Building the Perfect Workshop: 5 Tips

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If you're an enthusiatic do-it-yourselfer, you'll eventually want to build a dedicated workshop in which to store tools, materials, and complete projects. Unused space in a basement or garage can be transformed into a practical environment where everything you need is at hand. Here are some valuable tips to get you started.

1. Examine Your Space

Examine any available space to determine what type of workshop you might create. Small spaces may provide only enough room to store tools and equipment. If you are a woodworking enthusiast building mostly small-foot objects such as birdhouses, a small area may suffice. But if you are intent on having a large workspace, you may want to consider converting an extra room or building a feee-standing structure if property space is available.

2. Check the Legal Stuff

Make sure you check with local authorities to find out if you can legally build a home workshop. Many residential codes prohibit workshops. Also, many homeowner associations will not allow the conversion or construction of a home workshop. If permission is available, make sure to follow all construction codes and regulations to stay in compliance.

3. Get a Plan

If you have a good deal of construction knowledge and experience, you might want to design your own home workshop. You can also search the Internet for sources that provide construction plans. Home improvement centers and hardware stores are also good sources to find construction plans as are many monthly magazines targeted to people just like you.

4. Get Help if Needed

Often even the most experienced hobbyist needs to leave some very technical aspects of construction up to the professionals, especially if needing to comply with local codes. Make sure you know how to handle air conditioning, roofing, electrical, and plumbing activity to not only complete a successful project but to also comply with local building codes and regulations. You want your new workshop to be comfortable and usable despite the weather conditions so installing heat and air is an attractive component.

Furthermore, when working with a variety of power tools—both hand and table varieties—having ample and multiple sources is safer than using a potpourri of extension cords. Also, consider going green by installing an alternative energy source such as solar or a wind turbine. You may not be able to provide for all your power needs, but alternate power sources help the environment while making great do-it-yourself projects. Installing a different energy source that is basically free will reduce your monthly electric bill.

5. Consider Storage Needs

Don’t forget to include enough storage space in your plans when designing the perfect workshop. Keep in mind the type of workshop you are constructing for your personal needs. Storage for woodworking will demand different storage needs than a metal worker needs. If your workshop is for remodeling automobiles like antique auto restoration, storage demands will greatly differ including the need to house a vehicle or two.