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Ever considered living in your shop?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by powmia, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 21,398


    I did it for 6-years. It started to suck, on day-three. Never stopped. I'd skip it.
  2. firingorder1
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,147


    Burt Munro did it quite successfully.
  3. flthead
    Joined: Jan 13, 2013
    Posts: 43

    from Midwest

    What was the problem? Did you run a business as well as live there? Was it a toy box? Do tell, you are very negative towards it, whats your story???? Why are you so negative in all your posts?
  4. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 21,398


    Business. Very little work/life balance. When customers know that you are always there, they start showing up whenever they damn well please (2am, banging on the the garage door, much?). Never mind the ZERO dating prospects, in a relatively affluent region, for someone who lives in a garage, regardless of how nice it is. It is hard enough here (Silicon Valley) with just a blue-collar job. People equate you to a developmentally-challenged serial killer, with no future. Hell, when I ride the train, in my work clothes, people offer me spare change.

    Live my life, and see if you stay positive.
  5. Mnhotrodbuilder
    Joined: Jul 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,142

    from Afton, MN

    Call it an eye wash station for safety. No city should deny it for safety.

    I almost didn't get my building permit for my shop because it is going to have a bathroom.

    I asked the wife once if we could build a huge shop house como on some land we had. that conversation lasted about 15 seconds:(
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  6. ss34coupe
    Joined: May 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,229


    I would live in a shop and have been looking for something like that for some time. But shops with living quarters are not easy to find, and most commercial operations prohibit a live in situation. But I will keep looking....yes, I am already divorced and the girlfriend has her own place...
  7. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,492

    from Slow lane

    Even here in italy youre not suppsed to, but that excuse sem to work and as long as its not your legal residence (adress on your documents) the trick seem to do fine-

    Im goin to move soon btw, and since im dead poor and have more cars/car parts than anything else it looks that its what im goin to do.
  8. txturbo
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,771


    That has always been my plan.....but not inside the city in a business area. As soon as I find a good piece of property I'm building a big tall metal building. Front half will be two levels(like a two story house) with a brick and wood exterior to look like a modern house.Back half will be shop and its all under one roof.
  9. Tim_with_a_T
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,109


    OMG! I cannot stop laughing after reading these. I'm really sorry if you are not joking. The reason I laugh is because you pretty much nailed it. I lived in a shop for a year with my brother and our friend (we had a brilliant idea to start a shop, keep our day jobs in case it failed, and keep the cost of the shop roughly what we were paying for our duplex- It failed). It was haggard. Don't get me wrong, I'd do it all over again, but you really start to appreciate things like windows, trees, living things, privacy, etc. We never knew if it was day or night, and we always had people stopping by just to shoot the breeze. Also, your buddies see all that space and somehow find a way to store all of their stuff there, too.
    We had a 1200 sq. ft. shop space, a 1000 sq. ft. office, and a 1200 sq. ft. loft above the office and a portion of the shop. On a shoestring budget, we walled up three "bedrooms", traded labor to get a shower and sink plumbed/installed in the loft, and hauled a bunch of overly bulky and heavy objects-a full bar made of hardwood and granite, a slate top pool table, a 52" projection screen TV, a washer and dryer, a fridge/freezer, a small stove, a couple couches and our beds into that loft. It was either a thousand degrees in there or twenty below (heating that much space 24/7 can get expensive, except for of course in the summer when the whole "heat rises" thing works in your favor-along with the black rooftop about 2 feet above your head). It was NEVER clean. EVER.
    During the winter, we got a TON of snow. Cars in our parking lot were completely covered in drifted snow (that never happens around here), and our parking lot and driveway/access road had about 2 feet of snow. All of Portland was shut down for like two weeks! We couldn't go anywhere, so it didn't matter, anyway! We were literally on the last slice of bread, and had resorted to drinking gin mixed with hot chocolate, before one of our buddies with 4 wheel drive decided to come check on us. SO haggard. But SO awesome.
    As for lady friends, we had them over quite often, but very few were worth writing home about (and I don't think any returned). That was why we had a fully stocked bar. Another thing that sucked was if you were up late thrashing on a car and wanted to sleep past 7AM the next day. It wasn't possible with the other tenants next door trying to actually run a business! It ended abruptly after the landlord came by one day to check up on us (apparently he thought we were joking when we told him we were going to live there haha).
    I would honestly suggest looking into a garage apartment setup (Google it). I think that's what will work for me after trying the shop thing and still being single. Building something like that would be way more affordable than a house w/ a shop. Hope that helps some.
  10. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,069


    Go for it! All you really need is a place to lay your head, wash your ass and a place to plug in a microwave. Being in the military, you've already been through worse, but maybe not three years at a whack.
    Smokey Yunick did it after his divorce, and he was a heck of a lot smarter than most of us.
    If you're single you'll be OK until a girlfriend/wife enters the picture and then you'll probably want a change.
    I have a friend that rents a shop w/ an attached apartment and he likes it.
    It might make you appreciate things a little more on down the road.
    Good Luck!
  11. I lioved in a ware house once, 2 floors bottom floor kitchen, living room and shop top floor bedroom and a place to park my bike.

    loved it.
  12. I've done it. I was single at the time, but I lived there for a good 6 months. It was awesome, although I did walk out of my bedroom one morning and broke my toe on an engine stand. Still it was pretty rad
  13. tikiwagon13
    Joined: Feb 23, 2011
    Posts: 373


    I had a two story shop I rented, turned the second floor into living space, worked well.
  14. uc4me
    Joined: Feb 3, 2006
    Posts: 516


    I know a guy who rents warehouse space (4000 sq ft) for his shop, got divorced and moved his fifth wheel camper into the shop and is living in the camper
  15. There is something that one needs to watch for. Some cities will not let you live in a warehouse or shop in some parts of town. One should know up front if it is going to be a code violation and end up with a lease on a shop and still need to come up with a house or Apt. to live in.
  16. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 11,482

    from Missouri

    I have been doing it for 25 years well my shop is in my basement. I hope to ad on to it this year the garage that is. If I had the chance to do it again I would have gotten a larger garage and smaller house.
  17. GTVSaviour
    Joined: Apr 26, 2011
    Posts: 9


    Did it for 2.5yrs when single...... loved every second. It's the only time i ever got close to having a car done when I thought I would due to dragging my ass to 'the project' wasn't a real effort.
    I converted the upstairs offices into living and it worked out well - until landlord realised the price he could get for it....... but I was ready to move on by then anyway.

    Go for it - or you'll always be thinking 'what if' :rolleyes:
  18. Lild
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 260


    Biggest mistake of my life was not buying a place in the town I grew up in. 4 car garage with a bathroom, utility room and a room that couldve been a bedroom. Had a short double wide driveway, about 10 feet of front yard and maybe a bit more in back. I was young and reluctant so I missed out. I think about it often.
  19. hilltopgaragede
    Joined: Apr 8, 2010
    Posts: 159

    from Delaware

    I’ve fallen asleep laying on my lift before. Got heat, A/C and a refrigerator full of beers, what more could a man need?
  20. second_floor_loft
    Joined: Jul 23, 2008
    Posts: 93


    It gets to be a drag eventually. Same scenery every day and night. Customers discover you're there and call or come by after hours... "Are ya done yet?" It slowly gets to be a drag...Little by little it wears on you. Mostly you realize it when you move out. You have days when you just want to go somewhere, anywhere just to get out of there. Can it be done? sure. Is it fun? for a while. YMMV.
  21. We split out time between Richmond and Morehead City. Both places have the same building and occupancy code with respect to garages. If you have an attached garage, no problem turning part of it into an apartment.

    However, if it is detached both places prohibit living quarters in the detached space. That being said, there are plenty of garages with a bathroom, and a small kitchen area with dorm room fridge and a microwave. No exactly kosher, but most of the time the city officials look the other way.

    Check your local regs. Good advice.
  22. Ironhorze
    Joined: Jan 12, 2013
    Posts: 10


    I lived in my welding shop very comfortably till I got married. Should have stay in the shop. One rent one power. Get alot done in the middle of the night. Really get to love your cars when you live with them. And they don"t bitch!
  23. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,500

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

  24. Area.3.Fiftyone
    Joined: Jan 11, 2013
    Posts: 28


    I'm doing that very thing right now. It is not legal here if you put a kitchen in though.

    I've already remodeled my two "offices" into a living room and bedroom. I'm also remodeling the bathroom and putting in a raised floor so that I don't have to chop up the concrete to install the shower.

    Considering the cost of leasing my shop and renting an apartment, it's just not feasible for me. Plus, I spend so much time at the shop and work weird hours so it just makes a lot of sense.
  25. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,641


    My wife frequently threatens me with that option...
  26. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    from MI

    I know people who have done it, in some cases for a long time. The office of my old shop/business is now a one room apartment for an old bachelor. As has already been pointed out, without complying with a variety of codes and regulations the local government probably isn't going to be ok with it.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  27. banginona40
    Joined: Mar 5, 2007
    Posts: 769


    Kind of a dream of mine but not sure if it will ever come true. At least not with my current marital status. I practically live in my shop anyway except for eating and sleeping and I have done that too.
  28. No Plan
    Joined: Nov 2, 2008
    Posts: 254

    No Plan

    I told my wife I was tearing down our existing garage (24x24 w/ 12x24 lean to), & building a new 36 x 64 w/storage space above. She said," You better make it nice, cause you may be living in it!".....then she said... "but I'm not sure I want you for a neighbor!" -true story!...I'm still in the house, ha ha!...She is a great lady!! I am blessed!
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  29. The last couple of years I was in the Army I rented a garage that had a small living area attached with amenities. It was great, though not much for entertaining....

  30. BIG-JIM
    Joined: Jun 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,380

    from CT

    Have I ever considered it? No; but my wife has! I just built a 24X30 with heated floors and AC. She tells me all the time that I buy too much shit and that the next thing I buy is gonna be a cot so I can sleep in there as well. Hell for me that would be a win/win situation.:D

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