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My wife and I are in the the early planning stages of building a new home. This will be the first house that we have been able to build as a custom and I am wondering if there is anything that we should seriously consider or stay away from.
We are currently in the midst of picking out almost everything. Andersen or JeldWen. Vinly or Hardi Panel. Engineered wood floors or real wood planks. Standard water heater or on demand. 2x6 or 2x4 construction. Hip roof or gable roof. Poplar trim or MDF.
I have been making a list of everything that was done wrong or could have been done better since we moved into our first house that was a spec, that we bought shortly after college. We have spent a lot of time considering the options but there are so many.
Any personal or professional insights would truly be appreciated.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by 49426A 17 months ago
Search the old RCMB for building a pergola and you will find all the answers you seek.
No water heater. Radiant heat with a high efficiency boiler. Use boiler for unlimited hot water.
This post was edited by ComeDependState 17 months ago
Consider adopting a 17 year old Asian house instead.
This post was edited by OPatMSU 17 months ago
You're in college. The window of opportunity to drink and do drugs and take advantage of young girls is getting smaller by the day.
Urinals is every bathroom
My dad designed and built a house almost entirely on his own a few years back. I'll get some info and opinions from him and post them here when I do.
I would also suggest installing a whole house fan as well. Very useful.
Solid wood, dovetailed drawers in kitchen with anti slam sliders.
A little more money but kitchen and bathrooms are where you get the most return on your investment.
Make sure your entertainment center features a giant TV that descends from the ceiling while "Also Sprach Zarathustra" booms over the soundsystem.
Richard Strauss - Also Sprach Zarathustra, op. 30
l'Orchestra Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
c. Antonio Pappano
(Part 1 of 4)
tRCMB - Visit at your own risk of being disgusted.
I have hickory hardwood floors. They look great, but my dogs leave scratches on the surface. Something to keep in mind if you're planning on living with a dog or two.
Spec homes are absolutely the worst. They are the first homes to be built, and the craftsmanship tends to be bad. Builders quickly slap together the house so they can get their models furnished quickly and start selling other houses.
Sure your house looks pretty good when you buy it, but everything is typically cosmetic and after 6 months to a year things start to fall apart
Bigtime. +1. Had a family member who had one. Loved it.
A few years ago we were going through the process of building. We were going g.c. i never had the comfort level with the subs thqt i was talking with that they knew how to do the whole house fan. But someday we'll have one i tell you!
Coach Dantonio is my Spartan!
Steam shower? That's on our list also.
Sounds like you're getting ahead of yourself.
1) Have you purchased a lot?
2) Have you hired an architect?
3) Do you plan on hiring a builder or general contracting?
Central vacuum (boss)
Don't skimp on floors or doors
Make sure they dehumidify enough before the wood goes down. Also beware of rugs for first 6 months if the floors get sun.
Pre wire for anything and everything you can think of.
Offer your wife this deal: you get to pick out everything for the basement and garage, and you'll agree to whatever she wants for the rest of the house. Otherwise, you will get into heated arguments about cabinet hardware, bathroom fixtures and a hundred other things you don't give a shit about.
News Flash: Builders are always in a hurry to build homes. I do see your point though - spec homes are built quicker than most. As someone who is kind of in the business, here are the tips I would offer:
1) I don't know if you're building in a sub or out in the country, but make sure the lot is high. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but water always wins. Even if you have to bring in dirt, do it. Make sure the finish grade is not anywhere near flat. Slope it like 1:4 at least.
2) Hire a general contractor. Do not try and be your own GC. They know the business, they know all of the sub-contractors, and they know how to schedule this stuff. If something goes wrong, they usually have back-up people they know they can call to get whatever done. Also, this is the most important decision you will make regarding your home. Do your homework. Talk to the local building Dept - they know the good ones. Find out the homes the guy has done and stop by and talk to the homeowners. They all look great when you meet them. Talk to the people living in the homes, and talk to the building dept because they know the guys that cut too many corners and such. Don't pick a guy that's spread to thin.
3) Don't go cheap during the building. Some things you can change as you live in a house. Paint color, flooring, doors, trim, etc. Somethings cannot change. These are the things you need to make sure you don't skimp on. 2X6 construction with max insulation. High ceiling in basement (do not go lower than 8'). Someone mention boiler and radiant heat - great idea (check into electric radiant heat - instead of water - as well). Hot water on demand, wire every room in the house for everything. Obviously, you'll have electrical outlets on every wall, but wire for computers, TV's, stereos, phone, etc on two walls in each room. Things seem to be going wireless in the future, but you can't have too many outlets for these appliances.
4) Prepare for things to go wrong. There are always things that pop up unexpectedly. Know how to deal with them. If you know and prepare yourself for issues, you'll be better equipped to deal with them better.
These pieces are already in place. We have gotten guidance on many things from the architect and my builder. I am really looking for any experiences with products and methods.
We bought a lot and we have a drawing but we are at that critical point before we close where we can pretty much change anything and it won't be a big deal.
This post was edited by 49426A 17 months ago
3 car garage insulated with radiant heat.
I've built several mid-range homes. I don't know your budget - Viking applicances or Maytag?
Any rate - I've discovered:
1. Don't "settle" for something you'll be unhappy with.
2. Don't buy something you're unsure that you'll use.
3. Stick with a budget
For example, the builder we used had sky-high flooring costs. It really ticked me off. So I kinda did an "eff you!" and settled for the builders-grade flooring - with the intent to replace it. Well, that was 5 years ago, and we still have that ugly flooring. So every day I come home, I see that cut-rate linoleum. Grrrrrr....
After building two houses, I realized I rarely used the fireplace and/or jacuzzi. I cut about $8,000 from my home cost from eliminating those items. Same token, I use the stove nearly every day - I got the upgraded stove. Know what I'm saying?
Again, I don't know your budget, but building a house starts to add up. Upgraded kitchen, 9 foot ceilings, high end flooring, 3 car garage, oak trim, wallpapered bathroom... Our builder had 2 pages of upgrades. Before you know it, you crush your budget - move in, and realize you need landscaping, new furniture, curtains, a play-structure for the kids, and so on.
Listen to DFE as he speaks the truth. I hope to HELL you have a strong relationship with your wife OP. I use to be in Real Estate and saw many marriages go through serious turbulence when building a home. Personally, I think the MOST important thing is finding a General Contractor you can trust and won't screw you. How do you do that? Pretty simple IMO: find homes that are quality built and TALK TO THEIR OWNERS.
If you go with a GC and end up getting screwed it's your own fault. LIke any big purchase in life, you must get references and triple check them. Do your due diligence or suffer the consequences later. Good luck and stock up on some quality liquor as you will probably need it at some point!
I don't necessarily agree with this. It depends on how motivated and hands-on the OP wants to be in the project.
It was long my dream to design and build a home. Did a lot research and got a Michigan residential builder's license (not that it's needed to GC a home). General contracted my (ex's ) beautiful 2800 sq-ft home 20 years ago. Broke ground just before Thanksgiving 92 and got the certificate of occupancy early April 93. Building through the winter caused a number of challenges but made contractors less expensive and easier to have at my convenience.
I will agree GC is not for everyone. It suited me well as a hobby and saved ~$80K over what a builder would have charged
This post was edited by The Pantry 17 months ago
Please explain further. You have an offer in to a builder on a lot he owns?
No. We bought the lot in a subdivision independently with a lot loan. We have a builder and have been working with the residential designer that he recommended to get a drawing. That piece is done and now the GC is quoting out the job to his subs and we are going through the process of picking everything we want in the house.
We are essentially very happy with the drawing but we can still change things up over the next couple of weeks if we need to.
Once all the subs come back with their quotes and we have everything picked out, we close and roll the lot into a construction loan. That is going to be about 4-6 weeks out.
Any thoughts on granite vs quartz?
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