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Serving: West

Share a Shop: Neighbors Team Up to Save Money

Bill Huether and Paul Young says they saved lots of money by building a shop together.

"We were both talking about building our own shops," Young says. "But we realized we could build something bigger and better - and for less money - by building it together."

Young and Huether farm near Gayville, S.D.

Young was looking at buying a building in Yankton where he lives and converting it into a shop. But he wouldn't have been able to park equipment outside the shop like he would have on a farm.

Huether was thinking about building a shop on his farm. A 40 x 50-foot facility was in his budget, but he knew it would be smaller than he needed.

Together they build a 60 x 80 foot shop.

They split construction costs 50-50 and agreed if either quits farming, the other will buy out the partners' share at the original construction price.

They split utility bills and cost of shared shop tools.

They keep track of pooled supplies, such as oil, on a dry erase board posted in the shop and pay for what they use.

They each buy parts and supplies for their equipment and store them on separate racks so they don't them get mixed up.

They often work on equipment together.

"We both had our planters in there at the same time, so we were able to help each other out with that,"" Young says. "We never thought too much about it at first, but it's really safer to have someone around when you work on equipment, too."

Security is also better. There always seems to be somebody around the shop.

"I don't see any disadvantage to sharing a shop at all," Young says. "When you split the cost it is just an efficient way of doing business."

The shop has worked out so well that Young and Huether are now building a machine shed together.

Loretta Sorenson, Yankton, S.D., contributed to this article.

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