Making the Workshop // Tiny House

3 Materials
10 Days

Hi all this project is about making a workshop space from scratch!

The whole goal of this project was to make a rain free area for my DIY things and to explore miniature architecture projects.
The overall size is 4m by 2.5m by 2.5m high. So about 13.5' by 8' by 8' high. This is no big space but still useable.
This process was a big eye opener for me and it opened a new realm of possible projects. It was fun creating something this big!
If you are interested in the schematics and sizing, this is available from my website:

Foundation: This step is the most difficult one because off all the measuring and levelling before the structure was built. First four point were marked on the ground and 4 big concrete tiles were placed there. On top of that 4 beams of the baseframe were just placed. The beams (and inside joists) are cut to length beforehand so they will represent the outside rim of the structure. The four tiles are a tiny bit outside the rim of the structure about 1" or 25mm. There is room for tolerance there. at that point you can check level by useing a level device. Adjust the tiles there if neccesary, I had to place an extra tile at some corners to compensate height differences.If every thing is looking well and level. Step back to check the overall position of the structure. At this point it's easy to adjust a bit.At this point I placed my fifth and sixth tiles.

Baseframe: When that is done measure the diagonal size between the oposing corners, make sure they are the same. Keep on fiddeling and shifting until they are the same. At this point you can drive in the screws or nails and fasten the rim of the baseframe. I used 3 4" - 100mm nails, Although screws are quicker and less fatiguing. When your four corners are tight, check the diagonals again and your level.To the underside of the rim I placed abreating membrame just to keep water out but let the wood breathe.

Poles: When all is looking good again I dug 6 holes for 6 3feet or 1m poles. These poles could then be placed and I put some gravel next to the pole in the holes. You could pour some concrete there but I just didn't bother to. When all of that is in place, the poles could be fastended with a big bolt. I used M16 and you could use 3/4'' as well. I was carefull not to overthighten and bend the outer rim to the inside. You could use wooden spacers to prevent that, the poles never are at the exact position next to the rim.So far this took me about one day, and most of the time went into the measuring and checking. It was a test of my patience ;)

Floor joists: When this was done (finally) I could hammer in the joists. Those were 16" on center or 400mm. The beams were 2 by 6's or 44 by 144 mm. I didn't calculate the bending or the stiffness or sag but what i am planning to do, this is sufficient. As long as I'm not putting 500 kg (1000 pound) milling machines in them it OK.

Base: So at this point the baseframe was bolted to the ground and immoveable by human force (not yet point of no return though). The morgning after so to speak. I put in the insulation, Glasswool insulation. On top of that about 3.5 OSB sheets were placed and screwed in. I used a chalk line to help me pinpoint the joists underneath. But other than that there's nothing more to it. The sheets fit in their length to the width of the baseframe, so I didn't need to that much of the sheets.

stud walls: When this base was complete the stud walls were fabricated. The studs were 2 by 2's or 44 by 44mm, I chose this because it left more space on the inside of the structure. I live in an urban area, having a garden is a novelty, having a garden with space for a workshop is rare. So space is relevant. At this point they were cut to length. Next they were hammered together to form the walls. They were 16" or 400mm on center. And I made a 'Header' and 'King stud' situatiation in the front for the double doors. I believe it's called French doors.

Erecting walls: After that the walls were erected and screwed to the floor and eachothers. On top of walls an extra layer of studs were placed, called 'Top plates'. Above the 'Header' one layer of studs were placed to accomodate the roof slope. And on the short sides of the structure the roof joists are placed. The roof slope was about 1 degree. I would not suggest useing such low angle because you will make it hard for yourself. I did this because I was stubborn and liked this design but there is a high chance of a leaking roof.

Wall sheets: So now you could get a grasp at the size of the shed. And when you are done looking and wondering you can add OSB sheets to the stud walls. I paid attention to how the sheets were held up because at this point you can make the stud walls perpendicular to each other. This is the case because you can refence to the factory sides of the OSB sheets. The process of the putting sheets to the walls was simple, hold it up, screw in one, check for perpendicular and screw in the rest. the screws were about 16" or 400 mm apart. Screws are plenty strong so putting in more has not that much added value.

Roof joists: After that the roof joists were put in place, they are the same size as the baseframe so 2 by 6's or 44 by 144mm. They were 24" or 600mm on center.

Roof Sheets: And on top of that the final OSB sheets are put on. We sawed them in half, me and my girlfriend are not that high so a normal size sheet is too much for us.

Corrugated asphalt sheets: Under the corrugated roof sheets the membrame was put on. When the roof was made water thight the walls were covered with the membrame to keep it from raining wet. And yes this was the point of no return. Putting this amount of work in this project was something you don't discart.

Windows: So the structure was standing up firmly and waterproof now we can get into a more intricate subproject.I wanted to challenge myself even further to design and make the window's and doors. It worked out but there are a lot of interesting details and I want to put that all in the spot light in a dedicated video and article.In general the windows are made out of 2 by 4's, 44 by 94mm, I designed a specific profile or cross section. The cuts and material removeal was done on the table saw. When those steps were done, a tenon was made on the long side and a mortise on the short side. This was then glued in place.For the glass I used tranluced plastic which actually was sheet made out of platic channels. So I had a simple way of a double walled glass sheet. Not beign able to see through the plastic is not visaully perfect but the effect look really cool and the light coming through is nice and diffuse.

Doors: The doors are actually 4 beams mitered to 45 degrees on both sides. This simple design makes it look very minimal and still easy to glue up. I didn't want to make a special glue mold or jig. And I didn't had the opportunity to use a router and make straight channels were perpedicular wooded pieces could fit in to make a frame.on the inside of the frame a similar frame was glued, this frame had a rabbet where a similar piece plastic (as the windows) was placed. Because of the miter corners I was afraid of sagging of the door. So far it's holding up, the doors are made one year ago so it's resisting the degradation of time.

The workshop!
And the final step was; adding the siding. We chose Douglas Fir for it and theated that with boiled linseed oil. On the front we made a minimalistic impression by placing the panels horizontal, butted up to each other. On the short side with the long windows we use live edge wood and placed it vertically. Personally I like this combination of modern and nature so I'm still happy with this configuration.On the back side, simple corrugated metal sheets are used, this was for economic reasons as well as endurance of the material. Well this is the end of the article I hope you liked it and found it useful! :)

Suggested materials:

  • OSB sheets
  • 2x6
  • 2x2

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Lesa Cuculich
    on Feb 23, 2018

    Love this!! Awesome job!! Do you have a list of all the materials you used? Wou love to try this!

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