Buick64C

Looking for Work Shop/Out Building advice

Recommended Posts

After living in the Chicago suburbs for decades, I’m looking to buy property in Wisconsin. Why? I’ve gotten to the point in life where my car collection has way outgrown my space and my need to live in the suburbs has been greatly reduced. (Plus all the other issues with how the State and County are run). So, I’m looking at some properties in more rural areas that tend to have work shops/out building already on the property. My question to everyone is: do you have any advice on things to look for and avoid with these types of buildings? Some of them have dirt floors, which I would want to have cemment poured. Any idea (ballpark) what the cost is to doing something like that?

 

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Edited by Buick64C (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's probably cheaper and of course easier to buy something already up than to build for starters.  Though it may not be what you really want but will make do.   Not sure if you are looking for a property with a house and the whole 9 yards or just a property with a garage.  Finding something that really fits the bill gets tricky especially if the wife wants a nice house.  

There are pros and cons to all types of construction.  Assuming you are sticking in the Northern part of the country I would look at drainage and how snow fall/ melt will affect any of the buildings you look at.  

Infloor heat is really nice in the North country.  Not sure of your area or budget, taste in architecture Etc.  so that may affect alot of things.   Going rural should help keep the price down.  With anything you want to watch the foundations, poles on pole barns etc.  Many big buildings were built on  the cheap and may not have the greatest foundations.  

Pouring a floor shouldn't be a huge deal in a building that is up but costs may change depending on the difficulty of pouring and if you decide to go with heat in the floor. 

I have a quote for a 6 inch with steel reinforcement for a 60 by 72 foot garage and that's $20,000 for just the concrete work without any of the infloor heat which I will install myself before the pour.   We aren't far from the concrete plant though so the further or more rural the more expensive in trucking fees. 

There is quite a bit of discussion about this on my garage build thread toward the beginning.  Pros and cons of steel and wood etc. 

Here is a link to my thread. 

 

If you have an idea of where you want to live there are alot of ways to search to find stuff not really picked up on normal listings.

I started with a few realtors looking but they were far from serious and just pitched a few definite no's my way that didn't even really match the criteria I gave them and I was very open to options. 

I searched craigslist for sale by owner,  even went over my budget a bit figuring there was probably negotiation room, of course even checked the realtor.com stuff and found lots of options never even pitched by the realtors.

We also decided that what we really needed was an oversized garage for starters with room to build and a good house with land to build a bigger shop.

I mentioned it to several people and actually bought it from a friend's brother who was thinking about selling the place but never got around to getting it ready to list. 

It was up a driveway that totally concealed the house and the existing garage so you would have never known what was up here.  

it's good to get the word out as you might get lucky just as we did.

Let us know the other criteria including size of the building you would like and maybe even an area.  Some of us love searching around to see what's for sale and passing along the deals. 

For ideas, if you build, you can view my thread for prices of what everything cost and time frame for that size building,  which I'm pretty sure you could use to get a rough price as it pertains to the square footage you might be looking for. 

Good luck. 

Edited by auburnseeker (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Buick64C said:

Some of them have dirt floors, which I would want to have cemment poured. Any idea (ballpark) what the cost is to doing something like that?

 

Here's some information from an estimate 18 months ago.

I'm involved in the building industry:

 

---For a 4" thick concrete slab, 4000 p.s.i. strength, with

welded wire fabric (mesh) at mid-depth, the price in Pennsylvania

was $3.00 to $3.25 per square foot if the door was at least

12 feet high so the concrete company could get a truck inside

the building.  Add $0.15 to $0.25 per square foot if the concrete

had to be pumped from the outside.

 

The above price was for 7200 square feet, when there was 

already an adequate sand base for the concrete.  I don't know

whether it included a vapor barrier below the slab, but a 6-mil

(or thicker) polyethylene vapor barrier is appropriate.

 

(By the way, you mean concrete, not cement.  Cement is a 

powder that is only one ingredient of concrete.)

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Concrete trucks need a 14 foot door.  The trucks average 12 foot 3 inches to the top according to online specs.  A friend just went through this.  They couldn't get the truck in his 12 foot door.  The reason I just opened my opening back up on mine and went with a 14 foot door. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps our concrete companies have different trucks.

The quote was from a large and respected company.

 

Mr. Buick, as for various types of buildings, a wooden

"pole building" is the least expensive.  But if the foundations

include wood columns that are concreted in the ground,

be aware that that is not an especially long-lasting detail.

Even pressure-treated wood columns as such may last

only 20 years, according to what an experienced Amish

builder has seen in our area.  Some may last longer, since

pressure-treated wood exposed to moisture is supposed

to have a 40-year life.

 

A better design for a pole building would be to place the

columns only at or above the floor elevation, with

appropriate concrete footings (possibly with concrete

pedestals) beneath.  Most older pole buildings are not

made this way.  This better method is probably still uncommon

even with new ones. 

 

Auburnseeker was right to advise above that "Many big buildings were

built on  the cheap and may not have the greatest foundations." 

I think that is true of pole buildings, and to a lesser extent,

pre-engineered steel buildings.  Conventional construction, from what

I've seen, doesn't take short-cuts with the foundations, unless

possibly it was a small one designed by the builder without a

design professional.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I built a barn in the western suburb of Chicago, Wayne and did a pole barn. The reason being taxes!  If it has a foundation the taxes are almost as bad as the house taxes. If you put concrete pedestals in the ground Dupage & Kane counties taxed as if it was a foundation. A 3000 sq ft house on 5 acres with a 40x30 pole barn started at $4800/yr taxes in 1986. In 2002 when we sold the tax bill was $11000/yr. the current taxes are $19000/yr per the kids that bought our place. Wisconsin has areas that tax just as bad, so if you are going to build be aware of tax codes before buying.  

When we moved 15 years ago we could not find a decent small enough (5 acres or less) place in WI that had out buildings that wasn’t in a high tax area. Fortunately my work allowed me to be anywhere within a days drive of Chicago/Milwaukee area, so we ended up in Lexington Ky. I don’t like the politics of the state and especially the Senators, but the natural beauty is amazing. The people are friendly, my wife says it’s due to the Bible Belt, I say it’s the bourbon. The taxes on a 4200 sq ft house with bigger barn on 15 acres is $3100/yr. cost of living is lower than Chicago & Wi, it’s better weather also. 

Check everything out before you go to Wi

but no matter what get out of tax crazy IL. 

Have fun. 

Dave S 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another important item:  The International Building Code,

the International Residential Code, and the predecessor

BOCA Code, are dangerously light in specifying roof snow load.

Many states use those codes.  The codes have been that way

since around 1986.

 

The codes are so light that we had numerous roof collapses

in one or two years when we got a full snow load.  One shopping

center was reduced to rubble on the ground almost instantly.

 

Experienced engineers know better;  but some building companies

(makers of pole buildings and pre-engineered metal buildings) want to

present a convenient low price to you, so they will be likely to use all the

reductions that the building code allows.  This is unsafe.

No one wants his car collection smashed!

 

My focus is on excellence and proper strength in building design.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the great information.

 

@auburnseeker I’ve been following your progress the toy box you’re building. It’s really cool. I would love something like that, but don’t currently have the appetite for a big project. 

 

I’ll elaborate a little on what I’m trying to accomplish. There are quite a few moving parts, so ultimately, I know I’ll need to make tradeoffs. My top priorities are finding something within 20 minutes of the Illinois border, with Genoa City being the place I would cross the cheddar curtain. Second, I want something where I can begin storing cars right away. Down the line, I could see building a dream shop, but I don’t have the bandwidth now. The house isn’t as important as I wouldn’t be living there initially. This may turn in to the place I retire, but for now I’d only use it as a getaway and for a workshop.

Edited by Buick64C (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That helps.  Do you know of any collectors/ car guys in that area?  It might be worth putting the word out to them as they know all the old collectors that might be looking to downsize or move to assisted living where the family hasn't quite gotten to the what do we do with the house yet as often the family has spread to the wind so you won't even see those relatives until they come up to "clean out".  You can also help avoid the realtor fees in some cases.  Usually making both the seller and buyer happier.

 

See I knew I posted my thread to show it isn't all a quick cheap process to get a building built,  especially on a budget if you can't just pick out one of the pre packaged deals. 

 

Dave S might be on to something unless there is a particular reason you were thinking Wisconsin.  Those taxes are a killer.  Ours aren't a whole lot better.  We are just south of 9G with the new building but they will probably creep up a bit more just with finishing the building off on the outside. I can't complain though as we are in a high revenue area from resorts and sales tax revenue.  Next town over guys with a 1/4 of what I have are paying as much.  If we were a mile or so further south our taxes would be really reasonable as that's a different school tax zone as well.   I wish the wife had wanted to move further south.  

Sucks to throw away enough money that you could buy a new truck every 5 or 6 years and just give it away when you were done. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before you pour the concrete floor, put 2" of high density rigid foam insulation under it, along with the vapor barrier.  It will make it easier to heat in the winter.  Saw joints in the floor while the concrete is still green to control where the cracks will be - and there will be cracks.  If you want a shop area, think about how to wall off a portion of the building so you don't have to heat the whole thing.  Take a look at the Modine "Hot Dawg" gas heaters that take in combustion air from the outside, has a totally enclosed burner, and vent the exhaust out, too.  That prevents dumping a lot of water vapor into the garage and is safer if you are using flammable solvents.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More distance than you would like, but my guess is you could save a lot of money going to Indiana. Once you get about 30 miles from Chicago, prices go way down and taxes are cheap. Get 60 miles from the big city and the same only more so. Wherever you buy, don’t just get a building, get a home, and get the hell out of Illinois!  

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You may want to check in local ma & pa diners in the area you are looking at and ask if they know of any farmers that may be renting out equipment sheds. These are usually large metal buildings and with the state of farming many are now empty. The dinners are usual meeting  places for farmers to compare what is going on in the area and a very good information source. Just a thought. 

Dave S 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My two cents:

A metal pole building with the correct pressure treated posts will out live you and can be put up in almost less time than you would spend inspecting  an existing structure. It can be built to YOUR needs and spec. It's likely the most square footage bang for the buck available. ( in your choice of colors, too). When you pour the floor think about 5 to 6 inches thick where you may want a two post lift. Flexible foam wall insulation wrap is cheap and effective. A white steel ceiling with 8" of insulation laid on top is reflective, cheap and effective. A FULL 12' foot ceiling is a must. If you wire it install a 200 amp breaker box now.

With proper design and construction a metal pole building is attractive, efficient, cost effective, works very well and lasts a long time..........Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bhigdog said:

With proper design and construction a metal pole building is attractive, efficient, cost effective, works very well and lasts a long time

 

That's the part alot of people skip unless they have a really nice house.  Alot more cheap looking, unattractive ones out there than good looking ones.  

At 45 I also had to think will this last and still be good in 40 more years if I make it that long?  I don't want to be the guy at 65 to 70 looking at rotted off posts and other issues that can happen.  Sometimes even the best pressure treated rots off faster than expected.  I've built alot of docks and decks.  all the railings on our 20 year old deck are shot, spindles rotted off and everything, Uprights for the railings are like new.  Some boards are really bad on the deck and others look like they were put down last year. Not a big deal on a deck,  a huge deal to change on your finished building. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bhigdog said:

With proper design and construction a metal pole building is attractive, efficient, cost effective, works very well and lasts a long time.

 

A pole building is probably the least expensive way

to construct a storage building.  But it will be long-lasting

ONLY if it is properly designed--and many are not.

As previously noted, wood columns (poles) in the ground

have been found to be undesirable;  and if the roof (usually trusses)

is designed merely to meet a substandard code provision,

there is danger ahead when the building sees a very

heavy snow.

 

Buildings are typically designed to withstand loads that

occur once in 50 years--that is, when properly designed.

If one designs for less snow load, most years will be fine,

but that heavy snow could occur any year and collapse the

entire building.  These cautions can be of great help to you!

 

Also, be alert to metal roofs:  Snow will often accumulate

and slough off, hundreds of pounds at a time.  That snow

can destroy shrubbery and injure people.  A building 7000 sq. feet

in size may be designed for 280,000 pounds of snow!  The best way

to keep snow from sloughing off is a continuous horizontal bar

placed between roof ribs near the eave, and that's a detail that

isn't often seen on inexpensive pole buildings.

 

Most effective:

image.jpeg.4d673b7d1c2f70f486ff8c50ac9d49d3.jpeg

 

 

Somewhat effective:

image.jpeg

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't insulate the roof either metal roofs can be deafening in a rain or worst yet hail storm.  Also watch for dams created by falling sliding snow where the water then enters back into the building.  Likewise sliding snow into your garage door way is a nightmare as well.  Especially if you aren't there to clean it away during those warm wet days that freeze up overnight.  Your garage door may even get froze shut.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our fifty year heavy ice and snow here in Oregon winter of 08-09.

I realize that this is not much compared to some parts of the country, But the rain after the storm made it pretty heavy for these parts.

My building survived. but I did have to replace a couple of plumbing vents that  got sheared off as the ice slid.

The scary part was the rainy days and freezing nights.

misc ebay stuff 005.jpg

misc ebay stuff 006.jpg

misc ebay stuff 007.jpg

misc ebay stuff 008.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the metal roof on my house. However, at the museum we have a large un-heated wood framed building with

no insulation with the metal laid directly over the trusses on purlins with no sheathing.  In all respects it works great except.....

we tend to have in early and late winter large temperature fluctuations. It can go from high 20's to high 30's in less than

24 hours and we end up with condensation dripping off the underside of the sheet metal.

 

We have added a ton of ventilation but at least one or two days a year we still have the problem. Fortunately its

doesn't cause a huge problem - just an annoyance.

 

858395439_LombardsinMachineryHall.jpg.41f5f931cd68738a6ccb5064a903d646.jpg

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as the geography goes, I still need to be in close proximity to the northwest suburbs of Chicago because of personal and professional obligations. I see this as maybe a 10-year transition, as I'm needed in that area less. And as much as I "dream about the moonlight on the Wabash" driving through the the city each time is a non-starter. With regards to taxes, when you live in Cook County, everything else is cheaper. In Wisconsin, a 5 acre parcel has a tax bill about 1/3 of what I pay for a modest 3 bedroom house on a 1/4 acre. 

 

The roof strength issues is a really good point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check out the Galena area, beautiful area a lot of good old barns on farms that are for sale or have already been sold to corporate farming groups that didn’t buy the 4-5 acres around the house and barns. NW tollway goes out there and it’s not nearly as crowded as 294 or RT47 to Geneva. 

Be sure to let us know when and where you decide to go. 

Dave S 

ps Auburnseeker some of us are that 70 year old guy but we got smart enough to sell the building 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, auburnseeker said:

If you don't insulate the roof either metal roofs can be deafening in a rain or worst yet hail storm.  Also watch for dams created by falling sliding snow where the water then enters back into the building.  Likewise sliding snow into your garage door way is a nightmare as well.  Especially if you aren't there to clean it away during those warm wet days that freeze up overnight.  Your garage door may even get froze shut.  

My shop has a steel ceiling on the trusses with 8" of fiberglass batts on top. In the hardest rain I can barely hear it. Building connected to it has a metal roof and no ceiling, same as the stable. In a good rain can hardly hear yourself talk.

I have full length snow guards as in pix above. Zero problems with snow.................Bob

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Bhigdog said:

With proper design and construction a metal pole building is attractive, efficient, cost effective, works very well and lasts a long time.....Bob

I agree with Bob and also suggest you check with your car insurance carrier. 

Rates may be much higher for cars stored in a flammable wood structure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mark Shaw said:

Rates may be much higher for cars stored in a flammable wood structure.

I've wondered about this before.  If you have a forest fire even a metal building will burn if conditions are right.  If a car catches fire inside,  the building is toast again, so unless it's a concrete bunker it isn't going to make alot of difference. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, SC38DLS said:

Check out the Galena area, beautiful area a lot of good old barns on farms that are for sale or have already been sold to corporate farming groups that didn’t buy the 4-5 acres around the house and barns. NW tollway goes out there and it’s not nearly as crowded as 294 or RT47 to Geneva. 

 

 

Galena is really nice. Unfortunately, it's about an extra 1.5 hours away for me compared to the Wisconsin boarder.

 

1 hour ago, Mark Shaw said:

I agree with Bob and also suggest you check with your car insurance carrier. 

Rates may be much higher for cars stored in a flammable wood structure.

 

I've talked to them in the past about storage away from my house and they didn't seem to care about the details, as long as the car is inside..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now