Building Shop before House

   / Building Shop before House #12  
I had the same issue. Bought a shipping container and put a door on the side of it. It is portable and they cannot say anything about it. I am still using it and built shelving in it for storing boxes and plastic containers. It does get hot in there but CT. might not be as bad as down here in VA. I also have a work bench in there.View attachment 743697
This ⬆️ is the best idea so far. Get a building permit for the house you want to build and have a power pole set to supply the building site. Then drop a container with a door and power it as the building office, then put the project on hold due to budgetary constraints.
   / Building Shop before House #13  
I built my garage a full year before my house


in my case, local bylaws would prevent me from using for commercial use anyways.
   / Building Shop before House #14  
I had to have the driveway built - one mile long - before we considered doing anything. My 80 acres was land locked until the driveway was built down the easement. While waiting for the Pan abode house to be delivered - the foundation and walls were poured. I built the first two bays of our carport while waiting also. I moved a log cabin up from the far end of our lake and converted it into a shop. That's a story all unto itself.

The county was more concerned that the driveway contractor didn't put in a culvert where they thought one should be. I have two culverts on the driveway and none where the county wanted one. Forty two years and not a single drop of water has ever been NEAR either of the two culverts.

However - the coons and skunks seem to enjoy these culverts.
   / Building Shop before House #15  
Anyone else ever run into something like this, and have any suggestions on how to proceed? We could look at doing a big loan and do everything at once, but I was hoping to do a chunk of the home construction ourselves, and spreading it out would very much help financially. If we could do a shop first, that would be ideal for our situation.

I had the exact same problem on my property. I was a bit naïve, and somewhat dumbstruck when my township zoning and building inspector said: "no detached accessory structures before having a primary home on site". Same exact thing, I was zoned for SINGLE family residential and thus building a stand alone shop first was out of the question.

Ok, but what if you put in a kitchen, bedroom and a bathroom? Sure, then its actually a house, and can be approved, built and inspected. BUT, the trouble comes if you then want to build a REAL house, as you actually intended. Because, you cannot have two family homes on a single parcel zoned for single family residential.

In my case, I just went 900' back into the woods, and built a crude 20x23' pole barn with no electricity, to store my tractor, tools, building materials, and eventually furniture and other storage while we were building the house. Pretty sure my township inspector saw it through the trees while approving our house for certificate of occupancy, but he didn't say a word. Now it's a 3 sided wood shed for me instead.

You CAN build a single family home and detached accessory structure at the same time, under one building permit. You CAN get started with the accessory structure first, and start using it to store stuff. It just might not get an approved final inspection until your house build is well underway, or even finished. Here's the other caveat: In many places, like mine, detached accessory structure must be located BEHIND the primary dwelling, unless you seek an official variance. What is "behind" when you're building a home deep in the woods, well off the road? Well it still means with respect to road frontage, apparently. So my proper pole barn "garage" got "connected" to my house with a concrete walkway and breezeway roof, so avoid the variance.

This game is all about making friends with your township/city inspectors, and having them be motivated to help you navigate the best possible path for your needs and finances. Do NOT make an enemy of this guy, he is vital to your interests. If you get into their office, look around for clues like a college mug/magnet, sports team, etc. Find something dumb to bond over and start on a good foot.
   / Building Shop before House #16  
We when through the planning process for both at the same time. Got all permits to proceed. The barn was built first, then the house. Just get the approval for the house and barn. I don't know if the town could have done anything if we didn't do the house.
   / Building Shop before House #17  
Set a mobile home up and rent it out until you decide to build a home. Our area also requires a real home before they allow even power brought onto property.