View Full Version : Workshop Size

03-01-2004, 11:32 PM
I'm thinking about building a detatched workshop. Currently, I work out of my garage. I'm thinking that is plenty big enough, probally more room than I need. My question to all you people that have dedicated workshops, what are the dimensions, and is that "big enough"



03-02-2004, 11:01 AM
One thing about shop size is that you will eventually fill it up and wish for more space. I have 1/2 of a two car garage, and the whole thing when doing large projects, and still run out of room to work.

I guess it is like computers, get the biggest you can afford and plan for expansion later on.

03-02-2004, 11:04 AM
My shop is 14X22. I could use a 24X28, but I'm sure that I'd be cramped in that in no time at all! Build the largest one you can afford to. That way you won't out grow it real soon. You can not have too much room, but you sure can have too little.......

Steven Wilson
03-02-2004, 11:14 AM
Shops are like recording studio's; no mater how big you build them you will eventually fill them up with more toys. When I lived in Saudi I rented a house and a friend of mine and I rented another house (OK, double wide trailor) that we used as a recording studio. Isolation booth in one bedroom, machine room in another bedroom, drum room in another bedroom, mixing console in the living room - ah what fun that was.

As for a shop, I'm in a 3 car garage - cars park outside although one can park in the shop if needed. I think that a 30'x40' space would be ideal, assuming you have a barn for storing wood and in that barn you have a huge planer, jointer, bandsaw (ship saw), and RAS for initial stock prep. Also, don't forget the fork lift, and overhead crane for moving large turning blanks and machines around. Oh yeh, I forgot that you'll need another building for working on your boat restoration and to build your strip canoe.

03-02-2004, 12:45 PM
Steve, you're readin my mind. Strip canoe is on the want to do list. As for lumber storage, I went overhead. Hope the trusses hold up.

Saudi, huh? Didn't know they allowed music there. Well, I guess no alcohol and all the ladies being covered head to toe, one must have some sort of diversion.

Hey, I told ya'll on another post I've had way to much caffiene. Oops, somethin else they don't allow over there if I remember correctly.

03-02-2004, 01:19 PM
I've got a 20x30 foot plot staked out in my backyard for the out-building. I keep moving it around to see where I like it. I don't have the luxury of tons of land like some folks seem to have (only 1/2 acre for me, and that's bigger that many in my neighborhood).

Looks like there's gonna be a lot of "shop building" pics being posted this summer!

Steven Wilson
03-02-2004, 02:28 PM
Well, just about everything is illegal in Saudi. But where you have Scotsmen you have booze. There is a great pamphlet that has been making the rounds for the last 20 years. It's called the "Blue Flame" and it's a great instruction manual for making booze. And where you have booze you have bands. I use to play in a R&R group called the "Sultans" (what else), and we would regularly play to audiences of 500 or more; imagine a house that you can convert the living room into a sizeable stage with a dance floor that can hold 200-300 folk's at once. It's amazing what guys will do to impress nurses.

03-02-2004, 02:31 PM
I've just finished building my new shop -- 24x28 with 10ft walls. BTW, the shed in the background will be used for "overflow wood storage" as well as outdoor tools, etc.

Here's a pic:


03-02-2004, 03:11 PM
LOOKIN Good Kreth!

Wish I had the space for something that size.

03-03-2004, 10:01 AM
When I built my garage/shop, I made it 25'X 50' so that the back half would be my shop (25X25). Guess what? It's not big enough, and I don't have half the stuff I need yet. As others have stated, have a seperate area for wood storage. I have about 1/4 of my shop taken up by that plus what is in the rafters and 1/2 of the garage side. Also, consider building with 10 foot ceilings, I'm constantly bumping my 8 footer. Monty

Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe.

Cody Colston
03-03-2004, 02:13 PM
I built my shop 20' x 30' but wish I had made it larger. I think 30 x 40 would be my ideal size, but I'd probably fill that up eventually.

One thing about a smaller space - you don't have to walk miles going back and forth between stations. :)


The expert at anything was once a beginner...

03-03-2004, 05:28 PM
I built a 20X20 and guess what... yea. that is right. Wishing for more. I was working out of a garage too and thought this would be plenty. That was as large as I could go. I am sure if I had gone 20X30 I would be wanting more too.
How large can you potentially go as far as land and budget, etc?
I think that is the answer to your original question :-)

Chuck in NC
03-03-2004, 08:31 PM
Mine is 20x24 detached...all I could afford. My neighborhood restrictive covenants meant hardiplank siding and a hip roof, approval by the developer, etc. I have a friend who lives a few miles away in "the county" zoning and he built a 30x40 metal building on a poured pad, steel framed, insulated, with electrical service for the same price I paid.

Mine works okay since it is strictly for woodworking...period. I also keep things clean and neat. Otherwise it would be impossible.

Yeh, I wish it was larger, especially when I get in some new stock. I wish I had room for 12 foot racks and enclosed space for a DC. I do have overhead sheet stock storage and a 3 ft x 8 ft x 10 ft high horizonal lumber rack.

Still, if I manage to add on space externally for DC housing, I think I'll be just fine.

I would never ever consider my shop size adequate if I did anything beyond hobby work. When I'm working on large glue-ups, work comes to a halt. Space is gone.

30x40 sounds sweet.

03-04-2004, 09:13 AM
I am in the midst of planning a Garage/shop. The wife wants a Garage attached by a breezeway. I was thinking of making a 36x36 Garage and running a wall down more or less the middle. In my drawings, I end up with an L shaped shop that is 36 x 12 the long way, with a 12 x 24 area that has an overhead door, and would probably be used for lumber and lawn mower storage.

I am currently in a 12 x 12 concrete cinder block bunker in the basement with 8' to the exposed rafters.

Is this plan a bad idea? Should I just build a seperate shop? I have the space to build a seperate shop, the money however is another question. If I don't make it part of the garage deal, it probably won't happen for a couple more years.

Any and all comments appreciated.



03-04-2004, 10:46 PM
The only thing I would suggest os to get as much shop as your property and pocket book will allow. Even then you will want more room in short order. I have a 12 x 24 that needs to be about twice that size.

Anything is possible when you get past your fear

Keep On Woodworking


03-05-2004, 07:28 AM
24'x30' is what I have been thinking would be a good size or 26'x36'. Right now the my garage workshop is 24'x26' and keep one "lane" open for occasional use of a vehicle. That's not a bad size really for a home woodshop.

The only thing I need to find out are the county taxes and what I'm willing to pay. And there's insurance and don't forget electrical, gas, (or whatever for heat) and maybe water. How about a septic system?

All that just to have a stand alone woodshop.


03-05-2004, 08:51 AM
You can log onto the New Yankee Workshop for more info.

If I remember right Norms shop is something like 26 x 34.

There is also a tour of the shop. That will give a you a really good idea as to what that size shop would look like


03-05-2004, 09:02 PM
Wow... thanks for all the input guys! I live on a .33 acre lot. I'm not so sure my neighborhood will allow me to build what I "want". I'll think I'll just move :O

Thanks again all


Steven Wilson
03-06-2004, 01:02 AM
That's what I'm working on doing

03-06-2004, 09:21 AM
How'd you do your roof Kreth? Stick or trusses? Anything you'd do differently during construction (besides size) if you did it again?

03-11-2004, 10:13 PM
Heh...Every single one of you wishes for more space.

I wonder if looked at from a different perspective you can rest easy knowing that it's never enough, and it's just a matter of finding what works for you in the space given.


03-14-2004, 09:31 AM
There are really only two rules to live by in life.
1. You can NEVER have too much horsepower.
2. Your shop will NEVER be big enough.
Have fun building! Bruce

03-14-2004, 01:05 PM
No matter what floor dimensions you end up with be sure you have ATLEAST 10' ceiling! Ever try to work with a 4'x8' sheet of plywood in an area with only 8' ceiling? PIA
My own shop has 32'x40' under roof with out doors for storage, 30'x40' with 15' ceiling for general work area- I have the wood working machinery set up in the back corner covering about 12'x16'- and an additional 16'x40' for metal working machinery. For a grand total of 78'wide by 40'deep under roof. While space is not such a concern ORGANIZATION is a real personal problem I have! :(
Any body figure out how to store and save all these partial sheets of plywood, mdf and other stuff please send me you ideas! If i can't think of something soon I guess I will be having a big $$$$$$$ bone fire this summer!! LOL

Mark in centeral Pa.