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Anybody ever build their own house??

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Bulls Beers

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I'm looking to buy another house, well maybe build one..I've found a nice piece of land(3+) for a good price. Has anybody ever built there own. Maybe not accually build it, but start from scratch?
 
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Bulls Beers

Bulls Beers

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Soulive said:
Are you talking physically build it with your hands or sub out all the different tasks?
Some with my own hands and sub some out. I know people that can do different jobs.Site clearing, electrical,plumbing Landscaping,drywall etc..I have to find someone for foundation and framing..How much less is it to build your own? Anybody know?
 

Soulive

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Bulls Beers said:
Some with my own hands and sub some out. I know people that can do different jobs.Site clearing, electrical,plumbing Landscaping,drywall etc..I have to find someone for foundation and framing..How much less is it to build your own? Anybody know?
Anything you do yourself is about 1/4-1/2 the price of subbing it out. Of course you run the risk of not knowing what the hell you're doing, but I like to DIY as much as I can...
 

bradsul

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Chances are you won't save anything, people without experience running a job site tend to waste the money they may save correcting mistakes in scheduling etc. If you want a well run job with the possibility of saving money your best bet is to find a general contractor you can trust.

That said if you can put in the time and energy required (you really need to be on site A LOT) it can be very rewarding. But DO YOUR HOMEWORK before you start, there is a lot more to it than people think.

Best thing is leave structure, plumbing, electrical, etc to the pros. Tackle things like finished carpentry, painting and whatnot yourself. Just as rewarding but you also know your home is sound.
 
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Bulls Beers

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My friend is doing it. That's were i got the idea. He built his first house without subbing much out. He had a hard time and took for ever. This house he's subbing most of it...
 
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Bulls Beers

Bulls Beers

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bradsul said:
Chances are you won't save anything, people without experience running a job site tend to waste the money they may save correcting mistakes in scheduling etc. If you want a well run job with the possibility of saving money your best bet is to find a general contractor you can trust.

That said if you can put in the time and energy required (you really need to be on site A LOT) it can be very rewarding. But DO YOUR HOMEWORK before you start, there is a lot more to it than people think.

Best thing is leave structure, plumbing, electrical, etc to the pros. Tackle things like finished carpentry, painting and whatnot yourself. Just as rewarding but you also know your home is sound.
I agree. I'm not in construction anymore, but many of my friends and a few family members are contractors.I probably wouldn't use them but I'm sure they know some quality contractors It's something I just started thinking about. This property kinda fell on my lap and I was thinking..Hmmmmmm...
 

bradsul

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Bulls Beers said:
I agree. I'm not in construction anymore, but many of my friends and a few family members are contractors.I probably wouldn't use them but I'm sure they know some quality contractors It's something I just started thinking about. This property kinda fell on my lap and I was thinking..Hmmmmmm...
Sounds like a fun project then. I agree about not using your friends as contractors, you don't want a building dispute to ruin a friendship. Getting the shell put up professionally and closed in is probably your best bet. Then as you have time you can handle all the rest of the jobs (with subs or by yourself) as time permits. It's nice not to have to worry about the weather. :)
 
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Bulls Beers

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bradsul said:
Sounds like a fun project then. I agree about not using your friends as contractors, you don't want a building dispute to ruin a friendship. Getting the shell put up professionally and closed in is probably your best bet. Then as you have time you can handle all the rest of the jobs (with subs or by yourself) as time permits. It's nice not to have to worry about the weather. :)
Time wouldn't really be an issue. I have a two-family house that I can live in until it's done..Thanks for your imput...
 

Bobby_M

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Even if you know framing, electrical and plumbing, most cities won't let a non licensed person do the work and get a permit signed off. Even if they do, you'll haev to deal with fails sometimes ripping stuff out and starting over.
 

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I spent 2 hours a day in my junior year of High School building a house. The class was called "Construction Trades" and we built and installed EVERY aspect of the house. We did all of the plumbing, wiring, framing, roofing etc etc. The only things we didn't build were the cabinets. We of course had to have everything certified by electrical inspectors plumbing inspectors building inspectors etc.

How cool was it that a bunch of 16-18 year olds built an entire 4 bedroom home? The co-operative where this took place ran 3 classes a day from different neighbouring schools, and when the project was completed, the auctioned off the house and hopefully made money on the deal.

Could/Would I build one myself? Not a CHANCE! SWMBO and I built the house we are now living in through a local contractor. At the end of the entire process, I can say there are definitely some things I would have handled differently, but hell, live and learn.

SO even with the knowledge of how to build a house, and having the experience, hands on, of building one, i wouldn't even consider trying to manage the process of scheduling dozens of different contractors and dealing with rain etc etc. I would pay someone to do that that does it for a living.

Course it WOULD be a lot of fun eh? Have you looked into Kit Homes? The sell you everything you need, all cut labelled and packaged, and you "just put it together".
 
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Bobby_M said:
Even if you know framing, electrical and plumbing, most cities won't let a non licensed person do the work and get a permit signed off. Even if they do, you'll haev to deal with fails sometimes ripping stuff out and starting over.

Yup, and Massachusetts sucks for that...
 

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I've done a fair amount of remodelling and when it came time to add a large garage to my current house, I just contracted it out. I live way out in the county, but even here getting the plans approved took longer than building it. There's no way I would have been able to get them done. Too many people trying to build junk because they're "out in the country".

I've got a neighbor who is planning on building his retirement home himself. He's 81! Of course, he's lived here all his life & related to about 40% of the people in the country.
 

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I worked as a project manager building homes for 3 years. So, I'm no expert, but I know enough to give my opinion:) . In today's construction market, you're probably better off having a reputable GC build a house for you. Building materials are priced very low right now, so builders are offering much lower prices than 5 years ago. There are so many little details that go into building a house that won't cause you problems later on and most GCs carry a warranty. Unfortunately, the labor force in the construction industry is spotty. Some are great, some just want to get the job done and get the hell out of there. It's best to have a GC that will have proper supervision anytime work is being done. I would stay away from most of the national builders and find a smaller one in your area with a good name. Remember, too, that GCs will pay less than you would for materials and labor because they have history and relationships with vendors and subs and can bargain on the promise of future work.

I built my house about 3 years ago with the company I worked for. I know all of the costs involved and got a huge discount (cost plus and the 'plus' wasn't much). So, one could theoretically save a lot of money (for me, about $150,000!) by building a house themselves, but unless you really know construction in and out and are familiar with competitive pricing for materials and the various trades in your area, it's probably not worth the headache.
 

rdwj

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I have a friend that build his ENTIRE house with his bare hands - framing, electrical, roofing - the WHOLE thing. He didn't even but trim, he got his hands on some knives and ran his lumber through the molder himself. He build his cabinets too.

When all was said and done, he had less than 60 K into the house. It's not huge and it doesn't have a lot of design features, but it's pretty nice.
 

gonzo brewer

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I added on 2 separate 500 sf additions to my house in 2000. It added 1000 sf to a 1850 sf house in north LA county.

I did everything myself execpt subbing out the concrete pour and finish (I excavated, formed rebar) exterior stucco, roof install (I bought concrete roof tile) and drywall mud & tape (I hung the drywall). Did everything myself nights and weekends, took every friday off from work. It took about a 10 mos. and cost $65K, which works out to $65/sf. Remodels in my neighborhood go for 150-200/sf right now.

Made the plans myself and got the permit as an owner/builder - wasn't too difficult.

If I was to do it over, I would probably sub a little more out and focus on shopping buying good fixtures, trim, details, etc.
 

brauhaus

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coming from a construction family, I know that they never referred other contractors :D it was our way and that's it.

if you can find a reputable Architect, or Construction Management Company they will do all the work for you, all you'll need to do is keep your checks coming.

if you have the plans for your home, a reputable builder and patience, then you'll be good to go... don't be afraid to get involved, ask plenty of questions and shop around!
 

ohiobrewtus

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I've done both. My ex-FIL and I built a house ourselves only subbing out the pouring of the basement walls. I was able to save a good deal of money, but man did it take A LOT of time. So much time, in fact, that I swore that I'd never do it again.

So with wife 2.0 when it came time to build a house, I went to a builder and let it all get taken care of. There's certainly something to be said for building something yourself and being able to take pride in it, but when it comes to an entire house I would much rather let someone else do it. :D
 

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And get ready to be asked more questions then you have ever answered in your life and all of the questions will be asked at the last minute and will need immediate decisions.
 

The Pol

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Build one myself no... hell, I dont have nearly enough time to even entertain that. My wife and I did build a home this past year and it is an awesome, rewarding and very memorable experience, highly recommend it!
 

Alabama Brewer

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I built one myself. Sub'd out from excavation to dry in then finished the interior finishes myself, (after elec, plumbing, HVAC etc). Most important thing is a solid realistic budget, time to get it done without going broke on construction loan interest.

I acquired land and built the house for $123,000 in 1997. Lived in it one year and sold it myself for $188,000. Not bad for 6 months of after hours work while working a full time job.

I aim to do it again someday.:mug:
 

PeteOz77

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A good friend of mine back in Minnesota is an auto mechanic. He decided to build a self storage unit next to his workshop. He paid for the basic structure, then built all of the 11 partition walls himself.

He spent about 8 weeks of working 2 hours or so a night after shop hours working 3-4 nights a weeks. I estimate his total time spent on the project to be at least 40 hours. He also spent around $800 on the materials. I helped him a few nights, as did some of his other friends. when it was completed, I asked him how much money he had saved. He replied "They wanted $1900 to do it, i did it for under $900!"

I reminded him that since he owned his own shop, he could have spent those 40 hours (plus everyone else's time helping) fixing cars, and he would have hopefully made more than $1000. Which means that if he had paid someone else to do the job, he would have come out money and time ahead. He would have also been doing something he was very good at, not attempting to perform the job of a different tradesman.

He didn't see it that way ;)

He saw it as not having to spend $1000


Sort of a long winded example of asking the question.. "What is your time worth?"
 

MriswitH

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If you have the time, money, patience and discipline to do things yourself then go for it; however, it takes a lot of diligence and know-how.

My fiance and I just bought a foreclosed home that will require quite a bit of work and have put oodles of hours into it already. When all is said and done, we will have a beautiful house, but boy-oh-boy is it ever-consuming. ;)
 
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