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6 hours ago, Rae Reich said:

Mind if I ask what your budget is for this Claystravaganza?

Too darn much! :angry:

Having talked with other folks who had built pole barns similar in size/scope to what I am doing I had a general idea of what the costs would be. However getting into this project, I found out that my ideas were wrong. Was planning on hiring a general contractor to manage the job, however most GC's were coming back with quotes well over $150k; Thus I have taken over being GC, providing insurance/workers comp for a union carpenter who is slow on work, and is willing to do the job basically by himself. A few friends with seasonal jobs are willing to pitch in for jobs that require more than one man, and some are happy with some beer and wings kind of deal. Doing it this way should shave off about $50k from the barn cost. Property purchase, barn build, taxes, permits, fees.............etc will end up being above $175k (over $50k more than what I originally "thought").

Renting space, even half the size of this barn, will cost me nearly $30-40k per year, so even though this is an absurd amount of money (in my opinion) to be spending on a studio, its still the cheaper option in the long run.

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45 minutes ago, oldlady said:

i do not see access to the porch from anywhere inside.  unless the note is too small to read.  an awning like projection on the side where the prevailing weather comes from can keep it dry, or almost dry in the rain.      i think an entrance from the kiln room might be a good thing on those spring or fall days you would just like to sit down but not shiver too much.

There is an 8'x8' roll up door from the kiln room to the covered porch which will eventually have a soda kiln sitting on it. I wanted to be able to roll my carts of wares to this kiln too! I agree, a nice covered picnic table on this porch will be nice. There wont be a "man" door going to this porch, so I will have to roll up the big door, but not the end of the world. Since the kiln room is not climate controlled, opening the big door does nothing to "..paying to heat the neighborhood!.."

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1 hour ago, Hulk said:

For hvac, given the building is well insulated, I love the mini-split heat pumps these days - target your spaces, an' no loss through ductwork

The building will be very well insulated (R40 ish in the walls, R50 ish in the ceilings. Windows will be triple pane, and about as insulated as I can afford. Entry doors will be insulated and any glass will be at least double pane. The roll up/overhead doors are the biggest killers of my building efficiency; they do come insulated, but at the best, like a R8, however the bigger issue is the air they allow in around the perimeter of the door; unless I wanted to spend $10k per door (which I dont) I just have to accept that fact and enjoy having a door big enough to bring in skids of materials. I wont blower test this building, but would imagine, given that everything is built/installed correctly that this building would perform admirably.

I like the idea of the through the wall units too; only downside is that they are more expensive than a singular central furnace. I will be zoning the furnace though, so I will be able to keep storage areas at 50 or less, and main rooms at 70 or so. I looked into numerous different makers of these ductless units, and even if they are sharing the same compressor for AC, a unit sized for just one room costs about 80% of a central furnace which would be ample for the whole building. Plus, numerous units means more to maintain and repair, should something break. Likewise, I cant remember how much amperage each unit needs, but I think all of the combined would be more than one furnace. I think where these units shine is in old work construction where demo'ing walls to run ducts is wayyyy too cost prohibitive. In new work, and especially in my case with exposed ductwork, I think its a better upfront and install cost to go central.

I would like to do 4-6"+ of under slab insulation, but cost may prevent me from doing so. Suppliers of salvaged/factory seconds rigid foam cut the costs wayy down(70% or less), but is still expensive. Probably $10k of my budget is being spent on insulation. I dont want to go broke trying to heat and cool this big ol space. Im down in Cincinnati, so we do get colder winters, but not terribly cold. Slab will be at grade, and insulated at the least by 4" of perimeter rigid foam; 6-8" of limestone below slab, and slab will be properly vapor barriered; the lack of excess moisture in my slab (aside from what I put into it), in combination with the perimeter insulation should not suck out too much of my heat, but you're right that it would be way better to insulate the whole thing. Its also the kind of thing you only get one chance to do......

Edited by hitchmss

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44 minutes ago, oldlady said:

do you have an objection to using drywall sheets as wareboards?

I use some drywall for wareboards. Mainly I use old sheets of plywood that is unsealed. If I buy it, I buy 3/4" Baltic birch; stuff is dense as heck, but stays almost perfectly flat. I like this a lot for flipping over bowls etc and having the pots maintain a flat rim. Drywall does the same pretty much, but always just preferred wood. I too have never had an issue with drywall chunks from ware boards, and never tape all my edges.

I do use drywall a lot for making forms for slab work.

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1 hour ago, neilestrick said:

In-floor heating is a dream. My father-in-law has it in his wood shop, and it's the coziest, most even heat ever. You don't feel cold even when it's not set very high because there are no cold spots or drafts.

I would love to do radiant floor heating; cost is the only issue. Need to insulate the slab a lot, and that can get pricey. Ive also been looking into the outdoor wood burning "furnaces" that run not only into your central furnace's A-coil,  can be piped into a radiant floor system, and can do hot water pre heat.

They burn a lot of wood (estimate 6-7 cords or more a season for a shop this size) which is not  a huge issue as I have a lot of great sources for wood, but they cost a boat load too. Units sized for my needs would cost me upwards of $20k (including install). Granted, these pricier units do have automatic dampers, O2 sensors, ceramic "after burners", and a whole slew of other fancy features which means you get to load it full, once per day, and it does the rest, but still, thats a lot of money!

If I can afford radiant heat I will likely just do the main room and glaze room as thats where I spend most of my time.

Edited by hitchmss

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4 minutes ago, Magnolia Mud Research said:

You should consider having a staging area to 'warm' the stored clay from the cold area to the temperature of the working area.  Throwing, and shaping the clay is easier at the controlled temperature of 70 F.  Same for glazes.  

LT

Clay will be stored in my main working room which will likely be in the 65-75* range for most of the year. My old studio just had one propane wall heater which never got the studio past 50 degrees. Cold clay SUCKS on my hands. Plus, if I need to warm the clay up, just throw it in the pug mill for 20 mins! :D

Glazes too will be in a climate controlled area; since I dont glaze regularly (usually every week or so), this room will be kept a little cooler/warmer to save on costs, but they will definitely be above 50* at any time.

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7 hours ago, Rae Reich said:

"to keep the pots from getting as dusty; thought about some kind of drop cloth system to cover the pots whenot iuse"  Tension curtain/shower curtain rods, draped with fabric, could be placed selectively on/over wooden shelves. Polyester curtains are large and inexpensive, sheer enough to see through and already sewn with rod pockets or loops. If the shelves are metal racks, curtains can be suspended by S-hooks or clothespins.

I ran all my studio electric at 4' above floor (with a couple extra outlets on ceiling in the center of the workspace). Outdoor covers are helpful when hosing.

I thought about the same kind of idea for covering the stored finished pots. I could affix heavy duty plastic (6 mils or better) to the wall above the shelving, and attach a 1"x1" board to the bottom edge; roll it up when I need access, and let it drop down when I dont. It too can be semi transparent, so I could still get an idea of whats behind it without looking. Im just not sure how effective this kind of solution would be. Not sure, if its not "air tight" if it will keep enough dust off to make it worthwhile.

Yea the walls will be FRP board (stuff they install in shower stalls/automatic car washes) to keep the walls waterproof. The material is sold in 4x8' sheets, so the wall be at least water proof up to 4'; if we can afford to go up to 8' high I will, but not sure. Outlets/switches will be above this board, will all be GFI's, and if needed will be in waterproof housings like you suggest! Agreed too that electrical drops in the center of the room are brilliant, especially when combined with a retractable cord reel. "oh, I need to plug in this "thingamaboober"...., let me just reach up here!" Ill feel like James Bond with some fancy gadgets!

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Heavy plastic won't be any more dust proof than lighter plastic. Both will deteriorate eventually.  Before investing in that, test lightweight plastic dropcloth and sheer curtain from the dollar store. Nothing will be as good as cupboard doors, but even lighter coverage will make a difference. Heavy stuff is not easy to reach into without uncovering everything. Imho.

also, fabric is washable. :)

Your budget is not bad for all that you plan to accomplish. Some or all could be converted to living space, should you need extra income, with your thoughtful extra kitchen and bath areas.

I ran a crew of friends to build an addition and a studio. I think I wouldn't have gotten it done as fast (several months) if I hadn't had them live here during the week. No problems with tardiness or no-shows. Two tents pitched in the yard, a camper-trailer and a van and wonderful neighbors who didn't complain about extra cars and noise here in the middle of the city.

Cultivate a great relationship with officials/inspectors and never argue with them about requirements. 

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Ok I see that a 40 minute commute speaks volumes on the kitchen /bath-you need a bed there as well. Since you are thinking studio sales as well just keep some of those areas off limits to the public.

Go light on the texture as Neil says

Smooth on your personal areas and seal those (concrete talk)

We have a huge specialty lumber store (hardwoods etc one of the best on whole west coast) about 5 miles from me (yes baltic berch is the way to keep it flat but its heavy)

anyway he heats the retail area with is about 6 times your size with a wood burning furnaces that heats the water in the slab floor system.Its not the bone chilling rath of a climate you have but check into these units.

I think you will find the forced air the most cost effective  as you already said.I would put ridge foam under your slab if at all possible as well no matter what the cost-buy a few units of 2 inch 4x8. 

all heated floor systems cost more up front-they all need pumps and electricity to run.The zone control is pretty sweet .check into the wood burning units that sit outside under a small shed roof to supply hot water for one.

Edited by Mark C.

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just a thought about floor heating.   you only need the piping in areas where you are going to be, not under the shelving, machinery, storage cabinets, etc.  so the floor space is a little smaller than the building dimensions.

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19 minutes ago, oldlady said:

just a thought about floor heating.   you only need the piping in areas where you are going to be, not under the shelving, machinery, storage cabinets, etc.  so the floor space is a little smaller than the building dimensions.

Very true, but if you selectively are going to heat sections of concrete, they must then have a thermal barrier in between it, and the slab next to it, otherwise the heat will just get robbed be the other slab, and if I only insulate under where I will have the radiant tubes, the cost of prep/pour for the concrete will go up and up as it gets much more complicated. Most concrete crews like to pour slabs like this as a monolithic pour (all in one shot), and doing it this way, it is very difficult to add in thermal barriers in between one area and the next.

A lot of the overall building dimension is also space that wont be climate controlled at all (kiln room, covered porch, and covered parking, about 1000 feet of space), and if I were to only do the two rooms which I work in the most, it would be about 1600 sq ft to radiant heat. If I can afford it, I will do it, as I wholeheartedly agree that it would provide the greatest level of comfort, and would likely be more cost effective (as far as use, not install), but those darn budgets just keep getting into the way. The bank just wont let me into their vault....seems totally reasonable request to me!

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1 hour ago, Rae Reich said:

Your budget is not bad for all that you plan to accomplish. Some or all could be converted to living space, should you need extra income, with your thoughtful extra kitchen and bath areas.

My wife still doesnt understand why I need this big expensive studio; she keeps on wanting to stick me into a little prebuilt shed from lowes! Yes, for all that I am doing, I think I am making a very good use of my budget, but if you had asked me ten years ago, before I became full time, what it would cost for me to be a full time potter with my own studio, I wouldnt have said anything close to $300k (the whole ball of wax, not just this building).

There is an old schoolhouse on the property which we may renovate (budget permitting) and rent it out. Should bring in about $700/month which would cover my mortgage costs for the studio and property purchase. Sure would be nice to only be out of pocket a few hundred a month on mortgage for two homes and a big studio! As it is, this starving artist thing is getting to be a more real reality!

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54 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

all heated floor systems cost more up front-they all need pumps and electricity to run.The zone control is pretty sweet .check into the wood burning units that sit outside under a small shed roof to supply hot water for one.

Ive looked into the outdoor wood burning furnaces; If you get a nice fancy one, that you only have to load once per day, and runs itself, will cost about $20k (including install). This would provide hot water pre heating, heat provided to the central furnace via the A-coil, and would heat the floors. To be honest, I havent looked to see what a little baby unit, something that Id have to babysit, and would just do the floors would cost though.

Otherwise, id do a highly efficient traditional gas fired hot water heater with its own independent water pump and manifold system. The cost for the pump/heater upfront and install would be less than $2k; another $4k for the in concrete tubing/install, and another $1000 in permits, misc parts, etc.

We still have to do a central furnace if I want any kind of AC in the summer (which can be humid and UN enjoyable!), which dont get any cheaper if you take the "heating junk" out of em, so Im still gonna spend $4k on a furnace, but the radiant floor heat would mean toasty toes (concrete floors can be cold on them piggies), and very comfortable, consistent ambient temps. The operating cost of the radiant floor would be cheaper too; a well insulated slab, once it has been brought up to a desired temp, holds the heat like a stone fireplace, and doesnt need much more BTU input to keep it there, given the slab doesnt get chilled back down of course.

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I once had a studio that was 125 sq/ft. I loved it. Very functional, although small.  I had two kilns (one a big oval), a kick wheel, all my raw materials, clay storage, etc., everything in there. I could have worked in there for years without a problem. I've got a friend who has worked as a full time potter for years  out of a studio that's under 200 square feet. A lot can be done with a very small space, you just have to work out the systems and schedules that will make it functional. That said, if I could work in a 3400 sq/ft studio, I certainly would! I'm sure you've thought this through, but if budget does become an issue before you build, you could easily function out of a space one third the size of what you're planning, especially if it's just you in there. A two car garage would be very functional. You might not have areas that are dedicated to each part of the pottery process, but on a production schedule you don't need that. You throw for a couple weeks, bring out the glazes for a few days, then put them away and throw some more. And you don't need much open floor space- you need tables and shelves and places to put things. There's no sense heating and cooling a lot of space where work doesn't happen. And don't forget the monthly utility costs. Just my thoughts, not meant to dissuade you in any way. I'm excited to watch your studio go up.

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2 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

There's no sense heating and cooling a lot of space where work doesn't happen. And don't forget the monthly utility costs.

No doubt! The overhead and maintenance on a big building are big!

My current home studio is about 300 feet and has my home office in it, as well as a couch (since this is our basement and used for personal storage too). I like how compact everything is in the sense that I can get to everything I need, right there! However it doesnt have my kilns, glazes, storage, etc. Smaller studios have an advantage, and especially when it comes to cost.

There is definitely more expense when it comes to building bigger vs smaller, however its not a linear growth. For example, this building is going to cost me about $100k; if I went with a third the space, the costs would be about $60k. For me, if I am spending $60, I might as well spend $100 and get EVERYTHING that Ill ever want. Too often I hear people complain about not building enough space when they did build; I dont think Ill ever make that comment myself.

Thankfully I think my budget will cover everything, at least, managing the project myself, and not paying profit margins to GCs and Subs. Paying someone else to do it all blew way past my budget! If we get into the project and start finding out the budget wont go as far as I planned, I have some areas where  I can control the budget by delaying, or omitting features. Thankfully I dont have to buy any equipment to start making money out of this building; just got to move it all over!

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Looking at your water plumbing and wondering why it's so spread out. You could save quite a bit by bunching as much as possible close together or at least locating everything on one side of the building, preferably an exterior wall. 

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11 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

I'm excited to watch your studio go up.

Me too! Im excited to share this with everyone too; Its not only a space for me to make a living, but hopefully will be a space which will help young artists find a path, and a fond place for my visitors. Ive been to studios which has just inspired me; ever been to Mark Hewit's studio? Its beyond romantically cool! Hopefully mine will be a special place for a lot of people, not just myself!

Ive been dreaming of my own studio for more than a decade. Who knows what Ill day dream about once its done. Heck, maybe Ill think of something useful!

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Just now, Rae Reich said:

Looking at your water plumbing and wondering why it's so spread out. You could save quite a bit by bunching as much as possible close together or at least locating everything on one side of the building, preferably an exterior wall. 

I tried to do exactly that; based on where I want to sit all day throwing pots and looking out the windows, I wanted my sink to be just down from that. In the glazing room the sink there is close to the glaze mixing table so I dont have to go far for water when making glazes (granted everything will be on wheels, and a hose could fix that issue, but..) I tried to lump the kitchen and back bath close for this exact idea; share water supply, and more than anything, waste lines). The 1/2 bath in the glazing room is the one that is kind of far from any other waste/supply lines, but I couldnt think of a better place for this, where it wouldnt impact other processes.

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Rae has a great point-how about all the sinks on the middle wall and the water supply could run down that central trunk.

More thought in this area I think-consolidate is best in same main wall

The waste lines are cheaper plastic so running them further is more cost effective than supply lines.

You are having two waste systems anyway-one to septic(or city sewer?) and the other is the clay/water trunk line to tank?

That tank will sludge out and need pumping (septic service ) periodically 

Mechanical is my specialty

I think your central air and heat will be the cheaper option as you need the ac in summer like you said. I live where no AC is needed in summer.

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Your sinks won't be draining into the sewage system, so not the problem. It's the baths/kitchen sink that need to be closer together. I would move the second toilet to the intersection of bath and kitchen walls so they can share vents and drains.

plastic drain is cheaper to run long lines, but you pay for cleanout by the foot, too

Edited by Rae Reich

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15 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

You are having two waste systems anyway-one to septic(or city sewer?) and the other is the clay/water trunk line to tank?

Correct; Glaze room and main room (both sinks and floor drains) will be on a closed system holding tank. Likely be 1,000 or 1500 gallons. Should allow me to hose down rooms twice before it will be full of water; let the sediment settle out for a few days, and then use electric water pump suspended near bottom to pump out clear water. Once sludge gets built up will have septic clean out come and pump it out.

The kitchen and baths will be on a septic system; thankfully, soil engineer was out today and confirmed that we can use a Traditional Leach Field septic system. Most of the county doesnt have proper soil drainage and requires the use of a mound system, which would cost me between $30-40k to install a new one. There is an existing septic system which we plan on tapping into to save costs, but should we have to put in a new system it wont cost more than $10k.

Ive actually been thinking about using PEX or some other variant of plastic supply lines over copper tubing; there are numerous styles of making the connections, and there has been a lot of testing on the different styles of connections. If installed correctly, many of these connections perform as good as, or in some cases better than traditional copper. The material is dirt cheap (talking pennies per foot), the connectors are cheap too; the installation tools can run a bit, but renting them is a good option. Not that I have any fears about my pipes freezing in my studio, but should the studio ever get to freezing temps, the plastic does give you some advantages over the copper.

Because of this, the waste lines are actually more expensive since they need to be trenched and encased in the concrete; basically more labor costs. Both, materials wise, will cost me less than $1000 to plumb (excluding holding tank and septic tank).

Edited by hitchmss

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8 minutes ago, Rae Reich said:

I would move the second toilet to the intersection of bath and kitchen walls so they can share vents and drains.

That would be a good location, but it would block the double doors going from the kiln room to storage room, and also block egress/ingress. I agree; since the two main rooms are on a holding tank, they are a null point almost. These two rooms are basically gray water, and the county will permit those uses going into a holding tank.

We could save a few hundred, maybe a thousand, but having the two baths (full and 1/2) and kitchen closer together. But also, it might seem a little silly to have two toilets within fifteen feet of each other.

The truly cheap option would be to eliminate the 1/2 bath, and just put a big bottle of febreze in the bath room so lunchtime wont be stinky. This is one area where I plan to shave off $1500-2000 if I need to cut the budget.

Edited by hitchmss

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