Pay GC to build a home and finish it myself? L O N G . . . - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
Off-Topic Discussion of All Non-Related Topics

Powerstroke.org is the premier Diesel Truck Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-21-2007, 10:01 PM
Compression Ignition Addict
 

Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 457
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Pay GC to build a home and finish it myself? L O N G . . .

Lately I've been seriously considering the cost of new construction vs. the cost of buying a home and I've been tossing a few ideas around. After looking at a few designs online and evaluating their rough cost estimates, I was thinking "why not build new?" For example, this Cape Cod is exactly what my girlfriend (soon to be fiancee ) and I would be looking for. It's just over 1000 SF with two bedrooms on the ground floor and space to put two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. We have no desire for a large house or a huge piece of property, etc... Just a house with room enough for ourselves and two kids (well, one day), that's well built and comfortable. The PSD can live outside until we get the scratch together for a nice garage. If we wanted to go bigger we could always add on once our income allowed. The plan estimates a rough cost of anywhere between $90,000 and $100,000 to construct including labor in the Northeast region of the U.S. First off-are these prices realistic?

If they are, then my next question is, how much lower could the price get if my fiancee and I did all of the finish work ourselves? I'll try to be as specific as possible here. I am proposing hiring a GC to do the following:

* Excavate and build full height (8' ceiling) walkout basement with internal and external drain tile.
* Excavate and build septic system suitable for a 4 bedroom house in well drained #5 soil.
* Drill water well-I know that drilling a well can be a crapshoot, but average around here is 300' with maybe half of that through rock.
* Frame, sheathe, and finish (roofing, siding, windows/doors, etc...) the "envelope" of the house.
* Install all interior systems (Insulation, electrical, propane/gas, plumbing, HVAC units/ductwork, fiber optic, etc...)
* Install subfloor, drywall (tape/spackle only)

Once the house was at that point I would consider it "finished," and do the following myself as I was living there. Obviously some jobs would take priority over others:

* Sand and paint drywall.
* Finish electrical (Install light fixtures, outlets, etc...)
* Install all flooring-hardwood laminate/tile because my fiancee has bad allergies and does not want carpeting.
* Finish plumbing (Install/connect sinks, toilets, bath fixtures, etc...)
* Install all indoor trim, interior doors, countertops, closets, shelving, cabinets, appliances, and any general "finish" work.
* Perform all landscaping other than rough grading done after foundation construction.

Our goal would be to begin living in the home as quickly as possible by installing the bare minimum we would need (one working bathroom, basic kitchen, etc...) so that we could slowly finish the rest of the home over time. I realize this may seem a bit bizarre to some, but we have our reasons. Both of us have decent paying jobs, but have only just emerged from credit card debt accrued during college and have only managed to save just over $10,000 thus far. Also, we'd like to borrow as little up front as possible, keeping our mortgage payment low- instead we'll finish the home as our cashflow allows over time. We're both relatively picky and would enjoy being able to have total control over the finishing touches on the home. Plus she's a hands on kinda gal who will help me wrench on the truck and she's not afraid to get dirty, so she can help me every step of the way. I'd love to build the whole place myself from the ground up, but without quitting my job it would take at least 5 years!

Obviously we know that it won't all be fun and games, its not as easy as Tom Silva and Norm Abram make it look, and there will be weekends/nights when we're tired of working on the house, but we both feel that it will pay off with a lower mortgage payment and a home built exactly to our specs. My parents did something similar when they built their log home, but my father really took over the project once the outer shell was completed and did all of the electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc...himself. It also took him about 3 years to complete the house, not to mention that the "fine" work continued for at least another year and a half after we moved in. However, my parents paid the home off in 17 years and love the house.

All of that being said, let's get down to brass tacks:

Would I be able to find a GC who would be willing to take on the project? Would it be "too small" of a job?

If the total construction cost mentioned above ($100,000-high end) is accurate, would it be realistic to assume that I could have the house built for $70,000-$80,000 if I finish it myself?

Has anyone else here built a home in a similar manner?

One last question and I'll shut up. With regard to the original stated cost of $100,000, is it safe to say that it probably assumes "middle of the road" materials? If so, how much of a hike would that price take if I specified the following from the GC:

(From the top down)
Owens Corning Berkshire shingles
Ice shield underlayment
3/4" sheathing throughout (Not OSB)
Tyvek housewrap
Owens Corning vinyl siding
Anderson windows and doors (Tne sliding glass door units, double hung vinyl clad tilt in windows throughout)
Owens Corning R-21 insulation in exterior walls
Owens Corning R-38 insulation in attic
3/4" T&G subfloor
Silent floor I-beam joists
200 amp service
Wiring for a ceiling fan in every room plus two on the front porch, at least four outlets per room (two GFIs in each bathroom), at least one light fixture per room, at least two lights on each exterior wall, and one GFI on each exterior wall.
Water spigot on front and rear walls
Copper/PVC plumbing throughout
Bosch tankless hot water heater
Trane HVAC units (single zone forced air/gas heat)

I'm hoping that the price won't get too out of control since the home is small, but I don't know enough to estimate the costs accurately. I'm not trying to be a snob, but I'd rather have a really well built small home than a poorly built large one. In any event, the more guidance I can get here the better. For now I've shifted my house hunting to land hunting, which is still tricky here in NJ, but I'm hoping one of two things will happen: Either I'll find a nice site that's off the beaten path a bit and will need a well and septic, or I can find a derelict home in a residential area that I can knock down, utilizing the existing water, gas, and sewer lines.

Another thing I should probably add is that I have a lot of friends in the building trades who I've known all my life. In fact, based on what I hear from you guys I'm going to approach a friend of mine who's been in the business for himself for over 5 years now and just finished a complete gut and renovation job on his own home to see what he thinks about taking this on as GC. The guy who will be the best man at my wedding has his own excavating company and has lots of foundation/septic experience. Another friend just took over his father's HVAC business, and from working with various local trade unions I know a lot of master electricians and plumbers very well. Basically, I could probably get a lot of work done at a discount, or for a case of beer/weekend of fishing, so I guess that factors in too. I'm just trying to decide whether or not I want to take the next step and look into a construction loan-HELP!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 05-21-2007, 10:08 PM
Compression Ignition Addict
 

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New Jersey/Pennsylvania
Posts: 235
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Garage

Do the garage with the house right away.
You won't be sorry.
If you don't, you will.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3  
Old 05-21-2007, 10:28 PM
aluminum tubing engineer
 

Join Date: May 2007
Location: sacramento
Posts: 1,285
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
we are actually in the middle of this very thing ourselves!

ours is 1800 square feet and we went with a log home package from Log Homes and Log Home Floor Plans Cabins by Golden Eagle Log Homes

we are acting as our own GC, but mostly cause they wanted ~40 grand to run ours and that was just insane...even for california.

it sounds like you got the right idea and have enough contacts to get you started...id go for it!


Last edited by wingnut; 05-21-2007 at 10:31 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4  
Old 05-22-2007, 04:18 AM
Moderator
 

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Athens Illinois
Posts: 578
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Send a message via Yahoo to 00powerstrokin
"3/4" sheathing throughout (Not OSB)"

dont' use plywood !! go with osb or you will be sorry. osb will withstand a lot more moisture than plywood. our houses in central illnois have been running a bare minimum of $125 a square foot.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5  
Old 05-22-2007, 07:40 AM
Compression Ignition Addict
 

Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 457
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by 00powerstrokin View Post
"3/4" sheathing throughout (Not OSB)"
dont' use plywood !! go with osb or you will be sorry. osb will withstand a lot more moisture than plywood. our houses in central illnois have been running a bare minimum of $125 a square foot.
I'm confused-I thought OSB was the cheapy stuff that looked like pressed sawdust and swelled up with it got wet?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6  
Old 05-22-2007, 07:54 AM
Compression Ignition Addict
 

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,479
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
That's particle board. OSB is different.

Here's some info: Oriented Strand Board Frequently Asked Questions
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
Garage Plus, Vendor Tools vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.

vB.Sponsors