How Much Does It Cost To Build A Workshop?

>> Thursday, January 13, 2011

I “Googled” this question, phrased as “how much does it cost to build a shed?”  That is a hard question to answer as there are a lot of variables.  One site said $18.00 to $22.00 per square foot.  Another said that “according to the Craftsman National Building Cost Estimator program”  the cost would be $22.85 per square foot. Some sites gave hints how to save money, such as doing your own labor, using used or recycled lumber, etc. 

My woodworking shop did not cost me $22.85 per square foot, which would have been over $5000.00.  If you have been reading my blog for the last several months you know that I did my own labor, salvaged material from an old house and obviously cut my expenses to the bone.  I’ve kept pretty close account of my expenditures and so can give you my cost to build my workshop.

Nov. 11 007This is a photo of the old house that I salvaged my building materials from.  There was adequate framing lumber, siding, roofing and wall boards to construct my workshop.

   I had to purchase concrete blocks (although there were a few that had been used under the house to add support to sagging sill logs), concrete mix, fasteners, electrical wiring and some old windows.

IMG_2254In this picture, to the right, you can see the stacks of used lumber I had hauled home.  Almost all of the lumber used for framing was rough sawn.  Most of the 2x4’s were truly 2” by 4”, the 2x8’s were 2” by 8”.  There was a great deal of work involved pulling all of the old nails out of the boards and getting it hauled home.

The first expense I had was the cost of gasoline for my little truck.  The old house was 25 miles from my home and I had numerous trips up and back.  I tried always to bring a load of material back whenever I went up.  Based on the number of trips, the average cost of fuel and the approximate MPG I got I invested $250.00 in gasoline.

Here is my material cost for what I had to purchase.

Used windows     $40.00

Concrete blocks and concrete mix     $125.00
Fasteners  (nails, screws, staples, etc.)     $115.00
Electrical (breaker box, wire, cable, switches, outlets, etc.)     $290.00
Miscellaneous     $20.00

So, for material cost of $590.00 and gasoline cost of $250.00 (a total of $840.00) I have a 16’ by 14’ workshop with a storage loft above.  Instead of $22.85 a square foot I have cut my cost to $3.75 per square foot.  And, if I count the square footage of the loft as additional my cost drops to $1.88 per square foot. 

My parents were married in 1929 at the beginning of the “Great Depression.”  They learned to live frugally and I grew up learning about recycling before I ever heard the term.  So, recycling an old house into a workshop is just a natural for me.

IMG_2621This is the end result.  It has taken me a little over a year since I starting dismantling the old house pictured at the top of this post to get to this point.  It hasn’t been a fulltime job of course and could have been done much more quickly if I had hired a contractor to do the job with all new material, etc. but I just did not have that extra $4500.00 or so to spend.

IF you would care to read the story from start to finish of the project scroll down and find the listing on the left under “labels.”  Near the bottom of the list is the label “woodworking shop.”  Click on this and all 14 or 15 posts will be pulled up, of course the latest one will be first.


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