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Well the time has finally come where the wife and I decided to venture on to a new and hopefully larger home. I am very new to wood working so I would like to ask what should I look for wood working wise in a new home? Things like space, electricity and lighting are a given but anything else you can think of that would prevent me 10 years from down the road shaking my head thinking what was I thinking?
 

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I would add separation from the living area to keep dust from penetrating those areas. Also, preventing dust from entering the furnace. Ample head room is nice. Enough length to the room to be able to work long pieces of wood. Enough width to spin a board around. Windows that open. An access door directly to the shop. No water problems from sewer drain back-up or water from the walls (basement). Humidity control. Plenty of outlets and enough amps for all the machines. Sound control (keep the wife and kids happy). A place to change shoes and clothes so you don't drag dust to the living area...a bathroom so you don't have to go to the living area in your dirty clothes.
 

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Also, preventing dust from entering the furnace.
Actually, my plumber made a point of this. My work area is right by my boiler and I had (then) no dust collection and poor sweeping habits. Every time the thing fired, it sucked combustible dust into it, with bad results for the long-term health of the boiler.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
good info thank you, not sure what kind of house in my area would have a "spray room" though lol. distance from a boiler is a good thing to think about. I now have a detached garage but will probably end up having an attached garage. Sound proofing will prob have to be an after market task.
 

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Based upon your location, Rochester, NY.

A concrete block or poured concrete walled DRY basement! IMHO the detached garage will have neither enough electric amperage nor heat for the winter time. The condensation on your cast iron table tops will be a nightmare.

Avoid all timber basements.

If you have enough land, consider building a shop. If you build the shop correctly, it can be converted into a mother-in-law apartment by any subsequent owner thus adding more value to your property than "just a shop" would.

As you look at houses, open the Circuit Breaker panel. Look for circuit breaker space in the box. (i.e. Spaces for breakers that aren't punched out.) If there is only a couple of spaces left, you'll need sub panel in the wood shop. This is not a big deal EXCEPT in jurisdictions where if ANYTHING electrical is touched, the entire structure must be brought up to current code.

For houses built in the mid to late 1960s beware of aluminum wiring. Yes it was legal, yes it can be made to work, however aluminum wiring may be a fire hazard. The retrofit process can be very expensive.

If you are buying a truly "New" house, insist upon a 400 ampere breaker panel. Before anyone starts jumping up and down about "way too much", do a little math. Electric stove, cook top, clothes dryer, air conditioning, tank less hot water is close to 200 amperes. Now add a band saw, cabinet saw, jointer/planer and dust collector. You've just added another 100 to 150 amperes. Understand that circuit breaker capacity is your concern.

I had an addition done and needed a 200 amp panel in the shop. The contractor started to give me a bad time about 200 amperes. I just looked at him and said, "Is there something about the number 200 that you don't understand?" (With the band saw, dust collector and jointer/planer on 30 amperes each and the saw on 40 amperes I'm almost out of circuit breaker space.)

With a nice big basement, you'll want to wall off the shop area. Interior walls are cheap and easy to build. While you're in the process, fiberglass in the ceiling is a good sound barrier.
 

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Actually, ROXUL SAFE'N'SOUND insulation is better for soundproofing than fiberglass.

With a nice big basement, you'll want to wall off the shop area. Interior walls are cheap and easy to build. While you're in the process, fiberglass in the ceiling is a good sound barrier.
 

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I just got a new house about 2 years ago. I have a double garage and a full basement. I have my wood shop in the basement and I have my rolling tool boxes in the garage for working on the cars and such. I could not be happier with it. The only down side is that I need more power in the basement but that will be fixed soon. It has been a great combination for me and I have been happy. I would suggest something like that.
 

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At some point in your woodworking, you're going to use a 10 foot board. Try maneuvering that thing around with 8 foot ceilings. I'd suggest at least 12 foot ceilings in a shop. The higher the better.

You can never have too many electrical outlets. If you have an outlet every six inches, you'll find something to plug into it. It's extremely easy to have one too few outlets though. If you have a six foot gap without an outlet, you'll find out that the gap is the perfect place for your new band saw, and that you only have a 24" cord on it. Like rrich said, use a 200 amp panel just for the shop. This is another area where you can't have too much, but having not enough is really easy. Run plenty of circuits too. You don't want everything run off of a single 200 amp circuit or anything crazy like that. Two outlets to a breaker is plenty for a shop.
 

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Well the time has finally come where the wife and I decided to venture on to a new and hopefully larger home. I am very new to wood working so I would like to ask what should I look for wood working wise in a new home? Things like space, electricity and lighting are a given but anything else you can think of that would prevent me 10 years from down the road shaking my head thinking what was I thinking?
Two thoughts here.
1. Make sure that you can get heavy and long things into your work area easily. If you can do work on the same level as the street it will be easier. (I can back a truck up to my entry point to offload stuff).

2. The future is digital so you might want to ensure that you can get the internet in your shop (I ran a hardwire out to the detached garage that I work in).

But most importantly, if you really want to enjoy your woodworking make sure that whatever house you buy make sure your wife is happy. Keep in mind that a not so perfect shop space (short on lights or outlets) can be easily fixed if the rest of the home has a high WAF.

Oh, and don't commit to upgrade schedules you cannot keep. That will lead to a decreased WAF for woodworking.
 
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