Designing the Perfect Home Workshop

Designing the Perfect Home Workshop
  • Opening Intro -

    When constructing your "Do It Yourself" workshop there are several basic principles which apply and really need to be adhered to.

    Safety is always first and foremost, but ease of use also needs to be taken into consideration.


It also depends on what type of home improvement projects you are going to take on the most.

Garage Renovation

The garage is the likely place most of us get into the DIY projects and while usually our man tools take up a good portion of the garage our better half really does need to have a place to park her car. If you have a two-car garage, then the working space is easy. If you only have a single car garage things get complicated so be courteous.

The work bench, good shelving and ventilation are the three keys to constructing a good work space.

Let’s start with ventilation. Depending on the weather patterns and where you live you will need to make adjustments to the basic rules. In the southwest you will need to consider air conditioning while in the northeast the heater becomes a more dominant factor.

If you are fortunate enough to have a window which you can open at will consider yourself lucky. Your entire planning must take window placement into consideration. If you are working with glue you won’t want to place your workspace far from the window and too near the water heater. You end up placing fans nearby when you get a little woozy from the fumes and fans are not good for a person who works with wood.

Power Equipment

If you use an electric saw or other machinery you don’t want to place these near the window. The reason is distraction and glare. When running a 2 x 4 through the saw for instance it is too easy to get distracted by something passing by your window. You will also get some glare at certain times of day off the panes of glass and that could cause a tragic accident.

Plan to have your electrical machines in a darker corner but place plenty of artificial light overhead. Make good use of fluorescent lights, especially the elongated overheads for the best results.

Storage Space

Next tackle storage space. There are many kinds of shelving and a good mix of both will work best. Open metal shelves work great for storing wood, plastic, paper and cleaning supplies. Cleaning supplies should always go toward the bottom but not on the bottom shelf. You will use these often and bending down quickly can throw your back out very easily. You want them low and out of the way but they need to be handy too.

Plastic shelving with doors is best for long term storage and organizing things such as nails and screws. Jars for each different item are a must. If you don’t like jars try plastic tubs. If you use the ones normally meant for keeping food in your fridge safe, make sure you label them properly. Don’t use a felt pen but rather print out on your computer the name of the items going inside and tape this to the top and side of the container. Markers are messy and usually can’t be changed. Make things less permanent in case you switch what is inside.

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Don’t be tempted to build an overhead shelf where you attach the lid of a jar to the top and then screw the jar itself into the lid. It may seem ingenious in grandpa’s day but it is impractical and often ends up in shattered glass on the floor. You don’t need to purchase all the cool items at the DIY store but don’t be afraid to delve in and splurge.

Trash Considerations

Once you have these three tackled (ventilation, workspace, storage) there is one more very important area to consider: trash. You will have lots of it so make sure you have different types of containers. If you work in wood have a plastic trash can to place your sawdust and shavings and use trash bags inside. Have one specifically for tossing empty containers such as glue, spray cans and bottles. Third have one for general trash such as paper wrappings from all those new tools you are going to purchase. And use those trash cans frequently and empty them just as often. You will be much happier.

Having a clean and organized work space will make your projects much better and will make you feel better about your home and work. And one final thought; leave the television to your den or living room. If you must have entertainment turn on the radio instead. Distractions in the work place often lead to injury and accidents. Avoid these at all costs.

Author Information

Joe Fernandez focuses on the mining and resource sector, providing valuable insight into companies that produce mining equipment such as self priming pumps and light towers.

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Categories: Garage

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".