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Old 11-05-2011, 12:48 PM   #16
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


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Originally Posted by Nuieve View Post
and my own estimate,
What does that mean? How can you come up with your own estimate?

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Old 11-05-2011, 01:07 PM   #17
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


I cannot stress this enough. You are headed for big trouble if you do not have ONE knowledgeable man or woman running the whole show. And that person needs to have your confident vote that they can (and will) hold the authority to make the dozens of arbitrary decisions that come up almost every day.

You've heard it said that someone who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client. It holds true outside the courtroom also.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:15 PM   #18
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


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I cannot stress this enough. You are headed for big trouble if you do not have ONE knowledgeable man or woman running the whole show. And that person needs to have your confident vote that they can (and will) hold the authority to make the dozens of arbitrary decisions that come up almost every day.

You've heard it said that someone who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client. It holds true outside the courtroom also.
What happens to every single homeowner thinking they can act as the builder is the same thing all the time. They THINK that it's up to all the subs to make sure everything goes smooth. They don't think that it's a full time job and have to be there to run the job. They THINK that they can become a builder overnight by reading books and not being on the field and having any experience. Then they come to the internet when faced with a problem about a sub and ask if they should pay the sub or not, or ask legal advice.

Thinking you can become a builder overnight and build your own house takes years of experience.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:22 PM   #19
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


Although I don't know where you are building this house, I will admit your bids seem possibly a little high. But you do not have to go the "hired company" route. All you really need is, as I said, one person on the job all the time who knows what's what.

Have you shopped for a Construction Manager?
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:33 PM   #20
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


You mentioned that you know what comes after what. That's good. But It will seriously hurt you in the pocketbook if you do not also understand the importance of the WHEN of it all.

Proper and effective scheduling can (and very well may) make you or break you. You cannot simply do step one, then step two, then step three. This will destroy your project, and cost you close to double what it might have.

Have a look at this basic tool of the Project Manager.

http://www.cpmtutor.com/index.html

Take some time and try to understand how this whole scheduling thing works.
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:00 PM   #21
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


I would have to agree that $135 to $175 a sq' to only build a basic house on a level lot with no indirect costs would be high in my opinion (8' lid, gable roof, shingled, 3 bed 2 bath, 10 cabs in the kitchen, vinyl windows, fiberglass entry door, slab int. doors, 4x4 tile counters, and so on)
From your first post you were worried about all the measurements being right which took you a lot of time to get right with the architect. This sounds more like you are designing a small custom house.
As far as doing the concrete right that is going to be up to you to make sure that it is properly formed up, but if you have a good sub then you will not have to check to much. Form blowouts suck and never patch right, an unlevel slab creates a framing and flooring nightmare (1/4" in 10' max on a slab), out of wall plumbing is going to cost you, bad conctete will kill the job, a homeowner that knows everything and learned by books will have an expensive house.
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:26 PM   #22
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


Did you guys all drink to much coffee last night?

The poster needed a reality check---now he has had one.

That being said,a 1500 square foot home is not going to kill this man-----especially if he picks up on the good points brought up here.

Get good drawings--

hire a pro to help oversee the work---

learn the WHEN and the HOW---

Communicate clearly---

Be there to make the decisions----

Be prepared for screw ups and find solutions quickly--

Many of us have built (GCed) our own houses and survived---a few may have gone down in flames but those are the exception---not the rule.----Mike----
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:02 PM   #23
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


I am not as doom and gloom as some of the folks on this site about being your own GC. I know lots of people who have GC'd their own projects, some with great success, others have come to regret it. Here are a few comments on your specific question.

If you bring in a professional surveyor to lay out your house, they will bring professional quality instruments such as a transit and a level. These instruments have theoretical accuracy that far surpasses anything you are going to need. The great advantage of a professional surveyor is that they will drive the location stakes in places that are likely to survive construction (not necessarily at the building corners), and will provide offsets for the contractor to work off of. If you put the stakes right at the corners, they will almost certainly be damaged before you get to use them, and you will have to set them again.

Checking square can certainly be done using the 3-4-5 rule, however it is often the case that there are obstructions in the way, making it harder to perform this technique than you might like during construction. The surveyor will likely have an electronic transit, and can verify the position of all the formwork corners from any position on the lot, hence can work around obstructions.
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:47 PM   #24
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


another house i worked on where the homeowner wanted to be the general 2 years ago was also i nightmare... the homeowner out of nowhere decided they wanted to to a complete reno on an old dated house and turn it into a very high end much larger house.

when we started the job we were originally asked to just act as a one of a few subcontractors even though we are a turnkey high end company. we were hired to do the demolition, framing, and siding.. after about 3 weeks the homeowner was asking us all kinds of simple questions because he didnt have a clue.. we were pretty much baby sitting him the whole time. next thing we knew we were doing the decks. he wanted our drywall guy, our plumber, roofer. he wanted to do some of the small jobs inside such as minor framing modifications, the trim, the tile.. well needless to say he severely compromised sections of structure spec'd by the engineer in a few places.. he cut out the point load post which was supporting the main ridge beam in order to put a pocket door in... removed a header so to install a larger window.. anyhow point being what would have been a 4 month job had we been doing it start to finish turned into 15 months for the homeowner.. but we were long gone.
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:06 PM   #25
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


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I wrote a long post to you about this.
I erased it.

I will only say you are very likely headed for disaster as surely as though you were on a runaway freight train.

You need a good, experienced General Contractor in the most urgent way.

To be honest, I would run from you if you said all this to me about a potential project.

To answer your last question..... You can't. Because you are NOT a General Contractor. And it would take years to educate yourself enough to be one. You're a homeowner who wants to be in total charge.

That's fine if you insist and will have it no other way. But be aware of the probable poor outcome of this approach.

One of the best attributes of a GC is knowledge; knowing what has to be done, when it has to be done, and how it needs to be done, and how it will affect all other work to be done...... all weeks and months BEFORE any of that work is even begun. To be a GC, you should have already built this house, detailed step by detailed step, in your mind. Dimensions, specifications, details, and concepts should largely be memorized and at ready recall in your mind at a moment's notice.
As an answer to Nuieve I'm quoting you Willie T, because you are so EXACTLY right. So, Nuieve pls go an hire yourself a GC, even a retired GC who will help you thru the process. Otherwise, you risk a nightmare scenario, ending up in a mess, and you will learn nothing of any value.

As for your concrete footings and walls being 'off', its the least of your worries, because the building inspector will usually prevent that from happening (although not always). One thing he will not check is your bracing. Try to fix a concrete wall after it has shifted during the pour. Your worst nightmare.

As a person whom has built many houses, i can say the list of potential problems that can occur are endless, and solving them, one-by-one is how a GC learns his trade. It takes years. You need to first be in the trades at some level, before you can even function as a GC. The biggest problem you will encounter is managing the trades. They will not respect you, most will think you are an idiot for running the job yourself and that means they will run over you. You risk being abused, and humiliated by trades who will tell you what you want to hear. They will under perform, and over-charge. And what's worse, you will have no way of knowing. House building is no place for amateurs, please heed this advice or get ready for what could become one of the worst experiences of your life.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:30 PM   #26
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


I think some of you guys are being a bit harsh on the OP. Some of you seem to think that no one can do a little homework and build their own house.

Case in point.....I built a 2-story garage a couple of years ago. I have no construction experience. I'm good at woodworking (making furniture), but have no experience with general construction.

The link to my garage build is in my signature.....

I'm now in the process of doing a 2-story addition to my house. The garage was my training to do the house.

The question the OP is asking is actually a very good one.

Of the mistakes I made on my garage, the biggest one was not measureing the footing myself. Because I had not done concrete work before, I hired a contractor for that job.....I learned a lot....like hiring the actual concrete guy he used....and to double check the measurements. The contractor based the corner points of the foundation off the back block wall.....which was not straight....my garage foundation is 3" more north on one side....in other words, not perfectly square.

Second....half the anchor bolts were in the wrong place....I ened up having to move studs off 16" OC to clear the anchor bolts.

So, yea...measuring several times is a good thing.

I have a really good architect.....he actually learned a few things from me.....like, things that a GC or trade takes for granted, is not obvious to the none construction type like me....it helped him improve his drawings and details.

So....Nuieve...here are some of the things I have learned.

Make copies of the drawings and make plenty of marks on them. Each time you look at them, you will see something you didn't see before.

16" is one of the most important numbers. When your placing studs, think of where the edge of aa 4x8 sheet of drywall is going to fall....you want it to align on the center of the studd.

Anchor bolts....measure several times....and adjust when the concrete is being poured....they will move.

Everything is going to cost more than you expect.

Lumber dimensions will not be exact. I'm doing the floor joists for my second floor now....half of them were 11 3/8" wide....the other half around 11 1/8" wide....1/4" difference. I asked my architect about it....his comment...."Your building a house, not a piano."

When your selecting sub's....get references. In fact, selecting a sub is a whole new chapter.

Overall.....it's a lot of satisfaction.....just do the homework and ask a lot of questions.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:46 PM   #27
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


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Second....half the anchor bolts were in the wrong place....I ened up having to move studs off 16" OC to clear the anchor bolts.
Next time, bolt a plate board onto the foundation ledge. Build a wall with bottom plate, and stand the wall onto the wall plate. Nail the wall bottom plate into place. Cut notches, or hole drill the wall bottom plate where needed.

Don't place bolts into concrete that is too sloppy. Wait 10 or 20 min after troweling and and set your bolts into something firmer. They won't move.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:58 PM   #28
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


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Next time, bolt a plate board onto the foundation ledge. Build a wall with bottom plate, and stand the wall onto the wall plate. Nail the wall bottom plate into place. Cut notches, or hole drill the wall bottom plate where needed.

Don't place bolts into concrete that is too sloppy. Wait 10 or 20 min after troweling and and set your bolts into something firmer. They won't move.
Sorry....but that does not work with an anchor bolt that is 3' long and 1" in dia....



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Old 11-05-2011, 11:05 PM   #29
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Sorry....but that does not work with an anchor bolt that is 3' long and 1" in dia....
Regardless of the bolts gauge, the studded wall has a bottom plate, which nails onto the plate in your photo. If you're moving studs to accommodate anchor bolts, something is patently wrong.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:41 PM   #30
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


After seeing the pics this reminds me of the more basics of pouring a slab, don't forget to hold the bolts up to get the proper amount of threads after the nut and washer is installed along with holding them off the form so you have the proper centering on the plate. I am from the southwest area and a bolt that is 1" by 3' is not called an anchor bolt. Most anchor bolts are 5/8" or 1/2" depends on the area for residential, 1"x3" would be called a hold down bolt.

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Last edited by havalife; 11-05-2011 at 11:43 PM.
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