Standing Workstation on a Budget

Seven months ago I switched from a regular sitting desk to a standing workstation and the only regret I have is not doing it sooner. Since making the switch my energy level and productivity during the workday increased significantly. Standing workstations became a trend recently and there is a good reason for it.

Michael Hyatt writes a lot about why so many people are switching to a standing desk. Here are two articles from his blog that I recommend reading, “4 Reasons You Should Buy a Standup Desk – Right Now” and “Why Sitting Is Killing You”. I know… I know, sounds dramatic but there is a lot of truth to it.

Below is a short time-laps of me setting up the stand-up desk.

If you look around the web, you’ll find that stand-up desks can get very costly. Very costly! Ranging between $600 and $1,500, which in my opinion is just crazy, at least at this point of my life it is. Being on a budget I decided to use what I had around my house to assemble my standing workstation. In this post I share exactly how I did it and what I used.

25 - Standing WorkstationDrafting Table – I had this drafting table for a while laying under my bed. I bought it brand new eight years ago for $160. I’m pretty sure you can find same one for much cheaper at a garage sale or on Craigslist. Raising the table to its highest point wasn’t enough for me, so that’s where the second piece of the puzzle comes in.

8 Various Russian Poetry Books – Just to be clear, these don’t necessarily have to be Russian poetry books, you can use any poetry books. Unstable you say? Maybe you are right, so proceed at your own risk.

Computer – I had this computer custom-built few years ago, so I can’t link to a particular station. Basically it was built with enough memory and graphics card to handle 3D modeling, rendering and AutoCAD.

MonitorsMonitors – I’m using two same size but different brand monitors. Left one is a Samsung SyncMaster S23B300 and the right one is Acer AL2216W (here is the closest model I found available). Not ideal scenario to use different brand monitors but I’m still alive and well, so no problem there. By the way if you haven’t switched to using dual monitors do it as soon as possible. I wrote an in-depth post on dual monitors here.

6 Collier’s Encyclopedias aka Monitor Stands – These look good, at least in my opinion, and the best part I got them for free. 

Mouse – After going through more than dozen of these, I finally found the ONE! Having a mouse that fits you perfectly is a crucial part to being a productive drafter and designer. Logitech M510 is the one that works for me. I highly recommend it, but what works for me will not necessarily work for you.

Keyboard – Nothing fancy or futuristic to see here, just a keyboard that works. Here is a similar keyboard on amazon.

LampLamp – On rare occasions when I have actual paper drawings/documents that I’m working off of, this is perfect for light. Small enough not to take precious desk space, strong enough to provide proper lighting.

Speakers – Music is important to a drafting and design process, so having decent speakers is a must in the office. One important feature for me is to have headphone and AUX dock extension nearby, for the times when kids are sleeping and I can’t play music out loud.

PrinterPrinter (Brother MFC – J6920DW) – I never had luck with printers until I found this brother. Perfect for printing out “check sets” on 11 x 17 paper as well as on a regular 8.5 x 11. It also scans and copies both sizes. It’s not the fastest printer out there, but for this price it sure is a good deal. Also, this printer is not a glutton when it comes to ink, which we all know printers are known for.

Standing Mat – If you are planning on switching to a standing desk, make sure to buy a standing mat. Without the mat, by the end of the working day, your feet will not be happy. There are special mats for sending desks, but again the price is ridiculous. I just got this Stanley Portable Comfort Mat and it works perfectly.

If you can afford a brand new ridiculously expensive stand-up desk by all means buy one, I sure would. But if you are on a budget like I am, there are alternatives. I hope that this was helpful and that some of you will make the switch.

I would love to hear from you. Are you using a standing workstation? Did you buy it or put it together yourself? What did you use? Please comment below.

Note: Some of the links in on this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers.

Eugene Kovalenko

I’m a husband, dad, blogger, and owner of DraftingHub.com. I provide inspiration and resources for designers, students and drafting firms.

6 thoughts on “Standing Workstation on a Budget

  1. Excellent post, Eugene!

    And thanks for sharing all these great ideas on how to set up a standing desk on a budget. I know that for me, the costs of a standing desk was the primary thing holding me back from switching over sooner.

    Keep up the great work :)

  2. What I find funny is that in 90’s when I was doing predominantly board drafting, we all had standing workstations with tall stools. I started sitting in the mid-90’s when we shifted over to AutoCad. I still have my wonderful large adjustable drafting table, but unfortunately the hydraulics are shot so it sinks back down after a short while. Maybe I should look into getting it fixed. Meanwhile, I do everything that I can while standing and generally move around a lot.

    Thanks for the great blog. :)

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