When planning your new man cave/workshop or “she shed,” consider the features and additions you might need two, five, even ten years down the road. You’re going to use your post-frame building for a long time, and it’s easier to make additions now to facilitate planned uses in the future.
Here are five pre-planning tips to consider before you break ground on your new man cave.
Before you pour the floor, think about the placement of the utility services — electrical, plumbing, and sewer.
Maybe you’ll want a toilet or wet bar in your man cave. Figure out where you want those things to be so you can have the pipes laid out, even if that part of the plan is a couple years out. It’s certainly cheaper and easier to rough in those utilities during initial construction than busting up the concrete floor to lay new pipes.
Do you want a lot of sunlight, or do you want to reduce the amount of sun throughout the day? Think about where the sun will hit early or late in the day. Do you want the morning sun to warm up the shop, or do you want to avoid the afternoon and evening sun cooking you inside? Face the front of the shop to the east for early sunlight. Or maybe you’re in a warm climate and need some relief from the sun. Consider orienting the front to the north or utilizing porches and overhangs to shade windows and walls.
You may want an eave lite or ridge lite, which is basically a translucent white poly material installed either under the eaves or at the peak of the roof. Both let in some natural light, but not so much as to heat up that part of your building.
3. Overhead doors
Think of the biggest item you’re ever going to put in your building. Maybe it’s a car, motorhome, a boat, or an even bigger boat. If you think you’re going to get a motorhome or boat one day, plan accordingly. (And then plan a little bigger, because everyone wants a bigger boat!)
Even if you don’t have that boat now, but think you will in 5 or 10 years, get the overhead door that will fit. The worst thing you can have happen is to bring your new boat home, only to find out it’s two inches too wide to fit inside, because you didn’t plan accordingly right now.
4. Integrated versus separated areas
Some man caves are real castles-away-from-home. They have a sofa, TV, fridge, and bar area where men just want to relax and watch the game. Sometimes these areas are in the same space as their workshop, but more often than not, they’re separated by a wall.
This is especially important if you’re going to kick up a lot of dust or chemicals in your workshop. Whether it’s sawdust, metal dust, or chemical fumes, you don’t want it getting into your living area. So the wall will keep everything clean, neat, and out of the chili at game time.
5. Ventilation and HVAC
Chances are, you’re going to want to add HVAC components to your building. For a regular post frame building, this often means wall runs and roof runs through the ceiling. As you plan and frame the interior of your building, be sure you’ve thought through where those runs and vents will go.
A company like ours, with design-build capabilities, can help you figure out where those runs will go. We won’t actually install the plumbing or HVAC runs, but we’ll make sure the appropriate spaces are in place for your local contractors.
And if you’re going to be doing any painting of cars, varnishing woodwork, using stripping chemicals, and so on, you’ll want your workshop to have extra ventilation. Typically, this is power ventilation with an exhaust system, and it keeps you from getting sick from the chemical fumes.
Related to ventilation and HVAC is dust removal. If you’re going to have a wood shop in your building, you could keep everything neat and organized by having the dust removal pipes in the wall, overhead or even underground, rather than tripping over 4″ flex tubing all over the floor.
These are just five important areas to start with when planning a new man cave. But everyone’s got different hobbies and plans for their workshop.
If you’ve got some interesting ideas for your new man cave, we’d like to help you figure out how to incorporate them into your new man cave. Contact us to speak with a Wick design professional and start working on your dream workshop today, or use DESIGN-IT! 3D on WickBuildings.com to model your new man cave or she shed on-line.