Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
Okay, finally realized that I have a space / storage problem. Knocked over my right aileron, big dent in the trailing edge, got plane parts scattered all over the house, can barely walk in the garage. I'd like some advice on how to proceed. Keeping in mind some things I've noticed:
1. I have a townhouse w/ 3 bedrooms, 2 kids, a 2 car garage (half full of non-airplane stuff) and no basement or outside storage. Car is outside on the driveway year round.
2. Having the project in the garage allows me to make some progress every day.
3. I waste a lot of time rearranging things whenever I make a major change to the build.
4. I'm running the risk of damaging already made parts.
5. I don't have a truck (but could rent one from time to time).
Some options I'm considering:
Getting a storage unit to store my non-airplane stuff and some of the finished parts so that they won't get damaged. The downside is cost and having to rent a truck to move stuff back and forth. But the build will stay in the garage.
Doing the PODS thing - where I can store the non-airplane stuff without needing a truck - but I don't want to use that to store the airplane parts.
Start renting a hangar - can store parts there, will need to rent one eventually. Don't know how secure they are, and if I move the build there I have a 15 minute drive every time I want to do something. More expensive - probably $150 a month minimum.
Try to find a workshop space to rent closer than the hangar. Don't know time or cost.
Do the build at a builder assist area in stages a week or two at a time. For example, I could spend a vacation week at American Light Sportcrafters and probably bang out most of a component kit. There's no place close by, so there would be the need to take vacation and travel and ship the parts. And I'd have to drag a kid or two along if they wanted to participate.
So, any advice? Thanks!
I've never heard of a hangar as cheap as $150/mo. That would be sweet. If your airport has an active builder community, getting out there on the week ends to interact with them would be a huge help. There's aways a tool you need that you can probably borrow and knowledge aplenty.
Distance is an issue. The farther away either the airport or storage is, the less likely you are to make needed trips, in car or rented truck.
I mostly wouldn't worry too much about storing parts in a hanger. Tools may be a different issue, depending on the arrangement of the hangar.
Ron - the local FBO owner and the EAA guys think I can get a hangar for $150/month. I may have to look around to find one that cheap that doesn't have a dirt floor.
It might be nice have some help around, and get into the local builder community more. Though I think the EAA guys mostly build in there houses.
It solves the space problem for sure, 15 minutes isn't that far, and since my son is taking flying lessons I'm out there off and on anyway. It's chilly in winter here in MN, so I'd have to bring my gas heater. Also wouldn't want anyone to take my air compressor.
Thanks for your input.
Rebecca - All your ideas are valid.... My two cents: I built in a 10 x 15 shop and part of my double carport (22 x 20); mostly the carport. I built a couple of hanging storage shelves on the ceiling of my double carport and stored the wings on the walls of my shop. I think the biggest thing is to keep the project at home at whatever cost. Store in attic, under the bed, on top the kitchen cabinets, etc. but keep the project at home until it is absolutely necessary to leave (airport).
I definitely think I benefit from having the build at home - I just struggle with the logistics. Maybe I can divide up the tasks into some smaller ones I can do at home, and then go to the hangar when things have to go together. For example, I did the tail and the fuel tanks in the comfort of my dining / living areas.
Garage storage is tough - the door keeps me from using the roof, and I already store stuff on the walls. A major purge of camping stuff, the canoe, my "little" motorcycle, the kids bikes, and miscellaneous boxes I store for friends might help.
I definitely see your point - thanks for your thougths, Chris.
You do have the necessary drive! I'm sure you'll get a hold of it. All the Best!!!
Thanks - drive isn't generally the problem for me. In fact, I get a little obsessive about it sometimes.
What about getting a storage locker for all that stuff in the garage like bikes motorcycle and camping stuff. Then your garage would be all for the airplane
I would try to stay at the home as long as possible, an hour here and an hour there won't happen if you have to travel to do it.
I started my build (quick build kit) in my garage as everyone suggests. It was cramped even though I had carts to roll the wings out into the driveway every time I worked on the plane. I lost a lot of time with neighbors and distractions from inside the house. I also found that I was unprepared for the task at hand. Grab a drill, lay out the part, then read the prints, and waste a lot of time studying with a drill in one hand and the prints in another. I moved to a hanger 40 minutes away and love it. The drive forces me to plan my work days in advance, order parts and print out tips I find on the internet. I don't do any research or learning at the hanger. When I show up Saturday morning I have the knowledge, parts, and the time to spend a full day completing a task or two. I spend the weekday evenings studying and learning. I usually order parts every Monday for the upcoming weekend's task. The nice thing about a hanger is that you can set up multiple areas and work on a wing when you get stuck on the fuselage.You will love the added space to work. You can leave tools and parts out. You can concentrate on your work.
I'm 40 minutes away because I don't want to test fly my plane at my home airport (Lake Tahoe). I am building at an airport in the flat Nevada desert. It's quiet and peaceful. Sometimes the day slips away and before I know it. I've put in a 10 hour day.
That's what I hope will happen if I do the Hangar thing. I already have the fuselage kit shipping to me and have no place to put it. Maybe I can have a set of tools that moves back and forth, but do the big stuff in the hangar, and some of the smaller stuff at the house. The main issue is to keep productive when I have an hour or two in the evening available, though as a part time single parent that doesn't always happen even with the parts in the garage. The downside will be that I won't be able to grab a kid every time I need some help. But the airport is pretty close, so that may not be much of a problem.
I can feel your pain! I remember the day I knocked a chair into my fuselage, putting a nice dent in it. I think a lot of us fight the lack of space problem. I've been building my Zodiac in my living room for the past 6 years. One thing I did to make room was that I've put eye hooks in the ceiling and store some my wings up high. I would definately spend some time figuring what to do with all the non-airplane stuff in the garage. Maybe one thing can go in the house, another to a some borrowed storage, another to the trash. Space is like the workbench. It's a must have, but it can be done in a smaller space than a hanger.
Okay, I've contacted a guy at the local airport who rents hangars, and he thinks he has something opening up this month. $160 / month, which isn't much more than a 10'x10' storage unit. So I can at least store things there, and I'll try and see how it works out for building.