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Old 11-06-2011, 01:15 AM   #31
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


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Originally Posted by havalife View Post
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.
You are correct. All my anchor bolts are 5/8". In addition, I have about 7 hold down bolts....including some of those PAB bolts....

I 'almost' had an issue with one of the PAB bolts. When I was setting the height, I used the larger of the hold downs...well...one of the hold downs that uses the same size bolt has a high foot....I lucked out...the top of the bolt just breaks the last thread on the nut.

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Old 11-06-2011, 01:40 AM   #32
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


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You are correct. All my anchor bolts are 5/8". In addition, I have about 7 hold down bolts....including some of those PAB bolts....

I 'almost' had an issue with one of the PAB bolts. When I was setting the height, I used the larger of the hold downs...well...one of the hold downs that uses the same size bolt has a high foot....I lucked out...the top of the bolt just breaks the last thread on the nut.
You are using a single plate. There's a number of reasons for the double plate. When building houses its difficult to get the concrete walls perfectly square. On the first plate, (cap plate) which is bolted and can follow the concrete, snap the lines for the walls which will fit perfectly square. We measure both diagonals for square, peg some nails, then snap the lines. The second plate, the wall plate, fits onto those lines. They are usually not running perfectly parallel with the cap plate. This layout step is very important because you want to be square at the top.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:54 AM   #33
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


????????????

I have a sub-floor.....the floor joists fit on top of the mud plates (PT wood). Floor sheathing sits on top of the floor joists.....I can put walls just about anywhere I want them. On those walls that have hold down bolts....given the height of the floor joists....I can be off about an inch and still capture the hold down.

I would need pictures to understand what your describing.....I don't see how you could make that work on a slab.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:04 AM   #34
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I would need pictures to understand what your describing.....I don't see how you could make that work on a slab.
For pictures, just look at any drawings, elevations of any framed dwelling. You will see a double plate of three inches on top of the concrete wall. The bottom plate, usually a 2X8 is bolted. The next plate belonging to the wall assembly is nailed onto first plate. Framing which is on slab, such as bsmt partition walls, yes, one plate is fine, but slabs are not load bearing. Such walls are not necessarily bolted.

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Old 11-06-2011, 08:53 AM   #35
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


james is correct. we set our anchor bolts about 30 minutes after we have trowelled, it lets teh concrete get stiff before we set them. also 6' o.c is code here but i like to do 4' o.c so to keep the mud sil nice and tight to the concrete which makes the stick framing process more accurate reducing the chance of having studs 1/8 to 1/4" short
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:34 PM   #36
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


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What does that mean? How can you come up with your own estimate?
I'll do my own sub quotes+materials cost+labor+additional stuff. The goal of doing this is to see how much money, theoretically, and in most favorable conditions I can potentially save. I know I'll do TONS of mistakes, and my project will cost me good 10-20k more than normal. By doing this I'll see if it's worse taking a big risk of self building. As I said, if by my estimates I can build it for 50k less, I'll go for it. My mistakes will cost me about 10-20k, I assume, but still I should be well ahead. If the difference is 20-30k, I'll hand the job over to a professional GC.

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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?
I'm leaning strongly towards hiring one. This is the first time I've had anyone recommend such a person, so I will need to research a little bit on this vs GC.

But yeah, you guys scared the crap out of me. Those book sound like "you want design your own space ship? You CAN DO IT if you read this book till the end..." Not that I'm THAT naive, but stories of my relatives were pretty encouraging. ALL of them, when they heard that I planned to hire GC (originally) were surprised "why don't you build it yourself?"
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:49 PM   #37
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


Nuieve....tried to send you a PM.....
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:19 PM   #38
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do you know how to estimate materials first off. i had to do three courses on it for my carpentry diploma. one of the courses was credited towards my actual apprenticeship.. had it not been for the course i wouldnt know how to estimate..

hell the estimators for big companys dont know how to estimate.. they never account for waste, extra needed for bracing, blocking. a few big developers here are notorious for this.. they only allow for what exactly is needed, if your the framer and you need extra wood its coming out of your pocket, hence why they have such a hard time hiring any good framing crews and why this developer gets sued by homeowners.. because the the houses have structural problems a) because not enough structure went into em.. 2) the framers arent getting paid enough so they hack it as fast as possible to move on to a better paying house
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:53 PM   #39
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


Time out

This thread is interesting to me for a couple of reasons. In my case, I came to the wrong type of forum (DIY) looking for opinions on current market rates for a management contract and got politely told where to go. Meanwhile, in a neighbouring thread, I encounter the anti-matter universe where a guy with no experience is airing his story on how and why he's about to GC his own job. Opinions clash, people line up on both sides of the argument, and we are here. This has the foundation to grow into a good story as it unfolds.
For one thing, i'm about to estimate and price a residential job, and then run the job. Theoretically, i am a professional. So its pro verse amateur, in a two-business-case comparative scenario. The story gets richer. From the gallery, we have a fellow from our industry who adds a bit of magic to the mix. He has discovered that he knows how to estimate well, based on experience, and furthermore that many of his peers in the field are lacking. He brings added value to the story.
Ok end time out, back to the controversy.
I'd like to make a point. The GC should bring value to the project. The role is legitimate. The shoes need to be filled for a reason. I'll get to that next post, after a slice of pizza..
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:43 AM   #40
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


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Nuieve....tried to send you a PM.....
I have no PM option (yet?). Can't send or receive them. Maybe I need to post a few more posts to gain it...

Speaking of deficient structure... One of the books advises that when I hire a carpenter (sub), and of course they recommend to spend the most time finding a really good one as carpenter is the most important sub (and foundation guys), getting recommendations from lumber yards, see which ones are the most popular, get references etc... then advises to allow the sub to order missing lumber on their own because as someone mentioned, supplier's estimates/calculations are never accurate, so whatever is missing - the sub can order on their own.

But what IF... the sub simply decides to use shortcuts and my structure ends up being deficient... will I be able to sue the sub later? When we speak deficient, do we mean not meeting minimum code requirements (dangerous, weak, unstable structure), or just not being perfect?
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:10 AM   #41
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


On estimating: For a one house project, the price at the lumber yard for dimensional lumber will be higher (somewhat) than if you are a production builder negotiating a package for say 50 or 200 houses. But will the GC contractor rate be significantly lower than the DIY one time builder? No, they should both be able to get about the same contractor rate. The contractor desk will estimate your package off the drawings and deliver the bundle. I never work this way. Being a framer, I'm used to doing my own take-off and placing the order. Because i have never let the lumber yard do my work, i can't say which method is better, but at the end of the day, they are probably about the same. I always end-up going to the yard for more boards toward the end of the stick-framing, usually just 2X4's. Some framers compared to others, are more conscientious about waste. General rule, the more seasoned is the crew, the smaller the waste pile will be. But rough lumber is just one part of the over-all project cost. Needless to say this is a great time to be getting deals on lumber, if looking in the context of the last construction boom/bust cycle. To summarize this paragraph, the DIY contractor should in my opinion, not be at any disadvantage in acquiring lumber verses the experienced contractor, because either the framer or the lumber desk can handle the order efficiently. The framer will probably insist on placing the order anyway.

On the steel reinforcing, I always sub out the walls (not the footings), unless i'm doing footings and walls in one single pour. There's nothing like a professional steel crew hitting the job at noon and gone by 4PM, with everything placed and tied perfectly. And no one on the job with bleeding hands thereafter lol.

Let's discuss windows. Just like roofers, the salesmen will beat your door down, so getting a competitive price is easy. On this job I am about to take on, I'll order the windows from the factory.. I can either send the plans, and they will quote, or i will do the take-off myself. The price for vinyl windows will be about $200 a lite, and the framer will be asked to install. It means i will need to pick up the windows at the factory, but i will get them low-cost, and fast, when i need them.

So the roof is on ready for covering, the windows and doors are in, and we are at lock-up. Five or six weeks have passed, and hypothetically the job so far has gone without a hick-up. We passed all the framing inspections, everyone did their job well, the electricians are in, the plumbers are working, and next week the boarders will be on the job.

So let's look at where the DIY could save money so far in the schedule. In theory if the guy works hard at it, wearing out everyone concerned along the way with a lot of questions, and suffering a bit having a hard time making the right calls, he can probably stumble his way through the first six weeks of the job and should be able to get about the same prices as i will get. Any reader ' with experience' disagree thus far?

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Old 11-07-2011, 09:10 AM   #42
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I know the prices vary depending on the type of home being built and locations but what I find disturbing is that the prices can vary vastly from one GC to another for the same home. One quote will run $75 sqft while another GC will quote $130 sqft.

That tells me that there is A LOT of fat when these guys GC a home. Everyone needs to make money but come on, how does one go from $75 to $130 sqft for the same home with the same finishes?

When I was shopping for a GC for a custom 2-story home
with 3,200 sqft, I was quoted as low as $75 sqft to as high as $175 sqft. A $320k difference!?!?!?!

Plus with a 2-story home, the costs are lower than a ranch because the footprint is smaller and a 2nd floor should always be less $$$ than the 1st floor.

This tells me that GC's are making a killing on some homes with the prices they charge. Hence the reason why people don't trust them and want to be their own GC.
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:45 PM   #43
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Acceptable footing/foundation dimensions deviations


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I know the prices vary depending on the type of home being built and locations but what I find disturbing is that the prices can vary vastly from one GC to another for the same home. One quote will run $75 sqft while another GC will quote $130 sqft.

That tells me that there is A LOT of fat when these guys GC a home. Everyone needs to make money but come on, how does one go from $75 to $130 sqft for the same home with the same finishes?

When I was shopping for a GC for a custom 2-story home
with 3,200 sqft, I was quoted as low as $75 sqft to as high as $175 sqft. A $320k difference!?!?!?!

Plus with a 2-story home, the costs are lower than a ranch because the footprint is smaller and a 2nd floor should always be less $$$ than the 1st floor.

This tells me that GC's are making a killing on some homes with the prices they charge. Hence the reason why people don't trust them and want to be their own GC.
There will be a very wide range of experiences in this situation, among the general population. In other words, people having a go at running their own job, without foreknowledge of what market rates are or how to go about it.

You perhaps received a quote at the low end on some basis like job management (owner pays the cost) from a guy winging it, left out costs, and hiring trades at the bottom of the food-chain while comparing that to the other end of the price spectrum, a turn-key price where GC deliverers a quality-built home and carries the financing and a new home warranty to boot. The comparison made above could be apples to oranges. If you have three professional and competitive quotes, on the same contractual basis, they should not be that far apart.

There's a baseline of knowledge that you must have in order to run a job like this. For example you need to be able to read a set of drawings, understand the trade-hiring process, and the inspection process. Its a long list of things you need to know to make a job run smoothly and crisis manage it along the way. If you hire a PM firm on cost plus 15% basis, you will have a professionally managed job, job accounting done professionally, change-orders properly documented, etc.

Construction management is a professional service like architectural, or engineering. A blanket statement that people don't trust GC's and calling it a norm, is not to be taken seriously.
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:50 PM   #44
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Construction management is a professional service like architectural, or engineering. A blanket statement that people don't trust GC's and calling it a norm, is not to be taken seriously.
I'm sorry but it is true. Most people have a distrust for GCs. Ever watch 'Holmes on Homes?' It's an entire series based on bad GCs and the misery they leave behind for homeowners to deal with. Do you see how many horrible builds there are out there? Do you see how many people get ripped off everyday?

Unfortunately there are A LOT of bad apples out there when it comes to GCs.

Just like the OP is getting into a headache IF he GC's his own home but he is also getting into a headache if he finds a bad GC. Finding a good GC that will not rip you off and not build a sub-par home is just as hard as GC your own home.

I have 2 family members that are GC's in another state. They are good GCs but I also know that they make tons of money on homes. As I said, everyone needs to make money, but the problem I have is when they gouge the homeowner.
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:43 PM   #45
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I'm sorry but it is true. Most people have a distrust for GCs. Ever watch 'Holmes on Homes?' It's an entire series based on bad GCs and the misery they leave behind for homeowners to deal with. Do you see how many horrible builds there are out there? Do you see how many people get ripped off everyday?

Unfortunately there are A LOT of bad apples out there when it comes to GCs.

Just like the OP is getting into a headache IF he GC's his own home but he is also getting into a headache if he finds a bad GC. Finding a good GC that will not rip you off and not build a sub-par home is just as hard as GC your own home.

I have 2 family members that are GC's in another state. They are good GCs but I also know that they make tons of money on homes. As I said, everyone needs to make money, but the problem I have is when they gouge the homeowner.
I don't watch Holmes, but you could do a TV show on many professions, and quasi-professionals from surgeons, GP's and dentists thru to lawyers, RE agents, roofers, appraisers and auto mechanics and find one horror story after the other, if there was an audience for it. Home construction/ rennovation is something that touches a broad audience. I don't think its accurate to say GC's have a sweepingly sullied reputation among the general public. In the cities where i have worked, most residential new home construction is managed by someone in-charge who is knowledgeable in the industry. When i was working as a sub-contractor framing, i almost never came a cross anyone green in charge of the job and i would bid sometimes 10 houses a week. So i beg to differ on that point. That may be your perception, but the industry functions differently than your perception. For example, you wouldn't go to the permits office in your city and expect to find any great percentage (maybe 1% or 2%) of the homes being built where construction is managed by a person who is green with no experience in the field. Call up a building inspector in your jurisdiction and ask the question. It would be interesting to hear the answer.

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