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TIGRLEE
LSU Fan
Northeast Louisiana
Member since Nov 2009
24554 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house

My lender told me that I could build the house I wanted... It a good time.


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PlanoPrivateer
LSU Fan
Frisco, TX
Member since Jan 2004
1512 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
A lot of those are great tips and some I used. The best thing I saw was where you said you know people that have construction knowledge / experience.

My wife and I built our first house. We looked through dozens or more of house plan magazines (do they still have them?). We took a plan from a magazine that we liked the most and fit our budget. A relative of an inlaw was an architect. He drew up formal plans based on what we showed him and the modifications we wanted to make, several sets of plans. Sorry I don’t remember how many. A friend of mine had an uncle that owned a pile diving business. I still remember we had 99 pilings and he gave us a dollar off per piling. Father in law knew a roofer, I had worked for an electrical contractor, a fishing buddy was a sheetrock contractor, and college buddy owned a HVAC company.

Sweat equity – my wife, mother in law, father in law and I did all of the painting, wall paper, installed most of the electrical fixtures. I was even shoveling concrete when we poured the slab.

The hardest part however was not the physical work. It was getting the construction financing. My wife and I were young and dumb. Even though we owned the lot; had paid off the street, sewer, and water liens; and had 20% of the construction cost as a down payment we had a difficult time getting a loan.

Even with all of that the biggest piece was having a friend that was a licensed general construction contractor. Without his advice and guidance we probably wouldn’t have been able to pull it off. I will be forever grateful. So if I had to give only one piece of advice – have or hire someone that can guide you through the process. Good luck and keep us posted.


rodnreel1
LSU Fan
south la
Member since Jul 2012
79 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
look up web site doug rye.com. He has a dvd on how to build an energy effic. house. I used many of his ideas. I built a house twice the size I was living in and cut the power bill in half.


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Zach
LSU Fan
Member since May 2005
70727 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
quote:

Even with all of that the biggest piece was having a friend that was a licensed general construction contractor. Without his advice and guidance we probably wouldn’t have been able to pull it off.

I always recommend paying a contractor instead of building yourself. The subcontractors do work for the GC to get more jobs. They know that you, as an independent agent will never hire them again.


fatboydave
LSU Fan
Fat boy land
Member since Aug 2004
7809 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
Run cat 5/6 and coax everywhere. Think about tv placement and run speaker wires for in-wall mount speakers and run some outside to patio. Have sheetrock guys cut out speaker holes. Gas to patio. Easier to do when under construction and much harder when insulation and walls are in. Closets and kitchen pantry cant be too big!



rodnreel
Member since Apr 2011
283 posts
Online

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
Another tip is to go to recently built homes to get a feel for the size of rooms. When you find a master bedroom you like measure it and make notes. You can do this for every room in the house. It helps when discussing plans with whoever designs the house.

One idea I got was to have bricks on an interior wall. I didn't know I liked it until I saw it in another house.


snake2985
Member since Jan 2011
157 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
I am just finishing building my second house in a few years. Use spray foam insulation and spary the roof rafters, dramitacally cuts down on power usage and the house maintains its temperture well. The first price a sub gives you is never the best price. If you have any negotiating skills, you can get a better price. Stained concrete floors are a great DIY project and you can literally floor your house for pennies on the dollar and get a nice look. Make sure you file all the permits correctly and that each phase of construction gets signed off on before you begin the next. The best advice though is to plan start to finish, have a construction schedule that puts the subs in the order they need to be and ask questions if something looks off to you. And remember, as long as you have someones money you still have leverage, once you pay them, it is very difficult to get them to come back in and fix something.


TigerDeBaiter
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2010
3263 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
quote:

Use spray foam insulation

I would strongly urge against spray foam. If its not done 100% correctly you're setting yourself up for major problems. Ventilation issues, attic condensation (rain), etc. There are better alternatives for the money too. Definitely use a tech shield type product (radiant heat barrier) and upgrade to r-38 attic and r-15 in the walls. Never use batt insulation either.
LINK


guttata
LSU Fan
prairieville
Member since Feb 2006
20383 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
I have to agree with not doing the spray form. We finished building about 6 months ago and during the process we couldn't justify the extra $12k it would have cost to do spray form. We used that $$ to get more efficient heating and cooling. Now, my wife and I both work and our thermostats are set based on when we are home vs at work. So far, we are glad we skipped on the spray foam. Our highest electric bill has been $130 and the house is 4280 living. We do also have nat gas and the bill runs around $80/ mo. So say our electric and gas are $210/mo. If we would have done spray foam it would knock our bill down to maybe $150. That's a $60/ mo difference. It would take us about 16 yrs to break even. Not worth it, in our case.


Carson123987
LSU Fan
Middle Court at the Rec
Member since Jul 2011
42883 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
quote:

I highly recommend separate bathrooms for you and the wife. Not separate areas of the same room... totally separate BR as far apart as possible.

When I told a builder friend about mine he said it is actually a growing trend. It prevents women from gradually taking over all of your space.


this. and that way she can shite and you will never know


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snake2985
Member since Jan 2011
157 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
quote:

we couldn't justify the extra $12k it would have cost to do spray form

Not sure of the price you recieved for the job, but I found the difference to be only about 20% more than conventional insulation, that was only about an extra $2,000 spraying almost 4000sqft for me. The extra benefit of having conditioned attic space is added bonus. And I have a lifetime warranty on the material and installation from the contractor, whom I have used before, and am not worried about any pitfalls.


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MoreOrLes
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2008
18670 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
1) Pay for a good home architect.
This will eliminate many problems. It allows you to put the plans out for bid to several contractors and have them bid apples to apples...."PER PLANS AND SPECS"

2). Take prices from at least 3 Contractors. Dont get lazy, check references of people who used them for past builds.

3). Get a good contract document. One that spells out how the contractor is to be paid and how long the build should take.



Finally if you are too cheap to hire a good Architect for a good set of plans then IMO, you should not be building a house.


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lsufan112001
New Orleans Saints Fan
sportsmans paradise
Member since Oct 2006
6214 posts
Online

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
don't use "friends" for contract work. business is business and friend is friends.



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GaryOwen
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2008
190 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
3 areas of advice, from experience.

1. If you do use a general contractor, make sure you put a deadline for completion on the contract with daily monetary penalties if not completed by the deadline.

2. If you are building in Louisiana, the New Home Warranty Act is basically to protect the builder, not you. If you have any problem, and I do mean any problem, that the builder won't resolve then file a lawsuit. DO NOT LET THE BUILDER STRING YOU ALONG. Notify the builder of the problem in writing and give them a reasonable amount of time to correct the problem. (BTW, no one has been able to define reasonable for me) If you do these steps and still have problems, then file the suit, and make sure you do it within 13 months of the date of occupancy. Outside of the 13 month date, you will be facing a major hurdle- which isn't by accident I may add.

3. Mentally walk through every area of your home on the plan and take note of locations for light switches and receptacles. Ask yourself for what purpose will every space be used for and plan accordingly.

Good Luck.
This post was edited on 2/8 at 8:54 am


TIGRLEE
LSU Fan
Northeast Louisiana
Member since Nov 2009
24554 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
Lots of good info in this thread, I appreciate it.

My lender said first step was to secure lot.. which I have.. family land.
He said get it donated instead of buying bc the equtity in lot serves as downpayment.. have an appraiser come appraise it.. if I bought it for 1k thats the downpayment it would serve for 12 months.
My granddad owns all this, so I dont have to spend anything on property.

Ive talked to 3 people this week who have recently built house and it appears this is going to be a potentially long drawn out ordeal.. others do it so I suppose Ill manage too..
as I said I have architect, lawyer and plumber/electrician in my family.
Im hoping that will make things go little smoother.


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bojabu
Member since Sep 2010
1275 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
Cat5.... meh. With Smart Tv's, like Samsung's 8000 series for instance, you can wirelessly stream Netflix or run Plex from your HTPC perfectly. IPad for portable media, wireless cards in PCs, no issues, and less wires.

Just got a new house (woot!), two stories, 2100 living, with a walkway between it and the garage, which houses my mancave. For my router I went with this....
ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router

I got 3 out 5 bars of wireless in the garage, so I added Amped Wireless High Power 1000mW Wi-Fi Signal Booster (SB1000) and that boosted it to 5/5 everywhere. I did need a wired connection in the garage, and since I had the equipment from my old house, I re-used an Amped Wireless High Power Wireless-N 600mW Smart Repeater and Range Extender (SR10000). It allows you to respit out a new boosted signal, and gives you wired connections for older devices.

Even if you don't go that route, the router listed above is ridiculous. Even without the powered antenna, it gave me 5/5 bars everywhere inside my home.


lsufan112001
New Orleans Saints Fan
sportsmans paradise
Member since Oct 2006
6214 posts
Online

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
Lee, do you plan on doing any work yourself?

for each contractor, look closely every day at what they are doing so changes can me done immediately. don't wait until the very end, it'll be hard to get them back to the house after they got paid.


TIGRLEE
LSU Fan
Northeast Louisiana
Member since Nov 2009
24554 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
Im not a carpenter so I suppose the answer is no.. however I can sweep or clean stuff up that otherwise Id have to pay someone to do..
Im not trying to pinch pennies to be a house laborer, but also I dont want to needlessly waste money.


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TIGRLEE
LSU Fan
Northeast Louisiana
Member since Nov 2009
24554 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
sold my house today.. wanted 15k in equity settled for 12,500.
Im happy, not bad for 4.5 years.
Took 3 months.

Ready to start building.

Bump for any new advice.
Thanks.


Volvagia
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2006
41848 posts

re: Wife and I seriously considering building a house
quote:

Cat5.... meh. With Smart Tv's, like Samsung's 8000 series for instance, you can wirelessly stream Netflix or run Plex from your HTPC perfectly. IPad for portable media, wireless cards in PCs, no issues, and less wires.


Wireless performance can't hope to match wired performance.

Period. In cost, security, bandwidth, and latency.

It's nice to have, but it's absurd to scoff at building in the wiring for the sake of wireless.

I experimented with streaming high resolution video from my PC to my TV once and the whole thing fell flat on its face.

You'll start to get somewhere near a replacement when AC standard goes mainstream, but with N?

Nope.

Especially in a household of Internet users that begin to clog that shared air bandwidth.


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