Friday, August 31, 2012

Home Building

I know it has been a while.  I've been busy.  John and I have been working on the process of building our home on the 20 acres be bought this spring.  

I started doing my homework on how to have a custom home built.  I learned that a General Contractor charges about 20-30% of the homes value to build a home.  Ouch.  I like transparency in bookkeeping and every angle I looked at the situation from was muddled.  There was no way for us to know exactly how much each part of our house would cost.  I wanted to know numbers down to each board and screw.  I know that that information would lead me to know EXACTLY how much the GC would pocket.  

I learned pretty quickly that the only way to find out how much stuff costs was to ask.  So, I started sending out our architectural plans to different sub contractors and getting bids.  I compared costs between subs.  I had found a great website and used their percentage guideline to know how much things *should* cost for the value of house we were looking to build.  I was surprised to find that my bids were coming back VERY close!  

I was acting like a GC.  I convinced John to let me continue on and try to manage the build myself.  He was hesitant at first, but when he started to see how organized I was and how serious I was about the project, he came around pretty quickly.  

I had every job multi-bid and selected contractors based on how good their recommendations were and how easy they seemed to be to work with.  I didn't always pick the low bidder.  We were about to save 25% on the cost of the house, no need to cut corners now.  

Building the house ourselves will allow us to have WAY more house for WAY less money.  Think solid hickory wood floors, custom tile work, granite, spa tub etc.  

Currently, I am wrapping up the 5-6 week process of getting bids.  Our building permit has been submitted and is waiting on approval.  I have started scheduling contractors.  We will start digging as soon as we get approval from the county.  I am aiming for Sept 10 or before.  

Now that you are up to date, I need to go call a few subs, our insurance company, and the zoning department!