After being frustrated by not having enough room to work, not being able to find the right tools and supplies, and spending way too much time looking for things, we decided to clean out a basement utility room and build a workshop. We learned a lot of things along the way and hope our experience will be helpful to anyone who is thinking about building or adapting usable workspace.
Step 1: Table of Contents
Because of its length, this Instructable is broken down into 3 main categories: Planning, Construction, and Organization. This makes it easier to navigate through it.
You can find:
-Planning on steps 2-8
-Construction on steps 9-24
-Organization on steps 25-37
Step 2: Site Preperation
For us, site preparation began with a big cleanout. We threw out abandoned projects, broken parts, and other odds and ends. Organizing what we wanted to keep took a long time, but was very helpful later on as we tried to design storage and set priorities for the kinds of activities we wanted the workshop to support. After we cleared out the room and swept it clean, we assessed the space: how much room was there for bench space, for shelving, for hanging storage? How was the lighting? What existing functions of the room did we need to work around? (That whole-house vacuum tank to the right of the breaker boxes was exhibit A in this department.) We looked for things that might have needed repairing, but the room was in pretty good shape.
We were especially careful to sort through old pieces, parts, and hardware: our scrap drawers served us well in the project as we were able to find corner irons, odd-size screws, and other bits that saved us a trip to the hardware store. We now have 5 different bins of hardware, and another cabinet full of electronics parts.