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Semi-OT: How big is too big for a garage/workshop?

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  • flylo
    replied
    The answer is you can't build it too big. I built a 40'x72' hanger 13' ceiling with a 12' wing around 2 sides(was 3 sides but took 1 off because of setback). It should have been 64'x84' with a full 40' bifold door I welded up. This works great & the 12' wings add very little cost. The roof all lines up. I used green steel on the roof & 1x8 board & batton hemlock I cut in the UP with a mobile dimension portable sawmill. I hired it framed & we finished it. The trusses were made for 48"OC with a total load of 68#sf I put them 32"OC & stacked 4 on the 40' door end. With the log cost I ended up with a total cost of $10k in the building & $7K for having the concrete poured. I have the 40x72 for the hanger(now full of tools) & the 12x52 for the shop, 12x24 for welding grinding,sandblasting,etc. Then a12x48 for storage or future shop. Later if needed I'll get a variance & add the 12x84 if needed. Best money I've spent. For the price of 1 decent car I have a nice shop.

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  • garagemark
    replied
    I second or third or fourth the sentiment- Hard to make a building big enough (assuming you don't have unlimited money to buy a defunct mall or something). My 36 x 50 with a 12 x 16 extension is now stuffed full. I could have sworn that it was way overkill when I built it, but I was wrong. The problem stems from the ABILITY to add "stuff" to a larger structure. No matter what size building I have ever had, I eventually filled it to it's capacity with either tools or toys. This structure is no different, and I am now out of room and looking to expand or build yet another structure to ease the crowding somehow. But I will probably just fill it up as well.

    And even though flat roofs are not optimal, if that's what is there now, I'd look into having it repaired verses trusses and sloped roof. Especially if it isn't likely to be your last or dream home. There are some outfits out there who spray some sort of foam over existing flat roofs, and I'm told it does a relatively good job. Though I don't know what they would charge in your area, it's really not too hard on the wallet around here.

    Good luck with whatever you do. I hope you need roller skates or golf cart when you're finished!

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by lakeside53 View Post
    NO to the flat roof unless you live in the desert. Anything but....
    Frank Loyd Wright designed some beautiful buildings & homes, but everyone leaked due to the inclusion of flat roofs, partial or complete. Even Falling Waters had problems with a leaking roof.

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  • lakeside53
    replied
    NO to the flat roof unless you live in the desert. Anything but....

    If you live in an area with enforced buidlings codes... check the walls and foundation before adding a larger roof and floor. If you don't want to pay for a Gambrel, just put on a 4/12 or more conventional truss roof. Savings may not be as much as you think though. I have a Gambrel on mine though - amazing what you can store up there
    Last edited by lakeside53; 10-06-2012, 11:56 AM.

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  • Boucher
    replied
    You haven't met my tax appraiser

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  • michigan doug
    replied
    I originally planned on a 25 x 30 shop. I ended up with a 30 x 70 shop. It's still a bit small...
    The 12 foot ceiling is nice. The r-50 insulation is SUPER nice.

    doug

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  • Deja Vu
    replied
    Simple rule.... size of garage is equal to or less than size of wallet.

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  • bob308
    replied
    bob's forumla for garage size. calculate how big you need. example 20x20. now with that raw data bubble size example 40x40. now add 10' to each side. to end up with a 50x50. this finished number should last about 5 years before you need an addtion or another building. now second floor area does not count as this can be looked at as found space.

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  • mikem
    replied
    Building a big shop probably won't add as much to the value of the property, so if you are there a short time, you may lose money on the investment.

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  • bborr01
    replied
    I have yet to see a garage that is too big.

    Brian

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  • jep24601
    replied
    Some companies specialize in building sloped metal roofs over flat roofs. Not cheaper than gooping up the flat roof but more reliable in the long term. If you build a gambrel roof to give yourself upstairs space keep in mind that the existing roof construction may not be strong enough for a floor.

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  • sasquatch
    replied
    I keep asking myself,,,,,,,,,,,, WHY are buildings STILL being built with Flat Roofs!!

    Stupidist design going!!

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  • Boucher
    replied
    I would never spend money fixing a flat roof.

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  • darryl
    replied
    There is too big in terms of taxes, heating, constructional costs, etc, but not in terms of usage. My shop at about 900 sq ft total is now too small. We have about 5 times that much space at work, and I've looked around in there with the idea 'if this were my shop'- for the projects I want to do yet, it's not too large. I don't have grand aspirations either, just the desire to have room to do some of the things I'd like to. For me, there will always be several projects in the works at one time, and it's not practical to move one out of the way for another for the most part. There are projects which come up which I must do that are not of my imagination- things that have to be fixed, etc. I have never had enough workbenches, or rolling carts for that matter. Everything needs a space, and there must be room to get around easily, which also includes larger items like vehicles. I do hope I get to build my 'dream shop' at some point while I'm still willing to be active in all my hobbies. The living quarters that would be part of the shop probably wouldn't need to be even a quarter of the size of the shop.

    But I do have to get back to costs- I don't want to pay high taxes for covering thousands of sq ft of ground with concrete, I don't want to pay high costs for heating and air conditioning, and I don't want to spend my entire worth building and maintaining it. I probably will have to divide my 'dream shop' into heated, semi-heated, and unheated areas, just to meet some of the criteria in a realistic way.

    Personally, I'd try to avoid spending a good chunk of cash on a place where I won't spend more than a few years. If there was a down-to-earth picture of that value coming back to me when I move, it might motivate me into a little more spending. I'm a little over 60 now, and I'm having to start considering the effort I'm putting out and where it's going- I'm probably not going to be able to lift and carry more than another couple hundred tons in total from now til I pass, so I want to expend that in something that is satisfying to me.

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  • saltmine
    replied
    If you have to use a golf kart to go from one end of the shop to the other, and it runs out of gas...or the batteries die before you get there, it's just big enough.

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