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Thread: Building a workshop?

  1. #1

    Building a workshop?

    Has anyone undergone the task of buying some property then installing one of those steel pre fabricated buildings on It? Talked to a couple real estate agents and they were saying it would need to be zoned commercially, have it's own water retention pond among a bunch of other things. I see tons of property here it's just a steel building hardly even built up on the property and no retention pond. All I want to do is have a hobby shop to have use of tools and store a few trailers inside too. Was thinking around 4500 sq ft size wise. Is something like this doable with a budget of say $200k?
    Last edited by Travis Conner; 02-14-2020 at 11:12 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    50,995
    It's nice that the real estate agent brought up the fact that there may be requirements, but you really need to speak to the zoning and code enforcement folks for the actual jurisdiction that your potential property and building will be located to understand exactly what you might be facing. Without a residence, you very well could be looking at a commercial designation and that may or may not allow you to even buy a particular property for your purpose, for example. Something of that size (again, without a residence) will be a tough sell as a "hobby only" situation. Location matters for sure.

    So your first step is again, to speak to the real authorities to ascertain what you may or may not be facing. Be up-front about your intention. If you think you may put a residence on the same property with a 'delayed' time frame, make that part of the conversation, too.

    Your budget will be "local", too, both for land costs (around here an acre is north of $100K for sure) and local building costs for the type of structure and utility supports you'll need, even for a pre-fab.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Lebanon, TN
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    585
    I have a friend who built a 40x 60 on a piece of residential land, he has a portion of it setup as residential, his home away from home man cave, the rest is just a massive garage . That cost him $110K for everything, land , utilities, slab and building.

    Another friend did a 30x30x14 metal building in his back yard.

    Neither jumped through any major hoops for permitting. One is located outside city limits, the other is in city limits.

    If you go metal, make sure you include insulation as part of the setup.

    These are both just east of Nashville TN.

  4. #4
    Yes Jim I'm aware of that. Just looking for experiences of people who have done it before to get an idea of what to expect. I know a guy who said it took a year just to get a permit to put the driveway in.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    50,995
    Yea...driveways can be a lot of fun. In this area, over 1000 sq ft of disturbed soil requires a full water/drainage plan and if you don't do that, it can result in a potential $10K per day fine. DAMHIKT!! (township screwed up and we nearly got the same because of it when we put in our long driveway)
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    black river falls wisconsin
    Posts
    775
    When buying the land I live on now was farmers field with no driveway. Was worried about the driveway access on state highway and all. Took realitor only few weeks to get done. And then did closing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    3,462
    The pond may be required in the western USA for fire fighting since they think it is commercial with lots of stuff inside to burn. Where do you live and, who provides fire service if any? The pond has to have easy helicopter access with no tall trees and deep enough to tip the bambi at least in the middle of the pond.
    Bill D

  8. #8
    The pond is for flood control. The pond fills up with rain water and drains into the city drainage later on so property runoff doesn't cause street flooding

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Crozet, VA
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    240
    It’s going to be difficult to provide specific advice as the zoning and code issues are going to be highly local. I built a stand-alone shop on my property, but its rural zoned and effectively treated as a barn/outbuilding. Definitely not commercial zoning requirements, but your situation may be different.
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  10. #10
    You could disguise it. My shop is on a residential lot. I built a building that satisfies the building covenants and residential codes. The inspectors are fully aware of the intended use and compliance has not been onerous. It looks like a small house. With the size lot and building placement, it could be a carriage house for a larger main house or with a little remodeling it could be a small home. I went for looks so it is timber frame. I love it. The budget was more than yours and the building is smaller so that may not meet your needs, but you could spend less and still have a disguised shop.

    TW

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Evanston, IL
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    1,319
    One thing that occurs to me for a separate shop property is real estate taxes. I think most jurisdictions tax a primary residence at a reduced rate. If you own a separate parcel with a shop, I imagine it would be taxed at the higher rate even if it were used only for hobby purposes.

    I have no knowledge about your jurisdiction.

  12. #12
    When I was in the building business, the city would not allow a shop or storage building on a residential lot unless there was a residence. And for the subdivisions I developed, the developer was responsible for the drainage study and the ponding. Had to dedicate a few lots for the pond. Think the reason for this is the federal government passed a law requiring drainage studys, and ponding, to not cause flooding on the Mississippi river. With development, water was coming faster into the rivers, and they believe was causing increased flooding.
    Last edited by Jim Andrew; 02-15-2020 at 9:28 PM. Reason: spelling

  13. #13
    Definitely not going to spend a bunch of money and then try and sneak by the court laws. Eventually someone will figure it out.

  14. #14
    I am being facetious about disguising the shop. No laws are being broken. No sneaking past the court. The only difference between my shop and a nice small house is the contents and perhaps the 400 amp electrical panel. I am really just protecting my investment by making sure the building can be converted to a home and sold when I am finished with my woodworking days.

    in answer to your original question about your budget, I think it is possible to build a shop for 200k.
    Last edited by Thomas Wilson; 02-16-2020 at 2:25 AM.

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