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Have You Built Your Own House?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by eriknemily, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. eriknemily

    eriknemily Tillamook County (Cheese!) Member

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    Just this week I found out that my wife and I have the opportunity to buy a few acres and build our own house. I've been a carpenter (apprentice at best:eek:) for the past 2.5 years so I have a bit of experience. I plan on doing the vast majority of the work myself. Anybody have sage advice or warnings for me? Any ideas on how to cut costs and be efficient without sacrificing quality? Any advice or ideas are welcome.
    Erik
     
  2. torpedoman

    torpedoman land of corrupt politicians Member

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    I have built two, It will take twice as long and cost twice as much as you think. If your wife wants something done a certain way just shut up and do it, You'll be real mad when you have to go back and do it to suit her so your ears can get a day off. If your marriage survives this your good to go.
     
  3. eriknemily

    eriknemily Tillamook County (Cheese!) Member

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    I take it you don't have plans to build another home any time soon:bluelaugh:
     
  4. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I'd be realistic about my abilities...
    if you can find a mentor, they will be worth their weight in gold.

    If you do not already have a contractors license, you should think about gtting one. The savings on materials alone may pay for the licensure.

    the Torpedoman's advice sounds funny, but every word is the absolute truth.
     
  5. Sawdust

    Sawdust Bull Mountain(Tigard), OR Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    Will you still be working your "day job" and building you house on the side? If so, you have to stay motivated. Especially if you're swinging a hammer at work all day. Call on your friends, often :D. A friend of mine did this same thing about 6 years ago. By the way he is a contractor. He spent 23 months, after work and on weekends, to get it done. No days off and no vacations. Called-in a lot of favors and owed a whole bunch more but it was worth it. And he's still married.

    Oh yeah-- keep up on your inspections or your permit will lapse.:eek:
     
  6. ZeroRing

    ZeroRing 26th District, WA Active Member

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    Two houses... wife comments... marriage survival... hmmmmm.... lemme guess, you were married twice and they BOTH got the house?? :bluelaugh: :bluelaugh:
     
  7. Frog

    Frog Vancouver, Washington Member

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    eriknemily.....

    I can assure you that building or re-modeling a house is an enormas undertaking.

    It can very much be the way 'torpedoman' suggests, but it doesn't need to be.

    Take the time to find a set of plans that will provide you with the 'size' and general 'layout' that you want. If you take the plans to a contractor's building supply, they will quote you a 'package price' on materials, and deliver them to your site as they are required.

    Don't 'go cheap' on the things that are expensive to change later. Wiring, go twice what the house might now require and run the wire for lots of extra circuits that may (or may not) be required later. Same with plumbing (like for an additional bathroom you might want/need someday), and use good stuff, not the plastic crap. Over insulate, it will pay for itself. Use good quality windows and doors. Use plywood, not chip board on your roof and put an top quality roofing product over it. Install a good furnace/air conditioning unit. And finially, use a good siding, that doesn't require painting.

    Seriously look at projects you can 'sub-out'. Some you most likely will need to, but subbing out some others might actually save you money, if not in 'up front' cost, in quality, time saved and/or longevity.

    Set a budget, up front before the project starts, and stick to it. If your plan is good, you can make changes later, stick to the agreed plan and 'get 'er done'!

    Hope this helps,
    Frog.
     
  8. Jaybo

    Jaybo Olympia Washington Member

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    As far as the loan goes, my wife and I are in the same boat. Were in the process of trying to build as well. Even though we have a pre-approved loan and are already underwritten, we have to get a construction loan, because VA doesn't do construction loans. Even if your going conventional, construction loans are very hard to come by without putting down a nice chunk of change.

    We are being forced to put down a minumum of 10% down, and that is after talking to NUMEROUS lenders... most want 20%...

    Good Luck on your build.
     
  9. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    I'll have to try an attachment......................elsullo
     
  10. McLovin

    McLovin portland Member

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    Do get a contractors license. It will save you alot of money and you can also domore work yourself. I am sure you havecontacts from jobs you have worked on. Call on them for side work and call onfriends. Matbe ask people on thesite. Maybe not so much for help butpeople can get you things at cost. I do heating and airand could get you a unit at my cost. Things like thatall ad up.
     
  11. Grizzly_A

    Grizzly_A Portland Metro Area Member

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    Congrats on finding some acreage. Your home will cost more than you think it will and will take longer to build than you expect. Also...I'm not sure how much acreage you currently have, but if you get more....it will cost you more to keep it up..even if it's just a field.

    Make friends with as many construction dudes and family as possible. Make sure you feed your volunteer helpers. If you have a profession where you can trade/barter for specific jobs, it will save you some money or you'll break even but end up with a better product.

    I find that if I let a plumber friend "assist" with the plumbing, it will take less time to do, it will look better, and will pass inspection better than me figuring out all parts and the building codes myself. Same with Electrical...and HVAC.

    If you have a contractor friend, see if he's willing to "help."

    In short..."use" your human resources where you can.


    Oh....start building in June. ;) Give up for this year...the rainy season is fast approaching the coast...
     
  12. eriknemily

    eriknemily Tillamook County (Cheese!) Member

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    Thanks for all the advice fellas. I expect it to take longer than I hope for, cost more than I would like, and be more difficult than I want. I doubt building would begin before next spring. We have to sell our house, secure funding, find a place to rent in the interim, clear the land (all pucker brush), and then finally get going on site prep. I'm getting overwhelmed just writing about it:D
     
  13. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

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    what part of the state?
     
  14. eriknemily

    eriknemily Tillamook County (Cheese!) Member

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    North Oregon coast in tillamook county.
     
  15. gunnails

    gunnails Hillsboro Active Member

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    Thought I would throw my 2 cents in here.

    I have built many houses from ground up for others, I am a general contractor now specializing in remodel work.

    I always ask first is if the property has water, power, and septic already.
    These can be quite expensive and sometimes not even allowable by the county (septic in particular). If you have to drill 300" feet to get 3 gallons per minute, that could kill the whole deal, check to see how deep the neighbors have drilled.

    If your utilities are in place I would try to place a cheap mobile home on the property to live in while you build if the County would allow it, if not consider a cheap old 5th wheel or large travel trailer, it's tough to make 2 rent/mortgage payments while spending money to build.

    I would build my pole barn first.

    I helped a buddy build a house in Lincoln county, Otis, and the building department was quite cooperative. The plans we submitted were drawn by us on notebook paper. Consider inviting the inspector out to review plans and to get to know them, find out what his concerns are and what he wants to see, a little schmoozing can go along way.

    Good luck.
     
  16. torpedoman

    torpedoman land of corrupt politicians Member

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    if i could get the financing done i'd build another log home in a heartbeat, one word of wisdom to anyone building . Put it on a slab and put radiant heat in the slab, it is one of the best things you can do, tip on doing it is fill the tubing with water before the pour then it is much less likely to float up and cause problems.
     
  17. pdxjohann

    pdxjohann Portland near Tigard Member

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    Marriage counseling first and throughout.
     
  18. slideguitar55

    slideguitar55 washington Member

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    WOOOooo Boy!

    As a novice, this is going to be scary.

    Ok, easiest contractors license to get is a drywall.

    I am a general contractor, and what i suggest is to hire one as a construction management, work out a detailed agreement where they lay out protocol
    as you go along, they need not be there full time, just as supervisory as each
    phase comes along. Then, have them there for each inspection, they will walk the job and make sure it is up to code for each phase.

    I have done that for years for people, i never charged them as much as i save them.

    Materials are expensive, and a few mistakes, WASTE will cost.

    The radiant heat is excellent, i put it in my 4400 sq. ft. home, love it to pieces.

    If you do most of the work yourself, the tools alone can bust your bank.
    So consider that as well.

    Find someone with Auto-Cad to draw up the plans Believe me, it is the sweetest program going.

    The wife thing,,,, welll,,, i cannot suggest a thing in that arena for i was wise enough to avoid ever getting married,,, 54 years of life,,, and no regrets
    about that decision.

    Build small, but lay an over sized slab for later add on, for this will be your first, and without experience, you need to test yourself before you can run rather then walk,,, after you get the experience,,, you can do the add-ons,

    I mean to say, keep it simple till you gain knowledge and confidence.

    Concrete is not all that expensive, and pouring oversize slab will give you that
    option for later. You can always park a trailer or motorhome on the spare slab as well till your ready to do the addition.

    Well, i would use up tons of bandwidth here giving suggestions
    so i'll cut it short.
    Good luck.
    Rog'
     
  19. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget to add a Powder Room. Reloading space ammo storage, deadicated space for gun safe, stoage, and good ventilation.

    guy up the road has been woring on his new house for over 2 years. Doing mostly himself. just take your time and do it right.
    Listem to our wife, but don't do what she wants unless it makes sense for the house. She will thank you later
     
  20. oldcars

    oldcars North Central Oregon Member

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    I just finished mine a about 6 months ago, It's small (just under 1,000sq.ft.of living area) but exactly what I needed. The best part is the oversized 24x40 garage! I hired a friend of mine to help with the framing and we did it all in four weekends. The best advice I have is sometimes it's best to hire people to do things that you hate doing. it saves time, sanity, and sometimes even money. I can do sheetrock and insulation if I really wanted to but I hate them both so it was worth it to hire it done. The insulation was actually cheaper having it installed than if I were to have gone to Home Depot and bought it. ALWAYS get at least 3 bids on anything you have done, you will be amazed at the price differance. Good luck! It's a great feeling when it's done, but alot of work.