered greenhouse gets ground covered, but is sort of a bitch to heat and cool. Nice light during daytime, though.
The machines need soem sort of foundation, but that can be limited to the machine base, and should be suited to the machine (IE, I understand that some types of presses need huge foundations.)
For tedious, pecking away at it DIY, concrete block can work.
I assume you are in tornado country, broadly speaking - that can make more robust building methods look more attractive. Skimpy buildings fall apart easily.
While not anywhere near as convenient as "out the back door", renting space somewhere nearby can be a good option (and if demand for space is low, very cost effective), if you have farmer neighbors with disused buildings, or an airport with empty hangars, or something like that nearby.
Reply to
Ecnerwal
An old buddy got a decommissioned railcar. We had a good time getting the 30,000 pound car off the low bed trailer that he hauled it home on.
Karl Townsend wrote:
Reply to
RoyJ

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