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Old 07-29-2017, 08:19 PM
 
13,262 posts, read 25,405,201 times
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^^^^
Didn't see any direct message so I sent you a email. A favorite topic of mine!
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Cortez, CO
32 posts, read 24,527 times
Reputation: 75
I am interested as well. I'm also curious about this:

"Enclosing empty space is a lot cheaper than a careful small build."

I'm not sure what you mean.
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:51 PM
 
290 posts, read 136,214 times
Reputation: 1176
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
^^^^
Didn't see any direct message so I sent you a email. A favorite topic of mine!
You should have a message from me as of Sunday. Thanks, looking forward to chatting offline and online.
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:20 AM
 
13,262 posts, read 25,405,201 times
Reputation: 20226
Quote:
Originally Posted by hikenbike View Post
I am interested as well. I'm also curious about this:

"Enclosing empty space is a lot cheaper than a careful small build."

I'm not sure what you mean.
What I meant was, within some kind of limits, a larger room is proportionately less expensive per square foot than a smaller room. Yes, larger means maybe more wall and floor materials, but not really infrastructure, utilities, etc. I think there are diminishing costs per square foot up to some point. Does that make any sense? All square feet are not created the same in their costs, because the fixed cost doesn't change with the addition of some square footage, so the price per square foot will go down until increased size means an increase in fixed costs.
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Cortez, CO
32 posts, read 24,527 times
Reputation: 75
Yes, thanks, that makes sense.
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Old 09-28-2018, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Cortez, CO
32 posts, read 24,527 times
Reputation: 75
Just thought I would post and update, I know I enjoy seeing how other people's situations turn out. We decided to be patient and finally a house came up in Cortez that fit most of our criteria. The house is on the big side at over 1900 s.f. and is 2 levels, we were hoping for 1400-1800 max. and one level so it wasn't such a huge compromise. The location was out of my desired area but we checked it out while on a trip down here to see a different house and I fell in love with the land. I feel like we found a little hidden gem of an area in Cortez.


I'm glad we waited and didn't try to build a house and also glad I kept an open mind about location. Location has always been the most important thing to me but finding that perfect piece of rural property is challenging and it's important to be somewhat flexible about things. We were able to get a house, a decent bit of fully fenced land and water rights for about what I was budgeting for the house build alone with a best case scenario. Never mind what it would have cost us in rent, travel, time living in limbo, additional moving costs and aggravation.



We love it here, such a beautiful area and the people have been so warm, friendly and welcoming. My only regret is that we weren't able to do it sooner. Thanks to all for your help and insights with building costs and issues.
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Old 09-28-2018, 09:25 AM
 
5,278 posts, read 2,723,988 times
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Congrats! “Fell in love with the land” fits for me, too.

My own very quick followup: We moved into an unfinished but habitable house in spring. I took on more DIY projects than desired, but it definitely reduces the cost, plus I get more control over scheduling. We had a mixed bag of contractors, not surprising given what we had heard and are still hearing. We know it is bad when longtime residents/neighbors ask US for contractor recommendations. But—most important—we love the site. That helps get me through the rest of the projects to be done.
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Cortez, CO
32 posts, read 24,527 times
Reputation: 75
LOL, my realtor just texted me to ask for a structural engineer recommendation. The struggle is real down here. The house we bought has structural issues with the foundation that came up during inspection and the owner, who had acted as his own contractor in building the place, was so stubborn about it that I had to hire a structural engineer even though I am a structural engineer and even after the second engineer spelled out the issues he still wouldn't budge. I threatened to walk (and I would have) so his realtor took a cut in her commission to pay for repairs. Which still haven't been done because the contractor 'put me on his list' and I haven't heard from him in weeks. So for now, the previous owner's Hillbilly Engineering is holding up a wall. I was appalled by the foundation supports in general but the other engineer assured me he sees this kind of thing all the time. It's what comes of not having building inspectors or building permit requirements. Other than the foundation the house is not too bad compared to other places we saw. Definitely the Wild West when it comes to construction down here. Buyer Beware.



Congrats on your place! Doing the DIY thing isn't so bad if you can live in the place and don't have to worry about rent and moving twice. We have some deferred maintenance to deal and some cosmetic things but thankfully nothing too bad beyond the foundation repair which I don't have the equipment to deal with myself.
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Old 09-29-2018, 11:00 AM
 
20,811 posts, read 38,977,896 times
Reputation: 18991
Quote:
Originally Posted by hikenbike;53225283.... I was appalled by the foundation supports in general but the other engineer assured me he sees this kind of thing all the time. It's what comes of not having building inspectors or building permit requirements. Other than the foundation the house is not too bad compared to other places we saw. [B
Definitely the Wild West when it comes to construction down here. Buyer Beware.....[/b]
Thank you for posting a cautionary tale for those who think they want to live in rural or remote areas.

Surprisingly I've heard of many issues with homes in the Black Forest area of COLO SPGS where prior owners did their own handyman thing without permits or attention to codes. Over the years there've been stories in the local press and on this site about the goofy crap found when the walls are opened by a new owner--- all sorts of bad deal work done without permits or inspections.

One possible downside of unpermitted work is that if there's ever a fire in the home and the insurance firm finds unpermitted work then some firms will refuse to cover the damages. If the owner has the permits and inspection documents the insurance will pay.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 09-29-2018 at 11:11 AM..
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Old 09-30-2018, 10:22 AM
 
5,278 posts, read 2,723,988 times
Reputation: 9756
Quote:
Originally Posted by hikenbike View Post
LOL, my realtor just texted me to ask for a structural engineer recommendation. The struggle is real down here. The house we bought has structural issues with the foundation that came up during inspection and the owner, who had acted as his own contractor in building the place, was so stubborn about it that I had to hire a structural engineer even though I am a structural engineer and even after the second engineer spelled out the issues he still wouldn't budge. I threatened to walk (and I would have) so his realtor took a cut in her commission to pay for repairs. Which still haven't been done because the contractor 'put me on his list' and I haven't heard from him in weeks. So for now, the previous owner's Hillbilly Engineering is holding up a wall. I was appalled by the foundation supports in general but the other engineer assured me he sees this kind of thing all the time. It's what comes of not having building inspectors or building permit requirements. Other than the foundation the house is not too bad compared to other places we saw. Definitely the Wild West when it comes to construction down here. Buyer Beware.



Congrats on your place! Doing the DIY thing isn't so bad if you can live in the place and don't have to worry about rent and moving twice. We have some deferred maintenance to deal and some cosmetic things but thankfully nothing too bad beyond the foundation repair which I don't have the equipment to deal with myself.
Actually, we did move twice. We rented in the area while looking for our place, and we extended the rental period while having the house built. Good thing our landlord accommodated us! The worst part was waiting for our former house to be sold; we were paying a mortgage on it plus associated high taxes and utilities, AND rent here. When we found land but had not yet sold the house, we then were paying those AND loan on land for the new place (so we could pay cash for the construction itself when we did sell the old house). By comparison, now having only the land loan balance to pay off is a huge relief. A combination of DIY labor and eschewing popular amenities/average-American quantities of items resulted in us NOT blowing the construction budget despite a horrific overrun in the excavation and foundation stage. We still have more work and expenses coming up but it is not so daunting now given that we reserved cash for it.

Your story is, unfortunately, all too common. I heard of one tale of woe in which someone had a second story added to a house not built for that; the downstairs walls began breaking. This kind of stuff is one reason why county commissioner MB McAfee is urging the county to establish a building code. Although there are requirements in place for electricity and plumbing (with inspections), the rest seems to be up to the builder and the customer. It is a tricky line to define, because the existing situation allows flexibility if common sense prevails. But if not...or if an unscrupulous builder takes advantage...or if a homeowner/builder bulls ahead in ignorance...

I wish you the best of luck in getting all issues fixed properly! If you donít mind, please let me know how things go. Iíll send you a private msg.
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