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Advice on building a new house?

Discussion in 'Workshop and Home Improvement' started by extremetoy1, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. extremetoy1

    extremetoy1

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    Okay heres the situation- I have 2 acres and i am going to build (first time) i want any advice on building finance as well as building it too and anything you would add for economics (solar for electric and water heating) I am adding a back up diesel generator that i already own in case of emergency. What kind of work can one do himself as well as what corners can you cut? any experiances good or bad that may save me some headaches would be appreciated.

    Thanx Mudders
     
  2. Hot_Eighty_Chick

    Hot_Eighty_Chick

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    Well, make sure you get some wood, cement, some electrical wiring, piping and a roof.
    There ya go! :)
     
  3. extremetoy1

    extremetoy1

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    Poof, there you go:flipoff2: !
     
  4. Hot_Eighty_Chick

    Hot_Eighty_Chick

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    Hahahaha, I knew you'd love it. :D
     
  5. White Shark

    White Shark

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    Hire an experienced local Contractor. Ask for references. It's likely he'll have good Subcontractor and Engineer relationships if he's a good Contractor. He will discuss what type of work he will do and you can tell him what scope of work you want to do.

    A good Contractor will sail through Building Inspections because he knows the ins and outs that non-builders are unaware of. He will also save you time and money. The house will also be built correctly if he knows his stuff, as compared to a throw together DIY job.

    As for loans, local banks are more willing to do construction loans as they know the local market and have an interest in the community. You will not likely find similar treatment from Credit Unions and certainly not from large national Mortgage outfits.

    Make a schedule and try to stick to the plan. Treat the workers like gold and they will go the extra mile.

    Stay away from Solar Water Heaters, as they are heavy, don't last, and they generally suck for such a small demand system. Solar pool systems are worth looking into though, as pool heating is an expense worth offsetting with solar.

    Get a natural gas or propane on demand system to heat water. As for Solar, I would consider photovoltaic cell panels on the roof or barn, and I'd look into a windmill if you have any regular wind in the area.

    When you hook up your generator, don't forget to install a transfer switch as it will prevent generator current from returning into the grid during an outage. If power goes out and you push current onto the grid, you can toast utility workers. :doh:

    Practice meditation and buy a bucket of Valium. Other than that, it's a piece of cake. ;)
     
  6. Capt. Jim

    Capt. Jim

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    Be sure to get everything in writing. Don't leave out any details in you contracts with your GC, subs or suppliers. I always made my subs clean up their waste materials and dispose of them in my dumpster. Many subs will leave their discards right where they fall and not clean up. When this happens with your drywall sub, the cleanup is not fun.

    Try to have your plans finalized prior to start. Change orders tend to be costly. Have your payment schedule outlined in your contracts, and be sure to stipulate any hold-backs. Partial and final releases of lien should be obtained each time you pay a sub or supplier. Be sure to file a notice of commencement. Certificates of insurance, also called CI's, are always required on my jobs. These are issued by the insurance company and are issued to you. They spell out the limits and types of insurance the particular sub carries (liability, E & O, worker's comp., etc). Licenseing, where required, is always imperative. Don't just ask if someone is licensed, check with the proper agency to verify. It is amazing how many un-licensed people here in Florida claim they are "Licensed and Insured".

    I echo all that Shark said above. Most of what you can do yourself is related to your available time and your abilities. I would let my clients either do work themselves or be responsible for selecting the sub and being fully responsible for that aspect of work. This was never anything more than things like painting, landscaping, cabinets, flooring, or perhaps a pool. They usually had a brother, uncle, son, etc. in the business and wanted to save $$$ by using them.

    I'm sure there's more to it than this but that's all I can think of righ now.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  7. White Shark

    White Shark

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    x2.

    The Bank will want to see lots of official documentation to release/disburse money for each phase of the job.

    If a Sub files a Mechanic's Lien, you will pay the bill unless you can prove your Contractor was responsible to cover that expense under contract.

    If someone gets hurt and the Contractor or Sub lacks Workman's Comp insurance, you will likely foot the hospital bills with the Contractor. Make sure everyone has a Insurance carrier and photocopy the policy.

    You should also make sure that the Subs / Contractor have a current bond if your State requires one, and I'd also check for liability insurance. Most guys in California carry a $1 Million dollar liability policy to cover materials falling out of the sky, and trusses falling off the roof onto vehicles, etc.

    Some of this was already covered by Capt. Jim, but I am just thinking out loud about what you should have in California.

    I agree about the Change Orders too. Make a decision and stick to that decision. Changing your mind will be costly and throw everyone off the schedule. Get a solid decision from the wife and tell her that once the house is under construction, she is not allowed to get design advice from any of her friends.

    Too many busy-body housewives watch HGTV and have not an F'ing clue, although they consider themselves every bit as good or better than a professional Architect, Engineer, and Contractor rolled into one. They will try to come onsite and give all sorts of design advice that they don't have to pay for, while trying to change your wife's mind using their professional opinion and expert design advice. Your wife will then be unhappy and insecure until you screw the pooch and pay for the change. Don't let it happen to you.

    [​IMG]



    ...
     
  8. Capt. Jim

    Capt. Jim

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    Or her mother or interior decorator.:mad:
     
  9. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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    A good contractor will have a list of references and will be willing to show completed projects and projects in progress. Check all of the above. Your goal should be to be able to drink beer with your contractor and subs when your house is finished and feel good about paying for it.

    Timely completion on project with a construction loan is very important. A good contractor will use the same subs job after job that will help greatly for on time completion.

    Know what you want and know before it goes to bid. The more info you can provide the bidding contractors will help in controlling your cost. This also helps when comparing apples to apples. Do not accept allowances in a bid it will kill your budget. More time is lost when a homeowner does not know what they want, it slows everything down. And then if its not in stock and must be ordered weeks can be lost. There will always be extras have your contractor agree to cost only on extras with no PO added but be reasonable on what you ask remember you had all your ducks in a row when you started.

    Building a house is a big undertaking keep researching and do your homework.

    Will you be building off the grid?

    Good luck
     
  10. valentine

    valentine

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    X2


    Learn the guys' names, if they're doing a good job bring a case of beer by some friday after work. They'll really appreciate that!:)
     
  11. extremetoy1

    extremetoy1

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    Very good points so far, what does the bank look for when getting a loan on a new build? can you use the property as collateral? (its paid for) I will try to live as much off of the grid as possible life is too short to work my ass off so the utility companies can get rich and yes i do make biodiesel, just have to get an 80 with a diesel now!
     
  12. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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    Will you 100% photovoltaics or is your plan to use a grid tie in system?
    Obtaining a construction loan not tied into utility company depending 100% on solar can be difficult.
     
  13. White Shark

    White Shark

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    I agree. You will want to pay for hookup, even at the high hookup cost, because you can sell electrickery back to your local utility, essentially recovering your costs a few years down the road if you go the solar route.

    Ask around your local area about solar. If you live in a high rain / fog area or in the forest, low sunlight conditions may make solar a poor choice.
     
  14. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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    Depending where you are at selling electric back to the utility can be costly due to the insurance required and they only give you back the wholesale rate.:mad:
    Some utilities are have dollars available for help on new systems CA is one.:D

    Up until a few years ago the big island of Hawaii had 30,000 homes running on 100% photovoltaics systems with no tie in. Paul Mitchell the hair guy has the largest system on the island powering a huge home. My wifes grama is in the rain forest there and was 100% photovoltaics until 5 years ago. 300"+ of rain You are correct not the best choice but it can work.
     
  15. Capt. Jim

    Capt. Jim

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    It is impossible to bid a job without allowances. Most owners do not have any idea what type of floor coverings, cabinetry, electric fixtures, plumbing fixtures etc. they want, even when it is time to purchase them. Allowances must be included to obtain the hard cost of the job.

    I would never agree to no profit/overhead on change orders. This is what we do for a living. Why should a contractor not be entitled to P/O? :confused:
    Change orders work both ways. I have credited back some of my P/O in change orders where things had been eliminated.

    Any contractor who is not concerned about P/O will give you a poor quality job.
     
  16. reffug

    reffug

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    I just finished building my house and all I can say is there is alot of 'TRUTH' in the above statement.:cool:
     
  17. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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    Capt. Jim Yes you are correct if you dont know what you want it goes under an allowance. You overlooked this part"Know what you want and know before it goes to bid. The more info you can provide the bidding contractors will help in controlling your cost.
    With everything spec'd there is no need for an allowance.

    I guess it depends on the specs and how much fat you have in your bid. But on a spec'd project with plenty of fat in it you surely can forgo the 25% P&O if the plumber adds a couple extra hose bibs. In the type of work I do there is always changes and I hide money in my price for some. Everyone likes to think they are getting something for free;)
    Hi-jack over
     
  18. DSRTRDR

    DSRTRDR I can mangle anything ... SILVER Star

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    if you want to save on utilities for heating and cooling, I would suggest a geothermal system - they are very efficient in the midwest, we love ours
     
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