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Building and moving to a shop in the yard

Ever since I’ve taken up woodworking and started a small business with it, I’ve contently worked in our house basement. The space is a cozy 14×17 and suits my mostly hand tools approach to my work, with a couple of recently-added power tools to help me thickness and rough-out parts.

Our basement was only half finished. Because of the pandemic, and the nature of my day job shifting, we decided to remodel the basement, add a room for my wife’s craft room, a media room, and bathroom. That in turn would free up the TV/playroom for my office space. but what about the shop?

After much consideration, we’ve decided to build a shop in our back yard. The shop is really a large shed made by TuffTurf. A really well constructed space that feels and looks more like a tiny house than a shed.

I spent the past few months chowing designs, creating the site, getting permits, and finding the right contractors to do the work. The shop would be limited to a budget we were OK with, and one that would benefit the business over time. It would then be 12×20, which is slightly narrower and longer than my current space, have electrical power, a mini split, insulation and dry walls as per code requirements from my city.

The site was marked and flattened, big tree stumps removed (over 30” wide) and I then laid some gravel as a base.

Leveled site
Gravel down

The day of the install the shed showed up flat on a truck. This thing is a bit like a giant IKEA project.

Flattened shed

The speed at which this was built by two men was impressive. The whole thing was done in 10 hours. I setup an iPad upstairs and did a timelapse. You can also see the crew of 4 digging the electrical trench in the lovely Georgia clay.

By the end of the weekend the shed looked like this. Painted in two colors and ready for a rough out of the mechanical (mini split) and electrical.

YelloWax workshop

At this stage the electrical and mechanical are rouged in. The electrical has 1 220v circuit and 5 115v 20amp circuits. I had to think through an initial layout which I drew on my iPad to figure out the possibilities. I landed on a first setup that will look like the one below. The two cabinets under the window will get a thick wood surface. The intent is to use the surface as a way for the kids to do some woodworking, as well as assembly or additional gluing areas for larger projects.

For the mini split I chose a DIY Mr. Cool unit at 12k btus that should be plenty for the shop.

Electric Rough In and Indoor unit.

Next week I go through my first inspection and then it’s time to put in the insulation. R15 for the walls, and r38 for the roof.