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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My house burnt down and I am now weighing my options so prepare for a ton of questions!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just received my insurance check. I would like to pay off the mortgage and build a smaller house with what's left. I would like something nice and it needs to meet code now that we have zoning:grump:


I would like around 2000 sq foot.
Here is my thoughts:
Can we do a log cabin for $130,000 complete?

Do you think we can do a stick built quality home for that?

Any ideas on cost savings?
 
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As I mentioned in your other thread, I rebuilt my house for 35k and it took 6 months. Everything is up to code, the inspectors were really on me hard for a while, eventually they realized that I was not interested in screwing up. This house is 1440 sq ft with a 240 sq ft screened in porch. All electric heat pump. I'd think that 2000 sq ft would cost approximately 50% more. Prices went up for a couple years after I rebuilt, but with housing down the way it is now, I'd expect prices to drop and be similar to what they were 4 years ago.
The tax office assessed the house at 120k for tax purposes.
 

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Nothing is more expensive to build and then to keep up than a log cabin. Please consider regular old stick built. In this part of the country 130K could get you 2000 square feet (stick built) if you were very, very careful and did most of the work yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Everyone is OK. It happened on Veterans Day. A spark jumped out of the fireplace and most of made it's way to the couch . The kids were at school and the wife was at work. I was outside talking to the neighbor. I was not even gone a half hour. Being that it was in the middle of a work day, the fire departments did the best that they could with what they had to deal with. They had 9 companies from as far away as 40 miles.

Water was the main issue. The fields were too soft to get to the ponds.

Then the media was another issue. I asked them not to take pictures since I thought that it started in my daughters room. I did not want her to see it in the paper. My house can not been seen from the road so I had the media kicked out. Funny how they let the media up to the house but they gave my wife a hard time about coming up

So this fool from Channel 24 from Erie refused to leave and kept coming back. He then claimed he slipped and fell and that he was going to sue. It took everything I had not to knock him on his rear. So as the house burnt the ammo started exploding. The fire chief asked how much ammo we had and where it was stored. The media picked it up on the scanner and made me out to be militia on the news.

We are OK. We are renting a house and exploring our options. Thanks for asking
 

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Hey Mike..glad to hear everyone was oK...not sure where you live but must be close to me if channel 24 was there. Any way...check out this log cabin site ..it is down by Bob http://www.tusseymt.com/specialofmonth.htm. I have heard good things about them over the years.

If you do a log cabin we would LOVE to help. I have wanted one for many years. My dad built one in Pittsfield many years ago and he regrets ever selling it.

This one is over 2000 sq ft. http://www.tusseymt.com/log_home_model118.htm
Also if you are in the area it wouldn't cost as much for shipping as other places.
 

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Nothing is more expensive to build and then to keep up than a log cabin. Please consider regular old stick built.
Nothing is less expensive than conventional 2x4 construction. Not strawbale, not rammed earth, not cob. Nothing! Believe me, I've been up and down that road a dozen times.
 

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Thank God for insurance!

Zong, I missed the other thread where you mentioned rebuilding for $35,000. Could you give me a link to it?
 
G

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Thank God for insurance!

Zong, I missed the other thread where you mentioned rebuilding for $35,000. Could you give me a link to it?
It was PA MIKE's other thread http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=285642
I shopped around for every item I bought, If I could save a few bucks on delivery, or whatever. I got some great prices from local contractors buying their leftovers. For instance, I used Hardiboard fiber cement lap siding. A local builder who bought it by the palletload for houses had several partial pallets left over from different jobs, i drove to his shop with a flatbed trailer and got all that I needed for less than 20% retail, no tax. Most of the wiring, the sections that ran from one junction box to another was leftovers from electric contractors that I know. Of course, I paid some, but nothing like buying it at Lowes would have cost. I got thermal pane windows from a local maker who had a lot of custom made, but slightly wrong sized windows. Whether a window is 55 inches or 57 doesn't matter to me, as long as they're all the same size.
Even this past year, I find it still pays to shop around. I had a mobile home placed on this property for a family member, although I own the mobile home AND the property, building codes won't allow me to do the electrical, plumbing, or heating work myself unless I am going to live there. (I did all that myself in this house except the actual connection of the heat pump components) It had to be done by licensed contractors. I found an electrician that would let me do all the work EXCEPT the actual connection, same with plumbing. The difference on both was $500-$1000 initial quote to $100 each. saved 800-1800 there. I had several quoted on the heat pump, up to a thousand dollars, to disconnect from site A and reconnect at site B. One guy who lived near here, but worked out of town said that he would do it for 100 bucks, he'd disconnect one Saturday and reconnect another Saturday. needless to say, we did business. The more "wasteful" expenditures went to things I really wanted, really nice doors, lights, etc. This house is 250 sq ft larger than the other house was, what was once a carport is now a den(with a half bath). Building the house to live in, I went to a lot of extremes to make it better. If I had contracted it out, I know that nobody else would have put as much into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the offer Seedspreader. We can not get a whole lot done while it is swampy up there. Most of the foundation has been removed.

Teresab...... We are on the Venango - Crawford County line.

Thanks for the insight Zong. I think we are both on the same page. I like the hardisiding. We are headed to Middlefield,OH to an auction on New Years day. I plan on starting to pick up my materials.

I will keep you all posted of my progress.
 

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Mike,
If you build a loghome using milled logs not handcrafted and build it properly and are doing it yourself the only thing in on going maintenance is staining and sealing the logs every few years, just like any wood siding it needs protected from the weather. I could go on and on but if you have questions feel free to pm me and I will try to to answer any questions about loghomes for you. I do not like to debate or disagree on stick built homes. It will cost adout the same as a quality built stick home.
Glenn
 

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PA Mike

My family built the house that my parents are living in now. It's a two story log house, six bedrooms, three baths, and a nine foot deck wrapped around three sides. We contracted out the logs, but helped put them up anyway, and did all the inside ourselves. This was about twelve years ago (back when I was 13), but I'll try to find out how much it cost for us to build. If I can get that info from my parents, I'll PM you.

One thing to keep in mind when dealing with logs is that they will settle over time. Our interior walls are traditional 2x4 construction. When nailing them to the log exterior walls, we'd make a slit cut in the board and then nail into the slit. That way, as the logs settle, the interior walls are not causing problems.

Send me a PM if you have any questions. Good luck.
 

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Hey sorry to hear about your fire, but count your blessings...your family is safe. Everything else can be replaced. You asked if it was possible to build something around $130k...Here's a photo of my Lincoln Log cabin I had built around 2004. Here's how it broke down as far as money goes...(I won't include land price, since you already own your land)...
Kit which included everything:logs, gaskets, floor joists, subfloor, doors, windows, rafters, roof, door (exterior), and insulation (for upstairs which are not true logs) @$32k (we opted for some extra windows and took half the front porch and closed it in so that brought the cost up a bit.
Builder's fee: Our Amish builder built this thing in 28 days. He built three sets of steps, framed in all interior walls, put in tongue and groove ceiling, excavated the site, poured the basement (poured walls with rebar) including an extra high ceiling and installed three small windows in the basement...for $50K
Our plumber/electrician was on the site every day as logs went up...he and his son installed all light fixtures, outlets, ceiling fans, toilets, sinks, showers, spigots, plus an all electric furnace and air conditioner with heat pump...plus he hooked up the existing well and line from the spring plus two outside security lights (which we can turn off/on) for $16k
We bought our own sinks, cabinets, countertops, appliances, light fixtures, tubs, etc. for around $9k.
We hired a husband and wife to do the drywall for(downstairs)ceilings and interior walls...they did that for $3500 and that is materials and labor.
My wife and I bought and installed all floor boards (tongue and groove) and bathroom tile for a little less than $4k

That's a little less than $130k, but of course that was almost four years ago...We had a few additional expenses, like gutters, and sealing all the logs with "Woodguard" and "BeeGone" but that was less than another thousand. Our cabin is 24x28...It has an L shaped great room, a bedroom on the first floor, a kitchen on the first floor and a bath on the first floor. Basement is huge, and high ceilings and there is a second bath down, and a utility room for water heater, furnace, etc. Up top, there is a loft and a second guest bedroom.
Hope this helps give you an idea about what you can get...for the money. by the way I grew up in Erie...My builder is from Sugar Creek Ohio (not terribly far). If you want further info, pm me, OK? good luck.
 

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Glad to hear no one was hurt in the fire.........

For a replacement home, I recommend a log home. And right now, the log home companies are offering all sorts of discounts and free stuff. Check out your local log home builders and see what they have to offer. We're getting 1400 sf dryed in for $87,000. We have to do the plumbing and elec and will have to hire out some other stuff, but we can finish most of the rest ourselves. We are working with Honest Abe out of Moss, TN and it's too good a deal. No insulation - the wood is the best insulation! No drywall unless you want to finish off inside walls - there is outside maintenance, but no different if you were painting outside...... There's maintenance to everything! Plus we just got a 4.25% construction loan......
 

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FWIW, if the economy in your area is anything like my area, you might get decent quotes and prices from contractors.

Just a few years ago, contractors had so much work that it seemed like the sky was the limit on prices. I saw some unbelievably high, unrealistic estimates given to my aunt who was rehabbing a house at the time. She had a hard time even finding contractors who would bid the work, or show up to do the job. It was simply crazy!!!

At the same time, I hear that material prices are starting to soften. Not sure that it is showing up in stores, but at least that is what I am told.

Clove
 
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