My dad has just built and fitted-out his own workshop, the realisation of a lifelong dream and an escape from a dark an cramped garage.

Common with other structures of the type, here’s a few ideas we could borrow to some degree when building bigger interior design schemes;

-Simple materials. They can be modified at will with local non industrial scale skills ie. your neighbourhood carpenter or in this case, Dad. Timber frames can be easily adapted, simple wall linings and cladding that is screwed rather than nailed can be swapped out. What if he needs a bigger door to move larger projects in and out.

-Basic Finishes. The concrete floor can be left as is, honed, painted, covered. Its all adds to flexibility.

РIndecision is OK. If there is hesitation about an element of the build (in this case the floor finish) its usually for a reason so can you then leave it unit later. No point in going down the wrong road.

-Re-use of old Building Elements. In this case, dads old kitchen units make ideal workbenches. Also the old back door from the house and a fully double glazed window found by the local timber merchants lurking round the back of their warehouse.

-Spend money on the things that matter. Dad’s made an amazing beech workbench (which he planed by hand before he bought a flat bed planer!) which will be critical to the quality of the work he produces.

-Organisation. Fix what is known to be more static, like machinery, plumbed services etc. and allow for flexibility around what will change, like storage.

-Time. Its taken a while. No set of blueprints has been drawn. There is a reason for the location of nearly everything in this space, fitted precisely to the way he works with wood.

-Not quite finished. I think this is a good thing. There’s always a new project, something left to chance. He might decide he needs to work with metal.

-Worry less about what it looks like. Worry more about how it works. If it works, it will have a beauty of its own.

-Limitations. The scope of this project was based on what he could do himself. This drove many of the design decisions in the direction of economy, re-use and practicality. No bad thing in building design.

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