I think I'm going to slowly take the next steps to outfit the shop for future purposes, even if that means it's not necessarily the the smartest choice.
The construction of the shed (142-144sqft) is as follows - it sits on cinder blocks on one side, ground (maybe - can't see) on the opposite side, with a ramp up to floor level. Inside and out for the walls is plywood. I'm not sure how thick the outside is, but the inside can't be more than 1/4" thick. I believe it has 2x4' stud construction, although I believe at least in parts they are horizontal studs. There is some measure of insulation in the walls. The floor looks to be of a MDF or MDO construction.
Since it sits on a hill, the underneath is exposed to the wind under a skirt that they tried to bridge the gap. Tried, but not successfully. The ceiling is the same 1/4" plywood, and it looks to be 2x4 construction in the rafters. Roof is in great shape, as are the shingles. Window is poor, but it's a window. Doors need to be replaced. There is a floodlight on the outside over the door, a light fixture inside in the middle, and one grounded outlet box - all hooked to no electricity. Apparently they ran some Romex over the ground at one point as temporary power but that got quickly discontinued (all this from the neighbor).
What I'd like to do is knock it down and build a 500sqft heated and powered shop out back. I then realize I should probably wake up and go to work. There's the possibility of adding power at some point. No reason to add plumbing, and I'm not sure adding a heat source in something that small would be safe. But, I do have some ideas of how to make things a bit more tolerable.
1) I'd like to make it a bit warmer in the winter.
I thought of a couple of ways to do this. First, since I'll most likely have some extra material from another project, is to get under the shed and insulate the floor as best I can. I'm not sure I want to extend the skirt down any further though. I defer to the experts, though.
Secondly, I'd like to rip out all of that super thin plywood from the walls and ceiling and put up either drywall or OSB. I know I'd prefer OSB. I'll be putting in a query to the local building code office to see if I need a firewall, but on a freestanding structure I don't think I'll be restricted in that way. I'll also probably be replacing the insulation and putting new in. I'll also be looking at the studs and may see if I can engineer vertical segments.
2) Planning for power
Since I'll be putting in new walls, I might as well put in a couple of more outlets, and make sure they are done right. I may pre-wire for some shallow ceiling lights, but I haven't decided about that yet. All of the existing wiring will be removed in the process. The outlets will be at bench height for better access.
3) Replacing the doors
I should have done this awhile back. I've got a plan for it, just need to do it.
4) Level in front
I have a decision to make if I want a level surface in front - grade the ground, or make a deck. Making a deck would probably be easier and less expensive, right?
Here's a question for you legal eagles. I was already told that renovation on the inside was allowed without permit as long as I wasn't doing HVAC, plumbing or electrical. If I'm redoing the wiring, but not going to hook it up to a live circuit at the time, would that still be considered needing a permit?
Any input on this? I wish I could just start over, but it's just not practical.