Wife and I want to build our own house - what do we need to know?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by SWScorch, May 28, 2012.

  1. Ausm

    Ausm Lifer

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  2. Fingolfin269

    Fingolfin269 Lifer

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    Semi hijack here, sorry OP!

    We'll be dropping dry wall in my house in roughly a week so there is still time for me to go run some wires. I've already run some speaker wire throughout but have some questions about CAT6. I'm thinking about running it but have some general questions. Any experts around who would mind sharing some advice?
     
  3. vi edit

    vi edit Elite Member <br> Super Moderator
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    Not an expert...but I can answer some questions :) I ran my own wiring.
     
  4. CRXican

    CRXican Diamond Member

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    $30,000?

    Good luck.
     
    #54 CRXican, May 29, 2012
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  5. vi edit

    vi edit Elite Member <br> Super Moderator
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    Not every place in the country is an expensive coast or surburban McMansion.

    There's lots of places in between where a buildable acre of land can be bought for $15,000-$20,000 and a modest ranch home can be put on it for another $120,000 or less.
     
  6. Exterous

    Exterous Lifer

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    Even so - you never know who they are going to sub-contract out to because so and so is on vacation/busy/moved etc. My parents built 3 houses and it was almost always the sub-contractors that caused the issues (and often tried to cover up their sloppy work before the GC or home owners saw it)

    Expert? No but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night. Take pictures on where you ran the cable. Run more than you think you'd need. Its easier to do it now and cable is relativley cheap. If you want to get super fancy and make it nice and easy to run other cables later run a PVC pipe to the destination so you can easily pull cables through
     
  7. shakey

    shakey Junior Member

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    Hello Scorch,

    ...wondering if your still around...I know it has been about 6 months...what did yall decide to do?

    I too would like to build my own home. My wife and I have been together for 3 years. I have a mathematics background and have done many things around the house(from reparing my cylinders and stuff in my car to rewiring and plumbing a pump house.) Of course, I own my land but the house on it is a disaster. I grew up with a father that could fix anything. Hence, a lot of that rubbed off on me. Although, I have never taken on a project nearly this big.

    I did some figures and the rough estimate for a pier and beam foundation for a 30x40 house would be about 4k. That is including the floor joists. Using form tubes with rebar and 5000 psi concrete. Also, the standoff plates for 6x6 sill beams. This is just a quick thought...what are yall thinking as of late?

    Respectfully,

    B>R
     
  8. OutHouse

    OutHouse Lifer

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    my sis built her house using http://ubuildit.com/

    from plans to final inspection they helped her build her dream home.
     
  9. OutHouse

    OutHouse Lifer

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    100% correct.
     
  10. Agent11

    Agent11 Diamond Member

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    1st - I would suggest getting the land first, and try to get a very good deal. 30,000 isn't enough to start thinking of building your own house when you don't even have the land yet.

    2nd - Consider buying an existing property with a home already on it. The markets are still depressed in many areas and you could get a lot more at better rates, especially with that kind of down payment than if you attempted to build it yourself... And you would cut out the unknown unknowns that would certainly pop up when constructing your own.
     
  11. Kreon

    Kreon Golden Member

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    As someone who deals with contractors on a daily basis: They will give you references, find more references that they didn't give you. Ask around with people you know (especially those in the construction industry). And hire a General Contractor. Do not do this yourself. Make sure your GC is good. Good GC's tend to attract (and only hire) good subs. You might think you can DIY, but the subs will take you for a ride and you will not save money and have a ton more headaches.

    Biggest thing you want to find out: Does it seem like they have a lot of change orders on more than a couple projects? This is probably the most important question to me. If they have a lot of change orders on multiple projects, it will tend to indicate they are lazy (multiple projects because everyone has a bad project that goes to hell in a handbasket). Lazy contractors are ones who don't try to solve problems, they just kick it back to the engineers/architects. Lazy also means they will cut corners. If we're talking about GCs, a lazy GC is also usually greedy, meaning they will just give out the subcontracts to the cheapest bidder, not the most economical.
     
    #61 Kreon, Dec 4, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  12. shakey

    shakey Junior Member

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    ...and if you have 2 acres of land with a pump and septic tank? Do you self build or find a foreclosed property? In this economy many people are not willing to take the risks associated with a high mortgage. I think I would rather save and build by the month. Just not sure.
     
  13. Red Squirrel

    Red Squirrel Lifer

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    Learn as much as you can about home construction. Basically learn almost as much as you'd want to know if you were to do the project yourself. That way you can go do daily inspections and ask smart questions and point out things that will make the contractors know you know your stuff, and they will probably be more sure to do things right knowing you will notice if they don't.

    You don't want to be nit picky either as that will just annoy the workers. Chances are they know what they're doing but you still want them to know you know enough about construction.

    Also make a list of the little things that you always tell yourself would be nice, but it's too late.

    For example, having a few independently switched power outlets in odd places such as the soffits. Great for Christmas lights. Think of what you'd like to eventually do with the basement too, so cleanouts, sump pit, furnace etc can be in half decent location. Idealy you want infrastructure stuff to all be in one spot instead of spread out. Some contractors will skimp on this stuff as it's not against code nor really wrong, but it can still be inconvenient.
     
  14. Theb

    Theb Diamond Member

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    Have you spent any time looking at existing homes to see what your options are? Once upon a time I thought I wanted to build a house from the ground up. Doing some minor remodeling cured me of that bug really fucking quick.
     
  15. Kaido

    Kaido Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord

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    I have some house notes here if you want to get some ideas:

    http://smarterhouse.tumblr.com/

    There's a lot of neat technologies available now, depending on what your home design goals are. Stuff like sealed asphalt driveways, stone-coated steel roofing, mini-split HVAC systems for per-room cooling & heating, and concrete walls, floors, and ceilings. Two of my particular goals are low-maintenance and high-efficiency.

    There are plenty of good books out there; I'd recommend picking up Building a Home for Dummies to get an overview of the process. It's going to take more money than you think, it's going to take longer than you think, and you'll need to stay on top of the contractors to make sure they're doing a good job - they are trying to build the fastest possible at the lowest possible cost, so shortcuts tend to be taken and either you'll need to do daily inspections, or have a general contractor that you trust keep an eye on things. If you realize this stuff going in, then it won't be a surprise when you're in the process of construction.