Introduction: Build Your Own Workshop

Like a lot of tinkerers I've been wanting the "Dream" shop for years. I tried several different shop ideas over the years and was never really happy. So I decided to build what I wanted and I had to figure out how to do it. This project is still in progress as it's being built as I get the money and the time.
This is a real basic overview on my solution

Step 1: Getting the Barebones Up

After the site was selected and leveled, holes were dug for the posts. The first few were dug with a hand post hole digger, than I borrowed an auger for my old tractor.
The wood came from the property and was milled with a WoodMizer bandsaw sawmill. I had always heard that the fastest route to a roof was a post and beam that's what I did.

Step 2: Going Up

I decided to go with 2 stories because I figured since the roof and the pad were the expensive parts it would just make sense. I also originally laid out a 20x20 area and decided it would be too small so I went 30 x 40. The monster was starting to awaken.
(note: 2 stories are A LOT MORE WORK! and 20x20 probably would have been just fine, but now that the hole was started I just jumped right in.)

Step 3: The Slab

Next up in this abbreviated version of the last 2 years of my life was the slab. Slabs are expensive, but, I saved my sheckles and was able to pull it off. Since I was going to all the trouble of a slab I figured I might as well install a radiant heat system. So I did.
First there was 6 inches of well tamped gravel, then a moisture barrier (plastic sheeting) than insulation, than rebar and reinforcement wire than the pex. Covered in a tasty coating of concrete

Step 4: Bring on the Insulation

I wanted to wrap the skeleton with straw bales for their amazing insulation factor.
The bales deliver somewhere around an R-40 to 50

Step 5: A Plaster Skin

hydraulic lime plaster is applied to the bales . it acts as a skin for strength and helps the building breath.
Plastering is a lot of work .but, really gives the building a nice surface. I'm still plastering on the interior and this spring I hope to finish the exterior. Part 2 : Working with Hydraulic Lime Plaster is up.
It shows in much more detail how to work with this most excellent material.

Craftsman Workshop of the Future Contest

Finalist in the
Craftsman Workshop of the Future Contest