From ambitious millennials to enthusiastic boomers, do it yourself — DIY — is trending among people of all ages. No matter the hobby or home improvement project, creating a well-equipped workspace is just as important as having the right tools for the job. Whether your workspace is in the garage, a shed or a converted patio or back porch, equipping the space for your ultimate comfort and creativity can start your project off on the right foot and keep your productivity on track.
Here are five must-have elements for the ideal DIY workspace:
1) Evaporative coolers
Whether it's a hot day or you're working up a sweat from manual labor, keeping cool will help you stay focused and motivated. Cooling a space where air conditioning is typically impractical — like a garage or shed where the door needs to stay open — is easy with a portable evaporative cooler. Evaporative coolers like the Portacool Cyclone 140 do more than just move hot air around like a fan. It can effectively and cost-efficiently chill up to 900 square feet by using water and ambient air to create a noticeably cool workspace. At just over 5 feet tall, the Cyclone 140 elevates airflow and has sturdy wheels so you can move air to wherever you need it most. Learn more at www.portacool.com.
2) Proper lighting
Even if you have a good source of natural light, many DIY projects require extra illumination, especially if small parts are involved. If the space allows, add an overhead light fixture or replace existing light bulbs in fixtures with higher watt LEDs for better lighting any time of day. Also consider investing in a work light with an extension cord that includes a metal cage around the light for protection and a hook so you can hang it wherever you need an illumination boost.
3) Flexible electric access
If you plan to do specific DIY projects, you may have to hire an electrician to adjust your electric outlets. For example, a welder has specific amp and breaker requirements. However, for the average DIYer, you'll simply need a flexible power source with standard plugins. Don't be limited by outlet availability. Stock your space with a retractable power cord that allows you to bring the electricity to you. Plus, the retractable reel will allow you to keep your space clean and uncluttered, unlike traditional extension cords.
4) Mobile workbench
It's not ideal to work on the ground, so every suitable DIY space should have a workbench. Of course, you can buy one, but in the true spirit of DIY consider making your own to custom fit your needs and space. With a few 2-by-4s and plywood, you can create the perfect workbench for your space. Adding locking caster wheels makes it a safe mobile workbench that can easily move as your project dictates. Consider adding storage for tools to truly tailor to your needs.
5) Ergonomic extras
DIY projects shouldn't result in a pain in the back, or anywhere else for that matter. In addition to a workbench, you can add some extras to help your body feel its best as you get the job done. For example, utilize a comfortable chair with proper back support when doing projects. Keep a foam pad on hand for kneeling to cushion knees and support legs. For long periods of standing, use an anti-fatigue work mat as it can make a world of difference.
While specific tools may vary depending on your project or hobby, having these elements in place will improve the quality of your DIY workspace to help make sure you get any job done right the first time, while feeling your very best.