Anyone build a shop and live in it?

pat_teaFebruary 6, 2008

We are planning to build a barn/shop on our property and turn it into an apartment while we build our home. Has anyone on this board done this and if so, how did it work out or not? Thanks

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Ron Natalie

I helped a coworker build his house. What he did was build the detached garage and do what you are asking. It was a little tight for close to a year until the house was occupiable, but at least it kept him on site.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 2:55PM
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That is exactly what we have done. As a matter of fact we are still living in the shop with the house "almost done". The place we moved out of was, as the realtors say, a unique property, which seems to be code for "it could take a while to sell". We had already purchased a new piece of propriety, so about three years ago; we put our house on the market and put up a good-sized pole barn with an attached shop at the new place. Our plan was to move into the shop whenever the current place sold, then start the new house. That happened about 1.5 years ago. Because of my wifeÂs minimum requirements for habitability I will have a REALLY nice shop with a full bath when we finally move into the house.

IÂm really glad we did it this way. We are on site full time for the house construction. We talk to the crew every morning and most evenings. We did a radiant floor in the shop so we got to see how we liked that kind of heat. I do miss my commercial stove, but that is about it.

Lots of pictures at - pictures

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 5:07PM
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That is EXACTLY what DH and I are doing, only we haven't "carried it all out"yet! We built a shop/garage building on our property(same prop. we will be building house on) about 3 years ago. There is an apt. set up inside, it has everything except a washer and dryer. We are in the process of selling our home, moving into the shop and start building our home this spring. I think it will work out fine, better than a travel trailer, and we will be able to be on site as the house goes up. At the same time we built the shop/garage we put in the well, septic, and electricity so the house will be able to "hook up" with the utilities. Our builder helped us build the shop with the home in mind for the future. I can't believe it is almost time to build now!!!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 5:11PM
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If you can find her - OKWriter and her husband did! Great stories!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 5:26PM
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Ron Natalie

I also know of two different couples that lived in mobile homes on their site during a majority of construction.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 6:11PM
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We lived in our motor home for 7 months before we moved into the house * still under construction *

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 8:17PM
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Thank you all for your responses. Blindstar I had to laugh and immediately share your response about your wifeÂs "minimum requirements for habitability" with my DH because I knew he would relate. He too will have a full bathroom in his shop. If I could afford it he would even have a jetted tub but oh well! LOL.

I'm sure I will have a million questions as the process unfolds. We purchased the property and sub divided it in 2 and 3 acre lots for family. It took two years to do the short plat and we already sold our home so we are renting a place near the property but hope to get the water, utilities, septic and shop/apartment done this year. Glad to meet you all. Patti

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 9:49PM
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We were going to do that, but our code laws didn't allow it. We were told by our inspector that we would have to put up a fire wall between the "shop" area and the living area. Once we finished the house, the living area would have to be dismantled, because we cannot have more than one living dwelling on less than 35 acres in our "no sprawl" zoning area in the country. We ended up buying a small house in the town 2 miles away from our build, so we were close by. Now we are struggling with selling that house.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 8:42AM
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We're putting up a pole barn and were thinking of doing the same thing but our barn won't really be close to our desired home site...anyone run into this? I mean how can you do your well and septic when the buildings won't be close to one another?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 8:54AM
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minnt: Thanks for the info. When I checked into the building codes for ours I was told that we would have to disconnect the stove and dishwasher. The kitchen sink, cabinets and bathroom can stay. After reading your post, however I think I better recheck to be sure.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 1:00PM
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