I'm experiencing a common problem trying to work out of my 2 car
garage. In addition to moving all the equipment and workbench our of
the way each night, the garage is built in (under) the house, resulting
in a low ceiling (about 7 feet). I want to add on a 20 X 30 workshop
wit enough ceiling height, but the prices I'm getting are at least
twice what I can afford to pay.
I've been looking at some of the larger sheds, barns, garage kits, etc.
I'd like to have a wooden floor but don't know what kind of foundation
I would need. The barn kits look like they lie on 4X4 pressure treated.
I don't think that would last long before the western NY frost heaves
Does anyone have any experience, recommendations regarding these kits?
Metal buildings are quick and cheap and can be insulated. There are many
reasonably attractive designs, as long as you don't have neighborhood
regulation or wife problems. A slab is $4-6/sf arouund here, but I don't
know youur labor rates. You can save quite a bit if you get some buds to
help you form and trowel it. If it's not too big you can handle the
screeding, but it's nice if one person knows what they are doing. You can
rent the power trowel for finishing. Be sure to put in anchor bolts as
required by the building. I expect you will have to meet some sort of code,
since you aren't a farm, so check on the need for footings. It's cheapest
to just dig the footings and pour them integral with the slab. Get a couple
of bids before you dive in yourself. Someone may be hungry and you are not
under pressure. I have gotten concrete from drivers who have unaccepted
loads they are going to have to dump. If you get the forms ready and talk
to the companies, something may show up. You get about 80sf of slab per
yard of concrete, making the concrete cost about $1/sf, plus maybe 4 yards
for the footings (12"X12") all around. So $600 for floor and $350 for
footings. Let us know what you find out.
I don't think they'll allow a steel building unless it's disguised very
well. There are several detached 2-car garages in the neighborhood. I
was thinking that I should keep it at one story and shaped more or less
like a 2 car garage. I've seen ads for 16X32 kit buildings but I'd like
to go a bit wider to 20 or even 24. The house is sided with Dryvit
(artificial stucco) and I could get the guys back to do the same to the
The plan I started out with was a 20W X 30L with 8 foot walls and
coller ties at about 10 feet to give the ceiling clearance I need. It
would have been attached to the end of a 24 foot wide building and have
a 5:12 hip roof to match the existing building. That's the one that
came in way too expensive (about $40,000). This building would require
70 linear feet of foundation and footer. I think that's where all the
money is going but I'm not sure.
Rather than give up, I was looking at the kit buildings. There's a 20 X
24 vinyl sided garage kit with a floating concrete pad in the paper for
I was hoping to use a plywood floor over 2X10 joists on piers. I was
planning to use PEX heating tubes with reflectors under the plywood.
The floor would have to have enough clearance underneath to allow for
ventilation and be well insulated. The Dryvit uses a 1 1/2 inch
styrofoam backer. Adding that to fiberglass between the 2X4 studs
should be enough for the walls, 9 inches in the floor and 9 to 12 in
the ceiling should be enough. I planned to try to keep the temperature
just above the dewpoint when I'm not in the shop, to eliminate the rust
I'm rambling and don't know if this give you a clear picture. On the
other hand, I'm here to find out what others have done.
Surprised about the Dryvit. It's real popular here for commercial and
starting to catch on for residential. I know about the horror stories
regarding improper installation and rotting wood.
I suppose $40K is just a drop in the bucket for SoCal homes but in
Western NY you can buy an older 2400 sq. ft. home for that much money.
$40K is a big investment and the only guaranteed return would be the
satisfaction of use. I wouldn't get close to the investment back in a
future sale. I must admit, my original plan is the way I want to go but
can't bring myself to parting with that much money for a hobby.
(wouldn't be anything left for the hobby).
Dryvit has two big problems. One is the moisture that collects behind it
and the mold issues (which I believe are way over rated) and the poison gas
that is emitted when it burns, and man, does it burn!
You might consider visiting alt.building.construction and see if you can get
suggestions from builders in your area. You just might find a way to build
it for less money.
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