Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

The things we learn while building a house....

Ok, so here's what I've learned this week:

Subcontractors think you're stupid. They'll say they will charge you $1 a sqft, and then decide your house is 6,000 sqft. Show them you are not stupid. Before they get started on any work, be sure you've sat down with them and work the numbers. A pen, paper, and calculator will save you thousands. They may take it upon themselves to do extra work for you. Thank them, but don't allow them to charge you.

To hook up water/sewer lines to your house in the City of Bremerton, you must pay $10,800!!! In 2009, it'll be $11,300. Who needs water?? At least electricity and gas are cheap $561 and $0.

Oh, and this is AWESOME! If you like board and batten siding, then purchase Smart Soffit, rather than Smart Panels. Same material only half the cost. Another cost saver was the nails we purchased. Instead of buying 8 penny coil nails, you may be able to buy 6 penny coil nails at half the cost. See pics below.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Halloween 2008!

Nichole R--gremlin, Kahaikala--skull, Nichole F--ship, James--dancing men, Leslie--witch, Molly--dragon, and Isaac--Spider.

Friday, September 26, 2008

OHS Class reunion....10yrs!

Turn up your speakers and prepare to jam!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Places!

Apparently we don't take pictures together much.......I need to work on that.

Our view!!

The first pic was taken at night of the moon. We spent three years in the desert, and missed the Northwest very much! Every time we see our view, we're very glad to be home.

More pics!

This documentation of our building process is just as much for us as it is for others. I don't want to forget all this stuff in my head!

Home construction!

I've learned a lot. I want to be able to share our experiences with others so they don't make the same mistakes. Building a home is a lot of fun! We've actually been pretty lucky so far because we've found several good people who have helped us along the way.

Interesting fact: If you have your house plans, you can take them to your local lumber store and they will give you a break down of exactly what you need to buy and break it up into phases too.

The home loan:
There's nothing exciting to know here. Your loan will depend on whether or not you own the property. If you do you'll get a more flexible loan. You'll need to prepare a cost break down for your lender. To complete this, you'll want to get legitimate bids from your sub contractors. Over estimate slightly for each; this will help you avoid going over budget. Make sure that your lender didn't make "changes" to your cost break down by deleting expenses. This will result in $0 allotted to you for items..........this happened to us.

Our first big lesson: buying one more cubic yard of concrete than you need is cheaper than sending the truck back for more.
Second, fill dirt is $5 a cubic yard. Concrete is $100. Use fill dirt to fill in the slab as much as you can.....much cheaper.

ok....I'm going to stop counting because I'll get to a million if I don't.
The next thing you can do is hire a framer who knows how the construction process works. This person will be able to order the concrete when needed, the inspections, and start on construction. Now, you can only do this if you own your property. If your construction loan includes your property loan, then you must hire a licensed contractor. Then you'll pay a lot of $$!
Craigslist is a godsend! Search craigslist for house wrap (tyvek, etc.), siding, doors, roofing, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, hardware, paint, appliances, etc. You will save thousands!! I'd be leery of windows bought used because they may leak. Another great options is Habitat for Humanity. Some of there stores have awesome, unused building materials.
The cheapest garage door is at Home Depot. It's called the builders special or something. It's $669 (16x7) and includes installation and the opener. The downside is it's only 7ft tall. Ok for most, but if you have a boat you'll want an 8ft door. For a larger door, go to Costco--although Lowes' still beats Costco when it comes to the opener.

Temporary Power! You'll need this. I fought it, but I lost. I could tell you every little piece of hardware we bought, but you're probably better off buying a set up on Craigslist already put together. I've seen them range in price from free to $200. You'll also need to buy your permit and get it inspected. There are two types of permits, owner builder, and electrician. Once inspected, you or your electrician will call the Electric Co. to come hook up your power. Voila!

Once your framing and roofing is complete you'll want to get your subcontractors in there. They will install your utilities. If you're feeling adventurous, and cheap, you can ask your utility sub contractors to only do rough-in. That means you'll hook up your lights, switches, toilets, and sinks. Easy! Also, I'd recommend buying most of these fixtures yourself if you find bitchin deals.

Decide what you can and can't do. Can you do your own roofing? Siding? Flooring? Painting? Drywall? Oh, on a side note....Drywall labor is EXPENSIVE!! Get several bids on that.

Well, by now your house should be nearing completion; however, you've approached the SLOW part! Stay current with your inspections and make yourself a comfortable in your sub contractors ass. More details may follow, but I need to get further along in my own construction process before I share!!

Great Resources: (tutorials)

Great Sub-Contractors in Kitsap County:
John Bell--Bell Electric

Hood Canal Heating

Western Mechanical Plumbing
(not recommended!!!!)

Kingston Lumber

Framing Construction
Matt Miller

--Jury's still out