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Had a chance today to get back with a concrete finisher I know and the engineering firm called to say the foundation plans are ready. :good2:

Should be about ready to get this puppy built.

I have a 304010 building that I intended to erect last year just couldn't find the time. I decided it was probably cheaper to have someone else form and pour the slab. After getting the contractors price today we are moving on with it. Right now I am trying to get the metal building engineer who stamped the plans to approve adding a middle bay, that way I would have 30x60.

I am looking for suggestions in lots of areas, floor finish for example I am thinking an epoxy coated floor in light tan or light grey, thinking a 300 amp electric service, thinking about having an exterior paint and fuel locker, air compressor, vacuum system and genset in exterior closet. Lighting, I need some suggestions here, never liked a dim shop. Will install a Clopay insulated sectional door 12wX10ht.

What suggestions do you guys have?

Later I plan to add a second parking shed about 24x72 with a gravel floor it has to wait till I have more funds.
 

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Had a chance today to get back with a concrete finisher I know and the engineering firm called to say the foundation plans are ready. :good2:

Should be about ready to get this puppy built.

I have a 304010 building that I intended to erect last year just couldn't find the time. I decided it was probably cheaper to have someone else form and pour the slab. After getting the contractors price today we are moving on with it. Right now I am trying to get the metal building engineer who stamped the plans to approve adding a middle bay, that way I would have 30x60.

I am looking for suggestions in lots of areas, floor finish for example I am thinking an epoxy coated floor in light tan or light grey, thinking a 300 amp electric service, thinking about having an exterior paint and fuel locker, air compressor, vacuum system and genset in exterior closet. Lighting, I need some suggestions here, never liked a dim shop. Will install a Clopay insulated sectional door 12wX10ht.

What suggestions do you guys have?

Later I plan to add a second parking shed about 24x72 with a gravel floor it has to wait till I have more funds.
Take a look in my Picasa web album linked in my signature, I have 4 or so folders of my pole barn build.

Key points:

Floor: You have time to think on that-the concrete will need to cure quite a while before you can paint it.

EL: 300 amp service is a oddball number-at least around here. 200 or 400 is standard. I have a 400A service in my house mainly for breaker capacity, I have 2 42-space 200A CH panels. My barn is feed with a 100A subpanel from the house. I can't see where you would need more than 200A in a outbuilding.

Lighting: The new T5 HO florescent lights are simply incredible. The bulbs are only about 3/4" in diameter but they put out a massive amount of light.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Kenny,
You are right about the 300A panel but I have had this NOS sitting for over three years and no one to sell it to.

I will check on the T5 HO lights thanks for the lead.

Lots of good pics in your albums I will review them again.
 

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EL: 300 amp service is a oddball number-at least around here. 200 or 400 is standard. I have a 400A service in my house mainly for breaker capacity, I have 2 42-space 200A CH panels. My barn is feed with a 100A subpanel from the house. I can't see where you would need more than 200A in a outbuilding.
Sorry Kenny, my feeling is more is better on this one. Even if you never use it, it will always be there if ever you decide you need it. It really comes down to intended use of the building. Mostly storage, small panel, if it is a work shop, bigger is better. You start adding lights, air compressors, lifts, machine tools, welders, furnace, air conditioner, well, ect.. And never say never!
 

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You are right about the 300A panel but I have had this NOS sitting for over three years and no one to sell it to.
Stupid Question Alert... :lol: I'm no electrician, so please take it easy on me...

Why could'nt you use your "in stock" 300A panel and just wire it up 200A? I would think if you had a 200A Main breaker in it, it wouldnt be a problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Stupid Question Alert... :lol: I'm no electrician, so please take it easy on me...

Why could'nt you use your "in stock" 300A panel and just wire it up 200A? I would think if you had a 200A Main breaker in it, it wouldnt be a problem?

I could do that but I already have a 300A main breaker in it. The key to all of this electrical is it is all here, and all paid for. I may need a few incidental items but have 95% of the things I need. I also have 400A switch gear, 12x12x48 gutter tray, 4" ridgid conduit, 350mcm wire, 3/0 wire and many other items left over from doing gov't jobs, wish I had the money instead.:thumbsdown: I recently sold off an 800A three phase setup and was grateful to turn this into cash. Going back a few years I over purchased mechanical and electrical inventory now I am cash poor and inventory rich, I am trying to work thru it.
 

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Check out the prices of 200A panels at the box stores, they are around $200 last time I checked. I use Square D QO, the boxes came with 12 20 amp breakers. A 400 amp meter base is set up to have 2 sets of wires coming from it, usually they go to two 200 amp panels.

Basing your entire electrical system around an odd ball panel you have is like buying a tractor based solely on on oddball implement you have.

When you come off of your 400 amp meter base, make one panel go directly and take the other through a 200 amp transfer switch (such as an Asco brand switch). Now you can choose which circuits are backed up and which are not, and that will let you save money and avoid mistakes when you get your generator.

If you want it all backed up and will be careful with your usage, then just put everything on a 400 amp transfer switch. Check with an electrician, because you might have higher cost that way since you'll need a 400 amp disconnect and then have to put your panels above a tray, all of which cost more $$s.

Here is a picture of the 400 amp meter based with it's two lugs for the "output" to the house.

In my house, I came in off the meter base and then into the basement underneath the garage. Once you have more than 2' of wire from the meter base, if you're not in your breaker panels you have to have a disconnect (this is a "check with electrician" thing). So I had to have a 400 amp disconnect ($1800 !), then I had a panel before the generator (to the left of the disconnect). This has the resistive electric backup for the heat pumps, shedding 80 amps off the generator load. The generator, since it was remote to the switchgear, also had to have a 200 amp disconnect on it ("only" $400). Then there is the transfer switch. You can see this in the next shot, along with the inside of the transfer switch. Note that there is only one set of lugs on the transfer switch.

So, I then had to put the breaker boxes over a tray ("only" $400) to splice the feed from the transfer switch, see pictures. The plus is the breakers are semi-central to the house, the minus is a _lot_ of expensive 400 amp cable (about $3500 worth). The cost of the 400 amp cable, the 200 amp generator cable (100' run) the disconnects, the transfer switch, the tray, and the breaker boxes was about $9K (I'm complaining not bragging).

The key concept here is that what you see the most of is what is cheapest- the meter is on the opposite side of the wall from the single breaker box, no disconnect needed. You can do two 200 amp panels on the opposite side of the meter base and get away with it. As soon as you start to move things around or put in generators and transfer switches, the cost of the world goes up. You might able to get a 200 amp panel and 200 amp xfer switch right behind the meter base and avoid a lot of costs. But you might need a 200 amp disconnect before the xfer switch (so you can work on it and have it fused correctly), check with electrician. If you do the whole building 400 amp service on the xfer swtich, you might want the cost of 60 feet of 200 amp cables to put the other breaker box on the other side of the building. You get the idea- plan it as a system and not just the amperage and consult with someone to trade off cost vs. features.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Pete,
That is a nice setup you have built up. Great to utilize with your own solar setup.

For my endeavor getting the first shop up, then adding a parking shed should wind up my wish list. I plan to have a much simpler setup without provisions for emergency backup. Most of my generators are moblile units and we have very few instances where we lose power. I suspect that because of the lower humidity levels we experience here we are saved from the icing that causes so many problems in the winters in your locale.

I think the only thing I will need more of is some 1/2" emt, just about everything else is there.
 

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As always Steve you're on top of what your needs are. I can't tell you how many people missed a LB and conduit from their meter to their panel and then have sticker shock when it's time to put in a generator transfer switch. Only one person I've every talked to came out of the meter, into a 200A disconnect, then used a 3' piece of conduit to run into the breaker box. When it was time to add a transfer switch, it was a piece of cake not a horrific re-work.

Other shop suggestions:

One thing I did on my tractor garage was put a run of 2.5" conduit (2" would be fine too) from the panel at one end to the other end. That left a lot of options open for stuff down the road.

I put the plastic outside boxes in for outlet boxes, I should have used metal boxes. It's too easy to break the plastic boxes or strip the inserts where the mounting screws go in. I also should have put in a double box- one for the GFI and one for a "normal, cheaper" outlet next to it which is what you would use 99% of the time. That way you wear out an inexpensive outlet instead of the expensive GFI. So I have a triple expander cord with a 18" cord on it plugged into the outlets I use most of the time so I can just wear that out.

Don't for get conduit for low voltage, security, and possible video surveillance. If you can, pull an Ethernet CAT5 cable from the house for a wireless access point. See if your cell phone works in metal buildings, if not you may need to plan for an extender.

If you remember the posts on my building on another site, remember the drop down for the door so that storm blown water doesn't get in.

The new shop sounds great! looking forward to updates on the progress!

Pete
 

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Here is my two cents, I did not burry the electrical in the walls. :thumbsdown: I am really glad I didn't. Changes will happen and it is a shop not a house. Don't get me wrong the finished look is nice, just not practical. No one even notices.
 

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Pete,
Lots of good ideas and I am in agreement with you on most of it for sure.

I have sevaral cartons of Hospital grade gfci outlets to use along with spec grade outlets and metal boxes. Just a few of the many things I overbought when building medical facilties. When I get everything completed I am going to make an effort to get rid of the extras without loosing my shirt.

This service will also feed the parking shed and an rv hookup too. After I get the building up I may go with the 400 amp switchgear and two 200A panels as you suggested I do have all of this in stock, wish I didn't. Really one of the things I need to do next is get with the power company and work out the details for the temporary power and see where and what we can do to provide the service.

I will have a slight slope at the door to allow the water to run away from the lower door weatherstripping. I plan to have a front apron slab about 16x24 and I should consider a drain in front of the door at this point. I will run some extra conduit for the lv,data, and sprinkler wiring. I am going to install the conduit for the future parking shed as I don't wan't to tear up the landscaping twice.

Thanks for your ongoing help in this project.
 

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Here is my two cents, I did not burry the electrical in the walls. :thumbsdown: I am really glad I didn't. Changes will happen and it is a shop not a house. Don't get me wrong the finished look is nice, just not practical. No one even notices.

I dont expect to have finished interior walls until after I have built the parking shed finished as I need the weather protection or "envelope" more. I do agree with the surface wining approach for this. Code will require conduit and emt as a minimal requirement anyway.
 

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Here is my two cents, I did not burry the electrical in the walls. :thumbsdown: I am really glad I didn't. Changes will happen and it is a shop not a house. Don't get me wrong the finished look is nice, just not practical. No one even notices.
Hmmm Randy, you're gonna make me second guess my game plan for my garage...

Game plan for me was to bury the wiring and use the garage with everything exposed...Like Jenkinsph, my "envelope" is the most important thing. I was thinking that after 2 years (realistic time frame) I'd want to finish the interior...after 2 years of use, I'd think I'd have everything where I want it?

Was even contemplating burying the air lines in the wall.....
 

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I should mention that at this point I am most concerned with the basic building structure ideas. As an example the last time I built a shop (50x100x18) I installed 6" and 4" piping in the floor for a vacuum system at each of the woodworking machines, this was piped out to an outside vacuum with a place for sawdust to be collected. I also had airlines and conduit for these machines so that I didn't have to trip over hoses and cords.

For this small shop I am planning to be able to move the equipment around more than in the past as I need to perform a wider variety of tasks. My interest here is to be able to do limited woodworking, welding and fabrication, maintenance of equipment and store all the tools with some security. I need to replace a bunch of older rollaway tool cabinets on my service trucks and will reuse these for small tools and parts I need to organize, it all takes time to do. I should have about a dozen of these older cabinets to use which means the small parts and tools will have a home with some organization. I will need to build some larger deeper shelves to get the bulky items up off the floor. These can be added as an ongoing project and as time permits.

I hope to build the separate parking shed to house the trucks, tractors and other things out of sight and protected from the weather. Doesn't need to be much more than a covered building with lights and power for battery chargers.
 

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Hmmm Randy, you're gonna make me second guess my game plan for my garage...

Game plan for me was to bury the wiring and use the garage with everything exposed...Like Jenkinsph, my "envelope" is the most important thing. I was thinking that after 2 years (realistic time frame) I'd want to finish the interior...after 2 years of use, I'd think I'd have everything where I want it?

Was even contemplating burying the air lines in the wall.....
Well, as an example, my shop is 18 years old and the changing is on going. I have ideas for changes I have not done yet. And this includes the air lines. My air lines are painted steel pipe. Take a look at the gallery for my shop pics. The dark blue piping is the air lines. I alway seem to have ideas to change something. I have changed enough that there is no way I regret external plumbing and wiring. Oh, and at two years it will just about be right for you to make changes after it is all inclosed.:laugh: Again, never say never. We have all made the changes we thought we would NEVER do.
 

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I think I'll listen to your advice and use Painted Copper Pipe... As much as it will be a "workshop" I want it to have a nice interior eventually...Long Range Plan is to paint the interior sheetrock the same color as the "JD Tan" on the dash of my tractor.
Me thinks Green piping would be nice.
 

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I think I'll listen to your advice and use Painted Copper Pipe... As much as it will be a "workshop" I want it to have a nice interior eventually...Long Range Plan is to paint the interior sheetrock the same color as the "JD Tan" on the dash of my tractor.
Me thinks Green piping would be nice.
What it really comes down to is you need to make yourself happy. And everyone is different. All you can do is take your best shot at it now and go with it. Life changes things and not always under our control. Only you know for sure how you intend to use the the shop and equipment in it. And as I tell all the visitors that enter my shop is "all I know is that when I enter the door it puts a smile on my face".
 
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