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Default How to start with construction of my dream house?

I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I
have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to
describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a
directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my area,
but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I
was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to
find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very
beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look.
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On Fri, 06 Mar 2009 06:02:07 -0600, dick
tomchinmethew[at]gmail[dot]com wrote Re How to start with
construction of my dream house?:

I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I
have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to
describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a
directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my area,
but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I
was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to
find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very
beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look.


Check real estate sales people in your area. Ask them if they know of
any recently (last 3 years) built contractor houses in the area and
the addresses of the houses so you can drive by to see if you like
them. When you drive by stop and ask the owners how they like the
construction quality of the house. Don't tell the real estate person
that you are going to stop by, say you are just going to drive by.

You need to find at least 3 happy owners of different contractors.
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On Mar 6, 7:18*am, Caesar Romano wrote:
On Fri, 06 Mar 2009 06:02:07 -0600, dick
tomchinmethew[at]gmail[dot]com wrote Re How to start with
construction of my dream house?:

I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I
have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to
describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a
directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my area,
but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I
was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to
find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very
beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look.


Check real estate sales people in your area. Ask them if they know of
any recently (last 3 years) built contractor houses in the area and
the addresses of the houses so you can drive by to see if you like
them. When you drive by stop and ask the owners how they like the
construction quality of the house. Don't tell the real estate person
that you are going to stop by, say you are just going to drive by.

You need to find at least 3 happy owners of different contractors.


A good idea if the real estate agents will cooperate, which is
probably doubtfurl and he finds houses where the owners were actually
involved to a considerable extent in the build process of a custom
home. But he needs a lot more info than if the owners like the
construction quality of the finished product. From his post, he
wants to be his own GC. So he needs to find owners that know all the
various sub contractors that were used and how they performed.

I'd also caution the OP that being a first time GC is going to be a
difficult task and that he can expect to make plenty of mistakes and
lose plenty of money in the process. The mistakes can vary from subs
screwing with you, cutting corners because they know you're not
experienced, to just honest mistakes in scheduling, customary
practices, etc. It's sort of like deciding to fix your own car.
Before you start, you need to assess your skills, strengths,
weaknesses, what the job is and decide if it makes sense or not.
Part of what you pay for with a GC is that they already know what
you're trying to figure out. He may want to consider hiring a GC
instead.

I've also heard of a website called Angie's list being advertised.
It's supposed to be a resource for people to share info on experiences
with contractors. Never tried it myself, but may be worth looking
into. Also, if you engange with a local architect, which would seem
to be a reasonable and necessary step, they can point you to subs that
they have worked with on other projects.
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dick wrote:
I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I
have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to
describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a
directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my area,
but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I
was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to
find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very
beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look.


Word of mouth is your best bet. Talk to people in your town, talk to
your local building inspector. He will probably say "i can't make
recommendations" but he may hand you a list of contractors and a few of
them JUST MIGHT have stars next to their names. That's what ours did.
G. Word of mouth is invaluable.

steve
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dick wrote:
I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I
have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to
describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a
directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my area,
but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I
was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to
find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very
beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look.


Glowing reports, especially online, are pretty meaningless unless you
know the work and the sources. I would begin with neighbors or others
you know in the area where you intend to build....know their experiences
and look at the results. That is the beginning, to get names so you can
check legal records for problems.

Planning on hiring all the contractors? Sounds like something only an
experienced builder would attempt...there are loads of pitfalls,
especially if you have no building experience. Got an architect? Attorney?


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On Mar 6, 7:02*am, dick tomchinmethew[at]gmail[dot]com wrote:
I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I
have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to
describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a
directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my area,
but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I
was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to
find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very
beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look.


"Dream House" in the subject line implies that you are more interested
in house coming out just the way you want it rather than saving
money. If this is the case I would say forget contractors and start
with an architect.

If you really think you have a design and want to skip an architect,
then you either need a general contractor (GC) or else you are the GC
and need to hire all your own subs. By the very fact that you had to
ask about contractors means that right now you are not prepared to be
the GC. But that's not to say you couldn't be the GC, you just have a
*lot* to learn.

Start by reading some books on the subject. You will also need to
find out who all the good subs are in all the trades. You can only
really do this by word of mouth, getting out and talking to people.
Forget anything you read online.

You'll also need to learn to deal with your town for the permits,
inspections, etc. You'll probably still need some sort of drawings so
if you have no architect you still need to figure out where your
drawings are coming from.

Once you learn how to be a GC, then still be prepared for the biggest
headache of your life once you start construction. Expect to be up
till 4am finishing something yourself to be ready for the next sub
that is coming at 7 am the next morning.

I'm purposely trying to scare you because this is a project that
routinely breaks up marriages and such.

Ken
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On Mar 6, 6:02*am, dick tomchinmethew[at]gmail[dot]com wrote:
I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I
have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to
describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a
directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my area,
but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I
was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to
find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very
beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look.


You wont save and it might cost alot more since you are new to the
game. Contractors will want full price not what a pro is only going to
pay. Check court records to find about dead beats before you hire
anyone.
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wrote in message
...
On Mar 6, 7:02 am, dick tomchinmethew[at]gmail[dot]com wrote:
I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I
have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to
describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a
directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my
area,
but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I
was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to
find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very
beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look.


"Dream House" in the subject line implies that you are more interested
in house coming out just the way you want it rather than saving
money. If this is the case I would say forget contractors and start
with an architect.

If you really think you have a design and want to skip an architect,
then you either need a general contractor (GC) or else you are the GC
and need to hire all your own subs. By the very fact that you had to
ask about contractors means that right now you are not prepared to be
the GC. But that's not to say you couldn't be the GC, you just have a
*lot* to learn.

Start by reading some books on the subject. You will also need to
find out who all the good subs are in all the trades. You can only
really do this by word of mouth, getting out and talking to people.
Forget anything you read online.

You'll also need to learn to deal with your town for the permits,
inspections, etc. You'll probably still need some sort of drawings so
if you have no architect you still need to figure out where your
drawings are coming from.

Once you learn how to be a GC, then still be prepared for the biggest
headache of your life once you start construction. Expect to be up
till 4am finishing something yourself to be ready for the next sub
that is coming at 7 am the next morning.

I'm purposely trying to scare you because this is a project that
routinely breaks up marriages and such.

Ken

PLEASE hire a reputable General Contractor that will work with you to
oversee the entire job..Word of mouth is the BEST way to find one...Take
your time and do that part right and you will never regret it...It will save
endless headaches and money as well...Having dealt with homeowners TRYING to
run their own job , they are a MAJOR PITA for a bunch of reasons as have
been outlined above...(No offense to you)It's really gonna cost you if you
have a 2 boom trucks show up with 300 sheets of drywall and there's no place
to put it and the crew is standing around all day because the insulation
isn't done because the electical and or plumbing hasn't been inspected
because you missed the the CEO because you were at the lumber yard getting
the windows that just came in because you ordered the wrong ones the first
time , ect. , ect......Things can QUICKLY snowball out of controll and crews
get paid whether they are standing around or working.....Yes I am trying to
scare you.....And it should....

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benick wrote:

wrote in message
...
On Mar 6, 7:02 am, dick tomchinmethew[at]gmail[dot]com wrote:
I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I
have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to
describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a
directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my
area,
but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I
was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to
find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very
beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look.


"Dream House" in the subject line implies that you are more interested
in house coming out just the way you want it rather than saving
money. If this is the case I would say forget contractors and start
with an architect.

If you really think you have a design and want to skip an architect,
then you either need a general contractor (GC) or else you are the GC
and need to hire all your own subs. By the very fact that you had to
ask about contractors means that right now you are not prepared to be
the GC. But that's not to say you couldn't be the GC, you just have a
*lot* to learn.

Start by reading some books on the subject. You will also need to
find out who all the good subs are in all the trades. You can only
really do this by word of mouth, getting out and talking to people.
Forget anything you read online.

You'll also need to learn to deal with your town for the permits,
inspections, etc. You'll probably still need some sort of drawings so
if you have no architect you still need to figure out where your
drawings are coming from.

Once you learn how to be a GC, then still be prepared for the biggest
headache of your life once you start construction. Expect to be up
till 4am finishing something yourself to be ready for the next sub
that is coming at 7 am the next morning.

I'm purposely trying to scare you because this is a project that
routinely breaks up marriages and such.

Ken

PLEASE hire a reputable General Contractor that will work with you to
oversee the entire job..Word of mouth is the BEST way to find one...Take
your time and do that part right and you will never regret it...It will
save endless headaches and money as well...Having dealt with homeowners
TRYING to run their own job , they are a MAJOR PITA for a bunch of
reasons as have been outlined above...(No offense to you)It's really
gonna cost you if you have a 2 boom trucks show up with 300 sheets of
drywall and there's no place to put it and the crew is standing around
all day because the insulation isn't done because the electical and or
plumbing hasn't been inspected because you missed the the CEO because
you were at the lumber yard getting the windows that just came in
because you ordered the wrong ones the first time , ect. ,
ect......Things can QUICKLY snowball out of controll and crews get paid
whether they are standing around or working.....Yes I am trying to scare
you.....And it should....


And after all of the above stated hell, you might get stuck with the
bill for the ruined load of drywall because the contractor went broke,
didn't pay for it and you didn't get a lien release.....
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On Mar 6, 6:02*am, dick tomchinmethew[at]gmail[dot]com wrote:
I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I
have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to
describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a
directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my area,
but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I
was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to
find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very
beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look.


Take it from someone who went through the process with just a set of
stock plans and a builder and no architect. Hire an architect. Give
him stock plans to modify or he probably has plenty of plans too.
Work and re-work the plan a lot before you break ground. Work out a
design/build arrangement and have the architect and you co-manage the
project using a builder he knows.

If I were to do it all over again I probably would opt for more time
with my family during those construction efforts and a lot less
stress, and maybe buy a dream pre-build house instead. My builder was
great and flexible and reasonable, but overall I would have been
better off involving the architect first. If I had even a slightly
less flexible builder it would have been a nightmare.



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"RickH" wrote in message
...
On Mar 6, 6:02 am, dick tomchinmethew[at]gmail[dot]com wrote:
I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I
have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to
describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a
directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my
area,
but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I
was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to
find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very
beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look.


Take it from someone who went through the process with just a set of
stock plans and a builder and no architect. Hire an architect. Give
him stock plans to modify or he probably has plenty of plans too.
Work and re-work the plan a lot before you break ground. Work out a
design/build arrangement and have the architect and you co-manage the
project using a builder he knows.

If I were to do it all over again I probably would opt for more time
with my family during those construction efforts and a lot less
stress, and maybe buy a dream pre-build house instead. My builder was
great and flexible and reasonable, but overall I would have been
better off involving the architect first. If I had even a slightly
less flexible builder it would have been a nightmare.

---

find a good GC, and have him recommend an architect or two he's worked with.
look at some of the architects' houses, and ones the GC has worked on. talk
to the owners of those houses.

i found a good GC, and he came in 2 days under the time limit, and under
budget. key in my custom home project was finding him. granted, i was there
almost every day to inspect, did a lot of sweat equity, and did a LOT of the
finding and buying of the non-construction materials (lights, fixtures,
appliances, tile/stone, etc) myself.

the GC must be flexible, and also have the ability to tell you what you can
afford or not, and consequences of your decisions (especially changes). i
think it's best if he works for a flat fee (mine was based on square
footage) and not cost of materials or labor, or the final cost of the house.


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benick wrote:

PLEASE hire a reputable General Contractor that will work with you to
oversee the entire job..Word of mouth is the BEST way to find
one...Take your time and do that part right and you will never regret
it...It will save endless headaches and money as well...



I think that is likely to be the best advice the OP will receive.


When I built my house in 1995 - I was the GC - I hired a REAL GC as
construction manager for the period until the construction was dried in. I
used many - put not all - of his subs; I used his account at
lumber/concrete/etc supply houses because he could get better prices; he
acted as liason between me and the subs including doling out my money when
necessary; he did most of the scheduling (of his subs); he ordered materials
as needed by the subs; if there was a problem the subs came to HIM and he
came to me. Conversely, if I saw something being done improperly or if I
had a question about something I went to him and he dealt with the sub
whenever possible (if he wasn't here and the problem was immediate, I dealt
with it).

The portion of the job for which I hired him lasted about 60 days. He was
here every workday for an hour or so at both the start and end of the day.
That works out to be about 80 hours of his time, probably a bit more. He
had asked for $5,000 for the job - probably would have taken $3,500 - and
that's what I paid him. That works out to be $60/hour or less and for that
I got all I enumerated above plus much less hassle than if I'd not hired him
plus I still saved many 10s of 1000s of dollars over what the job would have
cost had I just hired a GC to do it. It was money well spent!


--

dadiOH
____________________________

dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico



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On Fri, 6 Mar 2009 13:26:41 -0700, charlie wrote:

"RickH" wrote in message
...
On Mar 6, 6:02 am, dick tomchinmethew[at]gmail[dot]com wrote:
I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I
have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to
describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a
directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my
area,
but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I
was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to
find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very
beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look.


Take it from someone who went through the process with just a set of
stock plans and a builder and no architect. Hire an architect. Give
him stock plans to modify or he probably has plenty of plans too.
Work and re-work the plan a lot before you break ground. Work out a
design/build arrangement and have the architect and you co-manage the
project using a builder he knows.

If I were to do it all over again I probably would opt for more time
with my family during those construction efforts and a lot less
stress, and maybe buy a dream pre-build house instead. My builder was
great and flexible and reasonable, but overall I would have been
better off involving the architect first. If I had even a slightly
less flexible builder it would have been a nightmare.


OTOH, our family had a great time building our own home. Everybody got
involved. It only took about a year and a half to build. The only subs we
hired were excavation, concrete work, drywall, siding, laying sod, and the
decks. The electrician/plumber only did the drains, electrical to the
breaker box, and the basic furnace hookup (we did the runs ourselves).

---

find a good GC, and have him recommend an architect or two he's worked with.
look at some of the architects' houses, and ones the GC has worked on. talk
to the owners of those houses.

i found a good GC, and he came in 2 days under the time limit, and under
budget. key in my custom home project was finding him. granted, i was there
almost every day to inspect, did a lot of sweat equity, and did a LOT of the
finding and buying of the non-construction materials (lights, fixtures,
appliances, tile/stone, etc) myself.

the GC must be flexible, and also have the ability to tell you what you can
afford or not, and consequences of your decisions (especially changes). i
think it's best if he works for a flat fee (mine was based on square
footage) and not cost of materials or labor, or the final cost of the house.

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"dick" tomchinmethew[at]gmail[dot]com wrote in message
...
I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I
have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to
describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a
directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my
area,
but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I
was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to
find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very
beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look.


************************************************** ******

The first step is to take about 18 to 24 months off from your job. Can you
do that? If not, forget hiring all the contractors yourself. Find a
reputable builder by talking to those that have used them. Every town has a
good one and a couple of mediocre ones. Find one that is used to building
the type of house you want. Some do a great job building the small starter
homes, but don't do much high end work. Others do high end stuff and would
be putting the same skills to work an a tiny box house and you'd pay more
than needed.

There is more to building that just hiring the contractors. You must know
the steps in building so you can co-ordinate them. The guy that does the
excavation will dig the cellar hole and for footings, come back later for
backfill, later for grading. Plumbers and electricians will do rough in and
later finish work, but they may be interrupted by the tile guy or the
cabinet guy, etc. Meantime, they are all juggling two or three other jobs
that started and were interrupted just as yours will be.

In any case, if you can't be on the job the entire time, the contractors
will be gone more than working, the job will take longer and the
construction loan payments will stretch and the total cost will escalate.

It is also imperative that you know if the guy is doing a good job or not
before he gets too far along so you can either re-direct or fire him. Read
a couple of books, find someone building a house and tag along and give a
hand for real life experience.

Whatever you do, don't **** off the inspector. He can make you life hell.



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Ed Pawlowski wrote:
"dick" tomchinmethew[at]gmail[dot]com wrote in message
...
I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I
have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to
describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a
directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my
area,
but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I
was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to
find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very
beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look.


************************************************** ******

The first step is to take about 18 to 24 months off from your job. Can you
do that? If not, forget hiring all the contractors yourself. Find a
reputable builder by talking to those that have used them. Every town has a
good one and a couple of mediocre ones. Find one that is used to building
the type of house you want. Some do a great job building the small starter
homes, but don't do much high end work. Others do high end stuff and would
be putting the same skills to work an a tiny box house and you'd pay more
than needed.

There is more to building that just hiring the contractors. You must know
the steps in building so you can co-ordinate them. The guy that does the
excavation will dig the cellar hole and for footings, come back later for
backfill, later for grading. Plumbers and electricians will do rough in and
later finish work, but they may be interrupted by the tile guy or the
cabinet guy, etc. Meantime, they are all juggling two or three other jobs
that started and were interrupted just as yours will be.

In any case, if you can't be on the job the entire time, the contractors
will be gone more than working, the job will take longer and the
construction loan payments will stretch and the total cost will escalate.

It is also imperative that you know if the guy is doing a good job or not
before he gets too far along so you can either re-direct or fire him. Read
a couple of books, find someone building a house and tag along and give a
hand for real life experience.

Whatever you do, don't **** off the inspector. He can make you life hell.



Good instructions, but you left out steps 1, 2, and 3 (not necessarily
in that order)
1. Get your land arranged for, preferably owned outright. Makes it
easier to get a construction loan- shows commitment. Also has an impact
on design. What works well on one lot, may not work well on another.
Directions the windows face, slope of lot, local soil and drainage, etc.

2. Get your money saved up and your loan approved. Not much sadder than
a half-built house getting torn down because the cash ran out, or
because the owner/builder got in over their head. Seen more of those in
the last 2 years, than in the preceding 30. Note well that most lenders
are highly reluctant to write paper for owner/builders, unless they have
a track record of knowing what they are doing.

3. Get a good complete set of buildable plans, with a materials takeoff
list. May need to do this before step 2, getting the money lined up.
Sure, they will change, but you can't make all this up as you go, or it
will cost twice what you planned, and any unscrupulous subs will rob you
blind. Most areas, you don't need an architect, a good residential
designer can do it all for you.

I would not try to be the GC yourself the first time out. Get a pro for
the complicated parts, and maybe do the easier stuff yourself, like the
final yard landscaping, the interior painting, etc.
--
aem sends...


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Default How to start with construction of my dream house?


wrote in message
You want to build a dream house during this depression? You sir are a
complete fool and an idiot. You're lucky if you have a canvas tent to
live in these days, and it's going to get much worse.

Get yourself some toothpicks (steal them from McDonalds), and some
Elmers Glue. You can build a model of your "Dream Home" inside your
tent.

Ed


You want this depression to continue? One way out of it is for the consumer
to spend money and put the contractors to work. He'll be doing more to
stimulate the economy that Washington is. Right now he should also get the
better contractors on a more timely basis.

My company is running production only two days a week. Why? 60% of our
business is tied to new house/apartment construction. Build a house and I
employ a couple of people for a couple of days and the contractors employ
even more people for weeks. I think it is you that is the fool and idiot.


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Default How to start with construction of my dream house?

Best of luck to you building your first house, it’s an adventure. I
would recommend talking to your neighbors and friends and see if they know
any contractors they worked with in the past. Since I’m sure you
already did that you should try http://www.jobtrio.com/ I found that they
have a very easy to use search. They have the biggest list of contractors I
have seen to date, plus you can write reviews and read their articles.
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Default How to start with construction of my dream house?

On Mar 6, 10:31*pm, aemeijers wrote:
Ed Pawlowski wrote:
"dick" tomchinmethew[at]gmail[dot]com wrote in message
m...
I was wondering if anyone knows of a good resource to find contractors? I
have been looking online and all I have seen are sites where you have to
describe the job then wait to get called from a contractor or if I find a
directory type of site there is a limited number of contractors in my
area,
but I know there are many more. I am trying to build my first house and I
was planning on hiring all the contractors so I need a good resource to
find them. Something with reviews and article would also be very
beneficial, please let me know if anyone knows of a good place to look..


************************************************** ******


The first step is to take about 18 to 24 months off from your job. *Can you
do that? *If not, forget hiring all the contractors yourself. *Find a
reputable builder by talking to those that have used them. *Every town has a
good one and a couple of mediocre ones. *Find one that is used to building
the type of house you want. *Some do a great job building the small starter
homes, but don't do much high end work. *Others do high end stuff and would
be putting the same skills to work an a tiny box house and you'd pay more
than needed.


There is more to building that just hiring the contractors. *You must know
the steps in building so you can co-ordinate them. *The guy that does the
excavation will dig the cellar hole and for footings, come back later for
backfill, later for grading. *Plumbers and electricians will do rough in and
later finish work, but they may be interrupted by the tile guy or the
cabinet guy, etc. *Meantime, they are all juggling two or three other jobs
that started and were interrupted just as yours will be.


In any case, if you can't be on the job the entire time, the contractors
will be gone more than working, the job will take longer and the
construction loan payments will stretch and the total cost will escalate.


It is also imperative that you know if the guy is doing a good job or not
before he gets too far along so you can either re-direct or fire him. *Read
a couple of books, find someone building a house and tag along and give a
hand for real life experience.


Whatever you do, don't **** off the inspector. *He can make you life hell.


Good instructions, but you left out steps 1, 2, and 3 (not necessarily
in that order)
1. Get your land arranged for, preferably owned outright. Makes it
easier to get a construction loan- shows commitment. Also has an impact
on design. What works well on one lot, may not work well on another.
Directions the windows face, slope of lot, local soil and drainage, etc.

2. Get your money saved up and your loan approved. Not much sadder than
a half-built house getting torn down because the cash ran out, or
because the owner/builder got in over their head. Seen more of those in
the last 2 years, than in the preceding 30. Note well that most lenders
are highly reluctant to write paper for owner/builders, unless they have
a track record of knowing what they are doing.



Along the lines of #1 and #2 above, here's a little story. Last year
a good friend of mine was looking at either buying an existing house
or a tear-down and building a house. He goes to his own bank, Chase,
who he's been doing business with for a long time. The mortgage
person assured him that with his excellent credit there would be no
problem doing either and they could do a loan against the lot with the
tear down, then a construction loan, turn it into a mortgage at the
end, etc. They pre-qualified him for a loan in excess of what he
needed.

Well, he wound up buying an existing house. About 4 days before
closing, Chase comes back and tells him for the first time that there
is a chance they won't be able to make the loan with 20% down and may
need 30% down instead, because it's a jumbo. Of course, it was a
jumbo from the time he first applied. But not to worry, they are
working it with the underwriters and and will likely be able to do it
at 20%. Day before the closing, final answer: 30% down.

Fortunately, the mortgage contigency clause in his sales contract was
still in effect. So, he told Chase to get lost and wound up getting a
jumbo at 6 3/8 rate from Hudson City here in NJ with a fast turn
around.

You can only imagine what could have happened had he started in on the
tear-down property and construction loan thing with Chase.






3. Get a good complete set of buildable plans, with a materials takeoff
list. May need to do this before step 2, getting the money lined up.
Sure, they will change, but you can't make all this up as you go, or it
will cost twice what you planned, and any unscrupulous subs will rob you
blind. Most areas, you don't need an architect, a good residential
designer can do it all for you.

I would not try to be the GC yourself the first time out. Get a pro for
the complicated parts, and maybe do the easier stuff yourself, like the
final yard landscaping, the interior painting, etc.
--
aem sends...- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


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