Working From Your Home

 

Before you do anything else you will want to check to make sure it is legal in your community for you to work at home.

 

Some things to consider.

  • How to you feel about clients coming to your house all hours.
  • Are you OK with them coming in the evening? Till how late?
  • How do you feel about clients coming on the weekends and on Sundays.

Generally, upholstery is not a trade that has a high volume of clients coming through the door. If you have half a dozen come by in a week you can consider yourself busy.

 

Home Occupation Legalities

Before starting a home based upholstery shop, make sure it is legal to operate a business out of your home and what the guidelines are. You can call or go down to the city hall and ask.  In my town the department to ask is the Community Development. In other towns it may be the Planning or zoning departmets. Ask about the laws and requirements for Home Occupations. You can also go to your town's website and search of Home Occupations.

In Home Occupations you have limits to what you can do. For some examples, see below.

Here is an example of one small town's home occupation standards. Check with your own city or county government to see what the guidelines are for your particular town or city.

Home Occupation Standards (Example)

A home occupation may be any occupation or profession which can be carried on by a
member of the family or person residing on the premises, provided that all of the following
conditions are met:
A. All signs shall comply with the requirements of the Independence Sign Code
– Subchapter 58.
B. There is no display that will indicate from the exterior that the building is being
used for any purpose other than residential.
C. There is no outside storage of materials.
D. There are no outside non-resident employees paid or unpaid.
E. A home occupation may be conducted in an accessory building. No more
than 500 square feet of floor area within any one or combination of accessory
buildings shall be devoted to a home occupation.
F. No dwelling shall be modified to accommodate a home occupation in such a
way as to alter the residential appearance of the dwelling or to render its
appearance incompatible with the neighboring residential buildings.
G. No home occupation shall be used as an assembly point for employees or
assistants to be dispersed or assigned to other locations.
H. There shall be no more than three (3) commercial vehicle deliveries to or from
the home occupation site daily. There shall be no commercial vehicle deliveries
between the hours of 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
I. Except for bed and breakfast establishments, there shall be no more than
one (1) client’s or customer’s vehicle at any one time and no more than eight (8) per
day at the home occupation site.
J. One commercially-licensed vehicle associated with the home occupation is
allowed is allowed at the home occupation site daily. It shall be of a size that would
not overhang into the public right-of-way when parked in the driveway or other
location on the home occupation site.
K. The home occupation can be conducted in a safe and healthful manner and
not create unusual fire or safety hazards, potential health problems or be in violation
of any federal, state or local law or ordinance.
L. The home occupation does not create any nuisance conditions as defined by
the City's nuisance ordinance.

Prohibited Home Occupation Uses:

A. Any activity that produces radio or TV interference, noise, glare, vibration,
smoke, or odor beyond allowable levels as determined by local, state, or federal
standards, or that can be detected beyond the property lines is prohibited.
B. Any activity involving on-site retail sales is prohibited, except that the sale of
items that are incidental to a permitted home occupation is allowed. For example,
the sale of lesson books or sheet music by a music teacher or the sale of computer
software from computer consultants, and similar incidental items for sale by home
business are allowed subject to all other provisions of this chapter.
C. Any uses described in this section or uses with similar objectionable impacts
because of motor vehicle traffic, noise, glare, odor, dust, smoke or vibration, such
as:

  1. Ambulance service;
  2. Animal hospital, veterinary services, kennels, animal boarding;
  3. Auto and other vehicle repair; and
  4. Repair, conditioning, or storage of motorized vehicles, boats,recreational vehicles, airplanes, or large equipment on-site.

Reference

Subchapter 72: Home Occupations

Creating a Homebased Upholstery Shop

Since we are moving to a new house, this seems like a good time to write about how to set up a shop in your house or garage. Before you get started, check out the Home Occupation Legalities.

Some people build a shop to fit their needs. This article will be written from the viewpoint of fitting my needs within what space I have available. In addition, in complying with the Home Occupation guidelines, I am limited in the space that I'm allowed to use. So, the shop, and my business, will have to be set up to stay within both the physical space and the legal boundaries.

elm st shop layoutIn setting up a shop I often find it advantages to draw a layout. Here is an example of one I drew before I set up my previous shop in my garage. Before I drew the layout I measured the size of my shop and all the tables and fixtures that would be in the shop. Then I drew each piece to scale and moved the pieces around until I was satisfied with it.

 

 

Considerations:

  1. What is our physical space?
  2. What are the different tables and fixtures than need to be in the shop?
  3. What types of tools and supplies are necessary, and where will they be stored?

This is a companion article to a Forum message thread located here: Carrs Corner: Setting Up a Home-Based Business.