# Shop Requirements

Discussion in 'Workshop Tips and Secrets / Tools' started by Mike Armstrong, Mar 9, 2007.

1. Mar 9, 2007

### Mike Armstrong

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I’m about to remodel my home and that includes adding on an attached garage (shop J). Living in So. Cal. the available property space to build on is limited (read: the large spacious shop I really want aint gonna happen here) so the dimensions of the garage will be 20x22ft. I’m still in the planning stages so what I need, knowing this will be a shop specifically for building a kitplane, is what kinds of things I should be telling the contractor to include in the construction. I would like this shop both wood and metal kitplane construction friendly for the option of selecting different kit projects in the future. I’m not needing a list of shop tools (yet) as much as what needs to be included in the construction of the shop itself. I would really appreciate advice from those that have homebuilt as to what kinds of things are a ‘must have’ or ‘nice to have’ for the homebuilders shop to have built in such as,

1) Sound deadening materials in the walls and/or roof? (riveting noise ect.)
2) Electrical requirements? (access, machine/tool, arc welding ect.)
3) Ventilation? (paint, chemicals, sealants ect.)
4) Lighting? (overall)
5) ?

What would you include in the construction of your shop if you were to do it all over again? What is the one thing or things that you wish you had already built in? Thanks

Mike

Last edited: Mar 9, 2007
2. Mar 10, 2007

### jimw

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Mike,

I have been in home construction for over 30 years and am also in the process of building a plans built plane in too small of a garage in CA. I know what I would do if it were me.

First, for sound deadening, regular fiberglass insulation and sheetrock are cheap to install and will do a fair job protecting your neighbors from rivet noise, etc. Weatherstripping around your other doors and windows will help as well. Single pane glass transmits sound pretty well so you might want to leave it out of the overhead door. You could apply something over the sheetrock but it will catch alot of dust and most of the foam materials used in music studios are very flammable so I personally don't think it is worth it.

I would want two 220 volt outlets. One to run a large compressor and another to run welders. I prefer twist-lock plugs on all of my equipment. Other than that, I would have two 110 volt circuits for plugs at 42" off the floor and scattered around on all walls. You never know where you might park a power tool or have a workbench.

Ventilation concerns could open a whole can of worms. Whatever you ventilate out your neighbors are likely to smell. For woodworking, there are some pretty good dust collection and air filtration options. A large collector hooked to your power tools would require a third 220 volt outlet but it's going to eat up alot of precious floor space. You could look into some of the ceiling hung air flitration systems for woodworking. For chemicals and paint, I would probably install an exhaust fan ducted to the outdoors and approved for use with flammables. WW Grainger should have some options. Your contractor can buy from them.

For lighting, nothing is cheaper to buy or run than flourescent fixtures. I would suggest two long rows of two tube 4' fixtures and paint the walls and ceiling a semigloss white to bounce the light around.

Beyond that, You will be spilling things on the floor so I wouldn't bother epoxy painting it. Windows are nice for natural light but the more you install, the more noise is going to escape your new workspace. Since you are in SoCal, you have no need for heat and the insulation will help keep it cool. Of course you couldn't do too much in the way of storage but you really don't want any internal posts or walls restricting how you use the space. If it were me designing my own workspace, I would include on sizable parrallam beam to span the width of the garage and only a short distance from the door to hoist an engine into place when the time comes. Your contractor could attach an HD type hold down fitting upside down to the beam and stick a big welded eyebolt through it before the sheetrock goes up. This would allow you to hang a chain hoist or come-a-long to that spot when needed.

Hope that helps.

3. Mar 10, 2007

### gahan

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morning, size wise you have a decent shop or a great garadge, as you are in sunny southern Cal. try to leave a lot of acess to overhead , in the trusses to stash big parts as they are completed.

4. Mar 10, 2007

### RonL

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In addition to what jimw said about the hoist, i would build in,(due to limited hieght) a rail at least 4' long, and best all the way across the shop, so that the hoist can be moved a little one way or the other, at that time when things are not lined up just right.

RonL

5. Mar 10, 2007

### Mike Armstrong

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Thanks guys, I really appreciate it.
Great suggestions! I hadn't thought at all about hanging the engine and besides the beam, the rail is a great idea. Also, I forgot about where those nasty fumes are gonna go once my nifty exhaust system blows it out of the shop. I'll have to think that one over. I often read about the noise of compressors and riveting guns. I'm wondering, and thats why I ask you guys, should there be more than insulation and sheet rock in the walls? Thanks again

Mike

6. Mar 10, 2007

### jimw

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You could put soundboard behind the sheetrock for very little expense. You would find it in places like Home Depot. People tend to use it as cheap bulletin boards. It would reduce the transfer of noise through the studs but your biggest transmitter will be through windows and doors.

7. Mar 10, 2007

### orion

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Insulating for noise is not necessarily a one solution fits all sort of problem. Certain noises can be attenuated by standard insulation while others easily transmit through. The typical "high impact" or high frequency noises of air compressors, rivet guns and air powered tools are difficult to keep within your confines since all typical insulation does is try to dampen the passage of the energy. The best solution tends to be not to let the energy in the wall space in the first place.

The best example of this is your typical apartment residence, where you might have a substantial amount of the sound insulation between the units, and yet it still feels at times like your neighbors are actually your room-mates. The only times where units are truly isolated are in more modern buildings where due to fire codes, each unit actually has a structural concrete enclosure surrounding it.

A friend of mine had a shop constructed of concrete blocks - even when he had his air compressor on, stereo blasting and was grinding away with his die-grinder, standing five feet or so away from the building you did not know he was even in there. The only sound came through under the door. The door itself was a steel cased unit so it too did not pass much sound though - just reflected it back inside. The building had no windows in the shop area so it was a really well enclosed and sound-proof volume.

As such, you could build your walls from construction block and solve your problem that way. Failing that, you could do a combination of solutions, the chief component of which would be 1/2" cement board under the sheet rock. Sheet rock and soundboard products are not very good insulators for the type of noise we're discussing - you need something with a higher density that wont allow the energy to penetrate and the cement board is a nice simple alternative to stacking concrete blocks or bricks.

The total construction then would be (from the inside wall) Sheetrock, cement board, studs and conventional fiberglass insulation, the shear material like OSB, and your siding. Additional sound deadening could be realized if your outer wall is stucco. If you're really concerned about neighbors, this bit of extra work could certainly alleviate problems down your construction road. Also, don't skimp on your shop door. One I built several years back was constructed almost like the wall I just described. It was split vertically down the middle and each half pivoted off to the side. Due to the weight, it did have built-in casters.

8. Mar 10, 2007

### Mike Armstrong

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Thanks Orion. Since most garages/home work shops have no ceiling but instead have open rafters, what do you think about 'sound deadoning' materials also in the roof, or is that overkill?

Last edited: Mar 10, 2007
9. Mar 10, 2007

### orion

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Depends on whether you might have two story houses next to you or not. Also, if there is any elevation between yourself and your neighbors the sound through the roof will be heard higher up.

If you have open rafters then I would certainly consider a similar construction to that I mentioned since plywood and 3-tab are not insulation in this sense. If however you enclose your shop (Sheetrock the ceiling), I'd guess that between the thicker Sheetrock (ceilings usually need to be of thicker material than walls) and the fiberglass batting right on top, coupled with the sizable airspace (allows passed sound to dissipate a bit) between the batting and the roof, you might be OK. You may also consider using SIPS (structural insulated panels) for your ceiling/roof. The thick Styrofoam core and the OSB facing sheets would also make for pretty good sound attenuation.

Personally, I would try to address this somehow since doing what's necessary in construction is easier up front than later.

10. Mar 11, 2007

### Mike Armstrong

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Agreed, thanks.

11. Mar 11, 2007

### cgwendling

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I would skip the overhead carry beam in lew of an automotive type shop crane. It will be cheaper and more versitile. That being said, if the roof is high enough I would have the trusses designed with storage in mind. One can never have enough places to put things.:grin: If you are able to go with overhead storage, make sure the hole is going to be large enough for, let's say a wing. Getting my wings out of the way was a good thing! (I've had to fix my wings twice because I wasn't paying attention) I mounted a 1/2 ton chain hoist above the hole to assist in lifting things up there.
I also mounted, up in the attic, my compressor, dust collector, parts & jig rack, and storage shelves for little used tools, misc.
I also bought a 8x12 garden shed to get all of the yard tools, bikes, and misc clutter out of the garage.
Working out of your garage is all about clutter management. There were days where I had one foot path to my work bench. I got sick of it so I put the plane aside for two months, remodeled my rafters, and got all of the household stuff out of the way. I look forward to going out there to work now.

12. Mar 11, 2007

### jimw

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Mike,

I spend alot of time with building inspectors and planning departments in CA. There are some obvious constraints to what you can build here, especially if you are in an urban neighborhood. If not, I don't think you would have brought up the noise issue. Your shop exterior will undoubtedly need to match your house in roof pitch and exterior materials. Block walls would probably be ruled out for appearance reasons and would be too costly here. The amount of rebar in a block wall building here would build quite a few cars. If you have a stucco exterior on your house, then it makes sense on the garage.

The span of your roof is either 20 or 22'. In order to omit any kind of post, your contractor will probably use a simple truss. A fairly normal house pitch would have a rise of 4, 5, or 6' in a 12' span. This means that after you install trusses across the span, there is pitifully little storage room in the "attic" area between and through the trusses. The sound loss to me is too much of a penalty to not have a sheetrock ceiling with insulation. The gain in cleanliness and light reflection is also very significant with sheetrock. Have all of your sheetrock firetaped. Get as much plate height (headroom) as you can without your garage looking out of place next to your house and in your neighborhood. If you wanted the feel of more room, you could ask your contractor to price scissor trusses allowing for a vaulted ceiling inside. Depending on your earthquake zone, the SIPS panels Orion mentioned may not fly as a construction method here.

I respectfully disagree with Orion about the worthiness of soundboard. It is very cheap to buy and install and it does produce enough results to warrant it. I agree with Orion about his door idea. Getting away from an overhead door will help with headroom. The construction of this door is one of the places it is worth spending extra money. You could really do a bang-up job of weatherstripping and have rigid foam insuation sandwiched in the doors. This would help with noise alot.

I disagree with CG about the merits of the overhead beam. I would pick an overhead attachment point or points over a tripod on the floor anyday. This esentially is going to cost you the price of a 4X8 parralam sitting on top of the wall plates with a 4X4 post under each end buried in the walls. That should be enough to hoist most aircraft engines. If you think you need more beef, you could switch to a 6X8 and 4X6 posts. Another place to spend a few bucks might be insulated windows. These aren't typically very common in a garage in CA but it would help with sound. You might want to omit putting windows on a wall adjacent to your neighbor.

If your neighbor's bedroom window is just 6' away from your new workshop on the other side of the fence, then it would merit taking more measures than I mentioned here. I can dig up a website for materials they use in music studios that apply over sheetrock walls. As I mentioned before, most of these materials are highly flammable so I would stay away from them unless you have a real problem.

Here on our project, we are pretty careful about using power tools past 8PM due to the close proximity of our neighbors. Some thought into hours of high noise work might save you some headache down the road.

Hope this helps.

Jim

13. Mar 11, 2007

### Mike Armstrong

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"Have the trusses designed with storage in mind", great idea CG. Since most trusses nowadays (at least here in CA) are made to order, why not let the contractor know your intention of overhead storage right off the bat, I like it. Also, I like the idea of locating your compressor out of the way in the attic. Thanks

14. Mar 11, 2007

### Mike Armstrong

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Jim, you've made some excellent points. My house roff is made up of 4:12 pitches. I like the vaulted ceiling for more headroom but with my garage dimension being rather small I'm afraid I would lose too much overhead storage. I will probably sound proof the ceiling, if anything else it will be for peace of mind. I dont like noisy neighbors anymore than the next guy and I dont want to become one. For you guys lucky enough to live more out in the 'sticks', here in Carlsbad, you have to maintain a setback of 10% of your property width (mine is 55ft, so 5 1/2 feet, thats considered wide:shock: ) and/or only 10ft from your nieghbors house, thats how close here in CA the houses are so noise suppression is pretty important.

Last edited: Mar 11, 2007
15. Mar 11, 2007

### wally

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reading everyone's comments reminded me of a shop I saw. One end was enclosed into an office area, insulated and finished. The rest of the shop had a vaulted ceiling. This allowed for easy access to the whole area above the office for storage. The open shop area roof may have been larger/taller than you have room for tho.
Wally

16. Mar 12, 2007

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