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What Are the Best Tips for Building a Shop?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2016
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Before a builder begins building a shop, it is important to consider how that shop will be used, where it will be built, how large it needs to be, and what local laws, if any, pertain to the building process. The builder should research building permits and other necessary clearances he or she may need to obtain before building a shop on a property. The builder will then need to consider what materials will be best for the structure, as well as for the project's overall budget.

If, for example, the shop will be used for metalworking processes, a concrete slab will probably need to be poured and the shed walls should be made from a non-flammable material such as steel or aluminum. Building a shop with metal walls can also help cut down on costs, but the builder should keep in mind that metal is not always the most aesthetically pleasing choice. If aesthetics are an important consideration, wood is probably a better option. Building a shop from wood also allows for easier customization and additions later on down the road.

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The activities that will take place in the shop will have a significant impact on the design of the space. Some shops are intended for work on automobiles or heavy machinery; in this case, a large garage-style door will be necessary, as will adequate ventilation in the form of windows or air exchangers. Building a shop for woodworking will require plenty of space for the various woodworking machines, as well as ventilation and air exchange systems. Windows are useful for adding light to the space as well, which can help cut down on electricity bills by enhancing natural light in the space. Wiring for electricity will still be necessary and should be done by a professional unless the builder has some experience with electrical systems.

The layout of the shop should be considered very carefully, not only for a logical workflow, but also for safety. Entrances and exits should be positioned in logical places, and doorways should be an appropriate size for the activities that will take place in the building. Workbenches should be positioned in such a way that they are easy to access, and built at an appropriate height for the jobs that will be done on them. Lights should be positioned above workspaces, and storage spaces planned out of workspaces but within convenient reach.

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