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Old 07-12-2011, 11:42 AM   #31
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How many here have ever taken on building their own home?


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Originally Posted by DexterII View Post

The only thing that I would add is that there are a lot of houses on the market, and nobody will ever convince me that building a house is less costly than buying an existing one.
In todays market I would have to agree with 100%. I am willing to bet even with all the money I saved doing the work myself I could not get back the money I have in it if I were to sell it

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Old 07-12-2011, 11:46 AM   #32
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How many here have ever taken on building their own home?


about the spray foam, in my opinion yes it is well worth the extra money spent. You'll have the tighest most energy efficient envelope money can buy. In my location of central Iowa where the winters can be very brutal, it will be worth every extra penny
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:09 PM   #33
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How many here have ever taken on building their own home?


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Originally Posted by J S Machine View Post
Great!

So what exactly did you build - how big? And did you do the work yourself or hire it out?
I built a "rancher" -- all one floor. 28x56 outside dimensions = 1568 sq ft.

As many of you already know, I am an electrical contractor. In 1988, I was trying to get financing to build a house. I had a builder all lined up, because this was a state-sponsored bond issue for 1st time home buyers.

Since I was self-employed, the financing fell through.

The bank made us jump through all kinds of hoops, -- hoping I suppose that we would fail to meet one of their so-called requirements. We completed all their tasks and then they finally told me they didn't believe we would pay the loan, and turned us down. After putting up with all their requests and shenanigans, etc over 3 months!! IF they didn't want to lend us the money, they could have told me so in the first place, instead of beating around the bush for so long!!

So, I went to my regular local bank, where I have my business accounts. I asked them if I could take out a construction loan, and then convert it to a mortgage. I would build it myself I assured them. "Are you licensed to build a house?" they asked. Well SURE, I have a construction license right here!! Since a couple of areas where I hold professional licenses require the construction license, I was all set!!

Business was slow that winter, and I had 2 guys on the payroll. I presented to them they could either go on unemployment, or the 3 of us could build a house. They opted to build the house with me.

3 electricians then proceeded to build the house, with me as the lead person. I had been around enough construction that I had a pretty good idea what to do, and what not to do, as I had seen both good and lousy houses in my days.

We got it all framed up in a couple of months, with some delays for bad weather (it WAS winter, after all!). I can remember shoveling snow out of my partially completed house, with the interior rooms framed up, but no ceiling or roof yet!!

By the time spring arrived, we got busy doing electrical work again, so I subbed out the siding and roofing to one of my customers. Once it was under roof, I installed the wiring (imagine that!) and started on the plumbing.

Did I mention that I hate doing plumbing?

I got the plumbing about half done, and got frustrated with it (I hate plumbing, you know), and then hired a plumber friend to finish it up for me. We worked together on many projects, so there was no problem getting him to come over and finish it for me.

My plumber got his cousin to do the HVAC work for me. We put in the most energy efficient A/C unit available at that time, a whopping 10 SEER.

I installed all the insulation (got itchy a few times) which consisted of unfaced fiberglass in the walls and ceilings, and Foil-Ray covering it all! It looked like a refrigerated walk-in box before we hung the drywall. The original Foil-Ray was imported from Holland at the time, but it's more readily available these days. The only insulation under the floor is Foil-Ray. Fiberglass is not a good material to use in a crawl space around here, due to the high humidity in summer. Fiberglass would only absorb moisture, and then be useless.

I had another contractor friend come over to do the drywall, but we did all the painting. I also did the finish carpentry and doors, etc myself.

Finally, we had a local flooring place install all the carpet and vinyl flooring. Again, one of my customers.

All in all, it was a great experience being the general contractor, and doing much of the work ourselves.

The bank was happy as well. IT was originally a 20 year loan, which we paid off in 17 years. Never missed a payment, and I think we were late only once or twice during the life of the loan. Take THAT, you other stinkin' bank!!

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Old 07-12-2011, 09:26 PM   #34
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How many here have ever taken on building their own home?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
I built a "rancher" -- all one floor. 28x56 outside dimensions = 1568 sq ft.

As many of you already know, I am an electrical contractor. In 1988, I was trying to get financing to build a house. I had a builder all lined up, because this was a state-sponsored bond issue for 1st time home buyers.

Since I was self-employed, the financing fell through.

The bank made us jump through all kinds of hoops, -- hoping I suppose that we would fail to meet one of their so-called requirements. We completed all their tasks and then they finally told me they didn't believe we would pay the loan, and turned us down. After putting up with all their requests and shenanigans, etc over 3 months!! IF they didn't want to lend us the money, they could have told me so in the first place, instead of beating around the bush for so long!!

So, I went to my regular local bank, where I have my business accounts. I asked them if I could take out a construction loan, and then convert it to a mortgage. I would build it myself I assured them. "Are you licensed to build a house?" they asked. Well SURE, I have a construction license right here!! Since a couple of areas where I hold professional licenses require the construction license, I was all set!!

Business was slow that winter, and I had 2 guys on the payroll. I presented to them they could either go on unemployment, or the 3 of us could build a house. They opted to build the house with me.

3 electricians then proceeded to build the house, with me as the lead person. I had been around enough construction that I had a pretty good idea what to do, and what not to do, as I had seen both good and lousy houses in my days.

We got it all framed up in a couple of months, with some delays for bad weather (it WAS winter, after all!). I can remember shoveling snow out of my partially completed house, with the interior rooms framed up, but no ceiling or roof yet!!

By the time spring arrived, we got busy doing electrical work again, so I subbed out the siding and roofing to one of my customers. Once it was under roof, I installed the wiring (imagine that!) and started on the plumbing.

Did I mention that I hate doing plumbing?

I got the plumbing about half done, and got frustrated with it (I hate plumbing, you know), and then hired a plumber friend to finish it up for me. We worked together on many projects, so there was no problem getting him to come over and finish it for me.

My plumber got his cousin to do the HVAC work for me. We put in the most energy efficient A/C unit available at that time, a whopping 10 SEER.

I installed all the insulation (got itchy a few times) which consisted of unfaced fiberglass in the walls and ceilings, and Foil-Ray covering it all! It looked like a refrigerated walk-in box before we hung the drywall. The original Foil-Ray was imported from Holland at the time, but it's more readily available these days. The only insulation under the floor is Foil-Ray. Fiberglass is not a good material to use in a crawl space around here, due to the high humidity in summer. Fiberglass would only absorb moisture, and then be useless.

I had another contractor friend come over to do the drywall, but we did all the painting. I also did the finish carpentry and doors, etc myself.

Finally, we had a local flooring place install all the carpet and vinyl flooring. Again, one of my customers.

All in all, it was a great experience being the general contractor, and doing much of the work ourselves.

The bank was happy as well. IT was originally a 20 year loan, which we paid off in 17 years. Never missed a payment, and I think we were late only once or twice during the life of the loan. Take THAT, you other stinkin' bank!!

That's a great story man. I enjoyed that
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:01 PM   #35
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How many here have ever taken on building their own home?


Guess I'll add my effort here to show that even an old guy can do it. I started mine when I retired and am still working on it.
Actually, I only started the construction about 9 months ago.
Before that, I logged and chain saw milled all the lumber in the house from the land's yellow pine and cedar, then sticker stacked it and let it air dry for about a year.
Although not finished yet, the house (24'x48') is dried in and includes a 8x16 covered porch on each gable end.
It sits on (16) 6"x8"x12' sills which sit on (36) 6x6x30" red heart cedar posts (well braced) which in turn sit on (36) 10"dia. piers buried 18" in the ground.
It has 2x6 walls and 2x8 joists spanning 8'.
I also made my own trusses and installed them myself.
(Try raising and installing 6/12 pitch, 24' trusses by your lonesome; it kind of takes a McGiver mindset)
Hope to get it liveable by this time next year; by then I'll be 67.

If your're a young guy, it should be a piece of cake.
That is, if you have the TIME and the WILLINGNESS to stick with it. You might be surprised what you can do even by yourself it you really put your mind to it ( a few muscles help also).

Arky
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:30 PM   #36
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How many here have ever taken on building their own home?


We started last year. We paid liscensed contractors to do the digging, concrete, plumbing and dryin package.
Had to have an inspector out for the sewer we had to do a couple of things to improve that.
We had to get a permit to do the electrical ourselves. Cost us $200. It expires next year. The inspector has been out twice and had some great suggestions for us.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:57 AM   #37
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How many here have ever taken on building their own home?


I have not read the thread so I have no idea what others have said yet.

that said.

TALK TO YOUR CITY, THEN COUNTY, AND THEN STATE. Cover your butt!!!

You need to have ALL building up to code. From plumbing to electrical, to HVAC to all carpentry work. You're biggest expense, is going to be education in knowing what you're doing. Seriously. This is not a shed project, this is not like building a friggen dog house.

If for any reason your house exceeds the square footage allowed per the size of your lot, as new construction, you can be fined incredible amounts. A project that would cost $60,000 can become $300,000 easily. Between costs of inspectors over and over, building to code, etc. etc. etc.

Seriously, I'd recommend buying an older home and remodeling, or designing the home with a home building computer software, consult an engineer on what needs to be added/changed up. And then hand the prints over to a building contractor, and have them build it.

Liability in building a home by yourself, is astronaumical incredible. You're talking about a project that can completely destroy you if something goes wrong.
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:23 PM   #38
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Seriously, I'd recommend buying an older home and remodeling, or designing the home with a home building computer software, consult an engineer on what needs to be added/changed up. And then hand the prints over to a building contractor, and have them build it.
You should read the posts before commenting. The Original post says they already own a home (don't want a fixer-upper) and want to build their own home (don't want to hire). They were asking for input from others who have been down that road.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:11 PM   #39
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You should read the posts before commenting. The Original post says they already own a home (don't want a fixer-upper) and want to build their own home (don't want to hire). They were asking for input from others who have been down that road.
Unless his state says otherwise, him not having existing blue prints made, and signed off by a Civil Engineer, he can't legally build a house at all unless his state laws say otherwise.

Not hiring out key parts of construction, is a liability nightmare. Kids friend stays the night, house catches fire, kids friend is injured? Goes straight onto the person who did the electrical work. i.e. him.

Guest uses the shower and gets electrocuted? He's the one liable.

Gas leaking through the ventilation system due to bad HVAC? He's liable.

If he doesn't know what he's doing, and doesn't have blueprints, and his work doesn't meet blueprints/code. A project like this can absolutely destroy him.

There's no way he's going to do it all himself, without hiring out parts that need to be hired out.

Building ones own home, is a massive liability nightmare.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:21 PM   #40
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How many here have ever taken on building their own home?


Some live in fear of the 'what if's '

I always tried to teach my kids that 'the only people who don't make mistakes are people who never do anything.'
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:18 PM   #41
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Unless his state says otherwise, him not having existing blue prints made, and signed off by a Civil Engineer, he can't legally build a house at all unless his state laws say otherwise.




There's no way he's going to do it all himself, without hiring out parts that need to be hired out.

you have so little faith in your fellow DIYer. I did all that stuff by myself, from running gas lines, to electrical, to HVAC, to plumbing, EVERYTHING. I did not have any blueprints any designs or any permits ( except electrical). My bank signed off on it my insurance company signed off on it all went well. Just because you can not do it does not mean someone else can't
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:53 AM   #42
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(ok, just the pessamistic talking)
Building a house by yourself is an ideal, but there will always be a point when a person will need help. Always.

Physically: After carrying the 14th bundle of shingles up the ladder without a person to take them, or driving fast to the hardware store fifty miles away for the third time that day, or the [blank] gives out again, or...etc.

Mentally: Figuring out angle calculations on 1" filler plywood you just carried up two flights of stairs and then realizing the only pencil had been left somewhere outside again, or getting into a rythim placing tile and then having to stop for a useless phonecall, or the weather decided to rain again today, or...etc.

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Old 07-17-2011, 05:52 AM   #43
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You need to be practical in all things---

There is no sin in hiring out the work you don't have the time,skills or inclination to do.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:22 AM   #44
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You need to be practical in all things---

There is no sin in hiring out the work you don't have the time,skills or inclination to do.
Amen to that. Having done both before, and with no desire to do either again, we hired out the foundation block work and the metal roof. Except for those and the HVAC, my wife and I did literally everything else ourselves.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:53 PM   #45
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How many here have ever taken on building their own home?


I think the central question here is do you like doing construction? For example when you're outside with your tools putting something together does time flow by like water? Do you forget to take breaks? Do you forget what time it is? Do you like chewing on design problems for hours? Would you rather be building something than playing golf, fishing, watch ball games on TV, or any of those other manly pursuits?

There would be a lot of satisfaction in building a house yourself and a lot of knowledge and experience gained in the process.

Saving money by building your own house would be a bonus, but I would put that lower on the list of reasons for doing it. A project done by a professional is more likely to go over budget and beyond schedule than the other way around. The probability of that happening to a diyer is even higher. Of course if you're enjoying the challenge it wouldn't matter. A lot of rich guys still go out and climb mountains for that reason.

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