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Build your onw house... Seeking information no luck in Google

Build your onw house... Seeking information no luck in Google


  #1  
Old 09-14-13, 11:38 AM
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Question Build your onw house... Seeking information no luck in Google

This may be in the wrong forum, please move if there is a more appropriate place.

I'm looking for information on building your own house, DIY. By this I mean actually doing the construction, swing the hammer. All of the searches I do come up with being your own general contractor and hiring contractors to do all or most of the work. Can anyone recommend a site or two that may have the info I'm looking for or the chosen phrase to type into google? I've tried "build you own house" "owner builder" etc.

TIA
 
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Old 09-14-13, 11:52 AM
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Do you make your own shoes and clothes? Make your own automobile? While it IS possible for a person to make their own house it is highly unlikely that someone without a LOT of prior knowledge and experience in the building trades could start from nothing and build a house that met all the required codes and inspections.

Many decades ago, probably something like seven at the very least, there were companies that sold "kit" homes. Sears was one of them and the homes were simple enough that an average person with a modicum of skills could assemble them. There was one such home just a few doors down from the house where I grew up but I don't know if the (old) woman that lived there built it herself or not.

I just did a Google using kit built home as the search terms and got quite a few hits. The first few were obviously advertising for custom built homes but there looked to be at least some information on kits that are available.
 
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Old 09-14-13, 12:09 PM
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You'll also want to double check with your permit/zoning office. We have a lot of leeway where I live but some jurisdictions are pretty strict on who they allow to do what. IMO a homeowner should be allowed to do all his own work providing it passes inspection but some locales require licensed contractors for certain jobs.

The big question is how knowledgeable are you when it comes to construction?? There is a lot more to it than digging a foundation and swinging a hammer. Many will contract out portions of the build and then diy what they will confident in doing.
 
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Old 09-14-13, 12:09 PM
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Thanks for the reply!
I certainly don't know it all and in fact, wouldn't do ALL the work myself. That said, I have done a lot of remodeling, plumbing (roof vents to septic tank), electric (service entrance to fixture) , drywall, tile, framing is admittedly a weak spot for me, mostly steps & decking and re-framed an exterior wall to install much smaller windows. Also did replacement and new construction windows on three houses. I'm a bit of a jack of all trades master of none... I muddle through. All work permitted and inspected.
Thanks again for the info, I'll have a look.
 
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Old 09-14-13, 12:32 PM
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Marksr -
I know what you mean about the permit/zoning. I wouldn't considering trying to build where it was required to hire contractors. Those areas of the country are all about maintaining employment. I discovered this years ago when I was a GC... according to the laws it didn't matter at all whether you could do a job correctly and safely only if you had a license to do it.
 
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Old 09-14-13, 01:14 PM
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If you are/were a GC, then you know the ups and downs of the project ahead of time. One, either get a divorce now, before the construction begins (you can re marry her later), as the strain will be tremendous. Next, kiss all your close friends goodbye, as you will never see them again until the house is complete and you call for the first "party".

I am a contractor, and would never in a 100 years build my own house. Just like in the trade, no one shows up on time, everyone has upcharges, trades collide, you have to make them all happy, your banker will lose interest in your project in a month, and you won't be able to find him/her on the day you need a draw (oh, on vacation until next month??), your inspector will hate everything you do, and will make you mad as a hornet.

Other than that, it's fun!!
 
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Old 09-14-13, 04:19 PM
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I built my house 11 years ago so it can be done. I don't know of any websites to direct you for advice and assistance other than here since actually building a house yourself is so rare.

I involved the local inspectors from the beginning and was surprised how helpful they were. Hiring subs and other people were my number one problem. Everything I did, even though it was a lot of hard work was under my control and predictable. Hiring others was almost always a problem point.

That said, I know every nail and wire in my house. I built it for long term maintenance and upgrades like including extra cleanouts in the drain lines and conduits to pull wires from floor to floor as technology evolves. A very rewarding experience... yes. Would I do it again... no.
 
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Old 09-14-13, 07:07 PM
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Just an observation as an electrician...... if I was considering building my own house.... I'd hire out the framing, sheathing and roofing at the very least.
 
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Old 09-14-13, 08:34 PM
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I was a GC for a very short time... In business w/ brother in law who was a veteran framer, >30 years. What I didn't know was he was also a drug addict and alcoholic. After he was thrown out of a couple bars in the very small town and then crashed the company truck I shut the whole thing down... less than 6 months and only 3 jobs. Lesson learned.
As for other concerns, I'm already divorced, so no issue there.
Thinking of building quite a small house, probably about 1000 sq ft plus basement (daylight?).
Keep it small and manageable.
 

Last edited by Neosec; 09-14-13 at 08:38 PM. Reason: typo
  #10  
Old 09-14-13, 10:11 PM
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Check out President Homes, Inc. I think they are based in Minnesota. About 10 years ago, I helped a buddy of mine use one of their home "kits" to build his 2-story place in SW Colorado. All of the walls are assembled in a factory, and shipped to the jobsite by flatbed truck. He hired a concrete outfit and a few local framers to help him pour the foundation, set the walls, and then a few subs for the plumbing, drywall, etc., inside (he was an electrician, so he did all of that himself). The house turned out very nice, and although a lot of hard work, both he and his wife were very pleased with the finished product. And I know it was a lot less costly than (close to just one-half of?) paying a builder to do the same thing.

If they are still in business, that might be a good way to go. If not, why not consider a log home, many suppliers of which are still in business? I lived in a log home in Colorado, and we both loved the place. Very solid construction, and easy to heat and cool.
 
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Old 09-14-13, 11:27 PM
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I would start by checking out the magazines that have house plans for sale. They have all styles and sizes in separate magazines. You need to have plans before you can even begin to talk to the code enforcement people.
 
  #12  
Old 09-15-13, 12:59 PM
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Build Your Own House

This web site gives an interesting introduction:

How to Build a House (with Pictures) - wikiHow
 
  #13  
Old 09-16-13, 03:04 PM
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Good information there Wirepuller38. Looks like a piece of cake
 
 

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