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Has anyone here built their own house?

Discussion in 'Wackbag Home Improvement & Car Repair' started by reddog_2711, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. reddog_2711

    reddog_2711 Registered User

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    I'm looking for input (both good and bad) from anyone who has built their own house.

    I'm thinking about buying land and having a company dig the basement and pour the foundation and basement floor/walls, and then I'd physically build the rest myself (not using contractors). I'd obviously have to have licensed electricians inspect my work and sign off on it and things like that, but that's not an issue.

    I'm looking for input like:
    How did you finance it
    Tips
    Horror stories
    Things to watch for
    How much you think you saved by doing it yourself
    Things you'd do differently
    Ect......

    Thanks
    Shawn
     
  2. DrewDown

    DrewDown All are welcome

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    Yes, but the materials are expensive.
    [​IMG]

    And now for more serious answers from people who know things.
     
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  3. THE FEZ MAN

    THE FEZ MAN as a matter of fact i dont have 5$

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    I would have someone frame it out, or atleast hire a designer, in the end wou will be better off
     
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  4. Haeder

    Haeder South Dakota

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    1 - check with your local planning/zoning/building code officials to see what you are allowed to do by yourself and what you must hire a professional to do. New York may be more restrictive than South Dakota.

    2 - figure out how much everything is going to cost - then add at least 10%.

    3 - figure out how long you think it will take and add six months.

    4 - most building trades are not rocket surgery and you can find out how to do anything on youtube.

    5 - heated floors in all bathrooms.

    6 - having a 42" wide door makes getting big things in and out of the house much easier.

    7 - learn to properly mix mortar and you can do tile/stone work - don't buy a shitty tile saw.

    8 - insulate exterior walls with either spray foam or parpac insulation http://www.parpac.com/

    9 - insulate interior walls with cheap insulation and you won't have to listen to the washer/dryer/shower/dumps of family members.

    I'll try to come up with a few more things for you soon. Good luck bro.
     
  5. Mags

    Mags Edgelord
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    I built one in my parents' living room. The construction materials were couch cushions, blankets and toys.
     
  6. whiskeyguy

    whiskeyguy PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.

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    What construction experience do you have? I've helped a guy build a cabin that was essentially of the same quality as a home, but that's different. The cabin was built "off grid" and we didn't get permits or inspections for it, which saved a ton of money. I have also worked in construction seasonally when I wasn't logging for most of the last 12 years.

    It really depends on what state you live in. For example, in California you probably wouldn't be allowed to do it without employing a contractor, and I'm assuming NY is similar. You can get around this by actually employing a contractor who isn't currently running his own business (since you'll need at least one other person to help you through some parts of construction).

    If you employ a contractor, find one with experience in estimates. Contractors are usually off on their estimates, so you'll probably be way off if you have no experience. It's very easy to forget little things like nail plates, and since you don't own your own construction company you can't spread supplies like that over multiple jobs. Search the internet and ask around your area what the average cost per square foot it is to build a house, and that will give you a general idea.

    I kind of agree with The Fez Man... while framing is probably the funnest part about buying a house, it will go much faster with experienced people. At least use help during this state. Once the place is framed, everything else is much easier to do by yourself.

    Realize that it will probably take you much longer than usual to complete the house if you're building it by yourself.
     
  7. reddog_2711

    reddog_2711 Registered User

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    Thanks for the feedback. I'm way ahead of you with everything on that list of yours, with the exception of the 42" wide doors, which is a great tip!

    I do mechanical engineering, and have damned near every tool known to man, although I'd have to buy a new framing nailer (air) since I've worn mine out, and a larger compresser. I've done well over a hundred roofs with my uncle and brother , and house remodeling is a major hobby of mine, so the actual construction isn't a concern of mine.

    I'm probably going to draw up a design in either Solidworks or autocad, and then export it to the "Punch Home design" software so that it can spit out a bill of materials and costing (after I enter it all). I am friends with licensed a electrician and also a plumber, so not only is the inspections not going to be a problem, but I can also get those materials at their cost.

    About your #3 (figure out how long you think it will take and add six months)..........a house is NEVER done! I just want to get it to the point where it's livable (regardless of whether I can "legally" stay there or not) so that I can finish up the inside. I also plan on running at least CAT5 all over, if not fiber. When I'm doing the design, the first thing drawn with be a home theater, then design the livingroom around that, and then design the house around the livingroom. A guy has to have priorities!
     
  8. gorram

    gorram ;)

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    A couple of construction guys I know who did something similar to you who were not able to finance through traditional means ended up getting money through professional home flippers they work with. If you have a reputation of doing good work since they are in the business they will be able to finish the job if you end up not completing for whatever the reason may be. Hopefully you will encounter decent inspectors as those guys can be a real bitch if you dont play nice with them. Saving money may not be as important as the complete control of what goes into the build, from materials you choose to the quality of your own labor.

    Run multiple cat5/6 all over too, if you can afford put in conduit in places that will be easy to pull wire to later when its time to upgrade.
     
  9. LiddyRules

    LiddyRules I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy

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  10. Sinn Fein

    Sinn Fein Infidel and White Interloper
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    :haha7:


    I got a gift card for that suggestion once. :D
     
  11. Hudson

    Hudson Supreme Champion!!!!!
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    Love this film!!!
    I have never built anything larger than a boat shed for the beach I worked at..but that was a nightmare. I had to show reason why the plumbing was 3 feet high and the electrical was 5 feet up the wall.
     
  12. SatansCheerledr

    SatansCheerledr Ideologically Unsound

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    Yes, it was made of cards.

    It did not end well.
     
  13. LiddyRules

    LiddyRules I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy

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    I know it's under 20 minutes so it's unfair to compare it against longer films, but I think that might be one of my favorite comedy "films."
     
  14. Hudson

    Hudson Supreme Champion!!!!!
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    Not the place to discuss it.. but the old silent films were great...
     
  15. DanaReevesLungs

    DanaReevesLungs I can keep rhythm with no metronome...
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    I know in Florida, since that's the only state I have home building experience in, anyone wanting to build their own house still needed a contractor with at least a "B" license to sign off on the plans, inspections and draws. Or, you could study up on the contractor license and take it yourself.

    Haeder hit a lot of stuff that I agree with. As did Fez Man. Foundations, framing, plumbing and running electrical are things I'd let the pros do. Get a few buddies on a weekend and you could have the house drywalled in 48 hours. Same thing goes for doing the floors. I'd suggest not going cheap on the blueprints. Quality blueprints will make things much easier. You're looking at about a $1000 for good prints.

    Run wire you may never even use, just in case. You can always cap it off to where it doesn't look shitty and you'll remember where it is. Sames goes for speaker wire, CAT 6 wire and ethernet. I'd personally want all of my TV devices hardwired to my internet and would run ethernet cables with all of my CAT 6 cable. Think about things you might want for future upgrades. Maybe you want to add security cameras later on or speakers for outside.

    I've thought about doing this very thing, but I don't have enough know-how to do everything. I'm good at wood working and would build my own cabinets, but I'm shit at masonry. Lay tile is easy, but I've never done wood floors.

    And finally to save a decent chunk, buy closeout/discontinued plumbing fixtures, countertops and ceiling fans. If you have a local place that sells granite or marble, see if they have countertops that were turned down or extra and buy for way below retail.
     
  16. d0uche_n0zzle

    d0uche_n0zzle **Negative_Creep**

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    Hidden storage areas are a plus.
     
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  17. whiskeyguy

    whiskeyguy PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.

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    This is something I would absolutely add to my house. At the very least, a hidden closet capable of accommodating a gun safe. There are some pretty cool videos on Youtube showing closets/rooms hidden by bookshelves and even staircases.
     
  18. MetalBender

    MetalBender I like fistables.

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    I'd like to suggest prefab insulated walls. They're nearly bullet proof (literally), it takes twenty minutes to unload the shell from a semi, and a day to stand all the walls. I'd sub the roof framing and drywalling as they are labor intensive and tire you of the project. Look at split jamb doors too. They're very forgiving of out of plumb walls or rock that was hung loose and will slow trimming. I alway attache casings to one side of the jamb and plumb the hinge side of the opening before hanging. And be sure to find out how long permits are valid. You might find permits for a year long project blow any savings you find by using subs for it to take three months.

    Oh and find out if you can avoid paying taxes till the front entry is completed. You may find you'll never want to complete it.
     
  19. tattered

    tattered Uber-Aryan
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    Ive built several houses just none for myself
     
  20. stevethrower

    stevethrower Got Sig?

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    Try to avoid change orders... I know it is pretty damn near impossible... but you can really add to the cost with them.

    Have you thought about a prefab?

    Also don't forget the Federal government and some states give tax credits for using more energy efficient stuff...

    If I built a house now would prob either stack frame it with spray insulation or SIPS panels... and try to use exterior treatments that require little or no maintenance if possible.
     
  21. d0uche_n0zzle

    d0uche_n0zzle **Negative_Creep**

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    Concrete siding with a 50 year metal roof and a shit ton of insulation. SIPS, nice.
     

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