A plan materializes

I don’t exactly have a way to pay for the whole thing just yet, but as of right now, I’m committed to building a new shop. I wish I could say it will be bigger in two dimensions, but at least it will grow in a third. I’m hoping my design will allow for expansion, but if not, at least I should be ahead of where I am now.

The plan calls for a 12×12 footprint, again, with a 6′ gambrel roof. The ground will be stone on compacted (if needed) dirt, with the shop itself either on runners or partially buried pavers. The subfloor will be 2×6 pressure treated boards, with pressure treated plywood on top, likely tongue and groove. First floor fairly standard, just putting the finishing touches on where the door will be, exactly – centered or offset. Also, determining if there will be another single-width entry door on the side, and letting the table saw be right up against the big door. There will be at least one window, on the house side.

The loft will be 2x4s and 3/4″ plywood, sitting on top of the top stud. Those joists will tie into the roof, which will also be secured with metal ties. I’m fine tuning the pitches, but have an idea of what they’ll be. The loft will not span the entire square footage. However, it’s undecided how big it will be. I want to have the dust collector and the Festool CT up there, plus room for 3-4 bins of random and not as-needed materials. Having room for sheet goods would be an obvious plus. It’s a matter of seeing if I can support full 4×8 sheets of plywood up there, and not have it be stepped on to get to something, like emptying the collectors. So yes, with the DC in the loft, I will have to do some sort of dust pipe planning, if only a retractable hose. These are all the little fine-tuning aspects that come into play with a new shop.

I have the location picked out, and if everything goes well, this weekend I will be marking it off and digging will commence. I could get a machine, but I don’t think there will be too much that can’t be done for this spot. I’m not digging down a whole lot, and there’s not too much leveling that needs to happen. Just a matter of about a six inch drop from back to front. It’s the most level spot in the yard.

Now that I’ve figured out how to calculate the gambrel roof, there isn’t much about the construction that really scares me at this point. I think everything up to starting the loft is pretty standard. Before I build the walls I’ll build the roof trusses, and have those ready to go up after the walls. I may build out the loft if it’s stable to do so, and use that as the platform to install the roof trusses. Once those are in, I can trim the ends of the boards flush with the roof, and then the roof goes on. I think the only thing that I’m apprehensive about at this point is putting the shingles on. I know how it should be done, except for the matter of perhaps a ridge vent.

It will (eventually) be insulated throughout, including the loft area. I don’t want that to get too hot with sensitive equipment like the CT up there, nor do I want anything to warp. Thankfully, it will be in a pretty shaded area. Exterior will be T1-11 plywood siding, painted a color TBD. It will have (most likely) PVC trim, to help discourage the carpenter bees. I honestly don’t know if it will work, but it’s worth the effort unless cost is an issue at that point. We’ll see if the budget permits a couple more panels of the T1-11 to help out the current shop.

Interior will most likely be OSB again. I like the fact it gives a bit more strength when hanging things on the wall, and I don’t have to always go hunting for a stud. The bottom of the loft might be covered, not entirely sure there. The lights will be installed either to the studs, blocking studs, or (I assume) the OSB that will cover it. Same lights, will have to see about lumen orientation. Undecided about adding in-wall outlets. I could certainly wire it up during the build process, even after, as long as it’s before the interior walls go up.

That’s where I am at so far. I haven’t priced out a stone delivery, and things of that nature. I know what 2x4s run, and need to calculate out how many of those I will need. It will be close to 100, I’d think. 16″ OC is going to be the rule for all things – floor, walls, loft and roof. Of course, the lengths are going to vary depending on the part. Not certain yet on a door, although I could build another one. I could even do it with glass, which guaranteed my doors will have this time. That’s going to be a project where I wish I had the Domino XL. A regular french door would be nice, too. Once I have the opening figured out, one could be made within a day or two. Worst case I could nail up a sheet of ply to keep things out overnight.

I’m hoping to come in under $3000. If I get an estimate for materials and I come in significantly under that, I might consider the petition for a variance to build bigger. It’s a pipe dream at this point, but would dramatically change the nature of the outlook. To think I would be happier in a 12×16 shop is an extreme understatement. I don’t know the engineering required to add on later.

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