As Pam and I approached retirement we decided that our current home was not going to suit our retirement needs. We breed, raise and show basset hounds which requires more than the typical subdivision house and lot that we had at the time. In addition our co-breeder lived 140 miles away near San Diego, California.

We decided to explore different housing choices. One that excited us was “manufactured homes.” They provided a lot of square footage for the price and we would be able to place one on a piece of land. It became clear as we got into this option deeper that the costs were higher than we first thought.

That led us to explore the real estate market for homes in the San Diego area. As chance would have it we found an excellent manufactured home on more than an acre of land within two miles of our co-breeder’s home for far less than it would have cost us to place such a home on a piece of property. Because we had already researched these homes, we jumped on the deal.

Although the home did not come with a garage there was already a graded space next to the house for one. The construction of this 24’ x 40’ shop/garage building is documented here. We contracted the building of the structure through Tuff Shed. It was a prefab building.

Workshop Construction

This is the home as it was just after our offer was accepted. Pam is walking through the front section of the property with the house above. Yes there were a lot of weeds and an abundance of dirt. Any sign of the previous homeowner's landscaping was non existant. We literally started from nothing.

As can be seen in this picture there was a large graded space (full of weeds) between the driveway and the end of the house. It was obvious that the previous owner had planned to build a garage here. After measuring the space and allowing the required setbacks we determined that the space would accommodate a 24’ x 40’ building. I started working on some plans.

After several delays that took most of three months due to the permit process the land was prepared for the building and the foundation forms were made.

The foundation finally went in and my dreams were becoming reality.

A week later, after the foundation had hardened, three trucks from Tuff Shed arrived with the prefabricated pieces and the building began.

In two days the building was ready for the first inspection, or so they thought. Due to some technicalities from the county and their supervisor the crew had to spend most of another day making changes and installing the windows and doors (the garage door was added later).

Once they were done my electrician got busy installing the electrical wiring.

With the framing, rough electrical and fire sprinkler inspections passed the roof went on and the insulation was installed.

Soon after the drywall was installed, exterior trim and touch up work was done by a small crew from Tuff Shed and final electrical work was completed...

... including lights inside and out.

Once all that was done it was time for me to paint the interior starting with the primer.

In April of 2009 our contractor finished a project and removed all his supplies and equipment from the building.

A few weeks later Tuff Shed arranged for the garage door company to install the roll up door. Fortunately we had opted for an insulated door.

After it was installed Pam and I put a coat of epoxy on the floor. This was the final step before we could move in the equipment.

As can be seen in the photos I had already installed one of the lumber racks with hardwood on it and a bookshelf that a friend gave me.

After living here for well over a year I finally was able to find time to start organizing the shop and work on my long neglected furniture projects. I'm still, after over seven years trying to post more pictures of the shop with tools. I have finally removed boxes in there from our move. Our Chrysler Town & Country van even fits in the garage half along with my custom PT Cruiser. I’ve finally started posting a few interior shots and photos of some of my work. More will be coming, I promise. It’s started to be exciting again. And, with the possibility of adding air conditioning I'm even more excited.

The compleated building can be seen below.

More recently we’ve painted the shop/garage building to match the new paint on the house. Now the house and all our out buildings are the same colors. You can also see some of the landscaping we’ve added to our acre of land. Like everything else the landscaping project is endless. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in a short period of time, but it’s a long way from being “finished.”  I am enjoying my workshop/garage!

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Using some software on my computer I drew up some plans of what I wanted my workshop/garage to look like. The software I had allowed me to experiment with the layout of shelves, cabinets, woodworking tools, vehicles and just about anything else. It also provided me the opportunity to layout a plan for electrical outlets and lighting which I eventually gave to my electrician.

After investigating what local contractors would charge for the basic building I contacted Tuff Shed to see what they could do. Their price for the walls, roof and doors came in well below the estimates from contractors. Pam and I decided to sign a contract with them for the job.

As happens on any project like this we suddenly had a big hiccup in our plans. Originally we had planned to just have the structure and electrical work done at this time and add insulation and drywall later. We discovered that the building had to have fire sprinklers added. Our contractor came up with two choices that the county would allow. One was to install the sprinklers using copper pipe OR use plastic pipe and add drywall.

Since adding insulation and drywall was planned for later we decided to bite the bullet and expand our budget then rather than later. While I'm not certain exactly how much we saved using plastic pipe instead of copper I know it was a considerable saving. As we got into the project we were certainly glad that we made that decision. It saved a lot of hassle and makes addind air conditioning in the future a possibility.

There is a lot of information on our home, dogs and property elsewhere on this website. The information on our home and property can be found at, Our Home - Rancho Relaxo. While I try to keep that portion of the website up to date that's almost impossible but it still gives an idea of where we and our dogs live.