Designing a New Man Cave and Workshop

We're moving! Not real far, but we're moving. My commute to the office is about 30 minutes, which isn't horrible, but in a 5.7-liter V8 truck, it's not as cheap as it could be, either. My wife's commute is an hour, poor thing. BUT, we happened upon a great house sitting on 0.8 acres of land centrally located in the metro Phoenix area only ten minutes away from my office and 15 minutes away from my wife's.

I highlighted the 0.8 acres of land because... DETACHED WORKSHOP!!!

Rough plans and 3D for my future detached workshop and man cave

The biggest problem right now is that I am NOT an architect NOR am I a structural engineer, so I'll be seeking help in that area. What I'm posting here are just my rough plans and dreams for the final thing.

I've talked about my favorite CAD before: Onshape ( It's a new cloud-based, browser-based, collaborative, professional-grade parametric CAD system built by some of the people who made Solid Works. It's amazing and it's FREE if you have only a handful of private documents and you don't gobble up too much storage with those private documents. If you leave all your designs open to the public to read (not edit), those documents don't count against your totals. If you want to pay for not worrying about space and document counts, it's about $100 per month. They are constantly updating it and improving features. About once-a-month you get an email talking about the cool new things they've added. Love it.

This is a perspective rendering of the detached workshop.

I started designing from the garage part of the building (left side of image above), or the "dusty" part. Then I added on the office/lab ("not-dusty") part (right side with porch). I then extended the concrete slab three feet out from the garage door side and six feet out from the office side for the porch. Here is the floor plan:

Floor plan of detached workshop

Here is the garage side of the building with the roof off:

Detached workshop building, garage space with roof off

The bulk of the workshop area is about 25'x32', give or take. The lowest part of the roof at the back is at about 9' and at its highest point about 15'. I just had the CAD program draw the slope between the two, but I think it's about 12-2.5 (drops 2.5-ish"for every 12" of horizontal run).

The bigger room is the bathroom, which will have a terlet, sink and urinal (because man cave). The closet to the left of the potti is the utility closet, which should have ample room for a small HVAC system and a little hot water heater.

Here is a view at roughly eye-level of the garage space:

Eye-level view of garage space

Here's a view from outside the garage door opening:

Looking into workshop area through garage door opening

I can't wait to get sawdust on the floor and just leave it for a few days! Right now, in our present house, at the end of the day I vacuum up everything, roll all the machinery back into their parking places and roll the truck and car back into the garage.

The office part was originally supposed to be only 15 feet wide, but that put the divider wall in the middle of one of the natural light windows up top, so I added a foot to the office and took a foot from the workshop. Here are renderings of those spaces with the roof removed:

Office area of detached workshop with roof off

The office is huge: 25'x16'. Plenty of room for man cave stuff and the electronics workbench and desk and bourbon cabinets and all that jazz. The space is nice and clean, no broken wall lines. The closet (upper-right) was a bonus, as I didn't need that entire space for the utility stuff on the workshop side. I might still add another closet left of the garage doorway (upper-left). Not sure. Closets are pretty OK in my book for keeping stuff out-of-sight. Hmmm...

Here is an eye-level view of the office space:

Eye-level view inside office space looking toward garage door side of building

Here is a similar view, just turned slightly to the right to see the closet:

Eye-level view of office with closet door opening in view

Of course I'll be continually posting articles as the project progresses. The top priorities moving into the new home are updating its electrical, burying the electrical service to the house, redoing the kitchen and redoing the floors. THEN the workshop gets going.