Startup List for South Tampa Maker/Hacker Space

I met with a contractor yesterday in South Tampa and have a tentative meeting with a second today. SLUG member Mul Duran also joined me and had a look around.

The first estimate came in at less than half what I expected! I’ll post more details once I have estimates from enough contractors to make a plan of action. The good news – the house has entirely new electrical and plenty of room to add capacity in the breaker box. The bad news – I haven’t found any yet!

Here is my tentative list of things that need to be done to get us moved in and opened up. To expedite opening our doors, my intention is to prepare the two main rooms of the house first and make them nice and usable. Once that is done, we’ll get the rest of the rooms done as quickly as time and money permits.

1. Clean out party – we need to empty the house of anything that doesn’t belong or that was left behind by contractors. 4-6 industrious volunteers could do this in half a day. Cost: Refreshments for crew. Hauling fee if we don’t have a volunteer with a truck. Things the owner would like to keep can be temporarily relocated to the garage.

2. Resurface the walls and ceiling and put down a base coat of primer. The drywall and plaster are in great shape structurally (no holes, etc.) but you can tell it was worked on by a series of people with varying levels of skill. I’d like to make sure the walls and ceiling look consistently textured and even – we need a nice canvas for painting.

3. Case three doors. Three interior doorways need casings.

4. Finish bathroom. Install toilet and sink. Remove or replace a row of broken tile.

5. Hang doors (stored in the garage).

6. Put down anti-static flooring to protect the existing wood floors. I’m thinking either commercial linoleum tile or that rubberized flooring you see in some workplaces.

7. Replace front and rear doors. They are glass and potentially a problem if someone bangs them too hard with project materials or equipment. Plus, I think we need more secure entry/exit portals.

8. Install basic security.

9. Install Wi-Fi and high speed Internet. I can donate a router and Brighthouse already has a box on the house.

10. Repair broken window at the front of the house.

11. Clear out critters from the crawlspace. Seal crawlspace and attic.

12. Move saws, tools, and furnaces from Jill Silver’s house to the space (we need someone with a truck!).

13. Paint the walls in the rooms we’re using immediately. (Cost: $50-$100 for materials plus snacks for volunteers).

14. Find someone to paint a mural on one wall of the main room.

Priorities after move-in (in no particular order)

1. Upgrade security with RFID keycards, cameras and a notification protocol.

2. Build out kitchen (it’s bare walls right now).

3. Build access ramp to the front door.

4. Make parking more usable. I see potential parking in the front for up to ten cars plus limited street parking. I also believe we could make friends with tenants in the little office building across the street and the automotive shop next door for plenty of after hours parking.

5. Clean up the yard.

6. Expand into four additional rooms and garage.

7. Install storage lockers for member project storage.

Potential Issues

The biggest potential issues I see are zoning and ADA compliance. I don’t have a clear understanding about whether rezoning would be required or if the existing zoning meets with our intended use. It’s not a business so I’m just not sure. If we have to rezone, the filing fee is $2,185 and it takes four months assuming the process moves along perfectly without delays. I don’t know if this can be done without an attorney.

For ADA compliance, I’m told that as long as we aren’t making changes that require a permit from the county or city, we don’t have to worry about this. However, I think the ramp in front is necessary regardless. The ramp also helps members who are wheeling in heavy items or for deliveries with hand trucks. With that said, I need an official opinion to be sure we are ok here as well.


  1. says

    Hey All(?)
    Might as well respond here. FYI I have a truck. My personal wish list is for EVERYONE TO Get ALONG. I love the idea and energy of a makerspace, and am committed to advancing this project We need planners, organizers, and doers- right brain, left brain, and everything in between. I am putting the call out to any democratic person or group that would like to participate to come on down. My personal intention, and promise, is to include everyone with a desire to learn, and/ or a desire to teach, to be welcome and valued. I believe that EVERYONE has something to share, contribute, or offer- some skills just untapped or unrealized.
    By cooperating, collaborating, and innovating, we can become not so much consumers, but producers, creating new entities from what is already here. And remember, (as Tampa Time Bank says) If it’s not fun…it’s not sustainable!

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