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Re: Building a shed/workshop PERMITS
Joe et al.,
I've been reading some of the messages in your thread because I'm looking for a woodworking club in the south end of Mississauga (ideally Sherway Gardens area, but anywhere from lakeshore to 401 would be OK.) When I was a boy growing up in Deep River, Ontario, there was a non-profit club with its own premises, a wonderfully complete shop full of high-end power tools, and storage space for wood and projects in progress. My father belonged, so I had many occasions to visit the club with him, helping with various projects. That's really where I learned much of what I know about working with wood and power tools! The club in Deep River is still in operation and is listed under the "clubs" link of this website.
The home my wife and I live in in Mississauga simply doesn't have the space to accomodate a good shop with a basic set of stationary power tools, so I thought I'd see if I could find a club like the one in Deep River -- and was surprised to find (at least according to this website) that there aren't any in this area -- in fact, there seem to be precious few in the entire province! Could anyone help me out with this? Maybe the cost of owning or leasing workshop space is prohibitive in a major city as opposed to a small town; but I'm surprised people haven't established more clubs throughout the province following this apparently excellent and mutually advantageous model. I recall that the club members would even group together to purchase specialty woods at volume-based discounts.
I may have some experience I can share with you about the issue of outbuildings (sheds), house extensions, surveys and permits -- all of which we have on our property in Mississauga, and all of which (the sheds and the extension) were on the property when my wife's parents purchased the place about ten years ago. I'll consult with my mother-in-law and question her about how the business of surveys and permits was handled when they made the purchase.
I look forward to any information or suggestions about woodworking clubs.
Many have tried and all have failed.
I think it's a problem with outragous insurance rates.
I know there was a place in Missassaga called The Carpenters Square but I don't know if they're still around.
Re: Building permits and buying a house
It is amazing sometimes what does slip between the cracks.
We bought our place 7 years ago and it had a detached garage, built years ago by the previous owner. In our last mortage renewal, it was still not listed on the property. We had our lawyer add that little tid bit in so that in the future there hopefully will not be any surprizes.
They were still running off of the original 1950's lot plan, and it didn't list any of the garages, decks or pools on the street.
A paper trail may be a pain right now, but could help in the future.
Re: Building a shed/workshop
After reading all the posts so far, I thought I would toss in my two cents worth.
First off - you will need a building permit for something this size. You need to contact the buildings department. They will tell you how far away from your lot lines the OUTSIDE edge of this building must be. When I say outside edge, some municipalities measure from the lot line to the greatest projection from the building. This could mean to the edge of the eaves or the evetrough. You need to clarify that with the building department first. As already stated, there are often rules about maximum lot coverage.
If I was building such a shop, my choice would be a concrete floor. However, you should not install a concrete pad or concrete footings on top of organic soils. You need to excavate ALL the top-soil from this area first.
Again, this is me but after removing all the top soil I would make about four slow passes over the area with a jumping jack compactor in order to compress the ground as much as possible. Once that was done, I would put four inches of CLEAR stone in place. My choice would be 3/4" clear limestone.
This limestone base would be levelled very carefully and several passes with a PLATE COMPACTOR would be made while spraying some water on the surface to aid in the compaction.
From there, I would place 2 inch sheets of the blue Dow rigid foam insulation followed by one layer of Super Six polyethelyne vapour barrier. I would then lay down sheets of nine guage concrete re-inforcing mesh and tie them together.
At that point, I would be zip-tieing 1/2" PEX tubing to the reinforcing mesh because I would want my shop heated the BEST way. Once this was all done, I would raise the mesh off the styrofoam with some one inch thick pieces of stone. This will allow the mesh and the PEX to be totally encapsulated by the concretd during the pour. Essentially, a 14 X 20 shop works out to 280 square feet. A six inch floor means you need 140 cubic feet of concrete and that divided by 27 means you need a little over five cubic yards.
I would use 30 MPA concrete mix. You need at least two really experienced guys to help you level and finish this floor properly. Concrete is a very unforgiving material. You only have a certain amount of time to do it right because once it starts to set, nothing stops that process. Hand trowelling 280 square is hard work and not for beginners.
If you decide to go with a pump truck, then the concrete company must know this because you will need a pump grade mix of concrete. If you have a bunch of strong friends to help wheelbarrow the concrete in, then fine. Just make sure the barrows you choose are strong enough. Concrete is heavy and you should be using contractor grade barrows with inflated tires. The ground must be solid enough to support the barrow wheel without rutting.
You are looking at 35 to 40 wheelbarrow loads based on 4 cu ft. per trip. The longer the haul, the less the load should be. Better to move half-barrow loads with ease than struggle with full barrow loads and hurt yourself.
You also need tools to do this job. Shovels, rake, levelling screed, bull float, small float trowels and then finishing trowels. Someone who is experienced can decide how wet the mix should be coming out of the truck and when its the right time to conduct the various trowellings.
A raised floor shop comes with certain problems too. The first one is rodents getting into and destroying the insulation in between the floor joists. With concrete, this is not a problem.
A raised floor building can have rotting issues if the outside ground is allowed to be in contact with the building. Do not assume that pressure treated lumber is the answer.
Putting up a shop the right way takes a lot of research and planning. I would be looking to do this project next year and put the following six months to good use lining up all my ducks. You need to look at how water flows in your back yard. This building needs to be built high enough to make it flood proof. Having the slab above the existing grade by a foot is well worth it. The soil you excavate can be placed around the building to taper the landscape to the building.
You also need to think about putting an electrical service in place to handle the tools and lighting. You need a sixty-amp sub-panel in the shop. Bringing the conduit underground to the shop is the best way. You can use inch and a quarter plastic pipe for this. How about telephone and perhaps an intercom line so the old lady can call you in to dinner easily?