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Old 07-18-2013, 11:32 PM   #1
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Build My Own House?


Hello! So my wife and I have been toying with the idea of building our own home. We're very capable, handy and familiar with tools. I've done some framing and some roofing....enough to know I can probably frame a house. The things that intimidate me are things like electrical and plumbing and making sure everything is up to code and when you're supposed to get inspections and all that stuff. I'm sure there are lots of other things I don't know about but I know people do build their own homes all the time so it's not like it's a crazy idea. I think it would be such an awesome feeling to be able to stand back and be proud of what we've built.

So my question is, can anybody recommend some good sources of information regarding building a house (books or websites)? Things I should keep in mind or consider before taking on such a task? Things you've learned from personal experience? Thank you so much!

-Seth

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Old 07-19-2013, 03:29 AM   #2
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Build My Own House?


I built my own ,long ago---If you choose to do this, you must list all the different jobs and decide what you have the time to do and the skills.

Hire out the work you don't have time for---I hired out much of the work because,after starting the framing, I could tell I would not make my deadline if I did not.

Do you have any building experience?

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Old 07-19-2013, 05:13 AM   #3
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Build My Own House?


You can find all the codes online. The final word though comes from your local building authority. They will tell you what sort of paper work has to be presented in order to get a building permit and when to schedule inspections along the way. You will need to sort out a ton of important details at the building site before you can even apply for the permit. Municiple water vs well water. Sewer hook up vs septic system. Drainage issues. Setbacks, right of ways, driveway restrictions.

Once you have ironed out all the location parameters you can put together a building plan that fits the requirments of your lot.
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:15 AM   #4
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Build My Own House?


Adding your location to your profile may help/
Do you have the cash to build this? No lending institution is going to lend money to a DIY builder.
Are you able to take a year off to build this?
In most cases you would be way better off having it built to the dried in stage and you can finish the rest.
Leaving a house open as your building it slowly takes a real toll on the materials.
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:38 AM   #5
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Build My Own House?


You need to check with your local building officials to see what you can legally do as a homeowner. In many places, unlicensed folks, even homeowners, cannot do things like plumbing and electrical.

My wife and I live in a log home we designed and built almost entirely by ourselves. Been in it a couple of years now. But we had 30+ years of DIY experience in nine previous houses, and already had most of the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools. We did subcontract the foundation, HVAC, and metal roof. The only things we couldn't legally do (besides the HVAC) were the well and septic. We lived in our RV on the property for two years while doing the building.

Joecaption is correct in that you will not be able to get a loan without a licensed general contractor willing to guarantee the job will be completed. And I've never met one that would guarantee a DIYer's work.

Are you and your wife at the "maybe someday" stage, or closer? Do you already have a piece of land? How much money do you have saved up? Whatever you think the budget might be for your house, add about 50%, or even more if you need a well drilled - our well alone was $12,000). Can you read a blueprint? The plans for our house were almost 20 pages of various engineering details.

There is a series of books that proved invaluable to us. They're called "Code Check." There's one for plumbing, one for electrical, and one for just general home construction. They aren't expensive. You do need to know what codes apply in your location, since there are, for example, two quite different plumbing codes (the book covers both). There's also a small book called "Wiring Simplified" that might help you. It's sold at most big box stores, usually in the electrical section. It's only about $12.
Good luck in your endeavor. Whatever questions you may have, I'm sure you'll find the answers here.
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