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  1. #1

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    Has anyone ever built there own house?

    I have a lake house that was built in 1947. The house was built out of telephone poles to look like a log cabin. Needless to say the smell is bad inside the house and with my 1.5 year old now wanting to go to the lake all the time we dont sleep there anymore due to what the creasoak might do to her.
    The house is built into the side of a hill the main foundation is in good shape so I was thinking I could demo the old house and build myself a new one. I am planning to build it my self. has anyone ever done this that is not a carptner by trade? Any advice would be welcome.

    I am still on the fence on doing this. If I do it I plan to start demoing the house around Labor day. So building any new skis or boats will be on hold until after I finish the house but I think this will be a cool project if I can pull it off. I have already built the dock 30' long with a single slip and 11'x10' swim peir with 2 hydroports attached to it and a metal roof 12' above the decking of the dock to clear my tower when my boat is on the hydrohoist. I also built a 65' long walk way abd a 15' landing bridge on the shore.

    I need to finish my currect projects:
    1) Finish my 2000 Air Nautique its almost done just need to get it over to the paint shop and then get the new motor running.
    2) finish putting together my Freestyle Superjet. It should be done at the paint shop next week. Then just reassembly. 760 motor Factory pipe type 4, foothold in the rear and the front, shorter hand pole lower hood and nose piece, d cut ride plate and a works intake grate.

    So I sould have them done and playing with wayyyyy before I start this project. the plan for now is to start taking any extra cash and start stock piling the lumber at my city house in the garage. When there is enough to at least build the weather tight portion of the house then the fun begins.

    Am I out of my mind or is it do able?


  2. #2
    Moderator Insanediego Joe's Avatar
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    If you have good carpentry skills...which it sounds like you do it shouldn't be a problem. If you can afford an architect to draw up some plans for you I would recommend it. Making a material list for everything you will need.(lumber,windows,doors,sinks faucets,carpet, tile,toilets, drywall,light fixtures)And then go down to home depot and get realistic pricing will go a long way to knowing what your budget can afford.

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Insanediego Joe View Post
    ...If you can afford an architect to draw up some plans for you I would recommend it...
    A VERY common mistake is to go ahead without a quality design, done by someone who really knows how to design a good building, that makes sense for the site where it will be built.

    I often see 'builder' designs. Structurally sound, for sure, but without that sparkle of brilliant thinking that good designs show.

    And too often, buildings with poor design choices;
    Windows that look out over the wrong view, or windows that mar the view from the inside (too small, too few, too cheap, huge pillars between windows, etc).
    Floor plans that don't work well, rooms that are crammed, or traffic patterns that don't flow well.

    A good design will pay dividends forever. Better looking, better working, higher resale value. A good design is worth the up front cost.

    Another common mistake is building too small. Build it with future flexibility and possible future uses in mind. Accommodate visiting friends, expanding family, uses at different times of the year.

    Not just large(r), but with the ability to use it in different ways, and potentially change/expand it later on without messing up the appearance or internal structure.

  4. #4
    GOT BOOST? Dockside's Avatar
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    you have pic so we can have a better idea. How big is the house you plan to build, is it just a square box, 1 floor ect ect....

  5. #5
    David 1 FAST VE's Avatar
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    I've built 3 for myself.
    I am an electrical contractor by trade.

    The biggest mistake you can make is taking on more than you can handle.
    If you don't do it for a living then hire it done by a reputable contractor not the lowest bidder.

    I have seen lots of people do lots of things that they think is OK when in reality it was a terribly finished job.

    You can still save money by contracting it yourself. Do all your own clean up and such. Do the things that you are comfortable doing, tile , insulation, demolition, painting and things like that are home owner friendly projects.

    Leave the real important things like framing, plumbing, electrical and such to the contractors.

    Do all the research you can on what you want in the house and price from there.

    Price things in packages
    Cabinets
    Bath and Kitchen Fixtures (Tubs, faucets, sinks....)
    Light Fixtures
    Floors
    Tile

    Then to the:
    Electrical
    Framing
    Plumbing
    Roofing

    You get the idea. Lots of money can be saved in these areas. You can spend anywhere from $3,000 to $40,000 on cabinets. Pick your level and go from there and be realistic and do this on each area.

    Then bottom line your number from there. Things like framing, base electrical, roofing, and plumbing are all going to be comparable between trades but make sure you know exactly what you want and have it in writing to hand out when you get the quotes.
    This way each trade bids the same job not what you and a particular person spoke with on any given day.

    I could go on and on. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

    Good Luck!


    David

  6. #6
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    Pictures of what you are replacing and if possible what you expect to replace it with would help. Also your budget and time frame to completion would help.

    Sub contractors are fairly cheap right now. Some are begging for work and offering "break even prices". My neighbor built his own garage using subs and acting as the GC. He purchased all the materials himself and allowed the workers to work on their free time for cash. It took 2 years to complete as he only did work when he had extra cash but he got a $50.000 garage for right under $20,000. He did this several years ago when new construction was booming so he could possibly do it today even cheaper. BTW I would live in his garage. Central HVAC, complete plumbing and electrical, cable and an approx. 800 sf attached deck with gas fire pit and hot tub decked with those plastic boards.

  7. #7

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    Thanks guys for the advice.

    to answer some of the questions:
    The house that is there now is a 2 bedroom 1 bath and a wapping 400 sf. Yes thats right 400 sf. its just a weekend place. We are planning to build some where areound 650 -900 sf. Nothing crazy 2 bedroom 1 or 2 baths. Pretty much just a simple design (square or rectangle) the siding we want to do in T-G log siding. We are looking to do it a little at a time as we have spare cash. I know I can do the work, I have the skills and most of the tools. The elect., plumbing, drywall, and flooring work is no big thing to me. I am just a little and I mean a "little" nervous with the framming. I am considering just haveing the framing done by a contractor and then doing the rest myself. I really appreciate the advice I am going to talk to an architect and see what they come up with.

    Please keep the ideas comming

  8. #8
    The framing is the least intellectually demanding part of the job...most physically demanding...but...so what.

    I got a kick out of your statement about "anyone ever done this that is not a carpenter by trade?"...heh...no offense.

    I really didn't expect you to get one...you did...an electrician....Good advise, fastVE.

    This is a buyers market....everywhere. References...be choosy...go see their work...talk to their past clients...credit check if you can get it.

    You are the boss......hire accordingly.

  9. #9
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    Something that small you should be able to do yourself. Instead of cabinets you'll have shelving. That small and you'll take a minimalist approuch to save space anyways. Framing will be easy since it will be so small and all. Is it going on a slab? That small you could probably build the walls and all off site. Best bet is get good plans and plan ahead. Have the trusses pre-built.

    Some people might laugh but I find the Home Depot books a good reference source.

  10. #10

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    I helped my step father build a house for him self. Its not to hard if you do with with someone with experience. It went to gather really fast wasnt two bad. he was in construction for 20 years had been out of it for about 10 when we built the place. id say we did a far superior job then if we hired someone. it cost us about 90-100k to build the place and he sold it a few years later for 210.

    we plan on building one more house for me. he said its the last house he is ever going to do and i hope the last one i ever do.

    i would buy lumber and just let it lay around either. we also built the walls on ground and lifted them up and built bracing on the out side to catch them as we raised them.

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