Guide to building a new house
#20
  Re: Guide to building a new house by DogwoodTales (We’re considering ha...)
Given your consideration to act as your own GC:

My wife and I have done 3 owner/ builder homes.
Info about the farm house built 22 years ago:

We owned the land free and clear and were able to get a construction loan from a reputable bank.
They helped set up the payout schedule for subs (std. practice).
We designed the home and had legal drawings produced by a licensed draftsman.

We opened commercial accounts with several suppliers.
We purchased all the material, hired the subs and acted as the GC, managing the project. Miss Judy was the prime and was there every day during construction.

We obtained comparable quotes from several builders prior to starting construction. We decided to be our own GC and saved about 28%!

My FIL & I did all the interior and exterior finish and trim work.
He built our simple kitchen.

If you’ve successfully managed any large complex ever-changing projects which require steady oversight, you can do this.
Gary

Please don’t quote the trolls.
Liberty, Freedom and Individual Responsibility
Say what you'll do and do what you say.

Reply
#21
  Re: Guide to building a new house by DogwoodTales (We’re considering ha...)
I’ve raised six children so I’ve done that much
Ray
Reply
#22
  Re: RE: Guide to building a new house by DogwoodTales (I’ve raised six chil...)
I’m currently converting a barn into a house and I’m doing 95% of the work myself. Cherry-picking easy jobs from your GC may not work. I think that depends on who holds the loan. Being your own GC really only works if you are a master of every trade or can do some work yourself. That or you take your time to learn as you go. I’m 4 yrs into it with probably 1 or 2 more to go. I’ve had to help or teach every sub I’ve hired so far. I lend them tools, fix theirs, it’s ridiculous really.

I think it’s funny (read stupid) that we capitulate the portions of the build that effect us most to people we don’t know, then want to be involved in portions that dont effect us at all. Single best thing I did was fire my architect. Next, no way I’d let an HVAC guy design how my house functions. I designed my home in the free version of sketchup. I integrated plumbing in 3d to make that easy to install and functionally superior. I do t think architects do that. They locate bathrooms kinda wherever and let the plumbers figure out how to connect them. Dumb.

You have to have a plan for insulation, and you should understand how that effects your HVAC system. The Exterior water proofing, exterior insulation, trim materials with expansion rates considered, window and door installations you must master. I watch Matt Risinger on YouTube and read all the green building websites and books.

Never leave it up to a builder to purchase anything with your best interests in mind. Everything they purchase has their best interest in mind. They pay top dollar using your money for their convenience. It’s almost sick what they do.

I guess my advice is, if you are building the std 2 story colonial in an established neighborhood and you have any building or construction experience, think about leaving the country until the house is finished. Seriously, you don’t want to see what they do, what passes for craftsmanship or even a days work. Don’t dabble in their processes either. Either take over, or back away.
Reply
#23
  Re: Guide to building a new house by DogwoodTales (We’re considering ha...)
In Wiconsin it is very hard to get a construction loan to do a build it yourself unless you are a liscensed GC. too many banks were burned in the past by do it youselfers who either uderetimated costs or the time needed to build. Unless you are very aware of what you are getting into I would sugest you do a lot of homework on your GC and then stay out of his way. I had my GC liscense fo 40 years. Do your homework and hire a good one. Look closely at the allowances you are given for your selection. A lower price with unrealistic allowance will not work unless you want lower priced materials.
Reply
#24
  Re: Guide to building a new house by DogwoodTales (We’re considering ha...)
The show HomeTime with Dean Johnson has many videos(Amazon and You Tube) about construction. One series was about how to be your own contractor.
Reply
#25
  Re: Guide to building a new house by DogwoodTales (We’re considering ha...)
I did the GC myself. I hired a 3 man crew for site work and concrete work. Then did rough construction myself, and all my plumbing.
A relative helped me put int the electrical service and he then wired the house. I did the low voltage wiring throughout the house and the 220 in the basement shop.
I hired a couple guys to help me asphalt shingle the roof.
After doing the drywall in the basement myself, i hired a 3 man crew to rock the rest of the house. I realized really quickly that hiring drywallers was WAY more time effective.
Only 9 people were hired to work on the house. My wife, mother,and father helped frequently. Three friends stopped by when i needed help lifting wall sections on weekends.

Be sure your subs understand exactly what you want. My basement walls were speced at 10' tall 10" thick. The guy who i contracted with met me on site 3 days before begining work only then did he realize the 10' concrete walls. He only had 8' tall forms and said he would have to use block for the top 2 feet. I cancelled out and then got on a waiting list for another contractor who had quoted me a price and actually had 10' forms.

If you think that you might have heavy ojects in your house, build assuming you will. I allowed for increased floor joist strength for an area under the solarium and dining room. Still no hot tub in the solarium, but there is a pool table in what was considered a dining room in the blueprints.

I didn't want to spend the money for a huge back up generator. A backup pwer supply is essential during winters in my region. I ran wire from a subpanel to a receptcal mounted just outside the basement door. It is very easy to wheel a portable generator out of the basement door and hook it up to the receptacle.

We took out a home equity loan on the home we lived in to help cover the cost of the new house.
Most insurance companies do not offer homeowners insurance on a house while under construction. I was able to find it thru allstate.

If in a cold climate, multiple heating zones is a consideration. Depending on water supply maybe a water softner.
Maybe solar energy should be a consideration. as there could be finaincial incentives offered by the federal government in the next 4 years.

If house is going to have your workshop run lots of electrical outlets.

Food for thought
My .02
Karl




Reply
#26
  Re: Guide to building a new house by DogwoodTales (We’re considering ha...)
Just finished building a new house.  Could have been my own GC but one big thing kept me from considering it:  knowing the subs.

If a sub has a choice between doing a job for an unknown they'll never see again or doing job for a contractor they can get more work from guess who goes to the head of the line. Rolleyes

And if a sub screws up and you call them to make it right how soon will you see them?

Nope, the money I would "save" would be more than offset by a contractor getting better price and service, plus discounts from suppliers.

And knowing the inspectors and how they work is also worth a lot.  

Yep, I left the headaches to the contractor.

But I did dig the basement and did some other stuff to save money. Laugh
"Truth is a highway leading to freedom"  --Kris Kristofferson

Wild Turkey
We may see the writing on the wall, but all we do is criticize the handwriting.
(joined 10/1999)
Reply
#27
  Re: Guide to building a new house by DogwoodTales (We’re considering ha...)
Hurry before the price of lumber goes up even more.

Mad
Reply
#28
  Re: RE: Guide to building a new house by Wild Turkey (Just finished buildi...)
(03-06-2021, 07:59 PM)Wild Turkey Wrote: Just finished building a new house.  Could have been my own GC but one big thing kept me from considering it:  knowing the subs.

If a sub has a choice between doing a job for an unknown they'll never see again or doing job for a contractor they can get more work from guess who goes to the head of the line. Rolleyes

And if a sub screws up and you call them to make it right how soon will you see them?

Nope, the money I would "save" would be more than offset by a contractor getting better price and service, plus discounts from suppliers.

And knowing the inspectors and how they work is also worth a lot.  

Yep, I left the headaches to the contractor.

But I did dig the basement and did some other stuff to save money. Laugh

Good advice. I agree with the details. In my case, the difference between buying, or hiring an architect and GC and doing it myself is about $600,000. That won’t be everyone’s circumstance. But it’s not nobody’s either.

I’m under the impression a lot of subs work 6 months out of the year so their labor rates are not a reasonable wage. I paid one specialist $1500/day. HVAC installers and plumbers charge like they are still working with cast iron pipe. A lot of what they do has become so easy to do. Manufacturers are designing to reduce installation labor. I had a quote to install a $1000 hot water heater at $1500. It’s like an hours work for them. Who gets that? Not like they had to deliver or move it.

Even Amish builders are charging crazy money. I like them because they are typically good to their word, but they aren’t cheap.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.