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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am turning one end of a barn in a woodworking and general use workshop. It’s a 30’ x 20’ concrete floored space on the ground floor. The whole footprint of the barn is 30‘ x 50’. There is an upper floor over the whole footprint for a hay loft. i don’t need the loft area for that purpose.

Currently, the ceilings are just under 8’ due to support beams for the floor of the upper hay loft. The way it is constructed the beams of the 30’x20’ concreted area are separate from the beams of the opposite side. My thoughts are to possibly remove the beams and second story floor over that side and have the ceiling all the way to the top. I may want to install a roll-up door on one wall and have the ability to pull in an ATV, mower or yard tractor to work out of the weather. I’d need higher ceilings for that. Plus, I don’t really want my shop tools on the upper level. Even though there’s lots more space. I can think of better ideas for that space eventually.

I guess the shorter question is, can anyone else see an advantage to the higher ceilings for temperature control or other considerations in this type of a shop? They would be about 20’ high. I live in Mississipp, so being cool during the hotter times is more of an issue than being cold in the winter. Our winter season is relatively short and relatively mild most years.
 

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If you're going to run an air conditioner, then keeping the space as small as possible will make it easier to cool or heat.
If you're not using A/C, then using an attic fan to pull air through the "enclosed" space might also be better than a vaulted ceiling type area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you're going to run an air conditioner, then keeping the space as small as possible will make it easier to cool or heat.
If you're not using A/C, then using an attic fan to pull air through the "enclosed" space might also be better than a vaulted ceiling type area.
Probably not going to use A/C, but may have it foam insulated.
 

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If I were building a new shop, I'd want the ceiling to be at least 8' so I could stand up a sheet plywood when necessary.
 

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I've had a shop with 7' ceiling (horrible!) and my current shop is 8' 3" - I'd love to have at least a 9' ceiling, preferably 10'. When I buy Walnut in the rough from the sawmill he cuts boards about 8' 4" to 8' 6" and I can't stand the boards. They have to lay on the floor until I can cut them for projects. Some of the boards I buy are 10' long and I could stand those on a slight angle if we had a 10' ceiling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you remove beams you must be sue that they are in no way involved in the structure of the barn.
Yes, I am certain they are only to support that portion of the floor joists, but it is a point well-taken.

What I’ve been thinking since starting this thread, is just raising the ceiling to 10’. in that situation I would reinstall the beams and the joists. It would create a raised storage area up in the hay loft.
 

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My shop is about 30' x 45', and I find a 10' ceiling height makes it feel spacious. It's enough headroom to run ductwork, air lines, and electrical conduit overhead, but it's still an easy ceiling to reach.
 

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Couple ways to look at it. One is like you said, but my thinking would be to convert The area under the loft into a climate controlled workshop. It probably wouldn’t be impossible to raise the joists a foot or two, but regardless, it would be doable the way it is, a lot of guys get by in garage workshops with 8’ ceilings. Just keep in mind but a ceiling less than 8’ isn’t too conducive to dust collection ducts and you should consider recessed lighting.

So, close it in, insulate, install a mini split, run some cable out there and you have your man-cave/small work shop. You‘ll never have to worry about tools rusting and in the summer you won’t be sweating your @#$& off like I do!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It probably wouldn’t be impossible to raise the joists a foot or two
The way it is constructed, it’s about as easy as that job can be.

So, close it in, insulate, install a mini split, run some cable out there and you have your man-cave/small work shop. You‘ll never have to worry about tools rusting and in the summer you won’t be sweating your @#$& off like I do!!
All true!
 

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be careful removing the floor above. chances are it's the only thing keeping the roof up
a simple stick building, the bottom cord (high lighted in yellow) of the roof is the only thing keeping the walls from spreading under the weight of the roof. remove it and the roof comes down. without pictures, it's hard to say, but my immediate thought is DON'T DO IT !

Triangle Rectangle Shade Parallel Roof


i too have an old 1930s barn for a workshop. 8' ceilings downstairs, 16' ceilings upstairs. i'd like to have 10' ceilings for twirling plywood without crashing into lights, but i've managed for 21 years. in a 50x50 barn i've partitioned and insulated a 20x30 woodshop that i can heat all winter.

Plant Cloud Sky Building Tree
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
be careful removing the floor above. chances are it's the only thing keeping the roof up
a simple stick building, the bottom cord (high lighted in yellow) of the roof is the only thing keeping the walls from spreading under the weight of the roof. remove it and the roof comes down. without pictures, it's hard to say, but my immediate thought is DON'T DO IT !
I completely understand. Thanks for the warning. I am not running out to change anything. Will have a house builder come look at it first before doing anything. Your barn may be a little taller to the peak, but similar exterior construction, in term s of the roof and trusses.
 

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i am turning one end of a barn in a woodworking and general use workshop. It’s a 30’ x 20’ concrete floored space on the ground floor. The whole footprint of the barn is 30‘ x 50’. There is an upper floor over the whole footprint for a hay loft. i don’t need the loft area for that purpose.

Currently, the ceilings are just under 8’ due to support beams for the floor of the upper hay loft. The way it is constructed the beams of the 30’x20’ concreted area are separate from the beams of the opposite side. My thoughts are to possibly remove the beams and second story floor over that side and have the ceiling all the way to the top. I may want to install a roll-up door on one wall and have the ability to pull in an ATV, mower or yard tractor to work out of the weather. I’d need higher ceilings for that. Plus, I don’t really want my shop tools on the upper level. Even though there’s lots more space. I can think of better ideas for that space eventually.

I guess the shorter question is, can anyone else see an advantage to the higher ceilings for temperature control or other considerations in this type of a shop? They would be about 20’ high. I live in Mississipp, so being cool during the hotter times is more of an issue than being cold in the winter. Our winter season is relatively short and relatively mild most years.
I built my shop with 9 foot ceilings. The reason is when dealing with sheet goods most are 8' and I wanted to be able to move them easily without hitting lights. I also have my dust collection pipes on the ceiling which in many areas gives me an effective 8'6". Works well. Outside of the rough lumber I get in, I rarely deal with lumber sized over 8' for what I make. I would take into consideration what you plan on building in there.
 

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My 26 x 60 shop is in a commercial metal building with 18' ceilings. Being in Virginia, hot and humid in the summer, damp and chilly in the winter, I run heat and AC but with such a high ceiling, it costs a small fortune to heat and cool. If I had plans to stay there longer (It's leased space) I would put in a white acoustical lay-in ceiling around 11-12' with lay-in lighting and insulation above, dust duct, air and power would run above. Most lumber stock we deal with is rarely over 10 or 12' '. I have plans to semi retire and build a personal "hobby" shop on my property where I live. Probably 32 x 40 with 12' walls and a 11' drop ceiling.

Speaking of "size matters"; I'm finding it difficult to determine the sweet spot of shop size. I know you could always use more space but at the same time I find that I do way too much walking in my current shop. I want a small office, a finishing room, I have a panel saw that requires quite a bit of space in addition to the other standard equipment so I keep redesigning and still end up with this 32 x 40 monster.
 
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