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Old 11-01-2012, 06:47 PM   #1
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building a new home for $100,000?


Hi there,

Our dream is to own a home we actually like. At this point in our lives we've saved for years and are not even near the point of buying something decent (we live in LA).

I've looked into alternative methods of building and fell in love with cob/straw bale homes. I don't believe this method is legal in CA like adobe is (I know there are ways around this.. but it can complicate inspection and permits)

I am also interested in building with traditional materials I know this can be a lot more expensive, but easier on the inspection side.


We recently found land that has the concrete slab in tact (the house burned down due to arson) it has geology reports, approved concepts for the design, and so many other amazing perks. It seems like the best case scenario if you were to build your own house.

Details:
the home would be roughly 1300 sq feet.

I know a lot of contractors personally and have been quoted about $150/sq footage and thats a little bit steep..

Do you have any advice on how we can save money and perhaps ensure we don't go over our budget of $100k? If we were to use conventional construction methods?


Sorry I've rambled a bit. But any help is truly appreciated.

Thank you!

Gabrielle

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Old 11-01-2012, 06:53 PM   #2
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building a new home for $100,000?


Are you doing all labor or are you hoping to get something complete for your budget?

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Old 11-01-2012, 07:08 PM   #3
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building a new home for $100,000?


Myself, my step dad and perhaps two other people will be helping (trying to keep labor costs low)
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:16 PM   #4
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building a new home for $100,000?


so your wanting to use straw or is it a wood frame home?
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:21 PM   #5
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building a new home for $100,000?


hey there, we want to use those materials but in order for it to be up to code (from what I've been told) the house will have to have a post and beam structure as well..
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:27 PM   #6
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building a new home for $100,000?


Here is a suggestion---get your self a set of drawings----I suggest you stick with standard building practices---then come back with them and we will help with material take offs----

We also need to consider if the utilitys are still intact---sewer--water---gas----I figure the electric is gone so you need to find the cost of an over head drop or buried line----
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:36 PM   #7
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building a new home for $100,000?


Well to cut down on costs I would suggest Craigslist or manufacturer seconds (slight flaw,extras) for your doors and windows. You can save a few thousand easily right there. I have no experience with timber and straw but I would think that a standard wood frame would be quite similar in price
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:38 PM   #8
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building a new home for $100,000?


Straw and adobe usually go hand in hand. Do remember you are not talking about 4" framed walls with this method? If you are trying to adapt to existing slab foundation and plumbing, nothing may match up? You have to think in terms of straw bail width for all your infrastructure systems. You have nothing to nail electrical boxes too or anchor pipe. You may be forced to run everything surface which could be cool looking. I honestly do not know but rather than sneaking around and thinking you can get away with this? Why not talk with a designer or architect who has been down the path?

I would not assume you could not build this way but suspect you will not get away with it in LaLa Land. Straw and adobe construction is wonderful energy wise but it is not exactly a cheap method of construction to meet code. You did not say specifically, but I am assuming you are planning to stay in Southern California? A friend had a beautiful straw and adobe home in Santa Fe that an architect plunked perfectly on the small lot. I had my home in N California at the time and spent, in winter months, what he did for an entire year in heating and cooling.

Sorry to hear arsons took the house but I guess it works out alright for you if the building department says you are good to go. There is not a floor safe with coke and billions in pesos or a few million euros you need to resolve is there? I kid you not, friends closed and moved into a house in Cupertino only to find themselves surrounded by a swat team. They did not even know the home had the safe found (and they never asked what was in it). As soon as they flipped on the lights it was assumed somebody had come back. Police and DEA never checked to see the place had changed title. Funny story after the fact I guess.

Have you thought at all about prefab? I don't mean tacky stuff, I mean highend, factory assembled from a real architect's drawings house. A friend does them in Holland and they are so nicely constructed. No cheaper because his clients put whatever money they saved in a sticks and stones framed from piles dumped in the driveway approach to construction into enhanced finished work. Seems like your labor force would be as willing to help you finish a house as build it from scratch?

Go to the library or look online for possibilities. I remember a book called something like "Prefab Mansions" which is not your goal I know but it will help shatter the stigma and image that comes to your mind when I mentioned prefab and you were thinking trailer park? Sears sold houses once believe it or not and most in Illinois are historically registered. They were not exactly modular in the sense I am suggesting but were kits.




Google, DuckDuckGo or Bing search for books with the main title "Prefabulous". I think there are several in sort of a series by the same authors?




If you consider prefab you will need to find a builder, building designer or architect familiar with the technology. NO! They are not just for the rich and in fact architects have always saved me oodles on projects. All of mine even know how to hold or swing a hammer.

Believe it or not though, one of the obstacles to more prefab housing in this country is proximity of factories that can produce the modules to the construction sites. Only so many are allowed on highways in a given timeframe given they block lanes of traffic and weigh more than a few pounds. Can you imagine what people will be saying behind the wheel as your home moves near you on 101?

Now then let me bridle my enthusiasm. I doubt you are going to pull off even a small 1300sf home near anywhere in S California for $100K so be realistic about that. Won't permits, bribes and building inspectors cost you at least half that? Have you checked to be sure you can build on the foundation you have? It is still to code or can be grandfathered, etc.

Good luck. Could work out great. Do keep posting your progress? I walked away from a dream home project for myself once. I have lived in nice places but go for it when you can! I do like your approach of rescuing something from the ashes!

Last edited by user1007; 11-01-2012 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:42 PM   #9
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building a new home for $100,000?


I built my own home 24 years back----2400 sf----land not included--$114,000---including much labor--I did what I could---but had most done by hired help-----that was a long time back---2x6 walls super insulated---Anderson windows--hardwood floors----modest trim---6 months from ground breaking to move in---
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:29 PM   #10
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building a new home for $100,000?


two books by the same author.
BUILDING AN AFFORDABLE HOUSE
http://books.google.ca/books?id=0_bS...ed=0CDcQ6AEwAA

AFFORDABLE REMODEL
http://books.google.ca/books?id=8wuM...ed=0CDMQ6AEwAA

Building in 2' and 4' increments helps to reduce waste.
OVE framing practices save framing costs and increase insulation reducing ongoing heating costs.
Room sizes that utilize the size of flooring goods and drywall sheets.
Corners on the exterior of a house cost and by building square or rectangular you save. think colonial 2 story or saltbox styles.
Roof's with lots of valleys and jogs cost too.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:39 PM   #11
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building a new home for $100,000?


When we had our house insured, the estimate to rebuild was placed at $150k, not including furnishings and personal items. That is rebuilding a 821 sq ft with a basement and possible finished attic space of apx 700sqft.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:43 PM   #12
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building a new home for $100,000?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
I built my own home 24 years back----2400 sf----land not included--$114,000---including much labor--I did what I could---but had most done by hired help-----that was a long time back---2x6 walls super insulated---Anderson windows--hardwood floors----modest trim---6 months from ground breaking to move in---
No offense Bubba but this is where price discussions get dangerous. Kane County, IL was and is in a totally different orbit than where the OP lives.

Not a put down by the way. Just reminding you the difference.

And with the property values what they are? Workers have to pay their own rent and mortgages to have a roof over themselves. There is mass transportation in California but the unwritten law is nobody walks or takes a bus or train. And, it is really not cool to have more than one person and an inflatable passenger doll during commute hours. Carpooling in California may get you access to the commuter lane but it is the ultimate display of weakness. One car. One man or woman. It is the way it will always be out there.

I miss California so much!

Last edited by user1007; 11-01-2012 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:41 PM   #13
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building a new home for $100,000?


About $76.00/sq. ft.?...in LA?

I don't think so.

That will be your material costs.

And that will be one not-so-good-looking house.

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Old 11-01-2012, 11:37 PM   #14
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building a new home for $100,000?


Thank you very much for all of your input, the suggestions are especially helpful.

Thank you!

Gabrielle
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:41 PM   #15
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building a new home for $100,000?


I will keep all of this in mind, thank you for taking the time to write this. Will keep you all posted!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mae-ling View Post
two books by the same author.
BUILDING AN AFFORDABLE HOUSE
http://books.google.ca/books?id=0_bS...ed=0CDcQ6AEwAA

AFFORDABLE REMODEL
http://books.google.ca/books?id=8wuM...ed=0CDMQ6AEwAA

Building in 2' and 4' increments helps to reduce waste.
OVE framing practices save framing costs and increase insulation reducing ongoing heating costs.
Room sizes that utilize the size of flooring goods and drywall sheets.
Corners on the exterior of a house cost and by building square or rectangular you save. think colonial 2 story or saltbox styles.
Roof's with lots of valleys and jogs cost too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Straw and adobe usually go hand in hand. Do remember you are not talking about 4" framed walls with this method? If you are trying to adapt to existing slab foundation and plumbing, nothing may match up? You have to think in terms of straw bail width for all your infrastructure systems. You have nothing to nail electrical boxes too or anchor pipe. You may be forced to run everything surface which could be cool looking. I honestly do not know but rather than sneaking around and thinking you can get away with this? Why not talk with a designer or architect who has been down the path?

I would not assume you could not build this way but suspect you will not get away with it in LaLa Land. Straw and adobe construction is wonderful energy wise but it is not exactly a cheap method of construction to meet code. You did not say specifically, but I am assuming you are planning to stay in Southern California? A friend had a beautiful straw and adobe home in Santa Fe that an architect plunked perfectly on the small lot. I had my home in N California at the time and spent, in winter months, what he did for an entire year in heating and cooling.

Sorry to hear arsons took the house but I guess it works out alright for you if the building department says you are good to go. There is not a floor safe with coke and billions in pesos or a few million euros you need to resolve is there? I kid you not, friends closed and moved into a house in Cupertino only to find themselves surrounded by a swat team. They did not even know the home had the safe found (and they never asked what was in it). As soon as they flipped on the lights it was assumed somebody had come back. Police and DEA never checked to see the place had changed title. Funny story after the fact I guess.

Have you thought at all about prefab? I don't mean tacky stuff, I mean highend, factory assembled from a real architect's drawings house. A friend does them in Holland and they are so nicely constructed. No cheaper because his clients put whatever money they saved in a sticks and stones framed from piles dumped in the driveway approach to construction into enhanced finished work. Seems like your labor force would be as willing to help you finish a house as build it from scratch?

Go to the library or look online for possibilities. I remember a book called something like "Prefab Mansions" which is not your goal I know but it will help shatter the stigma and image that comes to your mind when I mentioned prefab and you were thinking trailer park? Sears sold houses once believe it or not and most in Illinois are historically registered. They were not exactly modular in the sense I am suggesting but were kits.




Google, DuckDuckGo or Bing search for books with the main title "Prefabulous". I think there are several in sort of a series by the same authors?




If you consider prefab you will need to find a builder, building designer or architect familiar with the technology. NO! They are not just for the rich and in fact architects have always saved me oodles on projects. All of mine even know how to hold or swing a hammer.

Believe it or not though, one of the obstacles to more prefab housing in this country is proximity of factories that can produce the modules to the construction sites. Only so many are allowed on highways in a given timeframe given they block lanes of traffic and weigh more than a few pounds. Can you imagine what people will be saying behind the wheel as your home moves near you on 101?

Now then let me bridle my enthusiasm. I doubt you are going to pull off even a small 1300sf home near anywhere in S California for $100K so be realistic about that. Won't permits, bribes and building inspectors cost you at least half that? Have you checked to be sure you can build on the foundation you have? It is still to code or can be grandfathered, etc.

Good luck. Could work out great. Do keep posting your progress? I walked away from a dream home project for myself once. I have lived in nice places but go for it when you can! I do like your approach of rescuing something from the ashes!

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