Tell me about your shop


El Destructo!
It looks like we will be lucky enough to build a house & shop starting this spring so as I plan this thing out I am looking for some feedback. Dealing with sone covenants that will limit the size and height but i should be able to pull off 35'x50' with 12' walls.

So what do you wish you had done better in your shop?
What did you forget to plan for?
What tool or device did you fail to make plans for?

Part of the shop will just be for storage of cars 20'x35'x10' likely with a storage room over the top. The remaining 35'x30' will be for "projects".



Well-Known Member
my shop....84,89runner 015.jpg84,89runner 016.jpg
foot print to small, 50x18
roof too low, 10 feet, 2 post lift is out side and i hate it,
overhead door not insulated.
and right now its way to freeking cold!!!!!
I am a tool and parts horder, i am not a farmer so i hate to store anything out side, so it is tight, wall space? not enough..
i keep telling my self that if i had more room it would be all cool and organized...NO, i am a slob.
on the plus side all the LED lighting is sweet!!


when in doubt, upgrade!
So Jordan, Utah
I am currently shop less, but a couple of things that I loved in my last shop.

Epoxy Floor, something awesome about easy clean ups.
LOTs of power 110 and 220, it was always easy to plug something in.
Tall Door, it was always nice to back a rig on a trailer in for storage or just to unload. (with 12' wall it sound like you have this covered.
220 Compressor in a separate room, It was still noisy but a 100% better than in the same shop area.
Shop Fridge and Microwave- Self-explanatory
Work Benches... I am getting too old to work on the floor...

Things that I have seen/want in my next shop
Hot Water and Drain inside. It is nice to sprinkle some tide on the floor hit is with some hot water and broom and have a super clean shop again.
Dirty room for welding and grinding, away from the boats/nicer toys/cars...
Lights mounted low on the wall, my buddy has this and it is sooo nice when wrenching to flip a switch vs dragging a cord...
Its been mentioned but after working with a lift, I REALLY want one.

That is all off the top of my head, but I will be watching this closely, I need to get off my butt and build a new shop. I like your idea of loft/storage room already. :)


I hate Jeeps
Pleasant Grove
2x6 walls. Insulate the crap out of it. Hot water would be nice.
I'll echo lots of outlets. I have 30 in my 25x40. I'd go 14` walls so I could do a 6' loft but sounds like you can't go that high.
2x as many lights as you think should be just right.
No trowled expansion joints in the floor, have them all cut. That way they don't catch your creeper wheels. On the floor, I'd seriously look at radiant heat if I built again. It would be soooo nice to lay/stand on a warm floor.


Jeepless in Draper
Supporting Member
Draper, UT
Paint every inch of wall and ceiling bright white, far cheaper than 2x the light fixtures and almost as bright.
12'+ ceilings will keep you cooler in the summer.
Most important: computer and Internet access for streaming audio and how-to vids on YouTube.
HF TIG does not always play well with WiFi so I ran hardwire.
Shop audio gear for the above mentioned streaming audio. A have a receiver I bought in 1991 and some garage sale speakers.
I have a friend that separated 1 bay of a 3 bay garage with a wall that stops 4' above the floor. You gain most of the wall space but can still shove equipment through/under the wall into the two car side to use when needed.
Drum style door that doesn't block the lights when open.


I hate Jeeps
Pleasant Grove
Good point on the paint Frieed. Also use exterior paint so you can be more liberal with your application of water to clean the walls.


Currently without Jeep
So Jo, Ut
Tallest walls and garage door possible. My door is like 8” shy of my camper being able to fit :(

I’d LOVE it to be taller to handle a lift, if not, I would do a pit for under car repairs.

I have recently learned that insulation is super super important.


My frame of reference comes from having a 40 x 40 shop with 10' ceilings and a 8' tall garage door. I wish I had a 2 post lift, which means the concrete floor needs to be poured thick enough to hold a 2 post lift and the ceiling needs to be 12' minimum. (There are 2 post lifts that would work with 10', but you're limited to how high up you can go.) Now you don't have to put a lift in right away, but if you plan right, you will always have the option in the future.

I wish I had running water and a bathroom, just a sink and toilet would be awesome. Having a big utility sink would be very nice for cleaning up parts.

Plan for heating and cooling.... a minisplit A/C with a heat pump seems to be a good solution and its probably what I'll be adding in the near future. I have a wood burning stove for heat, but think I'll swap it to a pellet stove with a big hopper and thermostat to control it. If I could maintain my shop at 55-60*'s thru the winter, then turn it up when I'm in there, I'd be a happy man. The wood burning stove needs to be constantly fed & adjusted. If your shop is too cold or hot, you won't want to spend too much time in it. A big ceiling fan would be nice for moving air around, too.

As mentioned, lots of outlets (110 & a handful of 220), LED lighting, epoxy sealed floor, caulked joints, etc.

Plan on a place for storage in the shop, lots of big, heavy duty shelving. If you're going to have a big air compressor, find somewhere that you can put it where noise from it running will be minimal. Either outside in a covered storage area or inside in a well ventilated & insulated room. Speaking of a air compressor, if you have air, make a plan to run 1 or 2 lines around the shop so you can plug in at different places, not drag a 50' air hose all over the place.

If I were to build a shop from the ground, up I'd strongly consider using ICF's (insulated concrete forms). You end up with a very strong structure that is well insulated and blocks much noise from inside and out. ICF's are a little more expensive than traditional wood framing, but you can set the ICF's yourself and save money. They're like big Lego blocks! I do love @glockman suggestion of a heated floor! A water heater, glycol and PEX tubing would make that pretty easy to plan out before pouring your slab.

If you have the room on your property, add covered storage by extending the roof on at least one end/side of the shop. It's so nice to have a covered area for anything/everything. I have a 15 x 40 long covered area and it's been great.

Pile of parts

Well-Known Member
South Jordan
Lots of good advice in this thread. As was said, a bathroom would be really nice. Due to the layout of my lot and location of the water and sewer, I decided it would be easier to use the 1/2 bath right off the kitchen going through deck door. At least it's all tile that way so if I'm a mess, clean up is not an issue.

About the only thing I can add is, build it to the max. I figure I'll never wish it was smaller and never want to regret that I didn't make it bigger so I built it to the maximum the city would allow. Mine is 32' deep x 40' wide. Because of size, easements, and distances off property lines this is what I ended up with. Also, like Greg said, due to lot layout my garage door access was going to be a little inaccessible. So I designed it with one BIG door. That's a 12' x 24' door. I think a roll up door would be ideal, to not block light when open, and probably would have looked that way if the door wasn't so big.

I have 14' walls with scissor trusses so it's about 18' - 19' in the center.

Radiant heat will be nice! I'm to the point of installing the boiler or water heater. Haven't decided which direction I'm going. I planned ahead and left a section down the center so I can bolt down lift to anything else in the floor.

I have built mine myself, with a lot of help from friends. The only part I didn't do we're the floor and stucco. Kind of fun leaning new things.

I'm just over a year building mine. All I have left is mud, tape, and paint. Not too bad for after work and Saturdays as my schedule allows.

One question I have for the epoxy floor suggestions, does welding and grinding tear it up? I like the idea of easy cleanup but not if it's going to bubble and peel. Maybe I'll leave a section unfinished where I figure the majority of that kind of work is done.IMG_20181229_190217489.jpgIMG_20181229_190126170.jpg



Currently without Jeep
So Jo, Ut
We had heated floors in a shop I worked at during high school. It was really nice, until we installed new post lifts and drilled through the water lines in the concrete! Oops.

I Lean

Mbryson's hairdresser
Supporting Vendor
One question I have for the epoxy floor suggestions, does welding and grinding tear it up? I like the idea of easy cleanup but not if it's going to bubble and peel. Maybe I'll leave a section unfinished where I figure the majority of that kind of work is done.
I haven't had any real issues with my epoxy. Grinding sparks don't seem to do anything to it unless you're directing those sparks at a certain area, and only if you're close to the ground. Welding doesn't do much if you're doing it right--big globs of molten metal are what will burn through. That CAN happen with welding, (hopefully not though), but it pretty common torching/plasma cutting stuff off of axles or frames. I have a piece of sheetmetal I'll put under what I'm working on, when I'm doing that.

Other than that, only upsides--it makes the space look brighter, if you use a light color. Water doesn't soak in, so it dries faster. (I also have a floor squeegee I use to "sweep" water out) Oil doesn't soak in, you just wipe it up.

I can't add too much to what's already been suggested. My ceilings are just a tad too low, about 11.5'. I had to put in a baseplate lift because of that. My overhead door (10x16) further limits how high I can lift a vehicle, if I want to open the door. I can raise it higher if I commit to keeping the door closed.

Probably the best thing I did for my shop, is to have the compressor in a separate building. :)


I have a large sheetmetal oil drip pan that I use when I'm doing a lot of torching to protect the epoxy, I've used it for the plasma and heavy grinding, too... makes cleanup much easier.



Active Member
Twin Falls, ID
Can't recommend the in floor heating enough, it makes a huge difference in winter wrenching. It also, overall, makes the place cheaper to heat, and it is possible to add in a wood or oil burning heater.
This is something that you can add during the planning/construction process, but can't do later. Even if you don't have any plans of immediately adding a boiler, at least run the PEX in the slab so it can be just hooked up later. Take good pics of it so you know where it is for later equipment anchoring.


I'd recommend the gear driven door openers. They leave the center area above the vehicle open and not height restricted which works great with a lift. Most of the 8000-10000 pound rated lifts I've looked at require a minimum of a 4 inch slab. That seems a bit thin to me, so its probably a good idea to go at least 6 inches in the areas where you might ever put a lift


Well-Known Member
We had heated floors in a shop I worked at during high school. It was really nice, until we installed new post lifts and drilled through the water lines in the concrete! Oops.
That’s radiant heat 101, no drilling new holes! If you do radiant make a VERY detailed drawing with as many dimensions as possible. Also take a VERY slow continuous video of the floor walking from edge to edge in a zig zag. It seems tedious until the first time you reference that video in the future. Funny how a 1 hour video of the floor layout can seem to short lacking detail the day you really need it.


Just Hanging Out
Holly Day
Things I'm glad I did. No matter how big you make it, it won't be big enough....
30X30' with 12' Celings
Large sink 10' long
Power evey 10'
2- 50 amps plugs per wall
Fully insulated including doors
9' doors
LED lights galore

There is more...


Well-Known Member
Here's my shop.... I don't like the single car garage door, but due to the layout of our lot, the PO built it that way. It would be nice to have a double door.

Covered storage out back...

Inside, with LED lighting.

Wow Greg! I didn’t realize your new place was so badass!