Top tips for designing a shop | Living the Country Life
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Top tips for designing a shop

A shop can serve many purposes on an acreage -- a place to store and repair tractors and other equipment, weld, do woodworking and garden preparation, and even play games and relax.
  • Choose a builder you trust

    Unless you're a professional builder, you'll need to hire someone to build your shop. You may also need to hire people for plumbing, electrical work, and cement work. Make sure everyone you hire has experience, and that they can show you examples and provide references.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
  • Plan for multiple uses

    Your building can be used for many different things. Think about how you will use it before deciding on a design plan. Decide whether you'll want to include an office or living space, or even a washer and dryer for dirty chore clothes.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
  • Size it right

    Consider the size of any equipment you have when determining height, width, and length of your shop, and also when deciding on door size and placement. You can always build on and add length to a shop, but not width, so choose carefully.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
  • Make it convenient

    When designing your shop, think about what you'll be doing in different areas of the building. Include a wash bay and floor drain where you'll be working on equipment. Make sure to include plenty of electrical outlets.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
  • Warm feet

    Consider in-floor radiant heat, and find a qualified installer to put it in. This is definitely an add-on you want to decide on before construction starts. An overhead infrared heater powered by propane or natural gas is another option.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
  • Outdoor space

    It's a good idea to include a concrete apron outside your building. This gives you a solid work space when you either can't get equipment inside the building, or just want to work outdoors. It also gives you a good place to wash dirty equipment before bringing it into your shop.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
  • Seal the concrete

    The concrete inside your shop should be from 4 to 8 inches thick. After it has been poured, make sure to seal it well before anything is moved in. Seal the concrete outside your building as well.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
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