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New Addition for Sewing Room

New Addition for Sewing Room

Old 04-06-2021, 10:03 AM
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Default New Addition for Sewing Room

I actually posted about this 3 years ago - but now it's finally becoming a reality. We are adding a 26' x 26' addition to our house for the sole purpose of being my sewing room. Plans are being drawn up now and I expect the first draft soon.

I've already decided I will be going with in floor heating and Luxury Vinyl Tile, lots of lights, outlets at counter height, etc. What I'm really looking for is information as it applies to the construction process. For those of you who have built an addition for the sole purpose of it being your sewing room, please answer these questions:

What difficulties (if any) did you encounter?

What do you think you did very well?

What do you think you could have done better?

Any tips you'd like to share?

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. I'm sure your experience will help me avoid some pitfalls.
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Old 04-06-2021, 10:14 AM
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Have at least 2 separate circuits for outlets, and perhaps a dedicated one for high-current items like an iron. Lighting should be on different circuits than wall outlets (all this is building code). You may need to have your electrical service upgraded for the additional circuits.

Use a lighting modeling software package to make sure you have adequate lighting in all areas. Use high CRI (color rendering index) bulbs in all light fixtures (>90 CRI). Watch your color temperature on the bulbs (5000K+ can feel like a doctor's office, below 3000K might feel too yellow).

Why in-floor heating? Is this on slab? Make sure the vinyl is compatible with it (in many cases, it is not). Do you have any other HVAC planned? If not, consider a mini-split heat pump.

Are you adding a half-bath? If the plumbing allows one, consider it.

Be sure you pull all necessary permits. Use licensed contractors. Take photos of framing/electrical (with reference markers) before things are insulated so you know where they are.
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Old 04-06-2021, 10:30 AM
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Lucky you to get to make the plans before you start. My thoughts:

If you think you would ever want a longarm, think about whether you want to plug it into a ceiling outlet. I hang the electrical wire up on my older Nolting all the time. Another thing, If you are planning on sewing or ironing in the middle of the room, put a couple of outlets there too. If you plan on inviting friends to sew with you, then take that into consideration. Have you thought about where your design wall will be? Do you plan on built in cabinets for fabric storage, a closet or open shelves? Think about your lighting for sewing. Do you want all the lights to come on at one time, or specific ones according to the area of the room you are in?
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Old 04-06-2021, 11:29 AM
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I second the recommendations of the half-bath and plenty of power. Tripped circuit breakers are a p.i.t.a.

As far as the construction itself, I think you could probably ask anyone who has done ANY kind of add-on construction, not just specifically quilt studios, for tips and things to know ahead of time.
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Old 04-06-2021, 12:45 PM
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I didn't get to plan my sewing room as we bought a house that had a 30x30 attached garage with an apartment above it and that become my sewing studio.
1. I love having a bathroom with a washer/dryer hookup. We modified what was there to use a full size front load washer with a full size dryer on top. No hauling fabric to the laundry room in the basement for me! I actually do most of my laundry up there so I can monitor it while sewing (have dress cloths that need to be removed promptly. And when I'm too busy finishing up something to deal with the "call of nature", I don't have far to run when nature becomes insistent!
2. Love the walk in closet - it's narrow with shelves on both sides, and it's perfect for my stash. We put track lighting so I'd have lot of light. I put clear totes for the top shelves so I can see what is in them. I have a stool to easily get them down.
3. The bedroom is perfect for my LA. I love being able to shut the door and not worry about the cats using a quilt as a hammock. the separate room also allows me to keep the shades pulled without keeping it dark in my sewing room.

What I don't like
It has track lighting in the main area all on one switch, would love to be able to only turn on half at a time. I have desk lamps at each machine to give lots of light where I'm working.

we did pull out the carpet and install luxury vinyl.
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Old 04-06-2021, 02:56 PM
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Lots to think about. Good luck I hope it goes smoothly.
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Old 04-06-2021, 04:32 PM
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Congrats on your plan!

Think about what and where you will be storing items. Fabrics, thread and supplies need to be considered. Do you want closets and/or walk in closets?

I would plan zones for different activities such ironing, cutting, and sewing? I want a cutting table that is at least big enough to hold a bolt width of fabric. Good luck on all the decisions you have to make.
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Old 04-06-2021, 04:41 PM
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How about windows? Although my sewing room is a 14'x32' she shed, it has 3 large windows(4'x5') and 2 smaller windows(48"x36") and 6-4' led lights.
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Old 04-06-2021, 05:55 PM
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Coming back to add:

How does this addition fit into the rest of the house floorplan? If someone weren't a quilter/sewist, how might the addition be used?

I ask this because you mention counter-height outlets. If someone wanted to use this space for something different, that would be a turn-off, because they would have to remodel the entire space to make it work, and tearing down drywall and relocate outlets would cause many to hesitate. I would not do counter-height outlets. You can do regular height outlets and then mount long power strips at counter level. That is what DH does for his shop space - if and when we sell far in the future, it is easy to reconfigure his space. The mounting for the power strips is just a couple of screw holes that can be easily patched.

Always, ALWAYS, think about resale and multipurpose when you build an addition.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:18 AM
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  • Double the amount of outlets. Everything is electric these days.
  • I wish my outlets were on different circuit breakers; Plugging in a space heater kept tripping the plugs in my new garage/workroom.
  • We reinforced the walls between the framing 2x4s with horizontal wood planks at the height to make hanging pictures easy, so we'd be nailing into wood instead of just drywall.
  • Love my peg board.
  • Water line for ice maker/refrigerator; we have a deep freezer and extra fridge in there.
  • Half bath is very nice.
  • I use free-standing shelves which can be moved around, which allows me to reconfigure/tweek my workspace.
Congrats on the workroom!
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