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Thread: Looking for ideas for new shop

  1. #1
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Looking for ideas for new shop

    I need to get off my ass and design my Montana shop so I can get it built. When I bought the house I figured I'd have a shop within 2 years. I've now owned it for 3 1/2 years.

    I want to get a design started so I can work on a foundation plan. Right now I think I want it 50x80 feet or thereabouts, with the doors on the long side. I want to be able to put cars in it 2 deep and have room for work benches and space between them, that's why the 50 foot depth. I may be able to go a little longer than 80 feet but not much as I want a road to be able to drive around the shop.

    I also want to divide it into 3 sections, one being a "clean" shop with finished cars or assembly area, one being a "work" shop with welders, saws, grinders, etc., and the last section being where I store parts, materials, my tractor and attachments, ATVs, and snowmobiles.

    I'm currently thinking 30 feet wide for the "clean" shop, and 25 feet wide for the other two areas. My current "clean" shop is 38 wide and 34 deep, so 30 feet seems too small. The new clean shop would be 1500 square feet which is only 208 sf larger than my current one. But I can't get 2 cars deep in my current shop. I think 25x50 would be large enough for the "work" shop and is about 106 sf larger than my current "work" shop.

    I wonder if I should shrink the storage shop to 20 feet wide, or add 5 feet overall to give me two 30 foot wide areas. My wife thinks I'm crazy for building such a huge shop but we all know they're never big enough.

    I'll probably put a 4-post lift in the clean shop and a 2-post in the work shop. All 3 shops will have 220V welder outlets and will be heated with separate heaters.

    I want 12 foot ceilings in the clean shop and work shop, and 16 foot in the storage shop. I plan to put a 14 foot high door on the storage shop so an RV will fit....I don't plan to own one but it's for re-sale some day. I thought about dropping the storage shop floor 4 feet to do this but decided to raise the roof instead. Also, I plan on having a small 15x30-40 living quarters over the opposite end of the building from the storage shop. it would be like a tiny home with one bedroom, a bath, kitchenette, and small living room with windows to view the mountains.

    Looking straight on at the shop the storage shop will be on the left (east) end, and I'm currently thinking the work shop would be in the middle with the clean shop on the right (west) end with the living quarters above it.

    So the first thing I need to decide is the footprint, then how to partition it. I plan to use SIP construction which gives me 6" walls with R23-26 insulation. I may use SIP roof construction as well but I'm not sure at this point. You can actually get to R-50 with them.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome. I need to finalize the footprint and get a rough design to the architects at the SIP company so they can do the design for me.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension


    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1962 327/340HP Corvette
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
    2019 GMC Sierra Denali Duramax

  2. #2
    Registered Member WagonCrazy's Avatar
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    Might as well go as big as you can afford.
    Building materials are still "up" 20 to 30 percent from Covid highs. I don't think they're coming down soon.
    What will this structure be framed with? Wood/studs or metal studs?
    What kind of roof surface are you going with? I'm thinking metal sloped roof for easy snow slip-off (pardon my so-far-south-of-you that I don't know the term to use).
    FYI. 25 feet deep is good for parking a 3/4 ton longbed truck, but that doesnt leave any walk around room front to back. Go deeper. Mine is 30 and it left plenty of room for a long stretch of cabinets, workbench, tool boxes to go against the "front" wall.
    How you gonna heat this garage? Propane (assuming thats how you heat the house?)
    If you're going with a 14 foot motorhome door, what's the depth you're thinking of in that bay? Need to consider at least 40 feet. Maybe more. these rigs are longer now.
    Because you're in snow country, would you be considering heat in your concrete floors? To melt snow...which implies a way for that water to drain out after melting.
    Put a bathroom downstairs. You'll use it all the time. I didn't do a shower in mine, and I would never take one out in the garage anyhow. Just a shitter and a urinal.
    Last edited by WagonCrazy; 01-09-2024 at 05:42 PM.
    1957 Nomad- LS1/T56 on C4 chassis
    1959 Fleetside Apache 1/2 ton, shortbed, big window, 327ci.

  3. #3
    Registered Member WagonCrazy's Avatar
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    Also, if you find the resources of this website a little weak for this specific topic, consider going to garagejournal.com forum. Loads of guys and loads of posts.
    1957 Nomad- LS1/T56 on C4 chassis
    1959 Fleetside Apache 1/2 ton, shortbed, big window, 327ci.

  4. #4
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WagonCrazy View Post
    Might as well go as big as you can afford.
    I don't have enough flat land for that. LOL!! I figure this is going to run $250-300K

    Building materials are still "up" 20 to 30 percent from Covid highs. I don't think they're coming down soon.
    I don't think they're higher than they were during covid. 1/2" OSB is around $16 a sheet and it was a lot higher then. Most things have come down some, but will never be where they were.

    What will this structure be framed with? Wood/studs or metal studs?
    SIPs. Structural Insulated Panels. Foam core with OSB on both sides. They come in various widths and lengths. My brother built his 2600 sf shop with them and put the walls up himself in 2 days, fully insulated and sheathed. Ran about $10 per square foot of wall.

    https://sips.premierbuildingsystems.com/


    What kind of roof surface are you going with? I'm thinking metal sloped roof for easy snow slip-off (pardon my so-far-south-of-you that I don't know the term to use).
    The house has green Class 4 asphalt shingles on it. There are pros and cons to a metal roof, versus asphalt. I heard about a guy getting killed when snow slid off his metal roof and buried him. Not sure what to do yet.

    FYI. 25 feet deep is good for parking a 3/4 ton longbed truck, but that doesnt leave any walk around room front to back. Go deeper. Mine is 30 and it left plenty of room for a long stretch of cabinets, workbench, tool boxes to go against the "front" wall.
    It will be 50 feet deep. I figure two cars is 16 feet each, then 5 feet all around them is 48 feet, plus 2 feet for a workbench.

    How you gonna heat this garage? Propane (assuming thats how you heat the house?)
    We have propane and I may go that route. That's why I'm super-insulating it. It gets to -20 to -40 fahrenheit in the area for a week or two in the winter. My brother is going with a 45K BTU heat pump so I'll see how that works out for him. Bonus is you get A/C but I don't think I'll ever need it. It gets hot up there in the summer (over 90F) but with the insulation it will stay cool inside. Even the log house stays nice and cool.

    If you're going with a 14 foot motorhome door, what's the depth you're thinking of in that bay? Need to consider at least 40 feet. Maybe more. these rigs are longer now.
    All bays 50 feet.

    Because you're in snow country, would you be considering heat in your concrete floors? To melt snow...which implies a way for that water to drain out after melting.
    No. My garage has heat in the floors but it all froze when power was off and it's all broken up. Heated floors are nice....we have them in the house....but you can't heat the place up fast and have to keep the heat on. With a unit heater you turn it on when you need it and in 15 minutes the shop is warm. I'm abandoning the in-floor heat in the garage and installing a propane unit heater.

    Put a bathroom downstairs. You'll use it all the time. I didn't do a shower in mine, and I would never take one out in the garage anyhow. Just a shitter and a urinal.
    I plan to do that. Since I'll have plumbing in the guest quarters I might as well add a toilet and sink in the shop. I will have to install another septic system.

    One of the things I'm thinking about is how to support the guest quarters floor. I don't want any posts in the lower level and I may have to make the partition walls load-bearing.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension


    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1962 327/340HP Corvette
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
    2019 GMC Sierra Denali Duramax

  5. #5
    Registered Member busterwivell's Avatar
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    Way out of my league, Laszlo. My garage is 24 x 50. wish I'd gone 30 x 50. My shop is 24 x 30, wish I'd gone bigger. My biggest regret is I didn't put in a bathroom. I have a heat pump in the shop, but this is Arizona. Here it works fine. Morale of my story is, as you said, there's no such thing as too much garage.
    Bill

  6. #6
    Registered Member NickP's Avatar
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    I guess I'm a bit confused by all of this. My impression of the move and the sale of the business was to finish the Nomad and relax. I understand the desire but long term is it a viable plan?

  7. #7
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickP View Post
    I guess I'm a bit confused by all of this. My impression of the move and the sale of the business was to finish the Nomad and relax. I understand the desire but long term is it a viable plan?
    Nick, yes that's the plan. I'm not doing any more frame building and I shut down the business almost two years ago. The main objective of moving was to get out of Libtardville Colorado and the 6 million people and find a place with a lot fewer idiots and have property I can hunt on.

    The house has a 1325 square foot 3-car garage. The problem is I have My Nomad, 62 Vette, another 56 sedan, two Duramax trucks, my wife's two cars (one will be sold but I use it as a commuter), my Porsche, a Kubota tractor with 6 attachments, 4 snowmobiles, 3 ATVs, a wood splitter, weed sprayer, 5 trailers, a lathe, welders, and a bunch of other equipment. Yes, I have too much shit but there's not much I'm getting rid of anytime soon. I still want to build stuff as long as I can.

    The shop is absolutely necessary on that property with all my stuff. I plan to have someone else build it, not myself......just like the rest of the stuff...LOL! I had a guy hired to install the gate arch and cattle guard two years ago. Then he told me he didn't have time. I had a heck of a time just finding someone to pour the footings, and I had to build the metal structure to hold the logs. I have had to do most of the work in the house myself because I can't find competent help and I refuse to pay $100 an hour for stuff I can do. Everyone today wants $75-100+ an hour for anything.

    I originally wanted a large property around 640-1000 acres or more, so we could build a modest timber frame home of around 2700 square feet. We looked at several large properties and the one I wanted was inaccessible in winter so that fell through. We stumbled on this almost-finished one of 4707 square feet on a smaller 50 acres but surrounded by 10,000 acres of ranch property that we get to play on. So it worked for me. Also, I'm glad I wasn't trying to build a home from scratch during COVID, so it all worked out great.

    I don't know how long we're going to stay in this house, but it's more than doubled in value since we bought it. The shop will add even more value to it. Money isn't the issue, it's time, as we all know. We both love the place, but we haven't lived there full-time yet. Things are harder when you're an hour from a decent sized town so we have to get used to it. We've made a lot of friends already so we're trying to spend more time there, and hope to spend MOST of our time there starting this summer. I hope to sell the Colorado house in 2025.
    Last edited by chevynut; 01-11-2024 at 07:27 PM.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension


    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1962 327/340HP Corvette
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
    2019 GMC Sierra Denali Duramax

  8. #8
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Here's another thing about Montana. I don't have to get any local permits to build this shop. The only permit I need for the shop is a state electrical permit to set the meter. They won't even inspect the wiring as long as you're the homeowner doing it. That in itself saves thousands of dollars in permit fees.

    There's no sales tax in Montana. We saved thousands of dollars registering our new vehicles there. Trailers, ATVs, snowmobiles and vehicles over 10 years old get licensed once. No more fees as long as you own them. The downside is income taxes are a little higher than Colorado but the elimination of the hassle of re-registering vehicles and emissions testing every year is worth it to me.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension


    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1962 327/340HP Corvette
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
    2019 GMC Sierra Denali Duramax

  9. #9
    Registered Member WagonCrazy's Avatar
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    Those advantages all sound good to me (being in Calif). Make some room for all of us. Here we come a-squatin'
    1957 Nomad- LS1/T56 on C4 chassis
    1959 Fleetside Apache 1/2 ton, shortbed, big window, 327ci.

  10. #10
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    I've been working on the design of my new Montana shop and getting some estimates from local contractors. I'll probably be the GC and hire subs to do the work since I can't see paying a GC 20% to do what I can do.

    I measured the area I have last week while in Montana. I could go 100 feet long, but it starts crowding some trees I have that I really don't want to cut down. 80 feet isn't long enough when I break it into three areas. I've decided to go with a 36x50 "clean" shop on the west end, a 25 or 26x50 "dirty" shop in the center, and a 29 or 30x50 storage shop. So the length is 90-92 feet which I'm still waffling on. I'll probably build a semi-clean room at the back of the dirty shop for machinery like lathes, drill press, brake, etc.

    I got an estimate for the foundation at 50x80 with footings and 4 foot walls and it was $90K. That seems really high to me considering materials are only about $27K of that. I'm looking at a shallow frost-protected monolithic slab foundation now. I found a new patented system that uses foam forms that stay in place after pouring and they insulate the slab from frost. I calculated the same amount of concrete at about 100 yards, and the same re-bar, but only one pour which should save a lot on labor. No stripping forms either. There's some cool stuff at https://monoslabezform.com/.

    I have started the ball rolling with Premier SIPs and I'll be using their panels for the walls. There's a lot of benefits of using SIPs including great insulation, rigidity, and super fast assembly. My brother just built his 2600 SF shop with SIPs and he and my nephew put up the walls in 2 days. They do the engineering work and even spec the foundation and any additional footings needed. Here's some info on the product.....https://sips.premierbuildingsystems.com/

    I plan to have 12 foot walls in most of the shop except the storage shop will be 16 foot with a 14x14 foot RV door. All overhead doors will be 9 foot tall. There will be a 12-foot lean-to along the back of the building to store stuff under too.

    I'm going to try to get started on it in late April, probably doing some more excavation to extend the pad. Hopefully it's pretty well dried up by then. I'm hoping to get the slab poured by late June. SIPs are 10 weeks out so I hope to have them no later than early August. I want to shoot for having the shop dried in by October.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension


    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1962 327/340HP Corvette
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
    2019 GMC Sierra Denali Duramax

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