New Workshop

Hi all - Moving house soon, so de-lurking to ask for help from you
knowledgeable folk with constructing a workshop at the new place.
Have googled the groups and found lots of useful stuff (mostly
American) but still have a few questions (that I also posted to the
DIY group).
It needs planning permission as it's a conservation area, but the house is
not listed even though it's a 250+ year old thatched cottage.
Workshop primarily for radio controlled model aeroplane and helicopter
construction/maintenance/storage, plus household DIY and probably
acquisition of a lathe (and mill?) to try some model engineering. Probably
roughly single garage sized, to go alongside the existing block/render/stone
faced single garage. Would be for all year round use - most model building
done in the winter when weather too bad for flying.
1) From an insulation/usability point of view would I be better with one of
the log cabin type buildings with 44mm thick interlocking 'log' walls or a
traditional shiplap type shed that I then line with insulating foam and
ply/chipboard/plasterboard? Would the 'log' cabin type need additional
insulation also?
2) Is the typical 19mm t&g floor on pressure treated bearers man enough to
take a small lathe (Myford or similar type)?
3) Is it worth the effort and expense of a full concrete base or are slabs
on hardcore/gravel adequate?
4) How do I best insulate the floor while avoiding damp seeping up?
5) How do I work out how many/type/size/wattage fluorescent fittings to give
adequate lighting? (I'm aware of the possibility of strobe effects on
machinery and that I probably need local non-fluorescent lighting for these)
I intend to lay plastic tube (small diameter drain pipe or similar)
to the workshop with power cable and strings to pull other services
(phone/network/TV aerial/etc) through if needed and will also allow for more
power/sockets than I think I need.
Reply to
David Williams
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It may pay to word the planning application carefully, phrases like "summer house", "storage shed", "hobby room ", etc seem to find much more favour with the officials in the planning department than "workshop". As soon as you mention workshop they think industrial use and think that you want to start running a business from there.
Regards Kevin
Reply to
Kevin Steele
As a member of a planning committee myself I can second that, applying for a workshop does raise concerns.
How about simply building a proper garage from materials in keeping with the house?, assuming you have vehicular access the permission would probably be straight forward as you're not asking for anything odd, and you would add to the value of your house in the process. Of course once built it's completely up to you what you do with your 'garage'...
Reply to
I do have flourescent light only in my cellar shop and I never have any strobe effects / problems. You can't have too much light for precision work, so I have light nearly all around the wall. I use cold white that is better for work.
I mounted tubes on the wall. Very flexible if you have to expand it. Doesn't look that good, but who cares in a shop. It is not a living room. Can't have enough wall plugs, so plan ahead!
It is important to keep humidity outside. I really have to fight it in the celler during this hot summer. But I can't give you tips what to do on the construction side.
HTH, Nick
Reply to
Nick Müller
I agree, but for best benefit you need a cavity wall, and then the council assume an extra bedroom on on the sly...
I went for single brick and wish I'd gone the whole hog with a cavity wall.
Reply to
Steve W
My 8' x 14' workshop is ship-lap, insulated, lined and double glazed. I now regret not realising the importance of a solid floor because even after reinforcing the supplied T&G floor with a layer of heavy duty T&G flooring grade chipboard I still find problems when swinging anything unbalanced on my 8" Holbrook. When looking I specifically wanted the roof to overhang the windows in order to reduce solar gain from the mid-day sun and also I wanted reasonably generous scantlings. I soon found that there are two kinds of supplier of garden sheds a) who was only interested in selling me what was in his catalogue b) who was quite sure that what I really should have is ... In the end I went slightly up-market and contacted some firms that cater for the horsey trade (loose boxes and stables). That was a different ball-game and I eventually found what I wanted at a price I could afford.
In the last few weeks I have just gone through the same process all over again and am fitting out a shed as a studio for my wife. For this one we seem to have struck lucky in finding an 'ordinary' shed and fencing supplier who did not fit the stereotypes above. We were happy to take his advice that the 'log' cabin suppliers tent to be very inflexible unless you are prepared to go to the luxury end of the market. Based on the experience of my workshop, we supplied him with a fairly tight specification for a bespoke shed. However the question of insulation was left open. We received more than enough match-boarding for a DIY inner lining together with an adequate quantity 50mm polystyrene slabs.
Don't try ! Or if you do, don't say you weren't warned!
See below
There are damp-proof membranes and also purpose made polystyrene flooring insulation slabs so this is an area where it might be worth seeking some expert opinions before hiring that cement mixer.
The more light the better. I have a pair of industrial type fittings each containing two 6' fluorescent tubes and have no problems from strobe effects. I also have an ancient 'anglepoise' type fitting over the lathe with a filament bulb. It may be worth your while looking at some of the modern low-voltage directional spots which seem to be available everywhere these days.
Reply to
Mike H
In article , Nick Müller writes
I second that! When I built my workshop (about 8ft square, part of a house extension) 20+ years ago, I put a pair of double sockets on each wall. Not enough! Should have had at least twice as many. In fact I sometimes think a continuous strip of sockets all round would be nice...
Reply to
David Littlewood
Does this limit the materials and construction that can be used? You may get a better response if the walls look similar to the local buildings and the roof is at similar angles.
Make is twice as large as you think it should be.. Seriously. I can guarantee that you will want it bigger within months of finishing it. Since you need planning permission anyway, you won't have that as a hurdle lurking past a given size. Running out of garden is a down side of this approach, but if you've got the land then use it.
If you have to use brick then got for insulated cavity wall. If you can use board then consider structural insulated panels:-
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They are not cheap, but are a bit less than brick cavity walls. They can be put up a lot quicker than bricks by people who don't know how to do bricks. You do need two people and a good sledge hammer for positioning.
slabs on hardcore/gravel will move and allow damp though. If you have a wooden floor above and a DPM below the slabs, it will be ok. A concrete floor isn't much more work than a concrete base.
4" polystyrene slabs under the concrete with a damp proof membrane taped above and below the foam. It takes the place of the hardcore (if the ground is finished flat enough). The DPM makes the concrete slide around easily when laying. You end up with a warm concrete floor.
A good number to aim for is 2W of fluorescent lighting per ft^2. This will give ample lighting with a white ceiling and light coloured walls and you should only need task lighting for fine work. Stroboscopic effect is not significant with modern tubes (I had quite a job a few years ago trying to get a good image on a pulley with black and white marks on it and normal fittings and tubes). To avoid the issue entirely, get high frequency fittings, Mine cost £160 for 14 off 4' Category 2 HF units from here:-
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Same here as the size, put more/bigger tubes than you think that you will need (if it's detached). You may want water/gas/compressed air/phone/aerial/network/tea/coffee plumbing in as time goes on.
Ditto, a double socket every 18" is very convenient. If you can get hold of some trunking without breaking the bank, it looks quite good.
Here are some ideas on how not to do it :-(
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Must add some pictures to show the current state of things.
Regards Mark Rand (Usual disclaimers about suppliers) RTFM
Reply to
Mark Rand
Faced with the same problem, I came tothe conclusion that there is lot to be said fro a SIPPS building, which seem to be very rigid an warm. But with a 250 year old thatched cottage why not go for Gunit concrete sprayed over a foam core (including the roof) with fibreglas thatch to 'blend'?
Regards Robi
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Reply to
When I moven in we inherited planning permission for a block built and rendered double garage. Problem was it was in the wrong place. I neogitated with the council a "variation in planning permission" to build a different building in a different place. One of the aspects that swung it was that I wanted to build a traditional timber/featherboard/pantiled construction. They thought that was much more in keeping with rural Suffolk than block and render. It was also much easier to build for someone who has limited skills as a brickie but is quite good with 4x2. It's also easy to insulate.
Reply to
Charles Ping
Mount a few doubles on the front of the benches so you don't have trailing leads all over the bench.
There's nothing worse than pulling a lead and knocking your beer over.
. -- Regards,
John Stevenson Nottingham, England.
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:-
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Reply to
John Stevenson
Switched metal-clad doubles would be better :-))
Peter -- Peter A Forbes Prepair Ltd, Luton, UK
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Reply to
Prepair Ltd
Also make that, waterproof, nothing worse than trying to pull beer soaked plugs out of sockets with an oily cloth, getting a shock and having the cloth ignite is such a pain...... and further waste of beer and effort putting the bench out.
Reply to
Joules Beech
Our house is listed, and in a conservation area, we've found the local planning dept more than willing in the past for someone to come out & talk about what they would look kindly on and what they wouldn't. Probably well worth approaching them when you've sketched out some basic ideas.
Mind you, a friend is in a similar situation 30 miles away, different borough, their experience has been exactly the opposite.
Cheers Tim
Dutton Dry-Dock Traditional & Modern canal craft repairs Vintage diesel engine service
Reply to
Tim Leech
And mounted in a recess so they don't get whacked !
Reply to
Andrew Mawson
I just dropped a 28ft ex refrigerated container in my back garden, painted it NATO green and grew creeping vines round very well.
Reply to
Thanks everyone for your useful (and entertaining) suggestions. I'm trying to get to have a discussion with the planning people but at the moment they're in "write to us with your proposal and we'll give you an indication whether it might succeed" mode.
I'm a bit limited by the shape of the garden, drive and existing single garage but assuming the existing garage stays I can get something about 16ft by 13ft while still conforming to the planning rules of 5m from the house and 1m from the boundary (if it's timber).
Just want something that will be warm and comfortable to work in in the winter without breaking the bank (this is part of my early retirement downsizing so don't want to deplete the pension pot too much!) and leaving enough money for equipment.
The research continues..........
Reply to
David Williams
Planning has had a shake up recently, they now have government targets for dealing with actual applications within a certain time so are getting hard nosed. Around here this has resulted in two things and I doubt it's much different anywhere as they all have the same targets. Firstly, any application that is in any way incomplete is immediately rejected, there's no more asking you for more information as the clock is ticking and it's they who get penalised. Secondly, anything less than an actual application is a low priority, where they used to be happy to spend time talking and writing letters before the application they don't like it any more as it doesn't count to their targets.
This is a great shame, where you used to be able to sort things out to avoid wasting time and money on a flawed application you can now wait months for a reply to a letter. But please don't blame those in the planning department because they are as unhappy about it as anyone, it's yet another example of government targets causing more harm than good.
That 5m from the house isn't set in stone, we see plenty of applications that are within so don't be put off from applying for what you really want.
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