U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Entertainment and Arts > Architecture Forum
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-28-2012, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Tropical state of mind
5,100 posts, read 8,231,634 times
Reputation: 5506
Default Cheap to build guest house

For years we've kicked around where we'd like to move. Every single time we come right back to where we are. There are some things we don't like. We've got adult kids with children of their own that are having a hard time financially and keep coming back home and we hate that. So we're looking at buying a very cheap house on a small piece of land and letting them live there instead with us. If it's only 20k, which is quite doable where we live, it won't kill us and will give us peace of mind knowing they've got a roof over there head and keep life less stressful since it won't be the roof we have. The other issue is when friends and family visit we don't like them staying in our home. We have a lot of dogs by choice and some of our family don't like pets. I totally get going on vacation and not wanting our dogs trying to climb in their lap and following them all over. Our dogs are a bit over affectionate. So we're thinking of building a small guest cottage on our land. We have nearly 10 acres and live in an area where there are no building codes. We have a couple people in our area that built their own homes, never had to pull a single permit. We are the weird ones and when we did major work on the house - redoing all the wiring or plumbing for example - we did pull a permit because we wanted it inspected to make sure it was done properly. But because you don't HAVE to have a permit for anything unless you want it, putting up a guest home could potentially solve all of our issues and it could be done for a fairly decent cost.

So, we're thinking of 2 bedrooms, 1 bath. Living room and eat in kitchen. I do want a front porch because the place we're putting the cottage has a magnificent view of the mountains across the cattle pasture so I'll be putting up a swing for people to enjoy. I'm trying to find a floor plan that would be reasonably cost effective to build. Hubby and I can do the basic stuff- putting in the tile floors, the cabinets and shower and toilet, etc. I can hang drywall, finish it and paint it. We can put in our own lighting and fans. Just need to hire contractors to do the major stuff. Before we even think of moving forward though I am looking at floor plans and hoping to get ideas on how to save money in the actual building process. I want to do things the right way. I'd love to save money on insulation for example, but know that if I cut corners there it'll cost me more in the long run trying to heat the house in winter and cool in summer, so I don't want to do that. I actually was wondering if it would make the house more efficient if we up the insulation? I don't mind spending a bit more on the front end to save more in the long run as long as it makes sense.

So, as for building a small house, does anyone have any ideas? I've been looking at shoe box type floorplans. Plain rectangle shape, plain roof line with no gables or anything in it. Would it be better to go with a concrete slab for a foundation or put it on a crawl space foundation? My sister in law has MS (as does my husband) so I don't want any more steps that I have to have. The house is in middle TN at the base of the Cumberland Plateau so it doesn't get overly cold in the winter and the summers are upper 90s with the rare three digit temps, but even when it's that bad it doesn't really feel too bad. I love the log cabin look, but is it efficient? Would a concrete block basic boring structure make more sense or stick built? I'd been told to make sure all plumbing is in the same area to cut down on cost too so that your kitchen is on one side and around a corner on the other wall is the bathroom and laundry area. Any other ideas like that?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-28-2012, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Tropical state of mind
5,100 posts, read 8,231,634 times
Reputation: 5506
Oh, I also read that salvage materials can save you a ton. Thoughts? I thought of going to some of the local salvage places and buying interior doors, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, etc. How about second hand appliances? Or maybe buy us new appliances and use the ones we've got in the house now to put in the cottage?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-29-2012, 05:22 AM
 
3,295 posts, read 3,621,793 times
Reputation: 2079
Tennessee recently passed a law that all counties will follow the building code unless they vote to opt out. So you might check on the current status.

What about a used mobile home? They can be much cheaper than the materials for a house.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-29-2012, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Tropical state of mind
5,100 posts, read 8,231,634 times
Reputation: 5506
Quote:
Originally Posted by creeksitter View Post
Tennessee recently passed a law that all counties will follow the building code unless they vote to opt out. So you might check on the current status.

What about a used mobile home? They can be much cheaper than the materials for a house.
I will have to see if our county opted out. Ugh!

Hubby won't have even a new mobile on the property. They lose value unlike a stick built home and he doesn't want that to happen. I guess before we go any further I need to call the county though on the building codes thing though. Not sure it will change any plans, unless that means we have to have every single thing done with permits? *sigh*
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-30-2012, 03:03 PM
 
1,313 posts, read 849,865 times
Reputation: 1309
Quote:
actually was wondering if it would make the house more efficient if we up the insulation?
yes, any normal builder can help you with things like that - using 2X6s for example as framing lumber instead of 2X4s will make it able to put thicker insulation in the walls. I don't get the concern for permits - where I live, an electrical permit covering an entire house is $80, and a plumbing permit isn't much more. I'd have professionals build the outside and do the plumbing and electrical - you can do inside to your taste and at your own pace. $20k should be enough to build a small basic house. I'd estimate the exterior work at around $25-$50 per sq ft.

If you are trying to keep costs down, then don't do a cement foundation - it's more expensive to move plumbing and electrical fixtures with a cement foundation than pier and beam.

Also to keep the costs down - make your floor plan beforehand and don't change it and don't add anything to it once construction has started.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2012, 11:15 AM
 
1,479 posts, read 1,285,798 times
Reputation: 857
What about a modular ranch home? They seem nice and you can get a wide variety of styles.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-04-2012, 12:53 PM
 
1,313 posts, read 849,865 times
Reputation: 1309
I forgot to add: If it's meant to be for guests visisting you - then leave out the kitchen. Put in a microwave and sink at most. Otherwise, your guests will come visit you but you will never see them. Make dinner and lunch the communal times - they have to come over to the main house. that will keep the costs down as well.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-04-2012, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
9,283 posts, read 15,083,908 times
Reputation: 4945
Marianne Cusato's Katrina Cottages might have a plan that would work for your needs. She has a 2BR/1BA that's under 600 square feet, but you might need to expand the kitchen with a bump out to make it a bit more like an eat-in-kitchen. There's another one that is in the 800-900 square foot range that might work as well, and I think you might be able to adapt them to a log facade.

CusatoCottages.com

Some stock home log builders may also have some plans that would suit your needs. I came across this from Conestoga Log Homes that seems like it could work. You could perhaps eliminate the loft to reduce stairs, though it may make for a nice storage area away from the main part of the house. There is a slightly larger version of the same home on their website. With many log builders, you can buy a kit, where you could do some/all of the work yourself, such as a contractor to finish it, and then you can work on the interior with tile and finishings to keep the price down a bit.

Cabin Kits | Log Cabin Kits | Cabin Plans | Log Cabin Plans

The benefit of a kit or a plan is that it is architect designed, and as such should not be a problem to get approved by the building department if that is a factor in your area. It sounds like you have a lovely project in mind, and I think you could really find a nice, efficient house to suit your purposes.

There's a great concept house that has been built in California, but would be way too modern for your needs in its current form, as it is a successor to Philip Johnson's Glass House. iT House is a modular concept, and would meet the size and aesthetic from an interior perspective, but wrapped in glass, is the opposite of a country log cabin, which I think would be stunning in the site you have described. Here's a look at iT, which may give insight into something you may be able to incorporate in your project.

itHouse
__________________
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
~William Shakespeare
(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

City-Data Terms of Service
City-Data FAQs
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-06-2012, 12:37 AM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
8,467 posts, read 3,339,410 times
Reputation: 4986
Hi, mrs1885...
If there is a Habitat for Humanity in your community, try giving them a call. If your grown kids are willing to put in sweat equity, I think you could get a pretty good home built for them if you bought the lot. That outfit has done a lot of good here, and they can get a lot of house built for $20k, as they're all volunteers. Much of the building materials they get are on heavy discounts to them, as Home Depot and others support the organization.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-11-2012, 01:36 PM
 
10,754 posts, read 8,774,291 times
Reputation: 15157
I would second the Katrina Cottage - they are really adorable and as another poster mentioned, you can build one with out a kitchen - a small refrigerator, counter, microwave and coffee maker should do it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Entertainment and Arts > Architecture Forum
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top