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Airpark property tips?


KSMooniac
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Wife and I recently took the plunge and bought a great lot on an airpark. We're not immediately building, but would like to start the dream/design/plan phase in the new year, and maybe be ready to move dirt within 12 months, presuming interest rates, supply chain, and labor availability line up by then!

 

I'm sure there are some folks here with experience...what would you do differently? What did you do right? I've read some tips from FB and other assorted places over the years such as "I built too much house and not enough hangar!"

 

Our initial plan will be a separate ranch style house with primarily 1 floor living, in stark contrast to our current 97 year old house with 3 flights of stairs on a small footprint. I'd like a single bonus room on a second floor with lots of windows to view the airport.

 

I'm thinking 60 x 60 hangar to start the planning, with a multipurpose climate controlled room for my home office and a bathroom in the back and mezzanine storage above. I'd like to make both structures architecturally interesting and cohesive.

 

I'm especially interested in construction tips, building features, etc as well as layout options with both structures to support airplane shuffling with more than 1 plane in the hangar. Did you integrate outdoor living features between buildings? I like the newer single panel hydraulic doors versus bifold, but could be persuaded otherwise.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

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4 hours ago, KSMooniac said:

 

Wife and I recently took the plunge and bought a great lot on an airpark. We're not immediately building, but would like to start the dream/design/plan phase in the new year, and maybe be ready to move dirt within 12 months, presuming interest rates, supply chain, and labor availability line up by then!

 

I'm sure there are some folks here with experience...what would you do differently? What did you do right? I've read some tips from FB and other assorted places over the years such as "I built too much house and not enough hangar!"

 

Our initial plan will be a separate ranch style house with primarily 1 floor living, in stark contrast to our current 97 year old house with 3 flights of stairs on a small footprint. I'd like a single bonus room on a second floor with lots of windows to view the airport.

 

I'm thinking 60 x 60 hangar to start the planning, with a multipurpose climate controlled room for my home office and a bathroom in the back and mezzanine storage above. I'd like to make both structures architecturally interesting and cohesive.

 

I'm especially interested in construction tips, building features, etc as well as layout options with both structures to support airplane shuffling with more than 1 plane in the hangar. Did you integrate outdoor living features between buildings? I like the newer single panel hydraulic doors versus bifold, but could be persuaded otherwise.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Sent from my LM-V600 using Tapatalk

 

 

 

it’s never to early to start planning a construction project!!

I  don’t have a lot of tips for a hangar home specifically, but I would tell you to hire an architect to do the design, just don’t let them manage the construction unless you have money to burn.  Design the house with aging in mind, and a practical expectation of how it will be used, not the dream use. I’ve built so many custom homes where people agonized over multiple suites for the entire family when that never really happens.
I can however, offer some good advice on the actual process.  
The building process is challenging from many angles.  I’ve been doing it for a long time and have watched countless people go through the whole process. Many of them with me, and some who chose a different path and wished they had listened to me. 

Your questions are thoughtful and shows the right frame of mind. 
Whether you self contract or not, here is my advice…

If you have a budget in mind, double it.  If you have a time frame to complete it, triple it.. Labor and building materials have sky rocketed across the country and those problems are far from over. The labor shortage is just beginning.  Making the building process enjoyable, or even tolerable is 100% predicated on good and realistic expectations.
If you are using a builder, get references from a year, 5 or 10 years, and one from present. Actually call the references!   Ask them how the process was, how the person was to work with, was the schedule accurate, how do they treat warranty work, and the biggest of all, how were they as a communicator.
Building a home is like a marriage, there is stress, anxiety, decisions, discussions, mistakes, arguments, money and no sex.  You don’t pick an ugly, unpleasant partner because their daddy is rich, don’t get persuaded by the guy who is cheap because you’re about to marry them. Assuming you have picked someone you trust and with a good reputation , understand that the process is complex, the builder assembles something completely new each time, and he doesn’t make the components that go into the construction, he just executes. The owner is almost always the reason the budget goes up and the project takes longer. Accept this and understand every increase and delay is simply because you are getting what you want. 
 

Having the proper expectations can make the difference between a fun and successful project, and a long and miserable one…

Good Luck!

 

PS I’ve tried to cram a lot into that, while I may not familiar with building in your area, the things I’m describing are universal, and if you wanted to discuss more, or understand better I’m happy to talk to you.
DM me and I’ll send you a phone number. 
 

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Stick-built is better than pole barn if you intend to heat it.  
insulate the foundation.

put radiant heat in the floor.

if at all possible, have the door facing south or east.  A NW facing door around here (IL) will have you forever moving the snow that blew up against it.

hydraulic doors seal better than bi-fold, and they can make a nice, shady area in the summer.

blacktop rather than concrete on the ramp lets the sun help keep it clear in the winter.

allow enough ceiling height for a https://bigassfans.com that will make you the envy of your neighbors.

make provisions for a car or RV door in the rear if possible.

add a 50 Amp outlet for RV storage.

-dan

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Thanks so far! This will be a home to age in while continuing to work in Wichita...we're almost 50 but not close to retirement since I invested in a Mooney 16 years ago instead of mutual funds.

I'm hoping to do the layout/design work to get to an 80-90% condition and then engage an architect to get it across the finish line. I would like to manage/GC myself, but that might not be compatible with work. Fortunately the site is close to current home and work, so we can visit frequently.

I'm very interested in ICF/concrete construction too. There are a few such structures there already and I think they make a lot of sense. We'll see if that is compatible with our design as it evolves.

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1 hour ago, KSMooniac said:

I'm very interested in ICF/concrete construction too. There are a few such structures there already and I think they make a lot of sense. We'll see if that is compatible with our design as it evolves.

How about this?

https://youtu.be/gVRkjNSIiFk

They say its better, faster, and cheaper (I thought you could only pick two?).

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1 hour ago, KSMooniac said:

I'm very interested in ICF/concrete construction too. There are a few such structures there already and I think they make a lot of sense. We'll see if that is compatible with our design as it evolves.

The reason I went with stick built vs pole barn is that building materials are standardized around this, well, standard.  windows and doors fit into some multiple of 16" on center framing, insulation bats do as well.  Anything wall mounted is easier.  The overall look fits better in a residential airpark.  We have a couple of steel-sided pole barns in the neighborhood, and they really are not so attractive.  Yes, you can of course put wood siding on a pole barn, but when people are going cheap (pole barn) they tend to finish cheap.

-dan

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2 hours ago, exM20K said:

Stick-built is better than pole barn if you intend to heat it.  
insulate the foundation.

put radiant heat in the floor.

if at all possible, have the door facing south or east.  A NW facing door around here (IL) will have you forever moving the snow that blew up against it.

hydraulic doors seal better than bi-fold, and they can make a nice, shady area in the summer.

blacktop rather than concrete on the ramp lets the sun help keep it clear in the winter.

allow enough ceiling height for a https://bigassfans.com that will make you the envy of your neighbors.

make provisions for a car or RV door in the rear if possible.

add a 50 Amp outlet for RV storage.

-dan

Insulation under your concrete slab will make a surprising difference in the feel of the space when it's done.   With insulation the concrete takes on the temperature of the conditioned space. Without it the concrete will always be cold.  If you can spring for radiant heat it is more efficient over the long-term and will make the space more comfortable, although if you open the hanger door in the middle of winter it will take longer to get back up to temperature than a forced air system.   

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The hangar will definitely be stick-built or ICF or some other "real" structure.  Pole barn style is specifically prohibited at this airpark.  I would love to have radiant floor heat as well, and maybe even extend it to the apron in front of the door.  (In-laws have that at their house, which is needed since the garage is north-facing)

Other wish-list items for the hangar include the Big Ass Fan or similar as recommended above, lots of 220V power for big tools, room for an auto lift that perhaps could do double-duty with the Mooney like Maxwell does, and space to spare to rent out for a friend's plane, RV, etc.  until my hoard grows too much.  ;)  I would like to add a fun plane after digesting all of this at some point in the future, such as tube-n-rag taildragger, biplane, other?  

Anything anyone regrets adding to a house in general? 

We want a modern open-concept layout, but will lkely keep it to a modest size, likely a great master suite for us with spa-like bathroom and large walk-in closet(s), and a couple of bedrooms on the other end of the house.  Open kitchen and living space that hopefully flows into a nice outdoor space as well.  As I mentioned above, I'd like a loft-like or second story room with lots of windows for an airport view... ideally that would be my home office but wife has already banished my home office to the hangar because of what my current office looks like in our current house.  :P  The elevated room could be a TV room, work-out space, overflow guest space, etc.  I'd like a half-basement for mechanicals, deep storage, and another mutli-purpose room.

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53 minutes ago, KSMooniac said:

I'd like a half-basement for mechanicals, deep storage, and another mutli-purpose room.

Basements are great! If you're going to dig one, go ahead and dig a full basement. The extra space will not be wasted . . . .

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38 minutes ago, Hank said:

Basements are great! If you're going to dig one, go ahead and dig a full basement. The extra space will not be wasted . . . .

Basements are common here, but in our case, I'm not sure we have a need for a full one, and I don't want to drive extra cost into the house (when I could spend it on the hangar!).  

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Just now, KSMooniac said:

Basements are common here, but in our case, I'm not sure we have a need for a full one, and I don't want to drive extra cost into the house (when I could spend it on the hangar!).  

Half basement means half Slab On Grade.  Slab On Grade comes with a whole different set of potential problems.  I say full basement under the house, and of course the hangar is SOG.

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3 minutes ago, Mooneymite said:

Are you building on the runway, or on a taxiway?

Can you share the name of the airpark?

K50, Cook Field in Derby KS, just SE of Wichita.  Our lot is on a shared residential road/taxiway with a short part to the north end of the paved runway.

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For power, when I did my garage, I ran multiple circuits for the wall outlets.  And I put the at 48" above the floor.  So they are above the work benches and I don't have to bend down to plug/unplug things.

My garage is 30 x 36.  I put two 20 amp circuits on the back wall (36'), alternating. For first outlet is circuit 1, next is 2, then next is 1 again.  Side walls got one circuit.  Outlets are spaced 48 inches.

Each wall has a 220 outlet for welders or other equipment.  There are dedicated 220 outlets for air compressor and lift.

My lift is from Eagle Equipment.  I had it professionally installed by a local auto lift company.  I talked to the installer, and asked his opinion of the Eagle lift.  He stated, "It is the Hyundai (this was in 2003) of lifts."  He went on to explain, it is fine, works well, not fancy, but more than adequate for a home user.

I did stick built.  At the time, once I priced out everything, including the slab, the price different was not that great.  And it looks much nicer.

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On 12/21/2022 at 1:40 PM, KSMooniac said:

The hangar will definitely be stick-built or ICF or some other "real" structure.  Pole barn style is specifically prohibited at this airpark.  I would love to have radiant floor heat as well, and maybe even extend it to the apron in front of the door.  (In-laws have that at their house, which is needed since the garage is north-facing)

Other wish-list items for the hangar include the Big Ass Fan or similar as recommended above, lots of 220V power for big tools, room for an auto lift that perhaps could do double-duty with the Mooney like Maxwell does, and space to spare to rent out for a friend's plane, RV, etc.  until my hoard grows too much.  ;)  I would like to add a fun plane after digesting all of this at some point in the future, such as tube-n-rag taildragger, biplane, other?  

Anything anyone regrets adding to a house in general? 

We want a modern open-concept layout, but will lkely keep it to a modest size, likely a great master suite for us with spa-like bathroom and large walk-in closet(s), and a couple of bedrooms on the other end of the house.  Open kitchen and living space that hopefully flows into a nice outdoor space as well.  As I mentioned above, I'd like a loft-like or second story room with lots of windows for an airport view... ideally that would be my home office but wife has already banished my home office to the hangar because of what my current office looks like in our current house.  :P  The elevated room could be a TV room, work-out space, overflow guest space, etc.  I'd like a half-basement for mechanicals, deep storage, and another mutli-purpose room.

If you aren’t a builder and wish to do it yourself I’ll amend my expectation. Triple the budget and quadruple the time. 
Building is not a difficult job, but people do heavily dismiss the benefit of the relationships and experience.
Almost anyone can do it but the learning curse is steep and unless you are retired and working full time on your job site, driving by it during work to check up isn’t going to work as well as you think. 
While most could, it’s like anything else, people who’ve been doing it for a long time tend to make it look easy, and while it isn’t complicated per say, it is not.
Imagine mentally deficient 40 year old kindergartners with substance abuse and anger management issues, who have the the added benefit of being pathological serial fibbers and are incapable of using any device that reads time or dates!  Now manage that remotely. What could go wrong?
 

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This may seem simplistic, but before you pour any concrete, make sure that, long term, you can exercise control over the airport.  The present owner won't live forever.

Who owns the runway?

People have been taken by surprise when the runway was sold off, or closed after they built and find they have no legal recourse.  In one community near me, the owners of the runway threatened to close/sell off the runway property.  Needless to say, the residents were left in a very poor bargaining position.  They built because they knew and trusted the original airport owner-operator.  Sadly, his heirs were not into aviation.  The runway was just a piece of inherited property.

 

Edited by Mooneymite
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Here’s a idea we are working with. https://www.architecturaldesigns.com/house-plans/farmhouse-inspired-barndo-style-house-plan-with-massive-3-602-square-foot-garage-135185gra


The airpark lot(s) we are looking at would face east towards the runway. Instead of the two 16’ RV doors we’d install a 40’ bifold or hydraulic door and have our hangar/shop attached to the house. 
 

The dream of living with our plane(s) is getting closer to reality. 

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55 minutes ago, Fly Boomer said:

That's not a garage, that's a hangar!

Unfortunately, not one big door.  Two garage doors and one people door.

And it is TOO SMALL.

Zoning code for my county says any outbuildings are limited to 1/2 the square footage of the primary building finished space.  I calculated on what I considered finished space.  I counted the 500 sqft MIL apartment in the basement, but not the rest.  But I had wired it, painted the floor and walls, installed lighting.  I could have counted that.  And built it 50% larger.

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3 hours ago, nosky2high said:

The airpark lot(s) we are looking at would face east towards the runway. Instead of the two 16’ RV doors we’d install a 40’ bifold or hydraulic door and have our hangar/shop attached to the house. 

We have several homes in our airpark that have the hangar attached to the house; most are detached.  Our local building inspector takes a very dim view of attached hangars.  Even though attached garages with gasoline laden cars in them are okay, somehow an airplane with avgas in it is a "bomb' waiting to explode.

Check with the local inspector and see how thick the firewall has to be.

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50 minutes ago, Mooneymite said:

We have several homes in our airpark that have the hangar attached to the house; most are detached.  Our local building inspector takes a very dim view of attached hangars.  Even though attached garages with gasoline laden cars in them are okay, somehow an airplane with avgas in it is a "bomb' waiting to explode.

Check with the local inspector and see how thick the firewall has to be.

Good info. We’ve got those inquiries started. There appear to be a couple options regarding installing a fire suppression system to make both the homeowners insurance masters and local inspectors happy. It’s interesting that I can store tractors, toy hauler RVs, my one ton diesel truck with 100 gallon extended range tank in my garage and no one cares. Put in an airplane with around 50 gallons that is completely isolated and protected from the onboard electrical system and all the “expert” authorities go apetits.

For others info my quotes on the 40’ x 16’ Schweiss door options were $21k to $26k bifold vs hydraulic respectively. This will definitely be our forever house.

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