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Thread: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

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    Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    So as the title suggests, have any of you bought a steel building kit? It seems too good to be true to build a 1200 sq ft shop for $8k. But as I progress in the side work realm of things, I ask myself what the end game is. Do I stay at my full time welding job or go on my own? Right now I like where I am working but I enjoy being a ďbusiness ownerĒ in the sense that Iím making my own money.

    Right now Iím working out of my garage at my house, and so far itís okay, but a little cramped. I looked into the possibility of renting something, but rent in North Shore Massachusetts is just insane. Lowest Iíve seen is $1,100 plus utilities all the way up to $5,500 plus utilities. With a mortgage of my own, Iím not THAT busy to tack that kind of bill on. But, Iíve always hated the idea of lining someone elseís pocket by renting, so Iíve been looking at land near me. Some is reasonable, like $30k and up. So my thought is do my homework on zoning and building codes and then buy a plot of land to build these metal buildings.

    So my question is, after my long back story, is it worth it to buy a steel building kit? Too good to be true? Good/bad the ugly of owning one? Thanks for reading, hope to hear from you!

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    Are you talking about the ones with a zillion bolts to assemble? I had a pole shed put up. It took them 6 days start to finish. Didn't need a concrete foundation. Laminated PWF for the inground portion of the poles in the ground. Holes are 24" with 2 bags of Quickcrete in the bottom to form a pad and then the hole is filled with 3/4" washed rock to let water drain without rotting the poles like concrete would.

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    All I can really speak to is the quonset hut style shop that was on my property when I bought it. It's cheap, weatherproof, fireproof, and good in the wind. It has an aluminized foil insulation attached to it on the inside which helps more than you'd think.

    That's pretty much the extent of the good parts, though. The curved / arched wall design stinks for tall machines you'd ordinarily put alongside a wall, and while I'm sure an angled-support-leg bridge crane could be designed, it'd be more difficult and expensive. You can't really attach anything structural to the walls, and you can't just put a door in the side of it easily either. If I were looking to put up a steel building, I would definitely not choose this style if I had the time / ability to save the rest of the money for a conventional steel building.
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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    I'm not a business owner, so don't want to mislead you. I did price some metal buildings not log ago, and talked to my masonry contractor about them. From his view, on masonry, cost is the same for the customer, about $10/sq.ft., so a 30'x40' slab would cost about $12k. That is probably a small size for a commercial shop, and you might be able to get that cheaper in New England, that I don't know, but I was also pricing the buildings in California where I am located.

    For a building that was 12'-14' high, the price was about $50k. I was looking at a structure that had one large 11'-12' roll up doors on each end, and one smaller door. My plan was to be able to drive my forklift inside as well as be able to drive a flatbed with trailer through it. EDIT: I should add, the prices varied, but this was for thicker steel and stronger supports. Some prices were down as low as $30k, with just one small door. These prices were to have someone come out and install the entire building, but the slab needed to be ready. This was from the local hardware supply, they sell them.

    One thing I mentioned to my masonry contractor was the fire hazard in a stick built structure, but he pointed out to me in some of the recent fires the metal structures dissolved into nothing...and most everything burned inside of them, so he discounted that element.

    From his view it's just as easy to frame a similar structure for about half the price. Probably more to have someone frame it for you, but that's kind of what he felt. He's a really good masonry contractor, IMO, he did an awesome foundation for me. He didn't feel most steel buildings were very strong and that most were flimsy, why he was recommending going the stick frame route with TGI trusses.

    I'm not ready to move forward on a detached shop just yet, but kind of leaning towards framing my own after talking to him. I don't know how insurance would play out on steel vs. stick frame.

    Others can probably give you a better idea, maybe someone has done exactly what you ask.
    Last edited by TraditionalToolworks; 06-25-2020 at 12:40 AM.

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    I think on a small building as the OP mentioned a stick build is most cost effective. Red iron building become more economical at above 3000 sq ft. and 14' eaves.

    The very small steel building are not the same, they are welded tube frame buildings, not worth the effort IMHO.
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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve from SoCal View Post
    I think on a small building as the OP mentioned a stick build is most cost effective. Red iron building become more economical at above 3000 sq ft. and 14' eaves.

    The very small steel building are not the same, they are welded tube frame buildings, not worth the effort IMHO.
    That's good info Steve, thanks for posting. Helps me with my decision on what I'll do about a detached shop.

    I finally got PG&E to drop the service to my property. Kind of excited, but have a ways to go in getting things setup...but I have a 320 amp service! Nothing like you have, but more power than I've ever had. Can't wait to get my Phase Perfect hooked up.

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    You want a blue print of footer and property location before purchasing. Grading and foundation pour could impact price above the significantly0 ideal pricing...Especially with the quonset style that uses a engineered slap with footer I included. The footer runs the building length as opposed to few posts.

    You can get them (quonset) much cheaper than list price once you talk to a live person. At least it sed to be that way.

    1200 sqft will disappear quickly if you plan to make money out of the building, unless you have a small job bench niche.

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    I am looking at a 80 x 140+ building kit. 18 foot walls for a second floor in areas.

    Some kits are not easily changeable as I am finding out. And heavy duty 24ga panels are actually standard duty.

    The only upside to a building kit is the drawings and approvals. Its costs a lot to draw up a custom building.

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    I would buy a ranch.
    Now you build a pole barn . You just have work on some equipment for farmer's
    It will save a lot of money and is a investment 😉.
    FYI This how I did in California

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by J93Welder View Post
    So as the title suggests, have any of you bought a steel building kit? It seems too good to be true to build a 1200 sq ft shop for $8k. But as I progress in the side work realm of things, I ask myself what the end game is. Do I stay at my full time welding job or go on my own? Right now I like where I am working but I enjoy being a ďbusiness ownerĒ in the sense that Iím making my own money.

    Right now Iím working out of my garage at my house, and so far itís okay, but a little cramped. I looked into the possibility of renting something, but rent in North Shore Massachusetts is just insane. Lowest Iíve seen is $1,100 plus utilities all the way up to $5,500 plus utilities. With a mortgage of my own, Iím not THAT busy to tack that kind of bill on. But, Iíve always hated the idea of lining someone elseís pocket by renting, so Iíve been looking at land near me. Some is reasonable, like $30k and up. So my thought is do my homework on zoning and building codes and then buy a plot of land to build these metal buildings.

    So my question is, after my long back story, is it worth it to buy a steel building kit? Too good to be true? Good/bad the ugly of owning one? Thanks for reading, hope to hear from you!
    Last edited by smithdoor; 07-03-2020 at 04:31 PM.

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    Steve from SoCal> "I think on a small building as the OP mentioned a stick build is most cost effective. Red iron building become more economical at above 3000 sq ft. and 14' eaves.

    The very small steel building are not the same, they are welded tube frame buildings, not worth the effort IMHO.
    " I am just now checking construction prices on a 30' x 48' pole barn after reading your comments a bit ago. It's beginning to look like you were spot on. Stick built is coming out about 10% less. Thank you for posting... I just assumed based on all the advertising that a metal barn would be more affordable without checking.
    --
    Country Metals> "The only upside to a building kit is the drawings and approvals. Its costs a lot to draw up a custom building." Drawings for a livestock barn/detached garage/work shop/etc stamped by an architect for a detached garage of about 1400 sq feet are coming in at .40Ę a sq foot for us. Not too bad... all factors considered. Drawings by a PE are coming in at about .50Ę a square foot. Evidently with all the new software that's hit the market in the past 25 years, architectural fees have come way down. I'm finding that fees for a custom home are coming in around .75Ę to $1 per square foot currently. That's a massive reduction since we hired an architect to design the home we currently live in back in the late 90s. I believe we paid around $2 per square foot back then and that did not include changes or add-ons.
    --
    TT>"One thing I mentioned to my masonry contractor was the fire hazard in a stick built structure, but he pointed out to me in some of the recent fires the metal structures dissolved into nothing...and most everything burned inside of them, so he discounted that element.

    From his view it's just as easy to frame a similar structure for about half the price. Probably more to have someone frame it for you, but that's kind of what he felt. He's a really good masonry contractor, IMO, he did an awesome foundation for me. He didn't feel most steel buildings were very strong and that most were flimsy, why he was recommending going the stick frame route with TGI trusses.

    I'm not ready to move forward on a detached shop just yet, but kind of leaning towards framing my own after talking to him. I don't know how insurance would play out on steel vs. stick frame.
    "
    --
    Few comments regarding framing your own detached shop... when we built the home we're currently living in about 20 years ago, it was build on 16Ē centers with fireblocks in the same thickness as the stud materials running horizontally between the studs. My husband added those to the original blueprints, he said we were in a rural area serviced by a volunteer fire department and that was how he wanted it regardless of cost. His rationale was that it would be pretty hard for a fire to get going in a wall with 6" fireblocks between the studs. Maybe check into what he said and see if it makes sense for your new place?
    --
    I actually might know the answer to your question about how insurance might play out on steel v. stick frame on an appurtenant structure such as a detached work shop... it might not in CA. It doesn't in the states of MI, SC, IL, and now I just verified that it doesn't in the state of AR so hopefully it won't in the state of CA. The insurance companies in the three states that we have insurance in and for AR that I just checked with all extend 10% of dwelling coverage to detached structures for no charge... it's included in a homeowners package policy. So, if we insure a home for $100,000; we'll get $10,000 as part of a package policy. And, I was told it's the primary dwelling they're basing their rate for both the home and appurtenant structures on. Brick, stucco, and concrete board siding all receive the lowest rate while cedar, vinyl, aluminum, and other sidings receive a higher rate. So since we're building a brick home, our rate for the dwelling and the detached 3.5 car garage will be based on the materials chosen for the residence not what ever materials we end up choosing for the detached 3.5 car garage and for any amount over the 10% we're given in the package for the detached garage... we'll be charged at the rate of the primary residence.
    --
    Beyond that, a primary residence is obviously cheaper than a vacation or seasonal home and then there are all kinds of discounts for having no claims, auto with the same company, new home constructed within x # of years, and others. One thing I discovered is that some insurance companies won't quote you if you don't have hardwired fire and CO2 detectors and/or a central reporting alarm system. That's something you might want to check into because I remember hardwiring the fire/CO2 and installing the components for the alarm system were easier and cheaper when the home we're in was being built.
    --
    Oh oh oh, we'll be getting a discount for excavating a slightly less than 1 acre hydrant pond within 250' of the home and you've got a whole lake within a stone's throw of the back of your home so that might reduce your insurance premiums too.
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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    EQ,

    Good to know on the insurance, that kind of rings a bell here so it is probably so in California. I think that might be true of the contents in your home also, it's limited to a percentage of what the rebuild value is. I have extra insurance for my wife's piano and my upright bass.

    My original thinking was that steel would be less prone to fires, but my masonry contractor pointed out that's not always the case. Probably depends on how thick the steel is, but the steel building are typically pretty flimsy. Anyway, stick frame is the way to go on this in what I've been able to research, and what Steve mentioned also. Even though he's from SoCal, I won't hold that against him as that's where I'm from also...

    FWIW, in regard to fire, I'm required to have at least 350 gallons of water to supply the required sprinkler system for 10 minutes. I will be storing 2500-3000 gallons though, so no worries there.

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    Ag buildings are priced accordingly. Go to 2 different places and say 1 is for cows and 1 is for a welding shop and see what the prices are. Last time I checked, and I live in a very large farming county, cows dont sur people or firms. When was the last time a cow barn had sprinklers, emergency exits etc.

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Country Metals View Post
    Ag buildings are priced accordingly. Go to 2 different places and say 1 is for cows and 1 is for a welding shop and see what the prices are. Last time I checked, and I live in a very large farming county, cows dont sur people or firms. When was the last time a cow barn had sprinklers, emergency exits etc.
    Not sure how that plays into the picture, the prices I got for a steel shop didn't include anything except the steel structure. No plans to keep cows in my shop, only machines.

    AFAIK, there is no sprinklers required for a shop/garage, only space you live in. My current shop is going in the full walkout basement to build the house, hence the sprinklers. I also don't like the idea of doing any welding other than tig inside an attached structure. I can forge and weld outside if needed, but I need to have a shop.

    EQ's needs are probably entirely different, and the OP for that matter.

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    TT> "My original thinking was that steel would be less prone to fires" Mine too but I was also looking to cut some costs because we ended up spending more for land than we budgeted for.
    --
    Actually, we need the detached garage for my husband and it will include one bay for my welding equipment and all of his tools. But, we also need at least a 24 x 40 insulated livestock barn for me. It has to have intakes, exhausts, fans, water, and A/C. And well, a little chicken coop for a few pet chickens but that's no big deal.
    --
    Country> are you suggesting that if I requested a bid for a structure labeled as a livestock barn v. a structure labeled as a garage/work shop that quotes would come in lower for a structure labeled as a livestock barn? If so, I think I'll label my husband's detached garage a goat barn. I've always wanted two or three of those Nigerian Dwarfs... no time like the present to toss a few in a bay.
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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
    Mine too but I was also looking to cut some costs because we ended up spending more for land than we budgeted for.
    Undeveloped Property = Largest can of worms on the planet

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
    Actually, we need the detached garage for my husband and it will include one bay for my welding equipment and all of his tools. But, we also need at least a 24 x 40 insulated livestock barn for me. It has to have intakes, exhausts, fans, water, and A/C. And well, a little chicken coop for a few pet chickens but that's no big deal.
    You'll start bringing the number of structures down once you realize you'll be living in a tent for the rest of your life getting those built first...

    That's why I'm focusing on the house first, using the basement for the shop. Having a shop attached to the house is not ideal, but it will help me reach my goal.

    Around my area there's some pretty nice barns that have been converted into living space...they're pretty nice in themselves. Not your typical barn though...

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    J93Welder> I've just gotten off the phone with contractors from down south in AR, both of them are saying pretty much the same thing you were thinking... the kits are too good to be true and parroted what Steve from SoCal mentioned about size with a warehouse and an indoor riding arena with stalls along one outer wall used as examples of larger pole barns which... you don't need. If we have the time and can assemble them ourselves, we save on labor but it's all the add-ons that kill us customizing a kit for a business or work shop. Want a pole barn to store tractors, hay, and equipment... I'm told they're great and affordable. They get us the minute we deviate from the kit and then we get it again after the shell is up and we finish it to our specs.
    --
    Really glad you started this thread. Perfect timing for a few of us to ride on your coat tails.
    --
    TT> Yes, we ran into the proverbial can of worms where we live right now with wetlands. The Army Corps of Engineers was great to deal with but by the time we actually built, Storm Water Management for the County was overseeing wetlands and the best way to describe them would be Hitler youth.
    --
    Unfortunately, you raised some really good points that got me thinking along different lines. Not that we'd be living in a tent or anything because we won't even list the home we're living in until we start building the home we'll retire in but... big but... things change and they're changing at a rate that's hard to keep up with so better safe than sorry.
    --
    Our thoughts building the detached garage first were to be able to store building materials once it was built as well as to get electric run to the property sooner. Down in AR they have four things that need to be in place before you get your 800' free feet of electric from the road to the building site. A detached garage with a bathroom counted because we would have a three-piece bathroom, a septic field for a bathroom, a permanent foundation/slab in place, and a permanent water source as in.... drilling a well. Three out of four was all they asked for. Soon as one meets their requirements, 800' of free poles for electric can be run in providing the right of way has been cleared to 30'.
    --
    Think it's time to change our sails. Although not ideal, I think you're right. Better to start by adding a breezeway to the home plans we have then build the attached garage first. While not ideal, it provides space to store building materials delivered to the site that a contractor might not be in a position to use right away. We can build the septic field for the house and just leave it sit. That's two out of the four criteria to get electric and drilling the well would be the third so we'd still get to run electric just by turning the shower room off the mudroom around to open into the garage. A 3-piece bathroom is a 3-piece bathroom regardless of whether the 3rd piece is a shower or tub so that works. It's the 800' of electric we want ENTERGY to run for no charge... saves us a boatload of money and then all we have to pay for is the additional 300' to get it all the way to the actual building site plus whatever the electrician charges to tie it into the house, garage, and what ever other out buildings we end up with.
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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
    TT> Yes, we ran into the proverbial can of worms where we live right now with wetlands. The Army Corps of Engineers was great to deal with but by the time we actually built, Storm Water Management for the County was overseeing wetlands and the best way to describe them would be Hitler youth.
    Dealing with the building Dept. is one big PITA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
    Unfortunately, you raised some really good points that got me thinking along different lines. Not that we'd be living in a tent or anything because we won't even list the home we're living in until we start building the home we'll retire in but... big but... things change and they're changing at a rate that's hard to keep up with so better safe than sorry.
    Keep in mind, the longer you wait the more you *MAY* have to do. Building codes will never get more slack. Case in point, when I first had my structural engineering done, I didn't have money to move forward so waited...unfortunately sprinklers became a requirement...a pretty big undertaking. Lesson learned...but I didn't really have the money to start things in motion anyway...but it added quite a bit, required a engineered set of plans stamped by an mechanical engineer, permits, taxes, et al If I was to do it again, I would have pulled the building permit and done what I could to get them to extend it over time...as long as you do something, most Counties will continue your permit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
    Our thoughts building the detached garage first were to be able to store building materials once it was built as well as to get electric run to the property sooner. Down in AR they have four things that need to be in place before you get your 800' free feet of electric from the road to the building site. A detached garage with a bathroom counted because we would have a three-piece bathroom, a septic field for a bathroom, a permanent foundation/slab in place, and a permanent water source as in.... drilling a well. Three out of four was all they asked for. Soon as one meets their requirements, 800' of free poles for electric can be run in providing the right of way has been cleared to 30'.
    I had a friend with 10 acres and a pond, not a bad piece of land, it had a pole barn on it. I encouraged him to just enclose the pole barn so he had something to stay in, that way he could start working on a small home. Unfortunately he died and his widow or daughter have it now with only a pole barn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
    Think it's time to change our sails. Although not ideal, I think you're right. Better to start by adding a breezeway to the home plans we have then build the attached garage first. While not ideal, it provides space to store building materials delivered to the site that a contractor might not be in a position to use right away.
    Yes, less is better. Also, keep in mind...once you're there you can do a lot of stuff on your own, although possibly not legal in all regards, getting the County involved is never a good idea, IMO. Many properties are sold as-is these days because they have non-permitted work to them. Doesn't stop property from changing hands, as long as it's done correctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
    We can build the septic field for the house and just leave it sit.
    Ah, here's something else for you to check. I had originally planned that I would tie my shop into the same septic, but I recently found out that's not the case. Separate structures need to have separate septic, so if I do want to have a sink/toilet in a detached shop when I build it, I may need to install a small septic and/or use another method. That is definitely something to check on...different Counties are different in that regard, you might luck out in Arkansas.

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    Another proverbial can of worms was not knowing we needed to renew our septic field permit annually until we built the home we currently live in. Codes changed and resulted in us getting hit with another 25k for a WI mound system complete with five lift stations and all the bells and whistles. That hurt.
    --
    There are no building codes where we're going to be moving with the exception of last year the state of AR began requiring a health department approved septic field and permit for every bathroom and there's some sort of a multiplier for the number of bedrooms you have. Before that, anyone with 15 acres or more could build what ever kind of a septic field they wanted. You can still build what ever type of home you want and you don't even need blueprints stamped by an architect or engineer though. It's like the wild west of construction in AR. FWIW, we had an architect draw up our plans. I don't think a home is something anyone should pull an Indiana Jones on... making it up as they go.
    --
    Like you said... building codes never get more slack and who knows what's on the horizon for AR given they now require permits for all septic fields, new construction and existing construction when a septic field fails. Running with the attached garage first means we can put in the septic field in to the house before the permit expires... we just won't have anything to connect it to. We're fine with that.
    --
    Oh, and a separate septic field is required for the detached garage, can't tie in to an existing septic field as of last year in AR. We did a perc test for that and have a separate permit for it and just figure the guy can deal with it the same time he puts in the septic field for the house. It's just a gravity flow septic field for one 3-piece bathroom, a wash tub, and a washer for towels and such. That septic field we could care less about. It was just a technicality to run the electric in and I figured it would come in handy washing our dogs. As it is now, we wash them in our shower and they're hairy and then they shake and fur flies all over.
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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
    Another proverbial can of worms was not knowing we needed to renew our septic field permit annually until we built the home we currently live in. Codes changed and resulted in us getting hit with another 25k for a WI mound system complete with five lift stations and all the bells and whistles. That hurt.
    Yeah, the building dept. can put a hurtin' on 'ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
    There are no building codes where we're going to be moving with the exception of last year the state of AR began requiring a health department approved septic field and permit for every bathroom and there's some sort of a multiplier for the number of bedrooms you have.
    Yes, it probably works the same way as the septic tank I'm putting in. They do gauge it by the number of bathrooms, but it is dependent on the perk test and how well the soil will absorb water. In my case I need 37.5 feet of leech field for every bathroom. I'm told this is good, IOW, that my soil is pretty good. It various for all locales of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
    Like you said... building codes never get more slack and who knows what's on the horizon for AR given they now require permits for all septic fields
    Exactly! You can take that to the bank! Because if you look around at other states, the building nazis like we have in CA are only likely to spread to other States that don't have them now...it will always just get worse. I actually feel pretty good about Lake County where I'm building...I know someone that built up at Lake Tahoe, talk about having the geo nazis drag you through the wringer...I kid you not...it was bad...they actually required double trusses to meet the the requirements for a log home. It made absolutely no sense at all, but they had to do it in order to get their approval...

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
    We did a perc test for that and have a separate permit for it and just figure the guy can deal with it the same time he puts in the septic field for the house.
    Be careful on that one as I was told they need to have a separate perk test for another septic, as they can't tell if the soil is the same. I had 2 pits dug and they used both results to tell me how much leech was required.

    Here's a funny but true story...a long running joke on a log building forum I used to hang out on was that there was one for sure way to get your log home approved, that was to marry the building inspectors daughter for the county you were building in...

    Fast forward, my daughter was in college and living in a house with 5 or 6 girls...one of the girls was from Lake County...we got to meet her parents at one of the events before graduation, or it may have been graduation day itself, I can't remember...anyway, I was talking to her Mom and mentioned how much trouble I have had with my plans and structural engineering, permits, taxes, etc...and she said, "The plans inspector lives across the street from us, our daughters raised her animals for her". Turns out she was the lady I had been talking with...I was like, "no f#@$ing way, this is like marrying the inspector's daughter"...I will say this, my plans were approved, but I'm not sure how, they are missing so much stuff as I work through it, but I would rather have gotten them approved than not. The County charged me about $8k to "review" the plans...I felt kind of cheated, but they were approved and for that I'm thankful. The plans actually mean very little, what matters most is when the inspector comes out to look at the work. Most of them don't care what the plans say, they just want to make sure the work is done per code.

    As an example, one of the windows was the wrong size...I learned it doesn't actually matter as long as it has a proper header and proper frame, they don't give 2 craps one way or the other what the plans say...my porches were spec'd for 8x8 white pine posts, I wanted to replace them with 16" logs, but the structural engineer didn't change it...it matters not, working with him was worse than beating my head against the wall...it's actually easier to deal with inspectors than it is a structural engineer with his head up his @$$.

    The structural engineer didn't put my patio on my walkout basement. The masonry contractor added it and the inspector approved it. What a frickin' dolt the structural engineer was. Did I mention he lost the first set of plans when his computer crashed...

    The worst part is my structural engineer was said to be one of the better ones from the County planner...

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    It was storm water management that put the "hurtin" on us but... we screwed up. We didn't know we were supposed to keep renewing the septic field permit and about two years after we found out when we could have gotten in under the wire we figured why waste the money paying for new perc tests and septic field designs because we decided to change the location of where we were going to build and would have to pay to redo everything anyway. If we would have known, we would have renewed that permit and built in the location we originally chose or we would have quick fast paid for a new perc and design right then and there.
    --
    We didn't make that mistake this time. In AR, the inspectors are independent contractors that rent equipment to do perc tests to be able to design septic fields so a healthy chunk of fees are for the daily rental fees on equipment. Since he had to incur the cost of the equipment, we had him do a perc test for the bathroom to the detached garage which does have its own permit on file and we had him do perc tests at three different locations for a building site for the home all of which have separate permits. Total cost to us was only an extra $600 and all we have to remember to do is call the county health department and request that the permits be renewed for another year every June. They don't even charge like IL does. As long as we keep renewing the permits, we're grandfathered in if anything changes. We figured some mistakes weren't enough fun to ever want to repeat and the $600 was good insurance to avoid the possibility of a new septic field design that could be considerably more costly.
    --
    What a godsend you ran into someone who could get your plans, engineering, permits, and everything else in line at a graduation of all places so you could start building. You lucky duck you!!!
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    But you must not change one thing, one pebble, one grain of sand, until you know what good and evil will follow on that act. The world is in balance, in Equilibrium- Ursula K. Le Guin

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