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New workshop and storage for the cars


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Well, now my addiction to pre war cars has spread to me buying a workshop and storage building.  I found a 1.5 acre property that is 9 miles from the Gilmore Car Museum.   The main building is about 40 x 80 with 16ft interior ceilings, has a full bath, an office, a lift, a paint booth with air circulation system,  a separate room for blasting, and a separate wing with a 24 x 15 machine shop area. Also there is a an balcony/loft area above the bathroom and office that will be the cigar lounge room.  The shop also has two 80 gallon air compressors with metal piping and hook ups throughout all areas of the building. The second building is a 32 x 40 storage garage with 9 ft interior ceilings and two garage doors that are 12ft W by 8 ft H. This building will store cars when they are not in the shop to keep them clean. The storage garage is climate controlled by a mini split system.  The third building is a 100 year old carriage garage that was moved to the property by the previous owner and it will be a great shed.  I also have an additional four post lift on order for the main shop building.  

 

This will lead to years of fun, learning, and working on cars with my son and friends.   Any tips for someone starting with their first workshop?

IMG_0088.jpg

Storage Garage.jpg

all three buildings.jpg

shop inside.jpg

Shop Inside2.jpg

Shop Inside3.jpg

PoleBarn work area3.jpg

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Very, very nice shop. 
 

RULE NUMBER ONE: Never tell your wife the truth on how much money you spend on cars. Being that close to the Gilmore Museum, you going to end up on the garage tour circuit for the clubs when they have their shows there. To quote a famous movie line........

 

“you’re gonna need a bigger boat”........(shop)

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5 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Very, very nice shop. 
 

RULE NUMBER ONE: Never tell your wife the truth on how much money you spend on cars. Being that close to the Gilmore Museum, you going to end up on the garage tour circuit for the clubs when they have their shows there. To quote a famous movie line........

 

“you’re gonna need a bigger boat”........(shop)

Thank you and that is very sound advice!

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Good call on the floor - make any other changes before you move anything in.  Once you fill it you'll never get back to those dream ideas that you have because there will be too much stuff in the way.  Put in just as much shelving as you need, they have a habit of accumulating things.  Lot of things.  

 

Enjoy - looks like a fantastic set up!

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Beautiful shop!  

 

The ultimate dream is to have both a 'dirty' garage for sandblasting, painting, rebuilding engines, etc., and a separate, or well-partitioned  'clean' garage for re-assembly, installation of upholstery, and storing the finished product.

 

It appears you are located out in the country.  How far away is your closest fire company?   If it is several miles distant, it would be worth having a dugout nearby holding a few hundred gallons of water and a standby pump, with a couple of fire-hose cabinets inside instantly available should the need ever arise, not to mention, the local fire department will use that source when they arrive on the scene.  And I believe you will get an insurance break as well.

 

There have been some instances where valuable collection have been lost to fire as there was no availability of water to douse the fire.  A case here: https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/rising-from-the-ashes-langley-couple-replaces-classic-car-collection-lost-to-fire-last-year

 

Craig

 

 

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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16 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

Beautiful shop!  

 

The ultimate dream is to have both a 'dirty' garage for sandblasting, painting, rebuilding engines, etc., and a separate, or well-partitioned  'clean' garage for re-assembly, installation of upholstery, and storing the finished product.

 

It appears you out in the country.  How far away is your closest fire company?   If it is several miles distant, it would be worth having a dugout nearby holding a few hundred gallons of water and a standby pump, with a couple of fire-hose cabinets inside instantly available should the need ever arise, not to mention, the local fire department will use that source when they arrive on the scene.  And I believe you will get an insurance break as well.

 

There have been some instances where valuable collection have been lost to fire as there was no availability of water to douse the fire.  A case here: https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/rising-from-the-ashes-langley-couple-replaces-classic-car-collection-lost-to-fire-last-year

 

Craig

 

 

It is situated on the edge of a small village with its own fire department.  Surprisingly, It has all city services (water, sewer, natural gas, etc.) and there is a fire hydrant at the end of the driveway.  I will find out where the fire department is exactly, as this is a great point!  I did install several fire extinguishers around the shop and will be having an alarm system installed with monitoring that includes fire for when i am not there.  

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Nice when you can buy something already up.  Though I'm sure everything isn't exactly the way you would have built it,  you will be in it using it, long before you have approval to build your dream building,  much less actually get the thing built.  I bet it was also alot cheaper to buy than build.  

I was pulling my hair out when I sold my old shop at the other end of town for 100G.  Over an Acre of land with 400 foot of road frontage  All cement 40 by 40 building with 20 foot ceiling in one bay and 12 foot in the other and paved parking with awesome road frontage knowing I couldn't build the building let alone buy the property bring in power or drill a well for that kind of money,  but no one else could see the potential I guess. I even had a nice big circular drive with lots of parking.  Tractor trailers used to use it to turn around because it was such an easy in and out. 

Great looking set up and it even has a little character that you can make a neat facade out of. 

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Be sure and buy enough fire extinguishers, spend the money on Halon........no mess to clean up, and it doesn’t damage cars when used. I also use the new type called Element Extinguishers. Great back up in the car and shop. I have twelve very large halon extinguishers in the shop.......interestingly, the first day we were moving in, a fuel line ruptured on a friends car and it burst into flames....big time......on a seven figure car........all the new extinguishers were in the men’s room to be out of the way of the move in......big mistake! They should be the first thing installed and located properly.

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My Buick Barn is a 40' X 60' metal building only ten blocks from home.  I often have to go home to get that one tool I need to work on something. 

So, I suggest you keep a duplicate set of tools at your new shop; floor jack, air system, hand tools, etc. 

Also, replace the florescent lights  with "high Hat" LED lights to get more light for less $$.

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I'm starting to put together two sets of tools and my shops are only 100 feet apart.  That alone is a pain.  I was thinking i should just get one of those pit boxes and tow it between the two.  Seems everything I need is always in the other garage. 

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Recently I have been dreaming of having a big beautiful shop like this. Especially one with high ceilings where I could install a hoist. I have often thought that I would want to partition an area for that high ceiling access, and keep the rest of the shop with a lower ceiling for heating efficiency. 

 

Used to have big shops and/or garages, but moved to a lake community years ago, where that isn't feasible. But the rest of the family loves it here. Sigh. 

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Talk about a quantum leap into having a shop ! Around my neck of the woods it would require a substantial lottery win to swing a property like that. You are living the dream kfle , all of the above is great advise.

 

Greg in Canada

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1 hour ago, auburnseeker said:

Nice when you can buy something already up.  Though I'm sure everything isn't exactly the way you would have built it,  you will be in it using it, long before you have approval to build your dream building,  much less actually get the thing built.  I bet it was also alot cheaper to buy than build.  

I was pulling my hair out when I sold my old shop at the other end of town for 100G.  Over an Acre of land with 400 foot of road frontage  All cement 40 by 40 building with 20 foot ceiling in one bay and 12 foot in the other and paved parking with awesome road frontage knowing I couldn't build the building let alone buy the property bring in power or drill a well for that kind of money,  but no one else could see the potential I guess. I even had a nice big circular drive with lots of parking.  Tractor trailers used to use it to turn around because it was such an easy in and out. 

Great looking set up and it even has a little character that you can make a neat facade out of. 

 

 

It always blows me away when I hear prices like this. What you are describing would run an easy 1.5 million in my area. Canadian so around 1.1 million U.S.D.  The joys of living in a property bubble.

 

Greg in Canada

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If the buildings do not already have LED shop lights give serious consideration to replacing the current bulbs with the LED bulbs. Either as the old bulbs burn out or in groups starting with the building you use the most. The LED bulbs can save a LOT of electricity and pay for themselves over time. In my case I replaced my old florescent bulbs with LED bulbs which means I use 58% LESS electricity for a LOT MORE light. The LED bulbs also run MUCH Cooler.

 

If you can get internet service at the property I would also consider installing video cameras on the outside of the buildings that cover the property. These cameras can then record video when there is motion, upload it to the cloud and you can get an alert on your phone and can view the video. Video like that could come in VERY handy should you have a break-in and a system like this might qualify for an insurance discount. Given what you have spent on the property and your vehicles you will have there a system like this would be cheap for your piece of mind.

 

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49 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

It always blows me away when I hear prices like this. What you are describing would run an easy 1.5 million in my area. Canadian so around 1.1 million U.S.D.  The joys of living in a property bubble.

Greg in Canada

 

As Greg implies, having affordable storage space

(and work space) is very helpful for enjoying the car hobby.

In some small towns around Pennsylvania and elsewhere, a nice

house might cost under $100,000, and $300,000 would be the

most expensive existing house in town, even a 5000 sq. ft. Victorian.

 

Greg, I keep suggesting that you harvest that "bubble" and

move to an affordable town where you and your nest-egg can rest!

 

Example:  Here is a 9500 square foot brick Victorian, immaculate

condition, 8 bedrooms, 9 baths, in Smethport, Pa.  It's probably

optimistically priced at $695,000--less than the price of a 

very modest house in southern California:

 

Property

Dining, Mahogany woodwork

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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Remember:  "Horizontal surfaces are the enemy of order."  And its corollary, "Floors are horizontal surfaces."  Don't ask how I know!

 

Therefore, install shelving and racks for large parts/equipment, and scout estate sales for banks of bins and cubbies.  Plan where you want to have 240V and 120V power, where to best locate a compressor (and install hard-plumbed lines before you fill the space).  Plan a main work bench area and locate most frequently used tools and equipment for bench work nearby.

 

Spend a couple of evenings with graph paper and do several alternative layouts.  You will soon refine these plans.  Don't stint on these informal plans, even if fulfilling all of them will come much later.  I took the time to do this 30 years ago, and occasionally I marvel at how prescient I was!  🙂

 

Congratulations on finding this outstanding property!

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Afterthought:  Plan to HANG stuff from the walls (heavy hooks, pegboard, etc.) as much as you can, prioritizing on the basis of accessibility for minor vs major repairs, and where minor vs. major will be done.

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Warning, kfle...my jealousy alarm is going off big time!

 

Congrats on acquiring a beautiful shop and storage facility...and in such a pretty setting, as well. (I wouldn't mind living in a place like that. 😄) Best wishes on your floor covering and upcoming car projects!

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56 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

As Greg implies, having affordable storage space

(and work space) is very helpful for enjoying the car hobby.

In some small towns around Pennsylvania and elsewhere, a nice

house might cost under $100,000, and $300,000 would be the

most expensive existing house in town, even a 5000 sq. ft. Victorian.

 

Greg, I keep suggesting that you harvest that "bubble" and

move to an affordable town where you and your nest-egg can rest!

 

Example:  Here is a 9500 square foot brick Victorian, immaculate

condition, 8 bedrooms, 9 baths, in Smethport, Pa.  It's probably

optimistically priced at $695,000--less than the price of a 

very modest house in southern California:

 

Property

Dining, Mahogany woodwork😉

 

 

 

I wouldn't mind living there, either. 😉

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3 hours ago, auburnseeker said:

Nice when you can buy something already up.  Though I'm sure everything isn't exactly the way you would have built it,  you will be in it using it, long before you have approval to build your dream building,  much less actually get the thing built.  I bet it was also alot cheaper to buy than build.  

I was pulling my hair out when I sold my old shop at the other end of town for 100G.  Over an Acre of land with 400 foot of road frontage  All cement 40 by 40 building with 20 foot ceiling in one bay and 12 foot in the other and paved parking with awesome road frontage knowing I couldn't build the building let alone buy the property bring in power or drill a well for that kind of money,  but no one else could see the potential I guess. I even had a nice big circular drive with lots of parking.  Tractor trailers used to use it to turn around because it was such an easy in and out. 

Great looking set up and it even has a little character that you can make a neat facade out of. 

I was actually looking for land to build something when i ran across this.  Even though there are some things I would have done differently, I am very happy to have it done and built so i can just move in and start using it.  

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39 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

As Greg implies, having affordable storage space

(and work space) is very helpful for enjoying the car hobby.

In some small towns around Pennsylvania and elsewhere, a nice

house might cost under $100,000, and $300,000 would be the

most expensive existing house in town, even a 5000 sq. ft. Victorian.

 

Greg, I keep suggesting that you harvest that "bubble" and

move to an affordable town where you and your nest-egg can rest!

 

Example:  Here is a 9500 square foot brick Victorian, immaculate

condition, 8 bedrooms, 9 baths, in Smethport, Pa.  It's probably

optimistically priced at $695,000--less than the price of a 

very modest house in southern California:

 

Property

Dining, Mahogany woodwork

 

 

Selling and moving are a tempting solution. But my wife wants no part of it. She has lived here all of her life and likes the area, as do I except for the pressures of our bubble economy. We both have the responsibility of aging  / elderly parents. Plus a youngish son trying to make a start in life.

  My wife has no expensive hobby interests except a bit of travel now and then and is in a much better financial situation than I am. 

 Unlike many parts of the U.S. there is not a " graduated value " step by step arrangement of decreasingly priced towns surrounding British Columbia metro areas. Due to our large geographical size and rugged terrain the distance between towns tends to be quite large with quite rugged surrounding landscape. Anything within a reasonable proximity ; 4 or 5 hours drive, is a pretty sizable percentage of city prices. Beyond that threshold prices do drop off but you are truly in the middle of nowhere.

So any move that improves the cost situation without plunking yourself into a wilderness area tends to be a big move indeed. Just not practical with an unwilling partner and extended family situation.

 A move to the U.S. is a real can of worms from a health care position. I am retired so no chance of a U.S. employer plan. My wife is nearing retirement. We have paid into the Canadian health care system for 40 years on . So to leave that behind and then have to buy U.S. coverage in our 60's would be I fear an expensive flip side to cheaper property.

Greg

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3 hours ago, edinmass said:

Be sure and buy enough fire extinguishers, spend the money on Halon........no mess to clean up, and it doesn’t damage cars when used. I also use the new type called Element Extinguishers. Great back up in the car and shop. I have twelve very large halon extinguishers in the shop.......interestingly, the first day we were moving in, a fuel line ruptured on a friends car and it burst into flames....big time......on a seven figure car........all the new extinguishers were in the men’s room to be out of the way of the move in......big mistake! They should be the first thing installed and located properly.

I got some Amerex Halotron fire extinguishers.  They say no mess and are the 'same' as Halon.  I guess i will find out as it was not easy to find a Halon fire extinguisher.  

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2 hours ago, lump said:

Recently I have been dreaming of having a big beautiful shop like this. Especially one with high ceilings where I could install a hoist. I have often thought that I would want to partition an area for that high ceiling access, and keep the rest of the shop with a lower ceiling for heating efficiency. 

 

Used to have big shops and/or garages, but moved to a lake community years ago, where that isn't feasible. But the rest of the family loves it here. Sigh. 

We live on a lake not far from the new shop.  Because of the limited land on the lake is why I went this direction.  

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1 hour ago, charlier said:

If the buildings do not already have LED shop lights give serious consideration to replacing the current bulbs with the LED bulbs. Either as the old bulbs burn out or in groups starting with the building you use the most. The LED bulbs can save a LOT of electricity and pay for themselves over time. In my case I replaced my old florescent bulbs with LED bulbs which means I use 58% LESS electricity for a LOT MORE light. The LED bulbs also run MUCH Cooler.

 

If you can get internet service at the property I would also consider installing video cameras on the outside of the buildings that cover the property. These cameras can then record video when there is motion, upload it to the cloud and you can get an alert on your phone and can view the video. Video like that could come in VERY handy should you have a break-in and a system like this might qualify for an insurance discount. Given what you have spent on the property and your vehicles you will have there a system like this would be cheap for your piece of mind.

 

I was just looking at LED replacement tubes this morning.  There are tubes all over the shop for great lighting, though it will add up to run them all of the time.  Internet/wifi is being setup next week and shortly after that the full video alarm system. 

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LED tube lighting retrofit:  Arm yourself with knowledge here to avoid a costly mistake.  
 

There are 3 types LED tubes, A, B and C.  Type B does not need a ballast, therefore even more energy savings.  They do require a simple wiring change, however.  I did my entire home/garages and am totally pleased with the results and energy savings.

 

Also, type B bulbs are harder to find - not usually at big box stores.  I got mine through Amazon.

 

Good luck with your new swell setup !!

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I have I believe over 100 in my building and it's years and atleast another 100G (so figure another 50G on top of that with the way my estimates come out) from being complete and that's with me doing the work with the right equipment.  Well ahead to buy built if possible.  My exception Is I wanted it to be on the property not somewhere else and there was nothing available house wise when we were looking in our budget that had a house the wife liked and a shop I could make work and that was looking in a very large area including lots of fixer uppers. 

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29 minutes ago, 39BuickEight said:

What a great place!  You will have so much fun with it!

 

Any idea what went on there in the past?  

Yes, the guy who built it owned an auto body shop for 40 years and he built this place as his personal man cave for his own cars.  He is now in his 70s so he sold it off.   

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 Re: Sandblasting room,

 

 I tried sandblasting in an enclosed room 20" X 35" with a 3 HP exhaust fan..

 The results were a disaster. The florescent lights on the wall were punched full of holes. The air became so cloudy that you could not see. And it was a lot of trouble to shovel up all the blasting media.

 I do all my sand blasting out side now and I do not use sand, that is a big no no. I use Black Beauty blasting media.

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Great place!  I grew up near there (Battle Creek) and made frequent trips to an old junk yard in Hastings.  I think there are a lot of great values in that area on property and buildings like yours.   Just curious, is there also a house on the property or just the workshop/buildings?  

Terry

 

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4 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

Greg, I keep suggesting that you harvest that "bubble" and

move to an affordable town where you and your nest-egg can rest!

Unfortunately, those 'affordable towns' are located way north of here, where the winters are long and its wretchedly cold 6 or 7 months of the year, which is hardly conducive to having fun with vintage cars.  I'd love to live where Greg is, or on Vancouver Island, but to duplicate what I have here in Alberta would be well over $1 million.  Fortunately, I bought a 24'x 35' garage with 11' ceiling that came with a 3-bedroom house nearly 25 years ago, which would be unaffordable today; not to mention, the city may not allow such an oversize structure to be built now.  Turns out, a lot of my neighbors are also vintage car people, which is another factor making it a difficult decision for me to make the (retirement) move to B.C.

 

Craig

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1 hour ago, Roger Walling said:

 Re: Sandblasting room,

 

 I tried sandblasting in an enclosed room 20" X 35" with a 3 HP exhaust fan..

 The results were a disaster. The florescent lights on the wall were punched full of holes. The air became so cloudy that you could not see. And it was a lot of trouble to shovel up all the blasting media.

 I do all my sand blasting out side now and I do not use sand, that is a big no no. I use Black Beauty blasting media.

The room wont be for open air blasting.  The room is setup to put in a large sand blasting cabinet, parts washing station, etc.  I am going to get a large TP Tools blasting cabinet to put in there.  The room also has its own dust collection system, but any big blasting would be done outside.

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43 minutes ago, Terry Bond said:

Great place!  I grew up near there (Battle Creek) and made frequent trips to an old junk yard in Hastings.  I think there are a lot of great values in that area on property and buildings like yours.   Just curious, is there also a house on the property or just the workshop/buildings?  

Terry

 

No house on the property, though you could build something there.  Lots of lakes in the area as you know, so you can find properties such as this with pole buildings but no house.  The counties have started to crack down on new development such as this one as they can tax more on a property with a house.  

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