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Old 02-24-2016, 03:01 AM   #1
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Cheaper to build above or below ground?


Hello all,

I am looking to build a basic storage facility for old car parts, probably 1,000 square feet, not attached to any other structure, and I'm wondering if my cheapest option is to build above or below ground. My number one priority is minimum cost, and I've heard mixed reviews from professionals about this.

I have no experience with this at all, but I imagine that I would try to do as much as possible by myself or with the help of family and friends. I don't care how long it takes, and I'm looking only for four walls and a roof; I live near Portland, Oregon on a half acre, so I suppose I'll also need some permits?

Thanks!!

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Old 02-24-2016, 05:08 AM   #2
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Ayuh,.... Probably above ground,....

Less condensation, 'n it can be built outa wood,....

Below ground, concrete would be My choice of material,.....

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Old 02-24-2016, 05:42 AM   #3
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Have you thought about those shipping containers.


Instant building, usually water tight, and usually inexpensive.



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Old 02-24-2016, 06:01 AM   #4
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Code in our area requires footings 4' underground for over 500 sq feet.
I had a block wall built on top of the footings.
I then built the rest myself using wood for the garage.

Check with your municipality for footing requirements.
Check set backs and heights while you're at it. Lot coverage is another thing to look at.

Edit: one vote for above ground.
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Old 02-24-2016, 06:04 AM   #5
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I probably need something bigger than a shipping container, what about a pole barn? Does anyone have creative ideas for getting free/cheap materials and methods for building a pole barn? I'm assuming that's probably the cheapest structure to build above ground? Really all I'm looking for is basic protection against rain and wind, and enough space to work in
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Old 02-24-2016, 06:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Does anyone have creative ideas for getting free/cheap materials
Ayuh,... Just go to my favorite buildin' material supply spots,....

Jobsite Dumpsters,.....

Talk to the Super, as anything ya take outa the dumpster, lessens the cost for the Super,....
I've never had anyone say No,....
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:03 AM   #7
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Ocasionally, you can find a pole barn that's going to be demo'ed, and the owner is willing to sell if you take it apart. You shoudl be able to salvage almost all of the building materials, minus the posts in the ground. An "seeking" add on craigslist or the like may help you locate such builidng.....
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:16 AM   #8
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Is there a way to find where construction is going on, so I can go ask about dumpster diving? Do I need to just call around to construction companies, or is there a record of some kind online?
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:39 AM   #9
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Two shipping containers, side by side.

One for storage, one for work.


Is there any new sub-divisions going in nearby, or any new hotels being built, or other remodeling projects?

Might take a little driving around but they are out there.

Once bought an entire GIANT pile of left over materials from a construction job, got some polished granite countertop materials, lots of 2X lumber,

The manager was so happy to see someone buy his waste, and he did not need to pay a haul-away service.


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Old 02-24-2016, 10:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devin Sheets View Post
I probably need something bigger than a shipping container, what about a pole barn? Does anyone have creative ideas for getting free/cheap materials and methods for building a pole barn? I'm assuming that's probably the cheapest structure to build above ground? Really all I'm looking for is basic protection against rain and wind, and enough space to work in
I have seen crazy builds with containers. you should have access to almost any thing living near portland. Sometimes you just have to keep your eyes open.

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Old 02-24-2016, 10:47 PM   #11
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Depends on where you live.

If you live in FL....dig 5' down and you might be in water.

Dig 5' down in AZ and you are in rock.
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Old 02-25-2016, 09:04 AM   #12
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Just curious..
Why would you think to build under ground.?
What do you mean by under ground.?

Depending on what you are looking for underground maybe cheaper all around.

Last edited by ron45; 02-25-2016 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ron45 View Post
Just curious..
Why would you think to build under ground.?
What do you mean by under ground.?

Depending on what you are looking for underground maybe cheaper all around.
A thought just popped into my head. If your storing parts and stuff long term, underground may be preferable as the temperatures of the storage will be more stable without having environmental controls. It would cost more to build but would save money long term on heating, cooling, or degradation of stock.
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Old 02-25-2016, 10:45 PM   #14
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A thought just occurred to me also.

My neighbor bought a surplus army tent from a surplus store, the tent was a motor pool tent, made for vehicle service.

it was up and used for many years until he passed away, and his family sold his place after stripping out most of his stuff.

Surplus tents are cost effective. And his held up well even with a 2-3 foot snow load every winter.

Another thought, if your community allows it, I have seen people take 2 or 3 mobile homes and park them close together, build short hallways from one to the other at the doors, and have themselves a storage / work shop.


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Old 02-26-2016, 04:12 AM   #15
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For about 8 grand, you can get 3-40 foot extra high cargo worthy, cargo containers.

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