I'm familiar with your area. You might make use of the following
sites, but also know that OK does not license home builders nor do
they enforce building codes on them very well. There are a lot of
builders there who don't know what they're doing. While ideally you
should be able to hire a pro when you yourself lack the experience, it
just doesn't work out that ideally in reality. Some of the trades in
OK are licensed but again enforcement is a problem. You will probably
have to have inspections and they will probably be tougher on you as
an owner-builder. Many of the professionals already have paid their
bribes. ;-) You may find odd laws, too, that require an engineering
stamp on plans for a pole barn, but no requirements for a house.
There's very much a good old boy system in OK, too. Hope the
following sites are of help:
http://bahrr.proboards32.com/index.cgi Home building forum
http://www.hadd.com Be sure to check out the state chapters for OK
info. There is a TON of info here on consumer stuff, not much on
building, but it gives u an idea of how to protect yourself.
http://www.jlconline.com construction how to info
I can just about guarantee you that few builders in OK could even
understand the technical info on the two construction info sites. A
tip that's becoming really widely known among people who've had
problems with "professional" builders shoddy construction is to note
how many of them use no window flashing or do the house wrap or brick
wrong. I can also now spot some roof prob's from the road as well as
the aforementioned things. It's not enough for me to think i know how
to build a house, but i can sure see many of these "builders" don't
know how, either. Be sure if you hire it out you hire people who do
know how to do it right.
Also, make sure any contractors are insured and if you can make sure
they post a bond. A common problem is that the guy you pay doesn't
pay his supplier and then the supplier slaps a lien on your new
house. You pay twice, the pro pockets the money.
Thanks for the links, I'll be sure to look into them soon.
I did some quick calling around, starting with the city planning board (I
think, it's real late now) that issues permits. While I was hoping to do a
lot of labor myself to save money here and splurge elsewhere say on granite
countertops, it' seems OKC requires licensed Elec., Plumbing, & HVAC. While
I needed to have each do some work, like connect the fuse box, or install
the septic tank, etc. I wanted to do a lot of rough work myself, apparently
I'm not going to be able to do that.
Now I think my biggest problem will be finding a GC and/or subs that have
experience and will want to work on a steel frame house. I hate just saying
steel framed, because it's not just steel 2x4's, it's red iron framed, for
superior strength vs. stick houses.
Bummer, that sucks... May be time to sell the property and move outside
city limits? :)
We had trouble finding ANY sub to do the work we needed. I had originally
planned to hire out our foundation work, thinking it was beyond my
abilities. I wasn't requiring anything extravagant, just a basic 24'x28'
stemwall foundation on mostly leveled ground.
Unfortunately, we wasted over three months trying to find a company who
would do the job. More than half of the companies I contacted didn't answer
their phone (despite multiple attempts) or never returned my calls. Of the
remaining half that actually got back to me, most said my job was either
"too big" or "too small" for them to do. A few promised to take a look, but
never showed up. Only two contractors actually made it out to our site. The
first took my plans and then never returned my calls, the second said they
would do it, but their approach was going to be some half baked lazy
method. If they were planning to cut corners before the job even started, I
decided it would be best not to hire them.
So, with our building season quickly disappearing, and real disappointment
with the "professionals", I ended up building our own concrete forms and
pouring the foundation ourselves. We worked with a small concrete company
that mixed the concrete on-site, and we ended up giving him thousands of
dollars over the next few years with various projects.
Thankfully, when it came time to pour the garage slab, I found a small
concrete company in a nearby small town who not only took our job but they
did an outstanding job. I've recommended them to others, and will
definitely hire them again if we need flatwork done again.
Hopefully you'll have better luck that we did... When you find a good
contractor, give them your repeat business and recommend them to others.
When I started building my house, I had a ton of questions, too. I
didn't find a lot of advice on the internet, so I decided to publish a
log of my experience for others to benefit from. You can read it by
going to http://www.hallsnet.com/david/house /
Just give the city a call and ask them what work you can do without a
license as an owner/builder. In the area I live in, if you are the
owner of the house, you can basically do any of the work yourself
without a license. Naturally you still have follow the code strictly
and pass the inspections, just as a contractor would.
I did my own electrical installation - the city had no problem with
Good luck with your project - a lot of people will tell you (for a
good reason) not to get in over your head, to be careful, to plan,
etc. - all good advice. However, if you are careful and willing to
call in the help of a pro when you need it, you should be just fine.
Thanks for the site!
unfortunately here in the city it has to be licensed electrician, plumbing &
HVAC. While I planed to hire these to different degrees of work, I had
planned to do a lot of rough-in work myself to try to save $$$, but doesn't
look like that will happen.
I can erect the structure myself, & drywall it, but just about everything
in-between will be subbed out. :(
Now curious if it's worth the cost to just find a GC to do it all.
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