How to build a great workshop

If you are to make the most of your workshop, it needs to have the perfect layout of tools and large pieces of equipment. You will need to plan what goes into which part of the workshop to optimize your workspace. Here’s how to create the perfect floor plan for any workshop.

Make the entire workshop handyman-friendly.

Lighting is essential to ensuring that your projects end up looking professionally made. Install receptacles for T8 LED fixtures. Compared to fluorescent types, T8 LEDS contain no mercury (If you want to buy multiple lighting options, I recommend this site). The multi-directional light that fluorescent provides only makes it lose some light in the fixture itself as well as other wasteful places. LEDs offer directional lighting for illumination at the exact spot you need it for. LEDs work well with controls systems because the useful life is unaffected by the constant switching on and off. T8 LEDs of the newest variety offer approximately 30 percent more power efficiency compared to fluorescents. The variety of color temperatures that LEDs come with ensures zero flicker issues. Most importantly, LEDs have long lifetimes and are shatterproof because they are typically constructed of aluminum and plastic, although there are glass options that resemble fluorescents. Those are not shatterproof.


The lighting fixtures should be spaced to match the bulb length, lens type and reflector. Install articulating worklight by the workbench to accommodate detailed projects. Paint the walls a light color to make the most of the lighting. The ceiling should be painted white as well to optimize the available illumination. Assign the lighting on one branch circuit, and the power tool outlets go on an independent or separate circuit. This is to prevent your machine and lights getting knocked out together during circuit breaker tripping out.


A rubber mat by the workbench provides greater traction for safety. It also cushions the fall of dropped tools and reduces fatigue since you won’t need to constantly walk directly on the rough floor of your workshop. Look for modular snap-together flooring that also dampens noise. You can secure benches to the wall or leave them mobile. Apply two-part epoxy floor coating or clear sealer on bare concrete to minimize light reflection and improve traction. This will also ensure that spills will be easy to clean.


Visualize how your tools and equipment should go together and ensure smooth workflow.

A circular or miter saw will apparently require open floor space to accommodate material that you will be breaking down. The miter saw should have left and right clear access, with adjacent work surfaces positioned flush to the miter saw table. A drill press should have ample clearance on both sides and the front of its worktable. Traditional woodworking hand tools need to be 32 to 34 inches off the floor for comfortable use. If they are to be used for a bit of woodworking and metalworking, a height of 36 to 40 inches is perfect. If you intend to use the tools mostly for model building while seated, 29 inches of height or desktop level should be enough.

Plan for storage and trash disposal as well.

Position metal pipes, all raw materials and lumber as close as possible to the entry point to the workshop. Use bin storage options to handle small plumbing parts, wire connectors, fasteners and miscellaneous hardware. To store power tools in their plastic cases or shop-made plywood containers, have more than enough shelves at the ready.

Store and move large, heavy quantities of scrap in a box that you make yourself. This can be made using ¾-inch plywood, with caster wheels. Provide for trash and scrap storage as well utilizing 3-mil contractor-grade trash bags to store bulky and sharp debris. Hang a bench brush near the workbench for convenient sweep off directly into the trash can. Better yet, use a 2 ½-gallon wall-mount wet-and-dry shop vacuum.