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Old 07-13-2013, 09:11 AM   #1
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which is quicker a remodel or new build


I have been working on remodeling a house that was built in 1839 that is about 1900sqft. It was a duplex listed as 5 bedroom (a joke) and 4 full baths. I've since made it a 3 bedroom 2 bath. I've done all the work my self (except gas) including building the kitchen cabinets/countertops and bathroom vanity. This has taken me about 3 years to do and have been living in the house the entire time.

I can't help but think that if I built something from scratch it would go a lot quicker. We've contemplated moving and thought it would be fun to buy land and build our own house. I would pay some one to do the foundation work and roof but other than that, i'd plan to do the rest. Does it go a lot quicker building a new house as apposed to remodeling a very old house? Or should I expect it to be another 3 year project?

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Old 07-13-2013, 09:29 AM   #2
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which is quicker a remodel or new build


I personally would never suggest anyone try and build a whole house by there self for several reasons.
By the time you had it dried in the subflooring would have gone through a bunch of rain storms, seasons and would be starting to delaminate which will cause all kinds of issues down the road.
Just trying to stand up a wall, setting a ridge pole by yourself would be a nightmare.
If I had to do it I would have the foundation and have the framers dry it in and finish the rest myself.
One other thing is unless you have cash or your a licensed contractor no lending company I've heard of is going to lend you the money to build it.

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Old 07-13-2013, 10:17 AM   #3
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which is quicker a remodel or new build


building your own house by yourself would be tarp city. the weather plays such an important role in building and the materials available are nowhere near weather resistant. getting it dried in fast is the main thing whether building from scratch or remodeling. with a set of plans though you should be able to build much faster than trying to piece out a remodel piece by piece. We had a framing crew of two guys throw up (frame) a new 2400 sq ft house two story in two weeks with an open concept requiring multiple LVL structural beams throughout. The lumber was dropped and two weeks later it was dried in. they are /were experienced framers and had a good set of SE approved plans to boot. you would need at least a helper and maybe even consider subbing out the production stuff to get the wow factor of seeing it go up.
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Old 07-13-2013, 11:08 AM   #4
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which is quicker a remodel or new build


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
I personally would never suggest anyone try and build a whole house by there self for several reasons.
By the time you had it dried in the subflooring would have gone through a bunch of rain storms, seasons and would be starting to delaminate which will cause all kinds of issues down the road.
Just trying to stand up a wall, setting a ridge pole by yourself would be a nightmare.
If I had to do it I would have the foundation and have the framers dry it in and finish the rest myself.
One other thing is unless you have cash or your a licensed contractor no lending company I've heard of is going to lend you the money to build it.
I agree that it would be very difficult for just one person to build a house. But two can do it; my wife and I built our kit log home almost entirely by ourselves. Lived in our RV on the site for three years while doing it. It is our tenth house since 1976, so we had plenty of DIY experience and most of the tools we needed. We subbed the foundation, HVAC, and metal roof, and essentially did all the rest ourselves (with occasional help from some of the kids). I was retired when we started, but was asked to come back to work after a few months. Part time at first quickly became full time, so that definitely slowed progress.

I also agree about finding a lender. Unless you're a licensed contractor, it simply isn't going to happen. But we had planned this project for several years and were able to do the whole thing out of pocket.
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:48 PM   #5
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which is quicker a remodel or new build


it also depends on the scope of the renovation, how big the project is going to be, if its a small reno by all means do the reno.. but if its a comlete remodel building new can be cheaper

ive done several homes that were originally spec`d as a complete remodel but based on what the finished product from the drawings showed it just wasnt cost effective or time effective to treat them as remodels. the most recent worked oiut to beiing almost $100,000 cheaper to do as a rebuild

now if your doing it yourself, via not hiring trades i would remodel and take time off work in order to maximize your time
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:38 AM   #6
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which is quicker a remodel or new build


Sorry I never got back to responding. I appreciate all the info y'all provided. I guess in my mind i'm more optimistic than reality. After this renovation, it just seems to be it would be easier to start fresh and build from scratch. Of course even though we gutted the whole house we were able to live in it while the work was ongoing which I guess would not be the case building new. I just thought me and another guy or two could frame it up pretty quick, but I guess in reality it's not that quick. And you're right, weather would probably take its toll before we had it all sealed up. I always wanted to build my own house on my own, but I guess perhaps remodels are more my speed. Or at least expect to have to sub out the framing and sheathing etc too. Thanks again for all the feedback.

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