Question to those that built their own houses -

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Joy in Eastern WA, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. Joy in Eastern WA

    Joy in Eastern WA Well-Known Member

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    For those of you that built your own homes, by being the general contractor as well as participating in the overall construction of the project, how much do you think it cost per square foot?
    Also, if you want to get an occupancy permit, how much of the house needs to be completed before that's usually allowed?

    Thanks!
     
  2. DAVID In Wisconsin

    DAVID In Wisconsin Well-Known Member

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    Joy
    I have built homes for myself as well as others. I stopped being a general contractor about 15 years ago. The questions you ask will depend on your geographic area and your personal preferences. Your own county or town will let you know how to get your occupancy permit. I built houses in Louisiana where an occupancy permit wasn't needed. You could move in whenever you want. In North Carolina, I had to even have the yard landscaped to get the final permits. I can say that houses almost always cost more than the average owner figures.
    I wish you luck. Keep in mind that unless you are doing most of the work yourselves you might not actually save money as opposed to hiring a general. Also, please get ready for an entirely different world. A contract stating a sub will start and finish a job on a certain date means almost nothing. It will drive you crazy. That's why I no longer do it. It's a huge headache. But, some people actually enjoy it and would do it all over again.
     

  3. Joy in Eastern WA

    Joy in Eastern WA Well-Known Member

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    Thanks David -
    I'm very fortunate to have a good friend who's semi-retired from the building industry who will do the majority of the work. He just got finished building his summer home in the mountains, and he's ready to start another "project." He does beautiful work! I'm also very fortunate to have a couple of neighbors who are either a licensed electrician or a plumbing contractor.
    I've been a draftsman for architects and engineers for many years, so I know the basics of design and construction. Another plus!
    The house is going to be 1 1/2 stories. I hoping to move in after the first floor is finished, but I guess I'll have to see what the county has to say about that!
     
  4. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I can't tell you how much it cost, (because I don't really know, because it has taken so long and isn't done even yet), but I got my building permit in July of 98, and we passed our final inspection in Feb of 2003....We moved into the house Thanksgiving weekend of 98, so that is 4.5 YEARS we lived in it without our final....As the inspector once told my husband, if we enforced the regualtion that says no one can occupy their house before the final inspection, we'd have half of Kitsap County homeless.

    We did have to move everything outside under tarps when we plastered the bales had the interior sheetrocked (an evil process.) That was right 'round 9/11.
     
  5. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Got something interesting on my neighbor,he is getting Insurance on his place because it is under construction,plus his Taxes are cheaper on it for the same reason.But they have been living in it for three years. :confused:

    big rockpile
     
  6. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

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    House: 1040 sq ft downstairs, 300 sq ft upstair loft area. Covered porch deck: 700 sq ft. Open deck: 120 sq ft Another open deck: 40 sq ft Pier and Beam block foundation. We also have a walk-out basement area that is 16 X 10.

    To date we have spent $44,595.90 on materials and an additional $15,000 on labor. We hired the block work done, the excavation done and the plumbing done. We also had the shingles put on and will have the sheetrock done. Then there were the times that you just have to have more than one or 2 people to lift and work and would find guys that were willing to work hard for about $8-$12 an hour. We estimate that we still have about another $16,000 left to buy/spend with appliances and finishout. So, this house will end up costing about $75,000. If you look at all the sq footage, that works out to a little over $30 a sq ft. If you just apply it to the inside sq footage, then it is $55 a sq ft.

    It is a quality house and we got an estimate from a builder here that with the quality of materials we are using and would want, it would have cost us about $125 a sq ft for the inside sq footage plus $20 sq for the porches. About $185,000!!!!!!!!

    You figure the savings
     
  7. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    centeral Okla. S of I-40, E of I-35
    It really does matter where you are, we have no requirement to meet codes at all.
     
  8. Yup... sub-contractors are going to give general contractors much better pricing than they'll give to someone who will not provide them with repeat work. Being your own general contractor may end up costing you money. I also don't like the neighbour/friend arrangements... As David wrote, building a house and coordinating what happens and when can be a very frustrating (and expensive) task, and is a sure way to end friendships. I'd bet that if you talked to folks who have been their own general contractor, 95% of them would not do it again... which is why there are general contractors.

    cheers,