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o/t my latest question about freaking houses :)

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Old 01-13-2004, 03:23 AM
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I think cost per sq ft is determined a lot by where you live and the cost of living in your general area also.
I'm currently building and will be right around $100 a ft when its done and that includes a 40k lot and a 4 car gargage. It is pretty common in our area be in the $90-110 ft range. Its also not a custom plan. Its the builders plan, that we made some changes to. It also depends a LOT on what your allowances are for EVERYTHING-windows, doors, floors, cabinets, lighting, heating, A/C, etc. I could easily upgrade enough stuff to boost my cost to over the $120 ft range.

I have it easy compared to you. The builder has a set base price + lot with his standard allowances. The cotract is also contingent on the sale of my current house. I only had to escrow 3k and secure financing for when its done. If for some reason, my current house is not sold when it gets close to completion, he'll hold off on some of the final stuff, and if the deal falls through, he sell it as a spec house.
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Old 01-13-2004, 08:07 AM
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bobkatz - haven't paid up for my membership here so no PM.....please email me a [email protected] and i'll get with you.
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Old 01-13-2004, 08:13 AM
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All good points guys, I'm still very much in the learning stages so this is all sinking in and I'm hoping to have somewhat of a clue when we start all this. I don't quite understand the allowances stuff though. One thing that I did not ask the builder was if we could pick out our own stuff, like faucets, knobs, fixtures, etc etc. We've basically done some of this and I know usually it's up to the builder if you can do this or not. 78/sq ft is sort of average in my area. My other quote was 87 but that was a little too high for us.

I'm getting close to making a decision soon. Also my buddy that builds on the side is still in the picture. I went this weekend to look at his house and it's really something else, very nice. He be doing it on the side and from the way I understand it, it will work like this. He'll be the general contractor lining up all the work, my estimage was 70-75 sq ft depending on what all we go with of course, and his fee will be 15K, so basically cost of the house, plus his fee of 15k. He does not have a builders license, but the house will be warranted by a builder who has a license. Sounds confusing, but I'm thinking about giving that a shot.
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Old 01-13-2004, 08:33 AM
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"He does not have a builders license, but the house will be warranted by a builder who has a license."

This would cause me a great deal of concern. Good paper makes good friends. If he would be acting as the CM and not self performing any of the construction activities other than contract administration (sub contracts, payments, scheduling, etc.) then I guess it is not a bad thing. If he picks up a hammer one time I would want licenses, insurance, etc. Hopefully he doesn't fall off of the roof or something during construction. You will probably have to pay for it.

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Old 01-13-2004, 08:41 AM
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Oh yeah, even though he is a friend, get everything in writing. I have a close friend who just completed a new home with his brother-in-law as the builder. Very minimal paperwork. When the project began to lose money for the builder at trim-out time, my buddie was told that he was getting white porcelain light fixtures with pull chains (like the ones you see in attics) everywhere there was supposed to be a real light fixture. This included nice areas like the dining room and the foyer. The builder was also going to throw in a 60 watt bulb for good measure! My buddie thought he was getting nice lighting all throughout the home. Ended up having to go out and buy all of his own light fixtures and install them himself. They were good friends before the project. Now the only time they see each other is at xmas and they do not speak.

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Old 01-13-2004, 08:52 AM
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I don't think working with a friend that does this on the side is a good idea. It could be the end of a good friendship. Say you house is behind schedule or costing more money, and you know he's off having fun you will be pissed off.
One of the reasons to hire a builder is that he usually has better luck getting the subs to work because they know they have future work. What is his full time job, if he has a job like a policeman, or fireman then he has a lot of time off and that might help. However if he has a job that makes it hard for him to get time off in the day that would make it hard for him to check on the contractors while they are working. If mistakes are made during the construction phase and not caught immediately they compound, because the work just keeps going on on top of it. You really need a builder that will stop by everyday work is in progress. As a homeowner you will also need to be there at least 3 times a week.

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Old 01-13-2004, 09:52 AM
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yeah thats the only downfall I was looking at. He'd have to call everybody in the mornings and then go on site after his "real job". His has gotten a few houses for himself done this way and they look real nice. But taking that same time for someone else might be a different story. The other builder I'm talking to put on a good talk, but we haven't looked at any of his houses yet, planning to do that this weekend.
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Old 01-13-2004, 04:37 PM
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Who ever you pick ask him for refrences of people who he has built for ask them how the process went and if they were happy. I am the process of finishing up with our contractor on our house and it has been one nightmare afternother with him. Found out from all kinds of people after we started building what a ass he was. Builds a solid house though thats the only good thing.
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Old 01-13-2004, 04:43 PM
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On stuff like this you can go online and save alot of money buying stuff yoursef and just have them install it thats what my wife did, then ask him for a credit. lowes online home depot etc espically light fixtures ton of websites for that stuff.
"All good points guys, I'm still very much in the learning stages so this is all sinking in and I'm hoping to have somewhat of a clue when we start all this. I don't quite understand the allowances stuff though. One thing that I did not ask the builder was if we could pick out our own stuff, like faucets, knobs, fixtures, etc etc. We've basically done some of this and I know usually it's up to the builder if you can do this or not. 78/sq ft is sort of average in my area. My other quote was 87 but that was a little too high for us."
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Old 01-13-2004, 05:21 PM
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yeah thats what I plan to do.....I think most will let you do it but I guess it really depends on the builder. Here somebody answer this for me........2900-3000 sq ft home, 1 A/C unit or 2?
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