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Advice on new workshop

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BigWing

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Having finally realised how many sawdust-generating devices I've acquired over the last 20 years, I figured it was time I got myself a proper workshop in which to use them - especially now that I am nearing retirement and will have more time to learn how to use all the tools properly.

I did consider building a workshop, but I spotted an advert on eBay for a ready-made one which seems an awfully good price. In fact I doubt I could buy the wood and make it myself for the price!

I guess I'm not allowed to post a link to the advert for some reason - can I say that it is item number 221127303067? ("20x10 garden shed work shop 19mm tanalised heavy duty" - £1,470)

Do you guys agree that this seems a very good price for what should turn out to be a good-sized amateur woodworking playroom (once I ask them to add another 6" to the height)?

I hope I haven't violated any rules by asking this - I assure you I have no relationship with the shed maker. I'm just tempted to buy one unless you guys can point out any deficiencies in it!
 

misterfish

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It appears to be excellent value - but I would certainly look to having the roof raised as 6 ft at the eaves is a bit low. I'd contact them to find out where they have some examples on show so you can actually see what they are offering. Also bear in mind that you will also have to prepare a base.

Misterfish
 

Phil Pascoe

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It's probably easier, cheaper and better to put the whole thing on a row of blocks to raise the hight - to ask a manufacturer to deviate from a standard pattern might be expensive.
 

BigWing

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misterfish":2cye2oht said:
It appears to be excellent value - but I would certainly look to having the roof raised as 6 ft at the eaves is a bit low.
That's what I felt, but their quote for an extra 6" in height is only £90! At that very reasonable price, I'm tempted to go for an extra 12" - or more - but then I get into a different part of the planning permission rules (proximity to boundaries) which I would prefer to avoid.

misterfish":2cye2oht said:
I'd contact them to find out where they have some examples on show so you can actually see what they are offering.
Good idea.

misterfish":2cye2oht said:
Also bear in mind that you will also have to prepare a base.
Sure - I've got that in hand.

phil.p":2cye2oht said:
It's probably easier, cheaper and better to put the whole thing on a row of blocks to raise the hight - to ask a manufacturer to deviate from a standard pattern might be expensive.
I don't understand how blocks would help improve internal height, which is surely the issue? Anyway, as you can see, they seem very flexible over dimensions. An extra 2' on the width, for example, is only £180 more.
 

Gaz

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Looks like a bargain to me, what's the catch, like mrfish said I'd like to see an example first of what you would be getting, free fitting too, times your daily rate by the amount of days you think it would take you to construct it yourself from off the shelf timber and subtract that from the price, looks like you might save yourself a few quid this way bigwing

I think what Phil.p was saying is to lay 8 1/2" blocks like these http://www.wickes.co.uk/invt/213641 on the slab perimeter and sit the building on these, this way you could lay a damp course between to protect the timber from water logging, I would scrap the deck and finish the slab off well and have a concrete floor instead, better for bolting machinery to and you would accomplish the extra height and it would cost you no more, see if they can reduce the price w/o supplying a timber base, you would need to lengthen the doors but I still think its worth it, would look nice too with a rendered finish,

Here's something similar I built for my brother to give you an idea

Gaz.
 

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beech1948

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I think there are several "catches" with bought sheds.

1) Shed frame is made from sections which are too small and lack rigidity. Min would need to be 4x2. Frame will wobble and have less strength
2) There is no way to add a breathable membrane between frame and cladding
3) There is little space to add insulation
4) Floors are at best flimsy both as to framing and floor thickness. Poor basis to hold heavy woodworking machines, a body's weight etc etc and they will be bouncy.
5) 6ft eaves is too small. How will you swing around a 8ftx4ft board or a 8"x2"x8ft plank. Eaves need to be 8ft or higher at least.
6) Doors are very basic and do not fit well leaving gaps for humidity to enter and warmth to leave
7) Security is hard to construct due to flimsy frames
8) Rust will probably be a problem
9) Will the walls hold a cabinet full of tools
10) will the roof allow you to hold spare wood/ladders/long tools and is it strong enough.

It's really a very difficult issue to trade off quality of construction against cheapness of purchase. Yes many people use sheds like this with more or less success but they remain a lower cost lower quality choice.

Constructing the shed yourself will allow you to control all of these factors. The shed you will build yourself can not and should not be compared to a commercial shed as they will be very different. Yes the commercial shed will be cheaper than you can acquire the wood yourself but the reason for that is they will be using materials which are chosen for cheapness and not for performance.

I hope this helps and is seen as OK since I do not wish to upset or insult any who have made this lower cost choice...its just my opinion after all.
Al
 

No skills

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Obviously you should price up a diy build (if you havent already??) and see how the two compare, but you need to factor in some improvements to the brought shed to make the costing compareable. Beefing up windows and doors for security/a good floor/insulation and lining etc These are things you would natually build into a diy effort anyways, cheap might not be cheap if you spend a load on improvements in the brought item.

JMO
 

BigWing

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Gosh - you guys sure are coming up with numerous aspects of this project which I hadn't given any thought to!

Thanks for all the guidance - keep it coming (though I may just have to reconsider the whole thing!).
 

beech1948

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Somewhere on this site there was an article by Mike Garnham which gave sectional drawings for the type of construction we recommend. Its then a choice of how much or little quality you put into the build.

I can't find the post from Mike maybe someone else can find it...I hope

Al
 

trsleigh

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I bought a very similar 20'x10' shed about 10 years ago. Overall I've been very pleased with it. A few points though;

Floor - shed was erected on a concrete base, painted with floor paint so no need for wooden floor. For the area in front of my bench I bought a few workmats designed to be used on concrete.
Height - I specified an extra 6", in retrospect I should have gone for 12" or 18".
Lining - As I had a load of redundant chipboard flooring panels available I lined the shed with these over 2" polystrene inside the frame. This means I can mount anything anywhere on the walls. Don't forget to do the wiring first.
Roof - Also lined with polystrene panels. I replaced the original roof felt last year with Wickes felt shingles, supposed to last for 25 years. They look very good. It might be worh your while to negotiate a lower price & supply & fit your own roof covering.
Free erection - Obviously I went for this. However on the day I discovered that the fitting team were scheduled to erect two, or maybe even three, sheds per day. So the shed went up double quick, banged together with nails. I would have preferred to have taken more time over the assembly, given the expected life of the building, so again might be better to negotiate a price without assembly.
Security - I've got a heavy duty steel bar across the door, secured by a padlock protected in a heavy steel box. ( ie not easy to get at with bolt croppers.) I also lined the windows with steel mesh as used in reinforced concrete floors.
Damp etc - Never had a problem with damp or condensation. During the winter months I run a small oil-filled radiator to keep temperature up slightly.

HTH, any other questions....
 

brianhabby

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This an interesting topic for me especially as I am almost in a similar situation. I am due to retire in a couple of years and currently rent a small workshop near my place of work. It's convenient as I often go in the workshop before and/or after work. However, when I am retired, I won't want to travel just to pop into the workshop, so I am going to erect a shed type at home. How I wish I had space for one 20 ft long :(

I only have space for a structure about 12ft x 10ft and still haven't decided whether to buy one ready made or build my own.

The above comments are very valid, lots of bought sheds are really only suitable as outside store rooms and this is one reason I am thinking of building my own. However, there is one company I have come across that sell what they call 'Garden Workshops' and they are totally different to anything else I have seen. I've also had an opportunity to see their wares in the flesh as it were at North Wales Woodfest in the summer. Have a look at their site and see what you think. They are called Solid Sheds and you can get to them here.

regards

Brian
 

Louise-Paisley

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I built mine for not much over half the price I could buy one ready made. Built the base and two layers of bricks to sit it on, used a few reclaimed UPVC double glazed windows. Forget the exact dimensions now, about 10' x 20' I think, and it cost about £700 to make.
 
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