New home construction?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by YoungOne, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. YoungOne

    YoungOne Well-Known Member

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    A little lengthy...
    OK, to start with I am not a carpenter or any other other construction trade worker. Right now I wish I was.

    I am looking at building our new home for our homestead by myself (mostly :baby04: ). I have considered many methods of construction but cost and effort always tend to lead back to good old fashioned 2X4. After alot of thought about how I can acomplish the most over weekends and by myself I discovered Modular construction and came up with a modified method that I think can work for me. I am hoping that those with similar stories of building themselfs or limited experience can offer opinions, but all are welcome.. I have spoke to several trade people and they think it is within my ability to complete this task mostly by myself.

    Here is the plan...
    First (obviously) is to pour a foundation and lay a 2X10 floor. here is were my time saving idea comes in...
    Build 8' sections of the exterior (load baring) wall, frame and ext sheathing, in my garage and then haul them up to the new house site on the weekends and set them up. The idea would be to build them 95 1/2" high and once in place set the second top plate (2X4) offset to reinforce the sections together. Lay another 2X10 floor on top and do wall sections again (two story) top it off with engineered trusses. Standing questions are to use nails (by hand or gun) or screws, house wrap or tar paper, install windows in garage (off-site) or wait untill frame is completed (on-site)

    Side notes:
    I am fluent in AutoCad and have designed each section individualy for proper off-site construction.
    I am only 25 so the labor shouldn't be an issue.
    Main reason for wanting to do this myself is that I can put up a shell for a 2K square foot home for under 35K in material ( I counted every board, nail, etc and did a 15% bumb)

    So, what do you think? :shrug:
     
  2. electronrider

    electronrider Well-Known Member

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    How is one person going to move an 8 foot section of wall by himself?

    I like the idea, but perhaps if you bought/and or saved the materials to where you could do it all at once, it might be worth hiring some skilled labor, and getting it banged out in 3 or 4 days. ( depending)
     

  3. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    you can do it... an extra set of hands and the right tools is the real handicap

    oh, and use 5 rib sheet metal for that roof, it wll serve you better.

    if you have NNO idea what you are doing... take care. a poorly assembled structure can be a death trap waiting to bite you.

    my advice? find someone who has some home building experience to consult for each step you take/

    like the foundation... once you pour it, if you forget a few things you cant go back once the cement is poured.
    plan out the anchors, the drains... the placement. is the sites drainage and subsoil ok for a house?
    sounds like a worn out suggestion, but here goes.... go buy a few good tech books on building homes.
    not magazines... contractors manuals... refernce books...

    and before you even do that, get the building codes for the county you plan on building in.
    those codes alone might toss water on your fire real fast.

    for instance, here in my TWP the new codes require 10000 details you ouldnt think of... foundation thickness, where the drainage can go... the dimentions of the lumber used. right now they made it illegal to set a mobile home on a pier foundation [pillars]. now, they require the mobile to be parked either on a cement pad or anchored to a block floundation.
    its stupid, but they have those pesky codes... and one cranky inspector caan ruin your life.

    but you can build it.... all you need is the right info, plans and ttools.

    a few extra hands dont hurt either.

    I'd build it on site, once you build a section and it doesnt fit when you drag it there... oops.

    one really important detail you cant repeate enough....
    insulation.
    3x more than code calls for.... its an expense youll never regret.
     
  4. frugalville

    frugalville Well-Known Member

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    Have to agree with electronrider.

    Ask yourself. How are you going to get an 8x8 wall with sheathing and a window installed up to the 2nd floor. Then raise it, brace it, square it, and nail it. I don't know when or where you are but the least amount of wind will set that baby on the ground asap.

    IMHO.. you will need at least 2 other people (minimum) plus yourself to get a two story structure framed and sheathed.

    1 to hold the smart end of the tape.
    1 to hold the not so smart end of the tape.
    1 sawman to cut said piece.

    Unless you really like climbing ladders and lifts ALOT.

    Imagine dragging 35 pieces of plywood up two floors and onto a set of roof trusses.

    That brings you to equipment. do you plan on renting lifts, bobcat, jacks , crane, and other tools as needed. The rental costs alone will eat a weekend warrior alive.

    You sound capable, and I admire your spirit. But it is one thing to throw some 2x4s around on the weekend, and frame a two story house w/ trusses.

    It can be done, but not everyweekend will be a work weekend. Rain/snow and such. Building supplies out in the weather go bad fast if they are not dried in asap.

    Codes, codes, codes...Will make a grown man cry.

    It is a lot of skill and work to make a house rise from the earth.

    Especially a straight, dry, and square one.
     
  5. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

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    8' lengths of sheathed walls can easily be erected by one person. I've done it myself. The trick is to nail up several "Stop Blocks" along the outer edge of the floor to "Catch" the wall as you slide and raise it into position. The "Stops" can be 2x4's nailed along the outer edge of the floor and sticking up 2-3 feet.

    3 or 4 of these will easily keep the wall section from sliding off as you raise it and will steady it as you nail the bottom plate into the floor. They will also serve to square the wall with the floor edge.

    When you get 2-3 sections up, and turn a corner, be sure to use a double box 2x4 corner post so you can nail from both directions (Ask a carpenter how to do a corner on a 2x4 wall).

    When you add the top plate to the wall, be sure to "stagger" the joints so that the plate overlaps the wall section joints and thus strengthens the joint.

    Do a little research and buy a book at Lowes on small builing construction and see how they do their stud walls and corners. It ain't that complicated.
     
  6. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you buy a set of wall jacks you can build the whole wall onsite and lift it yourself. A set of proctor wall jacks will set you back 1300.00 but you'll save half that in gas and doctor bills. I've done 30 foot walls by myself with a pair of them.

    http://www.proctorp.com/wallproducts/howitworks.html

    Trying to do 8 ft sections at a time brings on problems you don't expect. Mostly accuracy.
    If you could find two people to help you, you can have ALL the walls of the floor nailed and in place in one day. But there is a secret to that. Here's a synopsis :)
    Most people frame the outside walls first then do the inside. The way we did it was to tack down ALL 3 plates of all the walls in place and number them. Then before you take them up decide which two outside walls are the longest and meet at a right angle. Frame and stand those two walls. Then frame all the interior walls and shove them into the crotchof the two long walls out of the way. then frame the rest of the outside walls. brace them off. plumb and line them. then set the inside walls in place. having done all three plates they will interlock. when you get done and if the outside walls are right the inside are pretty much automatically right. Don't know if your going to cut rafters or use trusses. but if you are going to cut rafters there are soe shortcuts for that. that are more accurate. I learned and mmodified this way from a guy in 1971. we could go in on a saturday with 7 guys and have two houses standing by sunday night. And the nice thing about it it is accurate.
     
  7. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Since you know auto cadd. You can set up a chop or radial arm and cut all the headers, trimmers,sill, and cripples in yor garage. And make all the corners partiions, and build all the headers good work for a rainiy day and have them all ready when you get ready to build walls.

    You can send me a file if it will load in AutocaddLt 98. I 'm not much on keeping up on autocadd. too expensive. But i also have design cadd 14 i think it will read autocadd files.
     
  8. YoungOne

    YoungOne Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I would try to get my brother (20yr) to come out for a month or two to help.

    Taking into acount weight the windows should probably wait till its up. I planned on buying a used crane truck (short, 30' lift), I have some experience operating one, then sell it hopefully for what I paid for it (no insurance since I would park it on site).

    My job is pretty flexible so I would probably grab 3 out of 4 weekends as 3 day weekends (more onsite time).

    CODES, CODES, CODES!! I am meeting the county building permit department a week from monday to see what they think of method. The land we are looking at is county (no city, yeahh!!!) so the codes are a little more friendly.

    I have a BIL who helped build the family home and he has been a great resorce, and I have gone over my plans with an architect friend and two framers (neihbors) who think the plans (design) are sound.

    Once each section is in place I would put in a temporary brace untill the top sill was in.

    The basic design is a 32'X32' square with a 20'/12' split on the joists with a 4X12 support beam with a single 4X6 support beam 1st floor.
     
  9. YoungOne

    YoungOne Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, OPEN OPEN OPEN. Other than the baths (1 upstairs 1 down) there are no interior walls.
     
  10. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

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    My home is 2 stories with attic bedrooms and and a bath. It's built on a 24'x36' concrete slab.

    I have a large center beam supporting the second floor. It's a 14" wide LVL (Laminated veneer) beam.

    Super strong and it allowed me to leave out support posts and most load-bearing walls on the first floor. I'm getting a pool table for the main room...

    [​IMG]

    Plenty of open space in front of the fireplace.
     
  11. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    to be perfectly honest the 8 ft wall sections will end up taking you longer to load and off load than it will take to frame the entire wall on sight . you will also end up spending more on materials .
    if you have detailed plans materials on hand , a good tape,saw ,and nailgun two men or women can frame athe allfor a good ized house in a few hours .
    now a few things you can do off sight to speed the process are make headers in advance . you can dry fit the wall and mark stud placing headers criples ect .
    you may opt for screws over nails . this can be an advantage if you dont already have the ROs of windows and doors . they are also nice for securing trusses .
    go for house wrap over tar paper , dont install the window until your roofs on
     
  12. spam4einstein

    spam4einstein Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the above post. You could do it...But it dosnt make any sense. You are taking the quickest and very easy part of the construction job and making it more complicated. I know you want to use some "down" time to get ahead, but you wont save any time! Loading, unloading, and setting in place will take just as long as building on site...add more on site time for the unexpected complications that will occur and you will realize its a bad idea.

    You could save time by cutting as much lumber as possible ahead of time and just knocking them together on site as another poster said.

    I wouldnt bother talking to the inspector, You are describing traditional building methods, just done off site. No reason to draw his attention to it.



    Also, have you looked into log home packages? If you really shop around you can find some that are close in price to stick built and they come delivered as a kit. You are wise to realize stick built is likley the best choice for many reasons.


    Can I add, you would want to only partly sheath the pre fab walls. The ext plywood should act to help bind your sections together. Id lay your your sheet 4' vert and lay the next sheet staggered 4' horizontaly when the wall is up to bind the sections together.
     
  13. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    Ive done all this myself. Stop blocks on the outside of the wall to raise walls myself, double box corners for good nailers. Very good advice
     
  14. Daddymem

    Daddymem Well-Known Member

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    We thought along your lines too. We ended up going with www.firstdaycottage.com and have no regrets. We built onsite but I noticed many parts could be put together somewhere else and brought to the site when needed. The posts, beams, and rafters are laminated 2X lumber that you could cut and assemble beforehand. Another good place with info on building your own home is www.countryplans.com. Firstday will cost more than DIY stick built like most kit homes will but the lumber is beautiul imported stuff and you get a look stick built won't give you.

    Our adventure:
    http://schluterhomestead.blogspot.com/

    And I had never run so much as a skillsaw when we started...
     
  15. CatsPaw

    CatsPaw Who...me?

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    O.K. here's my two cents worth....oh...wait...at the price of copper these days better make that about a half a cent....

    Totally appreciate what you want to do. Just did the same thing with CAD as you on my garage...(just got my roof shingles on yesterday...yeah!)

    So far....I'm agreeing with above...build it on site. Panelizing a house only works when you have a truck to haul, crane, a number of people, etc. It takes so little time to slam a wall together, just do it on site in a standard fashion.

    When you said to make the wall 95 1/2", it caused a ? to pop up. Pre-cut studs already come 92 5/8", so you shouldn't have to "make" the wall 95 1/2" unless there is a specific reason you want that height (for the 1/8", I don't know what that could be.) Sole plate and one top plate makes it 95 5/8". Add the second top plate and you have the correct height.

    Here's a couple other bits for DIBY (do it by yourself.)

    After the foundation is in and the first floor is on, backfill and grade. You will so save yourself alot of discomfort. Ladders will sit right, you don't twist your ankles walking on uneven ground and big holes and stuff.

    When putting up the second floor walls, put the sheathing on first. Build the wall on the floor, Tack one corner down, Tack the bottom plate straight, cross measure 'til square, tack one more corner, install sheathing. If you have to DIBY, you can do the 8' walls ('cause they will get real heavy) and leave an appropriate overhang of sheathing to catch the next wall. You then have to remember to go back from the outside and nail off that edge of the sheathing. Oh yea, don't forget to un-tack it before you try to lift.....makes the walls seem alot heavier than they really are.

    It's a real pain to try to haul it up a ladder and stick it on at second floor level.

    Actually, you could put the windows in then also, but, you have to be really sure about the whole square, level, plumb thing.

    When using stop blocks, make sure they're nailed good. If you don't, they surprise you by popping off real easy when bumped by a really heavy wall.

    Then if you're REALLY good and the roof system is designed correctly AND your walls are good and straight, you can pre-cut the roof parts, then just slam them up. I did this on my house (except for the jack rafters) and it worked out real well. I pre-cut all the rafters, vertical supports, collar ties, and gussets before hand. Laid out one truss on the ground, then just copied all the parts.

    I just realized your house design has the same footprint as mine....except mine is only two stories on the front half split at 16'

    Boy are you gonna learn alot...he he he. There's no end to the things you could be advised on about building. goooood luck.
     
  16. YoungOne

    YoungOne Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone, there seems to be a general mindset that doing the work myself won't be hard but that the idea of pre-panelized walls is just making more work for myself.

    If I was laying the 1st floor joists all the way through roof trusses, would say 10 days on site get it to that point if I had at least one helper and had precut the headers and several small pieces?

    Would another 10 days finnish the roof (asphalt or metal, undecided?), sheath the exterior, and set doors and windows?

    The time scale is what I have no clue about.
     
  17. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    depends on how large.
    Personally I'd sheet the down stairs walls and not ut out windows or doors except for one entrance that could be secured .
    If your not using wind bracing and can get some help I'd square and sheet the walls before standing . 4 healthy pwoplw can aesily stand a 40+ ft sheeted wall , it can be done with two if you have jcks but much safer with 4.
    A simple rectangle home goes up quick , say two days to joist , level and lay the floor , a good long day to build and stand supporting walls (brace them well , make sure they are level and square ) give three days for the second floor possibly 4 . another day for the upstairs walls . A good day to set trusses for the roof , 1 more for decking . if your going with shingles buy them from a place that roof tops , it might cost a little more but will save you a couple days on the roof . Dont waste money on 15# tar paper buy 30# twice as much but worth it in the long run . figure an hour per sqare on shingling since you dont do it every day ( my personal record with a gun and tosser is a square in 6 mintes but this requires a high out put compressor)
     
  18. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I Think ten days is to much pressure. Depends on the weather, how long it takes to get things out there, set up and so on. A pro crew could do it easily.

    If you push yourself you'll make mistakes. you want to make sure your layout is right, that your square and plumb when you stand. Better take some time and do it right.

    I would also sheet the walls before I stand them. Both floors. Except you won't be able to sheet the ends of two walls since the ply has to hang by 3-1/2 to 4" depending on how your layout is. You will have to put those on afterwards. You can use metal strap nailed to the bottom plate to keep it from sliding off the deck. I wouldn't cut out the windows or doors either. you can cut them out easily with a router and a pilot bit. You should be able to set windows and doors in a day easily. But you need to watch so the inside reveal so your trim works out. Course this depends on if or what kind of jamb extensions.
    If you roll paper after you sheet you can take your time getting the roof on. Make sure its stapled or bluecapped well. personally I don't like paper especially under a shingle roof. The shingles don't lay flat. And ten thousand nails in a piece of paper isn't going to stop it from leaking if water gets through the shingles. Its a hold over from the old days when we layed 1x boards over the rafters. Long time ago LOL Most everybody nowadays use Bituthane for the first run for ice dams and shingle right over the ply. But since your in Arizona things may well be different. Make sure you use a drip edge. i don't know why but when we were in Colorado they didn't use it or flashing. Just dumb. Always use drip edge and flashing over doors and windows. moisture migration is different everywhere and its only now that they are beginning to understand it. I can tell you they don't use the same tactics for moisture in Tennessee that they use in Colorado
    You might want to check and see what your termite situation is out there. Also I would use a pressure treated plate for my joist to set on, on the first floor. check your codes for hangers and strapping. Truss clips stuff like that. Here where I live there are NO codes so you better know or have somebody that knows what he is doing. :)

    We also put our facia boards on first so we can get them straight before we sheet. IT makes things a little harder but its worth it.

    Another thing if you lay all three plates at once you can lay out all three at once. Cut your interlocks perfect and lay out your second floor joist and rafters while there on the floor. Also you can use the crooked 2x for the bottom plate (straighten them when you nail then down. Save the straight ones for the top and doubler

    Thats all I can think of for now LOL
     
  19. rwinsouthla

    rwinsouthla Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I may be getting into this a little late but hopefully can add my 0.02. I think you can do it if YOU think you can do it. I did. I built our house (2-story, slab, construction, no pre-built trusses), from the ground up, second floor, all windows, interior, cabinets, trim, sheetrock, paint, electrical, you name it. I did it ALL and am quite proud of the results. I contracted out the plumbing and the slab, but formed the slab myself. You can do every wall by yourself with just you and your wife or significant other to drive a pickup. That's how I did it. I strung a wire between two huge trees about 30 feet up and used it to pull walls up, ceiling joists, and rafters. I didn't use a bucket truck. I got a AWD forklift for the roof sheeting.

    About the only thing I can add is to find yourself a good load calculator for deciding on 2x10 or 2x12. I'd definitely spend the extra money on 12's if you have any span over 12 feet because of the sway. I did one room only one!!! with 10s and had a bedroom above it. That is the only room where sheetrock joints are cracking and you can watch the ceiling bow with someone walking up there.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  20. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    I used to work for a contracter that had an obsession with wood getting wet. Once we put wood on the foundation we didnt stop till we had a dry roof on ....had a few killer days! with a crew of 4 Ive seen a 80 foot wall built in less than half an hour!
    In a wall everything is precut except the top and bottom plates and you only have to make 2 cuts there.
    How are you planning on siding this?
    Id build and set solid walls ,dry in the roof and finish without leaving ANY openings! then when I came back id cut my way in that offers a lot of security.
    By the way the shell is the cheepest part of the house dont skimp!