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Workshop Build - Wood construction or brick?

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Hudson Carpentry

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My House and workshop/offices are currently rented. A 3 year lease with the option to buy at the end. Any how the landlord wants £400k yet its only worth £250k. Naturally the bank will not lend that much over the market value. So it seems unless our landlord comes down to reality we have to move.

Our rent is £1450k a month and houses thats large enough are above the £1000k a month rental so its not really a feasible option to rent a house and other workshop space currently. Anyhow we are looking to buy straight off now. We have found a house and are hopefully putting in an offer. There is only a garage currently available to woodwork. There is a study/office in the house.

The garage is no way near big enough but the garden is huge so we have more then enough space to build onto the garage. In fact the roof can come off as there isn't enough height.

So what I need to know is for a workshop that will be around 40x30' what is the best construction material, Timber or Brick. Either way there will be insulation in walls and roof. I plan to have an apex roof as I need the height. Pros and cons of each would be great.

Thanks
 

Lons

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Hi HC

As a builder, my opinion would always be brick, stone or block built preferably with insulated cavity walls, tiled / slated roof, but the question is not straightforward.

I asume that if brick built construction you would need to bring in a builder but if timber, you may be able to build or buy in and errect yourself? The difference in cost would be substantial though it would be possible as an alternative to combine the two like a timber frame house construction.
Another possibility would be a metal agricultural building which could be framed out internally to meet your insulation needs. Would need careful planning to avoid dreaded condensation but might be worth costing out!

I asume that as you're buying, you intend to stay for a number of years and if so then a properly built workshop of that size could add a lot of value, especially if it could easily be converted for other use such as granny annex or gym for example. if you were looking to move in a relatively short time then you probably wouldn't cover the cost.

A proper building should be warmer and more efficient than timber but would require building regs, (both types probably need planning approval) and you should if possible include a WC and small kitchen area for your use but with an eye on future sale of the property.

I.E. Timber for shorter term and cost. Solid for long term and future return on investment.

Not really helped you I feel but might give you food for thought.

Bob
 

Hudson Carpentry

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Thank you.
All thought about :D

I know I need planing regardless of material. Lets not consider cost at all. I have never built a brick building myself from scratch but I can lay bricks, lay concrete etc etc. I have project managed house renovations and have experience in quite a lot of general building.

I will need to get builders in to do some of the work (probably the first few runs of blocks and the footing pour) but I know many and even have access to mini diggers etc.

If we buy, this will be our family home until we are no more! We have no plans to move again.

To keep within the style of the house if not timber I would want blocks and then render the outside.

Metal clad, no way. The house is far to nice (if we get it). This needs to look nice so its render (as the house is) or timber. Metal maybe an option to think if we visit other properties.
 

Lons

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Blocks and render will work very well and no reason at all why you couldn't lay the blocks yourself as they don't need to be perfect. Guess it's just how much time you can afford. I would sub the render unless you are experienced as it need to stay on the wall :lol: :lol:

Mini diggers are great fun and make the preparation of founds almost enjoyable.

Personally, I would always want to blend in with my home anyway and don't write off the selling value of your home as none of us know the future which can throw up the unexpected like nursing homes etc in old age (God forbid) when funds might be needed.

I suppose you pays your money etc HC

Bob
 

Doug B

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Definitely cavity brick or block, much more time consuming to break into :shock:

If you`re over my way anytime give me a shout, mines brick fronted with blocks & render on the other 3 walls, you`re welcome to have a gander.

Cheers.
 

Hudson Carpentry

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Ok. Cheers Doug may do so!

Security isn't also a worry as where it is, is very secure and ill bring the CCTV with me and alarm it to the hilts regardless of construction.

So are there any pros to timber over block construction?? If timber I would probably lay footings then do a few runs of blocks then have the timber frame on top as I really want a solid floor. Saying that my current workshop is a wooden floor and seems strong enough.

I will already have electric in there and if budget allows ill have 3 phase installed, but water will probably be added at a later stage and WC would be dependent on where the drains are but not fitted when built. There are 5 bathrooms in the house which 2 are downstairs, 1 which is very close to the back doors. I basically plan to get it to a stage where I can move the machines in and work. So render / water etc will be done later.

Which would be quicker to build?
 

Lons

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Hudson Carpentry":2t7ytrjh said:
Which would be quicker to build?
Timber - without question, so if that is a priority your decision may already be made for you.

Bob
 

Hudson Carpentry

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The decision will be budget which will depend on what we pay for the house. House needs no work. Not even decorating.

I thought it would be timber but have given myself 2 months to get the shop up. 2 weeks of that will be installing and fitting out the workshop.
 

No skills

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Might be worth considering SIP for a timber build, got to be one of the fastest ways to put a building up. Would prefer block/brick (for the external at least) tho, more thief resistant and possably better for sound deading (not 100% sure on that).

JMO
 

Rob Platt

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standard timber frame construction with insulation and rendered on the outside to weatherproof as per TRADA specs will make a nice comfortable workshop and once out of the ground goes up PDQ. without trying to get involved in another shed/workshop build argument.
all the best
rob
 

Lons

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As long as groundworks were not problematic, materials could be dropped close, concrete poured in straight from mixer wagon and waste dumped very close I would be working on roughly 1 week to get out of the ground and conc. floor in. (2 guys + machines) and another 3 - 4 weeks to get the shell and roof up.

If you do go down the solid roof path BTW, it might be worth thinking about incorporating some Velux type windows. Just a thought (can do in timber roof also of course).

Very rough of course HC as I would normally be very accurate with all the facts in front of me and of course not all builders work in the same way or same number of people.

Bob
 

Hudson Carpentry

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Thats pretty much the time scale I had thought although thats without windows. Whats the thoughts on windows? I wasn't planing to have any just a double door at front and a standard size side door?? Velux windows on each side of roof maybe is a good idea. My thoughts on no windows are better sound proofing, more wall space, less entry points for the scum and less glass for balls to smash!
 

Rob Platt

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a window over the bench natural light and if you got a choice pick the view outside. when its lashing down with rain and blowin a hooly you can shut the place up and be snug inside and still see out makes for a better work environment the one thing i miss in my shop is a window
all the best
rob
 

Lons

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Rob Platt":1fw35inc said:
a window over the bench natural light and if you got a choice pick the view outside. when its lashing down with rain and blowin a hooly you can shut the place up and be snug inside and still see out makes for a better work environment the one thing i miss in my shop is a window
all the best
rob
My situation also and I agree 100%. There's nothing like a bit of natural light and being able to gaze out over the garden during those moments of contemplation. (Or in my case trying to remember what to do next :? )

Bob
 

hunggaur

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one thing to bare in mind if you build out of timber or even SIP you can build it in modules and always move the building if you need to at some point in the future not something you can do with a brick or block building.
 

dickm

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FWIW, up here, the norm for houses is timber frame with block cladding and harling. Seems to go up very fast, and combines the best of timber and block.
 

Hudson Carpentry

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Due to planning restrictions I think I may keep the garage and convert that into a wood store and finishing room and now wish to build the workshop further up the garden to these sizes

10x5m internal floor area (36x17') Apex (dual pitched roof) 2.5m to eves and 4m to top of ridge (8' - 13'). Double sinked 4" blocks with insulation roof and walls. 2 Velux windows (small) and one window in a wall maybe 4x3'. Large timber doors (double) and one side door standard size.

I have priced some of it up myself but what do you think it will cost (not including labour) and how long to get the water tight shell done?

Including the moving, drawing plans and waiting for planning permission I think a total of 5 months without workshop could be possible and think that will have a massive impact on my business and I may need more of that mortgage for living costs while im unable to work.

Timber maybe the only way now :(
 

Digit

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As you state that you have no plans for moving I think you should consider what that future might hold in terms of shop usage.
Timber has the speed advantage in building, but for the future it is much more adaptable in terms of extension and alteration.

Roy.
 

Tom K

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Why not build within the constraints as shown on .gov planning portal? Then do it again alongside or behind, if adjacent walls were of timber construction you could perhaps get consent to link them later. You could even do all the footings in one go. Would get you working much sooner and save that mortgage money.
 

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