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Old 06-28-2004, 12:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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DRM's shop thread

I have been wanting to put this up for a while, and with the new forum, and Camo's thread - I think threads like this can be awesome for everyone to check out what other people did, didn't do, do like, don't like, etc. I would hope it could save others some headaches and pitfalls before then even get started.

When I bought my house in 2000, all it had was a carport. Well, I had WAY too much junk for that, so I had to bide my time until I could get a shop.

In the fall of 2001, I looked into several options. I *really* wanted a steel frame (miracletruss, etc.) building, but I was working on a seriously constrained budget, and I thought it could be done cheaper.

What I came to, was that a pole frame style building with metal roof & walls would be my most economical approach.

At first, I looked into doing the work myself. But as I thought more and more about it, I knew with the time and help I had available, It would take me 6 months or more to get the work completed, and that just plain would suck

I ended up getting a quote from a guy who actually built my uncle's pole barn hay storage shed. Here's exactly what the contract agreement I signed says as far as specs:

Quote:
To build a wood frame building
Size 30' wide by 40' long x 11'6" inside height
Built on 14 - 4'x6' treated post
With five - 30' trusses 2'x8' cords 3/12 pitch
With 2'x6' wall stringers approximately 3' o.c.
With 2'x4' roof purlins 20" o.c.
Covered with 29 gauge painted roofing, siding, and trim
Roof color -gray- siding color -gray- trim color -white-
Framed up for one 10'x10' door and one 9'x7' door. No doors supplied
With one 3'0"x6'8" walk door
With 3" vinyl back insulation in roof

Build price is $7,560.00
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Old 06-28-2004, 12:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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and.......................................?

pics?
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Old 06-28-2004, 12:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The second quote was from the same guy, this one covered the slab.

Quote:
Proposal to form and finish a 30'x40' concrete slab 5" thick using 3000 mix concrete with fiber.
With 22 tons of gravel to level pad
Owner will supply other gravel needed to level pad for floor

Cost for 5" floor is $3,548.00




As with the building quote - this is them doing ALL of the work.

Prior to starting, I had roughly $400 worth of material brought in, borrowed a bobcat and later a rubber-tired backhoe to bring the area I wanted the shop up to level as best I could, as well as doing some work on drainage, etc. Equipment was borrowed, so no cost there.

I think I do recall the builder did have me buy an additional $100 worth of gravel to get the pad correct.


So, for a grand total of $11,608.00 here is what I got:





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Old 06-28-2004, 01:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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So far, I had just a shell of a building - with no garage doors (just the openings you see), no wiring, and no power.


The first thing I tackled was getting so doors. I had gotten a quote from the builder, but I thought I could do better on my own. I started with Lowe's and Home Depot - but found rather quickly that large doors get prety expensive.

What I was looking for was a 10'x10' overhead door for the front, and a standard 9'x7' overhead door for the side.

Even though the building at this point was only insulated on the roof and not the walls, I chose to look ahead and pony up for fully insulated doors form the start. The price was really not too much more additional.

I finally ended up finding a place out of north Alabama that had a FAR better quote than anyone else. I was able to get both doors in the sizes described above, Fully insulated with metal interior and exterior surfaces, installed - for $1200.

I placed the order, and and they came up within a few days and had them installed in just a couple of hours time.

Going on 3 years now, and these doors have not been an ounce of trouble - materials and installation have all proved to be top notch.

If you are keep taps, I am up to $12,800 invested at this point.
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Old 06-28-2004, 01:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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man look at that nice truck in there, whatever happened to it?
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Old 06-28-2004, 01:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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BTW - these updates will come in bursts as I find the time to remember what all went into the build up

I will also be covering the following areas

-Getting electricity to the shop
-Internal wiring
-Building a small shop office and bathroom
-Some thoughts on what I would do different if I had to do it again

And any other areas I come up with later that I can cover and share some details about.
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Old 06-28-2004, 06:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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so far so good. thanks and keep the info coming
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Old 06-28-2004, 07:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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DRM, were you ever worried about the shop rusting. were there any other reasons for going with metal (besides price)?
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Old 06-28-2004, 07:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Looks dark as hell in there... any skylights from the metal purchase ?
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Old 06-28-2004, 07:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks Camo



Electricity

Getting the power there
I will be honest - everything I did as far as electricity *might* not exactly be up to code. I did it all myself, and found it hard to even find someone to pay them to 'consult" on my work and make sure I was doing it right... Nobody would agree, so I tacked it myself

One of the first problems I had was getting power out there. The shop was roughly 120' from the panel on the house. I looked into several options - even having additional poles dropped to get it closer to the shop. I ended up running some 2/2/2/4 ground buriable "mobile home power" cable from the house to the shop.

I got lucky - the house builder had installed a master 200a service panel outside the house. This had a 100a breaker that fed an interior panel, a 30a breaker that fed the A/C, and I had room to install a 100a breaker to feed the shop.

The shop got a 100a panel from Lowes, and I did a grounding rod at the shop too.

Lights

Here's an area that gave me trouble. I went round and round on deciding about lighting. A friend had previously had a SWEET high-bay commercial light that was awesome... but it was a take-out from his work, and I just couldn't justify the cost of new low-bay lighting on my budget.

My shop design ended up with 5 trusses - 2 end ones and 3 exposed on across the 30' width of the shop (See pics above). I originally decided to go cheap (ha) and run four single bulb 4' fluorescent fixtures spread across each of the 3 trusses for a total of 12 of the 4' bulbs. I figured that would be plenty of light, especially with them 11'6" off the floor. I bought the fixtures from Home Depot - the cheap $9.99 ones.

Well, I got 2 rows finished and ran them like that for a year. Plenty of light, no shadows either - awesome! But they did hum when cold - pretty loud actually. Then they started acting up... cutting out, coming back on, etc. Finally got so bad that I was down to just 2 of the fixtures working... sometimes

So I tear into them to see what is up. I find all 12 of the ballasts were cooked. Fried. Roasted. Melted even. That's what I get for trying to go cheap.

So I tore out the center truss lighting, and went back and got two 8' fluorescent fixtures designed for refrigeration units (extreme temps). I have been using *just* those 2 eight foot fixtures to light the shop for over a year, and to be honest - they put out a lot of light. They weren't cheap though - I have almost $200 in just those 2 fixtures and their bulbs (one bulb per fixture).

My plans are to buy replacement ballasts for the remaining 2 rows of lights (about $15 per ballast x 8 lights) that are better than the cheap ones they came with, and see how that works. if not - then I will buy more of the refrigeration fixtures case they work GREAT!

All overhead lights are wired to one breaker in the panel BTW.


Power outlets

Here is an area that I wish I had done more. Basically, I have an outlet attached 36" off the ground on every post in the shop - except for the corners. I also have one to the left of both garage doors (looking in from outside). That basically puts an outlet every 10 feet around the shop. This was best for me since the posts were the natural place to mount them, so if I ever do any kind of interior wall surfaces, I will likely add a few more.

I kept things simple when pulling them to the panel - I basically split them up one side to one 20a breaker, and the other side of the shop to another 20a breaker. The general idea being that I know I can run the chop saw off one side of the shop and the 110v compressor off the other and it is easy to keep track of things.

I still need to add some more things - I need to add an exterior light above the front 10x10 door, and add the additional lighting like I said.

I probably should have run the 12ga romex in conduit, but I went the cheap route. Everything is still exposed, so if I have to go back and do that, I can.


220v

I recently upgraded from a 110v welder to a 220v one, and added a 220v outlet just to the left of the front 10x10 door (the panel is located aout a foot away on that same side). I have plans to add another 220v outlet about 15' down the left side wall for a larger air compressor later. Having the welder by the door has been VERY handy so far, and I built an "extension cord" about 15' long so I can run the welder outside if needed.
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Old 06-28-2004, 07:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soopatoy
DRM, were you ever worried about the shop rusting. were there any other reasons for going with metal (besides price)?
I have not seen the first sign of rust with the metal exterior. I believe they use a spray galvanized paint procedure of some kind and it seems to be pretty durable.

It is maintenance free too - no painting, staining (like with wood), etc.
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Old 06-28-2004, 07:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AprilzWarrior
Looks dark as hell in there... any skylights from the metal purchase ?
All pictures to this point were immediately after the build, and there is no lighting or even electricity there yet. So yeah - it was kinda dark in there

I inquired about skylights, but the builder suggested they tend to be a point of problems. Leaks being one, and the other being that in the south - mold, mosses, and mildew like to form - a cleaning them after a few years under my trees would be pretty much impossible.

Again - the shop is half in the shade anyway (done to so help with cooling) so natural light would have not been there half the day anyway. So far - artifical lighting has been more than adequate for my uses.
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Old 06-28-2004, 07:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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One quick point about the door configuration. So far - I have been very happy with the setup. I use the front door as my primary entrance, and the rear door acts as a "side bay". I had originally considered installing a 3rd door directly opposite the rear door on the left hand side of the shop to make a true "pull through" bay, but to be honest - I can't see a real use for it, and I like having the wall space for storage.

Also, the door layout was done with cooling in mind. As I said, the rear of the shop is heavily shaded. What I have been able to do is half open the rear door, open the front door, and use a 36" floor fan to pull the cool shaded air in through the rear doorway. You would be surprised at how well it works.

I still have plans to add the gas furnace I got for free, with an add-on A/C unit to that... but that is down the road a bit
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Old 06-28-2004, 09:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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drm some quick comments never ever run romex in conduit romex can get hot and with it in conduit it can catch fire. and from doing some electrical on my one car shop i like the idea of seperating the shop into halfs also it is wise to put your lights on a completely seperate breaker than your wall plugs so when you kick the breaker you can still see. i also read camo's shop build up and i think clear roof panels might help with the lighting other than that you have a very nice working space
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Old 06-29-2004, 07:21 AM   #15 (permalink)
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That is a nice shop. I plan to head this route at some point in the future and get the shop out of the 2 car garage that is part of the house - the wife would love to park inside again...

Do you have any more recent pics? What did/have you done for storage? Shelves/racks/bins/etc??? Did you put a drain in the floor?

How close is it to the house? Can you run a hose? Why didn't you want water?
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Old 06-29-2004, 07:26 AM   #16 (permalink)
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You can get a 4 bulb electronic ballest for a couple of bucks more tham a 2 bulb.
If your lights our end to end as I picture them put a chase nipple in to connect them and run one ballest per 4 bulbs. that should save you half the cost.


Cheap lights have cheap ballests. I bought cheap lights with T12 ballests and new T8 electronic ballests at the same time. It was still cheaper thean buying one of the more expensive lights.

I then just threw away the new T12 ballests and ran the T8 ones.
I got the T8 bulbs for free "perks of working in high rise buildings" but I have been told you can run a T12 bulb on a T8 ballest but not a T8 bulb on a T12 ballest.


The T12 bulb are the fat ones and the T8 are the skinny ones if any one did not know.


The T8 electronic ballests also work better in the cold.
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Old 06-29-2004, 07:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Are you happy with the size, or do you wish you would have made it bigger in either direction? I am in the early planning stages of building a shop, and think 30x40 might work for me. Great info so far!
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Old 06-29-2004, 08:21 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Don't pull Romex in conduit, it's just a PITA.

Man DRM, I like the size of your building, layout of the doors, but I dunno how you get away with so few 110s, just a couple 220s and so little lighting.
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Old 06-29-2004, 08:24 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj7jeep81
Are you happy with the size, or do you wish you would have made it bigger in either direction? I am in the early planning stages of building a shop, and think 30x40 might work for me. Great info so far!
If you can afford more, do it. Once you get a band saw, drill press, shop press, shelving, workbenches etc etc etc floor space becomes a real commodity. 30x40 is a decent size for a one-man shop, but you'll never complain about more.
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Old 06-29-2004, 10:11 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plunkinberry
Do you have any more recent pics? What did/have you done for storage? Shelves/racks/bins/etc??? Did you put a drain in the floor?

How close is it to the house? Can you run a hose? Why didn't you want water?
I have a few more recent pics - but all they show is how MASSIVLY cluttered it is right now

I plan to address how *I* have handled storage so far in a later installment. Basically - I use the "roof" of the office space for storage of "household items", and I will get pics of the shelving, racks, etc. I have around the shop for that future installment.

I will try to dig up a sat. map with the shop location drawn in to give you an idea of how things are laid out. I would estimagte the shop is about 80' from the house at their closest points.

I did not install a drain. We are on septic here, so I really would not want oil and crap draining into our septic tank (is that even legal?). My plans are by the end of the year to run water, cable, network, phone, and gas to the shop from the house. I can then finish out the small bathroom and deal with disposal of sink and toilet waste in an aux. septic system just for the shop's limited use.
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Old 06-29-2004, 10:18 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj7jeep81
Are you happy with the size, or do you wish you would have made it bigger in either direction? I am in the early planning stages of building a shop, and think 30x40 might work for me. Great info so far!
I did a LOT of thinking when it came to deciding on a size. I had been in more than a few 25x30 shops, and they were just too small for my taste. 30x40 is a good size, but I also considered a 30x50.

Two things stopped me, really. One was that the 50' length would have caused problems with the location I chose for the shop. I really did not want to move the shop to another location, so I felt I would rather keep it where I wanted it and give up the extra 10'.

The other may sound silly, but I did not want a shop that was bigger than the house Our house is just under 1500 sq.ft. and having a 1500 sg.ft. shop was just too redneck, and due to location, neighborhoods, etc. would have made our property more of a specialty and therefore made it potentially harder to sell at a later date. The 30x40 is large by all means, but proportionally large when looking at the overall piece of property... LIke I said, it may seem silly - but these are the things I thought about

That being said - if you build it, you WILL fill it Build as big as you can afford and will work with your property layout, you will not regret the extra room. I have my shop cluttered beyond belief, yet still have room to put several vehicles in there to work on at any given time... IMHO - I could not have gone smaller than 30x40, I just would not have been happy.
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Old 06-29-2004, 10:21 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I think this is the sat. picture that should describe my property, as well as the house and shop locations.
Property lines are in red
Shop is in green
Future route of water/cable/network/gas/phone lines in blue
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Old 06-29-2004, 11:56 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Thanks, I'll keep that in mind whenever I get to that stage.
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Old 06-29-2004, 07:20 PM   #24 (permalink)
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one way to add space to a shop is to use a sea container they come in 20 30 and 40 lenght and roughly 8' wide set a 40' next to a 40' shop and fill it with the "house hold" stuff you keep in the garage.
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Old 06-30-2004, 12:12 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpig70
one way to add space to a shop is to use a sea container they come in 20 30 and 40 lenght and roughly 8' wide set a 40' next to a 40' shop and fill it with the "house hold" stuff you keep in the garage.
My grandfather-in-law is using those but two steps further. He is getting four of them (30') and putting two of them back-to-back on each side. The sea containers will act as walls as he puts a roof on them and builds the other walls with doors. Then he'll add electrical. Essentially has a 60' X whatever' pretty cheap and with a TON of storage. I think those sea containers are about 8 feet tall too. He has had two of them delivered and I think he paid a $1000 each delivered and placed. I need to check with him on that. But the place he bought them, the more you bought, the price of each went WAY down.
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