Retrofit my pole barn or build new?
I have a 24×48 drive shed on my property, and what I’d like to have is an energy efficient workshop (woodworking, one bay for car work, also an area for garden equipment, possibly a semi-conditioned addendum for some animals). I’m trying to decide whether it makes more sense to retrofit the shed, or just start from scratch. I’ve heard from a couple of sources that retrofitting a shed of this type is difficult.
The shed has a dirt floor, metal roof and siding, no insulation or air sealing (the ridge vent actually allows a lot of snow to come in, and even rain if it’s windy). There is electrical service there, in fact that’s where the service enters the property and goes to the house from there.
The pros are pretty obvious. The external structure is there already, there’s electricity. Maybe I could work on it in stages.
1) location – 110 yards from the house, with no driveway connecting the two (and no driveway to the road either), orientation is not great for installing PV (something I foresee doing in the future)
2) difficulty in retrofitting insulation and air sealing, getting a concrete floor into an enclosed space, etc.
3) limitations in options for above
4) no ability to customize the space for my needs and wants
A lot of this is subjective, and I provide it mainly for the sake of interest. What I’m really wondering is, how much would it really save me to do a retrofit on such a shed? My wife’s perspective is that it’s already there, we should use it. I’d really rather not. If I can show here that it wouldn’t even be significantly cheaper, that will win the argument for me.
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