I've been in business 12 years. My first shop was 1600 sq/ft, I occupied it for almost six years. The current shop is 2500 sq/ft. As of a few days ago, I've been in here six years. When I first moved into the current space, I thought it would take a long time to fill it up. Turns out it only took about a year and a half to be full. At this point, it's a shoebox packed full of stuff. I can't fit any more equipment in here. Like nothing.
Last summer I purchased 5.62 acres with the intent of building a shop that fall. Jumping through the massive amount of crap our wonderful government makes you do took time. A lot more time than I thought it would. (sounds like Mr. Stahl had it much worse off than I did though). Originally I was just going to have a regular draftsmen do the shop drawings. Turns out that doesn't work and it has to be done by a registered architect, and everything has to be signed off on by a structural engineer. Which I find kinda funny, because there's a zillion buildings almost exactly like mine that were built with slightly more than a sketch on napkin. The first firm I talked to wanted $17k to draw a box. There justification was they would design things like the trusses and stairs. No, you won't. The truss company will, and either myself or the carpenters will "design" the stairs. The second guy wanted $11k to draw a box. Nope, sorry. Not happening. My contractor found a guy, I got the stamped drawings, and engineering done for $3500. I can deal with paying somebody $100 an hour, but over $400 for something like that is robbery.
I'm done venting.
The bare lot:
Equipment started showing up three weeks ago. We've had a very wet summer and some pain in the rear rain delays, but things are moving along.
They started off scratching in the driveway.
Then peeling off the black dirt, which was about 18" deep across the whole lot. Luckily I think I've got somebody lined up to buy the black dirt. I've got about one thousand yards to get rid of. At $1.50 a yard it's not worth much, but at least it's something. They weren't able to use the scraper much. The soil was too wet, and just too soft. Unfortunately that meant using a dozer and excavator to remove the black.
2" minus going down for the base on the driveway. Thankfully they didn't have to move much soil to get down to clay.
Footings were dug last Wednesday, or six days ago.
Then poured on the following day.
The block guys started the following day setting block.
The excavator still has some of the parking lot to rough in. And a mountain of fill for that as well. Probably another 600 yards to bring that up to grade.
Yesterday the concrete guys finished up laying block. This morning they core filled where necessary, and set their pins and straps. They insulated the foundation with 2" rigid foam on the inside, and backfilled and compacted. I'm pretty darn happy with the block work. It's straight and well done. My original plan was to do a poured wall with insulation in the middle and have that come 4' above grade then stack a 12' wall on top of that for a 16' ceiling height. It was going to be basically $40k more to go that route. Yikes.
My current shop has all in floor heat running off of an electric boiler. I think that is the absolute best way to heat a cabinet shop and what I'll be doing here. The heat is even, you're not moving any air, and with off peak it is a very affordable source of heat. Unless you have access to natural gas, right now that can't be beat for cost per BTU.
Walls will be 16', 2x8 stud framed, 16oc with every 4' being a double stud to carry the truss, and the exterior sheeted in 1/2" OSB. Trusses are 4' on center, with perlins to support the roof steel.
Total dimensions are 60'x132', so a bit less than 8k sq/ft total. About 5500 of that will be used for production. The rest will be made up of mostly staging area. The office, restroom, and mechanical room will eat up about 300 sq/ft of that. Not having a place to put finished product is my largest bottleneck at the moment. When my shop is full of boxes, I'm SOL for doing anything other than finishing those up and getting them out the door. Which is a royal pain in the rear when for whatever reason you pound a job out ahead of schedule, and the house is behind schedule so you can't deliver for three weeks. It's been a major sore point for me for a few years. Plus I'll have room to load the trailer indoors in the winter. Which is a nice option when it's eighty degrees cooler outside than inside the shop. I'm not a fan of watching dollars in the form of heat roll out the door.
I'm bringing in way more juice than I need right now. The long term plan is to double the size of the building, perhaps more, so I didn't want to skimp on the service initially. A few thousand spent now will save me a ton of money in the future. I'm bringing in 800 amps of 480V. Everything I can switch over, I will. Some stuff it's just not worth it. My widebelt is obnoxious as it chews up 155 amps on it's own on 208V, but it's too much of a hassle to swap it over to 480V. Long term I'd like to sell it and go to a triple head, that will certainly be on 480V. Everything I purchase from here on out will be on 480 as well.