Author Topic: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In  (Read 8267 times)

maxpower

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Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« on: September 25, 2016, 07:55:24 AM »
We broke ground on our new home on June 30th. A few things I've learned:

1. Believe the people who say that it'll cost more than you think. "Yeah, that's just suckers talking. They don't know me!", I thought. However, even though I meticulously budgeted everything I could possibly think of, tried to overestimate a number of things, AND included a $10,000 "extra $hit" line item, we are still just barely in budget... I expect that to change in the near future (This is in part because I recently decided to go with spray foaming the rim joists and doing dense pack cellulose for the walls and cathedral ceiling).

2. What the space of our home "feels like" during construction changes all the time. We dug the hole and thought, "uh oh... we're building a closet!" The footings went in and it felt even worse! Now, with the framing complete, what we thought was a quaint little 24x30 home feels gigantic! Very disorienting.

3. These new little impact drivers are FANTASTIC! Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Bosch compound gliding miter saw with gravity rise stand and accompanying roller stands. Last one... I can't get enough of this little "Snake bite" nail puller tool. For a guy who has only had a flat bar in the past, it's like I've discovered a magical tool crafted by the elves!

4. Some phases of the build are impressive and dramatic. Others are so very very not. For example, I just spent the last 8 days (10 hours a day!) installing roof venting on our cathedral ceiling. Were you to walk in there on day one and again today, you'd be hard pressed to see that I've done anything other than fill the house with sawdust and wood scraps!

5. I need to constantly remind myself what I'm grateful for since there is ALWAYS the next absolutely crucial thing to be very worried about. "I'll calm down once we dig the hole and have finally settled on the orientation of the home. Then I can just relax and build!" "I'll calm down once we get the walls poured so the cave ins don't knock over my concrete forms. Then I can just relax and build!" "I'll calm down once we get the structure dried in. Then I can just relax and build!" Now here comes winter... etc, etc, etc. Unless I check myself, I will NEVER calm down.

6. After nearly a decade of graduate school in philosophy, working long and hard doing physical labor while creating a very tangible object feels so very good!

7. Stacking all your sheetrock right next to the wall in the basement, while being space efficient, comes with the liability that you'll now have to move it all again when it comes time to do the electrical.

8. You can't make all your decisions on the front end. Learn to make place holder decisions that allow the project to move forward and work to be flexible as the work continues. I so very badly wanted to have everything perfectly planned out from the beginning, but this desire nearly led to a mental breakdown. You can't possibly have everything decided for at the outset since so many of these decisions are interrelated and depend upon actually feeling a space that, at best, is represented only two-dimensionally at the beginning. Make decisions that are "good enough for now" and revisit.

9. When exhausted, dirty, and overwhelmed, remember why you're doing this. In our case, we want to be here. We love our community. We wanted to build ourselves because we want to learn, grow, and increase our self-sufficiency (and we could never afford this house otherwise!). And finally, we wanted to build THIS house because we want to live in a space that facilitates a life rich in the values that are important to us.

It's happening, it's hard, but it's worth it!

P.S. Here's a few of the videos from our build (for those curious!)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 07:18:56 AM by maxpower »

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2016, 08:31:01 AM »
Following! PLEASE keep posting updates and pictures! That is so cool. How much are you doing solo, vs having a crew do or assist with?
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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2016, 08:47:40 AM »
Awesome!
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maxpower

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2016, 09:45:31 AM »
Following! PLEASE keep posting updates and pictures! That is so cool. How much are you doing solo, vs having a crew do or assist with?

Hey thanks! I've hired out the excavation work, the footings, the structural framing (but I found a crew that I could work alongside), the plumbing/HVAC, and the metal roof install. I did the ICF walls, set up the floor (had to hire the actual pour), and have been busy with the window/door installation, Tyvek, soffit and fascia, and now framing the interior walls. Other than the plumbing, HVAC and insulation, the rest of this project is all on me! Eeek!

Here's a little video update from last week. :)

afulldeck

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2016, 10:12:26 AM »
Following! PLEASE keep posting updates and pictures! That is so cool. How much are you doing solo, vs having a crew do or assist with?

Hey thanks! I've hired out the excavation work, the footings, the structural framing (but I found a crew that I could work alongside), the plumbing/HVAC, and the metal roof install. I did the ICF walls, set up the floor (had to hire the actual pour), and have been busy with the window/door installation, Tyvek, soffit and fascia, and now framing the interior walls. Other than the plumbing, HVAC and insulation, the rest of this project is all on me! Eeek!

Here's a little video update from last week. :)

Are you on the job training yourself? How do you know what to do?

maxpower

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2016, 10:17:37 AM »
Are you on the job training yourself? How do you know what to do?

I worked in construction (mainly cement) through college. That got me comfortable with tools and the basics of making stuff with them. From there I finished the basement of our last home. I learned a lot from a contractor friend of mine during that process. This house project is a whole new order of complexity! I talk to a lot of people, read books, and have the occasional anxiety attack. Oh, and let's not forget the wonders of YouTube how-to videos!
« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 10:19:22 AM by maxpower »

sisto

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2016, 12:11:36 PM »
Great post, I'm looking forward to following your progress.

Mr. Green

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2016, 01:57:28 PM »
Rock on, OP! I feel like you're me but three months in the future. We are in the process of trying to build a house ourselves but it's taken a lot longer to get past permitting than I thought it would. I was trying to have everything covered before beginning construction, just like you talk about, and it was causing me some serious stress. So much so that I decided to go back to work while I was waiting for permits and considering having someone else dry the house in for me. I have very mixed emotions about returning to work because I wanted the experience of building the house, but at the same time there are high wind requirements I hadn't known about and I was afraid of unanticipated cost and frustration from that impacting the project since I FIRE'ed in June. The nice thing is that I had already walked away with the intention of it being permanent once so I don't have a problem with quitting on a dime if we decide we do want to do everything ourselves. We're building a 24x36 that's only one story and no basement (crawlspace) so I thought it would be pretty easy.

Would love to see more updates and lessons learned along the way!

Unstoppable

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2016, 09:49:45 AM »
Congratualtions. We just completed a build (through a builder though). We have a similar view, which is the best part.

We used a builder in order to be able to diagram their system and how long each step took, in case we decide to get into building at some point. As a cherry on top they provided us with their vendors list at the end of the build (basically as a don't call us call them thing). Thanks for your business model folks.

We were 9 months from contract to keys. There was probably three or four weeks or so of nothing happening along the way. As we were tied up on other projects, it moved along pretty quickly. I am happy with the end result, a low maintenance and low energy home.

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medinaj2160

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2016, 01:32:33 PM »
Awesome thread. Following....

Can you please keep track of the cost of building your house. I would give other members an idea if they want to follow your path.

How big is the house?

My parent build their own house and they have no idea how much they spent lol



Primm

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2016, 09:53:51 PM »
Wow, that's awesome! Love your lessons, especially this one...

Quote
When exhausted, dirty, and overwhelmed, remember why you're doing this.

I'm currently vacuuming out 100 years of accumulated crap from our ceiling cavity in preparation for putting in insulating batts. It's hot, dusty, claustrophobic and the most horrible job ever and I'm on the verge of calling someone in to help (Husband can't at the moment due to health and surgery issues). But then I read this, and I'm going to get off the computer, stop procrastinating and just get back up there. It might take me a while but nowhere near as long as building from scratch right?

Thank you!

maxpower

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2016, 06:44:24 AM »
Wow, hey! Thanks everyone! :) A few responses...

We're building a 24x36 that's only one story and no basement (crawlspace) so I thought it would be pretty easy.

This reminds me of what I've thought about pretty much every aspect of building the house! e.g., "I just need to get the pad ready to pour. Sounds pretty easy!" ...95° + 100% humidity + sun reflecting off ICF walls + rebar so hot that it melts through the foam underlayment, etc... etc... etc... :) All that's to say, the thrill of experiencing the build myself has repeatedly worn off and needs to regularly be replaced with pure endurance. And this is something I've also heard from other friends of mine who were super jazzed to build their own home. In any case, it sounds like you're in a great position to tackle it if you want to, ...or not, if you don't!

As a cherry on top they provided us with their vendors list at the end of the build (basically as a don't call us call them thing). Thanks for your business model folks.

That's huge! I spent about three months with the planning, subcontractor location, vetting and bidding. Having someone just hand you a list combined with the first person experience of their work is priceless!

Can you please keep track of the cost of building your house. I would give other members an idea if they want to follow your path.

How big is the house?

For sure. I'm keeping a super meticulous spreadsheet that tracks every cent that's gone into this home alongside our initial estimates. Once I get the final bill from the framing contractor, I'll upload it to the original post and note it's addition in the comments.

I'm currently vacuuming out 100 years of accumulated crap from our ceiling cavity in preparation for putting in insulating batts. It's hot, dusty, claustrophobic and the most horrible job ever and I'm on the verge of calling someone in to help (Husband can't at the moment due to health and surgery issues). But then I read this, and I'm going to get off the computer, stop procrastinating and just get back up there. It might take me a while but nowhere near as long as building from scratch right?

Thank you!

Wow! That does sound like "exhausted, dirty, and overwhelmed!" And you have now inspired me right back! Time to get that upstairs framed in!

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2016, 07:44:11 AM »
6. After nearly a decade of graduate school in philosophy, working long and hard doing physical labor while creating a very tangible object feels so very good!

First off congrats! I love the line above.
"Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright" ~Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2016, 08:08:03 AM »
Awesome stuff. I'm super-jealous. I've been dreaming about building my own home for 15 years, but I don't know if it'll ever happen. Good luck, and keep us posted!
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AlanStache

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2016, 09:41:15 AM »
Cool stuff!  Are you working a J-O-B during all this?
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Jmoody10

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2016, 09:45:24 AM »
Very awesome! I completely agree with point #3 - when we built our house, I got very very good at removing nails (which meant I also got good at driving nails...)

kendallf

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2016, 10:10:02 AM »
All that's to say, the thrill of experiencing the build myself has repeatedly worn off and needs to regularly be replaced with pure endurance.

When you get "done", and I leave that in quotes because you'll always feel like there's something else you should add/revise/fix, it will be an awesome feeling!  Nothing like the (literally) concrete evidence of your labor in front of you.  I finished a solo major renovation of my old house in July.  Toward the end I was obsessed, tired, and grumpy.  Now I have a contract and it should be sold soon, and I am struck every time I go over there by how amazing it looks.  :-)
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bacchi

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2016, 12:31:13 PM »
Great list.

My own list:

1) Nail guns are well worth the cost.
2) There are a TON of details to remember as details change. Part of what I do is remind the framers that a change was made and the door frame should be 33" instead of 31" wide.

maxpower

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2016, 06:46:45 AM »
Cool stuff!  Are you working a J-O-B during all this?

Hey all,
Been awhile since I checked in on this thread. First off, AlanStache, since I just wrapped up grad school, I'm in the enviable position of declaring this house building project as my J-O-B, with no other commitments. I know people who have worked full time and built their own house, I can't imagine doing that. Especially with young kids!

I've been waiting to do another little video update until a sunny day, but we've been plagued with clouds and rain here in MN for what seems like week! In any case, The plumbers are nearly done with their rough in and are starting the duct work this week. I'm in the thick of wiring the house. Making lighting decisions as they pertain to our open ceilings is the biggest hurdle we're trying to clear at the moment. If I can get this done, it'll be time to insulate, which is the big milestone I'm trying to reach ASAP!

Sailor14

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2016, 09:05:33 AM »
My wife and I built the last house we were in ourselves. It was also ICF (which I miss terribly). It was some serious stress, however I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

Now, there simply is nothing that frightens us regarding real estate or construction in general. Don't like that wall? Pffttt...have it torn out in 30 minutes. Hole in the sheetrock? Be fixed in an hour and looking like a professional did it.

We have tackled pretty much any homebuilding/remodel project you can think of. Our friends freak out if they see a tiny crack in the wall, or stress over the broken dishwasher. Some friends, who we love dearly woke up to find their dishwasher wasn't draining. Rather than investigate the issue, they spend $700 on a new Kenmore and are now stressing about buying Christmas presents! (Our dishwasher broke and I had it removed, the impeller and pump replaced and back in working order in under an hour for $40.00...not including the time it took for the parts to arrive. Thank God for RepairClinic!).

Besides the money you'll save doing your own build, you'll continue to save thousands every year as you fix things most other people pay to have repaired...or simply go out and buy new! That's the gift that keeps on giving!

I seriously wish more people would look at owner building. Just acting as your own GC and not even doing the work yourself can save you a fortune!

Good luck and do keep posting updates!

ImCheap

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2016, 02:20:46 PM »
Congrats, looks like fun.

We did a good sized addition to our home, everything from the plans, footings to sheetrock, its fun if you enjoy this type of work.

A few things I learned, living in a construction zone stinks. Doing a new complete home by yourself would be a challenge I think. Our next home, if we find the right one is going to be to buy some place that is in disrepair and gut/update then move into it.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2016, 01:44:37 AM »
Awesome stuff!  Love these threads. So very glad I'm done with my own rennovations.
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maxpower

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2016, 07:10:31 AM »
Hey thanks, all!

Now, there simply is nothing that frightens us regarding real estate or construction in general.

That's such a tremendous asset! Being able to move comfortably around something that is, for most of us, the largest single purchase we will ever make is tremendously freeing!

At this stage I'm loving taking the time to put in all the little added things I'd like in a home without having to worry about how much more a contractor is going to stick me for these "changes" to the original plan. I am free to just build as I see things developing! It's so much fun!

maxpower

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2016, 05:12:52 PM »
Finally got around to doing a new video update. A little too long, but oh well. Here's the link!

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2016, 07:36:10 AM »
Awesome.  Thanks for sharing. 

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2016, 07:51:38 AM »
Wow. What a lot of work! Thanks very much for the tour.

monarda

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2016, 08:22:11 AM »
Thanks for this thread! I just found it. Looking forward to following.

A couple of years ago we did a lot of the finish work on making an existing attic into livable space. Hired out roofers, structural framers, electrical and rough plumbing.  Hired insulators so we could get good rebates. We did pretty much all of the drywall and other finish work.

We have plans to do another similar project, adding a second story onto our current house. Waiting a little longer until we are sure that we can afford...

Stay warm!  Once you get the upper level cellulose in, it'll make a huge difference.  Without any HVAC installed, the insulated attic project stayed above 50 degrees, even through a Wisconsin winter.

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2016, 04:06:07 PM »
Posting to follow!  Especially to see updates on cost and pictures (LOTS OF THEM!).

Congrats on the decision!
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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2016, 05:56:42 PM »
Good Stuff!
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maxpower

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2016, 07:20:20 AM »
Hey All,
Just a quick note to let you know that I've attached the current state of my home building spread sheet for you all in the original post!

Metric Mouse

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2016, 07:21:39 AM »
Thanks for the update! I love comparing numbers to my own build sheets.
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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2016, 07:35:12 AM »
How did I not know about this thread?

DW and I will be embarking on a similar journey in the coming few years. Ours is a much different landscape, and will result in our home looking much different (PNW cabin style)...but 24X30 footprint is very close to what we envision...though we will likely go smaller than this. Based upon my past experience with construction, my skills lay in below the ground stuff...so I will be hiring out for the majority of the build.

Again, will be following this with extreme interest!

maxpower

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2016, 07:09:52 AM »
How did I not know about this thread? DW and I will be embarking on a similar journey in the coming few years.

Nice! I hope you find something helpful for your own build! At the moment I'm feeling something new... What's a good word for it? I'm somewhat ashamed to admit it, but it's in the neighborhood of: "Good lord! All I do is come out to this place every damned day and work. Sure, I get things done, but it's such a small percentage of the whole. I show up early. I stay late. And to get this place done I'm going to have to keep doing that for a LONG time. It might be one thing if such an effort resulted in a nearly free house, but it's still costing a fortune to build this thing! Gah! I'm literally spending my life on this place. Is this the highest use of my very finite little life?"

Now, granted, I'm getting this feeling while I have a cold and while in the midst of HVAC, plumbing, and electrical, which is a bit like watching paint dry... Also, it's been cloudy and rainy for days, and some of said rain has now been getting into the house thanks to one of the plumbers' roof jacks leaking. So, it needs to taken with the appropriate grain of salt.

On the other hand, I'm scheduled for my rough in electrical inspection today. Wish me luck!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 07:22:34 PM by maxpower »

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2016, 09:52:28 AM »
I have a dream to also build my own place from scratch one day. It seems like a great way to have everything built just the way you want it. Nice job!
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Metric Mouse

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2016, 01:10:15 PM »
[ "Good lord! All I do is come out to this place every damned day and work. Sure, I get things done, but it's such a small percentage of the whole. I show up early. I stay late. And get this place done I'm going to have to keep doing that for a LONG time. It might be one thing if such an effort resulted in a nearly free house, but it's still costing a fortune to build this thing! Gah! I'm literally spending my life on this place. Is this the highest use of my very finite little life?"

I had this same feeling about 7 months into my remodel.  It was at this point that I figured out it's way better to outsource large pieces of the project, do the enjoyable or interesting work yourself and enjoy the free time you've created.

Good luck with the inspection! They're much less painless than I expected, in my experience.
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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maxpower

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2016, 07:27:39 PM »
Passed!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 07:30:07 PM by maxpower »

maxpower

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2016, 07:32:20 PM »
I had this same feeling about 7 months into my remodel.  It was at this point that I figured out it's way better to outsource large pieces of the project, do the enjoyable or interesting work yourself and enjoy the free time you've created.

Good advice. I'm considering having the sheetrock hung and perhaps even taped...

kendallf

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #37 on: November 30, 2016, 08:56:24 AM »
I had this same feeling about 7 months into my remodel.  It was at this point that I figured out it's way better to outsource large pieces of the project, do the enjoyable or interesting work yourself and enjoy the free time you've created.

Good advice. I'm considering having the sheetrock hung and perhaps even taped...

Everybody struggles with this.  I paid a guy to patch and finish the drywall in my last renovation, including scraping popcorn from the ceiling and doing knockdown.  I tried doing some knockdown in a previous house and wasn't happy with my results.  Considering equipment rental, time saved, etc. I have no regrets; he did a beautiful job and after paint the house looked truly transformed.

Hanging drywall solo is not fun.  If you're a professional and have experience and good tools it's doable but as an amateur I'll only do it with at least one person to help.

Good luck!  The tired and ready to be done feeling is completely normal.  Take a day off to do something you consider "fun", hire out a task or two that feel like drudgery; remember nobody's keeping score.  I sold my renovation house a couple of months ago and I've almost forgotten how tired and frustrated I was near the end.  I'm still taking a year off to work on cars and get frustrated about different stuff.  :-)
“In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.”
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Mr. Green

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #38 on: November 30, 2016, 10:41:08 AM »
Thanks for showing your spreadsheet! I've got my own for the house build we're starting and yours gives me some ideas for improvement.

Rightflyer

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #39 on: February 21, 2017, 08:38:30 AM »
I had this same feeling about 7 months into my remodel.  It was at this point that I figured out it's way better to outsource large pieces of the project, do the enjoyable or interesting work yourself and enjoy the free time you've created.

Good advice. I'm considering having the sheetrock hung and perhaps even taped...

Everybody struggles with this.  I paid a guy to patch and finish the drywall in my last renovation, including scraping popcorn from the ceiling and doing knockdown.  I tried doing some knockdown in a previous house and wasn't happy with my results.  Considering equipment rental, time saved, etc. I have no regrets; he did a beautiful job and after paint the house looked truly transformed.

Hanging drywall solo is not fun.  If you're a professional and have experience and good tools it's doable but as an amateur I'll only do it with at least one person to help.

Good luck!  The tired and ready to be done feeling is completely normal.  Take a day off to do something you consider "fun", hire out a task or two that feel like drudgery; remember nobody's keeping score.  I sold my renovation house a couple of months ago and I've almost forgotten how tired and frustrated I was near the end.  I'm still taking a year off to work on cars and get frustrated about different stuff.  :-)

As an amateur builder hack with a bad back I totally agree.
That is until I discovered the drywall lift. An amazing invention!

Last year I bought one, hung 3600 sq ft of drywall myself (including 10/12/14 footers) and then sold the lift to the guy who did the tape and mud for what I paid for it.
(You do need a good drywall screwgun as well though)
 
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Rightflyer

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #40 on: February 21, 2017, 08:46:25 AM »
Congrats on passing the rough in inspection.

Keep the faith.
Years from now you will constantly have a little glow of pride every time you sit and look around at what YOU created.

(Also... in reality you will constantly see all the hiccups you had... but they become part of the character of the place.)

Six is having problems adjusting to his clone status.

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #41 on: February 24, 2017, 11:18:16 PM »
As an amateur builder hack with a bad back I totally agree.
That is until I discovered the drywall lift. An amazing invention!

Last year I bought one, hung 3600 sq ft of drywall myself (including 10/12/14 footers) and then sold the lift to the guy who did the tape and mud for what I paid for it.
(You do need a good drywall screwgun as well though)

Wow! How did you move the 14 footers into the work space? This was the problem I struggled with; moving 12 footers up or down stairs by my onesie didn't last very long. Not sure I could have done it with 1/2 inch. 8 footers for me.
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #42 on: February 25, 2017, 08:15:22 AM »
As an amateur builder hack with a bad back I totally agree.
That is until I discovered the drywall lift. An amazing invention!

Last year I bought one, hung 3600 sq ft of drywall myself (including 10/12/14 footers) and then sold the lift to the guy who did the tape and mud for what I paid for it.
(You do need a good drywall screwgun as well though)

Wow! How did you move the 14 footers into the work space? This was the problem I struggled with; moving 12 footers up or down stairs by my onesie didn't last very long. Not sure I could have done it with 1/2 inch. 8 footers for me.

No, to be fair, I had help getting the boards off the truck and into the main room. No stairs.

There were only 5 - 14 footers... to span the 13'-6" ceiling in one area. They weigh over 80lbs IIRC.
I used a drywall panel carry to get the board onto the lift. That's the hardest part. After that you can have a coffee while ratcheting up the panel.

Six is having problems adjusting to his clone status.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #43 on: February 26, 2017, 01:52:01 AM »
Oh yeah, the lifts are fantastic. Life saver for doing things alone.
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

MustacheMathTM

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #44 on: March 04, 2017, 06:31:48 AM »
Hey All,
Just posted a new update video. Here we give the first look at the drywall (hung and taped!), the beginnings of a kind of unique method of texturing and painting, installed stair and hallway lights, and also have a look at how I finally decided to finish the wood beams and paneling. Enjoy!


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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2017, 07:40:29 AM »
What a lot of work! Looking good, though.

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2017, 04:40:19 PM »
Wicked awesome.  My house smells like BLO tonight coincidentally, nothing nearly as impressive- just a saw handle.  Thanks much for the videos!
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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #47 on: March 21, 2017, 12:40:29 PM »
Looks good!  My husband and I did this a few years ago - built our own house from the bottom up, all while both working 50+ hr/week jobs.  2.3 years and one kiddo later we finally finished.  Now we're planning to break ground again hopefully this year on a larger one.  How was doing the ICF yourself?  We're considering ICF but haven't encountered people who did it themselves (and local builders aren't interested in just a shell, at least not so far).

zinnie

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #48 on: March 22, 2017, 05:24:28 AM »
Good for you! I love the sunrise picture, too. Looks like a beautiful location.

maxpower

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Re: Building Our Own Home: Three Months In
« Reply #49 on: March 22, 2017, 06:38:32 AM »
Looks good!  My husband and I did this a few years ago - built our own house from the bottom up, all while both working 50+ hr/week jobs.  2.3 years and one kiddo later we finally finished.  Now we're planning to break ground again hopefully this year on a larger one.  How was doing the ICF yourself?  We're considering ICF but haven't encountered people who did it themselves (and local builders aren't interested in just a shell, at least not so far).

Wow! I cannot imagine such an accomplishment! My home building project is basically my job. We've got two kids though, so it really limits the amount of time my wife and I can spend out there together. Okay, so the ICF foundation. I was cautioned by many not to attempt such a crucial part of my home on my own. I get it. Effing up the foundation of your home is no way to start a build. Also, when an ICF wall fails, it can fail dramatically (i.e., blowing out a corner during the pour!). On the other hand, building the ICF walls was one of the most enjoyable parts of the build for me! Very tangible. Light work. Nothing especially difficult to think through. So a few bits of advice:

Sometimes folks who sell the ICF forms will rent the braces and rebar bender/cutter. That was the case for me anyway. The braces are a huge part of the process. It's nice to rent them from someone who is intimately familiar with them.

Have more people than you think you'll need for the pour. Also, have an assortment of 2x4's, stakes, and plywood sheathing laying around in case the worst happens. The pour can be pretty stressful, but it goes quick. Ours was completely without incident.

Long story short, go for it! :)

Great thoughts maxpower. One of the best ways to save money is to learn how to do repairs at least minor ones on your own.

YES!

Good for you! I love the sunrise picture, too. Looks like a beautiful location.

Thanks Zinnie! The location brings me joy every day!