Shed Concepts

The property is not the most convenient shape for a traditional shed, and having a 2m easement on one side doesn’t help the situation.  I also wanted to ensure that a reasonable amount of yard was retained, so that limits the maximum dimensions (as does price obviously!)

I left a shed with 32m2 floorspace, with an additional 9m2 shed for storage and the dust extractor & air compressor.  Given I was pretty much out of space, the new one simply needs to be bigger.

I’ve had a couple of different companies out so far to look at the options.  One (who came out yesterday) has already submitted a design and quote.  The second is still planning (apparently).  I did hear from a third, but they expected to be prepaid $5000 to design plans and to get permits.  I kid you not.

Still a way to go on the planning – at some stage I need to get the local council to buy in on the concept, but what I have so far is an adaption of an American Barn, with the main wall running parallel with the easement, which places the shed in line and square with the house.  48m2, with a mezzanine providing an additional 12m2 of storage/working area.  There are still two external areas that can be enclosed giving another 6m2 or so for the dust extractor/air compressor/additional timber storage.  Even without that, it is looking about 60m2 of working space and storage.  A good start.

So the first design option.


Still playing around with colours of the Colourbond Steel.  This is one possibility.  Another would be pale yellow walls with darker grey roof and accents.  Colour is not a particular concern at this stage.


This is similar to the final design, although the left side actually stops short so it fits closer to the corner of the block (as you see in the plan view above)

I’ve even started playing around with tool layout, using the Grizzly Workshop Designer (  Still missing the workbench and the Torque Workcentre, so some variation will still occur.


Update – stuffed up – see the new post on 9 Apr for modified plan!


Some tools are recognisable, others not.  The LHS has the two lathes, then the drill press.  To the right of the drill press in the corner is the router table.  In the middle is the tablesaw, with the large bandsaw to its right.  The jointer and thicknesser are more obvious, and the back wall has the 2nd bandsaw, spindle sander, disk/belt sander.  Outside (in the white area) is the dust extractor.  Not sure where the stair would go to the mezzanine (which is above the back section).  If you have a better idea for layout, I’d be happy to see it!  Don’t forget the TWC (2500×900) and workbench (1500×750, plus vices).

Interesting to see what other designs surface, both tool layout, and shed design.  Cost will also play a significant factor.

10 Responses

  1. What a fabulous problem to have!

    I might suggest moving the grinding wheel closer to the lathes as you would need to use it to sharpen the chisels.

    The thicknesser can maybe move a bit towards the table saw – as long as it’s bench is lower than the router table’s.

    You can always put trapdoors in the walls if you think you might need to work with long pieces of timber.

    Dawid Verwey 0466 824 263 Sent from my iPhone

  2. Are you putting the cart before the horse?What will planning & building permit authorities have to say?Do you know what is permitted within your Local Authority?Have you considered possible negative input from your neighbours ,if you have not spoken to the Planning Dept at your local Council you may be in for a shock ( I work in the industry)
    Good luck with that!

    Regarding the stair to the mesanine a stair takes up 4 m2 so put it across the roller door parallel with the door( what you say) put it on a hinge so that when its not in use it gets winched up & out of the way

    Hope it all comes together


    • Thanks for the input Barry! Regarding planning, I have spoken with that department, and they have no issue with the shed, or a requirement for a planning permit. I could pay $63 and get that in writing apparently!

      For council approval, there are some items to sort out, specifically in relationship to the height on the boundary. I will look further into it, but it sounds like the height of 3.6m on the boundary is not necessarily a problem, so long as the average is below 3m. This is actually achievable by increasing the size of the shed to create additional area with 1m of the boundary, which is at 2.4m, bringing the whole average down. There are a few other bits’n’pieces to research and therefore work through, but I needed the plans to be able to start the process.

      I’ll sit down with the building planners once I have had a chance to go through the various aspects, and see if I cannot get the structure so it doesn’t need council approval, and therefore only needs a building permit.

      The idea of retractable stairs is a good one – I use that solution in the house for additional storage – no reason why not to use it in the shed as well!

  3. A couple of “luxuries”… at more cost!! I have a bit more space (9m X 7m) but a wash trough and wc plumbed to mains with tank water supply and foil coated bubble wrap insulation stuff. (never had condensation probs.)
    1m space between fence and shed would fit a tank albeit down the track.

    • Definitely plan on the plumbing- I have a mains-pressure pump, so a tank attached will provide water as required. The quote I had done includes insulation- a lesson learned from the previous shed!

      There are a couple of places a tank will fit, and additional timber storage.

  4. Hi Stu
    Build a dark-coloured shed like you’ve shown and in summer you’ll have a solar kiln, not a workshop.
    Go for the lightest possible colours for both roof and walls to cut the heat load.
    My shed is Merino and that itself is quite hot, but the roller doors (in the north face) are dark green as you’ve illustrated and the heat loading from them can be be excessive. Now, at last, I have one door shaded by a vine over a pergola and eventually the other door will also be shaded.

  5. Hi Stuart. New shed design looking good.
    Comments….. Checkout Woodsmith video on shop design. I found it a real help when laying out my shed.
    Cheers AnthonyZ Qld.

  6. You need to gain a couple foot of space from the dust collector room (5′ X 6′) if you want any sort of workbench and assembly area. I’d put mobile bases on both BSs and TP and move the big band saw between the TP and smaller BS. I don’t see a door into the DC room but the big BS can always block it if on mobile base. How often do you need access.
    Swap the Router Table with the sanding center equipment. Having that grinder near the lathes will be a blessing and having a mobile base on the router table will solve any access issues.
    Now you can move the TS a couple feet toward the wall and have a workbench do double duty as out-feed for the table saw. Moving it a couple feet will also give you a better feed to the table by opening the door for longer work. The workbench may need some mobility for proper use and the wall where the big BS was now has space for tool and clamp storage.

  7. Hi Stuart, You can cut your workshop construction cost by 75% if you do it yourself.Ok pay somebody to lay the slab, work out the steel you need and have it delivered then construct it your leisure.For a 8.5m x 4mx4mH shed I was quoted $6500 for cut and supply $2800 to erect.
    I paid $1600 for steel and screws bought an Aldi steel chopsaw and that was my total cost two years ago.
    Regards brian Millen

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