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Anyone with good advice on building a house?

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by Unlucky 13, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    Pouring the basement floor this morning.

    upload_2018-12-17_15-27-6.png
     
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  2. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    Floor joists between the basement and 1st floor nearly finished!

    upload_2019-1-3_14-22-52.png
     
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  3. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    Is the area to the left of the flooring all garage? I'm envious. I was into plans with that general shape, and my wife won, lol. Not that I'm unhappy with what we ended up with at all.
     
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  4. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    Yep, that's the garage. And to the back and right will be stairs leading down into the basement so if a repairman needs to service a furnace etc they don't have to go through the entire house.

    And my wife has won 99% of the things with this house too. Although, our tastes are extremely similar so not much disagreeing. The one thing I insisted on, and got, was a bar in the basement where I can watch TV, play pool, etc.

    Now that you've been in the house for a bit do you wish you would have done anything differently?
     
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  5. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    My wife and I generally have about 80% overlap in our tastes as well, with almost everything in life. So its not often a big deal. The things that I would do differently were either ones that she "won" on, or else we didn't do due to added cost.

    One would be having tile in the kitchen area of the greatroom, but she had it in her head that hardwood throughout was the way to go. I'm as convinced as ever that continuing the tile from the laundry room into the kitchen would have been better. both aesthetically and practically.

    Our builder's standard practice was to make the window frames, doorways, doors and fireplace mantle all solid white. I would have strongly preferred stained wood, but the cost would have been insanely higher. At some point later, we may switch the fireplace framing out.

    They also included one beige shade of paint in the whole house, and would have charged thousands extra to do different colors, so for now the interior is kind of drab. At some point, we will paint a lot of the rooms ourselves, but probably not the kitchen due to the cabinets and countertops, and I'm kinda sad about that.
     
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  6. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    Lucky! Congrats on the mod-ship!!
     
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  7. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    Thanks man!
     
  8. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    Sorry Lucky, I'm with your wife in regards to the hardwood. lol IMO, kitchens look and feel so much better with hard wood over tile. More warm and inviting. Although, we are going to have an hearth area with a fireplace, loveseat and 2 chairs in the kitchen so the hardwood, I think, is almost needed. Here's the main floor plan. The hearth area is in the red outlined area.

    upload_2019-1-4_10-16-39.png
     
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  9. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    upload_2019-1-11_8-47-58.png


    Basement framing is done. 1st floor subfloor is done. Walls going up fast! :)
     
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  10. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    Good luck! I hope that the winter weather misses you.
     
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  11. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    Thanks dude..

    We've been extremely lucky so far. It's been unseasonably warm with not really any snow. There have been 2-3 days missed due to rain believe it or not, but the carpenters make it up by working on the weekend. Which we are extremely grateful for. It's been cold (teens and 20's) the last couple of days so each morning I've been bringing out hot coffee and bagels for the crew. My wife brought them out some fried chicken and soup for lunch yesterday. Hopefully that helps keep them warm and motivated.
     
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  12. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    Well, the weather has become winter.

    We have about 9" of snow on the ground currently. Expected to get around 7-10" tonight and tomorrow. Then, starting Monday night we will not get above 0F until Friday. Wednesday the high for the day will be -23...Yes, NEGATIVE 23 with the lows being -30. Wind chill is going to be around -50.

    Needless to say, the framers will not be working much next week.
     
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  13. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    That's seriously cold! I've been complaining about 20's and 30's here....I guess I should put that in perspective. You're getting Antarctica-like temperatures and that's absolutely insane!
     
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  14. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    They have almost totally completed the last remaining issues that we had after moving in. The $500, 12 blade ceiling fan in the great room worked, but the lamp in it never turned on, and we eventually swapped it out for another one. Finally, light!

    After months of having my contractor's guys here now and then, I've developed a good relationship with them. The one confessed to me that our house was the biggest, most complicated job that the contractor had ever taken on in around 30 years of building. That he wasn't sure that he should take the job, but made the choice to go for it. And that if and when he builds another one like ours, he's going to charge almost double what we paid.

    I had to laugh, because I had talked to literally dozens of builders before he and I agreed on the project, trying to find one who would build the house we wanted at the price we were willing to pay. Some laughed at me, saying I was being unreasonable, but because I didn't give up, we seem to have sort of lucked into saving ourselves between 200-300k, which essentially gives us more money to work with every month for the rest of our lives.
     
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  15. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    I read that we are going to be colder than the artic on Wednesday. lol

    Updated weather...little temp fluctuation, but not much:


    upload_2019-1-28_9-25-26.png
     
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  16. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    That's awesome! Must be karma. You save a life when you were younger? lol


    My wife and I have decided that we want to make a change in the basement area. It's going to require taking down a wall (it's just studs right now), and spanning the area where the wall would be with steel beams because it's a load point. We want to open up the basement a little more and move the bar to a different area. It's hard to realize what something it going to look like on paper. Once we went down into the basement and saw it with some walls it was going to look really janky and cut up. The extra work will add an additional $10K to the house not only because we have to use steel, but also move some of the plumbing around for the bar. I think it will be worth it.


    It sucks with this weather though. I doubt they can get anything done except maybe on Friday.
     
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  17. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    If you don't mind me asking, what was your completed price per square foot? It would be labor + materials / square footage.
     
  18. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    If you include the partially finished basements square footage, then about 115/sq ft. If you dont, then more like 150/sq ft. That includes the four acres of land, and some of the costs included in preparing it.
     
  19. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that's an incredible price! You got a steal!
     
  20. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    Housing prices vary a lot depending where you live of course. In my home town in wv, you can buy a 2000 square ft house for 100k. The same place would cost 500k in some areas closer to where I live now.

    My house and acerage would likely cost a million bucks just 20 miles from here in the city, but we paid less than 40% of that.
     
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  21. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, we're in a similar situation out in the country in a $400k home on 5 acres. If I were in a major town, it would easily be $1M+. It's incredible how much value there is in trading a little bit of a commute for a much larger home.
     
  22. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    Its true. My wife and I would struggle to live in the worst parts of the fairly small city where she works, but we have a great house about a 20 minute drive away. Real estate is weird.
     
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  23. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    That's an awesome price! Our house is being built for $410/sq ft. And that didn't include the 4 acre lot we are building it on. :confused1:
     
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  24. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    We worked hard to minimize cost while maintaining quality, and literally spent years doing research and getting familiar with things beforehand. We also renovated and expanded our old house ten years ago, so we had some experience going through the process. All of the doors, windows, mouldings, baseboards, the fireplace mantle, and similar things are just standard grade. I'd have liked some improvements, but we chose to stay inexpensive.

    But we found good deals on all the flooring and saved from the builder's cost estimates there, same with the lights and kitchen fixtures. And our builder has a good relationship with a local stone business, and because we bought the kitchen granite, they threw in all three bathrooms for free.

    We've also found, over and over, that we apparently have cheap taste, and the things that we like the most are among the least expensive. :lol:
     
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  25. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    You're lucky! (No pun intended) It never fails, my wife and I will get shown 4 different items with no prices and invariably pick the most expensive one. lol Our builder, and his family, have become really good friends with us and as such he has really helped out on prices and cutting costs when possible.

    This will be our forever home and I keep telling myself that it's just reallocating money. It's an investment! We are not wasting money. At least that's what I keep saying...


    We have 5 kids so that factored into a lot of the build. Not necessarily for them now, but when they get married and have kids we want something that they could bring their families to and be comfortable. If none of them move away that won't matter, but better safe than sorry. We want to see out grandchildren and kids as much as possible.
     
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  26. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    We're similar. My girls are 7 and almost 5, and they'll be living here full time for the next ten to twelve years at least. And we basically didn't have any extra space for guests in our old home, so once we finish the guest bedroom in the basement we can have my parents or sister visit when they like with no issues.
     
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  27. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    haven't updated in awhile...

    upload_2019-3-4_12-15-24.png

    upload_2019-3-4_12-23-50.png

    The second picture is our view out back from the great room.


    The roof should be finished sometime next week. We have had a brutal winter and i am really impressed that the framers have been able to stay this close to schedule (They are about 10 days behind). I've been bringing them coffee and breakfast on a lot of mornings and thank them profusely for their hard work. The guys just say, "No, thank you for hiring us. We love the work during the winter." Great guys. Now maybe as soon as I leave they call me an *******, who knows...lol


    If I had to do something over, so far, I would have requested that the architects provide a 3-D rendering. I'm not good at envisioning things that are drawn in 2-D on paper. As such, we've had the framers move or tear town a few walls on the inside. Not a huge cost or ordeal, but it's all the little things that add up. We asked about a 3-D rendering beforehand, but the architect said it wasn't needed and it's really expensive so we didn't do it.
     
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  28. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    Other than the rain, the framers on my house were the biggest reason our project was slowed down. It was the first time my contractor had worked with them, and he said that he won't again. All of the trusses and other roof components, plus a crane, sat there for a week untouched in perfect sunny weather. And then it rained for two weeks straight after that. And then from that point on, I was pestering them about when we could move in, because it ended up being two and a half months later than we were promised.
     
  29. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    I've heard it's hit or miss with construction guys, but we definitely hit with these guys. If it's not snowing hard or -30 outside they are there swinging a hammer. Even on weekends. He said it would take him about 4 months to complete and so far he's close to that timeframe. And when I say we've had a bad winter, it's been rough out here. It was -10 this morning with -30 windchill. So cold the kids had a 2 hour delay. The kids have missed more school this year than any year in the past 50 years due to weather.
     
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  30. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    Its been a funny winter here, because the first three snowfalls that we had happened on Friday nights. So Saturday was the day things were stopped, Sunday was the clean up, and then Monday the roads were better. Mine have only missed two days so far, and we're in March so hopefully thats the end of it.

    But the last year and a half has just been so wet. I'm thankful that last July was dry so that they could finish our house and we moved in, but its rained and rained since then. I still haven't been able to put grass seed down because my "yard" is a big mud pit. Every step that I take, my shoes just sink in and get stuck. Last year was the second wettest year on record for our area (dating back to the 1800s), and this year is trending even wetter.
     
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  31. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    We are praying that the once they get the roof on there are no more weather delays. We will have a lot of landscaping to do once finished, with a few retaining walls, so hopefully it's dry when that's going on. Have you thought about sodding instead of seeding?
     
  32. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    It would be incredibly expensive, and its money that I'm not going to spend on that. Our yard is about three acres, and it was seeded by the builder, but they told us at the start that we would need to suppliment that ourselves. Grass grew all over the place last august and september, but it was thin (like a guy who's losing his hair, but not all at once). And then as it got cold it died. We'll see how much of it comes back when the weather warms up, but I know I'll want more.
     
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  33. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    Front of house:

    upload_2019-3-25_11-3-27.png


    Garage side:

    upload_2019-3-25_11-4-10.png

    Back corner:
    upload_2019-3-25_11-5-37.png


    Back:
    upload_2019-3-25_11-6-6.png

    Side: (There are a lot of windows here but you can't tell because the Tyvek hasn't been cut yet)
    upload_2019-3-25_11-6-42.png
     
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  34. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    Its really coming along! Have you guys firmly picked out all of the exterior materials? That was one of the most fun and interesting parts of the process for my wife and I. The only problem was that the company making the siding ran out of the one that we wanted, and we had to go with a second choice.
     
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  35. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    We are finding this process to be the hardest...so far. The bottom 1/3 of the front and sides of the house will be stone. We are having a hard time picking out what we want, though. We can't seem to find anything that we like. The upper 2/3 of the front and sides, and the entire back, will be shake siding. Similar to this:

    upload_2019-3-25_13-23-27.png

    It's not real wood, but instead some sort of a composite (I can't recall at the moment what it's called) that allows it to be painted, but it only needs to be painted every 20 years or so. Unlike wood which would need to be painted every 7-10 years. We did it this way because we thought if we painted it, and didn't like it, we could repaint it easier than replacing siding where we don't like the color.
     
  36. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    We went with shake siding on the upper third of our house as well. The original idea was that it would be grey, while the middle, largest section would be a strong blue, and the bottom stone. However, after we had to go with a smokey blue for the main section, there's so little difference in the colors that in certain light you can't tell that they're different. Still looks good, but not what we planned.
     
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  37. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    That's the same type of problems we are having. We will go to the showroom and see a stone that we like, then they will bring out a small sample to the house and it looks totally different. In fact, in that first picture on March 4th, if you look closely at the bottom right, you can see some of those stone samples. They all look the same once they get to the house and look nothing like they did in the showroom.
     
  38. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    When we moved into our house, we chose to have the builders just paint all of the walls the same shade of beige, because that's what was included in their base price. Doing anything else, even one color, would have jacked up the price a lot.

    Now, the problem is that I thought we were making that choice purely to save money, and that we'd want to repaint a lot of the house, piece by piece, eventually. Especially the living room on the main floor. However, when I brought that up with my wife yesterday, she got this "oh...." look on her face, and said that the beige had grown on her and she'd rather try to decorate the walls (which are still mostly bare) than paint. :001_rolleyes:

    I feel strongly the opposite. We have beige walls, white windows, white moulding, white doors, white light switches.....which we did entirely due to cost to save money, and I agreed with at the time.....and it all just blends together and is washed out. I really want to fix it and give the house more life and character.
     
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  39. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    Painting, especially if you do it yourself, is relatively cheap and really changes a lot about a home. Keep trying man...I agree with you. lol
     
  40. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    We eventually painted every single room in our old house, so we've done it before too.
     
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