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  #1  
Old 02/01/09, 05:48 AM
lunagardens's Avatar  
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Affordable homes by "Menards"...

Thought I would share for those who may be looking for affordable homes with decent space for the family-
Menards just opened a store 1/2 hour from us. The flyer showed they carry "house kits and plans". Had t check it out and see the pricing. The Cabin retreat is perfect for us as a family of 5.
We found a home under the "vacation homes" chapter which they carry the blueprints in store for just $20- it includes a material list which can be taken to any home lumber store for a price quote. It is shown as a 1243sq foot home with 2 bedrooms downstairs and a loft room upstairs. The total price for complete package is about $29,000!

Of course thats not "built", but calling around later for pricing on having someone frame it up and other bits we are not able to do ourselves.

(With a few small inexpensive tweaks, it will be perfect and affordable- such as flooring in the loft above the kitchen/living room for another bedroom, add another bathroom to the upstairs between the 2 rooms directly above the 1st floor one, remove the 2 closets downstairs for a larger master bedroom and small laundry room to the stairwell wall. Nothing with structure other then adding the floor to the open loft.)
From my past experience, it would costs about $40,000 (at the most for our area but it could be much less) just for the labor to build the complete materials package.
So its worth checking out. We are going back to buy the blueprints next week. They also have a redesign center for the homes. I will be checking into pricing for the service and to see about how much it would add to the package price for the extra materials.
I have looked into many different home kits to accommodate our family needs and as of now, this is so far the best price by far.
Its worth checking out if your in the market for a simple yet comfortbale home for your young or not so young family.

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Last edited by lunagardens; 02/01/09 at 05:58 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02/01/09, 06:12 AM
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I do hope you're looking ahead at all that's not included in the price quoted:

Quote:
Labor, foundation, concrete flooring, steel beams, heating, some finishing materials and delivery are not included. Construction Blueprints are sold separately.
I'd be surprised if the final cost of your project is not at least double the ~$29k.

I wish you good luck in this venture. The house is adorable and looks very livable. Keep us in on your progress!

Peace,
doohap
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  #3  
Old 02/01/09, 06:16 AM
 
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These look pretty similar to what Lowes (our equivalent of Menards) is selling. They're called "Katrina Cottages" and were created as low cost, quick to build housing for folks who came home to nothing but a concrete slab after the storm. My wife and I considered their four bedroom model but found that it was simply too expensive to buy the land in the area we wanted. Instead we bought a fixer upper and hope to sell it at a profit so we can build our next home. We may still go with one of these plans as they are incredibly affordable.

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Old 02/01/09, 06:17 AM
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One other thing I noticed. If you're planning on putting a bathroom upstairs directly above the existing bath, you do realize that you will have to restructure the roof in order to do so. The roofline slopes down and the bath will have to jut out there.

Just thinking,
doohap

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  #5  
Old 02/01/09, 06:39 AM
 
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Suggest you ask the people at Menards is they can give you a name of someone that purchased & completed one of their houses. This may take some doing as some people are extremely guarded about their privacy. Then arrange to talk to them in person.

Ask them exactly how many $$$ were spent (slab/crawl space/basement, septic, water, electrical service, permits, floor coverings, wall coverings, electrical fixtures, water delivery system & plumbing, kitchen cabinets/countertops, bathroom fixtures, heating system, appliances, etc, etc etc) before one could actually move into a completed house and start living. Itemized costs aren't really important. The total COMPLETION cost of the house is the figure you're looking at.
If the house is built to code, I suspect the final costs will be triple (or more) the $29,000 initial cost. Thats why you should seek out a buyer of this package and know exactly where you'll stand on actual costs.

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Old 02/01/09, 07:40 AM
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just thought I would direct everyone to the sentence I wrote about construction being at most $40,000...
In referring to the $29K
"Of course that's not "built, but calling around later for pricing on having someone frame it up and other bits we are not able to do ourselves."
And also just to direct you to the other portion indicating more then $29k for it:
"From my past experience, it would costs about $40,000 (at the most for our area but it could be much less) just for the labor to build the complete materials package."
The BLUEPRINTS are in store for $20. COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION BLUEPRINTS.

Did not want anyone to get the wrong idea- just thought I would point out what was included in my post in the case someone may not read it ALL through.
Did not want anyone to skip over any details and assume I was saying it would only cost $29k for it.....
Best to all!

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Old 02/01/09, 07:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoop View Post
Suggest you ask the people at Menards is they can give you a name of someone that purchased & completed one of their houses. This may take some doing as some people are extremely guarded about their privacy. Then arrange to talk to them in person.

Ask them exactly how many $$$ were spent (slab/crawl space/basement, septic, water, electrical service, permits, floor coverings, wall coverings, electrical fixtures, water delivery system & plumbing, kitchen cabinets/countertops, bathroom fixtures, heating system, appliances, etc, etc etc) before one could actually move into a completed house and start living. Itemized costs aren't really important. The total COMPLETION cost of the house is the figure you're looking at.
If the house is built to code, I suspect the final costs will be triple (or more) the $29,000 initial cost. Thats why you should seek out a buyer of this package and know exactly where you'll stand on actual costs.
I asked about this at Lowes and they were extremely forthcoming. The homes are not kits but rather just designs that are optimized for cheap, simple construction. You essentially purchase the plans and the materials list which is already figured for you. Lowes has already itemized everything from the ridge vent to the sill plate accounting for waste of course. After you've purchased the plans and materials list you then purchase the materials in any fashion you wish. Lowes will give you cost estimates based on the materials list. In my area it would have cost about $40K in materials to put up the home (on a slab-full basement would add about $8K) with the inside of the home done "builder grade." This means white egghell painted walls, formica countertops, stock cabinetry, and lower end composite hardwood floors, light fixtures, kitchen appliances, and plumbing/bath fixtures.

Our plan was to have a general contractor construct the "shell" of the home to the point where it was "dried in" or basically weatherproofed. This would mean that from all outward appearances the home would be finished with trim, siding, roofing, doors, and windows all complete. We would have farmed out the sheetrock/taping, and done all paint, trim, flooring, and kitchen bath work ourselves so that we could get higher end finishes and fixtures for our money since there would be no labor or markup involved. Again, this didn't work out due to land prices, but it's our plan for our next (and last!) home.
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Old 02/01/09, 08:47 AM
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I know of several people who've built Menards houses. They usually come in pretty close to what Menards claims they will. And no, they're not kits. They're materials lists, more accurately.
And watch the flyers. Some of their entire house packages go on sale a few times per year!

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Last edited by ErinP; 02/01/09 at 08:49 AM.
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  #9  
Old 02/01/09, 09:27 AM
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When I talk to people I tell them up front 1/3 1/3 1/3
1/3 is the wood. 1/3 is the electrical plumbing and that stuff. The last 1/3 is labor.
If you can cut you own trees and get the logs to a mill that cuts 2/3s of the wood cost.
If you Collect appliances and windows over a time you can easily cut 2/3 of that cost.
Now if you do hire a helper and do most of the grunt work yourself and that will cut 2/3s of the labor.
This is how you get a 60k house for 20K

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Old 02/01/09, 10:28 AM
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I really like it LG! It looks very do-able. Thanks for the link, because this design is right up my alley!

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Old 02/01/09, 10:40 AM
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I like the house plan. I like the price...even if you double it to count in the labor, it's a good deal. Thanks for posting.

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Old 02/01/09, 10:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just_sawing View Post
When I talk to people I tell them up front 1/3 1/3 1/3
1/3 is the wood. 1/3 is the electrical plumbing and that stuff. The last 1/3 is labor.
If you can cut you own trees and get the logs to a mill that cuts 2/3s of the wood cost.
If you Collect appliances and windows over a time you can easily cut 2/3 of that cost.
Now if you do hire a helper and do most of the grunt work yourself and that will cut 2/3s of the labor.
This is how you get a 60k house for 20K
With a small exception, or two, I'd agree totally.

One saves the most money on the bigger dimensional stuff, not 1x4 random or 2x4 studs, IME. Especially with the studs, I can frame faster than having to true up my own lumber.

And a word about siding...a young neighbor had his trees (longleaf pine) sawed into shiplap siding by a bandsaw mill. His house finished out very nice...
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Old 02/01/09, 11:26 AM
 
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http://www.menards.com/featuredProje...e&code=1954605
This can be your new garage for $14,341.00 (approx. price per material lists)

This is the one that I was thinking about. It is a garage with an apartment above. That would get us onto the land.
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Old 02/01/09, 11:26 AM
 
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Oh, and another thing....Habitat houses are also set up to be economical to build.

And one last thought...some of the most economical floor plans I've seen were from double-wide trailer houses...

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Old 02/01/09, 11:43 AM
 
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I have often wondered about the Lowes and Menards house kits.

They appear to be a glorified 'materials package', and offers a way for the stores to bundle together all the materials that they sell. It is a form of marketing their products in a different way, in my opinion.

I have seen some pretty neat plans from both Menards and Lowes.

I wonder how much a good salvager could save on plans like they have.

Clove

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Old 02/01/09, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clovis View Post
.. It is a form of marketing their products in a different way, in my opinion. ...
I agree! And when all costs are tallied at the end of construction I would wager that someone buying piecemeal with an eye toward a bargain will end up paying less per square foot than the package deal offers.

My humble opinion, of course.
doohap
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  #17  
Old 02/01/09, 01:33 PM
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Ok, I've spent my life living in areas that have Menards. I even lived near Eau Claire (home of Menards) and I spend a lot of money there each year. I was even there twice yesterday. Menards is my favorite lumber yard.

However, there is no way I would ever buy a kit from them. Not only does this NOT include a lot of what you need (the other stuff will cost way more than what you get with the kit) you'll get a lot of crap lumber. We always sort and some days find less than 50% acceptable. They don't care that we sort. . .

But if you get the kit they'll load up right off the stack and you will get a lot of crap (warped, cracked, lots of tree bark) that you may not want to use. You'll probably get the stuff that people like me left after sorting out the good boards.

I know I've spent over $10,000 at Menards in the last 18 months, but there is no way I'd let them select anything for me.

Cathy

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Old 02/01/09, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
but there is no way I'd let them select anything for me
i agree completely! I was just in there yesterday, buying 2x10s. Mine are just for concrete forms, but the kid that helped me load didn't know that. Jeez, what a bunch of junk!
if you do buy the package, see if you can get it pieced out so you can make sure to select your own lumber.

BTW, I, too, love Menards. I can (and have!) easily spend hours, just wandering the store planning projects.
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  #19  
Old 02/01/09, 04:06 PM
 
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Cute houses, but we don't buy from Menard's anymore. Everything we bought from them either broke, disintegrated, or warped within the first year. Everything. No more Menard's for us.

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  #20  
Old 02/01/09, 04:15 PM
 
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Menards is by far my favorite big box store.

As far as the building packages are concerned, I have often wondered if it would be cheaper to buy the package individually. I have wondered if this is one of those deals where the material costs 10%-20% more if bought in a package, rather than bought broken out.

One thing that should be noted about the packages is that Lowes or Menards are guaranteed the additional sale of the extra's, like shingles and siding. Is there value in this? Value in quality? Value in price?

I have also wondered if you can upgrade the packages. Can you upgrade to a 25 or 30 year shingle if you want to pay the added cost? What if you want to down grade? Lets say you already own the shingles. Do you still have to buy theirs?

I would also want to comparison shop on my materials. I was absolutely stunned this summer when I went to Lowes for electrical wiring. Lowes was priced at nearly $70, while Menards was $44 for the exact same stuff!!!! I also know that most stores will gladly price match. They used to beat competitor prices by 10%, but I don't know if they still offer this.

I have often wondered how close the package is to being accurate. Is it figured with waste, or without? Is the vinyl siding figured to the closest piece that would require the aid of a skilled engineer for closest use? Do they knowingly figure that you will only use 2 pieces from the last box, but still charge you for the full box?

Are the walls framed for 16" on center, or more than that? It goes back to the value situation. (I value 16" on center framed walls, and would pay more for that.)

Since I am rambling, one last note: If you buy one of these packages, there is a good chance that it is going to be dumped off in one or two big loads. If you are framing this by yourself, or part time in the evenings, you are going to have an added dimension. There is a risk of theft or damage from the elements while they are stacked up waiting on use.

I still think the packages are good starting points, especially if you are looking for ideas.

It is just not the route I would follow if I were looking to self build.

Clove

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