My shop build is finally underway, and I couldn’t be happier. Thought I’d share some of the progress.

As I’d noted earlier, I hired a contractor to do the three parts of the build I didn’t want to handle; mainly the overall framing, electrical and HVAC work. Part one is the framing, and it’s now done. Here’s a view standing in the corner of what will be my office, looking out into the shop – shop door on right, closet on left.


I’ve done a good bit of framing, but that was years ago, plus I’m older now and my knees just wouldn’t take all the up and down off the floor I’d have to do. More importantly, I’d be working alone, so although I probably could do all the framing myself, it’d take me forever. These guys were in and out in only a day and a half. That’s worth paying someone to do it. I could even have helped them, but then they would have charged me more.

And while basic framing is something I’m both knowledgeable about and capable of – if slow – electricity is something I won’t touch. The electrician comes in later this morning to install a subpanel and start stringing wiring through the studs.

After that it’s on to the HVAC – something else I’d rather not mess with. With those three things done it’s my turn to start all the drywall, finishing work, painting, ceiling, cabinets and the like.

Still a lot of work to be done, but I can definitely see the goal getting much closer.



  • ralph boumenot says:

    You have gone this far, why not have the sheetrock done too? Must be good to see the bones up now.

    • A.J. Hamler says:

      In trying to keep the blog short I did leave out some details. In fact, they are going to do the drywall inside the office. I need that office fully done and finished ASAP so I can move in and get the office half of what I do back to normal. (Right now I’m set up on a card table shoved in the corner of one bedroom.) To that end, these guys are going to do the office to move-in condition top to bottom. However, I’m doing the shop side of all the walls, as well as the walls inside the storage room and both sides of the walls on the other side of the basement that surround the furnace, water heater and other utilities myself. I can take my time on those, but the office needs to be done yesterday.

  • SawdustTX says:

    Funny the things you picked, vs. what I would have but your choices seem based very much on logic, cost and time, while mine would be based on pure preference.

    I love framing, partly because of the visual result in such a short time, and the smell of fresh cut pine. Electrical I enjoy and can do with confidence as well. But – I hesitate to use the word – HATE doing sheetrock, probably because I’m lousy at it. I’d pay a lot of money to not have to sheetrock.

    We do agree on one area – I don’t want to touch HVAC. In fact my wife has to change the furnace filters. I literally don’t touch it…

    It’s really been fun following your story and enjoying your shop upgrade in the new place.

    • A.J. Hamler says:

      I’ve always looked at drywall much in the way you look at framing (which I agree with, by the way) in that after only a short amount of time you have a lot of visual result to bask in.

      And, even though they did the framing, I still get to enjoy both the visual result AND that fresh pine aroma all through the house!


  • Vincent D says:

    I’m jealous that you get to do your shop from scratch. I done mine years ago and would do it again in a heartbeat. You learn over time what you would do different (dust collection, air, finish room). Have enjoyed your story and look forward to the next story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Terms of Use.