Home Contracting Workshop: Zoning and Storage
When you're starting up a contracting business, there are several major themes to consider. One of the first ones that will come up: Where will you run your business from?
At Contractor's School, we're proud to offer numerous solutions to those looking to start a contractor business, from obtaining a contractor's license to numerous other areas that will help you get your business off the ground and on the road to success. One common template some contractors utilize if they're starting relatively small with their business: Running it out of their residential property, which may be a viable option for you. This two-part blog series will go over several important areas to evaluate while determining if you should set up your contracting workshop on your residence or elsewhere.
Does it Make Practical Sense?
First and foremost, there will simply be certain situations where using your home as a workshop is not sensible at all. This will be the case if you don't have the proper amounts of space on the property, for instance, or if you have young children who would be put at a major safety risk by the presence of contracting equipment.
In other cases, simple location might be the reason why a home workshop isn't sensible. If you live far away from where your most common jobs take place, it won't make sense to constantly be traveling back and forth between your home and other far-off locations. Not only is this a major hassle, it might end up costing you more in the long run than just setting up a workshop closer to your common jobs.
If you determine that this is indeed a practical move, the next important step here is to evaluate whether you're even allowed to do this in your area. Zoning guidelines set by your city or sometimes your county will dictate whether certain properties can be used for a given purpose – properties are sometimes grouped into residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial fields, depending on the city or county.
In certain of these cases, your property being deemed residential will not prevent you from using your home as a workshop. But in others, depending on the work you're doing, you may have to obtain a special license or you may be blocked from doing this altogether. Cases of full blockage are rarer, however, and tend to only occur in cases where you're performing construction work like modular assembly.
If you've confirmed zoning guidelines allow you to move forward, next it's time to evaluate your storage capabilities. Do you have enough space to store all the major items or equipment that will be required for the types of jobs you perform most often – without impacting your residential needs? If you have a smaller lot, you'll also have to think about how you'll get rental equipment in or out during situations where it's needed, plus how it will be stored temporarily.
For more on how to determine whether a home workshop for your contracting business is the right move, or to learn about any of our general contractor licensing or other services, speak to the staff at Contractor's School today.