Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
takeyasofree

Renting Studio (Long)

Recommended Posts

I have been reading endlessly but can't find any posts about renting private studio space.

 

I partially set up my studio in the attached garage and felt comfortable until I started noticing a smell creeping into my house while firing.  I started thinking about it and realize it smelled like that the first time too.  I crack the garage door and have a fan circulating air out.  Now am not comfortable firing out there anymore. Note: I have only fired twice.  

 

I keep telling myself that I should just keep trying with the hope that the smell will disappear.  (I know - Wishful/foolish thinking).  Granted there are typical health hazards that come with firing, I am a bit more sensitive to chemicals than the average person due to a hyperactive immune system.  Now that I am starting to feel well enough to continue doing pottery this is putting a major damper on - change careers - do what I love - make a living - have a dream for future .... you get the idea. After all this was my ultimate goal to change careers, embrace my artistic self and immerse myself into what I love.  It just didn't happen the way I planned.

 

I would describe where I live as suburban. Our neighborhood is deed restricted so no building structures outside.  The local firing spots are expensive and/or I have had pieces damaged during firing; which is what helped me decide to set up at home.  I can't fire outside because the wiring will not permit the distance.  Opening up the house and have air flow through the whole house could be a solution but challenging with Florida weather and the times I would be firing.

  

I have been looking around for renting a space to make my studio. I found a place that is $650/month for 1200sqft. It is more expensive than being out in warehouse/industrial area ($400) but less expensive than the ideal place within walking/biking distance ($800-1000). It is not too far from local er, has police presence and two other artists producing with other media. Lease terms is one year. There is a private bathroom, 12x14 a/c office, a 10x10 garage (the only thing missing is a shower ... hahaha). .

 

The building has fire walls and construction is mason. There is not security system, no fire system and no sprinkler system. Everything is wired for phone, internet and security.  The buildings have 110Amp service - single phase.  

 

I don't plan on having a lot of traffic - liability issue.  I have a few places in town to sell. The insurance isn't worth it for the equipment I have at the moment (about 1-2K).  When I feel more comfortable I'll probably have an open studio (appointment or call in only). To have 15k worth equipment covered (dreaming of a front loader) and 300K liability it is roughly $90 a month.

 

So here is the dilema ... I don't know if I am thinking clearly or just feining to have someplace to work and feel safe doing it.

 

The logical business approach is don't spend more than you earn. The thing is that at the moment it is more hobby until I start making enough to call it a business.  My health is improving and I don't want to stress myself with 'business' at the moment.  Due to my health improving the money that I have been spending on medical treatment will be shifted to this. I would like to give myself a good year to establish myself and make the transition to 'business'.

 

From my artist heart - I want to invest in me and I have never enjoyed a medium so much. Working in ceramics I don't feel confined or stretched thin. It feeds all of my muses and also tap into my analytic thought process. 

 

The people in my life have responded in two ways - not logical from a business standpoint and go for it you will be successful.

 

I am pretty sure (or at least hoping) that I am not the only person who has come to one of those crossroads - take risk - scary I don't know what to do places ...

 

Am I overlooking any costs (rent, supplies, power, insurance, fuel for car - (water is included-If I remember correctly))

 

Opinions? Advice? (about the Space or making the decision) 

 

Share space to cut cost? - bring your own equipment (limited) with written terms?

 

Past experiences?

 

(I keep trying to remove the emotion but I cannot be that objective to having a dedicated art space.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. Get a kiln vent. When I was teaching at UT Brownsville, the electric kilns were inside the 4500 square foot studio.  But they were vented and didn't smell. Paraffin was mostly used for glaze in the gas kilns outside. you could also install an exhaust fan. I have 2 fans in the kiln shed where I have raku kilns. They come on automatically with thermostats. That would also clear small and any excessive heat. Venting and fan would be ideal IMHO.

 

Balancing the air flow is a must. The exhaust fans mustn't pull any fumes from the kiln vent.

 

Marcia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You need a down draft kiln vent that sucks fumes out from the bottom of your kiln. It has a 4 inch diameter pipe that needs to exit out of the wall. Kilns give off sulphur dioxide when bisquing. An open garage door will not cut it. You are filling the entire garage with fumes. Get a professional kiln guy to install your vent. This will save you headaches, literally.

TJR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JBaymore

You mentioned above that the rental space only has 110V electricity.  Is that correct?  ONLY 110V?  If so....... the cost to put in 220-240 VAC for a larger electric kiln will likely be quite expensive on top of the kiln cost itself.  Likely the landlord will not want to pock up that cost.  If so... then you are upgrading the owner's building for them... and will leave that money on the table when you leave.

 

Ditto the comments on adding a downdraft kiln vent.  And make sure that the location of the exit point for the exhausted effluent is located well away from the intake air for things like fans, building climate control, and even open windows.  You don't want to suck the stuff you went to an expense to capture and get out of the building right back into the place ;) .

 

Business start-ups need to plan to lose money for at least the first year of operation.  While many people do just "wing it" getting started....... having a written "business plan" of some sort really is a good exercise before you jump in with both feet.  It makes you assess the reality of what you are assuming. 

 

If you don't have business skills already 'in the hip pocket'..... maybe get a good book on the subject and read up.  Or take a community education class on the subject.  There is software that helps you write business plans... and it forces you to look long and hard at the plan and maybe consider aspects that you never thought about (or even knew about).

 

Making money with clay is not an easy road.  It certainly can be done........ but it isn't a "get rick quick" scheme by ANY means :P . 

Sometimes there are some really positive things to be said for being a "hobbyist".  One is that you can more-or-less make what you want without driving concerns for the sale ability of the work.  And you are not typically working so much to deadlines of various sorts.

 

My understanding (not really up on this side of tax stuff) is that you can deduct hobby losses up to the level of the income you make from the hobby.  If so..... you can't post a loss against other income.  But you can "break even".  Might be the way to go until sales are clearly being successful enough that a viable business operation rears its head.  You could think of it as a "soft opening".

 

best,

 

......................john

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi ,

Your story is similar to mine. I am just getting over a major illness, took a year of treatment, and about 2 years to get over the treatment. I was heading towards clay just before I got sick. Then I tried to jump in before I was 100%, I had to back down.just getting ready to attempt again,third times the charm right? Or when dealing w clay, the forth , the fifth ad infinity...

My kiln is tiny , plus I am in a separate structure w positive airflow, but I know the next expense after set up will be a vent. You would need one in your rented space too, where would the fumes go ? Plus they don't hurt the house , they hurt you.even if a serious hobbyist, it is wise to listen to these folks in here, they collectively have seen it all. And they are seriously generous with their wisdom.

I do not know your experience level. I thought clay was like any other of my artistic endeavors, pick medium, pick subject, get to work.

After being so scarily sick, I want to cocoon myself in a world totally of my own making. This is fear. I want a studio w everything in it, turn key. I think to a (wo)man we all have that fantasy. But for me that fantasy has nothing to do w making art. Pragmatically, I have to work my day job , to carry the insurance and feed my family. My illness could come back, so I have go slow and make sure that I am set up to take care of me if that happens. If stretch myself too thin , I become very stressed, and stress is my enemy right now.

So I am snail pacing it, right now. I read here a lot, a lot .not for technical really, but to see how everyone else does it. This is something I realy want to do,and there are so many paths, i am just trying to give myself a hope of doing this. Because if my illness comes back, I will be to weak to pursue much.

I am in saint Augustine, if ever you come through, you are welcome to visit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I lost my shirt about 10 years ago because I rented space and tried building a business without a plan. It took me roughly 8 years to get back working and forming a proper business.

 

Please heed people here that are telling you to get a proper kiln vent rather than an outside space. As John said, you will need the vent in the rented space anyway.

 

Pm me if you want some good references for starting an artistic small business. I've found some good ones in the last 2 years. Get a plan in place first. It seems daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Plus, it will save so very much stress and heartache.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are my two cents.

You might consider looking into

1.Venting the kiln outside

2. Making sure all the connections from house to garage are "weatherproofed" if that's the right word. Maybe you can put a better seal on the door to block any flow from getting into the house. 

 

These will probably cost a few hundred dollars but it will definitely be cheaper than a years' lease on an outside studio.

 

 I'm not an expert but I'm currently in the process of setting up my first garage studio so reading this really hit home to me. I am having to rewire the garage at my own expense and put 220V in from the meter to the garage because my current wiring will not support my kilns. So consider that when you're looking at studio space. My dad is a contractor so I will only be out the cost of materials but if I had to hire someone it could be thousands. This is definitely an expensive art to get into, no two ways about it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are my two cents.

 

You might consider looking into

1.Venting the kiln outside

2. Making sure all the connections from house to garage are "weatherproofed" if that's the right word. Maybe you can put a better seal on the door to block any flow from getting into the house. 

 

These will probably cost a few hundred dollars but it will definitely be cheaper than a years' lease on an outside studio.

 

 I'm not an expert but I'm currently in the process of setting up my first garage studio so reading this really hit home to me. I am having to rewire the garage at my own expense and put 220V in from the meter to the garage because my current wiring will not support my kilns. So consider that when you're looking at studio space. My dad is a contractor so I will only be out the cost of materials but if I had to hire someone it could be thousands. This is definitely an expensive art to get into, no two ways about it. 

I have a separate meter for my kilns .Runs from the studio directly to the hydro ploe. It did not cost thousands as you said. It costme $350.00 for the lot.

Worth every penny.

T.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there is another consideration.  having your studio attached to your home means that you are there all the time.  you do not have to put your clothes on, start the car, (even in the rain) fight the traffic, open the studio, and then find the item (phone) you left next to the wheel, put it in your pocket and reverse the process to get home and use the phone to do whatever it was..  

 

sounds silly, but it is so convenient to have everything close by.  you can tweak a pot at the correct stage of dryness because it is right there.  you can take ten minutes to do something you would not bother with if you had to drive to a distant studio.  

 

so, get a kiln vent.  if the smell was burning wax, which is foul, change whatever you need to do and just get on with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Here are my two cents.

 

You might consider looking into

1.Venting the kiln outside

2. Making sure all the connections from house to garage are "weatherproofed" if that's the right word. Maybe you can put a better seal on the door to block any flow from getting into the house. 

 

These will probably cost a few hundred dollars but it will definitely be cheaper than a years' lease on an outside studio.

 

 I'm not an expert but I'm currently in the process of setting up my first garage studio so reading this really hit home to me. I am having to rewire the garage at my own expense and put 220V in from the meter to the garage because my current wiring will not support my kilns. So consider that when you're looking at studio space. My dad is a contractor so I will only be out the cost of materials but if I had to hire someone it could be thousands. This is definitely an expensive art to get into, no two ways about it. 

I have a separate meter for my kilns .Runs from the studio directly to the hydro ploe. It did not cost thousands as you said. It costme $350.00 for the lot.

Worth every penny.

T.

 

 

I live on the California coast, where everything is super expensive, so that probably is affecting cost. To run a new circuit from our meter to the garage 20 feet away and have a fuse box put in so I can wire the garage with lighting and outlets will be $500-$600 just in materials. If I had to hire an electrician that would probably at least double. If it was only going to cost $350 for the whole shebang I would throw a party. LOL 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for helping!!  I have been busy this morning.  I just read all of the replies and my brain has them all bouncing around.

 

I do have an vent system for downdraft.  I did not plug it in because my electric box is maxed out and the closest plug is too far away and the kiln took the last slot.  I did not know that it would make that much of a difference with removing fumes.  

 

I looked online and I only have the fan that is on the bottom of the kiln but not the part that connects to the wall.  The lady I purchased the kiln from had two kilns and I am pretty sure she kept the other part.   I am guessing that the fan on the opposite end is completing the task of getting the air out of the duct (flow).  I would rather it go out a vertical vent but I was supposing that the air would be to warm and I couldn't put the "flue through the roof".  How does that work with the same materials as an exhaust system.

 

The A/C folks are coming for the annual check this week.  They bought out the company we had install it a few years ago.  When they came a few years ago the first thing they told us is that it wasn't sealed properly and they would not have installed it at the same height.  However, they were not going to eat the cost of 'correcting' a problem the business they bought out made.  My thought is that if you buy out the company you eat the cost of their mistakes - but fixing their mistakes would probably be to their advantage. Thing is that we researched the first company and they had no complaints filed locally.  We did not know what to believe because we had so much difficulty dealing with the first company that by the time the second company told us that we were frustrated.  GRRR!!! hate to revisit this one ... BUT ... if the vent solves the problem It may not be an issue.  Well ... that is if all fumes have an odor.  :/  --- if you can't tell this was not a good experience and trying to fix something that I paid someone to do right in the first place is a serious case of pet peeve. (Stepping of the soap box)

 

I have a call into the company who installed my box to give me an estimate - dispatch will be calling to schedule for this week.  I also called another contractor to get his electrician to give me an estimate - waiting for the contact number.  I eventually want to have a three phase to save on electrical costs (assuming what I have read about less power is accurate).  Would it be better to get three phase with a converter and when I am ready remove the converter? Going to ask for cost to run a new box with more slots, a dedicated line/breaker, and dedicated line with three phase with converter? Hoping those are the right questions.

 

There is a little light coming into my laundry room if the garage door is up so I'll be going to get a seal for that.

 

The idea of not having to 'be presentable' to do pottery is very attractive - especially since I am nocturnal ;).  Going to give this another try because I would prefer to work at home - I just want to do it safely and have my health as a first priority. 

 

I also thought ... $650+ worth of materials is a lot more CLAY, glazes, brushes, tools, videos, books, booth fees, tent, lumber for shelves, ....

 

Oh ... I did call the landlord to recheck the electrical I am pretty sure he said 110amps. He mentioned one person adding three phase to her unit for some big piece of equipment. 

 

Going to look up the business terms and look at the website.  I think I have seen it before but forgot.

 

jolieo - My doctors told me before everything hit the fan to take time out to recover.  I didn't because I thought I was slowing down trying to avoid coming to screeching halt.  Didn't compute that they were saying take time off of work - even though that is what they were saying.  I didn't have the liberty and needed my job.  I had to retire way to early and I still have my life ahead of me.  My goal is to have something that I can do to start making a living again, not be limited financially and be able to take time off when I need it.  I do have to remember to take it slow so I don't crash and burn again.  I have only been feeling better for a month or two. After struggling for five years two months seems like forever!!  You are right about the fear factor.  Thanks for remind me to take it slow!!

 

I'll keep you posted and MAYBE my post wont be a mile long!!

 

Thank you all again for imparting wisdom!!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 The best garage/studio I ever had, had a covered back porch. No screens just a roof. I kept my kiln there and it was really nice. Can you build a shed outside to cover your kiln?

 We are going to be moving soon and I plan on building a shed for my kilns right out the back door of the garage.

 Cannot wait to be back in my own home again.

 

 CR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 The best garage/studio I ever had, had a covered back porch. No screens just a roof. I kept my kiln there and it was really nice. Can you build a shed outside to cover your kiln?

 We are going to be moving soon and I plan on building a shed for my kilns right out the back door of the garage.

 Cannot wait to be back in my own home again.

 

 CR

No CroneRanger :( Deed restricted community.  I plan to set up my booth (once I get it) outside to work sometimes and they will probably have a fit BUT I am not asking for permission ;)  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The vent will connect to the outside via a semi-rigid flexible duct, probably a 4". You'll just need a standard 4" dryer duct through the wall or roof. The vent will pull a small bit of air form the kiln, and a much larger volume from the room to cool the kiln air. The air going out through the wall will be under 150F, no hotter than a clothes dryer. Use the vent and stay home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well I would recommend squaring it all with HOA before you get in to deep on things that are in your deed restrictions.

 

The HOA just enforces those restrictions they don't make them. I know its a love/hate relationship. We hate having to conform to restrictions too but we do love it when the neighborhood makes sure no one starts a car/junk collection on their lawn or operates a muffler shop next to us. One time we had some folks decide to make their acre a three wheel race track and it was absolutely bizarre.

 

Those folks were actually miffed that they couldn't do it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The vent will connect to the outside via a semi-rigid flexible duct, probably a 4". You'll just need a standard 4" dryer duct through the wall or roof. The vent will pull a small bit of air form the kiln, and a much larger volume from the room to cool the kiln air. The air going out through the wall will be under 150F, no hotter than a clothes dryer. Use the vent and stay home.

 

Thanks neilestrick! I'll look into that! I'll have to look up in the crawlspace to see if it is doable.  Otherwise I may be stuck with horizonal venting.  The wall the kiln is on is concrete block stucco and putting hole in that isn't an easy pretty cut job. Maybe I need to ask around to see if there is a tool for concrete like for cutting the holes for door knobs/deadbolts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well I would recommend squaring it all with HOA before you get in to deep on things that are in your deed restrictions.

 

The HOA just enforces those restrictions they don't make them. I know its a love/hate relationship. We hate having to conform to restrictions too but we do love it when the neighborhood makes sure no one starts a car/junk collection on their lawn or operates a muffler shop next to us. One time we had some folks decide to make their acre a three wheel race track and it was absolutely bizarre.

 

Those folks were actually miffed that they couldn't do it. 

BAHH just saw the MultiQuote  :blink:

 

You are right.  I figure I am pretty in the clear for the setting up at home.  There are other artisans in the neighborhood who work in their garages and/or driveways.  Hopefully the frequency I am working in the driveway won't make a difference.  The other people are normally working on evenings and weekends.

 

... I have the bylaws ... I could go look in there just to be sure though  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cutting a hole through concrete(block?) is messy and it is a specialized saw. But it shouldn't realy cost that much if some one else does it cuz it doesn't take long and it doesn't take a lot of practice : really the tool, the strength, the determination .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The vent will connect to the outside via a semi-rigid flexible duct, probably a 4". You'll just need a standard 4" dryer duct through the wall or roof. The vent will pull a small bit of air form the kiln, and a much larger volume from the room to cool the kiln air. The air going out through the wall will be under 150F, no hotter than a clothes dryer. Use the vent and stay home.

 

Thanks neilestrick! I'll look into that! I'll have to look up in the crawlspace to see if it is doable.  Otherwise I may be stuck with horizonal venting.  The wall the kiln is on is concrete block stucco and putting hole in that isn't an easy pretty cut job. Maybe I need to ask around to see if there is a tool for concrete like for cutting the holes for door knobs/deadbolts.

 

 

If your garage has a window, you could mount the connection on a piece of wood that you could insert into the window and attach the dryer hose to the connector when needed.  Or, mount the opening on your garage door and attache the vent hose when firing . . . like the auto garage does for venting a running engine out the bay. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.