Woodworkers and the High Cost of Housing


As I watch housing costs continue to skyrocket in many parts of the country, I ask myself how does a woodworker find room for their obsession..err, I mean their hobby.
Shops take up floor space...sometimes alot of it.
I would expect garage/storage/shop space are one of the first options deleted when prices rise.
I would like to hear how woodworkers are coping with the high price of real estate.
Any hints or suggestions?
TMT
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Cost of housing or the cost of construction?
The price of land is the price of land no matter if you build a shop or not. With existing construction, the rise of real estate does not matter in that you do not have the option of deleting a room or two in the structure to save cost. You just look for a smaller house that you can afford. If it has shop space, good, if not, you are SOL.
That leaves new construction. Comes down to affordability and the cost - benefit ratio. Those that want and can afford a shop will have them. I don't see Mercedes and Jaguar dealers worried yet. Chevy and Ford dealers will feel some pinch as we all spend more of our income on heating and gas for commuting. It has to affect Joe Sixpac when he has less to spend each week after the bills are paid. My heating cost this coming winter will be about $50 a month more. It has to come from someplace so it will come out of our "fun money". My next car will probably be a little less than otherwise for that reason, baring wage increases to offset it.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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How do I cope? Lots of beer, getting my daily fix here in rec.woodworking and dreaming of the day when I'll have a workshop again. Having lived in an apartment for the past 16 years, the times I've been able to build something have been few and far between.
Part of the problem is that for about 7-8 years during my early twenties, I was spoiled by having the full use of a 600 square foot basement underneath a store that was operated by a friend's mother. Since then, I've been searching for my lost woodworking youth ever since.
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On 20 Aug 2005 11:09:29 -0700, "Too_Many_Tools"

Well, my basement and garage are my shop, so it's not much of an issue for me personally- though it may be in some other housing markets.

I do have a suggestion- and it may only be viable idea for very few on the list, but I firmly believe that it would be an excellent investment for someone with a little extra land to put up a large pole shed, subdivide it, provide 220V power and a centrallized compressor, and then rent shop space to woodworkers (and gearheads, if the woodworking market isn't strong enough) There are enough people who wish they had the space for it take off very nicely. Obviously, the cost of a monthly rental would have to be a little higher than something like a mini-storage unit, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to pepper something like that with security cameras, but it could be done with a fairly modest initial investment, and it would have a lot of selling points for many people who already have shops- to wit:
-It would provide 220v power and air without amateur electrician work -The noise could be isolated to an industrial or semi-rural area, and could not bother family/neighbors -It would be much easier to unload large machinery off trucks with a loading dock (especially if the proprietor rented forklift time or services, or even just provided a pallet jack) -It could provide a centralized location for local woodworkers to meet and swap services or materials. -A large dumpster could be included as part of the rent.
It seems like a good idea to me- the only real problems I can see with it are that people could damage the building accidently (though a pole shed is cheap and easily repaired) and that some jerk might get the clever idea of cutting through a wall to get at someone else's tools- though they'd have to be rather dim to do that, as the hole would have to be from their own unit.
I doubt it'd be a way to get rich, but it could make a tidy little side income for a careful landlord- while providing a useful service for those who are stuck in rental properties for one reason or another.
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wrote:

It's been my experience, (I'm OLD and spent about 20 years selling homes), that it's mainly the 1st time buyers that have a space problem.. most folks buying their "next" home usually are moving up in neighborhood, square footage, amount of rooms/space, etc...
In my case, after having a shop prior to the last divorce or 2, I have finally been able to set up a shop in a "mostly mine" 2 car garage.. and we're building a house in Baja that will include a huge room for the shop..
If you own real estate, inflation is your friend...
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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I moved out of the city due to the high cost of homes and land (even in BAD areas) 85,000 would get you a run down fix-er-upper in a gang infested area.
I ended up buying 15 acres 54 miles away for 20,000 and stuck a double wide on it. (I realize its still a mobile home) I hope to build a nice house on the lot one day and a nice 150ft x 200ft shop (I'm joking but I can dream right??)
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squeezed by the high cost of housing.
I doubt that is the case.

adequate shop space available as costs continue to rise.
Any comments from our members where high housing costs have existed for decades?
TMT
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One well overlooked possibility is to go to the local airport and rent a hanger. Many hanger spaces are approx 32x 26. A good size shop usually with electric. The cost can be night and day depending on location but you should estimate 250-350 a month. Although this is seems to be a good chunk of change, the dollar per square ft is great compared to shop prices. Combine this with sharing with a friend and you just cut the cost in half. Lou
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Can I assume you are talking about new home buyers? I've been in my house for a number or years and the value has more than quadrupled. If it quadrupled again tomorrow, my shop will still be in the same place at the same cost.
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On Sat, 20 Aug 2005 11:09:29 -0700, Too_Many_Tools wrote:

I for one am coping by living in a two-room apartment and making do with using the smaller room as a workshop. In this 10'x'12 room + 4'x4' I have crammed my workbench along one wall, my computer desk along the other and split the closet between storing woodworking tools/supplies, storing my homebrew gear (another hobby that is an interesting challenge for apartment dwellers) and serving as a working network closet for my homenetwork with a router, couple switches, some servers and a laser printer all competing for space. Plus all my extra geek gear too.
In the work room itself I've laid down a sheet of indoor/outdoor carpet to protect the carpet underneath. I keep the center completely open as a general rule and occasionally have my workmate setup for sawing etc... My bench, sadly, isn't just for woodworking, as it's the only good work surface I have. So I use it for restoring rotary phones, fixing computers, filling kerosene lamps, soldering/electrical work etc... when I don't have a wood project going on.
Also because I'm crammed into an apartment noise and dust are big issues, so I'm forced to use mainly handtools, with the exception of a power drill and a dremel. So I cope and get to play at being a woodworker until I can afford a house that can support a proper shop.
As to how well this works, well that's hard to say as I'm only just now finishing -literally, I'm starting the finish tonight- my first major project (a coffee table.) But since it has come out pretty darn good, at least by my standards (it doesn't wobble and there are no visible gaps in the joinery) I'd say this arrangement works pretty well for me.
Anyway that's my two cents on the subject, as new woodworker who's cramped for shop space.
Cheers,
Josh
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