For those who own dirtbikes, atv’s, utv’s or even garden equipment, odds are there is going to be some maintenance that needs to happen. If you’re the type that likes to turn wrenches or can’t afford to take it to ‘the other guy’, you may already have a place to work or you may be pondering the possibilities and needs of a decent workplace.
Hopefully this project will spark some ideas and boost you’re motivation to get out and build a place of your own to keep you’re tools, machines, and equipment out of the weather and in tip top shape!
Like any idea, it’s good to start out with some kind of a plan. I had been dreaming up ideas for a workshop for quite sometime but could never really put together what I wanted/needed until I started putting it on paper. I had a general idea of the size and shape, but was lacking the details. But I started with what I had. We built a new house and were fortunate enough to have a clean slate for the shed. So I picked a spot in the yard and landscaped accordingly so I had a spot specific for the shed and not have to rearrange the yard.
Once the house was finished and the yard was in, it was time to get started on my workshop. Most people look at it as a shed, but I planned to spend a lot of time working on machines and projects, so I think of it as a workshop. There are many different types of buildings out there and my plan was to build a stick frame shed with a lean-to and painted to match the house. I felt I could build a fairly decent building with the budget I had.
One thing I do a lot of before I start a big project, is research. Sometimes I tend to overthink things but I believe it paid off on this project. I’ve built several things in my life and helped build a few buildings but I still had a lot of questions on how to do certain things. I spent many hours and trips back and forth to Home Depot and other business looking at sheds. I spent most of the time trying to figure out angles, sizes, windows, etc. Looking doesn’t cost anything and helps get a good visual.
I debated for a long time if I wanted to start from scratch or order a kit. I knew building from scratch would be cheaper than what was on the market and it would be built as I wanted, but it would also require a lot of work up front. Of course some were built better than others, but I still couldn’t believe what was being sold for a those prices and the quality just wasn’t there. Basic structures were already putting me over budget and I had planned to put in windows, overhangs, lofts, etc. I determined I would start from scratch so I got to work designing and figuring out the details.
My design started with a set of plans purchased online for around $10. This was to give me a basic idea of the things I wasn’t quite sure about. There are hundreds of online resources for purchasing plans, as well as numerous videos explaining how to frame, seal windows, what types of materials, etc. I won’t go into all of those details, but simply show a little of my process and how things turned out when complete.
Using some kind of CAD or design program can also make life a little easier. Google Sketchup was my go-to for this project. This is a very user friendly program and is also free. There are also many tutorials to show the basic functions of the program. This helped in getting angles and dimensions that were somewhat unknown in the beginning.
The plan was a 12′ wide by 16′ long shed and an 8′ overhang. The doors would be wide enough and walls tall enough for a four wheeler or even a small side by side utv. Optimizing material was also important if I wanted to maximize by space and budget. A workbench, 2 windows, and overhead lofts were also to be added. All of this played into the type of structure and design I needed to accommodate everything and keep it functional.
One thing I had to do was to get a permit from the city. If the building is over a certain square footage in our area, it requires a permit. Periodic inspections were also required. Be sure to follow all local codes and regulations.
Pressure treated floor
Framing the walls and roof
Building the overhangs and adding siding
Adding roofing and doors
Inside work bench and loft
This project took me a little over 2 months to build once I received my lumber and started throwing sawdust. This was after normal work hours and mostly by myself. I believe it turned out very well and gave me much more needed space. When all was said and done, this entire project cost me right around $4000. It was a lot of work and planning but save me a lot of money and I even added all the things I wanted that would have been an upgrade anywhere else. The stick frame design also makes it easy to add extra shelving and hooks where needed. Future plans include permanent power and insulation. If it’s going to be a workshop, you might as well be comfortable!
Thanks to Ryobi Nation, this project even turned out so well I actually won a contest and received some free tools! If you’d like to see it, click here. Also thanks to Amy at Hertoolbelt.com for encouraging me to enter. If you enjoyed this project, please comment and share with your friends! I’d love to see your projects as well.