30×40 Shop Part 7: Climate Control Overview

The shop has been complete for two weeks. It’s such a sigh of relief to say that. Time to start making sawdust, which is what I’ve been doing for the past two weeks. This will be the last part of the new shop series.

Working in here is still a bit surreal. I finally have elbow room to move around and the layout is working great. The time spent on the layout in regards to workflow efficiency has paid off. The dust collection is great. The lighting is great. The space is incredibly easy to clean up as I work. And most importantly, the climate control is great!

The three major influencing items of the climate control are the AC/heat setup, the roof insulation, and the roll up garage doors.

AC/Heat

The shop structure is a 30′ x 40′ pole barn. Due to the 2×6 framing in the walls I’m left with roughly 29′ x 39′ of usable shop space. The loft floor is 10′ from the ground and the peak in the middle of the roof is about 7.5′ above that. The roof peak runs along the 40′ length. The first floor flat ceiling has been removed and it’s one large open volume of air. Those are all important numbers when it comes to calculating the size air conditioner and heater needed. I used an online calculator to determine that a 36,000 BTU AC/Heat Pump mini split system would be necessary for this size space. I contacted a local HVAC contractor with good reviews to come measure the space and give me a quote. His calculations and recommendation on the size of unit were the same.

After a tremendous amount of research I went with a 3 zone 36,000 BTU Mitsubishi mini split system with WiFi controllers. Each interior zone is a wall mounted 12,000 BTU unit. Two downstairs mounted symmetrically and one upstairs in the loft. All three of these units are connected to a single outdoor condenser unit. The system is rated to heat down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. I live in Mississippi where the winters are relatively mild. Rarely do we get below freezing at night in the winter. Every few years our winters are a bit colder than normal but heating down to 5 degrees is plenty acceptable for where I live. If you live in a colder climate, Mitsubishi has inverter heat pump technology that can produce heat at maximum efficiency down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit.

Outdoor condenser unit: MXZ-4C36NA2
Indoor units (zones): MSZ-GL12NA

The contractors installed the entire system with a new concrete pad and line covers. 15 year manufacturer warranty and a one year install warranty. Total cost was $8,951.

Spray Foam Roof Insulation

The biggest offender of heat build up in the structure is from the sun baking the roof all day. I went with just 2″ of closed cell spray foam insulation. I figured I could always add more later for the same cost. Before the spray foam, the hottest reading I took of the roof was 125 degrees Fahrenheit. After the spray foam, the hottest reading I took of the roof was 83 degrees right at the peak. Spray foam in the roof made such a huge difference in how well the space is cooled. I had the AC installed a few weeks prior to the spray foam. The AC could keep the space below 80 but that was with them running wide open all day long. Now I have complete control of the temperature inside the shop. I don’t like it too cold though. 75 with low humidity in the shop is perfect for working so that’s what they are all set to.

The spray foam was installed in a single day. I spent a couple hours the day before putting plastic sheeting on everything. The contractor I used charged $1.96 per board foot. It was a 2″ thick spray and they covered 1889 square feet (roof, gable ends, and inside the header area). Total cost was $3,702.44.

Garage Doors

The third large item to impact climate control is the large roll up doors. Each door opening is 10′ wide and 8′ tall. The doors are inexpensive, thin metal roll up doors similar to what you would see on a storage facility unit. The biggest problem with these doors isn’t the fact that they aren’t insulated but rather their orientation to the sun. They receive morning sunlight and because they are brown on the outside they build up a LOT of heat. As I’m writing this I realize that I’ve never taken a heat reading on the doors. But they are hot enough that I don’t want to touch them and when I get a foot or two from them I can feel the heat similar to standing next to a fire on a cool night.

Many people suggested removing the doors completely and building an insulated wall. Absolutely not! The heat in the summer time is brutal here so in the spring and fall months when it’s pleasant outside I enjoy leaving the doors open and letting fresh air in. There’s no way I’d wall off these doors.

The solution is an insulated door of some kind. At the time of this video and article I don’t have a replacement door installed but I do have a set ordered and on their way. Installation should be within the next week or so. I went with an insulated and sealed garage door with an R value of 10.5. Each door will have one row of insulated windows for me to see when someone pulls in the driveway. Those windows, as well as the shop windows, will be tinted. Total cost on the doors to be installed is $2,755.25.

Total Cost

That concludes the shop build. I’ve received a lot of questions and comments in regards to the total cost of the new shop, so here we go… A lot of people think that money and product is just thrown at online content creators these days. To that I say the few (creators) doesn’t represent the many (creators). PureBond provided the plywood for the walls in exchange for product advertising. ClearVue provided the dust collector in exchange for product advertising. And SimpliSafe sponsored one video where they provided the system and a fee in exchange for product advertising. I’m grateful to be a part of those business agreements as I like all three of those products. Everything else has been out of pocket and the only reason I bring it up is to be transparent and to remind everyone that online content creation is a lot like any other business. Lots of risks, decision making, expenses, and consequences.

$8,951.00 – AC/Heat
$3,702.44 – Roof spray foam
$2,755.25 – Insulated garage doors
$2,539.89 – Dust collection
$2,150.00 – Contractor labor
$1,704.62 – Walls: lumber and insulation
$836.78 – All other miscellaneous expenses (electrical, shop computer network, AC repair on old forced air system, etc..)

$22,639.98 – Total cost to go from an empty shell to the current shop setup. It sounds like a lot, which it is, but it’s totally worth it. I had to pull from savings paid for by the business for this to work. It’s money well spent investing back into my business to be well setup for the life of this structure. Aside from the initial $200 I borrowed from household income when I first started in 2012, Jays Custom Creations has always been and will always be debt free. Everything I know business and woodworking related was stuff I researched online. If I can do this then so can you!

Time to make some sawdust.

70 COMMENTS

  1. I built a metAl bldg shop of 24×55 from grading up. Including a mini split system that I installed myself. Total cost almost 30K.
    The mini split was about $1200 to buy but again I installed it myself.

    • Doing it all yourself definitely saves some cash. It wasn’t an option in this case as it would have put my business on hold for too long. No way I’m recording everything to make it worth while. Good job though!

      • Man that is an awesome space to work in! I am in the process of building my shop now. I have been looking into the spray foam for the roof to help combat the heat here. Did they remove the insulation or just spray right over it. I only ask because I paid extra to get a thermal barrier type insulation installed and would hate to have to remove it. Thanks for the great information videos keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks Alot for sharing all of this Jay . I hope to have a shop around that size one day and all that info was very helpful . Obviously my cost would probably be higher in Illinois but your numbers help none the less . I am so happy for you , you really worked your butt off to get where you are today . And you really earned any sponsorship you get along the way . Any future sponsorship you get is because of all the hard work you have done the past 10+ years . I wouldn’t even give any of the comments that suggest something else the time of day . I am sure the more you grow the more those comments will grow as well . Some people will never get it . Anyway , continued Success and Thanks for Inspiring me to do something I should have done many , many years ago .

  3. You words about how you got started and that you can do this too makes me take a hard look at myself. I am not jealous of you, just admire what you have done for yourself. You are a great example of the American dream, that with determination and hard work can, you can fullfil your dreams.

  4. Only thing to add is a driveway alarm. Cheap and effective for letting you know when someone comes up the drive.

  5. Jay, what a great project! I’ve built a couple of shops, but never anything this big! I appreciate your posting real numbers, it’s hard to get this kind of real world information. Now I’ve got to run through each episode again. Pretty interesting!

  6. Very nice shop , you did a great job, love it all, thank you for all the videos of the new shop work and remodleing

  7. I thought I had spent a lot on my small 14 x 20 shop, but comparing the sizing and whatnot I realize mine was inline with reality. This has been a highly entertaining series! If I got more sun directly on my shop I’d have solar panels on it, which I highly recommend btw (I have them on the house, the electric company now pays me as my electric bill is a monthly credit nearly year around). Granted being in Texas the laws and regs are a lot more flexible for solar, but since you’re going to be there for a long while I’d consider it.

  8. Congratulations on your new shop, it’s one to dream about. I started woodworking again after forty years as a bricklayer. I retired and returned to my first love, woodworking. Seems I have already outgrown my two-car garage. You have provided an excellent standard to follow when it comes to developing an efficient shop.

  9. Super nice shop, I am envious but I can’t complain about my 18×26 shop. I have enjoyed the series and have been a long time viewer. Keep up the great work you are doing.

  10. Very informative series Jay. Wishing you all the best! The shop looks and sounds like its functioning very well for you. Look forward to hearing more about new projects coming down the pike. Thanks for sharing all that hard earned knowledge.

  11. Congrats on completing everything, it looks great! I have a 30×40 steel building that I put up about 3 years ago, and it is my dream come true. To this day I am still working on getting the layout and dust collection right, but that is just part of the fun. Would love to do spray foam and mini splits in there, but since my shop is personal enjoyment and not a business, I can’t justify the cost. Maybe someday. Congrats and looking forward to the next build!

  12. Thanks for all the useful info. Will be building my own shop in a 12′ x 16′ shed in Orlando first of next year and all the videos were a great help in the planing. I will be going with spray foam for sure and the LED lighting you recommend.
    All the best

  13. My shop door is like yours and faces East. Hot in the summer and drafty in the winter. I set a wooden frame in the door opening and built “storm doors. 4 panels, top 2 are clear acrylic for light, bottom two are plywood inserts for rigidity. I can open the roll up door, keep the storm doors closed , get the light and keep the heat and wind out.

  14. Jay, I hope you know how much we as viewers and followers of your series appreciate your thought process and research to make your decisions. The final result is very motivating. Thank you again. Long time follower!

  15. I have watched you from being the young man in the garage Jay.Like your business ,you have also grown in stature. I have been in business over 40 years here in the Uk, and at 66 i am now enjoying the fruits of my labour.The 22k this has cost you will hopefully last at least 10 years before further investment.that then works out just about 2000 dollars per year, or 40 dollars per week.That is a very small price to pay for your health, comfort and happiness in your work environment, so you made a good choice, and long may you continue.I hope to be watching your videos for a good few years yet, and would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family, the very best of health. From Garry in the Uk

  16. Excellent investment that you will certainly enjoy for the rest of your time there. I love your philosophy on running the business debt free. I’ve followed your channel for many years and always enjoy what you do. Keep it up! Everything looks great.

  17. What’s with the snowman in the office? Prior planning prevents poor performance, old military acronym. Good looking shop and layout. Built my metal building seven years ago 24 x 42 , boat cover takes up 12 ft. Like the blown in foam, at my age can’t justify. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Love the way your new shop turned out, looks like you have the perfect shop layout, sure looks like you have come a long way since the old trailer when you started.
    I am not jealous of you but I am envious, Look forward to see all the beautiful new projects coming in the near future.
    Looks like a very sound investment in the future of your business.
    I live in Ca. so I simply have to ask if you considered solar power for your shop, I know for me to pay the bill to heat and cool that big a space Here it would cost a fortune. just curious.
    Enjoy the new work space and look for projects soon.
    Hope the family enjoys the new house and new town.
    Jim

  19. I’m in the planning stage on a new shop, 30×30, so I have been very interested in your new shop videos. I’m in Missouri so it gets a little colder here than in your area. I’m looking at radiant floor heating in my slab and but not sure about A/C for the summer. I’m thinking I could mount a window unit through the wall and that would take care of it if I insulated well.

    • In floor heating would be incredible. That’s something I’ve always wanted but don’t think I’ll ever get due to where I live and I don’t plan on building. For a 30×30 space I’d still recommend a mini split unit. They are extremely efficient and relatively inexpensive if you do it yourself. Also, it’s a smaller hole in the wall which means more insulation and less of a draft.

  20. Great shop needless to say… You mention in your video that you make more money by people clicking through your website compared to Youtube.com views. Made me think that it’d be really interesting to hear you talk about how you monetize your site and the various social media networks. You’re such a straightforward and methodical person, I’m sure your insights would be very interesting. Plus I bet a number of your followers would change behaviors to best support you. I personally never thought about any difference of viewing you on Youtube or through your site. For sure I’ll click through to your site from now on.

  21. Awesome job Jay, especially debt free!! The ONLY WAY to run a business!!! Love the new shop and as always all the videos. Great job can’t wait to see what comes next. Have a great day.

    • Indeed, debt free is the way to be! Unfortunately I’m stuck with a mortgage on the house for the next few years though. We paid off our first home and were 100% debt free right before the move. We doubled up in house value so we’re back on the debt free snowball at the moment. Just a few more years though :)

  22. You have helped inspire me to get back into woodworking. I always wanted to but life choices took me down a different path, but aside from family nothing gives me more satisfaction than building something. That and the smell of sawdust. Anyway thanks for what you do.

  23. Awesome setup sir, the layout seems very efficient and glad you shared the reasoning and process behind it.

    It looks like a lot of questions are on the AC, which mine is too. Do you allow it to warm up when not in use? When I get around to building my shop, I was thinking about letting the temp get up to 85 while I’m at work or essentially not using the shop, just to save on some energy. Have you thought of doing this or is there a reason not to do that?

    • I do exactly what you mentioned but set the high limit to 80. Mitsubishi has their own WiFi app that allows scheduling so I have mine to dehumidify between 530-730am, then the cooling is set to 75 monday through friday and 80 on the weekends, then turns off at 6pm.

  24. Hey Jay, if you need someone to take those roll up doors off your hands let me know haha. I’m just a skip and a hop away in Alabama. But seriously, if you are looking to get rid of them I’ll help you out. I’m wanting to build a shed outside my house.

  25. Thanks for the video and write up, it’s been great to follow along! And my favorite quote is “Jays Custom Creations has always been and will always be debt free”. I really admire that and it’s inspiring. Been watching you for years and I’ve learned so much, keep up the good work!

  26. Thank you Jay! I really appreciate your videos and the information that you provide. The shop is AWESOME! Someday!
    Keep up the good work. You inspire us all (at least the good ones).

    Jim

  27. Thanks for being transparent with the costs associated with building this and being one of my favorite people to watch on YouTube. Can’t wait to see you grow into this new shop and all of the projects you will make. Nothing but respect for you!

  28. Ya know Jay, I have watched most if no all of your videos and I gotta say, WOW. Each of them have inspired me and helped me in doing some of the same things you have already thought through while I am just beginning to to formulate my ideas. The miter saw station is my biggest project and after a year I am getting close to the end. It also has an old 14″ Dewalt radial arm saw incorporated into it and has about 30′ of cabinet space including a miter saw. Thank you for all you do and inspire in us all.

  29. Hi Jay,
    Thanks for the info on the AC. I live in a hot dry climate (high 90s to low 100s) and work out of a well insulated 3 car garage (and well insulated garage door) with high 12′ ceilings that gets a lot of sun. I have one of those portable units you can vent out of a window that ran about $600 at Lowes for the last two years that is rated around 14,000 BTUs. It doesn’t cut it. I can keep the shop between 75 and 80 with it running but I’m working with hand tools so it’s not nearly cool enough. I’ve been saving for a ductless system and am about a year away from having the funds (I won’t buy something unless I can pay cash).

    I want the shop to be somewhere between 65 and 70 when working in it in the summer. During our mild winters, I rarely every heat it as the shop stays between 60-65 which is the perfect temp for woodworking with hand tools.

    What made you choose the Mitsubishi system?
    Do you have a feel for what size system I would need? I find most calculations seem to underestimate what I need.
    Since humidity isn’t an issue (50-55% RH during summer), do you think being oversized with AC is a real issue?

    Any advice or input you have would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

    Sincerely,
    Joe

  30. Excellent videos and very thoughtful work. I have a few questions for you. First, given the type of work you do, would you have built a 30 x 40 garage as your preferred size. In other words, if you started from scratch, what size would you most want for the work you do? And second, have you considered putting solar panels on your roof and utilizing some free energy, maybe even selling back to the grid? I live in Washington state and put in 7.7kw of solar from 22-330 watt panels. I sell back to the grid for at least six months. Plus you can get a 30% federal rebate. Just wondering if you considered the long term cost savings from passive solar. Thanks! Mike

  31. Just by chance I am currently in the process of building a 30 by 40 pole building to use as a wood shop when I retire. I found your honesty and insight for what you did and why extremely helpful. I have gone over and over your videos and can hardly wait to start making some of your projects. Thanks you so much. Jeff

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