Yesterday I shared a big update on my new workshop. If you missed it, you can find it here. When I last left you hanging, we had a building, but that’s about it. So hold your horses, because there has been a lot more done, and here’s what happened…
Bring the Power!
As soon as the building was finished, the first thing we had to do was get power. I’m in the Houston area, and it is brutally hot, and humid. So we needed power first, so we could get some AC! But that’s next…
In order to get power, I had to actually create another address for my workshop because you can’t have two meters installed at the same address. Of course, I couldn’t get the address until the wiring was all done in the building and we took out power lines out to the pole.
Incidentally, when I said the electrician ran some PVC through the foundation for wiring, this is what the box looks like that they ran into.
I put in 400 amps at the workshop, because. Well, it’s manly. But it actually required the power company to come upgrade the transformer on the block!
This is the new transformer with 50% more capacity than the one they took out.
Once we had power, we also got lights – both inside and out. And believe me – we got bright ones! Here is what the outside lights do…
Air Conditioning is Cool
So moving on to HVAC. There was a LOT of debate about what it was going to take to cool a 3,000 square foot shop. Generally speaking, the theory was that we’ll need about 15 tons of capacity. However, initially we’ve installed two 5 ton units, with awesome metal ductwork running down the ceiling in the shop!
So far, the two units are barely able to keep up when it’s like 95 outside and 80% humidity. I’ve had the shop set to 70 when working in there, and at the hottest parts of the day it will creep up to maybe even 74-75. So they are running non-stop all day which probably isn’t great. But it’s also only for the hottest months. After that I’m sure they are going to be perfect. We’ve also got some major air leaks which I’m working on getting plugged. I think those will solve the issue by themselves.
Also, the “interior” finished off space is zoned off, and able to take as much of one of the 5 ton units as it requires. So it will ALWAYS be perfect in the finished area. And in the shop area it will always be considerably cooler than outside. Winning!
We Need Water
So, the area where I live has two options when it comes to water. You can drill your own well, or you can purchase water from a company that serves the neighborhood. It just so happens that the main well and water tower for the neighborhood are right across the street! So needless to say, I get great water pressure, and I just walled them up and told them I need another meter and line for the workshop.
The crew showed up one day, and after boring a little tunnel under the street they dug a channel until they found the water main.
It was interesting because when they were digging they had this little remote machine that basically told them exactly what direction the bit was heading as it went under the street.
They had a special strap thing that they wrapped around the pipe which basically punctured it and provided a tap that they could connect a line to.
At the end of the day, I ended up with a 1″ main line to the shop pushing 80 PSI! And I’ve basically only got a bathroom and one sink in there. So we’re gonna be just fine on water…
Installing the Septic System
You can’t have a bathroom without being able to dispose of waste. And in the country you don’t have city sewers, so you have to install a septic tank to break down your waste. It basically pumps the shit in, and sends it through different chambers until it’s clean, then it has a sprinkler system that broadcasts the water onto the yard.
To start with, they had to dig a big ass hole! Then, they used a crazy strong truck with a massive crane arm to lower it into the hole. Here’s a video of them doing it.
I think what was even worse for them was having to trench through super hard ground and tree roots in incredible heat to lay the PVC pipes for the sprinklers.
Once the septic tank is buried there are access hatches on the top of each section so they can be maintained. It’s a shitty job, but someone’s got to do it…
Framing the “Interior” Space
After we got electricity, cool air, and water, it was time to start framing out the man cave area. I couldn’t find anyone to actually do this for me! So I did it myself. And let me tell you – framing out 1,000 square feet isn’t something you want to do by yourself…
It involves LOTS of wood. This is just one batch of it.
And then you just have to go room by room. It starts out slow.
Then the walls start taking shape.
And after about a week, it’s almost all done!
Alas, there is still lots more to do. Tomorrow the electrician is wiring up the rooms, and the HVAC guys are going to have to come run all of the ducts. The plumber is coming to give me a hand with some stuff on Friday, and after all of that I have to start sheetrocking like a madman. It’s going to take over 200 sheets of drywall. Then comes tape, and mud, and paint….
More updates to come. Stay tuned.