Thinking of building a new workshop? That's a great idea. In addition to giving you a place to work on your projects, it can also add value to your home. But before you jump into your project, consider a few important issues about your new workshop.
Permits: Before you being laying out your foundation or picking out your workshop design, check to see what, if any, permits you will need. Depending on where you live, there may be some zoning issues that you need to take care of first. You may also need special permits for electrical and plumbing.
Scratch or Pre-Fab: The next issue to decide on is whether you want to build your workshop from scratch or if you want to purchase a pre-fabricated workshop. Building your own from scratch allows you the most flexibility when it comes to design features, but it also requires a certain amount of skill. You can, of course, hire a contractor to build the structure after you have designed it.
A pre-fab unit is an affordable alternative and there are many styles and sizes to choose from today. Many homeowners may find this to be the most convenient way to get that new workshop.
Size: The size of your workshop will depend on many things. What you plan to do inside the shop, the types of tools that you have, the amount of space you will need for storing materials and supplies and many other variables must all be taken into account when you are deciding on the size of the workshop.
Determining the best size for your workshop can be a difficult task without some planning. A good way to get a reliable estimate is to use graph paper to draw out your workshop to scale. You should include a scale-sized work bench, any standing tools such as a drill press or table saw. Also, include any other standing items that you plan to have inside the shop.
Once you know what's going inside the workshop you can determine how much more room is needed for your movements. Keep in mind that safety decreases when power tools are set too close. Some power tools such as table saws and planers require a certain amount of space in both front and back.
Foundations: Now that you know what type of workshop you want, you will want to consider the type of foundation that it will require. Most pre-fab workshops will have information on the correct types of foundations to use. These instructions should be followed carefully. If you intend to build from scratch, you may want to bring in a qualified contractor to advise you on the best type of foundation to use for your design.
Location: Lastly, you want to inspect your property to make sure that you are going to be able set your new workshop in a location that suits your needs. Again, bringing in a qualified contractor at this stage is a good idea. He or she can help you resolve issues such as power, water, and drainage. Make sure that you know what is beneath the ground you plan to use. You want to avoid building over old septic tanks or major water lines.