Metal Building Workshop Enhancements
One of the great features of pre-engineered metal buildings (PEMB) is their spacious and versatile design.
The lack of consecutive load-bearing walls and the opportunity for clear-span construction within a pre-engineered steel building gives you more options when organizing your workshop.
However, it can be puzzling to know if we are making the best use of our space when presented with such versatility. Let’s look at some ways to enhance your metal building to best suit your needs.
Begin By Identifying Your Needs
When looking to optimize the workshop space in your building, begin by clarifying your goals:
- Do you want dedicated open space for projects to move in and out?
- Do you need storage space for tools or equipment?
- Would you benefit from varying levels in your workshop?
- What light and space requirements will you need?
- Are these needs going to change over time?
Workshop Enhancement #1: Dedicated Storage
One of the simplest methods of optimizing your workshop is to start with dedicating storage space. This is a step often overlooked by businesses and leisurely craftsmen alike until they notice the inefficiency created by disorganization.
When thinking of optimization, it’s good to focus on versatility. Your needs may change as your business, hobbies or workload changes.
Cabinets and shelves on wheels are a great way to ensure your metal building’s interior remains flexible. If your storage cabinets, workbenches or shelves have wheels make sure they can lock. This reduces the risk of injury if items or people lean against the storage units.
Shelves and cabinets could also be mounted to walls to keep floor space clear. Standalone shelving units can be arranged to separate work zones, minimizing distraction between workers while keeping projects within designated areas.
Even if you have ample storage, it can easily go to waste if your supplies aren’t organized properly. Keeping track of what tools you have and where they are located through labeling and inventory will ensure you won’t lose money replacing your equipment.
Not only is proper storage a game-changer for keeping things clutter-free and easy to locate, but it can also provide a measure of safety. Items stored out of the walkways aren’t a tripping hazard, and chemicals are less likely to spill when stored properly.
Workshop Enhancement #2: Mezzanine Space
Adding mezzanines, which are similar to lofts, in pre-engineered metal buildings is an effective way to expand the usable square footage of your workshop. Mezzanines don’t have to be used solely for tucked away storage areas. When built to code, mezzanines can provide lifted and enclosed office spaces or work areas with a view of the goings-on at ground level.
If your workshop provides maintenance on specialized or tall equipment, lofts and raised walkways can also offer safe access to work on these projects. Similarly, raised walkways can be used to oversee workflow or to move through the building without interrupting activities on ground level.
Workshop Enhancement #3: Customized Office Space
Many workplaces need areas that are quieter or meet specific light requirements. By building enclosed rooms within your metal building, you can create separate work areas for different needs.
Whether it is an office space, a meeting room or even a darkroom–the flexibility of the open floor plan lets you build to suit your workshop. Auto shops often have enclosed rooms with specialized ventilation systems for applying paint to vehicles. Lofts featuring enclosed offices let a warehouse business run entirely from one building.
It’s easier to manage temperature and humidity levels in smaller rooms. If you need storage space that doubles as a controlled environment, consider adding in enclosed rooms to the inside of your metal building.
Workshop Enhancement #4: Lifts and Pulleys
Optimization often comes down to accessible versatility. Lifts can provide accessible options. Commonly seen in auto shops, lifts allow you to work safely underneath vehicles or equipment with ample space.
Lifts can also function as a temporary storage area when you need to move projects or equipment out of the way. Parking lifts are specifically designed to stack vehicles on top of one another, making them a good option for multi-functional and sturdy storage.
Some agricultural businesses may need to install pulleys, conveyor belts or other equipment to process goods. Steel’s strength allows these systems to be attached securely to your metal building with minimal risk. After all, steel is one of the top 10 strongest metals on Earth! By choosing pre-engineered metal buildings made with high-quality steel, you can rest assured in their structural integrity.
Workshop Enhancement #5: Folding Tables
Murphy tables are just like murphy beds: they’re designed to fold up and away, keeping your workspace functional and versatile. This is especially great if you don’t usually need a table to work on. When we have surfaces that aren’t used regularly, they can become a magnet for clutter–making them harder to use when we actually need them!
Folding tables don’t need to be fixed to a wall, though. There are countless designs which allow tables to collapse for easy storage. Some folding tables even feature wheels with locks to ease their movement and keep them in place when you’re ready to use them.
Workshop Enhancement #6: Structural Components
Sometimes, the optimization you need can’t be found in storage or interior design ideas. You may be able to optimize your workshop through the addition of structural features to your metal building. Components like awnings, windows, bay doors and skylights are just a few examples of structural changes which could benefit your workshop.
Skylights allow natural light to filter through, reducing the amount of electric lighting your shop requires while bringing an expansive and architectural feel to the building. Windows of any size will allow for more light and visibility into and out of your building. Depending on the type of window and its placement, windows can also be a great way to create a cross-breeze for natural ventilation.
Awnings can be very useful if you have items or tools which must be stored or used outdoors. The cover allows you to work rain or shine while creating an open-air workspace that’s out of the direct sun.
It’s important that you can easily bring things in and out of your workshop, and that may mean adding larger than standard doors. Bay doors and roll-up doors allow you to bring heavy equipment or large-scale materials into your space. These doors also offer access to fresh air and natural light.
Finding What Works
Pre-engineered metal buildings are easy to customize and merge with additions as your needs change. Mimicking this adaptability with your storage options ensures your space will work for you for many years.
As you can see, there are many things you can do to enhance your workshop in a pre-engineered metal building. Whether you are adding structural components to the building itself or getting creative with storage, the most important factor is finding what fits your needs.