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Trees are Cool
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I am looking at building a workshop on my property and moving out of my basement. The town limit for a building is 600sf. It is small, but bigger than I have now and I don't have to carry materials and tools up and down the stairs.
My question is...does any one else have a small workshop like this? I can go 24x25 or 18x33 or any combo up to 600sf. What is the best? Any thoughts?
 

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Focusing on solutions.
Hardwood floors/custom cabinets
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If that's all the space you've got to work with, then for sure go long & narrow & put everything on mobile bases so you can store along one wall.

I can't imagine being very productive in such a small space. I'm not nearly that organized.
 

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Contractor
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20x30, gable on the 20' side w/ one 10'w x 10' rollup and a 3' entry door. Consider windows along one side if it's your shop-its really nice to have natural light.

maximizing overhead storage for trim helps. One of the mag's recently had an article on small workshops-maybe it was Fine Woodworking (?)
 

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Long and narrow is better for feeding 16' stock. If you go the 24X25 route, make sure you have two windows at the right height on opposing walls so you can infeed and outfeed through them - mount roller or wooden feed ramps right to the wall. Make the walls as high as possible, so you can store material vertically.

Assuming roof outline doesn't count for square footage, bump the gable ends out like you see in barns so you have added covered area (ideally your feed windows would be on these gable ends, but you can also just put little roofs or aluminum awnings over them).

If you want even more area that the town won't count, put attic trusses in rated for some storage and some gang plank walkways.
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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I have long and narrow and it sucks. 25x60 is what I have. More towards the square shape is better. You'll have more open space in the center. If you plan on using longer stock just make sure what you build will work. You'll need double the length plus 5' to make it comfortable but 3' will work.
 

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Can you add entry roof/shelter area beyond the allowed 600'? If so, you could open ends to handle long stock when needed, & still keep dry. Not sure how the asthetics would look though.
 

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Can you add entry roof/shelter area beyond the allowed 600'? If so, you could open ends to handle long stock when needed, & still keep dry. Not sure how the asthetics would look though.
This is done on traditional barns that have a hoist outside for the second floor. The roof overhang sticks out about 4 feet at the peak (the beam for the hoist comes out at the ridge) and is sloped back in to whatever the final overhang is. Another detail is sometimes there will be a sloped roof put just over the sliding double doors - being in snow country, I'm a fan of this.
 

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Your not really giving us that good of details such as...What are you planning on doing with this garage/shop?Will it just be for materials or a wood shop,mechanics area?Will there be vehicles in there what kinds of tools and machines.If your working on a car sometimes and may store it there than the narrow is not the way to go.You won't have much room on either side.If you have a wood shop then your production line may need a room that is more square than narrow.
Having a tiny shop/shed that is actually a shipping container 8x20 i would say for me a square shop would be best.Often times i just pull up and unloading without organizing my tools/materials till the next day or a few later won't give you much room to work around in a narrow shop opposed to a square one.
 

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K&B Plus...
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Could you build more than one 600 sf shed? Make one your storage area for stock, one for X tools, and one for finishing, etc. It might be kinda Clampett looking to string them all out like that, but it would get you more storage space. If you built them as close to the property line as possible, it would also shield the neighbor's view of you parking next to it or storing something in the yard.
 

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Figure out the footprint of the machines that you'll have in there and drop them into a drawing. That way you can visualize different layouts, building footprints, and work flow procedures.
 

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Eater of sins.
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I have long and narrow and it sucks. 25x60 is what I have. More towards the square shape is better. You'll have more open space in the center. If you plan on using longer stock just make sure what you build will work. You'll need double the length plus 5' to make it comfortable but 3' will work.
I agree with Leo. I have had both types of small shop over the years and I found the squarish one to be the better for me, over-all.

Andy.
 

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Theological Carpenter
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I had a 12 x 40 shop once. It was pretty bad, but it worked. The worst thing about it is that inevitably I would be working on a project and end up blocking the back 1/2 of the shop with clamps and tools. So I second the opinion that square-ish is best.

If you are going to do a lot of work in this shop (as opposed to using to store stuff), put everything on good quality casters. This will help you when you need to cut that occasional 16' piece without having to do crazy things like having two garage doors.

If you're organized, a shop that size can actually be a comfortable size. If you're not, well, then a shop of any size will get crowded!
 

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Talking Head
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Whatever shape you go with, I recommend that you install double outswing carriage/garage doors with a nice flat area outside and a roll-out awning if you can swing it. It will add a lot of room to your space and RI temps are good for working outside 9-10 months a year(let's not talk about the rain).
 

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Go full basement with 10' ceiling height for a total of 1200 sq. ft. Make it a walk out basement if you can:thumbsup:
The way all the codes I've seen are written is it'd be 600 sqft total area - basement would be counted in it, but a crawl space wouldn't be. Unfloored attic space isn't counted, but a floored attic is. He'd have to check how it's written where he is.
 
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