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Picture of Building a Complete DIY Workshop
Build your own workshop from the ground up!

Most of my photos have detailed notes, so check them out.
This is the Instructable for my Workshop Video Tour 2013.

This Shop was constructed for under $2000
Materials for construction(roughly):

100 2x4x8'
4     2x4x12'  
8     2x6x10'
2     2x6x12'
35  4x8 sheets of OSB
20  1x4  trim
10  1x6  trim
1    roll of roof felt
     shingles
3 sheets of plexiglass (windows)
Clear plastic roll   (vapor barrier)

Deck  ~$65
4 old pallets and blocks for base
20 contractors grade deck boards

*Before you start do a quick check of your local building codes and have your utilities mark all of their lines.
*Before wiring for electricity, check your local codes.  You may need to have your shed inspected and wired by a licensed electrician.
 
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Step 1: Building the base and putting up the walls.

Picture of Building the base and putting up the walls.
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I spent a full week grading, compacting the soil and leveling each block before laying the floor joist.  The last thing you want is to finish your new workshop and have a corner start sinking into the ground.  My floor inside my shop is perfectly level still with a 6 foot level.  You can see that I had a drop of about 12 inches on the low side.  During heavy rainstorms, water can flow like a stream next to the fence.  I wanted to make sure my workshop was high enough off the ground to avoid any flooding issues.

I framed and sheathed each wall individually and then stood them up with the help of long 2x4 braces.  My neighbor let me borrow his framing nailer, which made things go much faster.  I added a second cap of 2x4 on the top to make the walls a little more rigid.  I then laminated 4 2x4's to construct a ridgeboard.  I nailed in some temporary 2x4 supports and had a friend help lift it into final position.  Once all of the rafters are cut and nailed into place, the supports were removed.
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apink13 months ago

I remembered seeing this instructable some time ago and your idea for the timber and sheet storage is genius. I am now in the midst of building my own workshop and happily I stumbled across your Instrucatble again so I will be using your storage idea. How does the leaf blower work out for the vaccuum system?

bizydad (author)  apink12 months ago

So far it has worked out. It's probably not ideal. I imagine a system would work much better, but it gets the job done until then. I ended up setting up in my small 1 car garage as well now. I used two shopvacs to build a system in there. I have a few new Instructables to put together and a new shop tour to do as well. Thanks for the comment! FYI: The wood storage has passed the time test. I have not had to change a thing about it. I plan on adding a shelf above the sheet goods to store thin moldings and cut-offs. I still find it incredibly easy to access my wood quickly with that setup. I have to move stuff around in the garage to get to my wall mounted wood storage, so it's more of a pain.

joelhunn1 year ago
Wood storage is BRILLIANT!!
bizydad (author)  joelhunn1 year ago
Thanks, it's still my favorite part of the whole build. I never have to dig my way through stacks of lumber or leaning plywood, or best of all, piles of junk leaning against my stack of wood! I just pull off the hatches and grab what I need. It also makes it easy to take a quick inventory before i go shopping or start a project.
tp.pa.125 days ago

Great idea for wood storage, sure beats over head, or just plain every where, way to plan ahead! Nice build.

Tp

KeithD22 months ago

Great workshop! I am in the planning stages of one of my own. May I ask where you are located? I am in Virginia and am wondering if the batten construction would be up to keeping the space semi conditioned so that my tools don't suffer in the moist VA environment.

bizydad (author)  KeithD22 months ago

I live in Northern Va and have the same concerns. I save those little silica gel packets every time they come in a new product and put them in my tool drawers. I also salvaged a dehumidifier from a neighbor that I need to repair and set up in there. I use the wall mounted AC in the summer to keep it cool enough to work in there. Although I haven't gone back yet to insulate the ceiling, it stays really cool in there if i want it to be.

As far as the batten, your actual question..haha. There has not been any moisture or rain make its way through. However, I did caulk all of those joints before I painted. I also made sure I primed all the exposed edges, especially the bottoms of the osb sheeting. You could probably put some pvc j channel along the bottom to prevent rain splash from absorbing up into the end grain. Just make sure you give a way to drain any water that makes it in the j channel. Does that make sense?

KeithD2 bizydad2 months ago

Thanks for the quick reply. Sounds like you haven't had any big problems with the moisture. I'm in NoVA too, so that bodes well for me. I was considering finding some tyvek house wrap or something to go around the walls in addition to a plastic vapor barrier under the floor, but it sounds like that is not going to be necessary. I was also thinking I'd try to find a window AC unit to use like you did. I like how you mounted yours up high.
In any case, we are not closing on our new place until the end of May, so I've got some time yet before I can even solidify plans, but hopefully this time next year (give or take a few months, most likely 'give') I'll be able to post my own build inspired by your work!

bizydad (author)  KeithD22 months ago

I would definitely stick with the vapor barrier under the floor to avoid moisture from breaking up the OSB. try to build the base high enough to keep it dry and allow airflow to dry it out under there. FYI I recently repaired a neighbor's shed roof that must have been partially repaired before with plywood. The OSB was fine under the shingles, but the plywood was wrecked due to moisture. I would stick with OSB. Since you live here in NOVA, details will be a little more helpful to you. I really can't use the shed in the summer without the AC on. It gets direct sun and gets up to the 90's in there with out any air movement. I am planning on eventually lining the inside of the ceiling with that thin reflective insulation to bounce back some of the heat.

That's a really nice work shed, I wish i had the room to build one. I would fill it with all the fasteners I sell at work.

http://www.firstcallautosupply.com/fasteners/stainless-steel-fasteners-canada

rkrueger21 year ago
I'd love to know which resources you used on learning the proper techniques for everything you did. I have the intent to build a workshop from scratch myself.

Looks great!
bizydad (author)  rkrueger25 months ago

I used a variety of woodworking mags. Family Handyman puts out a shed issue every Spring I think. I also did a ton of internet research. I read books on framing also after looking at sheds at Lowes/ Home Depot and realizing I wanted something much more robust than what is offered in a kit shed. I watched many manufactures How-to videos on you tube to learn roofing and asked local contractors questions.

UdyRegan9 months ago

I fully support the sentiment stating that the base is the most important part of building a storage shed. Without a solid foundation, the rest of the setup which includes the walls and roof, will not be able to get developed steadily. Prior planning is highly essential to know the step-by-step procedures in order not to miss out any one step and destroy the entire process. Thanks for sharing this genius job!

craftclarity11 months ago

Wow. That is the most nicely-organized shop I've yet seen on here. Superlative work. That's something to be proud of, sir.

jackowens2 years ago
AWESOME!!! I really want to make something like this now
bizydad (author)  jackowens1 year ago
I spent about 2 years "planning" it in my head before I was able to get started. I recommend taking your time on the base and floor to make sure it is level and sound. The walls and roof are relatively easy. But planning ahead really helps avoid costly mistakes when you're dealing with a tight budget. Good Luck!
AlexTech1 year ago
How many square feet is your workshop?
bizydad (author)  AlexTech1 year ago
120 square feet (12x10) Of course I would have liked to make it larger, but I had to work with a small budget. I built this for less than the kits available at most stores. I even spaced my studs on 16in rather than 24in (requiring more 2x4's) like they do because I planned on hanging a lot on the walls.
Thanks!
Conarymor2 years ago
Great shop! My shop is in my 24x32 pole barn with a 6x32 overhang for additional covered storage. With 800+ sq ft, I still manage to run out of space. And yet, you have managed to maximize every square inch of your shop. This gives me some great ideas on how to improve my current setup. Great Instructable.
bizydad (author)  Conarymor1 year ago
Thanks! What I would give for space for 1 large shop! Since I built my shop, I have acquired several large tools (tablesaw, drillpress, bandsaw, jointer, planer, etc). All of that had to go into my small 11x22 garage. So I now have 2 small shops. I will post som more pics when I get things set up better in there like my shop. I can't complain though, I have space to do what I love. Can't ask for more than that right now..haha
dlee6711 year ago
B-E-A-utiful!!!! very very nice.

How did you run electricity to the unit??
bizydad (author)  dlee6711 year ago
Thanks! I wired the inside on two separate circuits. I ran "temporary" power to the shop with two 10 gauge extension cords plugged into an exterior outlet on a dedicated circuit. One of our next "major" improvements to our home is to have our original panel replaced with a larger one. I plan n having a sub panel run to the shop and a couple more dedicated lines run to my small garage where most of my large power tools now reside.
Love it!
Murpheus!1 year ago
Awesome..!!!!!!
mrcaderly2 years ago
Great workshop! I love all the little things you did to organize things better and have given me ideas for my small shop.

Thank you for sharing this in a great instructable!
slysimon2 years ago
I am very jealous. Great instructable. Has given me a lot of ideas for my own 'man cave'.
lewisb422 years ago
I envy your organization. My shop is a wreck. I can never get to the point where I'm willing to put the time and money toward fixing it up -- because I'm spending that time and money on things I'm building! :)
bizydad (author)  lewisb422 years ago
I have to make another Instructable to explain my organization. I'm a little obsessive about organizing things, but like you, I don't clean up that often because I have multiple ongoing projects. Almost everything in there came from my small garage workshop and also what I inherited from my dad's 2-car garage workshop. I put very little extra money into the shop after I built it. A lot of it laid stacked on the floor or benches and I would walk in there and just start hanging thing up and moving them around to find a good fit for the space over the past couple years. It has made it a lot easier to clean my shop by having a place for almost everything. Thanks for the comment!
You Good Sir, I am just speechless with your awesomeness. Thank you for sharing it. I am certainly looking forward for an ible about your organization.
Great instructable and I certainly got some good ideas from it I will use.

I just want to point out something that any handy person should know - there is no such thing as a complete workshop. Great workshops - yes, amazing workshops - yes. Complete workshops - nope, never happens. There is always one more tool, or jig, or material, or something that requires a run to the hardware store.

I would still give this 5 stars despite the mistake in the name. Great job.
bizydad (author)  drobertson1232 years ago
Haha. You are absolutely right, I can't believe I blew that! In fact I keep collecting more tools. I had to move the larger ones back to my garage (table saw, radial arm saw, router table, lg drill press and drum sander). Now I have to try to be more clever when I title my follow up instructables.
Hey, the instructable was great so the technical detail doesn't matter anyhow. Please keep these coming. I alway like to see solid contributions like this.
TheStudio72 years ago
FABULOUS! THANK YOU!
Randall Sly2 years ago
Well done Very Nice
raviolikid2 years ago
Great workshop and storage! I love the doors for getting your wood out and the garden shed on the back. Great design and nice, clear directions.
Collins19752 years ago
Now THIS is a very impressive instructable!
Well done! Thanks for sharing!
chipper352 years ago
Not just excellent carpentry but an excellent Instructable too!!
wtg.. nice!
caarntedd2 years ago
Nice Instructable. I will be using your pvc slider idea today. I've been dragging heavy sheets from between my benches for years. Thanks.
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