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Old 03-12-2020, 02:46 PM   #121
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Boy, it is hard to consider proceeding with this house build with the current market and virus environment!

Do we close on the purchase of the lot or put it off?

Do we start the build right away or is there any worry that some sub-contractors might go out of business if the virus goes rampant and people stop working or buying?
We built a house in 2008, and most of the subs went out of business the next year. It didn't help that our builder (one man company) got sick and died. But I'd consider waiting, just for that reason.

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Are things going to get a lot cheaper soon? Could we buy a house for $40,000 like in 2008?
Might be. What would it hurt to wait?

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Is it crazy to have a bunch of cash and put it into a house instead of diving into the market at 2008 prices (soon)?
I think you could wait on the house, but no way I'd take the money earmarked for that and put it in the market.

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I guess I don't understand the need to build way bigger than the space you are going to use.

Higher heating bills, more taxes, higher initial cost.
I'd rather have more space than I need than not enough. I can always find something to do in that space.

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All of that just to recover a little higher price when you sell? (which will also be taxed by Washington's excise tax and the 7% real estate fee tax)

The property tax in our area for a 1400 sq-ft house is something around $1800 a year while it is $2900 a year for a 2300-sq-ft house.

That is $11,000 over a 10 year period not including opportunity costs. Figure heating is $500 a year cheaper for the smaller house and you are talking about $17,000 saved in a 10 year period.
Those are some crazy discrepancies. I guess in your location I'd probably go smaller. I still think 1000 sf for a two story home is pretty small. But drive on.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:48 PM   #122
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Those are some crazy discrepancies. I guess in your location I'd probably go smaller. I still think 1000 sf for a two story home is pretty small. But drive on.
Later in the thread and currently, we have bumped up the size to about 1400 sq-ft, not 1000.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:57 PM   #123
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We demolished in Oct 2010 and rebuilt over the winter of 2010-11 and moved in in May 2011. It was a slow time in our area for builders and we got a very good deal. We were just beyond the edge of the geographic area of where our builder normally worked but he was willing to do it for us due to personal relationship and it was a slow time for him. Interestingly, while our builder had a number of subs that he used we didn't end up using any of them due to price or unavailability. In the end we played GC and handled most of the subs on our own, but they all played well together even though they had never worked together before.
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Old 03-14-2020, 05:25 AM   #124
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While I agree one should not make resale the major focus, your needs and desire of where to live may change.

Make sure it is what you want, but that it is marketable to a broad set of people.

That means 2 FULL baths minimum and 2 real bedrooms (ideally 3 or atleast an office) minimum.

Also I don’t know about eastern WA but in my area labor has been thru the roof cost wise for years. I expect that cost to come down later this year as current jobs finish up and reduced job pipeline
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Old 03-14-2020, 06:53 AM   #125
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...but in my area labor has been they the roof cost wise for years. ...
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Old 03-14-2020, 07:53 AM   #126
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Also I donít know about eastern WA but in my area labor has been thru the roof cost wise for years. I expect that cost to come down later this year as current jobs finish up and reduced job pipeline
I expect labor is about to get real cheap real soon.
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Old 03-14-2020, 11:05 AM   #127
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I expect labor is about to get real cheap real soon.
We built our house ourselves. I work for free.
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Old 03-14-2020, 11:09 AM   #128
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We built our house ourselves. I work for free.
We are doing the work ourselves except the foundation I am having done professionally. They have all the forms and know the rebar schedule and such. We will put on the mud sill boards ourselves, they will have the j-bolts installed.
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:24 PM   #129
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Just as one last point regarding large vs. small house, make sure you have enough storage space for the cases of toilet paper and canned and frozen foods. Like in Zombieland where the fatties were the first to go, in Covidland the tiny house people will be the first to go.
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:14 AM   #130
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1. Build the garage first. This will provide work space to efficiently build your house. -Where I live 21 x 21 is minimum size to call it a 2 car garage, but I suggest 24 x 24 ft or larger.
2. Build a one story house. More efficient to heat and cool. Easier to build and maintain.
3. Use 2x6 studs for exterior walls.
4. Use raised heel trusses for the roof for better insulation.
5. Have a large slope facing south for future solar panels. Research the optimum slope for solar roof in your latitude.
6. 36" doors and coat closet are both good ideas.
7. I recommend zoned heat pump heating/cooling.
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:58 AM   #131
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1. Build the garage first. This will provide work space to efficiently build your house. -Where I live 21 x 21 is minimum size to call it a 2 car garage, but I suggest 24 x 24 ft or larger.
2. Build a one story house. More efficient to heat and cool. Easier to build and maintain.
3. Use 2x6 studs for exterior walls.
4. Use raised heel trusses for the roof for better insulation.
5. Have a large slope facing south for future solar panels. Research the optimum slope for solar roof in your latitude.
6. 36" doors and coat closet are both good ideas.
7. I recommend zoned heat pump heating/cooling.
I agree with all of the above except #7. A small to average size bungalow doesn't need zone heating/cooling.
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Old 03-21-2020, 09:17 AM   #132
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Re; #7.. I meant to say a heat pump ductless split system. It is also called a zone system, for a small house there is just one zone.
Then there is the debate over slab vs. crawl space and how to insulate each way.
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:22 AM   #133
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I would hold off on any move. Way to soon to jump back in market. I think the recovery will take years. To buy now is to catch a falling knife. Many small contractors will be forced into bankruptcy.
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:30 AM   #134
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I would hold off on any move. Way to soon to jump back in market. I think the recovery will take years. To buy now is to catch a falling knife. Many small contractors will be forced into bankruptcy.
Well, we are building ourselves so the only contractor we plan on using is the foundation (we are having that done and will do the rest from the mud sills to the roof.

One side of me says to wait and the other side says build this while you can still lift a 2x10 x 16. Wife wants to go ahead with build so the question is moot.
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:36 AM   #135
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It's never easy to figure out but since your doing it mostly yourself I would keep the wife happy and proceed.
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:26 AM   #136
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we are building ourselves so the only contractor we plan on using is the foundation (we are having that done and will do the rest from the mud sills to the roof.
When we built our garage in 2001 I originally intended to hire out the foundation work. I wasted three months calling every contractor in the book (phone book back in the day). The vast majority didn't answer their phone or never returned my call. A few said they would come bid on it and never showed. Only two companies actually showed up and neither of them gave me much confidence ("my guys won't even lift a shovel"), or couldn't get to it till winter.

Rather than keep waiting we decided to build our own forms and pour the foundation ourselves. We actually saved money, learned a new skill, and had the satisfaction of doing it ourselves. We ended up reusing the forms in 2003 to pour the foundation for our house.

We did have the actual garage floor poured by professionals. Thankfully the flat work was easier to schedule and they did a great job. That would have been nearly impossible to pull off by ourselves. They had six guys and were still running like crazy.
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:29 AM   #137
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I am just not as interested in learning the concrete side of things and we are having no issue at all finding builders who are willing to just do the excavation and foundation. I think they see the writing on the wall with the state of the economy and are happy to have any work at all scheduled.
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:26 AM   #138
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We were not able to find a builder to do the foundation (called twelve and only 2 even returned our calls..business must be booming).

I used our excavator to dig out the area for the footings and we set up the forms and rebar ourselves. Finally I got a local concrete guy who said he will take over for the pour and he has forms for the stem walls.

I do think we did a fairly nice job on the footings (the concrete guy was pretty impressed as well)
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:10 AM   #139
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We were not able to find a builder to do the foundation (called twelve and only 2 even returned our calls..business must be booming).

I used our excavator to dig out the area for the footings and we set up the forms and rebar ourselves. Finally I got a local concrete guy who said he will take over for the pour and he has forms for the stem walls.

I do think we did a fairly nice job on the footings (the concrete guy was pretty impressed as well)
We had the same issue, none of the concrete contractors we called even bothered returning our calls. From that point on I never even bothered calling the "pros". That seemed very unprofessional to me. At least call back and say your schedule is too busy. What a joke.

Looks like you did great on the footing forms. I like those spacers/rebar supports. I've never seen those before. They certainly weren't widely available when we poured our foundation in 2003. We just used 2x2's screwed across the tops of the form boards, and used wire to hang the rebar from. Simple, but it did the job.

We also didn't have any fancy transits or laser levels. I just set up an old wine bottle in the middle and used a plastic tube as a water level. Very old school but it worked great.
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:28 AM   #140
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We were not able to find a builder to do the foundation (called twelve and only 2 even returned our calls..business must be booming).

I used our excavator to dig out the area for the footings and we set up the forms and rebar ourselves. Finally I got a local concrete guy who said he will take over for the pour and he has forms for the stem walls.

I do think we did a fairly nice job on the footings (the concrete guy was pretty impressed as well)
I like your rebar holders too. Wouldn't they create a crack propagation plane though?
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