The Lounge is rated Safe For Work. If you're about to post something inappropriate for a shared office environment, then don't post it. No ads, no abuse, and no programming questions. Trolling, (political, climate, religious or whatever) will result in your account being removed.
I haven't done it, but a friend has. He did it in stages.
The first stage built a two-car garage/shop area, with a second floor office space. He did most of the construction himself, with the help of friends (including me). The garage took a couple years to build. Stage two built the actual house. A fair amount of this work was done by a contractor, leaving smaller detail stuff for himself and friends. Basic construction on the house went fairly quickly (about a year), but he spent two or three years finishing things after they moved in.
Neither of these were small projects. My friend threw a party for his volunteer crew after the garage was completed, where he served lobster and steak, along with suitable wines and beer. I asked him later about the expense for the party (I guessed $50-$75 a head), and he said the volunteer crew saved him $10,000 in construction costs, so the party was a cheap thank you .
By the way, I thought he was certifiably insane the whole time. It takes an incredible amount of motivation and patience to do this, not to mention skill. While you can save money building it yourself, you can also lose money if you make poor choices and have to redo work.
Both times in a subdivision where the builder was constructing the homes in the subdivision. One thing about the homes built this way is that generally you won't have to worry about stuff breaking and having to pay for it yourself. At least in our case that was true. Both homes had a 1 year warranty.
That said, you will also get done and say, "I wish we would have....". All in all though, once it is done, it is nice to have a brand new home.
As a piece of advice, string ethernet everywhere you can especially before the walls are up, because it is a lot cheaper to do it then. I put CAT5 in our house 9 years ago, and it has served me well....
I've bought new homes where you pick from a set of plans, and choose your colors, carpets, cabinets, etc. I've also had an architect draw custom plans, contracted a builder, and participated in some of the easier parts of construction.
Contracting took a lot more work, but the cost wasn't much different. However, it's hard to find a builder to do custom homes if the price isn't significantly above the mid range of local home prices.
I bought a used house myself.
But I have some friends that have built their own homes.
And general consensus is that if you want to plan the house yourself you should definitely get an architect to do the floor plan and drawings for you.
It's a small cost in the total, and it will probably save you a lot of money or irritation in the end.
"The ones who care enough to do it right care too much to compromise."
I bought a house in poor condition; essentially the outside walls and roof were okay; the rest was up for grabs. We drew out how we wanted the house to look and got a surveyor friend to draw up some plans and then hired a contractor to do the work. Took about 6 months. On reflection it might have been cheaper to have knocked it down and started again. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." Red Adair. nils illegitimus carborundum
Technically, there is no difference in the contractors that a builder would hire vs. the ones you would hire. They could even be the same ones. It's just a matter of you knowing the overall schedule so that you have the next one lined up when the current one is finishing up.
And how does the cost compare to buying a house that is already built?
It's been many years since I crunched the numbers, but on a roughly $200k home, about $40k of that went to the builder (i.e., you). That's a nice but of equity to have from the get-go.
"One man's wage rise is another man's price increase." - Harold Wilson
"Fireproof doesn't mean the fire will never come. It means when the fire comes that you will be able to withstand it." - Michael Simmons
"Show me a community that obeys the Ten Commandments and I'll show you a less crowded prison system." - Anonymous
I've known several people who had custom homes built, including my parents. All of them used a general contractor. Where I live there are several who do only custom homes and are very good at it. I've been advised that you should do a lot of research on your contractor especially in finding out what crews he will use (most builders have their A and B crews with the latter used on homes for the clueless.) My own observation is that you will spend more especially because the temptation to get the slightly nicer thing will be overwhelming and that adds up.
Hire as many professionals as you can. Building homes seems simple, but there are a lot of gotchas, especially with understanding zoning and inspection rules. I had a neighbor who had major problems in closing his semi-custom home due to some obscure violations nobody caught until the end.
When my brother built, we strung CAT5 and 75 Ohm cable around the house before they put up the drywall. Today, I'd string CAT6, RG6, HDMI and phone, all coated (which may be required by local code if you don't use conduit.) I'd figure out dish placement just in case and run RG6 for that as well (I would be tempted to use conduit there for future proofing.)
A cousin, an uncle and friend bought semi-prefab factory build houses. Two were entirely built in a factory and were much nicer than I expected. For my cousin's house, portions were assembled in a factor and then shipped to the site. The result was a very nice and extremely well built house.
I'm leaning toward this latter route if I ever lose my mind and decide to buy a house again.
First and foremost Level of your involvement. If you plan on acting as the contractor.
0: Local building codes (easy to research.)
1: Knowing what and when to schedule the various sub-contractors(Electrical, Plumber...)
3: Site specific construction techniques (Earthquake zone , Flooding, Hurricanes, Permafrost...)
4: Make sure to check references of any sub-contractor.
5: Plan review and permitting.(In my area (South Florida) Inspectors are tough on owner-builder. Research Your area.)
6: Things You might be able to do. (Take time to Think of the items you will need to purchase and time involved to preform)
Design tips: (Based on advice from my boss That buy's, and remodels houses for resale.)
0: The design should match (Or complement) the neighbors approx size, style and value. (too big and and you will loose value of return on investment or too small and it will drag down the value of the neighbors homes.)
1: IMHO Paint colors should be chosen by a professional designer.
2: Usually wise to use a local architect.
This is in no way a complete list. You can find more details with a few trips to Google.(I know you can do this)
Frazzle the name say's it all
Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.
Haven't done it myself - but our current abode has just gone on the market & we're talking about buying land and building our next one ... so I'm interested in the responses too.
A lot of folk in these parts buy land then put up a 'shed' to live in; some of the sheds are pretty plush - kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms etc. - but much cheaper than a house, and then they can live there while they build the house proper.
If you get a suitable design you can even build the house in stages to spread the cost.
Everyone I know who has built has ended up way over budget.
examples include boulders found during excavation ended up costing thousands to remove (crane hire, taking fences and power lines down to get the crane in, etc. Damage caused by torrential rain requiring timbers to be replaced (the plastic sheeting ripped in the winds) under-estimation of the number of tiles required (then the new batch of tiles didn't quite match the ones already laid) and over-estimation of the number of tiles required (this guy had an expensively tiled kitchen, family room, and double garage and STILL had tiles left over - they were only meant of the kitchen!
My plan to save money is to have fixtures and fittings and decoration only for the main bits of the house that will be in everyday use - and to leave the rest so we can fix 'em up ourselves at our leisure.
Budget all depends on how much we get for our current place though - so fingers crossed someone with a large wad of cash is on their way to look at it right now!
A lot of folk in these parts buy land then put up a 'shed' to live in;
If you get a suitable design you can even build the house in stages to spread the cost.
That is something I've been wondering about too. I can afford the house I want, if I save up and buy it when I'm 70, but I'd rather enjoy it before then. I was thinking of buying an RV, but those are like $100,000, so not exactly a small investment. A "plush shed" might be workable. On the other hand, an RV would give me a way to explore different places to find out where exactly I want to end up.
I have no advice at all. Just wanted to say that if I ever build my own house, I'm totally going to put in a couple of secret passage ways. If you're going to be involved in the planning, might as well have some fun with it.
Mine tried to, but it failed. Now it wants to update to IE9 instead (not sure why that wasn't already done honestly, I don't use IE so I don't really care if it upgrades, so I wouldn't have manually ignored it...).
Last Visit: 20-Sep-20 18:34 Last Update: 20-Sep-20 18:34