Author Topic: Opinions from the Collective  (Read 943 times)

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Offline thudchkr

  • Posts: 196
Opinions from the Collective
« on: August 07, 2020, 06:07 AM »
Good day to all.

We, me and the wife, are being forced from our home of the last 34 years so the city can improve  their flood protection. They are, at least, giving us a “fair” amount for our place. I had a decent shop setup there other than not Having enough room.

Finding a new place with either a shop, or enough room to build, has been a trying experience. We finally found a place and will close on it today. The new residence has plenty of room in the house for the two of us as well as the following options for my new shop.

There is a 28’ x 28’ double car garage attached to the house. It is insulated and has an adequately sized gas heater that should be able to keep it comfortable, even during the winter, (negative 30s or colder).  We want to be able to use this for our vehicles, needless to say, but it can/could be used in the meantime.

There is a 50’ x 28’ pole barn on the property as well. It has two sets of large sliding doors as well as a personnel door. Probably 14’ to the bottom of the trusses. No insulation here, and it has only the original dirt floor. There is no electrical to the building, other than an extension cord that was fed through a PVC pipe from the garage. There is a bit of two level storage at the back that could use some reinforcing to make it viable for my use.

We are considering building a new structure as well. Current zoning would allow me to construct up to an 800 sq ft “shop” in addition to the existing pole barn. I would most likely incorporate radiant floor heating in such a building as well as sufficient windows to allow natural lighting.

Part of our “buyout” provides that up to $25K is available to re-establish my business at the new residence. This can only be used on existing facilities, and not for use on new construction.

As such, this is the current thought on how to go forward.

Pour a concrete floor in the pole barn, run electrical to it, and install a large enough service to suit any shop needs. Probably means a 200A panel, as 3-phase is not available here. My improvements here should be able to reimbursed as part of my business relocation. Depending on funds availability, may also spray foam the inside of the walls/ceiling to facilitate heating in the the future. The pole barn would be used for storage of wood and other items, and I would position some of the larger machines out there such as the table saw, jointer/planer, and shaper. Some type of dust collection would be installed, (I’m bringing a 2hp Oneida cyclone from the old shop), and this area would be used for shaping and milling operations. It would, however, also be used for storage of a small Kubota tractor with associated implements and whatever else may need to come in out of the elements.

Build a “new” 32’ x 25’ shop as well. This would house the hand tools, the Festools and Mafells, and some power tools such as my two wood lathes and bandsaw. My Roubo workbench, along with the stable of MFTs would live here as well. Some form of dust collection would be in order, but would probably not need the capabilities of that used in the milling area. This area would be well insulated with in-floor heat planned, but I am still in the air on what, if any any A/C.

The existing garage will be used until the new areas are established. The power available there is lacking, but not totally non-existent. It should be able to tide me over.

If you’re still with me after all this, I’d appreciate any comments, suggestions, and/or improvements.

Thanks in advance.


Offline Bob D.

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Re: Opinions from the Collective
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2020, 06:41 AM »
Some ideas to consider if you go with upgrading the existing barn:

Pour a concrete floor and insulate the entire existing barn. Use half for your shop and half for your equipment and lumber storage area.

In the equipment and lumber storage half place the mechanical equipment for the building and some of your noiser shop equipment like dust collector, air compressor, HVAC, hydronic heating for slab, etc. This frees up space in the shop itself and makes for a much friendlier and quieter work environment.

Include the following for the shop half -

Install an insulated ceiling to reduce the shop volume to increase efficiency for heating and cooling. In my shop I have a 10.5' ceiling and I wouldn't want it any lower if I had a choice but 14' would be roughly 25% more volume to heat and cool.

Install radiant heat in two circuits in the barn floor so that you can heat each area seperately. For now maybe you won't heat the equipment side, but you'll have the ability to do so in the future if you want to. Impossible to add later so do it now.

Include electrical boxes for 240v and 120v in the floor placed so you can eliminate cords running across the floor or drops from the ceiling.

Install a couple dust collection ports in the floor again to eliminate overhead clutter and trip hazards.
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 9676
Re: Opinions from the Collective
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2020, 10:19 AM »
I like everything that Bob's outlined... [big grin]

In-floor heating is nice, I'll be putting it in my new garage next summer.

Spray foam is expensive to have installed so separating the barn into a conditioned space and an unconditioned space may be mandatory.

Open cell spray foam runs about $1.00 per sq ft at a 1" depth. The R-value is 3.5.

Closed cell spray foam runs about $1.30 per sq ft at a 1" depth. The R-value is 6.5.

The prices quoted are an average in our area which is just 1 state away from you. The prices also vary widely depending upon the installer. Make sure they have a good track record.

My neighbor had his house addition spray foamed and used the "best deal" approach. Something happened with the chemical mixing/chemical temperature process and some of the stuff never set up completely. A week later the "best deal" crew arrived again to rip out most of the spray foam and then refoam the areas.

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1687
Re: Opinions from the Collective
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2020, 02:58 PM »
i'm also on board with dividing the existing barn space into two zones for in floor heating. think carefully about how you want to divide the area up as in the middle with 2 equal spaces may not be the best use.

I'd check with the local power company and see about three phase availability as well. If it is not available or cost prohibitive the rotary phase converter folks like have whole shop options where the converter is sized to power the shop and feeds into a 3 phase panel from outside the shop instead of to a machine.

Instead of a free standing new shop, you may want to consider adding a lean to type structure on to the existing building down the long side. You would seem to have enough height on the current structure to give you a reasonable height in this new section. Plus it would probably be a bit cheaper to build.

I know you folks are hardier than me  [wink], but the thought of trekking between buildings in a N Dakota winter doesn't seem too appealing.  [eek]