New shop – initial planning

I’ve added a new category that will be in effect starting with this post. It should make it easier to follow along with the design and eventual construction.

I am thinking about applying for a zoning variance to see if I can squeeze out anything additional for the footprint. I don’t know how these variance applications work, and what I’d be likely to get, if anything. I could apply for the full 16×24, but in all honesty getting just four more linear feet would be a big help.

In the absence of getting any additional floor room, I’m considering an area where I know I have room for more – height. Codes stipulate I can go up to 15 feet in height, and I’m weighing the options. The shop now is a gable end construction, and if I had to guess, it’s about ten feet high, with a shallow pitch. That’s why I can’t really put anything above the ceiling. I could do another gable end, but higher. It wouldn’t really give me any storage room, but make the walls higher and able to fit more. Not my first choice.

I could do a higher gable end with standard ceilings, I think. Standard construction, top plate, another bottom plate and go up a few more feet. Is that standard construction? Something that looks really interesting is gambrel end. The kind that looks like a barn. I think it would give me the maximum amount of storage capacity, but I would need to read up on how to make the roof. I would have eight foot ceilings (an improvement!) with a loft area for storage. I would almost be able to stand up in the loft in the middle if I build to maximum height.

What would I store in the loft? The one bin (of dust collection) that is already up above, plus the bin of drawer slide hardware would go up there. Or in the old shop. The problem is, I’m not sure what else. I don’t know the true benefit. I can’t really put any woodworking equipment up there. Except…perhaps…a true dust collector? Hmm…

OK, so the gambrel end definitely has some merit, and I think that design is what I’ll do. Now that I have that idea in my head, it’s time to start asking some questions and do some investigating.

If I build the thing myself, I’d like to have real doors this time, with perhaps some window panels. I was thinking of an outward swing French door, something that seals up nice. If I can’t add permanent power, I also need some sort of capacity to use extension cords with the doors closed up tight, to cut down on heating and cooling costs. I’d like to have at least one window, perhaps two (depending on the door).

As more thoughts come to me, I’ll post more.

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