Build own house, where to start?

Page 1 of 2  
I've finally decided to build my own house on an existing lot where my current, older, house sits. I've never done anything homeowner related before, I've moved into in-laws house in Oklahoma City after my military service, and am now ready to replace the house with a newer, safer, more energy efficient home. So where do I start on permits and such? Can I do my own work, with out a license, such as electrical, plumbing, etc? I'm on a very tight budget, but know some work has to be done my contractors, for me this is foundation, septic & HVAC for sure. I plan on building a red iron steel framed house, so I plan on erecting the frame, roofing & siding myself. I'm curious since I'm within city limits if I can run my own electrical & plumbing. I have the know how, just not certified/licensed.
That's for the starting info, I'm sure I'll be full of questions over the next months/years! Bryan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Start by reading and learning from others. There was a popular book called "House" published a decade or so ago that was praised for the story line illustrating the ups and downs of a family pursuing the design and construction of a house. That book told the story of the experience itself which you need to prepare for much more so than the building codes and other technical concerns. Especially if you are married with children.
As for permitting and all that other stuff you should contact your local residential builder's association as they all have some type of publications about stuff like "woeking with your builder" and so on. Homeowner's playing an active role is not unique and there's a lot of information to be learned if your pursue and read it.
<%= Clinton Gallagher NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com / MAP http://wikimapia.org/#yC038073&x=-88043838&z &l=0&m=h

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you have to ask these *basic* questions, believe me, you are getting in over your head.
I suggest you get a contractor.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
...and then explain why the house is going to be 'red steel'. You're going to be making a million decisions, and you'd better have a million good reasons for them, starting with that one.
--


MichaelB
www.michaelbulatovich.ca
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You mentioned energy efficient and red steel... not gonna work very well. Consider using Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) instead. It will give you very energy efficient walls (up to R-50 performance), wind resistance up to 250mph, sound resistance, as well as being a 3 hr rated fire wall. Besides it will be a lot easier to construct. For more information go to: www.futurestone.com.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Only a cave is as easy as that ; )
--


MichaelB
www.michaelbulatovich.ca
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What possessed you to think of going that way?
--


MichaelB
www.michaelbulatovich.ca
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Do you mean by using a metal structure? If so originally it was my intention for speed of building the extierior so I could work inside on the buildout faster. I also considered strength and durability plus, I was looking at a 50x100 with my shop in one half, living quarters in the other. I still think you can get around most of the issues but not in a cost effective way. Additionally, I would have ended up in a astectically ugly house.
Plan number 3000 says ICF's are the way I'm going which will include a full size drive out basement with 10 ceilings and living space around 2000 on a single floor.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Rader Bill
Reddiform is not a bad product but for easy of construction look at NUDURA. Larger blocks (18inches x 8feet), no gluing, lock together, 90 and 45 degrees and tee's, go together like legos. Dovetailed inside with ribs to adhere to concrete better (no delaminating form concrete) screw strip full height of form... just suggest you check it out. www. NUDURA.com

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HAve you used them?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have not personally used NUDURA. I have seen many houses in my area that have and the residents are more that pleased. Reporting energy bills as low as 40% as their neighbors. I am sold on the concept. And NUDURA is suppose to be the easiest to use.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bryan,

My wife and I built our own house a couple of years ago. It was a lot of work, but very rewarding and allowed us to own a house we probably couldn't have afforded otherwise.

I'd start with the building department. They will be the ones governing what you can or can't do. Better to know up front what is allowed and required before you even start planning your house.
After that, you'll need to come up with architectural drawings. We drew our own plans, but you may want to consult an architect. Again, check with the building department. They should be able to tell you what they need, usually two copies of the plot plan, floor plan, cross sections, details, etc.

It depends on your local requirements. Check with the building department. In our area, homeowners can do any work on their own houses, as long as it is inspected and meets codes. We did all of our own wiring, plumbing, etc. But, some areas around the country have restrictions on what the homeowner is allowed to do.

We did our own excavation and foundation work, but did hire out for the septic and garage slab. They had the tools, manpower, and experience to do those jobs right.

Unless you have experience with steel framed houses, I would recommend sticking with traditional platform framed wood houses. The tools and materials are familiar to work with, easy to locate, and the permit and inspection process will be easier to deal with since the building department is already familiar with them. The farther you deviate from the "norm", the more you'll be on your own for information, and the more trouble you'll have getting approval from the inspectors. You'll probably also need to provide engineering approval for anything outside the usual wood frame construction.
Start small. Build a shed, or a garage, or something similar to practice your skills before tackling the house.
Be prepared. Building a house is a big project. It'll take lots of money, and lots of time. It took my wife and I about 21 months to complete our 1456 sq/ft home, with me working mostly full time at it. It quickly becomes the focal point of your life. You eat, breathe, and sleep house building. You won't have time or money for recreational activities. No eating out, no going to see a movie, no vacation. Just house building. If you're married, you may end up divorced. If you're single, you may end up married. :) Like I said, it's a wonderful experience, but if you don't really enjoy what you're doing, it can quickly turn into a nightmare.
Study, study, study. You won't know everything, even if you have experience in some areas. Be prepared to read books, research the internet, and ask around until you are positive you know how to do something. Remember, codes are the "minimum" standard for building. Before I would start the next stage of a project, I would spend days reviewing the codes and techniques it would require. Even if I had performed similar projects in the past, codes change, and I forget things. Studying before each step gave me confidence and helped me avoid problems.
Work with the building department, not against them. Don't argue with the inspector. They're just doing their job, to insure the house you build is safe. If they make suggestions, follow them. If you're not sure about something, ask the inspector. We had about 8 different inspectors over the course of our project, and I enjoyed working with all of them. I would take notes of the items they found, and would ask along the way if there were any things I could do better even if it wasn't required by code. I got lots of great ideas from the inspectors and they seemed to enjoy watching our progress as much as we did. The inspectors deal with a lot of inexperience and people too stubborn to make changes. They may show up and expect you're an idiot. That's OK, you're not a professional builder. Mistakes happen, and you can't know everything. Let them know you want to do your best and you appreciate their advice. They'll be more likely to help, and less likely to nitpick the small stuff.
Keep it small. The bigger the house, the longer and more expensive it will be to build. It will also be harder to clean and heat once it is finished.
Good luck, and have fun!
Anthony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well, Bryan, I've just about finished with mine and if I had it to do over again I would start with a GOOD BUILDER!
JC
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well, Bryan, I've just about finished with mine and if I had it to do over again I would start with a GOOD BUILDER!
JC
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 29 Jan 2007 14:52:55 GMT, "Bryan"

Can you even build (another) house on the lot; without first, demolishing the other?

-- Oren
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens constantly."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Red Iron house!! Yes! Dare to be different! I rode out straight line winds in a red iron VP building,,tornado just missed Us I guess.. That building(under const) did'nt move,,We were safe as Mamas' arms.. Did You find a red iron kit for a house or converting a commercial kit? Just curious cause the beams/columns we used were pretty big,,the old pettibone was way too small and a $200 hr crane had to be hired to set the frame lines..This was 10+ years ago price..We did'nt do any small red iron buildings so any links You could give to kits would be cool..I liked walking the beams but walking the purlons sucked!! I've thought of a steel building with living area inside and the rest for tools,materials and shop,,all but the living area would be biz write-off I'm told.. Dean
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I did find a kit http://www.kodiaksteelhomes.com/ Tons of info on the site, even videos that can be watched. They say a sky crane lift is all that's needed to unload the truck & for assembly, I haven't priced the rental yet.
Being in OK, I want the protection from straight line winds, and near miss tornados, nothing will withstand a direct hit from a major tornado (F5) like May 3 1999 that came within 4 miles of our house. I also want wild fire (steel sidings & roofing) and hail protection as well.
To the others, thanks for the help so far. I need to do a lot more research still. I'm kind of hoping to also go debt free. I'll have enough up front cash to buy the kit & hopefully the foundation & septic, then pay as we go to finish. Opinions on slab vs. crawl space? In either I want an underground storm shelter.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A sky crane is basically a heavy duty helicopter. http://www.globalaircraft.org/planes/ch-54_skycrane.pl
--
Jonny
"Bryan" < snipped-for-privacy@remove.sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
OK, Skycrane, skytrack, what's the difference besides a few dollars, rotors & a fork lift?
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.