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Veteran Contributor

Re: Shop? Or no shop? Help please

Kay,

you make some good points. Fixing up our shop is not a option right now due to the current building after fall is packed all the way to the doors. We like to keep our equipment inside due to moisture in bearings, electronics ect. I do have a mobile trailer that I have and use heavily during the seasons. I can say from experence that working on a backhoe or our big blower in the winter wtih -20 degrees outside and blowing snow is not fun. plus everything is froze up at the time. Alot of our jobs are hog buildings out in the open and we are trying to get on with a contract with local wind farms, which have no shelter from the wind at all. We have even tarped equipment and heated the area up with construction heaters so fuel lines thaw out or ice melts so we can get at the part thats broken. thanks for your thoughts.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Shop? Or no shop? Help please BA Deere

I couldn't agree more. You hit the nail on the head as far as the BTO's go.

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Shop? Or no shop? Help please BA Deere

Unfortunately from what I've observed your comments are altogether too true.  Greed prevails everywhere, neither conservative or liberal are immune.  Few if any Mother Teresa's today. 

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Shop? Or no shop? Help please

Build the shop.   You save a bundle of money doing machine repair at home and if farming eventually becomes a "no go" it provides alternative employment opportunities.  You don't need to have all the expensive nice accessories at the on-set but make sure you have the infrastructure to add them later at minimal cost; e.g. , be sure to install the necessary heat-exchange tubes in the concrete floor although a kerosene heater will be used until more funds are available.

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Advisor

Re: Shop? Or no shop? Help please

Your climate is virtually a different world from ours, which is not often below twenty, then not usually more than  for a few nights in the dead of winter. 

Just wonder, with so many businesses going dark, now if there is a large enough building empty anywhere nearby that could work as well leased for a shop.  Airplane hangar, manufacturing facility that has been stripped of machines, etc.

That might do you, until you can build your businesses a bit more, see where you really need to be located, how big you truly need to build, whether you want to build in special features, etc.

The banker saying to wait is just a legitimate danger sign to me....

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jherl49
Friend

Re: Shop? Or no shop? Help please

CASH IS KING. WE ALL KNOW THIS CORN MARKET IS ARTIFICIALLY INFLATED.  WE ARE LIVING IN A NEW PARADIGM, THE OLD CYCLES DO NOT CORRELATE ANYMORE. JUST ASK THE DAIRY PEOPLE.  I AM IN BEEF PRODUCTION AND THIS NEW MARKET SCARES ME EVEN THOUGH WE STAND TO MAKE A FORTUNE ON OUR FEEDERS. MANAGE RISK. BUILD ONLY WHAT YOU MUST HAVE.  REAL ESTATE VALUES ARE HIGH, REMEMBER THE 80'S. IF WE LOOSE SUBSIDIES AND SUPPORTS IN THE FARM BILL WATCH THE LAND VALUES TUMBLE.

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Re: Shop? Or no shop? Help please

We are quite conservative and waited many years before we went ahead and built a decent shop. We do most maintainance work on our equipment but do not do major repairs. We live in MN and a mobile service truck does not cut it in the winter. We also use our shop to park semis so that they are ready to go  on those cold -5 degree mornings. Fuel is heated and tarps are free of ice etc. We have also found that it gives us a leg up in the spring as equip is ready to go as soon as soon as weather is fit. It is also nice to run a combine in late at night to fix some thing on a cold Oct or Nov night.

  My advice to you is to build the insulated building the size you need. Like some of the other gentlemen I would put floor heat tubes in even if they were not hooked up right away. If you get a insulated shell up you can chip away at the rest over time. That way you are getting storage that can be heated. If you don't like floor heat we use lp tube heaters which are quite efficent and reasonable to install. Electrical is a big expense but you can start with a electrical service and go from there. Rome wasn't built in a day

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Re: Shop? Or no shop? Help please jim meade

Build the shop. You will wonder why you didn't do it sooner. Our old shop burned in '03 and it took me 5 years to rebuild. That wasn't all bad because my son recently bought a semi which wouldn't have fit in the shop that I was planning. So it and the door grew up 2 feet. We have done a lot of work on machinery that we wouldn't have done or wouldn't have had nice conditions to do it in. We put in radiant tube heaters instead of floor heat. Didn't like the cost and feared the problems of broken lines and drilling into the floor. We insulated 16" down and 4' in from the edge of the floor with 2" styrofoam. Used 4" of spray foam on the walls and blown insulation in the ceilling. We didn't have the heaters working last winter so when we were working in the shop we used a kerosene space heater which had no trouble keeping the shop warm. Sometimes we wouldn't run it for a couple days and the water on the floor that dripped off the pickup never froze. One idea that I swiped from my nephew was putting in floor anchors to tie things down while trying to straighten them. We also put in motion sensing lights so we can step in and grab a tool or back the pickup in and not hit something. My son and I keep harassing each other that this is a "working shop" not a storage shed. That's what other buildings are for. One safety feature that I realized was necessary was a carbon monoxide detector In the winter on weekends the semi was kept in the shop and run for a few minutes before leaving the building. One time, a couple days after taking the semi out, I noticed a haze of diesel smoke still in the building. At that point I realized that the building doesn't have the ventilation (air leakage) that the old one did. That's when I got the detector. It has gone off a few times. I was thankful it was there. Building the shop is a big dollar decision which you have to justify to yourself. If you are comfortable with the cost and the need then go for it.

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Shop? Or no shop? Help please

Reading between the lines,  I'd say your Dad wants you to buy land, his land, which I wouldn'do at these prices unless he gives you a great deal. A well designed shop thats UTILIZED will help you extend the life and value of your equipment, thus paying for it's self.

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CKinNE
Visitor

Re: Shop? Or no shop? Help please

Nobody else here poses the most important question.  How much revenue do these side businesses produce?  Are they making you enough money to justify the expense of the shop?  If you spend 80-100K on a shop can you possibly expect to pay for it with your side business.  If you didn't have the side business would you need a new shop?  Many folks build or buy things because "it would be nice to have X"  That is not a business decision, that is a personal decision, and personal decisions are emotional ones, and emotional decisions can be dangerous because they aren't rational.

I'm 34 and have a decent shop only because my dad built it years ago(I have to fold down my tank too).  It was a good expense for an established man to make to benefit the next generation, but when you are young you have to be willing to rough it.  Its going to be a 20 year or more Return on Investment(ROI) that is too long of a period for a young man starting out, you need fast ROI on your investments.  Try and find some empty space for rent to park your unused equipment in the offseason.  A combine and other equipment does not need a heated insulated shop to sleep for 11 months out of the year.

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