Workshop or Shop?

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Workshop or Shop?

Postby pramsay13 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 4:57 pm

I've been framing in my converted garage for over 5 years now, and soon I'm going to be knocking it down as a house is going in its place.
I currently work part-time (by choice) and I arrange appointments with people so I don't have set hours.
My options for next step are build a purpose built workshop building in the back garden, rent a shop, or rent a workshop elsewhere.
There are pros and cons to all options, here are the ones I foresee:
Workshop in back garden - same setup with arranging appointments and choosing hours to suit but I will be harder to find.
Shop front - I won't own the building, presumably I will have to have set hours which isn't ideal, only shop available in the village just now is 1 floor up.
Workshop elsewhere - I won't own the building, I will be able to arrange hours although not at really short notice.
Anyone got any advice or can think of something I haven't thought about?
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby Jamesnkr » Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:29 pm

Rent?

Rates? (more for shop than workshop). But you may well get 100% relief.

https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-business-r ... ate-relief

If all your customers are by appointment, then being harder to find will make no difference?
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby Not your average framer » Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:58 pm

A shop only makes sense if it's in a location where you get a worthwhile amount of foot fall, there are adequate possibilities for parking and there is a reasonable shop window to display your wares. Some shops can be quite cheap too and once people know that you are there, they'll just turn up with work for you.
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby prospero » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:16 pm

What ever you do one of the main things to consider is accessibility. If people can park nearby then that's
a big plus. A high street location is fine if you are selling small items but no-one would relish lugging a big
framed pic(s) half a mile to a car park and pay for the privilege. Even if you are tucked away people will find
you if they want to and the side benefit is that it would tend to filter out the tyre-kickers and general gawpers.
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby pramsay13 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:23 pm

There is plenty of free parking in the village so no issue there.
The only shop currently available is one floor up so could put a frame in the window, but not much else for a display.
Rent isn't too bad and it qualifies for business rates relief.
I think the rent will be similar amounts for the shop and the other workshop, but there will be much more space in the workshop.
Customers are in theory by appointment, although some pop in on the off chance I'm available and if I am I can just pop out to the workshop next door, so moving to a shop or workshop elsewhere will mean people have to make a set appointment.
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby Graysalchemy » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:00 pm

I am in a workshop on an industrial estate my domestic trade find me of the Internet though that's not my main business. You will get far more space for your money with a workshop but obviously less footfall. But if you are high street and working on your own you may end up with a lot of tire kickers who take up all your time. If you go high street you need a fairly decent footfall spend money on decent decor and probably have to have staff to run the front end.

I wouldn't have retail again.
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby Not your average framer » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:14 pm

Being conveniently located for customers to drop off and collect their framing, while travelling to and from work is a big plus too! I think that this may have been mentioned before, but can remember the context for finding the thread.
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby vintage frames » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:27 pm

If you're saying that the only space available is on the first floor above a shop - walk away. You'll be paying to spend all day on your own,
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby Not your average framer » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:58 pm

I had a secondhand bookshop on the second floor. In the winter it was a very lonely experience and never made much money either. Not an easy experience for me, or my wife. I would find it hard to ever get another second floor shop.
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby Roboframer » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:31 pm

A bookshop on the second floor? That's another storey :giggle:
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby Graysalchemy » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:42 pm

we also had a book shop on the second floor, but we did have the ground floor as well but takings upstairs were pityful. People don't want to go upstairs.
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby IFGL » Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:24 pm

Roboframer wrote:A bookshop on the second floor? That's another storey :giggle:


:clap:
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby prospero » Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:18 am

My first workshop was on the first floor. I never found it a problem and the rent was a tenner a week. :P
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby vintage frames » Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:08 pm

If you build your own workshop, then apart from the initial building expense, you will have very low overheads and a relatively stress free working life. The money that you will have saved on rent etc could instead be invested in marketing to draw business in.
Having a shop is all about location,and location and when everything else is done, location. If you get that right then you'll be paying a lot for it but unless your business model is crap, you'll be busy all the time.
On a secondary location the rent will be cheaper, so some saving there but you'll be spending loads of time and money trying to get people to find you.
Best advice - be special, be different - they'll soon find you.
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby Not your average framer » Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:56 pm

Presumably there will be a period of notice before you have to vacate your exists premises. I don't know how much time you have available, but maybe other more suitable premises will become available during this time.

At the moment it may not be easy to make decisions, if you are feeling under pressure, so if all else fails, you could build a temporary workshop in your back garden and still continue looking for shop premises and wait until the perfect premises come along at a time when you feel ready and comfortable about the timing.
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby Roboframer » Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:17 pm

Out of the three options in the opening post there are three 'cons' with the shop, two for the workshop elsewhere and one for the new workshop in the garden, so unless you love your garden and don't want to reduce its size, it's an easy decision, as long as you are happy with the amount of work you are currently getting.

People already have to find your house but finding you once they get there won't be so easy, so just do something about that, motion sensors, CCTV or a simple bell, wireless or otherwise. Maybe a dog - could be trained to carry a notice in its mouth saying "Follow Me"! Be carful though, they could end up at the butchers :lol:

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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby Jamesnkr » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:44 am

You have a no-stress casual job where you work from home. You work the hours you choose, you owe nothing to anybody.

Why would you want to add in a commute (even if just round the corner you're no longer at home) and a commitment to pay rent under a contract for several months/years?
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby prospero » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:42 pm

Have you costed out the back-yard workshop? It will need to be a lot more substantial than your average garden shed.
Insulated walls and all that. Even building it yourself you'll be looking at a few grand just for materials. Go for brick-built
and you won't see much change out of 30K I'm thinking. That's a few years rent.
There is also the matter of planning permissions, etc.
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby MikeSwannick » Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:30 am

Regarding a brick built workshop or substantial shed, I have both and can throw some light on them for you.

The 'shed' is in fact a double skin insulated cabin from Dunster House. For the model we bought there is a layer of 70mm Kingspan or Celotex between the skins (which are independent of each other) and has proper double glazing. It's 7m x 3.5m approx internally. We use it as guest accommodation. It is carpeted with lights and power and, when heated with a portable oil filled radiator, very cosy. We had to insulate the roof (6 additional sheets of Celotex). We didn't insulate the floor and don't regret it, but probably would if we did it again. The cons are: as a timber building it needs externally treatment every couple of years, it also moves slightly with the seasons especially in the first year or so which has you adjusting the doors until all has settled down. When I say move, I mean the timber responds to the presence of moisture in the air and swells and shrinks at a microscopic level. Because of this the manufacturers advise you not to span the horizontal internal logs with wall mounted fixings due to the potential for movement. The movement is tiny though. It is a self assembly project. As a workshop you would need a slab foundation to support the heavy equipment/people rather than the block piles we used.

The pro's far outweigh the cons for me. It cost a little under £5k plus whatever foundation option and additional insulation you choose. It comes in under planning permission height but has to be a least 1m from a boundary as it is a timber building. The quality of the machined components was excellent and all locked together nice and tightly with a little help from a rubber mallet. DIY skills are required.

I've just built a block double skin insulated workshop with an internal footprint of 6m x 3m with a 1.2m window and 1.2m French doors, flat fibreglass roof. From virgin ground to undecorated shell cost me about the same in material and hired services (man with a digger and ready mixed concrete for footings and floor) but it took me half the summer to build on my own. I paid for a plasterer as i don't have the skill, it was cheaper to pay a local digger & operator than hire one. I bought readymix concrete because i couldn't face mixing 6 cubic metres of concrete alone and it was poured and leveled in about 30mins. I lost about 2 weeks of brick laying time in the summer due to heavy rain. Everything else was my own hand. Provided you meet the requirements (less than 30m floor space, under 3m high dependent of roof design, not beyond the front of the house, less than half of the garden space etc) it doesn't require planning permission. Clearly it is more substantial than the timber building, but the initial time commitment is much greater depending on DIY skills. I never got a quote to have it built but I would expect the price to have been doubled but would have had it completed in about 3-4 weeks. Considerable DIY skills required to take this project on compared to assembling a log cabin.

Don't underestimate how hard and gutting the mundane aspects of building a brick building are. I had to move around 1000 concrete blocks from where they were delivered in the front garden, to the site only about 30m away and restack them ready for laying. I can only move 6 blocks in a barrow in one go because of the weight and size. It is horrible work and tears work gloves to pieces. It's similar for sand and cement too. By comparison the log cabin timber is handle-able by one person.

If you are at ease with the regular maintenance and prepared to maybe enhance the floor construction to support additional weight, the log cabin option would definitely be an option for me.

I hope this is helpful.
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Re: Workshop or Shop?

Postby easypopsgcf » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:43 am

I would say you should build it on your own property if possible, I built my garage/workshop about 8 years ago. Wasn't exactly cheap or easy but it was surprisingly good fun.

I have pictures but can't remember how to make them small enough to pop on here .....it's 7.25m2 ........just wish now I'd went 10m2
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