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I've been noticing a lot of commercial shops lately use overhead radiant heat. That's the way I think I'm going to go. We'll keep it heated all winter, at least to 5 or 10 degrees. In my mind that has all the advantages of the in-floor heating (recovers fast when you open the door) without all the disadvantages of maintaining a boiler, and the inevitable cracking and leaking.

We recently bought a building from Prairie Steel. The cost difference in materials vs wood wasn't that big of a jump. We'll build it this summer.
 

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I've been noticing a lot of commercial shops lately use overhead radiant heat. That's the way I think I'm going to go. We'll keep it heated all winter, at least to 5 or 10 degrees. In my mind that has all the advantages of the in-floor heating (recovers fast when you open the door) without all the disadvantages of maintaining a boiler, and the inevitable cracking and leaking.

We recently bought a building from Prairie Steel. The cost difference in materials vs wood wasn't that big of a jump. We'll build it this summer.
One thing I have noticed is that a heated floor will dry off much quicker than if the shop has forced air or radiant heat. If you are bringing equipment in during winter frequently and don't like working on a wet floor that might be something to consider.
 

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We have a 54 by 56 by18, cost 94 K in 2014 ,concrete,heating and floor drain about 35 K, electricial 8 K,if you can face it south or west you will have the sun, 12 by 16, man door, 24 by 16 doors on the front,wish it was taller [20] and the big door wider so when it's starts to snow you can work on the combine with the header on ,We can't in ours ,my biggest regret!!!!.The in floor heat is great when your working under something.[about 100$ a month to heat it ]Good Luck you'll love it.
 

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We built a 70x200x20 this year. 80ft is in floor boiler heat plus 2 overhead radiant tube heaters, with last 120ft cold gravel storage. Put bifold doors on each end 40x18, I wouldn’t want any shorter in height. Put a 26x18 roll up door in between the hot and cold storage. Wanted to go 80ft wide by 22ft high but needed to cut down on cost. Put a 70x40 concrete apron out front with concrete swales down both sides of building for runoff.

We needed a farm shop for many years and wish we’d done it sooner. Was not cheap but dang I don’t miss fixing everything out in the weather. Now I see why neighbors had nice heated shops :)

As radar mentioned, we put the 40ft wide doors in so we can drive the combines with 35ft headers in.
 

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120x80x 25 high, 2- 40x22 hydraulic doors and one 20x18 over head. in floor heat, tin siding on inside, office and parts storage in a 700sf loft. laundry rm, shower and washroom, water supplied from rain off roof into a 1200 gal tank through filter system. 2 full length floor grates. lights that are brighter than a sunny day. lots of plugs of 120 and 220 power. exhaust system, large concrete pads front and back and asphalt wash bay on side. close to 1,000,000.00 worth every penny.
 

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I built a 40x60 with a 18 foot wall about 8 years ago. If you stick with that size look at a bifold door. Then you don't loose the height for the door. I have one and it opens 18' high. With my lights I only loose about 4" for the fixtures so I can bring the combine in with the hopper and hand rails up without issue. and still have room up top. I run geo thermal floor heat and the recovery is quick as the large block of cement holds a lot of heat.


Only things I would suggest that others have mentioned is to add a 2nd door for cars or smaller tractors etc.


And add a leanto for the mechanical and for your shop bench and welder/toolbox etc...so you are not using up space in the shop. if you have shelves and benches in the main shop you loose floor space for equipment.
 

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Built 64 x100 x 22 three years ago for about 275k
One 55 x20 ft bifold and one 24x18 overhead forced air heat and extra insulation in roof and walls.
Lease whole thing for three year term.
According too my boys best investment ever , maybe not economic but beats working outside summer and winter.
Two combines with header and grain art just drives in during harvest .
Compared with equipment cost nowadays it’s a no brainer.
 

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I have a Re-Ver-Ber-Ray radiant heater in my shop and its got very fast recovery time, neighbor has in floor heat and like SWMan said the floor does dry quicker, but I'm not sure how much quicker to be honest.

When we built our fire station the truck bay is 75'x100', put two radiant tube heaters in there due to cost, floor heat was ridiculously more money. Then again the whole project was ridiculously high when engineers get involved so realistically the floor heat may not be that much more.
 

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Floor heat is a lot $$$ upfront , over 25 years it’s maybe the cheapest.
Forced air is by far the cheapest to install .
Just a choice

My floor is 10 degree in winter thermostat at 15 degrees Celsius
Around edges 6
 

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Floor heat is a lot $$$ upfront , over 25 years it’s maybe the cheapest.
Forced air is by far the cheapest to install .
Just a choice

My floor is 10 degree in winter thermostat at 15 degrees Celsius
Around edges 6
We now have 6 buildings with in floor heat. Mostly garages. Wouldn't go any other way. Only thing I might change is geothermal, or biomass boilers.
 

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I built my 36x60x16 in 1991 and have really enjoyed having a shop ever since. It has a 20x18 self made bifold on one end and a 12x12 oh on the side. Right after I built and was moving all the welders, press, drill press, lathe etc. into the building I realized I was blocking 3' of the bay along one wall. Should have made it 40' wide. Just saying, I missed that detail and really miss that clear space in front of the big door so now have trouble with "2 bays" in that space. I put in a floor drain and underfloor heat and 2 jib cranes into the concrete. I was so used to being cold while working in the winter outside I over shot on heating needs of a well insulated building and put in a radiant tube heater for make up heat. It has worked so well I never hooked up the underfloor and my floor is comfortable to work on and dries quickly because the water runs to the drain trough. I mounted the main electrical panel mid point on one side wall and then added a heavy feed cable under the floor to the other side wall to another breaker panel. It doubles the number of circuits and shortens all the runs to plugins. I used one breaker for each plugin and even split plugins for two breakers in the areas where you would plugin a big block heater or other frequent heavy loads. Use #12 wire and 20 amp outlets in those heavy load areas. Lots of full power outlets sure beats a maze of extension cords. I chose 20 amp 230 volt twist lock and 40-50 amp 230 volt Eagle outlets for powering portable equipment like small compressor, table saw, mig welder etc. and have extension cords for those plugins all over the farm for convenience. Equipment has gotten so much bigger since I built but if you manage your shop space and not use it as storage, a smaller, more affordable shop can work well. But if money is no object, build it bigger! LOL!
 

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Farm shops J

We built a 40x80x18' high in the early 90's Couple of things-can't ( or won't)add height, insulation, or a better floor after it's up and you are moved in! I put pipes in the floor but ended up hanging radiant heaters and really found them to be good. I'm sure the floor heat would've been better but these were much cheaper than a boiler and at the time, that got me moved in sooner as I was trying to pay for it as I put it up. The building seemed to be way too big and tall but it wasn't long before it was full, that always surprised me!
Always was glad to make it a bit bigger than I thought I needed. I insulated a bit more than most were doing at the time and that probably paid off as energy costs always seem to rise. Guys made fun of me as I had plugins every 4 feet along the wall but that didn't add much at the time and I never had too many!
I put a 24'x 16' overhead door on the end wall That big door ran up and down many times a day for 25 years almost trouble free and would still be going if it didn't get damaged in an accident. I replaced the panels but the hardware and opener is original. Remote on the door is essential, unless you have energy to burn! Concrete is 8" in the heavy traffic areas and 6" elsewhere. That was hard to do at the time, but there's nothing more than a hairline crack in that floor, to this day
I made a spot in the sidewall with no wiring or obstructions so that I could go in later and put and 8x10 access door to a lean-to on the side
It never happened but that would have freed up so much floor space and would have been much nicer to have supplies, lathe, mill, drill , office, washroom etc in another workspace. Certainly didn't need an 18' ceiling over all that stuff, and it didn't stay as clean as it should have being out in the main shop. Overall, it was a tremendous investment for my operation, I was able to maintain and build a lot of my equipment and it also provided extra income as we did a lot of work for others in there, as well. Need to look at it as a long term thing, like land. If you need it, and use it, you will never regret it. Hope that's helpful
 

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Discussion Starter #34
great input here needs to be thought out as is big investment for me are most guys doin cement ponywall or just a straight pour
 

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Pre cast concrete wall panels are $36 per sqft of wall. Steel insulated panels are $7 per sq ft ( A Better Panel) but you still need the frame. I am thinking steel is half of that.
 

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I've been noticing a lot of commercial shops lately use overhead radiant heat. That's the way I think I'm going to go. We'll keep it heated all winter, at least to 5 or 10 degrees. In my mind that has all the advantages of the in-floor heating (recovers fast when you open the door) without all the disadvantages of maintaining a boiler, and the inevitable cracking and leaking.
We converted a 50x100 zipperlock to a heated shop.
We were using an existing concrete floor so in floor heat was not an option.
We looked at radiant, forced air furnaces, and a large propane space heater.
We went with the propane heater and have been extremely happy. I would seriously consider going that route in a new build. It’s also a fraction of the cost of radiant tubes.
The down side is it’s noisey when it cuts in, also you may need ceiling fans, I don’t know how it would work without.
The heater and fans move heat everywhere, where radiant could get blocked by equipment. Ex. You could fry an egg on top of a combine parked under a tube, and under the machine is cold.
 

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Built 80x96x20, shop is split in 2, 54' wide is the main shop area and 26' wide is washbay with full length drain with heavy grating that is coated so it doesn't rust. Put a 24x18 oh door in the wall to allow the drill to be unfolded and worked on, also to move something into washbay without it or yourself going outside. 24x18 oh doors on each end of the washbay, can fit 2 semi and super b's in it, though we only run tridems but wanted it long enough in case we ever did go the super b route. Main shop area has 26x18 oh doors on each end and then 1 16x16 door on the side (there is a drain and area if front of this door for snow to melt and drain away). 3 man doors by each overhead door into the main shop area. 2 man doors on each end of the inside wall to get into the wash bay. Venting system to exchange air and remove humidity on timer. 5 gpm pressure washer for washbay, lots of jam to get mud off equipment. Workbench/tool area and mechanical room on one side shop, 16x40, with office, storage (with sliding door to lift oil totes up), and full bathroom above it. Air compressor in far corner of shop so not running close to where the workbench area is so don't have to put in ear plugs. Infloor heat, 4 zones, washbay, main shop are split into 2 zones, and staple up under the office and bathroom. Also put a urinal in the mechanical room so don't have to go upstairs to take a piss. Also put roughed in 4 spots to put overhead crane. Covered with plywood for now. Lighting is key, can't put in too much light, white tin inside throughout the shop really helps brighten it up inside. Ceiling fans to move the air around. Compressor air to all spots in the shop as well as lots of plugins along all the walls. Also did all electrical surface mount metal conduit with extra empty 2" plastic conduit in the concrete slab to run new electrical lines or water lines or whatever to different walls in the shop. One of the best investments we've made for ourselves, makes fixing and maintenance work doable and almost fun through the winter and yes it is much cooler in there in the summer. Also moving our offices from our houses to the shop has made a much better work life balance. Whatever you end up building, you will enjoy it and wish you built it a bit bigger. Good luck
 

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On our third winter season 60' x 120' x 20' shop. Great farm investment. Built it on a 4' cement pony wall down 4' in the ground with 2" insulation to stop the frost. 2" by 10" walls, filled with roxul insuation. 2 rollup doors, one of the end 19' by 32' offset location 4' from the wall, with heavy trussing on the door no sag. Door on the side is 18' by 30'. Doors are big enough to get anything in and have not wanted bigger.

Floor heat I highly recommend. Put vapour barrier down and 2" stryafoam insulation down. Heat coils are in top of the rebar on 6", 50mpa floor. More efficient heat transfer if you get the heat pipe closer to the top then the bottom of the floor.. We keep shop temp at 18 celcius, t shirt temperature, and 19 degrees in the lunch room and bathrooms. Shower available in the bathrooms.

I find the floor heat will recover the shop heat in about 15 minutes if the big doors were left open a little long. Have never wanted any extra recovery heat. Boiler is a 185,000 btu modulating boiler 20% to 100% so it only puts out what it needs according to load. Shop is very efficient, comfortable and I would put floor heat in again.

Sloped floor to u-drain running down the centre of the doors to the length and width of the shop and 20' slope to each side of the drain. Slope is as flat as contractor could do and still have some slope.

Mounted a 3000 psi pressure washer in the mechanical room fed by 130F water from a hot water demand heater, ran stainless tubing down the walls and 100' hose reels to wash equipment our either end of the shop and outside. Most of the equipment gets washed outside on one end where there is a sloped area on the gravel. Have washed quite a few vehicles in the shop over the floor drain with doors open a bit for good ventilation. Ran water supply from my house treatment system.

I put in a lot of non opening windows up high for natural light and 2 opening windows on each wall that angle open to catch wind to bring a breeze through the shop if needed. Natural light seems to make the shop more comfortable for some reason.

Put lots of led lights in the shop. Plenty of light.

Put in a lunch room with kitchen and big screen tv on satelite for guys to take breaks in. Also is used for weekend escapes from the house on weekends for me, with a liquor cabinet and bar fridge.

We have actually run though almost all the equipment before christmas and everything is ready to go for spring. Have a few projects left to go, 2 to 3 weeks at best of some created work stuff.

The air drill I did not plan on getting in the shop to unfold and work on. We have a flat grass area that we unfold the drill tool on around the slow time in july. Replace hoses, drill tips and boots at that time. The guys prefered to crawl around on the grass to work on the drill rather than the cement floor. The air cart we seperate and work on in the shop.

Mezzanine above work bench area and mechanical room. Mechanical room has the air compressor and ran steel air lines with 100' hose reels throughout the shop. Insulated the mech room for sound, it's pretty qiete with compressor running.

Best thing I like about the shop is hauling grain. Leave the super b hooked and ready to go in the shop at all times. Air it up from the shop, start and back out. No brake issues, frozen anything issues. Works great. Have space to run 2 super b's side by side in the shop, but found one can usually keep up just fine when hauling. Can crank out 1000 tonnes per week if you really haul ass with one super.

Waited till I was 47 to build the shop, would have liked to have one built a long time ago. Don't regret the cost one bit. It has become a very good investment. Everything on the farm is now centred around the shop, meetings, planning etc. Also gives employees a nice environment to work in and out of. Having nice clean bathrooms and an area where a guy can take a break, have a coffee and lunch is important as well.

For the cost, i'm guessing I could have build a cold storage pole building and a much smaller shop that was for working on one piece of machinery only, then cycle it out for the next one. That would have been a smaller cost overall.

The one thing I have never heard from anyone who has built a shop though is "I wish my shop was smaller".

One thing I did was tour some of my friends shops and took a lot of notes. They had some really great ideas. I just implemented all their good ideas into mine, and tweaked a bit.
 

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We built a couple shops and I would also go with a lean-to to put your office, washroom, storage, compressor, etc. Not much more money to build and keeps your main shop area open. Concrete pony wall is a better design in my opinion.. keeps moisture from entering the walls, keeps rodents out better and easier to put in perimeter insulation deeper into the ground. Also helps protect the walls with people driving equipment or vehicles a little too close. Insulate it well and you will be surprised how cheap it will be to heat.
 
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