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Old 01-02-2010, 08:58 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4
Default 30' X 50' Steel building

Like many on this forum, I waited a long time to build myself a shop. My wife & I had a house built several years ago on an acre & a half lot with the understanding that I would build a shop in “a year or two”. Other things kept coming up....
Seventeen years later, the budget was in place, the kids were gone, & it was time to get this done. The shop was “finished” last Summer, but I took a lot of pictures, and I’d like to share the experience with everyone at Garage Journal.
I have worked as an auto mechanic for 35 years, but I’m not good at home projects. I would rather work overtime & hire out the work that I have no experience in or patience for. I could do a lot of the work myself & hire out the rest. The shop is for my personal use, and I don't plan on doing mechanic work for other people in it. I have some old muscle cars, and hope to start a pro street project when I retire in "a year or two".
I priced the shop several ways, but building an all steel building was what I really wanted to do. The shop was to be 30’ X 50’ & tall enough for a two post lift. I wanted a small bathroom in the shop. It had to be well insulated, as I planned on using a heat pump for heat & A/C.
After pricing the building, dozer work to level the site & build a driveway, concrete work, lift, plumbing, electrical work, garage doors & heat -A/C system, I came up with a workable budget. We drew up site & construction plans, and headed off to the local county offices to get the permits. …Only to find out that I couldn’t I build a 1500 sq. ft. building on an acre & a half lot, and a bathroom was out of the question. They gave me the procedure for contesting the ordinances & sent me home.
A month later, I was about ready to abandon the project altogether when I got a call from the County planner’s office. Apparently they had read an ordinance wrong that applied to my building. A 1500 sq. ft. building was OK, but they still had issues with putting plumbing in it, because we have a septic tank. They wouldn’t allow another septic system on the property. I convinced them that I could tie into my existing system & that satisfied them as long as I didn’t put floor drains in it. (That is what I had planned on all along). They were a major pain, and held me up for a couple of months.
With permits in hand, we ordered the building & hired a crew to put it up. I also hired a friend to do the site work with his dozer.
I'm having trouble posting pictures, so I put them all in an album in the community section.

See Pictures at" http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/a...hp?albumid=399

Last edited by STOFFER; 01-03-2010 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:22 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Charles City County, VA
Posts: 164
Default Re: 30' X 50' Steel building

I know how you feel when dealing with the county. We bought 20 acres, and after we paid it off and installed a driveway, they said the perc was no good. THEY DID THE INITIAL PERC TEST !!!!!! We were about 50K into this project, and my wife was with the lady from the county. I was at work. That was a good thing because I would have strangled that bitch right there and left her corpse to rot in the woods. As it turned out, we just had to spend a little extra for the septic system to satisfy those bastards. I'm glad it is over and nobody had to die.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: 30' X 50' Steel building

By the time the building was delivered, the weather was turning bad, and I knew that I was probably done until Spring. The weather was cold & lousy, my yard was a mud pit, and we really had no way to get trucks to it. My concrete guys checked in with me from time to time, and the bulldozer guy got part of the driveway pushed in, and some gravel put on it.
We got the plumbing stubbed in so we would be ready if we got some decent weather, but it wasn’t happening.
Finally, the concrete guys started working at the end of February. The weather was still spotty, but they were able to work through it all & made some good progress.
When the concrete was finished , the crew that was putting up the building for me was about three weeks away from being ready to start on my building. They are an experienced crew, and it only took them two & a half days to assemble & square up the building, put on all the insulation, guttering, downspouts & trim. It was ready for doors…

I bought some good, insulated doors, Delden doors with insulated windows. (The only windows in the shop) They made me a good deal on the doors with openers & installation, so I had it all done. I was happy with the job that they done…. And the shop was sealed up so I could keep the birds out..

I wanted to get some sealer on the floor before I started using the shop. I bought some Quikrete clear high gloss sealer at Lowe’s that they recommended. I used their etching cleaner, and cleaned & rinsed the floor as directed, but the sealer looked awful. I’m not sure what happened, but it was spotty & wouldn’t stay down like it was supposed to. It was like the floor had oil on it. I showed the guy from Lowe’s, and called Valspar (who made the product). They told me that they didn’t know what happened, but it would take a concrete grinder & lots of man hours the remove it. Lowe’s agreed to furnish the concrete grinder, and Valspar gave me seven kits of their best two part epoxy sealer. It took me three days of hard work, but the flood looked great… I should have purchased the better sealer in the first place….

I had a co-worker do all the wiring and hang all the fixtures for me. He was able to buy all the wire & hardware much cheaper than I could. He is an experienced electrician, and does very neat work. He wired the shop for me, and ran the conduit for the electric company to bring power to the box. He also wired me a welding plug, wired the heat /AC system, and the lift. He was very reasonable on the labor, and saved me a ton on materials. It’s good to have friends.

I done a lot of the plumbing myself. Because it is uphill to my septic tank, I had to put a holding tank in the floor, and a grinder / pump to move sewage to the tank. It wasn’t any real problem, but the county inspector had me run a funky vent on it that I later took off…I also had a tread plate cover made to cover the holding tank.
The rest of the plumbing was pretty easy. I put a small “instant on" water heater inside the vanity. It works pretty well.

See pictures at:

Last edited by STOFFER; 01-03-2010 at 12:58 AM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: 30' X 50' Steel building

My lift showed up about the time we finished the plumbing. It is a Challenger brand, and rated at 12,000 lbs. Standing up the columns was the toughest part of the installation, but my sons & I done it pretty easily. After that, we just had to square it with the door & level the base pads. Pretty easy stuff. It bolted to the floor with fourteen 5/8” thru bolts. The concrete where the lift mounted was four inched thicker than the rest of the floor, and some rebar was added there…. No more crawling under cars on a creeper for me. I’m getting too old for that.. The electrician wired the lift in about half an hour, and it works great.

I hired the heating & air conditioning work done by a local company. They done a nice job of hanging the inside unit to save floor space. It works well, but I only had the A/C on a few times last Summer. It is a Rheem unit, but I’m not sure what size it is. I know that we figured one size heavier unit because of the added air space of an open ceiling…

Since I got the building finished, I bought some new work benches, a new tool box, and built a welding table that I really like. Last month, I added a Sony 46” LCD TV, and had cable ran to the shop. My sons got me a small fridge for Christmas, so the shop is pretty comfortable.

I waited way too long to build this shop. I should have done it fifteen years ago. I think of the time I’ve spend working on my driveway in the cold, and I really appreciate having a place to work & store my toys.

Thanks for reading......

See Pictures at: http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/a...hp?albumid=399

Last edited by STOFFER; 01-03-2010 at 12:58 AM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:12 AM   #5
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Posts: 133
Default Re: 30' X 50' Steel building

Glad to see a dream become a reality . Good for you ,enjoy.

Nice home for the GT

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Old 01-04-2010, 03:23 PM   #6
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Location: Foggy Bogg, Wisconsin
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Default Re: 30' X 50' Steel building

Nice Mustangs!!!

"Ford Mustang........No bailout required!!!!!!
2010 Camaro (made in Canada)
2007 Shelby GT
2005 Mustang
2005 Monte Carlo
2004 Trailblazer
1992 Dodge Stealth Twin Turbo AWD AWS
1992 Dodge Stealth R/T
1963 Mercury Meteor V8
2000 Honda Valkyrie
1953 Ford Customline Traditional Rod

FORD.....We don't kill our customers!!!!
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: 30' X 50' Steel building

Was wondering who's kit you used?
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: 30' X 50' Steel building

looks great, what eave and door height did you go with?
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