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Old 01-27-2013, 12:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm all about resale. You never know where life will lead you. I planned on staying in our 1st house that we owned and we built longer than we actually did. We did some decorating in a more modern theme and it took longer to sell do to this. It wasn't way out there or anything but it did effect the time to sell.
Loans may become a factor too. With the use of other materials and possibly increasing the cost, banks may be less willing to loan you the difference. Not sure if you looked into this aspect.
I didn't do the general work but I did do a lot of work on the home ourselves. Custom tile work, most of the insulating, some very minor framing, all the painting and exterior staining. No way I could have taken on more and this was almost to much but this will all depend on your free time.
I had a hard enough time keeping the general on schedule with getting things done I can't imagine doing all the generals work!!!!!
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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get solar panels and run your hot water under your floorboards and even driveway and sidewalk - that shit is dope.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Years ago, helped my dad build his earth-sheltered home in Nebraska. Imho those are the bomb. Easy to build, cheap maintence, cheap utilities, tornorado proof, earth quake proof and can be well hidden. Got to have good solar orientation, excellent drainage system and good basic design. Iirc the heating cost for his first winter...heated to 72 degrees was under $100. It was designed for lots of light and he had his garden on the roof.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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How much const management experience do you have? Logistics and organization is usually the key factor in bringing a project in on budget. Another is dealing with subs, which more often then not will fuck up the LnO

Another thing with doing 40% of the work yourself, do you have that kind of time outside your regular job? My uncle built his country house after he retired (at 57) took him about 2 months, appraised house alone 300k, built for a total of 65k. My Dad built his while he was still working a 40-50 hr/week, took a year and a half, valued out about the same, but cost 30k more to build.

The difference is that while my uncle was building, if it was time for plumbing, the whole house was ready for it. My dad, would have "buddies" do it around their regular work schedule, this part here, this part there.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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When we moved to Idaho, we bought an unfinished house (framing, exterior plywood, roofing - and that's about it) and planned to do all the work ourselves. My dad does every construction trade, so over the course of basically 4 years we've done everything ourselves.

A really big part of it, if you're going to do most of the work yourself is time management. Do you have enough time to spend building your house, while injecting materials into it ($), and working whatever your job is? If you don't have much time, it's going to take forever (much longer then you ever think).

I don't know what your skill level is with different trades, but something to keep in mind if 50% of the budget is going to other subs, is what trade you're subbing out. If you can do some of the more specialty custom stuff yourself (trim, tilework, countertop and masonry etc...) and sub out horrible time consuming crap like drywall (which is relatively cheap to have a sub do) then you will have a lot of progress at a lower cost.

As far as alternative stuff goes, we've done a decent amount of it in our house and it's actually cost effective and pretty cool in a lot of ways. My dad did a concrete counter top in the upstairs bathroom and it looks bitchin (cost nothing). House was built on a concrete slab, so we just did a finish on the floors. In our kitchen we did a quartzite backsplash and countertop for basically $70 in actual stone, looks super unique and badass - but it was extremely labor intensive. We're entirely off the grid too, running the house off a solar system and propane tank (septic, well). Make sure you get an adequate sized system though or you will be hating life (or just adjusting to not using much - something you do get used to).
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:04 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I think working in construction would be very helpful. My dad and my uncle built houses with scraps and did most the work themselves. It took years for the projects to be completed. They both worked on many job sites, had good connections and friends to help. I remember the progress and steps involved in the construction of both structures. I remember my dad working well into the night on his project.

You don't want to take too long on some things, like framing. With the housing market crash and stuff there are unfinished houses rotting away. My parents knew people who started building a large house and ran out of money. They lived in the basement of their unfinished house while the frame was rotting. I don't know if it was ever finished. I think the frame became structurally unsound as it deteriorated from the elements.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:58 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the feedback guys! Yeah I've got over 10 years in construction on the management side, plus a couple more as a grunt. I agree with hobomaster 100% that subing out the dirty work makes the most sense. That's why I mentioned drywall taping and mudding would be a sub, while drywall hanging would be me.

I think the other thing that'll make a big difference is going with a pre-built house structure. I'd like to eliminate as many middle steps as possible, and have a sub for the foundation, and then some subs to help me finish the interior work.

Luckily I have access to a bunch of bored engineers in the winter, so they could help me put together a schedule and estimate based on the plans! I could do it myself but why not use their experience to help.

One last ace up my sleeve... A retired dad who built his own cottage by hand (literally he had no power, cut all the boards with a hand saw, hammered every nail by hand!). I'm sure the bank wouldn't want it to drag on into years, so having him available (I could fly him out and take a couple weeks off to work with him) could help keep things on schedule.

I managed to get things of Kijiji when I was building my sauna, and I completed it for about 1/3rd the cost of a kit, so I'm sure I could look on Kijiji again for other oddball things when the time came (tiles, heavy wood front door, etc.)

Thanks again!
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:20 AM   #18 (permalink)
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House me in Calgary for a week or two and I'll work on your place for free!

and you can show me what an actual mountan is like
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:06 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Okay chronic... Here's the plans. Build it! lol





Trouble is that's a pre-fab home and the BASE PRICE is $520k or so, plus land, GST, hookups, foundation, etc. etc. etc.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poutanen View Post
Okay chronic... Here's the plans. Build it! lol


that looks nice, I don't envy you the process. I bought a 1921 craftsman style house that I have been restoring over the last ten years...Well I bought it ten years ago, I didn't start the restoration process until maybe 4 yeas ago... it's been a shit ton of blood, sweat and tears. Not to mention costly. I might as well light a bon fire of cash...sigh. Ive sunk well over 50k into it and Im maybe half way there :'( I should have just built a new place to start with....I do have room to build a back house, my lots decent sized. At least for LA.

Sometimes I think I should buy one of those pre fabs, put it up in the back yard and bulldoze this thing down to the ground.

and just for you, I will say I used to screen dates by asking them "are you handy? Can you do plumbing/electrical/paint etc" lol. For a while Id only date construction workers.
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