Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Office / Shop: Intro

The family has finished moving! (Well, I guess? We're still far from being fully unpacked.) Whereas our last house was deep in suburbia, the new place is on a nice piece of property perfect for projects! Including a 24'x36' shop!

It's essentially three 12'x24' bays with two large sliding doors (no idea what happened to the third). I'm going to wall off the left-most bay, add windows and a door, and make that my office. The middle and right bays will be for the wood working tools, Spitfire, and ping-pong table.

The building once had power, but someone has snipped the main cable going to it. I got an estimate for running new lines from the house to the shop but attempting all solar will be far more interesting. Especially considering panels are under \$1/Watt now! We're in Washington state (on the west side), so I think publishing stats on how much solar panels differ from their rated values in cloudy weather will be very beneficial to others. (I know I was looking for that data!) The goal will be to have a large enough solar array to supply all the needs of the office, shop, and electric cars!

But first I need to get an office walled up!

The wall consists of a treated 2x4 base plate, 2x4 studs, and 2- 2x4 upper plates. For those not familiar with lumber, a 2x4 is actually 1 1/2" x 3 1/2".

The treated wood for the base is necessary as it will be in direct contact with concrete (and thus ground moisture).

I wanted as high of ceilings as possible. The studs are 10' boards cut back 1'-4 1/2" = 8'-7 1/2"

Why 8'-7 1/2"?

8'-7 1/2" + 1 1/2" bottom plate + 1 1/2" first top plate + 1 1/2" second top plate = 9'-0" wall height

The double upper plate helps distribute the load from the (future) ceiling joists.

The 9'-0" height still gives me enough room above the new wall for ceiling joists.

Look closely and you can see the Spitfire under the pile of trash (er, important household goods).

I haven't completed tying in the new wall to the existing structure, but it is at least standing up on its own. Some portions of the existing exterior walls have rotted, so repairs are needed in addition to this new construction.

By the way, I'm not a professional structural engineer. Do what your local codes require, not what a guy on the Internet did. :-)