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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    near St. Paul, MN
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    166

    Default Workshop location: garage or basement or separate structure

    I am planning a home shop. I have three choices for its location: basement, garage, or build a separate structure. I live in Minnesota and it gets really cold here in the winter. If I put it in the garage Id have to heat it (and deal with leaky garage doors). If its in the basement I have stairs to contend with. A separate structure would be the most ideal but also the most expensive and seems kind of silly when I have unused space in the basement and garage already.

    Id like to hear from other people on where they put their shops and the pros/cons of their shop location. Also, if you have it in the garage in a cold climate how do you keep it warm?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,803

    Default Re: Workshop location: garage or basement or separate structure

    Separate structure.
    1. Helps keep the house cleaner.
    2. Noise doesn't bother people in the house.
    3. Sawdust fire doesn't burn down house.
    4. Place to get away from house.
    5. Easier to expand or add storage space.
    6. Don't have to clean up to get car in.

    I have electric heaters and try to keep temp above freezing during winter so I don't need inside storage for paints and varnishes.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Workshop location: garage or basement or separate structure

    Hey Sherry ... it really depends on what sorts of things you'll be doing in the workshop and when.

    For example ... several years ago one of my brothers picked up the hobby of refinishing antique furniture ... something he has a knack for.

    He decided this was a perfect thing to do to pass the time away during the long cold winters we have here. He set up a workshop in an area in the basement to do this.

    Long story short .... the following spring he had to replace the furnace because of the strippers and other chemicals used corroded the heat exchanger .... hard lesson learned.

    If you have a forced air heating system and are cutting lumber , painting , sanding , poly coats .... the heating system will pick up the dust and fumes and circulate this throughout the home.

    I have a garage that's heated with a wood stove ... to take the chill off ... that's where I do most cutting sanding etc.. Also I'm not tracking down the stairs carrying lumber etc. ..... where it's simpler to store materials in the garage.
    The basement area set aside for a workshop is used for repairing things , small assembly , etc..

    Just 2 cents worth.
    Last edited by canuk; 07-05-2008 at 05:03 PM.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lakeland ,MN
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Workshop location: garage or basement or separate structure

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    Hey Sherry ... it really depends on what sorts of things you'll be doing in the workshop and when.

    For example ... several years ago one of my brothers picked up the hobby of refinishing antique furniture ... something he has a knack for.

    He decided this was a perfect thing to do to pass the time away during the long cold winters we have here. He set up a workshop in an area in the basement to do this.

    Long story short .... the following spring he had to replace the furnace because of the strippers and other chemicals used corroded the heat exchanger .... hard lesson learned.

    If you have a forced air heating system and are cutting lumber , painting , sanding , poly coats .... the heating system will pick up the dust and fumes and circulate this throughout the home.

    I have a garage that's heated with a wood stove ... to take the chill off ... that's where I do most cutting sanding etc.. Also I'm not tracking down the stairs carrying lumber etc. ..... where it's simpler to store materials in the garage.
    The basement area set aside for a workshop is used for repairing things , small assembly , etc..

    Just 2 cents worth.
    I agree If I had my choice I rather have a separate space. That dust from sanding and painting seems to find it's way everywhere. Now if I only had the money.....Canuk how about some of those Canadian dollars you have stashed away from your Cameo appearences on THO magazine. Have any extra?
    Harry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,081

    Default Re: Workshop location: garage or basement or separate structure

    My preference would be a stand alone shop, heated if necessary. If you don't have that and don't want to go to that expense, then the next best thing would be the garage. My woodshop has been in my garage for the past 10 years, and while some dust does come in, I take pretty good care to keep the shop clean to minimize that problem. All of my equipment is on rollers and fits to one side so that my truck still goes in. It's a bit of a hassle, yes, but you do what ya gotta do, right? I would avoid the basement due to likely head room problems, access problems, and venting. At least with the garage you can open up the main door to vent odor and dust, your basement is a captive area, with access issues.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Workshop location: garage or basement or separate structure

    Canuk how about some of those Canadian dollars you have stashed away from your Cameo appearences on THO magazine. Have any extra?
    Oh yeah ..... lots of big $$$$ from that ... check is in the mail.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The deep South
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Workshop location: garage or basement or separate structure

    Other than the expense , a stand alone shop is the better way to go . You can design it to fit your needs , rather than trying to make something else work . It can be expanded , reconfigured , etc . No mess or fumes in the house , you don't lose the garage space , and on and on and ...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Workshop location: garage or basement or separate structure

    I definitely agree a separate building would be the ultimate choice.

    Aside from affordability ... around here we are restricted to a percentage of space within urban property for out buildings. In most cases you are restricted to a garage and a garden shed.... dang.



    Btw ... jkirk ... I notice you're from NS ... that explains the seaweed insulation.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Workshop location: garage or basement or separate structure

    I've heard of the seaweed insulation ... being out in the prairies don't see it around these parts..... now straw bales that's something else.

    In the June edition starting on page 116 they have a section with members of the forum's suggestion and evaluated by the big boys from the show.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    near St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Workshop location: garage or basement or separate structure

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Im going to keep the workshop out of the basement. For now it will be the garage with plans to add an outbuilding later. Do you think one garage stall is big enough? (Ill be cutting sheet goods.)

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