My Workshop

The New Workshop

In the summer of 2019 we moved home, which came with a detatched double garage of single skin thermalite block construction and a pitched roof.  It was a large space measuring 5.8 x 6 metres (34.8 sq m) or 19 x 20 ft (380 sq ft) and I documented it soon after we moved in in this video.  It has a large electronic roller door at the front, a side entrance door, two small windows, one large window and a pitched roof.  The building had been used by the previous occupant for mechanical vehicle repairs and storage, and it also had a large inspection pit in the floor.

It was a fantastic sized space, but it needed quite a lot of work before it would be comfortable and perform well for shooting video.

Before beginning work I first wanted to plan the layout of the space so I created a 3d Layout drawing using SketchUp

First I wanted to insulate the building block to help block noise from a nearby busy road.  I started by installing an insulated ceiling as that's where the majority of the noise was coming in from.  That also gave me an opportunity to create a small loft space for additional storage of non-heavy items.

There was also a lot of noise coming in over and through the roller door, so next I installed an insulated stud wall with a double PVC door about half a metre in from the roller door.  I also added insulated stud frame walls in front of the block walls.

The results of the sound proofing work were really successful and are documented here.

The new wall in front of the roller door was also a great place for timber storage, and that has worked really well.

The final challenge to overcome was the floor.  I filled the insection pit using household rubble from some building works we were carrying out to our home, and then laid a concrete slab on top.

And finally, to ease the fatigue on the legs and feet from standing on a concrete floor, I installed rubber matting which also helps protect my tools from damage when they tumble off the surface of my workbench!

Later, I installed a complete dust extraction system using 68mm PVC downpipe for ducting and some scraps of MDF to create some blast gates which connects to all my workshop machines.

I am so happy and feel so lucky to have such a fantastic work space in a country where such things are normally so hard to come by.

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My Old Workshop (2014 to 2019):

I built old my workshop between November 2014 and January 2015 - 3 months of working weekends and occasionally evenings to complete the build including ground works, building the frame, installing the windows and external cladding, installing the roof panels, fitting the door and insulating the roof.  I have since insulated the walls and added drywall/OSB.  I used whatever insulation materials/polystyrene etc. that I could salvage in skips etc. (although I did end up buying some to finish it off).

I completed the vast majority of the work on my own but with the occasional helping hand from family and friends.  My friend Alex fitted the electrics as he’s a qualified electrician, and I helped him with installing some of the cabling.

I used salvaged materials to build the main structure of the workshop (including windows) and the floor.  I bought new pressure treated shiplap cladding from a local sawmill and metal roof cladding sheets from a local roofing company.  In total the build cost was around £950 excluding the electrical installation. 

The final result is a workshop building which is much more solid and sturdy than sheds that you can buy, and is custom fitted to the space in my garden. To find out more, you can watch the Building The Workshop playlist on my YouTube channel:

 

 

Inside

The workshop is 4.1m wide x 2.7m in size internally, which is a quite big for your average garden shed, but quite small for your average wood workshop.

 

I would love to have a bigger workshop at some point in the future, but this one is as big as I could possibly make it in a garden the size of mine, and with a bit of careful planning and by making the space flexible (e.g. tablesaw, jointer etc. mounted on casters) the space functions relatively well.