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Thoughts on multiple out buildings versus one large shop building

Lil'John

Former #278
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Title kind of states it.

Short:
What is the irate opinion on going with multiple specific use out buildings versus one large shop building? Think car storage, car work, and parts storage being separate.

Long:
Here is what my lot looks like:
shops.jpg

The black is the main "road". The blue is a concrete driveway(~110ft long from road).

The area with the red, green, and pink boxes is relatively flat and will support about a 50'x60' building without significant dirt work.

The boxes are my "proposed" multi-out building solution:
red = 16'x65' vehicle storage car port
pink = ~25'x25' for parts storage
green = 25'x30' for car work... might make narrower. Smaller = cheaper to heat in snow

Aside from potential cost, is there a down side?
 
Separating storage makes sense, you aren't fighting around junk that's not in use and you aren't messing up storage stuff with grinding dust, slag, etc. I would ask if you could combine vehicle and parts into one building - maybe parts on a second floor mezzanine or around the perimeter.

Also can make sense to have separate areas for types of work. My dad currently has one shop and is trying to do woodworking, car maintenance, car storage and light metal fab all in one. Its not working well. I keep telling him to move the lift out of the center and at least put up divider curtains
 
My shop is 34x72, storage, work, heated. I would love to have a non heated storage portion, but i wouldnt give up my heated portion for the world. I can have a project on the lift, store 2 more vehicles, and park my work truck inside.
 
oh, and look into geothermal. it costs me about 100-150/ month to heat my shop to 65+ all winter. and bonus.... air conditioning in the summer for 30-50$ a month
 
Easier/cheaper to build one large building and put up dividing walls inside. You can heat or not heat sections if you insulate the dividing walls, but even then the unheated areas will make the heated areas a bit cheaper to heat than an outside wall with the side benefit of the unheated areas staying a bit warmer.

The only time separate buildings would make sense is if you didn't have a single large space to do it or if there was one located closer to something that would be convenient (a farm equipment building nearer the fields, or whatev).
 
Easier/cheaper to build one large building and put up dividing walls inside. You can heat or not heat sections if you insulate the dividing walls, but even then the unheated areas will make the heated areas a bit cheaper to heat than an outside wall with the side benefit of the unheated areas staying a bit warmer.

The only time separate buildings would make sense is if you didn't have a single large space to do it or if there was one located closer to something that would be convenient (a farm equipment building nearer the fields, or whatev).

Multiple buildings can be done whenever funds allow though. Whereas one big building will be an all in one shot unless you do it in sections. One thing that would be nice about separate buildings is the complete separation of stuff. Like keep all the sawdust in the wood shop, keep all the grinding dust and welding fumes in the metal working shop, keep all the body filler dust and paint drift in the auto body shop, and keep all that shit out of the machine shop! :laughing:
 
Multiple buildings can be done whenever funds allow though. Whereas one big building will be an all in one shot unless you do it in sections. One thing that would be nice about separate buildings is the complete separation of stuff. Like keep all the sawdust in the wood shop, keep all the grinding dust and welding fumes in the metal working shop, keep all the body filler dust and paint drift in the auto body shop, and keep all that shit out of the machine shop! :laughing:

If you do the separations properly and have reasonable ventilation, the dust migration is a non-issue. I grind and weld and do all sorts of shit in my attached garage and it's never an issue getting into the house.

You're right that they can be done when funds available, but you'll end up paying more in the long run to do it that way. Typically the bigger the building, the lower the cost per square foot.
 
My long term goal is to turn my current shop 26x40 or so into parking for the wifes DD and my nova if i ever get it done. Build a 60x100 or so shop on the other pasture on the opposite end of the house.

When that comes i will set it up with 2 sections or so be it with a wall of some sort of a curtain to have 1 "clean " bay for putting engines and trans together, longterm projects, etc then 2 "dirty" other bays for in and out quick repairs, grinding/welding, etc.
 
I have one 2400sf building, but it was built in three stages and is divided into separate spaces... ~900sf of auto/metal, ~750sf of wood shop, ~150sf of paint shop, and the remaining ~600sf in office/bath/kitchen. Works great for us.
 
Easier/cheaper to build one large building and put up dividing walls inside. You can heat or not heat sections if you insulate the dividing walls, but even then the unheated areas will make the heated areas a bit cheaper to heat than an outside wall with the side benefit of the unheated areas staying a bit warmer.

The only time separate buildings would make sense is if you didn't have a single large space to do it or if there was one located closer to something that would be convenient (a farm equipment building nearer the fields, or whatev).
The cheaper is somewhat true if we assume same construction for all buildings. This falls apart a little bit when different types of buildings are used. For example, a thin "carport" for storing cars, a thicker easily insulated steel building for fab work, and who knows what for storage.
Sadly, where I'm located, we have to get permits based upon upgrade cost:homer: An outbuilding with electric/water gets charged more from what I've seen.

The lot is a little bit irregular. The pink square in my picture has another 10'x25' to the upper left that is flat and buildable.

The other con to multiple buildings is there will be "wasted" space if gaps are left between buildings.

Multiple buildings can be done whenever funds allow though. Whereas one big building will be an all in one shot unless you do it in sections. One thing that would be nice about separate buildings is the complete separation of stuff. Like keep all the sawdust in the wood shop, keep all the grinding dust and welding fumes in the metal working shop, keep all the body filler dust and paint drift in the auto body shop, and keep all that shit out of the machine shop! :laughing:
The splitting of costs is appealing. The other related item is potential of a large "thin material" carport really cheap.

The isolating the grinding crap is appealing.

If you do the separations properly and have reasonable ventilation, the dust migration is a non-issue. I grind and weld and do all sorts of shit in my attached garage and it's never an issue getting into the house.

You're right that they can be done when funds available, but you'll end up paying more in the long run to do it that way. Typically the bigger the building, the lower the cost per square foot.
My basement has piles of grinding dust:homer:

On cheaper cost per square foot, I mentioned above that it assumes same construction. There is also an increased ability of getting deals on "smaller" outbuildings.

I have one 2400sf building, but it was built in three stages and is divided into separate spaces... ~900sf of auto/metal, ~750sf of wood shop, ~150sf of paint shop, and the remaining ~600sf in office/bath/kitchen. Works great for us.
Was this constantly adjusting the roof? Or did you build the tallest section first and then just go lower with each addition?

----------------------------------------------------
I'm not against going a large building and partitioning it. But I'm curious what the downsides are.
 
IMO, multiple outbuildings are good when your shop gets so full of crap that you find it hard to work in. In my ideal world, I'd like as large of a workspace (single building) as possible, with a loft or mezzanine to store stuff up above. Some or all of the space under the mezzanine can be closed in for a grinding room, or painting booth, etc.

I built a shed last winter (12x12 tall gambrel) to store woodworking stuff. It will eventually become a mini wood shop, and I like that idea, keeping wood dust away from grinding dust, but that's only because all of that stuff is almost completely unrelated to car and truck shit.

Also, a carport is super useful, but I wouldn't call that an outbuilding, more like a place to store cars out of the rain/snow. It's not a great project workspace.

I've got a 22x30 attached garage that all the work happens in, with a 10x20 concrete working surface outside of that, and the shed. I wish the garage was bigger, but I don't really feel a need for a carport.

To sum up:
1. primary large working shop, heated.
2. shed/outbuilding for storage and woodworking, non-heated, but with electricity.
3. carport or lean-to off of the primary shop for dry-ish vehicle storage if needed.
 
Was this constantly adjusting the roof? Or did you build the tallest section first and then just go lower with each addition?

I'm not against going a large building and partitioning it. But I'm curious what the downsides are.


When we purchased the property, there was a 600sf "Ag" building with a loft and a shed roof toward the property line. It had no floor, sided only on two sides, no power, etc. We completely finished that portion, which is heated, plumbed, tiled, WIFI, etc. About 5 years later, we then added on a 30x30 addition with some 4/12 trusses with a 9' flat ceiling. This is primarily the wood shop, with one room for painting framed out in the corner. Ten years after that, we added on another 26x34 to the front of the building, covering up the existing garage doors. So, you can pull in the auto/metal shop, or open the second set of doors and potentially pull into the middle shop as well.

I wanted the metal/auto portion to have a taller ceiling to accomodate a lift (which I still do not have), so I stick-framed this portion of the roof with 11 7/8" LVLs and a big ridge beam. I got tricky with the rafter tails so the soffit/fascia lines matched exactly from the truss construction to the cut roof.

The latest addition is also framed to accomodate a bunch of windows, but we haven't had the money to do those yet.

This approach has made sense for us because I'm a builder and we've done things as we have the time and money.



----------------------------------------------------

Shop.JPG
 
<snip>
To sum up:
1. primary large working shop, heated.
2. shed/outbuilding for storage and woodworking, non-heated, but with electricity.
3. carport or lean-to off of the primary shop for dry-ish vehicle storage if needed.
I'm trying to avoid a large heated working shop... I'm leaning toward something closer to a two car garage size. This is to prevent me from having multiple projects pulled apart at once. In theory, I would want just want one "project" in the shop with the availability to pull in a second for an emergency brake job ;)

I've currently got a 44'x11' basement that is wall to wall shelves for storage and tools. If I can get the tools out of there, it would open up a lot more room for more junk:lmao:

The carport is going to get a workout. I've got too many cars ;)

<snip>
This approach has made sense for us because I'm a builder and we've done things as we have the time and money.

That looks nice. Your thought is kind of what I'm thinking.
 
how about shipping containers? should be able to get them pretty easily where you are at.
I have a neighbor that has two and deals with bad "sweating" issues.

The ~8' or less wide interior really doesn't lend itself to car work. But they do lend themselves to storage and workshop if the sweating can be taken care of.

In general, are you thinking of the "famous" shipping container truss system? I'm not sure how my state/county treats a trussed shipping container.
 
I'm trying to avoid a large heated working shop... I'm leaning toward something closer to a two car garage size. This is to prevent me from having multiple projects pulled apart at once. In theory, I would want just want one "project" in the shop with the availability to pull in a second for an emergency brake job ;)

I've currently got a 44'x11' basement that is wall to wall shelves for storage and tools. If I can get the tools out of there, it would open up a lot more room for more junk:lmao:
thinking.

30x30 heated.
 
Of storage 1 big unit, (less maintenance) vs 2.
I have never heard a guy say "wish I had less space".
3 would be ok till ya forget "where'd I put that thing..."
 
Of storage 1 big unit, (less maintenance) vs 2.
I have never heard a guy say "wish I had less space".
3 would be ok till ya forget "where'd I put that thing..."

Yup... I've always heard buy as big of a shop as your lot and wallet can take.

I would use the multiple "buildings" in a very strict: car storage, parts storage, and car work/tools.
 
I have a neighbor that has two and deals with bad "sweating" issues.

The ~8' or less wide interior really doesn't lend itself to car work. But they do lend themselves to storage and workshop if the sweating can be taken care of.

In general, are you thinking of the "famous" shipping container truss system? I'm not sure how my state/county treats a trussed shipping container.

no just for general material storage, painting, grinding, sandblasting buildings. Nothing fancy. Haven't notice sweating issues with the ones around here. Store all kinds of bare metal and un finished stuff in them and no isseus with rusting. Bummer is the cost to get them to us.

Also could look at 2 side by side connected and cut the 2 middle walls out for a larger covered area.
 
I have a neighbor that has two and deals with bad "sweating" issues.

The ~8' or less wide interior really doesn't lend itself to car work. But they do lend themselves to storage and workshop if the sweating can be taken care of.

In general, are you thinking of the "famous" shipping container truss system? I'm not sure how my state/county treats a trussed shipping container.

The sweating can be mitigated with ventilation, the being poorly sealed is what causes that issue, they're sealed enough to be dry-ish but hold humidity. The containers with trusses inbetween works mint for a car-port but yeah, you need to check on rules in your area if you're going to permit any of it. My dad's neighbor wanted to do the whole 2 containers with a car-port in the middle thing and went and tried to get a building permit. That's when he drew a bunch of attention to himself and the one container that he's had for years. Now the county has told him he either needs to hang siding on the container and make it look like a normal building or build enough of a fence that it can't be seen from the county road.

My old man uses regular semi truck box trailers for storage, has a couple 40-ish footers. He lives in the middle of nowhere so he just leaves the rear doors open, anything that is away from the door and doesn't get directly rained on is bone dry.
 
Multiple buildings would really depend on all your needs and wants.

Personally, even if I had a bigger main building, I would still want smaller buildings for organizing stuff.

Currently I only have a 2 bay building and it’s TIGHT. My land makes it tough to build on due to boulders and excessive trees. But I have a 16x16 building for the SXS and kids’ ATV’s. However, I want another building for my lawn/plow tractor and storage for all my parts and other junk.

Now...if I had some immense building, I’d probably just build separate rooms. But those will fill up, too. :laughing:
 
I like multiple buildings/ carports. Carports and open "barns" work great if you're in an area without the brutal winters. My end goal is to be able to have everything I own with wheels under a roof or inside while not having to park something in the actual shop unless I want to. Shipping containers and small metal buildings with zero insulation turn into indoor rainmakers around here, and you have to run a fan 24/7 to keep the sweat in check.

My last shop was my ideal... 30x110. There was a 30x60 shop in the middle, a 30x10 shed off one side, and a 30x40 barn off the other side. Keep all steel, yard stuff in the shed, park everything in the barn, enjoy vacant shop.
 
<snip>My dad's neighbor wanted to do the whole 2 containers with a car-port in the middle thing and went and tried to get a building permit. That's when he drew a bunch of attention to himself and the one container that he's had for years. Now the county has told him he either needs to hang siding on the container and make it look like a normal building or build enough of a fence that it can't be seen from the county road.
This is my concern and I'm probably already partially on their radar as it is.:homer: A plain container shouldn't be an issue out here. They are all over the place.

<snip>
Now...if I had some immense building, I’d probably just build separate rooms. But those will fill up, too. :laughing:
I think that would be my problem/approach if I had a 60x40 building.

I like multiple buildings/ carports. Carports and open "barns" work great if you're in an area without the brutal winters. My end goal is to be able to have everything I own with wheels under a roof or inside while not having to park something in the actual shop unless I want to. Shipping containers and small metal buildings with zero insulation turn into indoor rainmakers around here, and you have to run a fan 24/7 to keep the sweat in check.
What is the definition of "brutal winter"? I'm at a low 3500'. The last three years I've gotten about three storms each year of about 18" dump... total accumulation of 3'. Not many days dip below 30s. In talking with a neighbor who has been here for 10 years, we've had mild winters the last 3. When he moved in, they got 4' - 7' accumulation.
 
What is the definition of "brutal winter"? I'm at a low 3500'. The last three years I've gotten about three storms each year of about 18" dump... total accumulation of 3'. Not many days dip below 30s. In talking with a neighbor who has been here for 10 years, we've had mild winters the last 3. When he moved in, they got 4' - 7' accumulation.

I couldn't tell ya... im just going off of what the northern ibb folks say anytime a carport discussion comes up. Ive never lived it but I see their point- 3ft of snow on the ground, high tomorrow is 1 degree... having a vehicle/ tractor/ atv/ etc parked indoors vs. simply under a roof is a big bonus. On the flip side, we get maybe 5 days a year below freezing and just keeping the sun, rain, and frost off of everything is good enough.
 
This is my concern and I'm probably already partially on their radar as it is.:homer: A plain container shouldn't be an issue out here. They are all over the place.


I think that would be my problem/approach if I had a 60x40 building.


What is the definition of "brutal winter"? I'm at a low 3500'. The last three years I've gotten about three storms each year of about 18" dump... total accumulation of 3'. Not many days dip below 30s. In talking with a neighbor who has been here for 10 years, we've had mild winters the last 3. When he moved in, they got 4' - 7' accumulation.

As for the winter concern, mine would be if you’re storing anything out of the main shop that needs to run or drive. Here in the winter, rodents will infiltrate everything with a motor and force you to tear them all down and clean them out before running.

Rodent proof an out building and winter wouldn’t matter, really.
 
As for the winter concern, mine would be if you’re storing anything out of the main shop that needs to run or drive. Here in the winter, rodents will infiltrate everything with a motor and force you to tear them all down and clean them out before running.

Rodent proof an out building and winter wouldn’t matter, really.

Field mice are a big problem here too with anything that doesn't get used weekly. They strip wiring from EVERYTHING. I've got a gmt400 in my dads barn thats been parked for a few years, that has a nest in the air cleaner and not a damn plug wire on it.

Here, I do a box of rat poison with a little dab of peanut butter... close to the tractor and lawnmower under the shed behind the shop, but tucked away so only mice can get to it. Change it out every month or two.
 
Garden and lawn shit gets its own shed. No reason to have that shit cluttering up real work areas.

Vehicles get parked and worked on in the garage.

Shit gets stored in the same building where the shit that uses it goes.

Fab and machine gets its own climate controlled space. Letting your shit rust in an unheated garage is for the poors and heating an entire detached garage just to keep a couple machines from rusting is for the stupid. :flipoff2:
 
Just because it's what I bought that was set up here when I moved in, my vote is multiple outbuildings. I have an RV shed that I keep a couple of my trailers in, a car port where the wife parks her car, a 20x12 shed where I store shit that can stand freezing, and a pole barn where I park my trucks, store firewood, the tractor, plow, log splitter, chipper, boat etc, and then my shop that is heated and insulated and only has my Jeep and ATV in it. To me it's nice having everything in it's own place and not having all that crap in one building. I also think I have too much shit at times.
 
I rock a tarpmahal (tent garage). For a temporary or long temporary solution it hasn't been that bad... yes it does sweat inside... it's hot as balls in the summer.
I still have the original tarp on it but once it goes... 20ft of barn roofing mounted horizontal will be my solution (more or less the same price as a replacement tarp). I see snow loads and brush it off during and after snow fall to eliminate it caving in. Another reason to side it with barn tin!

This would give you cheap unheated storage for shit that isn't super important...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=EeEM5TUu75o
 
[memphis said:
;n257419]I rock a tarpmahal (tent garage). For a temporary or long temporary solution it hasn't been that bad... yes it does sweat inside... it's hot as balls in the summer.
I still have the original tarp on it but once it goes... 20ft of barn roofing mounted horizontal will be my solution (more or less the same price as a replacement tarp). I see snow loads and brush it off during and after snow fall to eliminate it caving in. Another reason to side it with barn tin!

This would give you cheap unheated storage for shit that isn't super important...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=EeEM5TUu75o

Harbor Freight tent:
HF_tent_sml.jpg

Yup, got the 20'x10' one. The snow is what concerns me the most. I get just enough to be "fun". This version only came with three vert supports(one every 10')
 
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