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umf8181 01-20-2006 06:27 PM

New House
I've been reading you folks and have learned alot. Finally decided to register and ask for opinions. We're planning a new house and am looking for cost effective building options. We had a new house built last year and I've learned there's more to think about than floor plans and where the furniture goes! So what would be more cost effective: a finished basement with much of the living space, or a "1 1/2" level with finished, conditioned space up? The house will have at least a 24x40 garage attached. (We like to park our cars inside as well as our toys.) I will include a few passive solar features: good south glazing, great insulation, etc. Will bug you for more details soon.
Thanks in advance for your input.

umf8181 01-20-2006 09:48 PM

More New House
I'm bettin' I didn't give you near enough info as you're usually bursting with ideas. Finished living area shouldn't need to be much more than 1500 sq ft. The complete "less is more" approach with energy efficiency thrown in. My thought is the less foundation, the less cost. You there?

bob the builder 01-21-2006 12:45 AM

A cost effective approach is to keep your design simple, for example don't get a roof that is all cut up. Design the house according to the lay of the land. I'm working on a job right now with a simular size garage as yours and he wants living area above garage with a simular size to yours, but he is putting partition walls in his garage....


umf8181 01-21-2006 07:40 AM

Definately will keep it simple, I just need to learn in what areas. If builders are charging $120 a sq ft for a house with 5 gables, native stone trim, and other "fancies", why do they want to charge me the same for a home with a straight roof? On my current home, the plan I went over with the builder had one gable over the double section of the garage. During framing, 3 gables were put up. I asked and he just said, oh this will look better. Maybe. But more detailed to re-roof in the future, etc. I do understand that a small home may be slightly more per sq ft as all homes need heating systems, plumbing etc. O.K., I'm done babling. More info out there?

Zero Punch 01-21-2006 04:23 PM

Most small builders I know take pride in the work. When they build a home they want it to show character and their abilities to build an appealing dwelling not just a box. Did the first builder charge you more for the additional gables? As your already planning on another new home selling the present one will be easier if it has curb appeal.
As you state there are basic componets to all homes. It has long been my belief that small home buyers pay more for less. But the time and effort on the part of the builder justifies this, he does need to make a profit.
As far as basements, this is cheap potential living space for future use if proper egress is provided. Half story space is genarally reserved for sleeping quarters though I have seen some used as playrooms or home office.


umf8181 01-25-2006 11:13 AM

You are right, Z, and there is part of the problem. Of course a builder wants a stand-out looking property, and mine certainly is, but then how do we address making a home more affordable? It's an interesting issue. As for my extra gables, I honestly don't know if I was charged for them specifically. The builder and I did lots of bartering throughout the whole building process. When it was all said and done our bill was only 1500.00 over original quote. I didn't even ask for a breakdown as I was one of those clients who did things like ask for a skylight AFTER the shingles were on. He's an great guy and since he's still building in our sub-division, he has come right over if we need something looked at. Thanks for your input

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