Please help me heat and cool my upgraded makeshift studio -- PROJECT CANCELLED

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Sep 13, 2007
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
I think sealing up the 4th wall will be vital if you want to use it during the worst weather.
The folding curtain will have velcro on its sides that can be attached to velcro on the two adjoining walls. It will have a vinyl floor sweep, which is a piece of material that drags on the floor. There will be a 2" space at the top but the structure of the ceiling will prevent wind from directly blowing in there. Having said that, I wouldn't plan to use it in the worst weather for the same reason I don't use my current makeshift studio in that situation -- it would be too uncomfortable.
 
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Joined
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The following story is a perfect example of what I just love about government (stated in my most facetious tone). A construction permit will be required at least because a 240 volt line will need to be installed to connect the air conditioner/heater to the panel of circuit breakers. There may be other reasons a permit will be required. I have a question related to the probability of being granted a permit (that I won't bore you with), so I called the appropriate telephone number listed at the county's website. The recorded menu of options was automatically played and the last option was to stay on the line for additional help. I stayed on the line. Moments later the following recorded message was automatically played: "The person you called has a voice mail box that has not been set up yet. Goodbye." The line then went dead.
 
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Growltiger

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You want to heat and cool the room. I have an alternative solution with minimal cost and no permits required. Heat and cool yourself instead.

When it is cold put on skiing clothes. With warm feet, body and head, you could wear half-gloves on your hands so you could still work effectively. When your fingers begin to lose sensation remove the gloves and immerse your fingers for a minute in warm water. Then continue as before.

When it is hot take off your clothes. Use a fan to circulate air into the room from the cooler air outside. Keep hydrated. When you get so hot it becomes too hard to work take a cold shower. Then get back to work. It is also best to consider what time of day is coolest. It may be best to start very early in the morning.
 
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When it is cold put on skiing clothes.
You forgot to mention to drink hot chocolate. Perhaps consider sticking to giving your excellent computer advice. :ROFLMAO:

Seriously, I've actually done stuff in my current makeshift stduio wearing winter clothes. The problem is that the space is so confined that the bulky nature of the clothing knocks things over (not to mention that I'm a klutz even when wearing light clothing).

When it is hot take off your clothes. Use a fan to circulate air into the room from the cooler air outside.
When the room would be hot, it would also be hot outside. That's because the room is an open carport. Also, the fan couldn't be in use while I'm doing the photography because it would blow down the self-standing tabletop accessories such as flags and reflectors.

Considering that the carport is open to the street, I would be arrested if I took off my clothes. :D
 
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Joined
Oct 25, 2007
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4,071
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Potomac Falls, VA
I know an excellent local electrician who knows county and national codes. You can PM me for his contact info if you are interested. I am sure a phone call with him would answer your posted issue about permits.

I haven't chimed in yet, but I have advice using a 2 car garage for a wood shop. I have used a combo of propane, kerosene and oil filled radiator for heating. The kerosene heats it up quickly then I resort to the radiator.
https://www.amazon.com/Dura-Heat-DH...ocphy=9007581&hvtargid=pla-556206838935&psc=1
One issue besides exhaust is that burning fuel increases humidity which creates rust on my tools, which is another reason I switch off the fuel heaters.

Delonghi is the brand of radiator I use.

I would love a mini split for my garage but I dont see the payback despite its benefit. Insulation is always the best option if available....
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
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28,587
Location
Moscow, Idaho
You want to heat and cool the room. I have an alternative solution with minimal cost and no permits required. Heat and cool yourself instead.

When it is cold put on skiing clothes. With warm feet, body and head, you could wear half-gloves on your hands so you could still work effectively. When your fingers begin to lose sensation remove the gloves and immerse your fingers for a minute in warm water. Then continue as before.

When it is hot take off your clothes. Use a fan to circulate air into the room from the cooler air outside. Keep hydrated. When you get so hot it becomes too hard to work take a cold shower. Then get back to work. It is also best to consider what time of day is coolest. It may be best to start very early in the morning.
Better yet, WINE. It can cool you in summer, and warm you in winter!
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
Unfortunately, I just now got new information that compels me to cancel the project.

When my house was built about 1955, the carport was built about 5 1/2 feet away from the property line. That distance between the house and property line is called the setback. Since then, the regulation was changed that the setback has to be at least 10 feet. I learned about this in 1993, eight years after I bought the house, when the county almost refused my permit to build an addition. Even though the addition had absolutely nothing to do with the carport, any alteration to any part of the house requiring a permit would not be allowed because the house is no longer compliant with the setback regulation. I won't bore you (at least not now) with how I convinced the county authority to approve the permit, but I was very lucky to be able to make it happen in the period of a 10-minute conversation on the telephone.

Fast forward to the last couple of days when I suddenly remembered that the setback issue still remains. Yesterday I also confirmed that a permit would be required at least because of the 240 volt line that would have to be installed to run the air conditioner-heater. Unlike the previously mentioned construction that had nothing to do with the carport, this project requiring a permit is all about the carport. Also, I've been told by several people that the county is much more strict about enforcing regulations now than nearly 30 years ago when they gave me a break. So, I feel the likelihood that I would be granted a permit would be very small because of the setback issue.

I learned today that the county has a formal process that would allow me to apply to have the setback pertinent to my house reduced by 50%. If I was given that permission, the permit could not be declined because of the setback. The financial cost of applying would be whatever an engineering company would charge me for a new property plat plus the $910 the county would charge me to apply for the revised setback. Though I feel it is likely that the county would approve the 50% reduction in the setback, the cost and time required for such a relatively small project isn't worth it.

Instead, I'll probably assemble a plastic storage shed in the back yard and move all of the items that don't have anything to do with photography from the current storage room where I do all of my tabletop photography to that shed. No permit will be needed for the shed.

Though doing this will provide more room for me than I currently have, it won't provide as much room as the temporary space in my carport would have provided.
 
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Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
28,587
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Moscow, Idaho
I'll probably assemble a plastic storage shed in the back yard and move all of the items that don't have anything to do with photography from the current storage room where I do all of my tabletop photography to that shed. No permit will be needed for the shed.
Better yet, a big wall tent, like they did in the good old days. Or park a van or bus in your driveway and convert it to a studio—comes with heating and cooling and music!
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2010
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672
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Pacific Wonderland
In MOST jurisdictions, the HOME OWNER can do the work without a permit.
If you want to hire out the work, you need a permit.
If you install it yourself, you're free to do as you want.
That's why I suggested you buy a vacuum pump and do it yourself.
Pretty easy actually.
 
Unfortunately, I just now got new information that compels me to cancel the project.

When my house was built about 1955, the carport was built about 5 1/2 feet away from the property line. That distance between the house and property line is called the setback. Since then, the regulation was changed that the setback has to be at least 10 feet. I learned about this in 1993, eight years after I bought the house, when the county almost refused my permit to build an addition. Even though the addition had absolutely nothing to do with the carport, any alteration to any part of the house requiring a permit would not be allowed because the house is no longer compliant with the setback regulation. I won't bore you (at least not now) with how I convinced the county authority to approve the permit, but I was very lucky to be able to make it happen in the period of a 10-minute conversation on the telephone.

Fast forward to the last couple of days when I suddenly remembered that the setback issue still remains. Yesterday I also confirmed that a permit would be required at least because of the 240 volt line that would have to be installed to run the air conditioner-heater. Unlike the previously mentioned construction that had nothing to do with the carport, this project requiring a permit is all about the carport. Also, I've been told by several people that the county is much more strict about enforcing regulations now than nearly 30 years ago when they gave me a break. So, I feel the likelihood that I would be granted a permit would be very small because of the setback issue.

I learned today that the county has a formal process that would allow me to apply to have the setback pertinent to my house reduced by 50%. If I was given that permission, the permit could not be declined because of the setback. The financial cost of applying would be whatever an engineering company would charge me for a new property plat plus the $910 the county would charge me to apply for the revised setback. Though I feel it is likely that the county would approve the 50% reduction in the setback, the cost and time required for such a relatively small project isn't worth it.

Instead, I'll probably assemble a plastic storage shed in the back yard and move all of the items that don't have anything to do with photography from the current storage room where I do all of my tabletop photography to that shed. No permit will be needed for the shed.

Though doing this will provide more room for me than I currently have, it won't provide as much room as the temporary space in my carport would have provided.
This is interesting about the setback issue. I'm wondering if this would affect selling your home in the future, whether you would have to at that time apply for the setback requirement adjustment, or if the current "grandfathered" status could remain in effect forever? Or, would it need to be remedied either prior to selling the property or responsibility for remedying it handed on to the prospective homebuyer as part of the settlement? Presumably other homes in your neighborhood also have been affected by this now long-ago change in the setback regulations. How have some of your neighbors handled this "grandfathered" status when buying or selling their homes?
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
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2,381
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Winter Haven, florida
Can you run a long extension cord from a different 240 plug, no permit needed.
My AC guy rewired one of our split systems basically to run off a long 240v extension cord so I could run it off our large portable generator.
Now do we get to help you build a storage shed? We built one about 2 years ago. 16x24’. Works great as a storage shed and workshop. Like anything else, no matter how big you build it, you will want it bigger.
Gary
 
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
I'm wondering if this would affect selling your home in the future
It could indirectly affect the selling of the home. As an example, any time I buy a home in the future, I'm going to determine if the house has the same situation as this house. If someone does the same research about my house and if they consider buying it with a plan to make alterations requiring a permit, they would surely think twice. My guess is that very few people are aware of changes in the zoning and construction codes that could come into play once they decide to make changes to their home. If that consideration is really important to them, they should probably hire someone with expertise in the matter.
 
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
Now do we get to help you build a storage shed?
I wouldn't have one built, per se; I would have a plastic one assembled. If it was built from scratch, I'm reasonably confident a permit would be needed. EDIT: I confirmed that a permit is needed for any shed that is 256 square feet or larger. Mine would not be that large.
 
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