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Old 08-30-2006, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Brookfield, WI
42 posts, read 130,337 times
Reputation: 18

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Considering moving out to the Durango/Pagosa Springs area and I'm trying to gather information on building costs. Especially interested in what costs and fees I'd be faced with if I want to build, i.e., well, septic, water, electricity. Also
how easy/expensive is it to find raw land that isn't attached to covenents yet has or can get access to electricity, telephone, cable, etc.

Also interested in local builders who are honest, efficient and dedicated to thier clients and especially those not in the McMansion market.

I'm thinking of a small(1800-2100 sq ft) timberframe so any recommendations on good timberframe builders in the area would be appreciated.

I'd like to hear from anyone who's gone through the process.
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:41 AM
 
827 posts, read 4,541,912 times
Reputation: 505
Ready2go, you can go to Durango.com and find about building materials, builders and contractors. They have phone numbers too so you can call and ask for specific prices. Electricity is reasonable. My brother has an over 2000 square foot house and uses quite a lot of electricity and it is under 200 a month or less. There are many lots and land for sale without covenants. The builders can tell you more on septic costs, other costs and all the rest.
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Old 09-14-2006, 04:10 PM
 
6 posts, read 30,815 times
Reputation: 14
Just got done building my own home.
Septic: $10,000
Well: $5,000 first time no water $8,000 second drilling including pump ect. higher now generally
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:18 AM
 
1 posts, read 11,996 times
Reputation: 10
Smile Black Forest well water....

HI. We are moving to the area and are looking at purchasing a home with acreage in the Black Forest area. We have found some interesting properties...but they all have well water and a septic system. Does anybody have advice regarding this? We are used to city water....so the thought of having our own system sounds scary. Does anybody have any advice? Or, does anybody have advice on converting well water to city water? Is it worth it (well water) to have acreage? (we were looking at 2.5 to 5 acres)

Thanks,
New to Colorado
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Old 10-01-2007, 11:40 AM
 
20,308 posts, read 37,797,930 times
Reputation: 18082
Default Well and Septic in Black Forest (BF)

I've no experience with well water and septic. Lots of homes up there in BF, but haven't heard horror stories. But there is a limit to what can be pumped over time, especially in drier climates like this one, officially "alpine desert."

Converting well to city water is bound to cost a lot. I don't think Col Spgs Utilities runs up there, that might be the Donala Water District. My pal back in Fairfax County, VA converted to city water, and it cost him at least $20k, which they assessed on his taxes for X years, though he may have had an option to pay it all lump sum, not sure.

I'm not a realtor, please get a good one, and a good inspector. Links are:
1. For how to pick a realtor: marshall lake community
2. For how to pick an inspector:home inspections - the real deal?
3. For COL SPGS UTILS: Colorado Springs Utilities
4. For Donala Water District: Home

BF is a lovely area, lots of 5 acre ranchettes with lots of horses.

s/Mike
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Old 10-01-2007, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,765,097 times
Reputation: 17411
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtocolorado View Post
We are used to city water....so the thought of having our own system sounds scary. Does anybody have any advice?
I moved to near Monument from near Los Angeles last year. We had municipal water and sewer. Now I have well water and septic.

Pluses: Water is free except for electricity to pump (and hopefully no repairs; but my well system is only two years old)
Water is very good tasting and freezing cold even in summer. In fact, when we filled the kids' plastic pool we had to add warm water.
Septic seems to be fine and I think it is around $350 to service it maybe every four or five years....

Minus: The well services the entire house so I have the pressure set to around 55 psi. That means the garden hoses are 55 psi too. Back in LA garden hoses were street pressure around 120 psi - very useful when cleaning up in the yard. A pressure regulator lowered the house pressure to around 60 psi. So with a well I don't have that convenient high pressure hose. I ended up buying a gasoline powered pressure washer and even it isn't as useful as a powerful garden hose.
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Carson City, NV
52 posts, read 195,150 times
Reputation: 38
From the wife of a Nevada and California Real Estate Broker, take the time to check out your water to see if it meets the National standards.
Here in Nevada, a mining state, the well water is not so good. Many trace elements that are natural in the soil and water. But all things that can cause health problems like cancer. Watch out for Nitrates, Iron, Lead, Arsenic and more. And some things found in your water will not be regulated.
Example: Boron
We had boron in our County Water System. The county government was not removing it.
Why? It is not regulated by the federal govt so they don't have to. And it costs money.
The boron was causing me to lose hair, have dry skin, corrosive to pipes and fixtures and more. I moved and sold that home.
So you need to inspect anything in your water. Is it harmful?
Personally, I would never go with well water. You may check your well once a year like your are supposed to and find it clear in May. Then in June it may be high in Nitrates.
It is constant care if you want pure water. And filters are expensive in cost and maintenance and they do break down.
City water is maintained and must at least meet federal regulations.
You have lots of homework to do.
By the way, if Black Forrest is acerage with animals like horses, you may certainly have Nitrates in your water. A product from horse waste entering the water table.

Good Luck
Sharon
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Old 10-01-2007, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,765,097 times
Reputation: 17411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Card Shark 2 View Post
From the wife of a Nevada and California Real Estate Broker, take the time to check out your water to see if it meets the National standards.

Who would do this service and how much might it cost?
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Old 10-01-2007, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,330 posts, read 4,354,278 times
Reputation: 15278
I have lived in Colorado Springs for 30 years. Without exception, everyone that I know with a well and septic has had major problems with both. Many wells have too much iron. Wells dry up, pumps fail.

Septic systems have failed leach fields, need pumping, need to be re-built or just fail to percolate.

When I bought a house, my #1 priority was to have city water and city sewer systems. Why take a chance when you don't need to?

We are in a desert. Long term water is not certain. If you well drys up, the land will be worthless. Why take that chance?
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Old 10-01-2007, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Carson City, NV
52 posts, read 195,150 times
Reputation: 38
Visions,
You are so right?
My brother bought 5 acres in a very small town in AZ. He was so happy and spent everything to build a garage and put a modular on it. Now it is worthless. His well dried up the first year so he drilled deeper and it dried again and then a different spot and no water again. He spent over $15,000 back in the 80's. He has lived here now 15 years and has been tanking water to his property from town. He has well water (that is unsafe to drink) he uses for other purposes. Life has been hell for him. And so you think it is safe to take showers and clean in bad water? It soaks in the pores too.

Many people want land. Many want to have animals. So they get out of town and buy these nice homes with wells and septic. All is grand until things start happening. Your well can dry up, go bad, or you may need a top of the line filter system that is expensive. At minimum, you should have water that meats the federal regulations.
You can contact the water district in any town you move, for any neighborhood and ask for a print out on the water quality for that area. If the home is on well you will have to hire a company to test the water. Local realators work with these companies all the time and are great referals. But remember, just because the water tests good at the time of purchase does not mean it will stay that way. Many things can affect your water. It needs to be monitored. Most recommend yearly testing but I do not think that is enough.
Your health and the health of your family depends on it.

A small city here in Nevada called "Fallon" was on national news. This city is about 50 miles from my home. Kids were getting Leukemia and various forms of cancer. The government stepped in and tried to find out why a small city like Fallon (25,000) would have so many cases. It took them 3 years and they never still found the culprit but they did find some problems in the water and soil. Remember, soil contains minerals and deposits (even more so in mining states) that are fine and blow in the wind. These particles can be inhaled and cause cancers (lung etc). So you soil quality is important too. No one ever found the problems with Fallons area and water.

Health should be first.
Sharon
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