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    1. Member mad8vskillz's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:15 AM #1
      i've been kicking around this idea for years. buy a reasonably-sized shop, frame a chunk off and make it into livable quarters. Then i'd have a normal-sized play area and somewhere to live all at the same time.
      would this be a bad idea? would this be illegal (zoning? fire code? etc.)
      would I be forever alone?

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    3. Member Matt@EuroJerks's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:18 AM #2
      My buddy thought about doing this in NYC. Problem was finding a place suitible for it not in a less desirable place that all his stuff wasn't going to get stolen. Also Zoning does have to do with it but I am sure there are ways around that.

    4. Member Surf Green's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:18 AM #3
      If the shop property is zoned commercial, good luck getting an occupancy permit.
      It's comforting to know there's always a chronically angry person at the ready to correct my think.
      2002 Golf Wagon TDI, 210k - 2007 Fuji Heavy Industries WRB WRX Wagon, 126k
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    5. Member mad8vskillz's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:20 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Surf Green View Post
      If the shop property is zoned commercial, good luck getting an occupancy permit.
      ok, additional question. how would the city go about catching me living in it?

    6. Banned butterface's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:20 AM #5
      Cooter did it.

    7. Member rpmk4's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:22 AM #6
      by accident or a pissed neighbor.

    8. Member Matt@EuroJerks's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:27 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by mad8vskillz View Post
      ok, additional question. how would the city go about catching me living in it?
      Fire inspections?

    9. Member DUTCHMANia's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:27 AM #8
      a friend of mine did it for a year while he was building his house.

      he bought one of these:



      and put one of these in the back:



      the rest of the space he used for storage of car- and houseparts and as a workshop..

      All i remember is it was hot as hell during summer.
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    10. Member MotownSVT's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:31 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by mad8vskillz View Post
      would this be a bad idea?
      Yes.

      Quote Originally Posted by mad8vskillz View Post
      would this be illegal (zoning? fire code? etc.)
      More than likely.

      Quote Originally Posted by mad8vskillz View Post
      would I be forever alone?
      If you have to ask...

    11. Member backinthegame's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:32 AM #10
      Plus, if it gets cold, you can close the door and start the car up. It'll heat the place up in no time to help you sleep.
      Sent from my Droid using an escape pod to Tattoine.


      Quote Originally Posted by mad8vskillz View Post
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    12. Member Surf Green's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:34 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by backinthegame View Post
      Plus, if it gets cold, you can close the door and start the car up. It'll heat the place up in no time to help you sleep.
      Best. Idea. Ever.
      It's comforting to know there's always a chronically angry person at the ready to correct my think.
      2002 Golf Wagon TDI, 210k - 2007 Fuji Heavy Industries WRB WRX Wagon, 126k
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    13. Member mad8vskillz's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:36 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by MotownSVT View Post
      Yes.
      More than likely.
      If you have to ask...
      elaborate? I'm looking for specifics and ideas on solving/bypassing these issues?

    14. Member 20DYNAMITE07's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:36 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by butterface View Post
      cooter did it.
      w
      i
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      "We'll not risk another frontal assault... that rabbit's DYNAMITE!"

    15. Member mad8vskillz's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:38 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by DUTCHMANia View Post

      and put one of these in the back:
      was it periwinkle blue inside?

      that seems like too much of tradeoff however, since trailers that are big enough for me wouldn't fit in any reasonably-sized garage (i can't function with less than a 2br)

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      02-15-2012 11:40 AM #15
      You would be surprised how easily Human can adjust to whatever conditions are available. Look around the world, Billions of people are living in places that would make the garage look like a palace.


    17. Banned Fritz27's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:40 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by mad8vskillz View Post
      elaborate? I'm looking for specifics and ideas on solving/bypassing these issues?
      Get the property re-zoned.

      This is akin to getting out of the friend zone with a girl.

      Good luck!

    18. Member MotownSVT's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:41 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by mad8vskillz View Post
      elaborate? I'm looking for specifics and ideas on solving/bypassing these issues?
      I don't live in Philly so I have no idea about the zoning laws there, but normally commercial and residential don't mix.

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      02-15-2012 11:41 AM #18
      Would you want to put a stable in it as well?

    20. Member DUTCHMANia's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:41 AM #19
      there's a rule here i believe that made it possible for him to live there. He put the shed on his buidling site, and while building you have 15 months (i think) in which you can live on site in less then perfect (legal) circumstances
      Welcome to the internet:
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    21. Member Surf Green's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:44 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      Get the property re-zoned.
      at first I was

      This is akin to getting out of the friend zone with a girl.
      and then I was
      It's comforting to know there's always a chronically angry person at the ready to correct my think.
      2002 Golf Wagon TDI, 210k - 2007 Fuji Heavy Industries WRB WRX Wagon, 126k
      Past: 1996 Surf Green GTI VR6 - 1985 Golf 1.8L - No Trim Level Edition

      Grammatical and spelling errors may be intentional

    22. Member rpmk4's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:46 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by zaYG View Post
      Would you want to put a stable in it as well?

    23. Member barry2952's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:46 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by mad8vskillz View Post
      elaborate? I'm looking for specifics and ideas on solving/bypassing these issues?
      Simple. Start with your local zoning board. Many cities have zones where this type of occupancy is legit. Getting caught outside the regs could cost you everything. Play it smart. Start off on the right foot with your city. As frustrating as it often is, the alternative is horrible.

    24. Senior Member Mk1Racer's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 11:59 AM #23
      When I was house hunting, I looked at something that would probably fit what you're after. It was a 2-story block building. Downstairs was a 5-bay shop / garage and the upstairs was the living quarters. IIRC, it was ~25 x 80. The really cool part, was that the first floor ceiling height was 12', and it had 2 lifts in it. It also had steel bar joists, so there were no poles for joists.

      The upstairs was finished pretty nicely, and was essentially a 2000 sq. ft. ranch, albeit 12' off the ground. 3 BR, 2.5 baths, nice, big kitchen, HUGE deck (was 12' wide, and ran the length of the house!). I really liked it, but the wife (now ex) didn't want to shlep up and down the stairs all the time.
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    25. Member barry2952's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 12:03 PM #24
      You might try looking for a decommissioned fire station. Plenty of bay space and living quarters with a stainless-steel kitchen for washing car parts. Many cities allow for this use as it's already set up for residential use. Another plus is that a fire station is likely so well built that it would be the last building standing in a Zombie Apocalypse.

    26. Member gizmopop's Avatar
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      02-15-2012 12:04 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by mad8vskillz
      would I be forever alone?

      Quote Originally Posted by MotownSVT View Post
      If you have to ask...
      Hey now, he didn't specify that it had to be a significant other...

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