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Old 08-15-2014, 04:10 PM   #21
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The workshop has to be an outbuilding. A 2000 sf garage just doesn't look right attached to the 1000 sf house that we downsizing geezers are looking for.
+1

I was just telling Frank yesterday that I am having a problem finding a 1000 sq ft home in our area, including a 25 sq ft shower and lots of upgrades, that also includes a 2-3 car attached garage.

It would be even harder to find if we lived together and also needed for this property to have a giant outbuilding for his workshop/hamshack.
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Old 08-15-2014, 05:16 PM   #22
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I built mine 7 years ago with an eye on retirement, cold weather region so slab sits on foam insulation, best extra expense ever - concrete has never had condensation on it during humid weather, change of seasons, etc. Separate 200 amp service, just because it worked out that way, XFMR was so close it cost nothing to have power company run the power to service entrance. 10' sidewalls, well insulated ceiling and walls, that is split between two segregated rooms for mechanical work and woodworking, remainder of building un-insulated and used as storage and garage area for tractor and other seasonal vehicles. Computer in shop, wireless link to home network, and security video cameras tied in to same.

But the best addition was just recently installed - when DW retired she brought home the dorm sized refrigerator she had in her office. Cold beer is so, so good!
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:35 PM   #23
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Great posts, ArkTinkerer,

Nothing more important than a great workshop in retirement. And it looks like you're planning the ultimate shop.

I have spent time in mine almost every day since retiring 4 months ago. I built it in 2000 primarily to store my boat. But I moved the boat to the attached garage and now my workshop is dedicated to my woodworking projects. I've learned a few things about workshops since I built mine.

1. Don't build one that is too small.
2. Don't skimp on the electrical- best if it has it's own service, lots of lighting and receptacles
3. Should have a bathroom.
4. Should have separate areas for woodworking, cars,etc. don't want sawdust in the car area.
5. Floor drains in the car area with ability to wash cars indoors
6. Good heating in areas where you'll be working.
7. Car lift.
8. Lots of storage space, with organized tool storage.
9. Tv, wifi, computer, fridge
10. Security system, cameras.
11. Garage doors at least 8' tall.


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Skip the floor drain in the garage unless you really insist on not sloping the floor to grade outside. By code you can't install a floor drain in a garage where a motor vehicle will be washed or any repairs will ocur and/or a lift or pit is present UNLESS the sanitary drain system discharges directly to an oil and grit interceptor properly sized based on the floor area that the drain serves. Tge oil interceptor will periodically need to be cleaned out much like a septic tank would.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:47 PM   #24
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Skip the floor drain in the garage unless you really insist on not sloping the floor to grade outside. By code you can't install a floor drain in a garage where a motor vehicle will be washed or any repairs will ocur and/or a lift or pit is present UNLESS the sanitary drain system discharges directly to an oil and grit interceptor properly sized based on the floor area that the drain serves. Tge oil interceptor will periodically need to be cleaned out much like a septic tank would.
I seem to remember all this being true. I remember proposing a floor drain for my attached garage in 1993 and it was disallowed by the county. Now my BIL builds a new pole barn (in a different county) and he was allowed a floor drain. Maybe it's allowed for an outbuilding in an agriculture zone.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:38 PM   #25
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Still working on my drawings. Mean-time--did anyone else here actually build their own shop just before or during retirement? By that I mean, at a minimum, act as their own contractor or at least architect? Any pointers of what to watch out for? Would you do it again?
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:49 AM   #26
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I built my own, but not just before or during retirement. I built mine about 15 years ago as a detached 2 car garage and it has morphed into my workshop. Did all of the work except the shingles and the electrical service to the building. If I were to do it again, I would make it twice as big. My only advice is to plan for the future needs - space, electrical, maintenance, etc. Have conduits between the house and workshop, use maintenance free materials as much as possible, lots of lighting and outlets, etc
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Old 08-23-2014, 07:36 PM   #27
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Size is a constant refrain on the garage/workshop websites I frequent. Doesn't matter how big it is, it should always have been larger!
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:09 PM   #28
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Don't forget the comfy chairs for people to hang out and shoot the breeze. I had a friend whose workshop was a popular place to work or hang out; his wife complained that nobody would hang out in her sewing room--but
she had no seating for visitors!

*cough, cough* <kegerator> *cough, cough*
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:01 PM   #29
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I was thinking a still but purely for refining essential oils.... yeah right....
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:47 PM   #30
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I was thinking a still but purely for refining essential oils.... yeah right....
Check the state laws. If it is for "personal consumption only" you can distill some I think. At least a lot of people in WV do....
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Old 08-24-2014, 07:01 PM   #31
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I was thinking a still but purely for refining essential oils.... yeah right....
Since I already homebrew and could figure out how to malt stuff like rye and corn really easily, I could pretty definitely run a still at home. I do not. Stupid laws, but it is a stiff federal offense to do so. If you are not selling it, I suspect you would be way, way down the list of things the BATFE cares about, but it would still make me nervous. For similar reasons (plus I do not care for the stuff) you will never catch me growing marijuana plants at home, despite the fact that it is legal in my state.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:57 PM   #32
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You can distill if you pay the man...





From the federal website:


Under Federal rules administered by TTB, it depends on how you use the still. You may not produce alcohol with these stills unless you qualify as a distilled spirits plant (see earlier question). However, owning a small still and using it for other purposes is allowed. You should also check with your State and local authorities - their rules may differ.
A still is defined as apparatus capable of being used to separate ethyl alcohol from a mixture that contains alcohol. Small stills (with a cubic distilling capacity of a gallon or less) that are used for laboratory purposes or for distilling water or other non-alcoholic materials are exempt from our rules. If you buy a small still and use it to distill water or extract essential oils by steam or water extraction methods, you are not subject to TTB requirements. If you produce essential oils by a solvent method and you get alcohol as a by-product of your process, we consider that distilling. Even though you are using and recovering purchased alcohol, you are separating the alcohol from a mixture -distilling.
Last reviewed/updated 04/08/2010
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:01 PM   #33
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What the man giveth, the man taketh away...

Spirits
You may not produce spirits for beverage purposes without paying taxes and without prior approval of paperwork to operate a distilled spirits plant. [See 26 U.S.C. 5601 & 5602 for some of the criminal penalties.] There are numerous requirements that must be met that also make it impractical to produce spirits for personal or beverage use. Some of these requirements are filing an extensive application, filing a bond, providing adequate equipment to measure spirits, providing suitable tanks and pipelines, providing a separate building (other than a dwelling) and maintaining detailed records, and filing reports. All of these requirements are listed in 27 CFR Part 19.
Spirits may be produced for non-beverage purposes for fuel use only without payment of tax, but you also must file an application, receive TTB's approval, and follow requirements, such as construction, use, records and reports.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:02 PM   #34
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At least it would be a "separate building"!
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:42 PM   #35
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You got it, AT. The local paper in my state asked the booze authorities if they were concerned about individuals running stills for personal consumption and the response was basically "huh?" The problem is the feds.
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:41 AM   #36
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Moonshine is actually making a comeback here as a niche product sold in liquor stores. Real bootleggers sort of went away, except on reality TV shows. The profit really wasn't there (at least that's what I heard). The increased corn and sugar prices vs the falling cost of booze. More profitable to pick up a welfare check. Do recall them arresting an older couple with a still in the garage a few years back. No claims they were distributing--just had a home still for their own hooch.

Finishing up my drawings and girding my loins to face the planning commissions..
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:28 AM   #37
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Any other items you can think of that allow you to keep doing things in the shop as your body wears out and eyesight degenerates?
Definitely would want one of those central vacuum systems for wood working.

Having a pimped out shop for wood, metal and electronics work is one of my dreams but the neighborhood/home we have isn't conducive to it unless it went into our currently unfinished basement, though that would limit what I could build (would have to fit up the stairway). We have a 3 car garage in name only--once we get both cars in, we barely have room left for garbage cans and lawn mower.

My dream is to have a detached building with workshop on first floor and office on second floor!
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:41 AM   #38
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Definitely would want one of those central vacuum systems for wood working.
One of those would be real nice. I have a portable one now, and it's a pain moving it around, connecting and disconnecting to/from different machines. I also like to run my box fan/furnace filter setup to minimize dust, and I also like to keep the garage door open while woodworking. But today will be a garage door closed day at around 100º heat index.


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My dream is to have a detached building with workshop on first floor and office on second floor!
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