i need shop building ideas please

Guys I'm on vacation all this week and I'm pouring a pad for my new shop. The wife seems to think the front porch ain't such a good place for all my toys so it's time. Anyway, mine will be on the small side, probably just enough room to store the boat and still have room to store and work on the bikes and the kid's little quad, so I'm looking for suggestions. I know a shop is a passionate subject to most guys so let me hear your ideas. Thanks in advance... I even want Gman's ideas (please forgive me man, in all honesty I chuckled at the pic too)


Here are some ideas, hope they are useful; Make a strong ceiling so that you can put seldom used things in the attic. This is also handy if you want to hang a hoist to lift an engine or other heavy stuff in the future (help you hang a new boat motor maybe?). Also save room to hang things on the walls and if possible room for a work bench. Don't forget to plan for a place for the air compressor. If your shop is going to be large enough then it wouldn't hurt to run some pipes along one or both walls with quick connects every few feet so that you can plug an air hose in anywhere you like. If you'll have running water then don't forget the deep tub sink! :) Paint the floor and tilt it towards the door and make the baseboards water resistent. This makes it easier to scrub the floor and hose it out when necessary. Large rolling shelves are nice too. I don't know where you live, but a wall unit air conditioner is a life saver down here (South Florida). That's about all I'm good for at this time of night, good luck!!

Oh, I almost forgot. Have at least a window, or a second door opposite your main door. This makes it easier to air out the fumes if you spill something, start a bike, etc..

[This message has been edited by sirthumpalot (edited 06-10-2001).]

I wish I was getting ready to build my shop. I bought my house in '94 and it has a 20' X 32' shop already built. Trouble is, the thing was built by the original owner and the poor guy knew nothing about building. The guy even laughed about how badly this thing turned out. It's about to collapse now. The only thing I can do is raze it and start anew. At least it has a solid slab to start with. I'll go with a modular unit that I can assemble rather quickly...maybe hire a helper.

Sirthumpalot gives excellent advice. If you can, add at least one really thick beam somewhere in the middle of the shop for mounting a hoist..as SirT meantions. 10' ceilings can be a huge asset...plus a storage area above the ceiling. Yep, that makes for a tall shop. Great idea about running the air lines as well. Lots of flourescent lights. Lots of electrical outlets. AC...ABSOLUTELY! Running water and deep sink...you bet! Draining for cleaning the floor...ditto. Cabinets...shelves...long workbench with vice(s). Geez...I'm getting excited!


Well I wish I had the excellant ideas by the above two but here's a few more.

Size, is there a reason it will be kinda small? If possible GO BIG! You can never get enough shop space. If your gonna spend the bucks in the first place it be better then regretting (small) later. My garage is packed and I want to blow out the back wall, but that's going on the back burner for now.

Some good shelving is a good way to compensate for lack of space. Don't forget about a solvent tank, found one at Harbor Freight for $70.00! Compressor is a must, and if you can get a decent one, the smaller ones work to hard. Depnding on where you live a couple of good overhead fans would be nice to keep air circulating. I wish my garage was better insulated, cuz in AZ it can get about 110 in there! :)

Glad to know you laughed at the pic!

Good Luck with your shop.


1. Slope the floor towards the overhead door and install a drain with grating slightly longer than the width of the overhead. Lets you wash down the floor/bike/car/truck without creating a mess.

2. Build a double wall on the two outside walls leading to the back of the shop eighteen inches deep with each section opening up (swing door or slider). Allows for hidden shelves, Place to hang things out of sight and keeps the shop looking neat and organized.

3. Put the Air Compressor in an insulated room vented to the outside. Cuts down on noise and the airlines can be piped to wherever you desire.

4. Keep the ceiling height at 10’ and build the rafters strong enough that things can be stored there.

5. Finish the walls/ceilings/doors with a surface that can be washed down with a pressure washer in the area you may do any washing.

6. Install outlets that are for outside duty and GFI protect them if they are in a wash down area.

7. Install furnace/AC outside the garage so it doesn’t take away from floor space

8. Run speaker wire to various locations in the ceiling so that Hi-Fi system is hidden and out of the way.

9. Deep 2 bay stainless sink.

10. Locate parts washer under a flip up bench top.

#1, Small refrigerator! Dont want to keep running around for a cold one.

#2, A couple of comfy stools or chairs so you can sit and hang in the man space in comfort. This is YOUR space, make it a luxury shop. After all, where else would you rather be when not on your bike.

#3. Tunes.

Dont forget the White paint andmaybe a Yammy Blue stripe around to break it up.

That is what I did with my garage.

My neighbors thought I was crazy paintin' my garage when I hadn't even finishe the basement!

bBut now they are all wishin they had painted that drab ole' sheet rock with white b4 their wives shoved all her JUNK into "their" space!

I hung peg board on the wall also to hang tools from. pretty trick. POSTERS/trophies and a tune box!

White paint really makes things look larger.

Don't forget to paint the ceiling if you have one!




Damn straigh on the "Their" space. Everything above the basement is her's and everything below is mine. The Man room. If it's a mess, I clean it when I FEEL like it. Sometimes I leave it a mess just becuase I can. My favorite part of the house.

A toast: "happiness to all with their own man room."

I ocassionally let her into my room, but she has hold a wrench, screwdriver or ratchet while in the room or she can't stay.


Lots of good ideas here! I just have a warning about one:


3. Put the Air Compressor in an insulated room vented to the outside. Cuts down on noise and the airlines can be piped to wherever you desire.


Great idea to keep the compressor where the noise is supressed, BUT be sure that the area is ventilated well! Compressing air creates a lot of heat. Combine that with the heat of the compressor motor and that adds up to a lot of heat that you need to get rid of, especially during extended continuous use. Don't want to overheat that compressor! Also be sure that the area is large enough for you to get to the water drain easily.


All of the above and a couple more.

1. Lights !!!!!!!!!!! as many as you can. The brighter the better. Most who visit MaicoWorld always comment on how well lit it is.

2. Swamp cooler WITH full A/C . depending on the humidity factor of where you live, the swamp cooler saves big bucks on dry days, but you can switch to AC on muggy days. Swamper also can serve as an exhaust fan.

3. Floor paint or even some type of floor covering.

4. Ignore G-Man, his double wide blew away during our last monsoon, and he is living out of his van :)

All good ideas thanks. I posted this same question last fall when I thought I was gonna start but this time I really am gonna build it. The small size is mainly a cost concern, and it doesn't really matter anyway because I will probably junk up a 100 X 100 if I had one that big hehe. Somebody here said something about a hoist (I think it was Boit), and it sounded like a good idea but I can't remember the details. I'm in Oklahoma and summers get brutal here, so A/C will be in it. What is a swamp cooler? The smaller size I think will keep the elec bills down and I already thought about a trophy wall, my son and I are getting a good stack of them and it's a shame they can't be displayed somewhere. I like the idea about making the girls hold an old greasy wrench, that should keep them out. I'm thinking a checkerboard type tile floor, and I have a brain-shaking sound system ready to go... Thanks again. I better get out there and finish raking, it'll never get done if I sit here in the cool behind this machine...


A swamp cooler is AKA as an " evaporate cooler".

Its nothing more than a large fan blowing air through a bunch of wet paper pads. poor man's AC :)

The one in my 28 x 40 barn can keep the temp down to 70 deg., even if it's over 110 outside.

It also cost just a fraction to run vs. an AC unit.

Here's the down side , if the dew point is above a certain point ( 50 % ????) , you might as well turn if off, because you'll feel like your in a " Swamp"

Good luck

Lots and lots of electrical outlets.

Plumb air pipe from your comprssor to spots around the bldg.

Tear down area where you can keep the dirt, oil and grease away from clean areas. Also have a drain in that area so you can hose it down with gunk and clean up.

How about a spray booth?

And buld your wife her own storage shed and show her how to stack boxes. Otherwise every time you go into the garage to work you will spend and hour cleaning up things too useless to have in the house but "too valuable to throw away".


Rich aka "hodaphile"

'96 KTM 300 EXC (D/S)

'87 Suzuki LT250R Glamis pimp machine- Chrome!

Too many Hodakas to count


Two things that have been mentioned, but maybe here in a different way.

Outlets--one of those hanging retractable extension cords mounted in you're central work zone can replace 3-5 outlets. It can always extend to you're work area, and retracts neatly when done.

Right next to it, put a hanging retractable troublelight :)

Both can be had for about $25 at Sears.

First thing make a plan !

Figure out where you want your stuff, bikes,roll away tool box,etc. then sink anchors in the concrete to chain up "eveything", make everything secure. Windows, dont just throw in a window on a blind side for theives, make them visible then add bars, bar man doors,overhead doors. Make you overhead door so people cant see in from the street. Dont show everyone your toys keep it to yourself the fewer people know what you have the better it is. I built a 28 X 56 and use 24 x 28 for my lil bike shop the size seems to be working out ok. Dont forget your plan it'll tell you where you need lights & plugs. I took 6" channel used for metal joist in comm. buildings and made stands to roll the bike up on 18" off the floor these things work perfect to get the bike eye level to work on, and on and on and on I'll shut up now.



I am very surprised with all you guys - you all left out the most important part - the beer fridge. :)

[This message has been edited by Odie (edited 06-12-2001).]

No we didn't, it in there.

"Bars on the windows and doors"

Whoa! If you gotta do that, you may be better off looking for a new neighborhood to live in.

I ocassionally let her into my room, but she has hold a wrench, screwdriver or ratchet while in the room or she can't stay.

Mike68, you're too funny! I wonder what your wifes version of this is!?


00 YZ426F

01 TT-R125L (my son's)

91 CR125

83 YZ490

74 Hodaka Super Combat(gone but not forgotten!)

[This message has been edited by dirtdad (edited 06-12-2001).]

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