This post has been a long time coming! MattL is finally getting a shop! The short story is for pretty much ever, I've always wanted a dedicated workshop for woodworking and the plan was to build one when we moved to PA in 2017. We were under contract with a builder and then the township, zoning and stormwater management BS pretty much shot that down and we cancelled the contract and started a search for a new home, planning on moving 2ish years after this home. Fast forward almost 4.5 years later and a home search that wasn’t bearing fruit, to December of 2021 and a phone call with a township supervisor on a different topic got derailed to zoning/township policies/etc. and the plan to get the shop built started again.
The shop is going to be a 30’x50’ pole barn with 12’ eave walls and scissor trusses putting the interior center at 14.5’. It will have a concrete floor, be fully insulated, have a 8’x16’ lean-to on the side facing our house, two man doors, one 9 lite under the lean-to, one solid steel at the rear for emergency egress and a single gable end garage door 16’x10’. Power will be a subpanel from the home (125A/220v) and we’re planning on eventually adding solar panels to the roof to supplement the home supply as well as power the home when I’m not using all the energy generated while in the shop.
While the above is very exciting - to say that this process has been an expensive nightmare would be a bit of an understatement. Between misinformation from the township, getting the zoning variance, an overzealous (my opinion) township civil engineer reviewing and approving stormwater plans has been an exercise in frustration. More on those details in a bit, but in short, the ZHB meeting was a 3+ month effort, the permit application was submitted on Tuesday, May 31st, rejected on July 5th (5 weeks) due to alleged stormwater application problems and only now, on Oct, 13th was the “go ahead” received from the township civil engineer. Not all the problems were on the township and their lack of management however the majority of them are and have cost us a small fortune as a result. Mind you this small fortune has been spent on drawings and we haven’t even broke ground yet.
I was going to call the thread - “new shop needs a place” as a play on flyweights thread about his new shop build because I recently purchased a “tool lot” that was basically a well-appointed hobby machine shop from a gentleman who unfortunately for him, had to downsize. The big items include a Precision Matthews PM-727V Mill, a Precision Matthews PM-1236 Lathe, both with DRO’s and an accomplished machinist’s lifetime collection of tooling, a Miller Millermatic 220AC/DC multiprocess welder, a Miller plasma cutter, a Miller Millermatic 211 MIG welder, shop floor press, and a huge assortment of tools/chests to include Snap-On, DeWalt, Milwaukee, Starrett, etc. Essentially it was a deal of a lifetime and one that I couldn’t pass up, so the “new shop” really needs a place at this point as the new shop is all contained in a two car garage attached to the house….. that was already too full with the prior woodshop and limited collection of metal working stuff. A lot of the tools are duplicates of what I’ve already got so I’ll be selling off some of them to help recover the cost of the purchased lot.
Other notable things – the new shop will have a 2 post lift (make & model TBD), all my existing wood working tools and the new machine shop tools as well will be moved in. Fiber will be run for connectivity, there are no current plans for water, however additional conduits will be put in the trench from the house for future expansion, etc. HVAC will be a pair of 18k BTU mini-splits, model is TBD, really depending on cost and availability. (Thanks @Kennyd
for that recommendation of two 18k’s). Same with plans for a small loft, there are no plans and I doubt that I’ll get one, however with a 13’ ceiling height about 6’ off the eave walls and 14.5’ in the center, there is some room for a possible loft eventually.
I’ve been chomping at the bit to share this with the GTT group, Kenny has hinted at it a few times publicly but because of what seems like a never ending nightmare of bureaucracy and nonsense and so as to not get my hopes up only to be left with disappointment, this thread being posted has been a long time coming.
In the next few posts I’m going to reserve them for the details as to the what the process was for the zoning, building permit and stormwater and similar. This build will also be documented on my youtube channel youtube.com/makerbreakerfixer and I’ve got a bunch of video already, but haven’t posted it because I didn’t want to start only to be stopped before breaking ground.
It’s with great excitement I can finally say – I’ve got a building permit in hand and construction is beginning in the next few days!!!