Building a Workshop

Building a workshop takes good planning, especially since most home DIY workshops are working with a space that is smaller than an optimum size.

Work shop layout becomes super important in this type of situation, so careful planning and expert advice are big assets to help you maximize your shop work space potential.

  • Avoid the most common mistakes when setting up a DIY workshop and save hassle, money and time.
  • Estimate the cost before you build too so there's no surprises and get tips on the best tools to buy. 
  • Also find discounts on tools where you may get them cheaper than Lowe's or Home Depot.
  • 20 years of experience to help you with all kinds of tips on working with wood, tools and shop efficiency.

There are tools that are great for the money out there and there are tools that are just a waste of money. 


Battery powered tools are very convenient.

Newer models last a long time between charges if you buy a good quality one and they save you the cord hassle.

Building A Workshop The Right Way

Suggestions included in this guide on building a work shop the right way include:

  • Tool selection - don't waste money but don't overspend either.
  • Where to get the best price on hand tools.
  • Where to get the best price on power tools
  • How to make your tools last longer.
  • A Rolodex of suppliers that give big discounts on hand tools and power tools.
  • Ideas for the layout of your shop (even for a 10' x 10' space)
  • Lighting & soundproofing your shop.
  • Where to get low noise level tools.
  • Dealing with heating, cooling ventilation and dust.
  • Safety - many shops are a hazard waiting to happen. Set it up so the hazards will be a minimum. Tool heat and sawdust, sharp objects and hands, tools and electricity, there are a lot of hazards in a congested shop.

A great DIY guide for setting up an efficient shop and a fantastic guide for those thousands of home handymen building a work shop who don't have much shop space to work with.

Avoid costly mistakes and use the over 20 years experience behind this DIY Ultimate Small Shop Guide.

Set up your own personal space where you can leave the rat race behind. You may even end up doing what many other small shop owners have done. Create gifts and woodcrafts for others and make extra money and some have even made a full-time living from what started as a spare time hobby.


This image isn't a complete work shop setup, but it was created by someone who likes to do simple jobs and repairs.

Notice the organization of the items on both walls.

That's how a good shop should be organized.

Building Your Own Shed for A Workshop

If you don't have any type of structure for your workshop and want to create that too, then you may be thinking of buying or building your own small shed that you can turn into a workshop.

That's another option that many DIY woodworkers others have followed and if you're a DIY guy, then you probably want to build your own.

Building codes and regulations are different in every town, so make sure to do some research before building your shed! 

The are two common ways of building a shed foundation. One is pouring a concrete foundation and the other is using pressure treated lumber set on cement blocks and a gravel bed under the blocks, although some don't use a gravel bed.

If built right, a concrete foundation won't move much but a shed set on blocks may do some settling the first couple of years, especially if you're in a climate where temperatures go below freezing for part of the year.

Are You Building A Work Shop
to Be Permanent?

The advantage of using blocks for your foundation is that it's much quicker and easier to set up than pouring a concrete foundation. It's also easier to pick up and move your shed eliminating any trace of it being there if it's on blocks. A poured concrete foundation is harder to remove and more work and money to build in the first place.

Some people just convert their garage into a workshop. You still need to plan an efficient layout since most garages aren't that big either, but if you are building a separate building for your workshop, you also need to plan for other things.

What about electric power? Many people try to run their shop by running extension cords which is a terrible idea. It's not very safe since regular cords aren't designed to carry a lot of electrical load and they can get too hot. Long cords that are under a lot of electrical load can build up a lot of heat.

This can also make your tools run hotter. Tools are designed to run efficiently at certain voltages and if the voltage is too low, the tools are less efficient and run hotter decreasing their life. 

Also, larger power tools can put more demand on electrical circuits. If you try to run your shop with extension cords, you may be tripping breakers constantly and running to your house to reset breakers. Constantly overheating breakers from tripping also decreases their lifespan.

Extension cords can get hot if they are constantly carrying a heavier electrical load than they were designed for. Hot wires can cause fires.******

If your shop is separate from your house, running an electrical service to your shop is safer and you will always have enough electrical potential to handle any tools. Depending on your situation, you may be able to run the service from your house electrical panel.

If your shop is part of your house, for example; your garage, you may need to add more electrical outlets to handle your tools. Make sure your house panel has the capacity you need.

Considering your electrical needs are one of the most important things when building a work shop.

Building A Convenient Work Shop

There are other things you might want to consider too in building a work shop.

Do you plan on staying where you live for a long time. Do you want some simple conveniences like a coffee maker, a small fridge or a place to sit down and relax once in a while?

The amount of space you have available will dictate what options you can incorporate into your DIY workshop.


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