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: Do you work in a comercial building or at home?
Rent   -2 (12.5%)
Buying Comercial   -0 (0%)
Own Comercial   -3 (18.8%)
Work at home   -11 (68.8%)
: 14

: Rent, own or work at home  ( 7214 )
kodydog
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North Central Florida


« : January 06, 2013, 10:35:18 AM »

The "Florida" topic by Otlass got me thinking. How many business owners on the forum are set up in a commercial building and how many work at home. This topic has been brought up before but I thought it would be fun to see the results in a poll. It seems like, with rent and mortgage prices always on the rise, the work at home option is becoming more popular. Some may say buying commercial and owning commercial are the same but I thought it would be interesting to see how many were able to pay off there mortgage.

I gave up my commercial location 15 years ago when I moved back to Florida and have a shop at home. The guy I work for has been in business over 50 years and has owned the same building over 30 years.

Sounds like Otlass is going commercial but there may be others trying to decide which option to choose. Maybe a comment why you chose your type of work place would be helpful. And how long have you been in the same location or town.
« : January 06, 2013, 10:38:42 AM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
Mike
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Marine canvas & upholstery SWFL


« #1 : January 06, 2013, 11:19:50 AM »

This is somthing im thinking about right now. Ive always had a cemmervisl spot in Nh and Here in florida. Till. A couple years now. The space i have now is onll room for one smaller then id like table. And it limits the amout of work that. CAn be done. Noto mention storage  problems.
So much work had to be produced to pay the rent but im looking at a space 1000 sf. That i could have 3 tables and storage. If this was 4 years ago i eouldnt even question it
 Ut the rent is prety low with the economy and vacant spaces.  It would allow more work to be done at one provinding it is avalable to do.

sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #2 : January 06, 2013, 01:30:09 PM »

With a commercial building, I don't really have to advertise. When people ask me where I work, I tell them the name of my business, and they usually say "Oh yeah. I've seen that place".
When a customer in town is even thinking about some type of upholstery work, my shop immediately jumps to the forefront of their mind.

In other words, I don't have to find work. Work finds me.

Of course the tradeoff is, that I have a commercial property expense that work-at-home upholsterers don't have.
One aspect that works to my advantage is that like many small towns, Greenville's retail district gravitated toward the interstate highway years ago. So now, downtown is mainly a courthouse surrounded by a few antique/junk stores, bail bondsmen, and an upholstery shop. So I get the "high traffic" exposure without paying for it. There's no way I could pay a buck per foot in rent.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
NDAV8R
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I'm a pilot!


« #3 : January 06, 2013, 02:02:15 PM »

I guess I have the best of both worlds.  A little over five years ago, I upholstered a Lear Jet and a Piper Navajo for the Fargo Jet Center. They liked the work so much, they called me up for an interview which lead to my current employment there.
  I have my own tools and sewing machines, which I use there and at home(60 miles apart)...a Couple of 206rbs, five Singer Model 29 patchers(one deep throat machine), a carpet serger, carpet binder, and a few steamers.  The first year of employment I drove back and forth every day until the gas situation got out of hand.  I have no complaints from the neighbors.
  I remove and install all aircraft components there and do all the subwork at my shop at home. Since I am on Salary, I just keep track on the hourly timed projects and the bid jobs I usually work till late at nights. We checked with the Feds and as long as I am in on the FAA Certified Repair Station, it is legit. I do take a lot of progress pictures of all the projects to back me up.
  Since I am a "one man" upholstery shop, it shows if I goof off or not. But when I took on Cancer only after 4 months of employment there, and when they kept me on FULL salary during my 4 month at home battle, I have and will continue to give them my all.
  Since my start of employment there, they also discovered my fabrication back ground. So when there is a project that comes up for simple machining or TIG welding, my name comes up. We have almost 2 dozen young guys in the maintainence department and non of them know how to weld or do machining. They call the old fart (ME) of the upholstery dept to do the job. I am Certified and every one of my welds get tested with certification papers. It is a nice change of pace, but a headache when both needs are at the same time. Here are a few of my non-upholstery projects...
Here I built a wing Cradle for a Pilatus for replacing wing bolt bushings.

There rest are weldments for our components for seeding clouds.




Gale.
« : January 06, 2013, 02:05:22 PM NDAV8R »

Strive for Perfection...Settle for Excellence!
raindodger
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« #4 : January 06, 2013, 02:37:38 PM »

Daaaang... your welds are as nice as your upholstry work...  looks good

I work out of my house.  Its cheap, easy, and my house is closer to the places I find my customers (ie.. water) than any commercial space in the city here.  I'm still new in this business though, and who knows, maybe someday I will need more space than I have.  There has been a job or two that had me thinking that already but I made it with the space I have and jobs that big are rare so far.

Theres my .02
JDUpholstery
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Ash Flat, Arkansas


« #5 : January 06, 2013, 03:29:34 PM »

I have the best of both worlds....when I decided I needed more room than my house could provide, I went in search of a shop to rent....I paid 625 a month on my old house, and lowest rentals with the space I needed were around 800 a month so would have ended up being 14-1500 a month i was paying for the home and shop..thins I found the place I am at now for sale, it was a 2400 sf shop with highway frontage and a house on the same property, I pay 1k a month for all of it so I have a 50 foot walk to work, but I do not work at home!
west coast
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I'm a llama!


« #6 : January 06, 2013, 05:31:26 PM »

When business started to slow a few years back that 5 grand right off the hop was a pretty big chunk of change to come up with so a move to the house was the answer. Glad to be here and it sure takes a lot of pressure off.
Mike
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Marine canvas & upholstery SWFL


« #7 : January 06, 2013, 09:40:37 PM »

welcome to the forum kevin I must  have missed your 1st posts I take it y0u do marine work where are you located?

raindodger
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« #8 : January 06, 2013, 10:04:33 PM »

Yes, I do marine canvas up here in the Pacific Northwest.  Thanks for the welcome
Stephen
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An upholsterer since 1966


« #9 : January 07, 2013, 10:49:44 AM »

When I worked for my dad many years ago we had a large shop for many years. Eventually he got cancer and we moved home so that we could take care of him better. That was in 1986. He died in 1988 and I worked with my sister (in her garage) until 1994 when I moved my shop to my own home. I've worked at home ever since. For about 8 years I lived and worked in a 650 sf house with a small single car garage (The living room was my cutting and sewing room. Had to walk through the kitchen to go from the garage to the LR. We were finally able to move into an old 2 story 1400 sf house with a 1 1/2 car garage where I was at last able to have my whole shop in one room (the garage), but still used part of the living room for my samples and the customers. My shop only had room to work on the piece I was doing at the time. Has to carefully schedule the jobs so the next job would come in as soon as the previous job left.  About two years ago my wife and I bought our first home, which included a 900 sf garage. I'm finally able to have my shop in one end and have room store additional customer furniture until I do it.

When we purchased the home we moved from the city with a population of 150,000 in the metro area to a small town (of 9,000) that 10 miles out of the city. It was a scary move for us (leaving the city for a small town). I didn't know if clients would come out. Clients have been coming. Since we advertise regularly it has made the move more workable. Actually, we all LOVE living in the small town. So glad that we moved out of the city. God has been good.

One thing that we had to investigate before purchasing the home was the Home Occupation Guidelines of the small town. Here I'm not allowed to bring any vehicles into my shop, but since I don't do auto upholstery that's not a problem.

Best Wishes,
Stephen
« : January 07, 2013, 10:54:08 AM Stephen »

otlass
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« #10 : January 07, 2013, 01:39:37 PM »

I am renting and will continue to do so, For me it is cost of doing business and gives me more flexibility do move if needed Also if you work from home it seems hard to go to work and stick with work, or if you come home to really get away from work,then there is, do I want employeesand customers running around at home. And where is the spell check if you reply to a posting as you can tell, I really need it.
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #11 : January 07, 2013, 02:44:12 PM »

Also if you work from home it seems hard to go to work and stick with work, or if you come home to really get away from work
AMEN BRUTHA!!!
If I worked at home, I wouldn't get a flippin' thing done.  I love the separation of home and business.
My home is my castle. My workplace is my sanctuary.

Instead of having a garage full of upholstery stuff, I have a store room at my shop that's full of excess household items. I actually use my home garage to park vehicles in.

But I could envision enjoying having a shop located a short walk away on the same property as my residence.

I hope that everyone answers this poll.
Stephen touched on it briefly, but I would be interested to hear how different parts of the country handle residential restrictions on home based businesses. 
If I tried to work out of my garage in my neighborhood, they'd throw me UNDER the jail.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
JDUpholstery
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Ash Flat, Arkansas


« #12 : January 07, 2013, 06:22:09 PM »

The benefit to owning is when I see something I want different I can change it....today this is what I did to my shop...

removed 2 of the glass store front panels



then added a 12' Garage door



and my house is behind that 8' privacy fence in second picture!

this is the view from the main highway, which I live on

bobbin
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« #13 : January 07, 2013, 06:46:27 PM »

I want to work at home!  I have a dedicated workspace, an admirable fleet of machines, and a work ethic that makes it all viable. 

JD, you have a handsome shop.  It's clear to me that you've put a lot of thought, time, and effort into your set up.  Ask me how I know. 

Darren Henry
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some days are better than others


« #14 : January 07, 2013, 06:57:25 PM »

I started out (part time) with the leathercraft/shoe repair/and orthopaedic work in my 7 1/2X12 unheated "shop" and some borrowed space at work for the upholstery and boats.It was 256 sq. ft. of choir loft. Even now that the old lady has moved out and the dog died; I couldn't go back to working from my house in Kenora because of size,zoning,neighbours,access etc...

I had no choice but to rent,but I opted to take "shop  space" on the outskirts of town and forgo "store frontage" and glitz. It meant a little more in home visits and trips to the dock,but it saved me huge coin over downtown real estate and afforded me a little more privacy.Downtown people would drop by to kill time and "think about doing something" while the missus was in the mall when I was still shoemaking. Out there they came because they were going to do something.

When I get a chance to move back and re-hang my shingle I would do the same thing.

Here are the advantages I see about having a designated shop (even if it's in the same yard--but isolated).Most have been mentioned already.
> It separates home and work. This makes it easier for you to focus on which ever front, It makes the customer realize that you are in a business situation and not just doing them a personal favour, and it shelters you co-habitants from the clientele.I still remember being like 12 years old and people coming to Dad's house expecting me to sell them a circuit breaker and tell them how to install it."Dad will be home around 6--what's your number? [want to say] numb nuts[want to say]"

>It looks professional. Regardless of you reputation or how widely you are know locally ; there is always that clown who wants to see you as some schmuck with a sewing machine and tell you the wrong way to do your job at an insulting rate of pay because of his perception.

>As Dennis mentioned-- even if you have a garage at home--park your car in it ,and when it needs an oil change etc... run it out to the shop where all your tools are.

>In my case; none of my friends had space to do those kinds of repairs and would often ask to use the bay if I was working late and it was open. I never wanted for a truck, or a hand on a delivery,and I was always invited on the fishing trips even if my boat was drydocked.

>As much as I comment those who can work with/around the people in their lives---24/7 with anybody seems unhealthy to me. When do you get a chance to consider their side of an arguement? What do you talk about if you have already shared ever detail of each others day? Everybody needs their own life for part of most days IMHO.  And no I'm not red-neck!---Up here the best we can do is deeply tanned before the scarves come out again. :P

{hovering around the freezing mark Sunday-Thursday this week.I'll take that at a quarter after January on the Canadian prairies. OLA. 8)}

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
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