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Build a Better Workshop

While it may seem like a relic of home life past, the household workshop is still something that should remain a part of every home. Homes require regular maintenance. Walls need to be patched and painted, furniture needs to be repaired, and light fixtures need to be replaced …and that’s barely even the frost on the iceberg, never mind the tip.

When it comes to home repairs, some things should definitely be left to the professionals; however, there are also a lot of repairs and basic maintenance tasks that homeowners can tackle themselves.

The best way to keep all of your tools in one convenient place, is to fit your home with a small workshop. Having one will also give you a good place to take care of any messy projects.

No matter how big or small your home may be, you should be able to find a small nook to dedicate to a workshop area. An unfinished area in the basement is perfect for this purpose. In fact, if you live in a home that’s 30 years or older, chances are, it came with a basement workshop area all ready to go.

No space in the basement? How about the garage? Clear out any clutter and carve a space for your workshop. No space in the garage? Try claiming a spot in a spare closet, even if it’s only for storage.

No matter where you decide to set up shop, there are a few items that you’ll want to consider adding. What you choose will differ, depending on whether you want a fully equipped hobby shop for things like crafting or woodworking, a basic workshop, or simply a good place to store your tools.


If you plan to use your space for more than storage, your first order of business should be to add a good work surface. Ensure that it’s sturdy, solid and the right size for how you plan to use it.

While some people like the idea of building a workbench, most casual DIYers are more than content to pick one up at the local home improvement store.

There are workbenches in pretty much any size you can imagine.  Some models can fold up into the wall to save space, and others come equipped with drawers, peg board backs and storage drawers. Many tool chests also come equipped with a dedicated worksurface on top, which might be a good option in a garage or home with limited space.

Tool Storage

Here, the options are practically endless. Everything from carriable tool boxes to built in storage systems will provide a good home for hand tools and power tools alike.

We like a good, sturdy tool chest with multiple drawers in various sizes, and a solid wood work surface. Look for lined drawers and at least 20-guage steel construction. Choose a weather resistant option if storing your tools in an uninsulated garage.

Short on space or low on budget? Don’t overlook an old school solution –the peg board.  A peg board storage system is a hanging storage solution, that keeps everything accessible and in plain sight.

To create a peg board storage system, all you need are peg board hooks or dowels, and a peg board sheet (available at any home improvement store).  You can have pretty much any size pegboard your space will allow, from a tiny postage stamp sized square to a 4×8 sheet to multiple sheets.


Good ventilation might not be the first thing you think about when building a home workshop, but it’s certainly important. If you plan on using anything like paints, stains, or adhesives in your space, there is a high likelihood for there to be a strong odor. Additionally, your general comfort is also important. If this is to be a place where you spend some time, ensure that you have a fan or the ability to open a window for fresh air.


Second only to the kitchen, your workshop is one of the most important rooms to equip with a superior lighting scheme. Maximize visibility and minimize shadows with a mix of task and ambient. Not surprisingly, florescent shop lights are an excellent source of practical overhead lighting.


Whether for looking up woodworking plans, watching a how-to video, or for simple inspiration, you may find adding a computer station to your workshop to be highly beneficial. And don’t forget to add a charging station for all of those cordless tools.


If you’re the type of person who loves DIY, then chances are, you want to spend as much time as possible in your workshop. So why not make it as comfortable as you possibly can? If the space allows, trying to add a comfortable recliner or small sofa. If you add a TV, you won’t have to miss the big game when in the midst of a project. If you get thirsty, a bar fridge filled with cool beverage will definitely come in handy on a warm day.

Explore the articles here on for more advice and information on about home renovation, home maintenance, interior decorating, and more.

Photo by Andrew Ruiz on Unsplash

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