Buick64C

Looking for Work Shop/Out Building advice

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So in the case of a guy with maybe 200G or so in cars stored in the building does the car insurance company really look as much at this aspect or is it more of a concern for your home owners insurance?

I can see the car insurance company being concerned on larger collections worth 500G to several million where they probably also require fire supression among other things. 

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Hello Mr. Buick, I just built in central IL a few years ago and experienced a few car workshop issues that may be relevant:

 

I was living on a farmstead with a 3200sq ft metal machine shed.  It was a Quonset, but sturdy and with a full concrete floor, and I expected my car storage issues were solved forever.  Not exactly.  It was so large it was impossible to insulate or heat without major expense and having the large sliding barn door (which I hated) I could not seal out dust or (especially) mice.  I spent $5000 on walling in the sliding door and installing a regular roll up door and that helped but it was imperfect and yet another expense.  In winter and spring the temperature swings in the metal building caused such condensation the walls and floor would sweat profusely; I still have rusted tools and parts.  I actually considered building a wood frame garage inside the shed so I could have a space I could more easily manage light and heat. 

 

When I moved back into town I wanted a new 24x48 garage or pole barn with 10ft walls, not quite 1200sq ft.  Much to my surprise the cost was very similar between the two and for several reasons (mostly zoning) I went with the garage and the cost was about $30,000 including concrete foundation & floor, one 16x8ft roll up door and one walk in door, vinyl siding and a concrete driveway approach about 20x24.  That included the building and concrete (it did not include interior walls, electricity or insulation) and the building was all prefabbed and shipped to the site and erected in one day.  I have found this a very convenient size for a hobbyist one man workshop with room for up to four cars and workspace.  For an ideal setup one could have two garages, one for a workshop and one for clean storage.  Just a thought as an alternative to a pole barn, especially if you wish to be in a town rather than in the country (with limited rural access to cable, internet, city water and sewer, etc).  Just a few thoughts, good luck with yours, Todd C                  

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The next step up from a pole building is a 

"pre-engineered metal building," also known as a

"pre-engineered steel building."  Their basic structure

is a steel rigid frame, with metal girts and purlins between

the frames.  They have the advantage of being non-

combustible, and they are good for clear spans of 50 feet,

70 feet, or basically whatever you need.  They can have

larger clear spans than wooden pole buildings.  They can have

interior columns, or be entirely without interior columns.

Their walls and roofs can be insulated.

 

These, too, are often considered "budget" buildings.

Like pole-building companies, metal-building manufacturers

will build what you want, but they try to put a low price forward.

Therefore, a basic quote will often have thinnest-gauge

metal roofing and siding, and they will often take all the

dangerous code-allowed reduction factors

so that they aren't designed for the heaviest loads.  But

a knowledgeable design professional, and a conscientious

salesman, can help you upgrade it so it is a good building.

 

Even better is "conventional construction," of wood and/or

masonry construction, but that's for another posting.

 

Here's a diagram of how metal buildings are constructed:

 

Related image

 

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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Thanks everyone for all the insight. I plan to look at some properties this week and feel much better informed.

 

@poci1957 I passed through your area yesterday on HWY57. I was on my way to pick up another car ('93 Miata) and strain my storage situation even further. 😁

 

 

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I have a 1995 and compared to the Pontiacs I really appreciate the diminutive Miata for taking up less space.  If I had the sense to focus on just them I could store 5 in the space of 4 normal cars and I have also told my wife it gets to be kept the cleanest since it is so much easier to care for so much less car, Todd C

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On 1/13/2019 at 9:28 AM, Buick64C said:

This may turn in to the place I retire, but for now I’d only use it as a getaway and for a workshop.

    With that in mind, I have a few suggestions:

    Look at commercial Industrial Parks.   Better for security and snow load codes, no dirt floors!

    Insist on insulated and heated spaces to prevent it from becoming a fair weather only place.

    Also better for resale than a garage on a remote lot.  

    

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My neighbor/ builder tells me that the best car building would be a slab with wood tip up walls for not much more $ than pole..

This would make it easier to insulate than pole which seems like what everybody is doing.

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3 hours ago, Paul Dobbin said:

    With that in mind, I have a few suggestions:

    Look at commercial Industrial Parks.   Better for security and snow load codes, no dirt floors!

    Insist on insulated and heated spaces to prevent it from becoming a fair weather only place.

    Also better for resale than a garage on a remote lot.  

    

I started out by looking at that type of building. In Northern Illinois,the property taxes are crushing. Also, the demand and resale value is not good. I guess that's what happens when more businesses leave your state then move here. The one property I found that I liked had building code issues. To store cars, they required the installation of a triple basin drain and some other things.

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Existing agricultural buildings can be good for car storage.

When looking for storage, I stopped by one house in the

country that had a large out-building behind it.  It turned out

that it had been a horse-riding arena, but had been nearly

unused for 10 years.  About all that occupied it was a tractor.

 

Now, it serves club members well for antique-car storage!

There is room for at least 28 cars, and the owner is getting

$45 or $50 per month per car when he had zero income from it

previously.  It's a nice concrete-block building with a high ceiling,

and with a metal roof.

 

All from stopping unexpectedly at a house!

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I have a bit of an update and a different direction (with different questions) I'll likely end up pursuing.

 

I've been looking for property with a building far a while. This past weekend, I came to an agreement with a seller for a parcel that I think I'll be very happy with. While there isn't one big building, there a two garages with about 1,200 sq/feet of space. Additionally, there is a small barn with another 800 sq/feet. Combined, there is enough space the store my current fleet and turn one of the garages in to a nice work shop.  Down the line, I could see adding more space, but I think I'm set for a while.

 

The new question I have is has anyone ever converted a barn to a nice work/storage space? The building is very sound and had siding and a new roof installed in the last decade. The floor, windows and doors are the weak points. I love the character it has, but wonder if updating it is a fool's errand. It's not a project I'd undertake in the near term, just curious if anyone has a similar experience.

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48 minutes ago, Buick64C said:

The new question I have is has anyone ever converted a barn to a nice work/storage space? The building is very sound and had siding and a new roof installed in the last decade. The floor, windows and doors are the weak points. I love the character it has... 

 

Show a few pictures so we can admire your new venture!

 

New construction, even an interior fit-out, is usually

more expensive than buying something already existing.

But at least you have the outer structure, which is a good start.

 

What is the construction of your barn?  Old-style heavy timbers,

or a pole building, or wood studs?  Is the siding corrugated metal?

Are the floor, windows, and doors weak because they are

of low quality?  Are you thinking of replacing the weaker elements?

 

Installing insulation and gypsum board (drywall) will depend

on the type of construction you have.  If the buildings are

already made of wood studs, that type of construction will be

easiest to finish inside. 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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When I bought my current home, about 2 years ago, it had an existing 21 year old pole barn on it. Pressure treated poles set into the dirt, metal exterior siding, asphaft roof and concrete floor. I dug down along several of the poles and along the base board that contacts the ground. It all looked like the day it was installed with no rot or soft spots that I could find. I'm on a 50/50 clay and sand loam in Michigan. There are lots of older pole barns around here and I haven't heard of any issues. I wouldn't be afraid of building a new pole barn. Is a foundation building better? Yes, but I'm just not seeing any problems with 20, 30 or even 40 year old pole buildings. Just my experience.

Scott

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Thanks for the enthusiasm John. I want to wait until I actually take possession before posting photos. I’m funny about stuff like that. While I have a signed contract, nothing is done until it’s done. I think the barn is heavy timber, but candidly, I don’t know what all the distinctions mean.  

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Garages and bank accounts have a good relationship though,   Kind of like a man and wife.  The garage will continue to empty your bank account and always need something more. 

You can probably connect the dots from there. 

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Where ever you end up... consider the neighbors. I staked out my potential house several times at different times of the day to get a feel for the area. I was rewarded with two next door neighbors that are gear heads, nobody cares when we're making garage noise or what's in the yard. Only takes one crappy neighbor to rain on the parade! 

 

I purposely looked for a home in an agricultural zoned area... lowest restrictions on anything I could find for zoned plots of land.

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On ‎1‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 1:34 PM, Buick64C said:

While there isn't one big building, there a two garages with about 1,200 sq/feet of space. Additionally, there is a small barn with another 800 sq/feet. Combined, there is enough space the store my current fleet and turn one of the garages in to a nice work shop.  Down the line, I could see adding more space, but I think I'm set for a while.

 

The new question I have is has anyone ever converted a barn to a nice work/storage space?

 

Hello Mr. Buick, very exciting news, you recall I said that multiple buildings seem ideal so you can have one for clean storage and another for work—especially dusty work like bodywork or woodworking. 

 

When I had my previously mentioned rural machine shed my storage problem was mice and I was never able to keep them out completely—I am not sure it is possible.  As you note the doors and windows are the primary problem, with the possibility of tunneling under the walls or floor depending on your situation.  I ended up buying a Car Capsule to (successfully) keep out mice and dust, photo attached.

 

Aside from that you can certainly make a nice workspace.  Depending on what you have to work with you can do walls and ceiling, then good lighting, power outlets and air supply, not necessarily in that order.  See attached and you will see my (new) garage interior using walls and (later) ceiling of ½” OSB panels and pegboard.  I used OSB rather than drywall for about the same money thinking the OSB would be more resistant to dents and holes.  I painted them white to help with lighting then just used 48” florescent lights from Menards for about $15 each.  There are other better (more expensive) fixtures but these were economical and dependable and did not require permanent installation in case I want to change them around later.  Will watch your post and hope to see photos and comment more when you move forward, good luck

 

 

Garage6.JPG

Garage11.JPG

Garage15.JPG

Edited by poci1957 (see edit history)
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10 hours ago, Lahti35 said:

Where ever you end up... consider the neighbors.

 

Only takes one crappy neighbor to rain on the parade! 

 

I purposely looked for a home in an agricultural zoned area... lowest restrictions on anything I could find for zoned plots of land.

 

Unfortunately that is so very true!  We ended up between two jerk drunks (that's being nice) and they made our life heck for several years.  I will admit rejoicing a bit (no a whole bunch) when reading the death notices for each of them. 

 

The funny thing, moved into an area that has MANY vintage cars in the garages and barns.  In a 1 1/2 mile stretch there are Packards, Buicks, Cadillacs, LaSalles, Willys Knight, Stanley, Corvettes, Camaros, Mopar, 57 Chevy, Model A, lots of Mustangs (one guy's garage ended up in a book), Lincolns, several vintage tractors, cool steam roller, fire trucks and so much more.  And yep, we got stuck living between a couple turds. 

 

On the other hand, our house is set back on a private road.  Shortly after we moved in, the owner of the house closer to the road said he was being transferred.  We told him not to list the house, we knew a buyer and shortly thereafter a long time friend moved in.  The past 25 years, we've both helped each other on big jobs, borrow and share tools, consult and advise, lend a quart of paint thinner or pint of hardener and of course, wander out to nearby cruise nights.  Life is good. 

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2 hours ago, CarFreak said:

Unfortunately that is so very true!  We ended up between two jerk drunks (that's being nice) and they made our life heck for several years.  I will admit rejoicing a bit (no a whole bunch) when reading the death notices for each of them. 

 

There is a 25 acre tract that backs our house.  I would really love to buy a portion of it to protect us from this fate.  Unfortunately the garage keeps eating my spare change so I hope I live long enough and the owner that has it now (which he bought to leave undeveloped) has it long enough for me to secure some of it.  I really need to make an effort to meet and express my interest in the same type of buffer to see if I can buy a portion.  The neighbor that knows him put the bug in his ear.  She said he sounded like he may be interested in some type of deal along those lines especially if I expressed my interest in keeping it undeveloped. 

Tis a shame how money always seems to be in short supply. 

Edited by auburnseeker (see edit history)

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