Tools & Fabrication - Want to build a 30x40ft shop

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01-02-2011, 06:27 AM
I have around 30 to 40k equity in my home and want to get a home equity loan for a shop. I would like it to be steel and insulated with floor heat(not necessary if it is outrageously expensive). I will also be purchasing a 2-post lift and if there is enough money left a mid-grade mig and tig welder. It only needs to have one big say 25' door or two smaller ones if that is cheaper. I only plan on keeping my pickup and Camaro in the front of the shop with the back half open for a work area. I would like to have a loft in the back 1/4 for extra storage.

So do you think I would be able to do it for my price range? I searched on here and all the threads I could find were old. Are the kit shops like coast to coast carports or us building any good? I would like to save a lot of money by putting it up myself. I have helped build a few pole barns before, but absolutely hate working with wood. I can also do all the electrical myself. I have access to a forklift and skid loader on the weekends. I have done concrete before, but would rather leave that to someone else, especially if I go with floor heat.


01-02-2011, 10:22 AM
I dunno, maybe you need to home depot(or any other) make your list of things and their prices, seeing all the thing you can do yourself has allready save you allot of money. Is this shop for your self or for bussines? maybe you can get the mig/mag second hand and the lifts too. just saying

01-02-2011, 03:56 PM
My uncle has a 30x40 foot shop that we had built twice. The first one was from wood 12ft walls with all of his family/friends doing the work cost 17k being fully insulated. That one burnt down and he did a steel building with 14ft walls which ended up costing 19k that's not including the foundation since that was re used. Each of those prices include a new two post lifts since the first one melted.

01-02-2011, 04:44 PM
Build it yourself if at all possible. You will get more shop for your money that way.

01-02-2011, 04:46 PM
i build buildings for a living and you should be able to be well under 30k. i built a 30x40 for a man in october for 15,000 total. that includes my labor and slab. it was a weld up building. The building had 12 ft eves which allowed for his 4 8x10 doors. you will not be able to fit a 25 ft door anywhere in that size of building. the rule of thumb is the door needs to be 2 ft shorter than your eve height and at least a ft on each side. with that size of building you will need a truss at 20ft so the widest you could get would be 18 ft. hope this helps get you on track. btw wat the building i mentioned is not insulated

01-02-2011, 06:12 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys. I should be getting quotes from various different places on the steel kit shops. My dad has a portable arch welder so it really doesn't half to be a screw-together kit, but I would need to re-learn arch welding lol.

Oh and this is just my own personal shop.

01-04-2011, 05:00 AM
Keep us posted on the price cause I am in the market for a shop. Hope everything goes good

01-04-2011, 11:04 AM

I like! I've been looking for a house, and refused to look at anything with less than a 2car, i guess i can just put one of these up!

01-04-2011, 02:07 PM
Before you jump into steel. I just had buddy do his shop in icf ( insulated concrete forms) blocks. The run 10 to 15% more than stick building. Its a foam block that you fill with concrete. It stacks like legos and has insulation values of r30 to r50 so no insulation needed. I would also do a radiant floor. The process is very simple. They say if you use foam over top of your vapor barrier, underneath the concrete prevents heat loss to the ground. Spray foam better yet. I think you can build a really nice building for you money if you do everything you can yourself. Good luck

01-04-2011, 02:14 PM for additional help also.

01-04-2011, 02:58 PM
I'm not sure how much the heated floor technology has changed in the last 5 years but you might want to invest that money else where. in 2006 my folks built a house in Rapid City SD, (i saw that you live in WY) basically the same climate, they had a heated driveway, worked great for 2 winters.

Nobody can say why it doesn't work and the only way to fix it is to tear up the driveway, maybe a shop floor is a different type of heat coils/pipes... i don't know but for what its worth 2 big ceiling heaters would suffice and if they break you can replace it with out removing the entire floor.

Either way good luck with the shop I envy the thought of a shop. :pimp:

01-04-2011, 03:08 PM
BTW my buddy used icf's from water radiant with a tankless water heater. They have tankless units with 2 zones so you can run one line to your air handler for central air as a back up or supplement.

There are a lot of factor with a outdoor set up.

01-07-2011, 09:54 AM

I like! I've been looking for a house, and refused to look at anything with less than a 2car, i guess i can just put one of these up!

Wow a site that will actually give me a quote!!! I've been getting calls from places that won't even tell me how much unless I'm committed to putting money down TODAY.

I selected the sierra building and it was 15k, but that was only for a 12.5 sidewall. I think I need something taller if i choose to go with 2 lifts and plan to put my pickup all the way up on one of them.

01-09-2011, 02:11 PM
In floor radiant heat is the only way I would heat a large shop. Running the PEX pipe is easy and is fastened to your steel grid for the concrete anyways. Even if all you can do is install all the piping yourself and have a plumber finish the boiler and control installation you will save tons of money. Warming the floor has many benefits compared to overhead forced air. It is cheaper to operate over time, the floor dries quickly, feet stay warm while working, etc... I am a plumber & electrician and would personally never run heat any other way.

Only thing to keep in mind is not to run PEX pipe where you plan to fasten things to the floor with long fasteners, whether it be lifts, workstations, compressors, etc.

Another way to save money is by forming and prepping for the slab yourself. Get everything ready to pour. All you will have to hire out would be the finish work and the pour itself if you don't want to get involved with either.

As for the above poster with radiant heat problems, diagnosing any problems with a radiant heat system is very simple. For an outside snow melt system not working it basically comes down to is the pump and controller for that zone functioning correctly? About the only other thing would be air trapped in the glycol that needs to be purged on that zone. Air in that zone may also have killed the pump. My guess would be air in the zone that was not completely purged during initial install.

01-12-2011, 12:47 AM
I do prefer concrete floor as it would dried quickly and stains can be removed just applying warm water.
Roof covering should be some airy that make it possible to make inhabitant fresh if possible install an exhaust fan.Keep the tools on wall hanging cupboards. Main opening entrance wide and keep shop name in bold on entrance top.

Cape T/A
01-12-2011, 08:45 PM
I guess it all comes down to personal preferece, on building material. I am currently building a 30x30x10, I dont have a 30k budget so some things I had to skimp on. All done the material will run me around $10,000 ;insulated, two 10x8 doors, and a bathroom, will have electric heat and no lift either.

01-21-2011, 11:44 AM
For what its worth: I live in Washington state and I know the local sawmill / plywood mill has had layoffs and lumber prices haven't been this cheap for 20 years. I don't know if that savings has made it to the big box stores or not. I just built my 3500 sqft home with in floor radiant heat and absolutely love it. My 30x30 garage also has it. Many quotes for radiant are outrageous. I found it is because of the labor. Google radiant floor heat and you will find some economy type sites that will set you up with a quick engineering print ( tubing spacing...9" or 12" apart...etc.) that will be set up for your climate zone and any hardware. My suggestion is to keep it very simple. Being a shop it will be all 1 zone anyway. The slab will need to have a thermal break isolating the heated concrete from the cold foundation and outdoor slab. That is easy as you can use treated lumber on edge and roll out insulating foil bubble wrap to pour your slab on. Throw down some "K" wire mesh and start zig zaging your loops, zip tying tubing to the grid. You will save TONS by doing it yourself, you can have someone else pour the concrete if you want. Think of how you will heat it, gas hot water heater, oil? electric?

01-21-2011, 12:40 PM
Just chiming back in to reiterate what badjohny has said. There are many sites that will design the whole system for you. Tell them what you want to do and the size of your building, etc...They will provide an itemized material list and a scale drawing of how to layout the tubing, boiler setup, board, etc.

The highest cost in a radiant heat install is indeed the labor cost. I know this as I have made many many paychecks from installing in slab heat. It is easy to do, but takes time. My suggestion is to contact one of the websites and get a whole system designed, install your tubing in the floor, and buy the boiler and pump setup when you have the available cash. So what if you go a year with no heat in the floor. The wait to have the system up and running will be worth it. Some of the companies will make the entire boiler board for you at an additional cost. Truly makes it a plug and play setup though. You mount the board to a wall. Hook up your main PEX tubes. Hookup power to the provided junction box. Hook your gas line to the boiler(assuming gas). Fill with glycol and fire it up. That is it. If you're not completely confident, have a plumber swing by for an hour or two and get the system up and running. Minimal cost with you doing all the actual work.

01-23-2011, 03:52 PM
don't skimp on the wiring,install lots of outlets and lites.

01-29-2011, 06:57 PM
don't skimp on the wiring,install lots of outlets and lites.

Adding to the above. If you aren't a concrete guy by trade don't attempt to do the pour yourself with a couple buddies. The floor is far to important to be screwing around with. You want the floor dead level and glass smooth. Don't slope the floor towards the door, and make sure they put a steel trowel finish on it. Come out of the ground at least 1 course of block (or 8-10" if doing a monolithic or poured wall) to keep the framing away from the soil and moisture. Make sure there is positive drainage away from the building.

Go with at least a 6" thick floor, 8" would be even better. If you are thinking about a lift at any point in the future, make sure you leave enough headroom. Make sure the garage door has enough height to allow trucks into the work space. Normal garage doors can be problematic on larger pickup trucks and the like. Always include a service door.

Don't skimp on the electrical service, even if you don't spring for the 100 amp panel, make sure the buried wire can handle it, if the need arises in the future. More lights the better. Don't be afraid to add a few windows for natural light, either. Place them higher on the wall to keep wandering eyes from checking out your gear.

Me and a friend built his 28 x 32 shop a couple years ago for right around 18k I think and that included stone for the driveway and for under the slab, hiring out for digging the footing, pouring the slab and final electrical connection. We did everything else from the block work to the roofing. That price could easily have doubled if the whole job was hired out.

Have fun and realize that no matter how big you build it, its never big enough.