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Thread: Contemplating a basement shop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Contemplating a basement shop

    Just purchased my dads house which we built in 1980. It's an English Tudor style and in need of a major remodel. Currently my shop is located at my construction yard where my concrete business is. It's about 1800 sq. feet but the shape(configuration) is too long and narrow.

    I'm thinking of building my shop at my house which would involve putting it under the house and have retaining walls on three sides with the front wall being traditional framing. The ceiling of the shop would probably be concrete poured in place (post tension) which would be the main floor of the house above.

    I'm wondering if it's worth it? Looking for input on the pros and cons. I should mention it not a location like Marty's that's why it has to be kind of like a walk out basement. I have 1 acre and the city is difficult to deal with. I would have to show on the plans for the shop would be a garage not a wood shop. I can probably get 200amps for the shop and run a phase converter. Most of my equipment is 3 phase. I'm looking at trying to make it some where between 40-45 feet wide and 50 -60 feet long. There is already an existing office that I could use which would be adjacent to the new shop.

    I'm meeting with an architect Monday and kind of need to have a direction to go in. Any input would be appreciated.


    Doug

  2. #2
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    Errr, so is this a remodel or a tear-down

    Is there no basement there presently? And if you're talking about pouring a new main floor I'm just wondering how much of the main house is going to be left!

  3. #3
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    I with Art and scratching my head. If I have follow you it sounds EXTREMELY expensive to me. So, I will disregard the construction part.

    I have a basement shop, more or less daylight basement. I can drive a car in it. I love mine. The only problem(s) are minor. At the end of the day the stairs get old. I had to do spiral stair case to fit in a stairway in the plan. The noise doesn't bother my wife except when I am planing with dull blades or really hard wood. Other than that I don't have a complaint about it.

    It stays cooler and warmer than a free standing shop. Takes very little to heat or cool it. I love the fact that I can pull a vehicle inside when needed. If we ever build another I would do it again in a heart beat.

    Jeff
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post
    Errr, so is this a remodel or a tear-down

    Is there no basement there presently? And if you're talking about pouring a new main floor I'm just wondering how much of the main house is going to be left!
    Art it would involve tearing down about 1/3 of the house so the shop could be put underneath. Currently there is no floor for the future shop.If I don't put the shop underneath I will still probably tear that part of the house down anyway to improve the layout/style of the house. The rest of the 2/3 will also be changed dramatically. It will be going from english tudor to tuscan style architecture which does involve roof changes etc.


    Doug

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    I with Art and scratching my head. If I have follow you it sounds EXTREMELY expensive to me. So, I will disregard the construction part.

    I have a basement shop, more or less daylight basement. I can drive a car in it. I love mine. The only problem(s) are minor. At the end of the day the stairs get old. I had to do spiral stair case to fit in a stairway in the plan. The noise doesn't bother my wife except when I am planing with dull blades or really hard wood. Other than that I don't have a complaint about it.

    It stays cooler and warmer than a free standing shop. Takes very little to heat or cool it. I love the fact that I can pull a vehicle inside when needed. If we ever build another I would do it again in a heart beat.

    Jeff
    Jeff this kind of goes hand in hand with remodeling the house. Whether I do the shop or not the house remodel will be major and expensive. I will do as much of the work as possible while still living in the house. I will be able to drive in the front of the shop or it will be called like you say a daylight basement. But for city approval purposes I will call it a garage/storage/basement etc.

    I've heard good and bad about having a shop at home, just trying to make the right move.

    Doug

  6. #6
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    Doug,

    I won't even venture to discuss the scope of the 'remodel' you're planning. But from my previous shops, I will say that GOOD dust collection goes a long way to maintaining peace and harmony with LOYL. My 'shop' in Arizona made it easier to keep the main house clean, since it had a mudroom between the shop and the house. I'd make a point of blowing myself off before I left the shop, and then I'd finish the tidying up in the mudroom before entering the house.

    I'm glad to see you say you'll be able to drive into the shop. The very first thing that I thought of when I read this thread was..."how on earth will Doug move all the HUGE equipment into a basement shop???". I guess you'll be bringing a forklift home, huh?

    Oh, and a concrete ceiling for the shop (and floor for the living area) should do a fine job of isolating the noise you'll be making!

    Good luck, and let's see some plans as they come together.

    Heck, the scope of what you're talking about would make a great shop build thread. It'd be stuff most of us would never see otherwise!!!

    - Marty -
    Fivebraids, Inc.
    When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, thereís no end to what you canít doÖ

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Walsh View Post
    Doug,

    I won't even venture to discuss the scope of the 'remodel' you're planning. But from my previous shops, I will say that GOOD dust collection goes a long way to maintaining peace and harmony with LOYL. My 'shop' in Arizona made it easier to keep the main house clean, since it had a mudroom between the shop and the house. I'd make a point of blowing myself off before I left the shop, and then I'd finish the tidying up in the mudroom before entering the house.

    I'm glad to see you say you'll be able to drive into the shop. The very first thing that I thought of when I read this thread was..."how on earth will Doug move all the HUGE equipment into a basement shop???". I guess you'll be bringing a forklift home, huh?

    Oh, and a concrete ceiling for the shop (and floor for the living area) should do a fine job of isolating the noise you'll be making!

    Good luck, and let's see some plans as they come together.

    Heck, the scope of what you're talking about would make a great shop build thread. It'd be stuff most of us would never see otherwise!!!

    - Marty -
    Thanks for the input Marty I appreciate it. That's one thing I dread is moving all the equipment

    Mostly I don't know what direction my concrete business will take me since we specialize in commercial work and it looks like there maybe a slowdown in the future. I just don't see the demand for 500,000 sq. foot buildings increasing in So. Cal anytime soon. That was my whole reasoning for the shop in the first place.

    I bought the house with intentions of staying put for a while and figure it would be a good permanant place for the shop. Cost wise it will increase the concrete portion of the remodel and obviously the electrical. But as far as framing, and other stuff that increase will be attributed to the remodel.


    Doug

  8. #8
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    One acre? Seems to me that an outbuilding, like a large garage would be the happier and less expensive solution. With you being in the concrete business, what you describe is probably not as daunting to you as it would be for others. I'd still go with an above ground wood structure.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  9. #9
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    Makes sense now. So Cal location explains a lot too. Around here with our prices what you are talking about is unheard of. Teardown would be cheaper.

    Back to the basement, I love mine. Would do it again. Only thing I might do different and not sure if the cost would be worth it. I might make my ceiling higher so I could put in an acoustical tile ceiling. My wife never complains and says the noise is not a problem, expect the planner. But if I could quieten it up I probably would.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  10. #10
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    Floydada, Tx
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    It sounds like it will workout for you going with underground. Jus make sure you raise the height of the ceiling to aleast 9'. This will make it much more comfortable when trying to swing boards around.

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