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Cliff Neubauer

Building a farm shop with living quarters

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I've been looking around for a house of my own and the only thing close enough to get my attention is a 20+ year old moble home for $65,000 :blink: I'd consider renting but there really isn't even anything decent to rent unless I go to town 10 miles away which I'd rather not do. This has got me thinking about building a new shop with an apartment built onto it. My thinking is that if I took $600/month that would be going towards a house payment or rent and rented the shop back to the farm for say $5,000 year (farm would pay for the shops utilities) I'd be looking at about $11,000 per year which would give me a building budget of close to $150,000 on a 15 year note. For a building I'm thinking along the lines of a 70x80x20' shop with a 24' lean to down one side which would be divided in half with office space on the front and living quarters in the back. I would have enough height to go 1 1/2 stories so I could have a couple of big bedrooms upstairs. Since the shop would already need a septic system for the bathroom and it would have floor heat with a geothermal heat pump the additional cost for the living quarters would be very minimal. With overhangs on the roof and wainscotting around the bottom along with a porch or deck I think it could be built so it didn't look like I was living in a barn. When I outgrow it the apartment could be used as a break room or more office space. The problem I have is locating the building, I have a perfect place in mind but it would be 20' away from where my grandparents house is now and would require removing a couple of old outbuildings and trees from their back yard. I get along with them good but I don't think I could stand living that close to my grandparents and I really doubt they'd stand for cleaning up some of their junk for a new building.

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I would Research your local county building codes before you start. Hate to see you built that and then have the county come in and say you can not live there.

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I've always entertained that idea, my problem is I always view the living quarters portion as infringing on the shop space, I was thing 50x100x16 and doing 30x50, 2 story at one end, BTW this idea flys waaaaaaay better if your single :blush:

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Yup, you definately gotta be single to do it, but it's a great idea. I know a couple friends that live in their shops like that.

Sometimes it's the only way to afford it out here in Kalifornia.

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Cliff,

There is a local guy that has an apartment above his body shop business. Travel time and expense to get to work would always be nil but I doubt I could get over the smell of paint thinner and welding smoke in my living quarters! This might apply to your design too.

:D

dave

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I don't think there would be any code issues "here" and I know of at least one Morton building with an apartment in it. Here are a couple designs of FBI Buildings website that are kind of along the same idea.

Dick%20Dieter%20montage.jpg

Martin.jpg

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.................... BTW this idea flys waaaaaaay better if your single :blush:

Not only works best if you're single but you had better plan on staying single. Would be hard to convince a lady to move into a shop/apartment and you sure wouldn't want to have to build a house a few years down the road with what you would already have invested.

If you do go thru with your plans you'd best become good friends with Rosey Palmer :lol::lol:

On 2nd thought, maybe I should look into something like that for those times there's frost on the ceilings in the house :o Wouldn't make a bad "doghouse". I'm certainly in one often enough ;):lol::lol:

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In theory, Yes good idea. Reality is, probably not something I would do. I really wouldn't even put an office in the shop if it contained all the farm files. You think it could never happen to you, but I know of at least 2 shops around here that have burned. One was a smaller one bay shop owned by a guy who owns 4 trucks and does all his own mechanic work. It is attached to his modular home and while the fire didn't get to the house it did get close enough to burn the siding. He lives about 3/4 of a mile from the fire station and is a volunteer fireman himself. That is the only reason it didn't take it all.

The other shop I know of burning was a farm shop. Among the things lost--two 1-season old JD combines, one 930 head, parts to rebuild 2 of those heads, parts to rebuild a corn head, lots and lots of other parts and 40 years worth of farm tools. This farmer had finished harvesting for the year, blew off the combines, washed them and had them parked in the shop to go over. They think it was an electrical fire on a combine that started it but it was a complete loss. I know if I had to go through something like that I would sure hate to lose my house too!

Mike

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Cliff...........it can be done, there is a single fellow I know from our church that built a nice shop (Morton type) and he put his living quarters in a corner of it and loves it.

But hardtail, Boog, and sweetcorn70 all gave some counter points to take into consideration.

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.................... BTW this idea flys waaaaaaay better if your single :blush:

Not only works best if you're single but you had better plan on staying single. Would be hard to convince a lady to move into a shop/apartment and you sure wouldn't want to have to build a house a few years down the road with what you would already have invested.

If you do go thru with your plans you'd best become good friends with Rosey Palmer :lol::lol:

On 2nd thought, maybe I should look into something like that for those times there's frost on the ceilings in the house :o Wouldn't make a bad "doghouse". I'm certainly in one often enough ;):lol::lol:

Your killing me Boog :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

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...I doubt I could get over the smell of paint thinner and welding smoke in my living quarters! This might apply to your design too.

Some day I'll be building a garage/shop...at first she wanted it attached to the house..but I absouletly refuse to attach it...the only attachment to the house I will allow is electrical/phone/network from the house to the shop....Biggest reason is the DAY I paint/weld/clean/or make any smell or smoke of ANY kind that gets into the house..my garage will cease to be a work place and just be a glorified, heated storage area.... She'll put up with alot...but definetly not that.

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Since there won't be code issues, I would go for it. Good luck and when it is finished, post some pics of it.

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I agree go for it. What better way is there to deduct most of an expense for building a house.

If you get a good woman that wants to move in you know she's a keeper!

Friend of mine has a machine shop business in town that is a Morton type building with living space on one end.

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I live in a 600 sq ft apartment over my barn shop. Down stairs is my 20 x 30 machine shop with my wood shop in a 30 x 30 lean to addition on the side. Smell is an issue that you need to deal with through careful construction. Seal every opening, no matter how small. The sealing should also be fireproof to slow migration of fire. Sprinklers would be a good idea. I have interconnected smoke detectors. An alarm system with smoke detectors that calls the fire dept are a good investment. You would also need a carbon monoxide detector. Most Building Codes have extra requirements for living quarters in shops. Fire proof sheetrock or metal siding, etc. Boog made some good points about the women too!!

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ive had shop/apartments in the past and am currently adding living space to one end of my barn as a temporary solution while i build a bigger house there are a few drawbacks most have been mentioned #1 place fires start is in the garage big shop +big garage big fire over head sprinkler systems are a good thing to keep in mind !!

my biggest issue has always been leaving work at work and going home to escape even a short ways away in my current project i am building it so i cant go into the house from the barn i have to walk out of the barn and go to the other end to enter my home it may seem foolish to some but for me it is a much needed separation you should consider. think how easy it is to crawl out from under your tractor or truck and go sit down on a bucket in the corner --- well it is even easier to go sit in a nice chair watch tv check e-mail etc if you have instant access to the house plus you track dirt in and out constantly. my idea on my project will hopefully break those problems

just my 2 cents

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I agree go for it. What better way is there to deduct most of an expense for building a house.

You bring up a good point but also one that will raise 'Red Flags" with the IRS. A lot of documentation will be required and design will have a lot to do with it as well.

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I think it will be great for you, Cliff. But old Boog does have a good point. If I had asked my wife to live in a shop when we got married, I think we would not BE married... LOL It is definitely something you need to consider. Someday you might find that 300# corn fed Iowegian gal you've always dremed of!! ROTFLMAO!

On the other hand, and maybe it's just me, but doesn't this kinda have the "feel" of the "O.R.F." scandal from a few years ago?? hehehhehe

Bill

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I've been looking around for a house of my own and the only thing close enough to get my attention is a 20+ year old mobile home for $65,000 :blink: I'd consider renting but there really isn't even anything decent to rent unless I go to town 10 miles away which I'd rather not do.

Just a thought... I bought a brand new 2004 16x80 in March of '05 for $42,000. Delivered and set up. It replaced an old mobile home, so I already had water and septic in place.

I agree with the guys about the "shop smells" making it's their way to the living quarters.

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Hello all , Sounds like a great idea to me :D . I wanted to do that same thing but never did . There are 4 or 5 guys around here doing it . Some are married some are not but I don't think that is a real issue as my wife said she wasn't keen on it years back but would do it now :rolleyes: . I would do a lean or an end but don't think I'd do living above shop as smells/smoke/fumes rise . With todays technology it could be built right & you would be happy & safe . Fire sprinkler system & detectors would be a good idea even if you didn't live in it the way things cost to replace these days . Check with your county to see if it's ok first but I don't see a problem . Let me know if you want to look at some . If you are single now at least it would weed out the women that don't like what we all like to do anyway B) . Boomer

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Since my wife passed away I moved my reloading stuff in from the shop. Got a big 5 foot work bench and pegboard setup along with all the rest of my gun stuff.

I like the smell of Hoppes #9 and gun oil wafting through the house. My daughter says she's not worried about me remarrying soon as there are few women will put up with my "Man Cave". :D

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I don't even want to bring in my work coat cause it smells like whatever we were doing that day. There's no way I would want to live in the shop. Or have grain bins close to my house. Call me a new wave farmer or whatever but living in town does have its advantages. I'm a mile from one shop and 2 miles from the other and still have a acre and a 1/3 yard here in town.

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you will have to live in it or own it forever, appraisal and re-sale will suck. don't think it will increase in value over time like a home. (but neither are houses right now)

chadh

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Alot depends on the cost, If you would normally spend the 150K on a shop, than its not a bad deal, but if youd only spend 30K on a shop it is not. the only way it woudl be saving money is if you could have normaly swung the $ with the cost of a seperate house. Its like others have said you probbaly wont get your money out of it like a house if you go to sell it. With good mechanical/ carpentry skills, you can build a really nice house for 100K, This would be subcontracting out a lot of the work one couldnt do himseldf, but doing a lot of the plumbing/ electrical, and work one person can do himself. I too ave thoughht of the same thing, but figured the only way to do it was to not put over 15 or 20k in the apartment section. This would allow me to buy ground, put up a building/ shop/ apartment with the thought of building a house 15 years or so down the road. This is the only way i can see owning some ground( 20 to 40 acres), and some sort of home at the same time. With the high cost of concrete, along with metal roofing and siding now, a tall insulated shop, can reach the price of a crawlspace per square foot.

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I would think, if it was done right....I would go for it. Last year we added onto my shop. Part office, parts room and studio apartment. As for the flip side of the garage smell being in house...Our garage smells like mexican food. Sometimes it makes me hungry and sometimes it make me sick!!!!!

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