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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 9/16/2009 9:59:03 AM EST
I am looking to build a work shop, here are my two options that I am considering:

Option 1: Buy two 40' shipping containers, set them approximately 16-20 feet apart, buy rafters to span the entire distance (8 + 16-20 + 8) and use a metal roof, close the ends with like metal or wood. Between the containers will be concrete, will use one or two roll up doors at the end. Similar to: http://www.cubicinspirations.com/images/uc_01c.jpg, I am thinking the whole thing would be less than $10,000 with concrete floor.

Option 2: Build my own building roughly 40 by 32-40. Given the above, what will a similar building cost me to stick build the whole thing, with storage eq. to the shipping containers.

Pros of option 1, can build in stages (spread out the cost over a year) versus having to pay for the stick built building all at one.

Cons, limited to 8 foot ceilings unless I build a 2-4 foot wall around each of the containers.

Thoughts? I am leaning toward # 1 due to the pro of having usable storage for the portly sum of $1700 (8x40=320 sq ft or $0.19 per SF) and then later add one more then concrete, then roof.

I will add insulation/power etc later on, right now I just need some storage and getting tired of paying $50 per month for a storage unit.

Thanks for any input.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 11:14:30 AM EST
You are giving up clear area under the roof span for the shipping containers.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 12:16:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2009 12:16:52 PM EST by ColtRifle]


I had a shop building built last year for about $9000. It is an 18x33 shop building with 10 foot interior walls. Having used it for the past year, I would recommend not going any smaller. It's a good size and I can easily work on any type of vehicle inside it but do wish that it was a little bigger. I am going to solve that by building a 12x12 storage building next year. The concrete, the framing, and the metal siding was contracted out. I wired it, insulated it, and covered the walls with OSB.

Link Posted: 9/16/2009 12:23:02 PM EST
Yep, but I need protected storage, as well as I would use some of the area for a mini office/get away for me, would likely use a smaller roll up door for tool area and would heat and cool a portion of the containers (well more like keep it above freezing/below 100 and humidity low enough to not have to worry about mold/mildew) for storage of household stuff/camping gear, etc.

So even with a stick built shop, I will have to build in storage, maybe not as much, but at least 400-500 SF.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 2:16:20 PM EST
Do a slab and a pole building w/ 4x or 6x beams. Then you don't have to spring for the whole project at once and you have a dry area. When you can afford it, build walls and do what you want with them. The roof and concrete will be the most expensive part, so it doesn't matter if you use the containers or not for them.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 9:25:06 PM EST
costs will depend on your area, but building it yourself (with help from friends/family) should be cheaper.


run electric / plumbing to shop slab area

form up slab yourself = minimum 4 inches of concrete (12 inches around perimiter where walls will be supported)

calculate & order concrete for pouring
make sure you have already calculated what size lumber you are using for sill plates (bottom of walls) so you already know where to put your j-bolts to secure your sill plates (lumber) so it's not on a joint.

spread mastic (tar) along concrete where sill plates will be

frame up walls (one at a time) and stand up, bolt to j-bolts; screw to each adjoining wall

use extra, temp, 2x4s to maintain plumb on walls

when satisfied that walls are plumb & square with each other, install siding to maintain square (stagger joints)

construct roofing trelllis', lift & install

sheath roof, (stagger joints). then install comp / tile roofing.

remove temporary supports

done with structure


note: leave interior unfinished so you can run electrical / plumbing, then dry wall if you desire.

your exterior siding can be whatever you chooes.. aluminum, wood, etc., to stabilize the structure
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 12:22:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2009 12:23:44 PM EST by Blackbird_Pilot]
I went with a pole barn. Had the structure built and used it for about a year. Then had the slab poured in. Its easier to pour the slab before the walls are put on but can be done easy enough after the fact with the long chutes they have on most cement trucks. If you go with a pole barn you also save on the amount of concrete you need since the stucture is supported by poles and doesn't need a footer. After the slab I did the electricity. Eventually I'll probably build a porch/carport off of it for even more room. Pole barns are fantastic IMO. Mine is 24x30 and I can easily park two vehicles side by side and still have room to get around them. Hindsight being what it is I would have gone with a 30x40. I was afraid it would overwhelm our house if I went that big but now that its built I can see thats not the case. Just like everyone says. No matter how big you make it its never big enough.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 5:15:41 AM EST
Go as big as you can afford/fit in.

Pole barns are cheaper to build but are not as solid as a framed building.

I hope to build a 30x50 shop building at my future house.
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