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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 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Pouring the basement floor this morning.

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  2. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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

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  3. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Just a Guy Staff Member 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 Season Ticket Holder 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 Just a Guy Staff Member 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 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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

    Unlucky 13 Just a Guy Staff Member Club Member

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    Thanks man!
     
  8. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder 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 Season Ticket Holder 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 Just a Guy Staff Member Club Member

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

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder 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 Season Ticket Holder 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 Just a Guy Staff Member 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 Season Ticket Holder 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 Season Ticket Holder 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 Just a Guy Staff Member 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 Just a Guy Staff Member 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 Just a Guy Staff Member 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 Season Ticket Holder 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 Just a Guy Staff Member 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 Season Ticket Holder 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 Just a Guy Staff Member 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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