Planning Your First Home Workshop

hand tools on workbench This is a follow up to a previous articleWho Needs a Home Workshop

Although we may dream of that rosy world where we have the perfect space, designed so that our first home workshop is the model of efficiency that we envision…  just the right size… windows and doors in the right location… oodles of natural light and storage space….

it just might not happen. Ever.

Start Small

So why not look at the space you DO have, and imagine how you can use it to your best advantage, at least for the time being. There may be a corner of the garage or basement that with a bit of work, could enable you to work on small projects or some aspects of those projects, that might otherwise go on the back burner indefinitely.

first home work shopIf you need to use power tools, maybe you can do your really messy and noisy work outside, and then bring the pieces in to finish and assemble them at your workbench.

Sure, it’s not the ideal situation, but it’s important to start somewhere.

Other possible shop spaces:

  • under the stairs
  • top of the stairs
  • attic space over the garage
  • walk-in closet
  • living room (since many families now “live” in the Family Room)
  • porch or garden shed

My First Shop

Since our first house didn’t have much space, the little 6 x 6 storage room by the back entry was the best option available to me to set up a shop.

At that time, all I needed was a space to keep my few tools, screws & nails, hardware, and painting supplies in some sort of organized fashion. And when you added a bicycle, rake, shovels, recycling, and so on, it certainly didn’t take much to fill up that space, especially since I had to keep 30% of the floor clear to get to the cellar.6 x 6 shop floor plan

But I did manage to set up a narrow workbench along one wall under a tiny window where I could do things I hadn’t been able to do in the apartment.

WoooHooo! I had my first shop!

Although the space was small, I made the best of it, along with a couple of folding sawhorses that I would set up in the driveway when I needed more working room.

For the few years we were there, it served an important purpose for me. It was “my space”, dedicated (more or less) to accomplishing at least some of what I wanted and needed to do in it.

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