Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Living Areas & Workspaces>Workshop location: garage or basement or separate structure
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Sherry
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 I’d have to heat it (and deal with leaky garage doors). If it’s 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.

I’d 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?

JLMCDANIEL
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

canuk
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. :)

Re: Workshop location: garage or basement or separate structure
canuk wrote:

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?;)

A. Spruce
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?:D 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.

canuk
Re: Workshop location: garage or basement or separate structure
Quote:

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. :D:p:D

djohns
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 ...

canuk
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. :rolleyes:

Btw ... jkirk ... I notice you're from NS ... that explains the seaweed insulation.:)

canuk
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.

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

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I’m 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? (I’ll be cutting sheet goods.)

Re: Workshop location: garage or basement or separate structure
SherryH wrote:

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I’m 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? (I’ll be cutting sheet goods.)

Sherry ....I just bought a bunch of wood working equipment.Saw joiner band saw etc. And have it scattered all over my garage as I just finished a huge project(pictures to follow). I now have to straighten it all out. :eek: If I had know you had a shop I would have come over and used yours;) I am right over the border from Hudson. Good luck on your shop. I agree with the post above mine about the room.

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